Sunday, February 25, 2007
Wednesday, February 21, 2007
Now that our closest allies, the British, have announced they are phasing out their troop presence in Iraq, this war unquestionably belongs to the Bush administration and the Republicans who covered for them. The chief of the cover up is Tom Davis (R-VA), who put the Government Reform Committee on a strict diet of salt peter during his reign from 1998 through 2006. The absurdity of the actions of Davis's committee, whereby subjects of investigations could hire Davis's wife to prepare them for an investigation in which Davis could ask planted questions or prohibit questions altogether, is captured deep in the transcripts for the Committee.
Davis cites the Hurricane Katrina investigation as proof he was on the job. But clearly he was not. He limited the hearing and the questions. The most quoted example of planted questions involves the disaster and Carnival Cruise lines, a Florida company with ties to Presidential brother Jeb Bush, Florida governor. Carnival won a no-bid contract for providing housing for displaced Louisiana natives aboard their ships after Hurricane Katrina in amounts that exceeded the costs for providing a full luxury cruise. The ships remained more than half empty. Davis did not subpeona the company but had a friendly hearing on the no-bid, $236 million contract (including $44 million in expenses). When the VP of Marketing, Terry Thorton, testified how Carnival got the profitable award, Davis asked such planted questions as this one:
This was not a question. Furthermore, it was not correct. Democrats found emails to prove it.
"That's correct," Thorton replied.
Back to the present, it is long past time to challenge the President on the Iraq War. Despite Davis's insistence that those who do so are guilty of treason (should they be hanged for it?), demanding that your country produce compelling reasons for sending people to die is patriotic, too.
How has your representative responded to your questions? The challenges to the war allowed by the Republicans are as meaningful as the challenges from Davis's Oversight Committee, and as absurd as this Q&A:
Group Headquarters was alarmed, for there was no telling what people might find out once they were free to ask whatever questions they wanted to. Colonel Cathcart sent Colonel Korn to stop it, and Colonel Korn succeeded with a rule governing the asking of questions. Colonel Korn's rule was a stroke of genius, Colonel Korn explained in his report to Colonel Cathcart. Under Colonel Korn's rule, the only people permitted to ask questions were those who never did. Soon the only people attending were those who never asked questions, and the sessions were discontinued altogether, since Clevinger, the corporal and Colonel Korn agreed that it was neither possible nor necessary to educate people who never questioned anything.Catch-22
Friday, February 16, 2007
Tuesday, February 13, 2007
Adoptive Parents May Try Harder
Washington Post, February 13, 2007; Page A14
Adoptive parents invest more time and financial resources in their children than do biological parents, according to a national study challenging earlier research that has been used to oppose same-sex marriage and gay adoption.
The study, reported in the American Sociological Review, found that couples who adopt spend more money on their children and invest more time on such activities as reading to them, eating together and talking with them about their problems.
"One of the reasons adoptive parents invest more is that they really want children, and they go to extraordinary means to have them," Indiana University sociologist Brian Powell, one of the study's three co-authors, said yesterday.
Powell and his colleagues examined data from 13,000 households with first-graders in the family, focusing on 161 families headed by two adoptive parents. They rated better overall than families with biological parents on an array of criteria -- including helping with homework, parental involvement in school, exposure to cultural activities and family attendance at religious services. The only category in which adoptive parents fared worse was the frequency of talking with parents of other children.
Friday, February 9, 2007
The current project is ugly.
So who has Tom Davis's ear on the Tyson's tunnel project? Not voters, but real estate magnates.
...Northern Virginia Congressmen Tom Davis and Jim Moran [were] spotted with NoVa real estate investor Joe Robert, taking in the [Wizards baskletball] game [Wed., Feb 7th] from courtside floor seats with “nice full beers,” according to our source.Who bought the floor seats? Well, the host seemed to be Joe Robert, who according to the FEC donated $161,000 to federal, mostly Republican, candidates including over $14,000 to Davis as an individual and as RNCC Chair, to Rick Santorum, Michael Steele, and crooks like Conrad Burns. Tom Davis's PAC and his wife are both in Robert's top 10 recipients (if not for Gov. Warner almost all donations are to pro-development Republicans). Robert donated another$50,000 to state races as JE Robert Company. He is also a Washington Baseball Club member. His "charity" All Children Matter has donated almost $500,000 to Republicans in Virginia.
When you want to influence Tom Davis, be sure to bring your VIP tickets. But remember, his biggest obsession baseball.
Wednesday, February 7, 2007
Now that new Chairman Henry Waxman is holding a hearing, Davis is criticizing him for starting hearings so late. Then he undermined the Democrats newly established tip line.
Former committee chairman Tom Davis, R-Va., now the senior minority member ... criticized Waxman.Davis accused Democrats of trying to embarrass the administration.
He said Waxman was rushing to "old judgments" in a hearing that was "old news."
He said Waxman's interest in finding out if government contractors were funding terrorism was "Self righteous finger wagging and political scapegoating [that] won’t make Iraq any more secure, it won’t rebuild that savage nation, and it won’t bring U.S. troops home any sooner.”
So much for homeland security.
The hearing by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform scrutinized the chaotic days that began after a burning and looted Baghdad fell to U.S. troops four years ago. Bremer ran the country for 14 months.
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Waxman and a hearing witness, special inspector general for Iraq Stuart Bowen Jr., criticized Bremer for failing to install accounting systems that would have forced Iraqi ministries to account for up to $12 billion in Iraq's funds. The money came from a United Nations oil-for-food program and seized Iraqi assets, but fell under Bremer's control.
"Without strong standards, we have no way of knowing whether the cash could end up in enemy hands," said Waxman.
Not all Republicans felt the need to defend the waste and corruption. Other Republicans disagreed with Davis's assessment. "Conservative Republicans should feel no obligation to defend waste just because it happened in Iraq," said Rep. John Duncan, R-Tenn.
Democrats are planning more investigations coming up, many of them in Waxman's committee. The newly named, newly energized Oversight Committee scheduled further hearings this week on homeland security contracts and drug prices.
Davis, who had almost 9 years to establish a tip line while he was Chairman, then announced the Republicans would not cooperate with the new Oversight tip email. He had started his own email address, and did not offer to share information collected on it with the majority.
There you have it. Congressional Democrats and Republicans can’t even agree on a single tip line for whistleblowers to report waste, fraud and abuse. Makes you wonder how the warring parties will able to get it together long enough to manage the bigger issues on the national agenda.
Sunday, February 4, 2007
NASA Home > Life on Earth > In Everyday Life
Government Reform Committee Chair Henry Waxman charged another White House cover up, this time on global warming, when he said,
"We know that the White House possesses documents that contain evidence of an attempt by senior administration officials to mislead the public by injecting doubt into the science of global warming and minimize the potential danger,” said Waxman, adding that he is “not trying to obtain state secrets.”
The cover up facilitator for the past decade has been none other than former Chair Tom Davis of VA. Davis continues the White House spin in a linguistic gymnastic routine that earns him national recognition:
Here's my nomination for quote of the week: "The issue of politicizing science has itself become politicized." It was spoken by Rep. Tom Davis, R-Va., at a hearing on global warming.
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[Y]es, truth always has been elusive, and always will remain so. Once we seemed to be able to agree on facts. But now we are told to dismiss facts if they get characterized as political. In Davis' world, it's political, and apparently dismissive on that basis, to speak up to make the point that someone else has been political.
It reminds me of my cub reporting days so many years ago. The local political establishment was alleged to be corrupt -- election fraud and such. The alleged
ringleader responded by telling me, with a tone of utter disdain, that those who alleged his corruption were "politically motivated." As if that were bad, or disqualifying, or a surprise, or relevant to whether the guy and his allies were actually corrupt. Perhaps you're wondering how a charge of stealing elections could be anything other than politically motivated.
* * * *
We seem to have two options: We must draw the curtain on political performance art to permit the pursuit of empirical data about global warming. Or, we could try what might be the most effective tool of all, at least nowadays, which would be taking scientific fact and finding fresh and innovative ways to present it through political performance art.
Did someone say Al Gore?