Thursday, February 09, 2006
Senator Harry Reid has long been leading the chorus attacking members of the GOP for their associations with disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff. And rightfully so. But when Reid and that raving lunatic Howard Dean go all around the media talking about the need for "ethical cleaning" in Congress and the Bush administration, maybe they need to start with the mess in their own backyards first.
Reid Aided Abramoff Clients, Records Show
By JOHN SOLOMON and SHARON THEIMER, Associated Press Writers
Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid wrote at least four letters helpful to Indian tribes represented by Jack Abramoff, and the senator's staff regularly had contact with the disgraced lobbyist's team about legislation affecting other clients.
The activities — detailed in billing records and correspondence obtained by The Associated Press — are far more extensive than previously disclosed. They occurred over three years as Reid collected nearly $68,000 in donations from Abramoff's firm, lobbying partners and clients.
Reid's office acknowledged Thursday having "routine contacts" with Abramoff's lobbying partners and intervening on some government matters — such as blocking some tribal casinos — in ways Abramoff's clients might have deemed helpful. But it said none of his actions were affected by donations or done for Abramoff.
"All the actions that Senator Reid took were consistent with his long-held beliefs, such as not letting tribal casinos expand beyond reservations, and were taken to defend the interests of Nevada constituents," spokesman Jim Manley said.
Reid, D-Nev., has led the Democratic Party's attacks portraying Abramoff's lobbying and fundraising as a Republican scandal.
But Abramoff's records show his lobbying partners billed for nearly two dozen phone contacts or meetings with Reid's office in 2001 alone.
Admittedly, the Abramoff scandal has affected Republicans more than Democrats - but if this was a "GOP-only" issue as both Reid and Dean have tried to portray it than why did questions pop up about Reid from the moment the scandal was made public?
That's according to a Washington Times article that lists Reid amongst the first group of federal lawmakers looked at in a federal probe surrounding Abramoff.
My other question is if the Democrats really had nothing to do with Abramoff, than why were they throwing money back to various Abramoff clients as fast as they could?
So while anyone involved with Abramoff deserves their due, the Democrats' choice to deny any involvement with Abramoff serves as yet another example of why Howard Dean should no longer be allowed to speak for the party.
Wednesday, February 08, 2006
Thank You Mr. President for making my point.
President Bush called for an end to violence, triggered by publication of cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad, but also said press freedom should be exercised with sensitivity. Bush made the comments after meeting with Jordan's King Abdullah II in the Oval Office at the White House.
"We reject violence as a way to express discontent with what may be printed in a free press," Bush said.
At the same time, he admonished the press that its freedom comes with "the responsibility to be thoughtful about others."
Bush made his comments while sitting beside Jordan's King Abdullah II at the White House. Abdullah, too, called for protests to be peaceful, but he also spoke against ridicule of Islam's holiest figure.
"With all respect to press freedoms, obviously anything that vilifies the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, or attacks Muslim sensibilities, I believe, needs to be condemned," the king said.
I wonder if he reads Politik Ditto?
Tuesday, February 07, 2006
I just can't buy into the idea of people condemning these Islam protestors for rioting over a "cartoon", while refusing to lie ANY blame on the supposed professionals who started this whole thing in the first place: the Danish newspaper that first published the cartoons.
As we learned recently in the case of the con artist that is James Frey, freedom of the press does not absolve someone of responsibility. That's why we have editors, that's why we have fact checkers, that's why we have laws to protect people from issues of libel and slander, that's why James Frey deserved to have his card pulled by Oprah Winfrey and owed everyone who bought his a book an apology.
The Danish newspaper that published the pictures mocking the prophet Muhammad didn't do so out of freedom of the press, they did it out of a reckless and irresponsible desire to defame a figure that many in the world look up to obsessively. Religious people hold religious images sacred and many of these "peaceful" fundamentalists can be extremely violent. Disagree with this fanatical approach to a religious figure all you want, but to insult, degrade or mock someone else's belief system is just flat-out wrong.
That people in the media will turn a blind eye to their own standards of journalism, ignoring logic and reason, is just wrong. And by continuing to publish the pictures (as many newspapers and bloggers around the world are doing) or calling on people to support Danish products as a lame form of "protest" against the rioters (as many extreme-right conservatives are doing), people are only feeding their own arrogance and dislike for radical Islamists, inciting the angry rioters even further (while more blood continues to be shed) and acting like hypocrites when they themselves get upset when say, a Kanye West decides to pose as Jesus for the cover of Rolling Stone.
Indeed, freedom of speech doesn't mean an abuse of freedom. Nor does freedom of speech not come without consequences. The Muslim world's reaction to the cartoon's satirizing Mohammed is insane, but so is, for the most part, our reaction to it. But go ahead fight each other, call each other names and condemn each other's actions.
Just leave me out.
Sunday, February 05, 2006
Ok, so the game was a bit of a bore, Roethlisberger through a few dumb passes & got a HUGE break with that 1st touchdown (no way that ball broke the plane) and if it were up to me I'd give the MVP to the entire Steeler defense (somewhere Mean Joe Greene must be smiling) for shutting the Seahawks' offense down.
But I'm happy for The Bus and I'm happy for Coach Bill Cowher who proves that you don't have to change football coaches every 3 years to win a Super Bowl.
Hail to the Steel Curtain....they deserved it.