Author: BooMan

Humpday Bushism

The future President asks a compelling question that has never been adequately answered:

“Will the highways on the Internet become more few?”

-George Walker Bush, in Concord, N.H., Jan. 29, 2000.

Some issues (and a new rule)

I posted on this last night but I didn’t get a whole lot of response (although I did get some good tips).  I am looking to add a ‘world’ section to my blogroll and am looking for good international blogs.  Any suggestions are welcome.

Everything seems to be going well.  We had a lousy day for new members (are y’all forgetting to tell your friends?) but we have a new Italian and a new Brit in the house.

If anyone knows people that advertise on blogs, this site is a major bargain right now, and the rates are going up soon.  So get the word out!

And thank you all for being such a great bunch.  I was looking at the mojo tables and we have no one with a rating under ‘3’, and almost everyone has a perfect ‘4’ rating.  Is anyone a trusted user yet?  I gotta look into how long it takes and how many comments you have to have rated.

Is John Bolton’s Confirmation in Trouble?

Steve Clemons, of the Washington Note, is running down some dirt on John Bolton. Apparently these allegations are serious enough to have some GOP bigwigs worried about Bolton’s confirmation.

Did Bolton play any role in helping to conceal a foreign campaign contribution channeled to the Republican National Committee that may have helped the RNC prevail in the 1994 congressional elections?

Here’s the story. In the run-up to the 1994 elections, Haley Barbour formed an outfit called the National Policy Forum (NPF), a nonprofit policy and research institute. Barbour was the head of the RNC at the time, and he took the reins of the NPF as well.

As was widely reported at the time, the NPF was partially endowed via a loan Barbour solicited with the help of a Hong Kong businessman and Taiwanese citizen named Ambrous Tung Young. The value of the loan, from a lending institution to the NPF, was $2.1 million; Young put up the collateral in the form of certificates of deposit.

The NPF had owed the RNC $1.6 million; so, once the NPF had secured its loan, it paid back the RNC the $1.6 million it owed. This sounds all well and good — except for the fact that the NPF repaid the loan in October 1994, which, handily enough, gave the Republican Party that much more money to spend on its congressional candidates in elections just a couple of weeks away. Republicans gained 54 seats in the House of Representatives that election, and while no one’s arguing that they made those gains only because of this late cash infusion, it clearly couldn’t have hurt. There were additional allegations that the NPF was engaging in activities that were more directly political than the group’s charter would have allowed.

The story gets dirtier — and brings us to what is, for current purposes, the punch line. By 1996, the NPF had defaulted on the loan. In April of that year, the NPF sought to extend the loan’s maturity date and revise its terms. That having apparently failed, the NPF took a far more dramatic step in May, according to a June 8, 1997, article by Dan Morgan in The Washington Post. The NPF’s then-new president authorized the holder of the note, Signet Bank, to start taking its payments directly out of the certificates of deposit put up by Young as collateral — without Young’s knowledge, by all accounts.

That NPF president? John Bolton. –Steve Clemons:read it all

I have found some more on John Bolton’s think tank management controversy. Think tanks are usually organized as 501c3 organizations — organized for the public good but increasingly they are becoming money laundering operations for lobbyists or corporate consulting shops. It seems that John Bolton helped the National Policy Forum move well down this path.

The National Policy Forum of which John Bolton was President was stripped of its non-profit 501c3 status. Foreign money, mega-conference fundraisers, inappropriate political activity, possibly laundering foreign funds into political activities. John Bolton was an architect of this insidious mess.

Many conservatives have genuine concerns about the management of the United Nation’s after the “Oil-for-Food” scandal, even though it’s clear that the U.S. delegation to the U.N. knew what was going on.

But Bolton is a guy whose own past management experience and the blurring of legal lines in his own organization sounds a lot like what Bernie Ebbers would have looked for in his team at WorldCom or Ken Lay at Enron. –Steve Clemons:read it all

What is it with the Bush administration and its horrible vetting process?

Some other Bolton resources:

American Prospect

Yahoo News

Here’s an Open Discussion

“She’s just trying to make sure Anthony gets a good meal–Antonio.”

-Bush commenting on Laura inviting Justice Antonin Scalia to dinner at the White House. NBC Nightly News With Tom Brokaw, Jan. 14, 2001

But, this is also a reminder that you should consider the World/Open box in the top menu a permanent Open Discussion.

If You Know of Any

Good European or Canadian…or other international political blogs, please list them below.  I want to create a ‘world’ section to my Blogroll.

Thanks.

Okay, I Give In

So far, I have studiously avoided any discussion of the circus going on in Washington DC over this poor women who has become a political football. But, I finally saw something in this story that really smelled of truth and decency.

Mr. Shiavo said something that bears repeating. Over and over again.

President Bush has indicated he will sign any federal legislation to keep Terri Schiavo alive.

Weary after an emotional visit with his wife, Schiavo said he is astonished that politicians want to interfere in such a private matter.

“Instead of worrying about my wife, who was granted her wishes by the state courts the past seven years, they should worry about the pedophiles killing young girls,” Schiavo said, referring to a local case. “Why doesn’t Congress worry about people not having health insurance? Or the budget? Let’s talk about all the children who don’t have homes.”

He said U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, who is leading a charge to extend Terri Schiavo’s life, is a “little slithering snake” pandering for votes.

St. Petersburg Times

And to put this in the form of a Q & A:

Q. Why doesn’t Congress worry about health insurance, the budget, or our children?

A. Because Tom DeLay is a little slithering snake.

Shout Out to Corzine

As the dynamic duo spreads out across the country to spread their lies and false fear on Social Security, Senator Corzine tweaks ‘Big Time’ Cheney, and gets a big hand from the BooMan.

While Cheney campaigns in California and Nevada, the president was stopping in Arizona, Colorado and New Mexico before returning to his Texas ranch Tuesday afternoon. Bush appeared with his mother, former first lady Barbara Bush, in Florida on Friday.

In a conference call with reporters Monday, Sen. John Corzine, D-NJ, one of the leading opponents of the president’s plan, said Cheney had “a virtual career of disdain for Social Security,” and compared his appearances to sending Saddam Hussein to campaign for democracy in Iraq.

“He’s certainly not being sent on the road to convince Democrats, moderates or Baby Boomers,” Corzine said.

Having met so much resistance to the proposal from older Americans, the White House is focusing now on persuading younger people that changes are needed to the Social Security system. Under the Bush plan, only workers born after 1950 would be eligible for the individual investment accounts.

The Press Enterprise