How Does Obama Offer an Olive Branch for FISA Capitulation?

This may be one way:
Obama Seeks Info on Dodd in Vice President Search - TIME

Barack Obama's presidential campaign has requested information from Democratic Sen. Chris Dodd as part of its search for a possible vice presidential candidate.

The former White House hopeful and Connecticut lawmaker indicated Wednesday that he has been approached by the campaign. "There's been some inquiries, yeah," Dodd said. "They ask for a lot of stuff. I'll leave it there."
Senator Dodd may not make the final Vice Presidential cut, but the choice would go a long way towards repairing the minor rift among his supporters that resulted because of Obama's participation in eviscerating the 4th amendment. Needless to say, McCain was even worse on this issue because he wasn't man enough to actually show up and vote on it - something McCain does almost every time there is an important vote. Spineless Republican.

Dodd was the most vocal Senate opponent of protecting the telecoms from civil suits arising from their aiding the bush administration's illegal spying on Americans. CTNewsJunkie has more on the possible implications of Dodd as VP candidate.

Robocall Watch CT-05 Edition

Apparently a Republican attack dog, Freedom Watch, is planning on running a robocall campaign against House Rep. Chris Murphy:
Freedom’s Watch, the conservative advocacy group that has vowed to spend millions against Democratic congressional candidates this fall, will be running robocalls this week in 16 congressional districts where Democratic incumbents seem vulnerable or where an open seat has given rise to a competitive election.

The robocalls will focus on the issue of high gas prices.

No Nutmeggers... It's not the Enron-esque practices of the oil industry, where the oil industry owns leases on millions of acres of undeveloped oil and refuse to develop them, or unregulated market speculation, nor the lack of refineries needed to actually meet today's demand. And it's certainly not the result of illegal invasions and occupations.

It's that pesky 5% to 10% in taxes (depending on your state) that are the direct result of gas more than doubling in price at the pumps.

And Freedom Watch is out to piss you off with those insane Republican robocalls full of complete and total BS.

Previously brewed in New Milford:

Republican Lies About Offshore Drilling

environmentalist from dKos cuts through the GOP's BS concerning offshore drilling:
First of all, there is no "ban".

"Ban" is just more GOPer-speak. In reality, there is a moratorium on drilling in certain coastal areas. Other areas are not only open to drilling but leases and drilling permits have already been issued.

And they are not being drilled.

In fact, only 17% of the leased areas [are] in production. So, with about 33 million acres of offshore areas already available to drill and not being drilled, why does the oil and gas industry need to have access to still more? The fact is that nearly 25 BILLION barrels of oil off the coast of the United States is currently available for drilling...and industry is not drilling it.

Not to mention natural gas. Most of the natural gas occurring offshore (over 328 TRILLION cubic feet – an eleven year supply at current consumption rates) is currently available for leasing and development.

And they’re not going after it.

This is the story throughout the country, more than 44 million acres of onshore public lands are leased for oil and gas development and yet most of it is not being drilled. All told (onshore and offshore), 68 million acres are leased and sitting idle. Over 10,000 permits are currently 'stockpiled' by industry. But still they want more.

Between 1999 and 2007, the number of drilling permits issued for development of public lands increased by more than 361%. And did you see your gasoline costs drop? How about your electricity costs? Propane? natural gas? Uh...no. There is absolutely no correlation between the industrialization of public lands and the price of fossil fuels.

It has been estimated that if all of those currently inactive leases were drilled, the USA would produce an additional 4.8 million barrels of oil and 44.7 billion cubic feet of natural gas EVERY DAY, accounting for a doubling of US oil production and a 75% increase in US natural gas production. The Minerals Management Service tells us that about 80% of fossil fuels available in offshore are currently available for development.

What's going on here is yet another cynical attempt by the GOP and the oil and gas robber barons to increase and assure huge industry profits at the expense of the American people. These companies don’t want to drill these areas. They want to hold them as [assets] to limit the amount of oil and gas on the market so that prices rise still further - and they make more money.

Republicans and the oil industry are lying to America out the ying yang on this. Surprised? I didn't think so...


Iraqi PM Maliki Proposes Setting Timetable for Withdrawal

So... There goes another artificial Republican talking point down the drain:

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki has raised the prospect of setting a timetable for the withdrawal of American troops from Iraq.

It comes as the US attempts to push through a new security deal before the end of 2008, when the UN mandate allowing a US presence in Iraq expires.

The Pentagon has played down the suggestion of a withdrawal timetable.

But correspondents say Iraqi MPs would be more likely to back Mr Maliki if the deal includes such a timetable.
This is as big an issue in the upcoming Iraqi elections as it is in the USA as most Iraqis, like most Americans, want the occupation to end.

There is a clear choice in the upcoming US elections between John "100 years in Iraq" McCain and Barack Obama's sane and much needed 16 month plan for withdrawal.

In other Iraq news and via the BBC:

Partisan Politicization of the DoE by the GOP

So sayeth The Caretaker at Region 19 BOE Gazzette:
My, my, my. The dirty tricks never end. For Independence Day Margaret Spellings has announced which States will enjoy relaxed NCLB protocols. Of the seventeen states that applied, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, and Ohio were -cough- chosen.

Given the electoral importance of these states, one cannot help but wonder aloud how tax money that pays for federal bureaucracies can be so cynically and shamelessly targeted toward the unethical influencing of federal election sentiments.
Given the politicization of so many arms of the government this is just more proof that the reckless pattern of politicization is SOP for the GOP SOBs, showing a complete disregard for what is actually good for the country.

A sampling of the GOP's partisan politicization of government, effectively putting their political party over the needs of the country, via Think Progress:

Partisan campaign or electoral activities on federal government property are illegal. This prohibition, however, has not stopped the Bush administration from politicizing virtually every agency under its control. Below is a quick review of the extent of the White House’s efforts to politicize the federal agencies:

Office of Faith Based Initiatives: The office was “used almost exclusively to win political points with both evangelical Christians and traditionally Democratic minorities. The office’s primary mission, providing financial support to charities that serve the poor, never got the presidential support it needed to succeed.” [MSNBC, 10/13/06]

General Services Administration: After a GSA meeting during which White House deputy director of political affairs Scott Jennings gave a PowerPoint presentation that included slides listing Democratic and Republican seats the White House viewed as vulnerable in 2008, a map of contested Senate seats and other information on 2008 election strategy, GSA Administrator Lurita Doan asked how GSA could help “our candidates.” Special Counsel Scott Bloch has since advised the President that Doan should “be disciplined to the fullest extent for her serious violation of the Hatch Act.” [Congress Daily, 6/12/07]

Department of Justice:

“Unlike federal judges, immigration judges are civil service employees, to be appointed by the attorney general based on professional qualifications, not their politics. [During Attorney General Alberto Gonzales’s aide Monica Goodling’s] tenure, vacancies were apparently not always posted and she selected lawyers to be considered for interviews based in part on their loyalty to the Republican Party and the Bush administration.” [New York Times, 5/25/07]

Department of Justice: “After the 2004 election, administration officials quietly began drawing up a list of US attorneys to replace. Considerations included their perceived loyalty to Bush and a desire by White House political adviser Karl Rove to increase voter fraud prosecutions, documents and testimony have shown. Most of the proposed firings were for US attorneys in states with closely divided elections. Among those later fired was David Iglesias, from the battleground state of New Mexico, where many of his fellow Republicans had demanded more aggressive voter fraud probes.” [Boston Globe, 5/6/07]

Interior Department: “A midlevel Interior Department official” received a “phone call from [Vice President Dick] Cheney in 2001, setting in motion a secret move to undermine the science of federal biologists who had said diverting water from the Klamath would violate the Endangered Species Act and devastate two imperiled species of fish.” [The Oregonian, 6/30/07]

Interior Department: Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks Julie MacDonald has consistently “rejected staff scientists’ recommendations to protect imperiled animals and plants under the Endangered Species Act.” A civil engineer with no training in biology, she has “overruled and disparaged” the findings of her staff, instead relying on the recommendations of political and industry groups. [Washington Post, 10/30/06]

Defense Department: “[T]he Pentagon’s public affairs division has become a dumping ground for administration cronies…seek[ing] to bypass the traditional media and work directly with talk radio and bloggers, mostly those with a heavily conservative tilt.” [Harper’s Magazine, 7/16/07]

Defense Department: “The Defense Department…has stepped up intelligence collection inside this country since 9/11, which now includes the monitoring of peaceful anti-war and counter-military recruitment groups.” [MSNBC, 9/14/05]

NASA: “The top climate scientist at NASA says the Bush administration has tried to stop him from speaking out since he gave a lecture last month calling for prompt reductions in emissions of greenhouse gases linked to global warming…officials at NASA headquarters had ordered the public affairs staff to review his coming lectures, papers, postings on the Goddard [Institute for Space Studies] Web site and requests for interviews from journalists.” [New York Times, 1/29/06]

Food and Drug Administration: “The top Food and Drug Administration official in charge of women’s health issues…resigned in protest against the agency’s decision to further delay a final ruling on whether the ‘morning-after pill’ should be made more easily accessible. ‘I can no longer serve as staff when scientific and clinical evidence, fully evaluated and recommended for approval by the professional staff here, has been overruled,’ she wrote in an e-mail to her staff and FDA colleagues.” [Washington Post, 9/1/05]

Health and Human Services: “An internal investigation by the Department of Health and Human Services confirms that the top Medicare official threatened to fire the program’s chief actuary if he told Congress that drug benefits would probably cost much more than the White House acknowledged.” [New York Times, 7/7/04]

Health and Human Services: “The Department of Health and Human Services recently revised its website, 4Parents.gov, and replaced factual data designed to help parents talk about preventing teen pregnancy with biased and misleading claims” reflecting administration policy. [NARAL, 7/10/07]

Office of the Surgeon General: “The first U.S. surgeon general appointed by President George W. Bush accused the administration on Tuesday of political interference and muzzling him on key issues like embryonic stem cell research.” [Reuters, 7/10/07]

Environmental Protection Agency: In a government report on the state of the environment, strong language that “climate change has global consequences for human health and the environment” was stricken by the White House, as was government research that suggests recent climate change is “likely mostly due to human activities.” The changes were protested by EPA staffers, who wrote in a confidential memo that the report “no longer accurately represents scientific consensus on climate change.” [CBS, 6/19/03]

Office of National Drug Control Policy: “At the request of Sara Taylor, the former White House Director of Political Affairs, John Walters, the nation’s drug czar, and his deputies traveled to 20 events with vulnerable Republican members of Congress in the months prior to the 2006 elections. The trips were paid for by federal taxpayers and several were combined with the announcement of federal grants or actions that benefited the districts of the Republican members.” [House Committee on Government Oversight and Reform, 6/17/07]

Corporation for Public Broadcasting: During his tenure, former CPB chairman Kenneth Tomlinson “moved to address what he contend[ed was] the left-leaning lineup of news programs at PBS by advocating the addition of new shows with a conservative outlook.” He “failed to strike a proper balance by infusing politics into so many decisions at CPB” and by “in essence, allowing the White House to help direct plans of the CPB.” According to Jeffrey Chester, executive director of the Center for Digital Democracy, this extreme politicization was “unprecedented.” [National Public Radio, 6/20/05]

Bear in mind that these are just some of the examples and does not include some of the major propaganda campaigns illegally used to disseminate partisan GOP talking points like the lies and deceptions used against us in the run up to the illegal Iraq invasion and occupation.

These are the GOP's WMDs. Weapons of Mass Dissembling...

McCain's Connecticut Calamity

John McCain's Campaign has, thus far, been wobbly at best. But now he has even more campaign problems, as per BooMan:
I hadn't thought about the problem McCain will have trying to create a GOP platform. Good luck with that one.

The current GOP platform is a 100-page document, and all but nine pages mention Bush's name. Virtually the entire platform will have to be rewritten to lessen the imprint of the president, who has the highest disapproval rating of any White House occupant since Richard M. Nixon.

It is the prospect of a total rewrite that worries some.

McCain is "really out of step with the strong majority of his party," said Myron Ebell, director of energy and global warming policy at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, which opposes McCain's positions on climate change. "He might get what he wants. And he might get a change. But I don't think it's going to sit well with a lot of Republicans."

Climate change is the least of McCain's problems. How about immigration? How about campaign finance reform?

McCain's campaign has been self-undermining to this point - effectively tied to bush policy failures by not only the opposition but by his own incompetent self - and he only has five months left to turn around numbers like this:
Rasmussen filed a poll the other day that has Obama 52, McCain 35 in Connecticut,
sharply reversing their previous poll a month ago which supposedly
(*cough* BS) had it a close race, Obama 47 McCain 43. This makes the
third poll which has Obama up by between 17 and 22 points, effectively
putting Connecticut out of play, if it ever was in play.

Obama is viewed favorably by 62%/37, McCain 54%/43.

Research 2000: Obama 57 McBush 35 (7/03/08)

Quinnipiac: Obama 56, McSame 35 (7/02/08)

Good luck on that one, too.

I suspect that the current hostilities towards the GOP by voters in this state coupled with the likely down-ticket effects of the Obama campaign had Chris Shays worried and Jim Himes celebrating a bit this weekend when these numbers were released.