Monday, February 28, 2005

Nasa cuts? Let's do what the Greeks did to the bearer of bad news

Under the heading of 'Watch what they do not what they say", pay attention to what is happening at NASA. While Tom DeLay is trying to curry political capital by trumpeting his role as savior of NASA programs, he is presiding over a process to cut NASA. The Washington Post columnist Steve Barr writes about a process that NASA insiders have been trying to bring out since back in the 2004 election. Very little about what Tom DeLay has in mind for NASA involves local jobs in the 22nd Congressional District. His fat cat lobby buddies at the contractors who do work for NASA will make out in the long run but the jobs will be in Kansas, Oregon and, most likely, Bangladesh or India. For those familiar with Tom's famous sweat shop speech, about how the factories in Saipan that were not even paying their workers' wages represented what America is all about, (I have the video) just imagine the call center or the CAD operation that the outsource industry will provide when the NASA jobs are all subcontracted out. When Tom DeLay says he has done something good for the people of the District you must do what political analysts have done since Deep Throat advised the Washington Post about the Nixon plotters: "Follow the money". In District 22, in Texas, the real money never seems to wind up in the pockets of the people who live here. Neither does the mass transit money, or Social Security or Veterans benefits.

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Tom DeLay: Stranger in his own District

Have you noticed all of the Congressmen and Congresswomen who are holding Town Hall meetings in their Districts to discuss Social Security Reform? The Bay Area New Democrats has issued a call asking Tom DeLay to hold such a meeting here in his District. This is symptomatic of the situation that residents of this District have learned to live with for the last 20 years. As a 'safe seat' incumbant DeLay has an abysmal record of constituent contact. He nearly never even opened a campaign office to make contact with the people who vote for his party. In fact on the few occasions that he has attempted to hold meetings in the District to strongarm his voters to his way of thinking he has been nearly booed off the stage. As a resident I am not aware of many meetings he has ever scheduled in advance to make public contact regarding community issues. He has not publicly announced any public meetings about Social Security reform to date. (The Chronicles claim to the contrary notwithstanding.) Considering the simmering discontent in this area over his treatment of fairness issues, it is possible he is trying to avoid letting people know how he really stands on their important issues.

Cases in point: Ask anyone at the Texas Federation of Teachers about how he was received at their Sugarland meeting when he tried to call the teachers ungrateful for wanting him to restore the Social Security benefits that he called a windfall. (He bottled a fairness act in committee that would have recanted his Bill, which he called the Windfall Elimination Provision(WEP)). Also, when a local Educational instutution sent out 7,500 invitations to an event to 'honor' him (i.e. campaign for him) for all of his good work in HIGHER education, more protestors showed up than guests. (SEE PHOTOS OF THIS EVENT) It seems like he does not look forward to facing the people who live in his District in anything resembling an open forum. A lunch guest at a BAND get together commented that he walked into a retirement home facility to accidentally find that a town hall meeting was in progress. Tom DeLay was there but had not announced the event in advance and it was not open to the public.

Lets hope that the BAND invitation to Tom DeLay, to have an open forum on Social Security, will result in some measure of flushing DeLay out on how his position on Social Security could possibly be helpful to the residents of the District. Obviously he can run but he can't hide from the people who live here.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Civility? In DeLay's House?

It might as well be from The Enquirer. My home page features headlines by the Yahoo news service, whatever that is. The headline today referenced an effort to bring civility back to the U.S. House of Representatives. What a nice idea. I wondered. Was Tom DeLay going to allow Democrats back in to markup Bills? How about letting Democrats participate in House-Senate Conferences to reconcile legislation. Letting Democrats in, to the legislative process, would be a great step toward bringing civility to our legislative process.

As it turns out it is a story about one Congressman, a Democrat from suburban, (i.e. almost Republican) Long Island who would like it if they had tea together now and then. It was almost a Republican smoke and mirrors kind of idea. Act nice and say nice things while twisting the knife in the back. It was a feel good moment though, when I first saw the headline.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Gallows humor a la DeLay

He meant this as humor but the context suggests that he knows it is not very funny:

• The latest from the mouth of Tom DeLay: "Honestly, I can't tell you how much easier it is to squeeze votes out of these freshmen (lawmakers) or money out of big donors when they think if they say 'no,' I'm going to put a horse head in their bed or something." Read the rest of story at ABC News. -- Feb. 10, 2005

The video of this, from his macabre stand up routine, at the National Press Club, is currently available at C-Span's programming site. He really did say that.

Friday, February 18, 2005

This is Mordred in Galt's Gulch

In the face of the scorn of his peers in Congress, who are too fearful to stand up to him, Tom DeLay contemplates siezing higher office. The blogs are ablaze with the rumor that DeLay has the scheme in place to put him into the Office of Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives. Shameless in his willingness to abuse the power he wields, it is likely that his premonition that the only thing that he has to fear is his own hubris will come to fruition. Trying the get out of jail free ruse, having the Texas Legislature pass a law to try to divert a prosecuting attorney from his investigation of DeLay related criminal conduct that has seen some participants admit guilt, and then leveraging his way to the top job just may not bode well here in his home District. The Repbulican blog claiming an inside track on the news of Delay's ascension acknowledges uneasiness here in the District about his abuses of power. We will see. Tom has not taken care of business with most of the people who live here.

Moot the Get out of Jail Free Card

Who needs a "Get Out of Jail Free" card when friends like Mary Denny of colorful Flower Mound Texas will deliver unto you a “nobody can touch Tom DeLay” card. Rick Casey, Columnist for the Houston Chronicle, explains the absurdity of changing the Constitutional process of investigating and convicting criminals (like Prosecutor Ronnie Earle is attempting to do regarding Tom DeLay's conduct) to allow political appointees to decide whether particular crimes by politicians should be investigated. I wonder who she had in mind when she invented this absurd idea. What is most distressing is that, despite the fact that it makes no contact with any known system of fairness or due process; it could become the Law in Texas. I do not hear any significant protest from members of the dominant party decrying how abhorrent such an idea is to our system of Justice. Can Tom DeLay really insulate himself from the same moral judgments others must face, just by having a friend pass a law?

While on this subject lets take a stroll down memory lane when Tom DeLay thought he had the moral authority to pass judgment on another politician. When most of the World prayed and hoped that our Congress would find a rational course to address the wrongful behavior of the President of the United States, Tom DeLay, perhaps single handedly,forced the U.S. House of Representatives to pursue an investigation that harmed every American. Not content to expose all of the disappointing information that this investigation revealed Mr. D,eLay demanded that the Quasi Grand Jury, which is the capacity in which his House of Representatives acted, charge the President with the discovered behavior even though no legal mind in the nation believed that they amounted to something a real Grand Jury would consider "High Crimes and Misdemeanors". Even though Tom DeLay, behaving like no participant in our Justice system would be allowed to act, rammed the impeachment through the House, it was always known that there would never be any outcome but one that rendered the whole process an embarrassing blight on our National pride. The Upper body, the United States Senate, would never vote to support Tom DeLay’s delusional notion of how our system works.


It is clear that Tom DeLay's friends want to make sure that no authority has the ability to treat DeLay the way he treated the Office of the President of the United States of America. They plan to replace Judicial functions with laws that protect those who have the financial or political might, to accomplish, by legislative edict, that which no known justice system would allow.

There are people living in the 22nd Congressional District who have suffered from the unfair justice system being crafted by Tom DeLay. People who were harmed by medical negligence but cannot sue, people who have been poisoned by drugs that didn't do what they were supposed to do who cannot sue, and people who have been put in prison by Courts hampered by federal aid cutbacks. There may be enough of these people to add to the others who do not want to be represented by a person of deficient moral authority, to make sure that their voice is heard in the future.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

D.A. Ronnie Earle profiled in Esquire magazine

Go to Daily DeLay and read some excerpts from some in-depth coverage of the DeLay investigator by Esquire magazine.

As always you can click on the highlighted words which will magically transport you to the Daily DeLay site. Always feel free to click on the comments link at the bottom of this paragraph to make comments to the thoughts contained in this post.

Caroline, my new best friend in politics, tells me that we in the blogosphere need to tell neophytes just how to get the most of the blog experience. Once we learn a little technology we seem to forget that others haven't.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Hey DeLay: Just tear off the bottom third of the Constitution. What is it our troops fight and die for?

Consider this little bit of hypocrisy. Our taxpayer's budget will include money to compensate all of the people who were "mistreated" when they were put in Abu Graib prison by our troops in the name of bringing freedom to Iraq. Many of these people were criminals, terrorists, miscrants or worse. There will be no trial. No Judge, jury or lawyer. Americans will just foot the bill for however much Tom DeLay and the President decide to put in the budget to justly compensate them for being sorely afflicted by being caught up in the war.

In the mean time our P.O.W.s who were tortured at Abu Graib by Sadam's folks during desert storm went to Court and earned a judgement under our law and the rule of International Courts, are being denied their recovery from Iraqi money because Tom DeLay and the President think the Iraqi's need it more. (See today's L.A. Times) This is another example of how Tom DeLay thinks that the Constitution stops at the First Article. Tort reform, bringing decisions about people's rights against companies out of the Third Article (defining the Court system) into the Legistlative arena is nothing less than a Constitutional coup against the people's rights. There aim is to replace fair and moderate Judges with Courts who are limited in what they can do by the rules made in Congress.

Tom DeLay defies the President on his pet issues and joins him against the Court system. He is trying to gain power over Article Two of the Constitution (defining the Powers of the Executive Branch) and Article three. Concentrating it in his hands. It is not about how well the Court's can do their job nor about 'greedy trial lawyers'. It is about concentrating power in Tom DeLay's personal agenda. If his agenda were a referendum would his voters know what it is?

Monday, February 14, 2005

The Daily DeLay up for national recognition

The folks at Daily DeLay, who essentially forced the Repbulicans to take back the DeLay protection rule (get out of jail free card), is up for National recognition for their good work. They need thinking people (all of us) to go the the site of the voting, go to the bottom of the site page, and make a worthwhile comment. (Click here to vote) Take the time to do this. It could underscore how important this single issue is to all of us.

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Frisco gets rail while DeLay gives Houston the shaft

On the subject of how DeLay and his local crony Culberson are insisting that Houstonians sit in traffic jams instead of having mass transit available, Off-the-Kuff covers it just fine. DeLay allows San Francisco to get funding that he claims is unavailable to Houston. It is possible but he just won't allow Houston to develop alternative transportation planning. Read Kuff's article about how devious this is.

They fights wars for all the noble principles but not for the basic needs of people.

The disconnect between all the great pronouncements of Tom DeLay and the administration and what they actually do is that none of their agenda ever actually takes into account what would actually be best for people. If the World is a safer place because Sadam Hussein in not in power are the Iraqi people or any of us actually any better off than we were 2 years ago. The World' great economic powers all march to a different tune than Tom DeLay and our power elite. Delay's agenda has nothing to do with helping the people who live here or anywhere else.

At a world summit the moral failure to address actual problems of the people of the planet were addressed. Here is an excerpt from one reporters account of the events.
In his Inaugural Address, President Bush vowed that ''all who live in tyranny
and hopelessness'' will find a staunch friend in the United States. For all
those around the world who live in poverty, however, he made no such promise.
Tyranny is a very great evil, and freedom a very precious good; but there
are other evils, and other goods. The week after the president's address,
Europe's three major leaders -- Tony Blair, Jacques Chirac and Gerhard Schroder
-- addressed the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Blair, as ever,
defended President Bush's self-assigned mission of democracy promotion. But he
went on to say that ''if America wants the rest of the world to be part of the
agenda it has set, it must be part of their agenda, too.'' And Blair, like
Chirac and Schroder, defined the core of that agenda very differently from
President Bush. For all three, strikingly, the great good worth striving for was
the elimination of global poverty, and the paramount means was an increase in
aid.
At a panel in Davos, someone asked former President Bill Clinton why
Washington seemed so impervious to demands to increase aid. ''Because nobody
will ever get beat for Congress or president for not doing it,'' Clinton shot
back.

The Bush administration has acknowledged this problem, and
thus moved the debate off the dead spot of aid-as-welfare, by establishing the
Millennium Challenge Account, which will funnel money to well-governed nations.
The program is widely hailed as a new paradigm for development assistance. The
administration has said it will spend $5 billion a year on Millennium Challenge.
Unfortunately, after two years the fund has yet to dispense a penny on actual
poverty reduction. . . . .


DeLay needs to learn what the needs of the people of his District are in order to claim to represent them.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Chris Bell on what's wrong with DeLay

The Daily DeLay cornered Chris Bell for a chat and reports on it tonight. Chris took on a challenge and showed no fear. Read the story at the link. Some people talk the talk. Chris has walked the walk for us all. Read what he has to say about how and why he took on the Hammer and won.

DeLay won't help Houston Transit

Off the Kuff, one of the best blogs about political happenings, is all over the failure of the Federal Government to provide Houston with transit funds that are given to other cities. You can catch Kuff's coverage by going to www.dist22pf.org and clicking on the Off the Kuff link. This is a situation like we have seen in the past where Tom DeLay can fail to protect Houston for its basic needs that everyone else gets, and then when it looks bad for him, he leaps in to try to get some white knight hero points. Let's see if he goes the hero route this time or not. His claims, that Metro did the submission wrong sounds like the pseudo sanctimony we always get from that crowd. Hard to give it much credibility. If all of the other major cities have 21st century transportation systems in the works, stomping Houston down on the priority list makes little sense unless you are just so out of touch with what it is like to live here, that you just don't understand the need. It certainly supports the notion that only the highway interests, who contibute most heavily to the most powerful man in Congress, get their needs met first.

With Mafia tactics as a role model where are our ethics?

I am sure that Public Citizen did not provide this in response to my last blog but here is another quote nonetheless. You can catch Public Citizen's reporting by going to www.dist22pf.org and clicking on the Public Citizen link.

The latest from the mouth of Tom DeLay: "Honestly, I can't tell you how much easier it is to squeeze votes out of these freshmen (lawmakers) or money out of big donors when they think if they say 'no,' I'm going to put a horse head in their bed or something." Read the rest of story at ABC News.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Notable but barely quotable

DeLayWatch From the District is trying to pin down some alleged quotes of the bug-man that have been circulating in the Dump DeLay subculture. We have verification for some of the best quotes. We thought that this would be a good forum to find new quotes and their sources.

Two of the verifiable quotes we have are:

"Education is not my job." from the Clear Lake High School debate last October.

"It has never been proven that air toxics are hazardous to people." From the Houston Chronicle.

Three quotes we have heard a lot, but need their sources are:

Tom Delay standing in a sweat shop in Saipan saying: "This is the petrie dish of free enterprise." I heard that there may be a video of this.

"If I can't pronounce the name, he probably doesn't belong in this country."

The story of his explanation for his inability to get hired in the military during the Viet Nam war, because he was less qualified than all of the minorities who got the good jobs.

Consider this a cattle call, if not a clarion call, to all who have favorite quotes you would like to share. The very best discovery will entitle the reporter to a free pass to spend a day in Tom DeLay's District breathing the most polluted air in America.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Common Cause seeks DeLay Resignation

In case you have not yet seen the notices Common Cause has been circulating the idea of a petition asking the Congressman to resign. After some thought it seems like it isn't a bad idea. Anyone reading this might give some thought to going to the site and adding your name.

http://www.commoncause.org/joinDeLayPetition

Who knows, if nothing else it will help a good cause gain more attention to the problem and help them raise money. What could be bad about that.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

The Malleck Manual dusted off

When President Nixon discovered that he had to follow the law and that public employees had rights he was so upset that he commissioned a study. He couldn't believe that he could not 'make' people do what he wanted when it was inconsistent with their official duties. So the Malleck (sic) Manual was born. It detailed quasi-legal ways to get around obstinate government employees who wouldn't 'play ball'. The following story in today's Washington Post presents an example that is right out of the Malleck Manual. Failing to obtain the type of behavior that the administration wanted from certain employees in the District of Columbia they simply moved their job to other cities. (Perhaps Detroit). The recalcitrant staff were told go or be fired. This is actually similar to what you might see in the private sector except that there has been a time honored effort to protect agencies and those entrusted with the work of the people from the troubles that occur when the politics of the top office changes. It used to be considered undesirable to turnover the whole government when the White House changed hands. This is a Classic Tom DeLay style power move to achieve more control and power by a move that is illegal in principle but achieved by smoke and mirrors. Then, with righteous sanctimony, claim that the move was appropriate. Watch for more of these moves as there are fewer and fewer checks and balances over the power of DeLay and the White House.
washingtonpost.com
Reorganization of Special Counsel's Office Raises Concerns in Congress
By Stephen BarrTuesday, February 1, 2005; Page B02

Six House Democrats yesterday asked the Government Accountability Office, an arm of Congress, to investigate a reorganization at the Office of Special Counsel, headed by Scott J. Bloch.

The House members, in a letter to GAO, said they wanted "to learn more about the rationale" for actions taken by Bloch, including his order requiring 12 District-based employees to accept reassignment to field offices or face dismissal.

It is not always the large scale moves that you have to watch. It is the subtle machinations behind the scenes where real power is often stolen.