Court Of Impeachment And War Crimes: February 2008
Loading...

Click for a full report.

Imbush Peach

An interview with Naomi Wolf about the 10 steps from democracy to dictatorship!

Stop The Spying Now

Stop the Spying!

Friday, February 29, 2008

The Century Foundation Projects

Featured Work Of The Century Foundation (A Link to the organization in now found in my side bar panel) They are well worth exploring!


Apologists’ Last Stand?
Bernard Wasow | Feb. 29, 2008
Some observers have been trying to dismiss growing income inequality in the United States—where middle-income families have experienced nearly stagnant income for four decades, while families at the top have enjoyed virtually all the fruits of economic growth—by arguing that things are much better than they seem. Continue Reading Here.


Provisional Ballots May Be the Hanging Chad of ’08
Tova Andrea Wang and Ed Foley | Feb. 28, 2008
Although New Mexicans cast their vote on Super Tuesday, the race was not called until 10 days later. The contest between Sens. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) and Barack Obama (D-Ill.) was painfully close, and there were an astonishing 17,000 provisional ballots cast that had to be counted by hand-about 12 percent of the total number of votes cast. Continue Reading Here.


New Media, New Voters: The Global Primary
Tova Andrea Wang | Feb. 27, 2008
Lost in all the hullabaloo about Super Tuesday, then the Potomac Primary, and now "Mini Tuesday" on March 4, is the extraordinary experiment in online voting conducted by Democrats Abroad. Although the voting took place from February 5 to February 12, the organization just recently reported the results, and they were impressive. Continue Reading Here.


As the Army Approaches a Breaking Point
Maggie Mahar | Feb. 26, 2008
Since 9/11, one Army division has spent more time in Iraq than any other group of soldiers: the 10th Mountain Division, based at Fort Drum, New York. Continue Reading Here.


New Media, New Voters: Online Small Donors and the Future of Democratic Politics
Michael Cornfield | Feb. 21, 2008
The financial disclosure reports of the presidential candidates for the year 2007 and January 2008 contain important news for the professional political community: online small donors have arrived in force. Continue Reading Here.


The Snapshot: Bush Blamed for Economic Ills
Ruy Teixeira | Feb. 22, 2008
Just how bad does the public believe the economy is performing? And just how unhappy are Americans with President Bush’s handling of the economy? Continue Reading Here.


The Platform by Peter Osnos
The Public Television Debate, Again
Peter Osnos | Feb. 26, 2008
“Nothing ever gets settled in this town . . . a seething debating society in which the debate never stops, in which people never give up, including me. And so that’s the atmosphere in which you administer.”—George P. Shultz, Secretary of State, 1982–89. Continue Reading Here.


Sign-up to receive Osnos' columns weekly by email here.


Visit The Platform archive here.

CF Project Sites


The Social Security Network


Immigrationline.org


Homeland Security


Afghanistan Watch



Health Policy Watch


Equality & Education


ReformElections.org

The Century Foundation conducts public policy research and analyses of economic, social, and foreign policy issues, including inequality, retirement security, election reform, media studies, homeland security, and international affairs. The foundation produces books, reports, and other publications, convenes task forces, and working groups and operates eight informational Web sites. With offices in New York City and Washington, DC, The Century Foundation is nonprofit and nonpartisan and was founded in 1919 by Edward A. Filene.


Headquarters:
41 East 70th Street
New York, New York 10021
United States
* 212.535.4441 * 212.535.7534 (fax) * info@tcf.org
DC Office: 1333 H Street, NW, 10th floor * Washington, DC 20005 * 202.387.0400 * 202.483.9430 (fax)
info@tcf.org

Congressman Moran (VA) on FISA




Congressman Jim Moran

(8th District VA) on FISA


Dear Ed,


There's a highly charged debate going on in Congress over the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (commonly referred to as FISA).

The FISA law was enacted in 1978 in response to revelations of electronic surveillance abuses by the Nixon Administration. It has come to provide the statutory framework our intelligence agencies use to collect foreign intelligence information by electronically surveiling foreign powers and their agents, both inside and out of the U.S.

The current FISA law has worked well for over thirty years. In my view, it strikes an appropriate balance between our national security concerns and our civil liberties. In three decades, the secret FISA court has never turned down a single request for a surveillance warrant. A warrant can be obtained literally within minutes. If that's too long to wait, the surveillance can be carried out and a warrant requested after the fact.

An updating of this law to reflect technological advances is warranted, but the real contention in this debate involves whether or not to give the major telecommunications carriers retroactive legal immunity, meaning they cannot be held accountable by the public for any illegal wiretapping that may have occurred in the early years of the Bush Administration. After 9/11, some telecom carriers coordinated with the Bush Administration to carry out possibly illegal, warrantless surveillance on American citizens, bypassing the FISA law in the name of national security.

In an effort to get the telecom industry retroactive legal immunity, the President and his allies in Congress are trying to scare the public into believing that without their version of FISA, which strips the courts of much of its oversight role, the intelligence agencies cannot do their jobs and thus we are less safe.

Our nation is supposed to be governed by the rule of law within a balance of powers -- not unilateral decisions by the executive branch. We must not sacrifice our constitutional rights wholesale in the name of national security. The current FISA law, with minor adjustments to account for changes in telecommunications infrastructure, strikes that balance. The following letter, written by four very senior former intelligence officials and security experts makes clear that, in its current form, FISA will continue to safeguard our intelligence gathering capabilities for the foreseeable future.

The House stands ready to pass a FISA update today, but not with language giving a free pass to the telecom providers who teamed with the administration to infringe on Americans' civil liberties. That is a matter which should be decided in a court of law.

Sincerely,

James P. Moran


February 25, 2008

The Honorable Mike McConnell
Director of National Intelligence
Office of the Director of National Intelligence
Washington, DC 20511

Dear Director McConnell,

Each of us has worked professionally with you in the past. We are writing you today to express our concerns over the recent debate on terrorist surveillance. We appreciate your willingness to engage Congress and the Executive Branch in an active conversation about the tools needed by the intelligence community to protect America from foreign enemies. We are concerned, however, that recent comments have distorted rather than enhanced this conversation.

Collectively, as you know well, we have spent decades in government working on these critical issues, including directly dealing with the FISA process. In our opinion, the following issues are in much need of clarification to ensure an educated debate by Congress and the general public.

The sunset of the Protect America Act (PAA) does not put America at greater risk. Despite claims that have been made, surveillance currently occurring under the PAA is authorized for up to a year. New surveillance requests can be filed through current FISA law. As you have stated, "Unlike last summer, there is no backlog of cases to slow down getting surveillance approvals from the FISA court. We're caught up to all of it now." As court orders are received, telecom companies are required to comply. Also, existing NSA authority allows surveillance to be conducted abroad on any known or suspected terrorist without a warrant. It is unclear to us that the immunity debate will affect our surveillance capabilities.

You stated on Fox News Sunday February 17: "the entire issue here is liability protection for the carriers," and that with the expiration of the Protect America Act, the telecom companies "are less inclined to help us." As mentioned above, the authorizations of surveillance under the sunset PAA still run for a year and they provide clear legal protection to any cooperating communications carrier. For new targets that are somehow not covered by the existing authorizations, the FISA court can issue an order, which the telecom companies are legally obliged to follow. Telecommunications companies will continue to cooperate with lawful government requests, particularly since FISA orders legally compel cooperation with the government. Again, it is unclear to us that the immunity debate will affect our surveillance capabilities.

The intelligence community currently has the tools it needs to acquire surveillance of new targets and methods of communication. As in the past, applications for new targets that are not already authorized by the broad orders already in place under the PAA can be filed through the FISA courts, including the ability to seek warrants up to 72 hours retroactively. Despite this fact, the President claimed on February 16 that as a result of PAA not being extended by Congress "the Attorney General and the Director of National Intelligence will be stripped of their power to authorize new surveillance against terrorist threats abroad." It remains unclear-in light of the law-how the President believes surveillance capabilities have changed.

Both the House and Senate have legislatively revisited FISA whenever requested by the Executive Branch and have diligently engaged in oversight of the process. In fact, FISA has been modernized nearly a dozen times since 9/11. The Administration has made it clear it believes this entire debate hinges on liability protection. As previously stated, it is unclear that liability protection would significantly improve our surveillance capabilities. It is wrong to make this one issue an immovable impediment to Congress passing strong legislation to protect the American people.

Then as now, what remains paramount is that differences in any legislation be amicably and methodically reconciled in order to ensure our intelligence community has the tools it needs to monitor those who seek to harm us without upending civil liberties. It is the duty of the Executive Branch to inform this process. America's security cannot be captive to partisan bickering and distortions.

It is our hope that as this debate moves forward, your comments and clarity on this issue will best represent the men and women who employ these tools every day to keep America safe.

We appreciate your leadership and your consideration of our views.

Sincerely,

RAND BEERS
RICHARD A. CLARKE
DON KERRICK
SUZANNE SPAULDING


One Order Of Candor And Integrity Please….

I knew my original Nader post would draw fire,(and it has), but if Ralph Nader wants to continue to enjoy any kind of support from me; he is going to have get down on the “High Ego Horse” he has mounted over the years. He cannot speak for the common man if all he wants to do is use them for his own aggrandizement and ego satisfaction. He does not get an automatic pass from scrutiny for past good. There are questions in his financial dealings and attempts to explain them away that demand forthright answers and not privacy dodges! I will not be used because he is the only personal saying much of what I want to hear when it my very well prove to as disingenuous as many of our current mainstream political candidates.

And I don’t care my readers if you call yourself Democrat, Liberal, Progress, Green, Independent of Naderite; the quality I value above all others in any candidate is that of Integrity, and Ralph Nader’s Integrity is in question. That is what today’s post are all about.

I have other issues I am afraid I will have to raise at a later date, and I am hopeful that the answers to them will not be a total loss of respect for the man. I am fearful as I look at my growing research.

His portfolio includes Cadence Design Systems Inc. (a $1.1 billion company that designs software for semiconductors), Iomega Corp. (a $1.5 billion company that makes information storage devices) and Ziff-Davis Inc. (a $702 million media firm focused on technology, once a market leader but now selling off to CNET Networks).

Nader also has a $1.2 million investment in Cisco Systems Inc., which makes products and software to power the Internet. Cisco dominates its market, perhaps even more than Microsoft's domination of the computer operating systems market. And yet Nader and the federal government have singled out Microsoft, depressing the company's stock price and throwing the U.S. stock market into a turbulent year.

"Cisco controls a bit more than half the overall data-networking market but has, for example, 89 percent of the market for high-end routers," reported Salon magazine. "…Cisco's Washington lobbying has been concentrated on objectives like making it harder for disgruntled shareholders to sue their companies – something Nader and his various groups have vociferously opposed. It has also focused on passing legislation to issue more H1-B visas to foreign workers, while Nader has taken a strong stand against the visas."

When some of these facts about Cisco were brought to Nader's attention, he and his associates acted surprised. "Nader's raiders," who take pride in their comprehensive investigations of big business, seem not to have done their homework on Cisco.

But Nader's reaction to Cisco's extensive operations in China was more nonchalant, despite the apparent contradiction between Nader's investment and his opposition to the China trade bill that paved the way for the country's membership in the World Trade Organization. When the bill passed in Congress, Nader associate Joan Claybrook, president of Public Citizen, said lawmakers had "sold out to corporate interests to help them rake in even bigger profits."

Cisco is one of the leading beneficiaries of the China trade bill. The company's operations in China include technology laboratories, manufacturing alliances and joint research and development programs. Cisco CEO John Chambers has bragged that the company's 15 Chinese manufacturing partners will provide $650 million worth of parts to Cisco this year, and sales in China will reach about $500 million.

Nevertheless, Nader defended his investment to CNN's Judy Woodruff: "I don't mind trade with China in non-weapons and non-toxic materials," he said. Nader contrasted Cisco to "multinational U.S. corporations who are taking factories and setting factories over there."

Nader's financial disclosure report gives little detail about where his donations go.

But it suggests that he gives primarily to organizations he founded or controls, or which promote his ideological interests. Nader's philanthropy is hardly selfless. Indeed, it supports his own left-wing activism.

In the report, Nader lists several favorite causes, such as aviation safety. He reports that he gave an undisclosed amount to several Public Interest Research Groups. And he subsequently told the Washington Post that he donated $200,000 for "civic action projects" at his alma maters, Princeton and Harvard.

The report mentions donations in the 1970s to what Nader calls the "Congress Project"; the Washington Post says the Project received $500,000. The group no longer exists under that name. Today, "Congress Watch" is a division of Public Citizen, a group Nader founded in 1971.

In the report, Nader identifies himself as a member of the board of directors of the Appleseed Foundation and the Center for the Study of Responsive Law. The Appleseed Foundation is one of the latest Naderite groups, having been created in 1993. The network of "lawyers for justice" has formed 17 public interest law centers in 15 states with an "average annual budget" of $750,000. It claims to have "helped millions of people and affected billions of dollars," although it doesn't provide legal services to individuals.

The Center for the Study of Responsive Law, founded in 1968, was once described by Forbes magazine as "Nader's headquarters" and is at the center of the complex network of Nader-linked organizations. It promotes greater government interference in the American marketplace.

Although Nader discloses ties to only two groups, his reach is much longer. The New York Post estimated in 1996 that Nader controlled, to varying degrees, 29 organizations with combined annual revenues of $80 million. A 1982 book by Dan Burt, Abuse of Trust: A Report on Ralph Nader's Network, uncovered a network of 50 small corporations and organizations linked to Nader. Burt concluded, "Mr. Nader and his groups cannot have it both ways. On the one hand, they agitate for more and more corporate and governmental disclosure to the public. On the other, they do not feel a duty themselves to make such public disclosures."

Despite the unanswered questions, it may well be that Nader has been helping to fund all of these groups to the tune of "millions of dollars." But if we are going to believe Nader's claim that he has been a generous philanthropist over the last several decades, we have to take the word of a man who was secretly investing in the capitalist system and making millions of dollars while publicly attacking it.

http://www.realchange.org/nader.htm#hypocrite

If LaDuke is looking for Occidental stockholders to criticize, she might want to look a little closer to home. In the financial disclosure form Nader filed on June 14, the Green Party presidential candidate revealed that he owns between $100,000 and $250,000 worth of shares in the Fidelity Magellan Fund. The fund controls 4,321,400 shares of Occidental Petroleum stock.

The Rainforest Action Network -- whose members no doubt include myriad Nader Raiders -- has slammed Fidelity for "investing in genocide," and called for the fund to divest its Occidental holdings.

But even if Fidelity were to divest its holdings in Occidental, it holds shares in so many companies Nader has crusaded against, it's hard to escape the conclusion that Nader's participation in the fund is supremely hypocritical. The fund, for example, owns stock in the Halliburton Company, where George W. Bush's running mate, Dick Cheney, recently worked as president and COO. The fund has investments in supremely un-p.c. clothiers the Gap and the Limited, both of which have been the target of rocks by World Trade Organization protesters, as well as Wal-Mart, the slayer of mom-and-pop stores from coast to coast.

http://archive.salon.com/politics/feature/2000/07/13/laduke

But winning's not the point here. For a national candidate, LaDuke seems strangely ambivalent about the results. She’s not having any of that "spoiler" stuff, the accusation hurled by many Democrats - and most prominently, the New York Times editorial page -- that all she and Nader can do is ruin Al Gore, a man whom she finds inadequate, though preferable to George W. Bush. But Gore hasn't earned those votes, she'll say, and if he loses, that's too bad. Besides, to many Americans, it doesn't matter who is in Washington, anyway.

Ralph Nader and Cisco Systems

Cisco Systems Watered Stock Scheme Captures Ralph Nader, Watered Stock Defined .... to extend an offer to provide investment advisory services to Mr. Nader ...

On page 15 of Schedule A, Nader was forced to disclose his shares of Cisco Systems, valued at the time at $1,158,750; Fibercore Inc., between $15,000 and $50,000; Iomega Inc., $15,000-$50,000; 3 Com Corp., $50,000-$100,000; and Ziff-Davis Inc., $50,000-$100,000, among other corporate holdings.

Those were just his direct investments.

Nader held an additional $2 million-plus in Fidelity and other mutual funds.

You'd think that someone who so loosely throws around epithets like "corporate criminals" and "corporate crooks" would never trust corporate brass with so much of his own money.

http://herndon1.sdrdc.com/cgi-bin/fecimg/?C00397216

Nader Financial Disclosure 2003 President
An annual disclosure report detailing earned and investment income, assets, financial transactions, liabilities, outside reimbursements, gifts and honoraria, positions held outside government, and agreements, arrangements and contracts.

Nader Financial Disclosure 2000 President
An annual disclosure report detailing earned and investment income, assets, financial transactions, liabilities, outside reimbursements, gifts and honoraria, positions held outside government, and agreements, arrangements and contracts.

http://www.publicintegrity.org/bop2004/candidate.aspx?cid=13&act=details#asset

Fidelity Spartan Money Market Fund

2004

$15,001

$50,000

National School Boards Assn. San Fransisco, CA

2004

$20,000

$20,000

Defined Benefit Pension Plan -- American Fedof Television and Recording Artists

2004

$16,218

$16,218

Window & Door Mfg Assn. Napa California

2004

$15,750

$15,750

Retention Trust -- note Teminated on 7/03 WashDC

2004

$5,001

$15,000

Amalgamated Bank of NY Sav. & check axxts WaDC

2004

$5,001

$15,000

Seven Stories Press New York, New York

2004

$14,642

$14,642

American Academy of Achievement Wash. DC

2004

$13,500

$13,500

Assn of College Unions INTL, Chicago Ill

2004

$12,425

$12,425

RX Insight Inc. Boston, MA

2004

$12,000

$12,000

North Mich. Univ. Marquette College Fulton, MO

2004

$12,000

$12,000

St Louis Public Lib. St Louis, Missouri

2004

$12,000

$12,000

Franklin Marchall Coollege Lancaster PA

2004

$12,000

$12,000

Indiana Univ. of Penn Indiana, PA

2004

$12,000

$12,000

Nova Scotia Barristers Society, Halifax, NS

2004

$12,000

$12,000

Univ. of Texas Permain Basin, Odessa Texas

2004

$12,000

$12,000

Univ of South Carolina, Columbia, SC

2004

$11,621

$11,621

Foundation of Excellence in Schools, Lake George, NY

2004

$11,250

$11,250

Texas A & M Kingsville, Texas

2004

$11,050

$11,050

Earlham College Richmond Indiana

2004

$10,626

$10,626

Miami University Oxford, Ohio

2004

$10,625

$10,625

Queens Univ of Charlotte Chalotte, NC

2004

$10,625

$10,625

Northwestern State Univ. Natchitoches, LA

2004

$10,200

$10,200

Westminster College Fulton, MO

2004

$10,200

$10,200

Univ. of Ottawa Ottawa, Canada

2004

$9,500

$9,500

University of Rochester Rochester, New York

2004

$9,350

$9,350

University of Minnesota Rochester, Minnesota

2004

$9,000

$9,000

Univ of Notre Dame Notre Dame IN

2004

$9,000

$9,000

California Nurses Assn. Oakland, California

2004

$9,000

$9,000

Omega Institute Rhinebeck, NY

2004

$9,000

$9,000

Ameican Library Assn, Canada

2004

$9,000

$9,000

University of Deleware Newark, DE

2004

$8,685

$8,685

Canisius College Buffalo, New York

2004

$8,500

$8,500

Bismark State College Bismark, ND

2004

$8,500

$8,500

Hamilton College Clinton, New York

2004

$8,500

$8,500

Washington St. Univ. Pullman, Washington

2004

$8,075

$8,075

Boise State University Boise, ID

2004

$7,863

$7,863

Jamestown College Jamestown, Maryland

2004

$7,650

$7,650

Idaho State Unive. Pacatello, ID

2004

$7,650

$7,650

Texas Library Assn. San Antonio, Texas

2004

$7,520

$7,520

Clemson University Clemson SC

2004

$7,200

$7,200

Hollins University Roanoke, Virginia

2004

$6,800

$6,800

Corporate Knights Ins. Toronto, Canada

2004

$6,750

$6,750

Mental Health Assn. of Lucas County, Toledo OH

2004

$6,400

$6,400

Denison University Granville, Ohio

2004

$6,375

$6,375

Univ . Mass-Dartmouth, N Dartmouth MA

2004

$6,375

$6,375

American University Law School, Wash. DC

2004

$6,000

$6,000

CUNY Graduate School/ Univ. Center NY, NY

2004

$5,400

$5,400

Streamline Publicshing Inc. NY, NY

2004

$4,500

$4,500

Univ. of Central Florida Orlando, Florida

2004

$3,816

$3,816

Riggs Bank checking acct Washington, DC

2004

$1,001

$2,500

Federated Money Market

2004

$1,001

$2,500

American Medical Student Assn. Phil, PA

2004

$1,800

$1,800

Alan Freed Ass. Washington, DC

2004

$1,750

$1,750

RX Insight Inc. Boston, MA

2004

$1,500

$1,500

Georgia Environmental Org. Inc. Atlanta, GA

2004

$1,350

$1,350

Weekly Newspaper Column

2004

$1,189

$1,189

Fidelity OTC Fund

2004

$201

$1,000

Fidelity Magellan Fund

2004

$201

$1,000

NASDAQ 100 Trust SRI

2004

$201

$1,000

Amercan Humanist Assn. Washington, DC

2004

$1,000

$1,000

Amer Council of Consumer Interests Wash, DC

2004

$1,000

$1,000

Turner Broadcasting Sys. Atlanta, Georgia

2004

$1,000

$1,000

Milton Eisenhower Fdn Washington, DC

2004

$1,000

$1,000

South Shore Bank CD Chicado Illinois

2004

$201

$1,000

E. P. Entertainment Inc. Burbank, California

2004

$902

$902

Tribune- LA Times Los Angeles, CA

2004

$500

$500

M&T Bank -- savings acct. Washington, DC

2004

$0

$201

Black Rock of NA Govt. Income Fund

2004

$0

$201

CNET/Common

2004

$0

$201

Cadence Design/Common

2004

$0

$201

Ciena/common

2004

$0

$201

Cisco/Common

2004

$0

$201

OpenTV Corp./Common

2004

$0

$201

Alliance Money Market

2004

$0

$201

Oracle/Common

2004

$0

$201

Washington Post Washington, DC

2004

$200

$200

The Nation Magazine New York NY

2004

$150

$150

The New Press New York, New York

2004

$100

$100

American Library Assn. Chicago Ill

2004

$100

$100

2004



Asset Name

Year Filed

Min

Max

NASDAQ 100 Trust SRI

2004

$1,746,500

$1,746,500

Fidelity Spartan Money Market Fund

2004

$1,444,824

$1,444,824

Cisco/Common

2004

$250,001

$500,000

Federated Money Market

2004

$275,663

$275,663

Amalgamated Bank of NY Sav. & check axxts WaDC

2004

$100,001

$250,000

Riggs Bank checking acct Washington, DC

2004

$100,001

$250,000

Fidelity Magellan Fund

2004

$50,001

$100,000

Cadence Design/Common

2004

$50,001

$100,000

South Shore Bank CD Chicado Illinois

2004

$15,001

$50,000

Fidelity OTC Fund

2004

$15,001

$50,000

Alliance Money Market

2004

$15,001

$50,000

Oracle/Common

2004

$15,001

$50,000

M&T Bank -- savings acct. Washington, DC

2004

$1,000

$15,000

CNET/Common

2004

$1,000

$15,000

OpenTV Corp./Common

2004

$1,000

$15,000

Weekly Newspaper Column

2004

$1,189

$1,189

Retention Trust -- note Teminated on 7/03 WashDC

2004

$0

$1,000

Black Rock of NA Govt. Income Fund

2004

$0

$1,000

Ciena/common

2004

$0

$1,000

Defined Benefit Pension Plan -- American Fedof Television and Recording Artists

2004



http://www.publicintegrity.org/bop2004/candidate.aspx?cid=13&act=cp

http://www.publicintegrity.org/bop2004/candidate.aspx?cid=13&act=pfin

Based on previous disclosure forms, his stock portfolio (thru the Fidelity Magellan Fund) includes: Halliburton, Occidental Petroleum, the Limited, the Gap, Wal-Mart, Exxon-Mobil, Shell Oil Company, Sunoco, Texaco, Chevron Corporation, Raytheon (a major missile manufacturer), other various defense contractors, and Bristol-Myers Squibb. <61> <62> <63>

Even though almost ANY Democrat would be better for the country than almost any Republican, Nader only crawls out of the woodwork to attack Democrats. In spite of making money writing books on populist topics, his assets are invested in some of the worst right-wing corporations. Where he puts his money speaks more of the man than what comes out of his mouth.