Thursday, May 11, 2006

Other Items

But in a statement this afternoon, Mr. Jackson said, "I deeply regret the anecdotal remarks," adding that during his tenure "no contract has ever been rewarded, rejected or rescinded due to the personal or political beliefs of the recipient." He said his agency was committed to awarding contracts "on a stringent, merit-based process."

What's the above? It's Alphonso Jackson (HUD secretary) lying again possibly. Hard to tell because David Stout can't do the basic work necessary. Stout's the author of "Housing Chief Tries to Head Off a Furor" in this morning's New York Times which basically means he takes Jackson's latest statement and tries to piece together a little past coverage. Sout does a very poor job.

First, Jackson. If that's going to be the cover, then he needs to admit he lied. LIED. He told a group of business people in Dallas that if you didn't support the Bully Boy, you wouldn't get a HUD contract. That's the point of his shared truth, lie or whatever it's being called today. But if his cover is that the story was all a lide, that he did not refuse to grant a contract to someone who didn't like the Bully Boy, then he needs to say, "I LIED."

And here's what Stout misses (but Rebecca caught it):

(On May 3, Tucker told the Business Journal that the contract Jackson was referring to in Dallas was "an advertising contract with a minority publication," though she could not provide the contract's value.)

That's from an article Jamie S. Jordan wrote in the publication that broke the story. So Stout should be aware of it. Dustee Tucker's been doing spin control all week. But the reality is that last week, when no one was paying attention, the same Dustee Tucker was telling the Dallas Business Journal that the story was true and had to do with "an advertising contract with a minority publication." Now that the cautionary tale (threat) has blown up in their faces, Jackson and Tucker want to say that Jackson LIED (but they don't want to use that term). Last week, for the record, Tucker backed up the story as true.

Stout can't find that aspect of the story. Jackson didn't just tell the story, as Stout alleges. Tucker backed him up on it, for the record -- until it blew up in both their faces. That's a big difference from LYING Jackson can't tell the truth in a speech. It's past time the press got the story right and past time someone asked Jackson to explain the part of the speech where he denied the contract to someone that was going to "campaign against the president."

Did this occur in 2004? Jackson is a LIAR and he's a prone to VIOLENCE which he then LIED about. He needs to step down and this needs to be investigated. Stout's late to the party and disinterested 'reporting' doesn't cut it. The paper did a better on the story when they were ignoring it.

On the subject of investigations that the administration refuses to conduct, Scott Shane's
"With Access Denied, Justice Department Drops Spying Investigation" tells the story of how
the Justice Department's Office of Professional Responsibility can't investigate the NSA warrantless spying because, according to OPR's head H. Marshall Jarrett, the Justice Department refuses to grant security clearance to the ones who would be conducting the investigation. Both cases, LIAR Jackson and this investigation, are examples of how the administration continues to play games to avoid public accountability.

Both articles find the paper returning to passing off "briefs" as reports, a whole other issue, but one that does matter to people who actually pay for the paper. Continuing this new tradition (well Keller hopes to make it one), Alan Cowell offers up "Briton Wants Guantanamo Closed:"

In the most explicit British condemnation of the Guantanamo Bay detention center, Lord Goldsmith, the attorney general, said Wednesday that the camp's existence was "unacceptable" and ran counter to the United States' tradition as a "beacon of freedom, liberty and of justice." He called for it to be closed.
The remarks by Lord Goldsmith, the government's most senior adviser, went far beyond the set response offered by Prime Minister Tony Blair who, when asked for his views on Guantanamo, called it an "anomaly" that must at some stage close.

The news qualifies for more than a brief, but that's really all the Times gives you this morning (in extended form). Two highlights. First up, Martha steers us to Ann Scott Tyson's "Army Using Policy to Deny Reserve Officer Resignations" (Washington Post):

The Army Reserve, taxed by recruiting shortfalls and war-zone duty, has adopted a policy barring officers from leaving the service if their field is undermanned or they have not been deployed to Iraq, to Afghanistan or for homeland defense missions.
The reserve has used the unpublicized policy, first adopted in 2004 and strengthened in a May 2005 memo signed by Lt. Gen. James R. Helmly, its commander, to disapprove the resignations of at least 400 reserve officers, according to Army figures.

[. . .]
Blocking reserve officers' resignations is one of several steps the Army has undertaken in recent years to keep soldiers beyond their original terms of service, as today's wars place unprecedented demands on the all-volunteer force. Under another practice, known as "stop-loss," thousands of active-duty Army and reserve soldiers have been temporarily prevented from leaving the military, either because their skills were needed or because their units were going overseas. As of January, more than 13,000 soldiers were being kept in the service under stop-loss, a policy criticized by some as a "backdoor draft," which the Army says it seeks to end.

Second, Lewis notes Katrina vanden Heuvel's "Defending the Constitution" (Editor's Cut, The Nation):

Earlier this week I wrote about the constitutional crisis we currently face as a result of George Bush's abuse, overreach and lawlessness. (A recent article in the Boston Globe documents how Bush has claimed the right to disobey more than 750 laws enacted since he took office.) Accomplices in this assault on our democracy include the religious right which would intrude into our personal lives to determine our rights and freedoms.
Fortunately, there's an important new online grassroots group fighting these extremists:
The Campaign to Defend The Constitution (DefCon). Director Jessica Smith describes the group's mission as this, "DefCon has assumed a leading role in the ever intensifying battle between those who believe in the separation of church and state and those who seek, through political influence, to undo this fundamental American principle." DefCon has a dynamic and committed Board of Directors composed of leading legal scholars, scientists and civil liberty activists, including: Kate Michelman (former head of NARAL), Harold Varmus (former head of NIH), Ira Glasser (former head of ACLU) and Bruce Alberts (former President of the National Academy of Sciences).

Remember that Kat's latest review ("Kat's Korner: Pink's not dead or silent") went up last night. (And I'm rushing this morning so let me crib from the note at the end of it: "This is the fourth of at least seven reviews Kat has planned for the next few days. Saturday, she contributed "Kat's Korner: Neil Young's Living With War -- key word 'Living'" and Monday she contributed "Kat's Korner: Richie Havens: The Economical Collection." Yesterday, she contributed "Kat's Korner: Need deeper? Check out Josh Ritter's The Animal Years." She won't post tomorrow. Her next review will go up Saturday.") Tonight's indymedia roundup.

The e-mail address for this site is And don't forget to listen, watch or read Democracy Now! today.