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Monday, December 31, 2007

Media Research Center's Most Notable Quotes from 2007

In 1987, a group of young conservatives set out to not only prove, through sound scientific research, that bias in the media does exist and undermines traditional American values, but also to neutralize its impact on the American political scene.
This project was named the Media Research Center (MRC).

The result of the MRC’s work is a mountain of evidence to use in combating the bias the saw in our major news organizations. The key to the MRC’s effectiveness is the ability to prove bias by using scientific studies and word-for-word quotes from the media.

The New York Post names it "
Hoisted by their own petard".

For 20 years they have compiled quotes from every major television, newspaper, and magazine group, for their annual most notable quotable awards and they have just released this years winners.

This years quotes, from December 2006 through December 2007, were chosen by the center, with the help of 53 judges, which were made up of, radio talk show hosts, magazine editors, columnists, editorial writers, and media observers.

It consists of a compilation of the most outrageous and/or humorous news media quotes from 2007.

The list of panel member/judges can be
found here.

To pick their award winners, each selected their choices for the first, second and third best quote from a slate of five to eight quotes in each category. First place selections were awarded three points, second place choices two points, with one point for the third place selections.

Each judge was also asked to choose a “Quote of the Year” denoting the most outrageous quote of 2007.

This year the judges picked as their "notable quotable" of the year a McClatchy News Service headline, to an article written as violence fell and news from Iraq started being seen in the news less and less.

The headline read
"As Violence Falls in Iraq, Cemetery Workers Feel the Pinch”


Highlighting a few of the most memorable quotes, they list one under the "
America makes us sick award" category, and the winner of that one was William Arkin, when he called U.S. soldiers "mercenaries".

“Through every Abu aib and Haditha, through every rape and murder, the American public has indulged those in uniform....We pay the soldiers a decent wage, take care of their families, provide them with housing and medical care and vast social support systems and ship obscene amenities into the war zone for them, we support them in every possible way, and their attitude is that we should in addition roll over and play dead, defer to the military and the generals and let them fight their war, and give up our rights and responsibilities to speak up because they are above society?...[T]he recent NBC report is just an ugly reminder of the price we pay for a mercenary — oops sorry, volunteer — force that thinks it is doing the dirty work.” military columnist William Arkin in a January 30 column reacting to a report by NBC reporter Richard Engel. Arkin later apologized for using the word “mercenary.”

The original article where he published that was on
Mr. Arkin's blog page at Washington Post, where they have added an editors note saying they were forced to close comments on that article after 900 comments came in a firestorm of criticism to Mr. Arkin, because the page wouldn't load properly if they allowed any more comments.

Another one of the MRC's notable outrageous and/or humorous quotes is listed under the "Madness of King George" award, whereEx-Washington Post sports reporter and Seinfeld writer Peter Mehlman in a June 20 Huffington Post blog item says
“You could argue that even the world’s worst fascist dictators at least meant well. They honestly thought [they] were doing good things for their countries by suppressing blacks/eliminating Jews/eradicating free enterprise/repressing individual thought/killing off rivals/invading neighbors, etc....Bush set a new precedent. He came into office with the attitude of ‘I’m so tired of the public good. What about my good? What about my rich friends’ good?’"

The original entry for that can be found over at
Huffington Post.

Moving right along to the "
Tin Foil Hat" award for crazy conspiracy theories, the winner is Joy Behar, from the popular morning show "The View", discussing Democratic Senator Tim Johnson’s illness on December 14, 2006, where MRC captured the video of a conversation between Behar and Elisabeth Hasselbeck:

Co-host Joy Behar: “Is there such a thing as a man-made stroke? In other words, did someone do this to him?...”
Co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck: “Why is everything coming from the liberal perspective a conspiracy?...”
Behar: “I know what this [Republican] Party is capable of.”

Other amusing awards can be found on their best of notable quotables for 2007 page, which include the ,
Blue State Brigade, (Barack Obama and Chris Matthews on MSNBC) Channeling the Nutroots (Chris Matthews and Michael Moore onMSNBC) , Damn Conservatives (Bill Maher, HBO), Drive By Media (Matt Lauer, Reporter Michael Okwu, and Paul Waldman, Media Matters for America on NBC)Dynamic Duo (Chris Matthews on MSNBC),Goreacle (Harry Smith and Al Gore on CBS), Meaningless (Nightline co-anchor Terry Moran on ABC), Media Hero (Barbara Walters recounting her interview with Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez on ABC), Media Millionaires (Newsweek’s Eleanor Clift discussing the Minneapolis bridge collapse, August 25 McLaughlin Group), Morning Morons (Meredith Vieira talking about global warming on NBC), Not Biased Enough (PBS’s Bill Moyers, in a January 12 speech to a conference on “media reform” aired four days later on the left-wing Pacifica network’s Democracy Now.), Perky Princess (Katie Couric on CBS evening news), and the Streisand IQ(Rosie O’Donnell on ABC), awards.

Winners and media outlet in parenthesis and all links also list the runnerups in that category.


Sunday, December 30, 2007

France Suspends Diplomatic Contacts with Syria

Hat Tip to Don Surber, who points us to a BBC report about statements from the president of France, Nicolas Sarkozy regarding the suspension of diplomatic contacts with Syria.

Links will be restored only when France has proof that Syria is not blocking progress towards installing a consensus president in Lebanon, Mr Sarkozy said.

Lebanon has been without a president since November, as rival pro- and anti- Syrian factions argue over who should fill the post.

"I ask Syria to... work to create agreement," said Mr Sarkozy.

France "will not make any more contacts with Syria... as long as there is no proof of Syria's willingness to let Lebanon choose a consensus president," he told reporters, during a visit to Egypt.

Actions speak louder than words and according to The International Herald Tribune, Sarkozy is echoing those sentiments with the statement "France has taken the responsibility of talking with Syria. One must recognize today that we cannot wait any longer, Syria must stop talking and now must act."

On November 23, 2007, pro-Syrian leader Émile Lahoud, stepped down at the end of his term. The election for a new President in Lebanon has been delayed 11 times because opposition boycotts have hindered the process to choose a president by preventing a quorum in Parliament.

AFP reports other statements from Sarkozy as well as pointing out that Bush said earlier this month that his " patience ran out on President Assad a long time ago."

"It's time for Syria to prove with facts what it has not stopped saying in speeches," Sarkozy said. "We are now waiting for acts on Syria's part and not speeches."

France is also going ahead with plans to free up funds on order to complete the international tribunal intended to try those behind a series of assassinations in Lebanon that began with the murder of former premier Rafiq Hariri in 2005.

Syria has been accused of being behind that assassination but has denied involvement and has done everything in their power to stop the tribunal meant to determine who is responsible for Hariri's murder.

The Lebanon Daily Star gives an excellent overview of the problems that have plagued Lebanon in 2007, from civil unrest to political inertia.

Syria has been a destabilizing force for Lebanon and Sarkozy, Bush and other leaders of the international community seem to be fed up with Syria saying one thing then doing another.


Growing Controversy over Tennessee Executive Mansion Renovations

Questionable politics is nothing new in the state of Tennessee in regards to the Governors office. Presidential candidate Fred Thompson was a part of bringing down the corrupt Blanton administration in the late 70's and early 80's for selling pardons, liquor licenses, and other favors from the governor's office. Former Governor Don Sundquist remains shrouded in suspicion of corruption during his administration for "no-bid" contractual awards for state work.

And now we have current Governor Phil Bredesen, a New Jersey native who grew up in New York. The Governor's tax positions have had him in hot water with voters during his second ("lame duck") term as governor, and now a situation that has been developing since his election and taking office during his first term is becoming a sore spot for the sitting Governor of Tennessee.

Group assails spending on governor's mansion

Associated Press

A taxpayer group funded by a neighbor of the governor's mansion is criticizing the spending for construction and renovation to the executive residence in upscale Oak Hill.

Tennesseans for Accountability in Government, created by a donation from a Nashville auto dealer, called on the state Tuesday to provide cost details on renovations and the addition of an underground banquet hall at the mansion.

Susan Kaestner, vice president of the group, said the facility was an irresponsible waste of taxpayer money and the governor could use existing venues in Nashville for meetings. She said the group was created by a donation from Lee Beaman, a neighbor, but this wasn't a neighborhood group focused solely on the local impact to the community.

"The renovations have gone way past reasonable," Kaestner said, adding that the state hasn't been forthcoming with plans and costs.

When Gov. Phil Bredesen took office in 2003, he agreed not to move in the home so it could be renovated. First lady Andrea Conte has said the new underground facility is needed so the mansion — which was a private residence before it became an official home for Tennessee's governors in 1949 — will have sufficient and suitable space for meetings and entertainment.

It's the underground facility that has raised such an uproar. While residents of the Oak Hill community are concerned about traffic involved with the renovations and events held at the mansion with the addition of the "party bunker," as some pundits have labeled the underground facility, other taxpayers around the state are concerned with the price tag that comes along with it, and from where the funding for the project will come.

Meeting doesn't ease concerns over hall at governor's mansion
State architect gets earful from nearby residents

Staff Writer

Angry neighbors lashed out at state architect Mike Fitts Thursday night during a public hearing about a proposed underground meeting hall at the governor's mansion.

The Oak Hill Planning Commission called the meeting to solicit comments for Fitts to consider as the state moves forward with plans to blast though rock under the mansion lawn to create a 13,000 square-foot, sky-lighted banquet hall.

The city of Oak Hill has no authority to veto the project on Curtiswood Lane, but state officials have said they want to work with the city and residents.

Mansion neighbors said Thursday they remain concerned about the disruption the new "Conservation Hall" will have on their neighborhood.

"The renovation of the mansion was a good thing, it was needed, but I don't see a need for this," said Martha Thompson Elder, who attended Thursday's meeting on behalf of her elderly mother who lives near the mansion.

"Curtiswood Lane is a narrow street, and what will they do with all that additional traffic? It just doesn't need to be in a residential neighborhood.

"Why are we building something that is not needed and putting the burden on taxpayers."

In the past, large parties have been held in tents set up on the lawn. The underground hall will cut down on the tents.

Fitts told The Tennessean previously that tents still might be required for events too large for the hall. It is designed to accommodate 160 guests for a sit-down dinner or up to 500 guests and staff for other events.

Oakhill resident Tom Lawless worries about the effect the additional traffic will have on the community, and believes a formal traffic study should be conducted and a disaster plan considered.

Bill Hobbs of the Tennessee Republican Party has put together a comprehensive time-line for the events surrounding the proposed renovations and addition to the executive mansion:


NASHVILLE - The Tennessee Republican Party calls on Gov. Phil Bredesen and his wife to “put the brakes on the ballroom” in light of documents uncovered that indicate the Bredesens have been playing a shell game to mislead the public about the true cost of – and who is really paying for - the massive underground ballroom and entertainment complex they intend to build on the grounds of the Governor’s Mansion.

The documents from the State Building Commission – which the TRP is making available online for taxpayers, media and legislators to view – show a timeline of rapidly ballooning costs as the original project of needed renovations of the state’s executive residence metastasized to include the ballroom facility.

The documents also show a shell game designed to mislead the public as to the source of funding for the ballroom, in total disregard for taxpayers who are just now learning that they’re paying millions for a project they knew nothing about as it was concocted in secret.

“Gov. and Mrs. Bredesen have claimed that the ballroom is being funded with private donations rather than tax dollars, but that’s not really true,” said Bill Hobbs, communications director for the TRP. “The Bredesens shifted nearly $3 million in private donations to the ballroom project that had been given for the renovation of the mansion itself – and then replaced that mansion renovation money with tax dollars.

(A 20-page PDF file of the documents can be found online at the Tennessee Republican Party website, .)

The State Building Commission documents show that the original project for renovation of the
governor’s mansion, described as a “maintenance” project and identified as SBC Project No. 460/028-01-2002, was first discussed by the SBC on October 10, 2002, three months before Gov. Bredesen took office. It had an estimated cost of $350,000.

The project – and its cost to taxpayers – soon grew like kudzu.

Kudzu, for those of you who are not familiar with the plant, kudzu is a plant native to Japan and Asia that was introduced to the United States in the 1800's, and when it was introduced to the Southeast it was determined that the climate made the plant grow uncontrollably. If you drive through the rural Southeast today, you're likely to see acres upon acres of the vine where it has overtaken the native vegetation.

The questions many are asking as the price tag for renovations balloons to nearly $20 million are why is the price tag continuing to sky rocket, who is going to be awarded the contract for doing the renovations, will there be "payback" involved in the price (a ballooned price tag to pay back political favors done for the Governor), and could the money not be better spent in building a new executive mansion rather than investing millions of dollars in a property that is not currently appraised at even $1 million? Many are also questioning why other State owned banquet facilities are not sufficient for hosting State sponsored events.

It should be noted that Governor Bredesen and Tennessee First Lady Andre Conte have not resided in the Oak Hills Governors Mansion during his two terms as Governor, but have maintained residence in their Forest Hills home.

Once and Always, an American Fighting Man


The Fire in Fred's Belly

What Spree wants, Spree gets! Cross posted from Miss Beth's Victory Dance by request.

For a long time, a whole lot of us have liked the cut of Fred Thompson as a presidential candidate. So much so we BEGGED the man to jump into the race. Finally, FINALLY, he threw his hat in the ring and now, many of us (I'm admittedly an attention challenged, Type A personality who can't sit still for very long) question when we're going to "see" the fire of Fred "catch on".

While discussing Fred with my mentor during a break in study group one night, she asked me flat out why I liked Fred. At the time, I really couldn't answer with more than a gut feeling. She was correct in calling me out. That is one of the reason's I consider her my main mentor--she makes me stop and think. Then, she makes me go do my research and study. She may not like this comparison too much, but it's not meant to be offensive--in that regard, she is very similar to both my parents who insisted--prior to discussing ANYTHING--I and my siblings educate ourselves on any and all topics. Both my parents came from modest means to be significant forces in their respective fields, ultimately competing with each other for degrees (daddy won, but not by much); to them, education was the ONLY ticket to true freedom, independence and prosperity for without an education you could go nowhere. So, my mentor falls into the same category with my parents in this regard.

So, with my mentor's challenge spurring me on, I began to look into WHY I thought Fred would be the best candidate. I found a man surprisingly honest. A man who thought out his plans and outlined them in a coherent fashion. A man who offers no apologies for his past, yet who is unflinchingly honest about it. He says what he means. He doesn't beat around the bramble bush trying to be all things to all people.

For example, on the illegal immigration issue (since I live in a border state, this is something important to me), Fred has laid out a comprehensive, common sense plan for implementation.

From his site:

Securing the Border and Enforcing the Law

A fundamental responsibility of the federal government is to secure the nation's borders and enforce the law. The following policies and initiatives will put the nation on a path to success:

  1. No Amnesty. Do not provide legal status to illegal aliens. Amnesty undermines U.S. law and policy, rewards bad behavior, and is unfair to the millions of immigrants who follow the law and are awaiting legal entry into the United States. In some cases, those law-abiding and aspiring immigrants have been waiting for several years.

  2. Attrition through Enforcement . Reduce the number of illegal aliens through increased enforcement against unauthorized alien workers and their employers. Without illegal employment opportunities available, fewer illegal aliens will attempt to enter the country, and many of those illegally in the country now likely will return home. Self-deportation can also be maximized by stepping up the enforcement levels of other existing immigration laws. This course of action offers a reasonable alternative to the false choices currently proposed to deal with the 12 million or more aliens already in the U.S. illegally: either arrest and deport them all, or give them all amnesty. Attrition through enforcement is a more reasonable and achievable solution, but this approach requires additional resources for enforcement and border security:
Read more here.

But wait! There's more!

Fred also has comprehensive ideas laid out for:
National Security; the Federal Budget and Spending/Budgetary Reform; Tax Reform; Healthcare; Government Effectiveness; Building Strong Families; Education; Appointing Judges Faithful to Our Constitution; Energy Security and the Second Amendment. He also offers a downloadable, side-by-side comparison of where the GOP candidates stand on Family Values Issues; 2nd Amendment Rights and Crimes; Securing America's Borders and Fiscal Responsibility.
The entry page for all of these issues can be found here.

Overall, while there are a few things I disagree with, I like Fred as a candidate. I like how he is clear and concise on the issues. I like how he appears to think carefully before opening his mouth. I think he has a personally pleasing appearance, which, through his acting skills and his past political background, he is able to use to advantage when negotiating across a table, either with a recalcitrant SoH or another country's leader. He doesn't come off as a wimp and image is important when dealing with extremist loons.

I don't like how he seems to be moseying along, strolling through this campaign. But then, as I mentioned above, I'm an attention challenged, can't sit still for a second, Type A personality. If I'm not juggling a kazillion things at once, I feel as if I'm missing out on something.

I also keep forgetting Fred is, at heart, a born Southerner and Southerner's do things their own way and in their own time.

That being said, because the MSM doesn't understand this basic truth about Southerner's, they have labeled Fred as lazy. Then, as per their usual sloppy reporting, they set up imaginary strawmen to knock down and only provide half quotes, purposely designed to make Fred look as bad as possible.

Such is the case here. From The Campaign Spot we see the headline: "Fred Thompson, Knifed by Half-Quotes Again". From this article we learn the following:

This time their grumbling is directed at this account in USA Today:

BURLINGTON, Iowa — Fred Thompson said Saturday he does not much like the modern form of presidential campaigning and that he "will not be devastated" if he doesn't win the election.

"I'm not particularly interested in running for president," Thompson said, but rather he feels called to serve his country.

Now, that sounds pretty damning, particularly with Iowa and New Hampshire looming. However, the rest of the quote is here:

"I am not consumed by personal ambition," Thompson responded. "I'm offering myself up."

Given the volatile state of the world, the actor and former Tennessee senator said he was not "sure it is a good thing if a president has too much fire in his belly."

"I'm only consumed by a few things and politics is not one of them," he said.

Now, there's an old saying that absolute power corrupts absolutely. There's also an old saying about being wary of those who desperately want to hold positions of power (HRC come to mind anyone?). Read the rest of the article here; it's an eye opener of egos in the MSM.

From what I'm seeing from Fred, he has stated he will run his campaign his way. He has also shown he is not absolutely desperate to hold the position of POTUS, but having been chosen by the people, implored by the people to run, he will do the very best job he can, if he is elected. He has sat down, thought out the most important issues facing this country, and established his platform in a well thought out manner. He has plodded along at his own pace, and answered questions posed to him. He has refused to play the schoolyard games engaged in during the so-called debates. He doesn't hesitate to call people on the carpet when he thinks they're being asinine and when someone steps over the line with a question too personal, he lets them know it. He doesn't flip flop around. He doesn't screech--but he does calmly state where he thinks this country needs improvement. Then he offers the means for that improvement.

Remember the story of the Tortoise and the Hare? Well, Fred just may be that tortoise--slow and steady and eventually, win the race.

That is if he can get past the idiotic MSM determined to derail him.

But then, what else would one expect from ego driven, pampered, whiny, treasonous liberals who want nothing more than to see the demise of this country? What else could you possibly expect from a "profession" that can't follow it's own standards of conduct, rules and ethics (these people need a dictionary to look up the meaning of the word ethics), a "profession" increasingly showing it can't--or won't--report the full story because it can't be bothered to do the legwork necessary. A "profession" riddled with the likes of TNR (Scott Thomas Beauchamp), TIME Magazine reporters who criminalize our Marines on the unsubstantiated word of an al-Quaida operative (Haditha), reporters who report "roadside graves full of decapitated bodies" (bodies and graves that never existed) and on and on.

Do we really expect honest, unbiased reporting? Oh--wait--silly me! That would require integrity--something we KNOW the MSM lacks. And they certainly do NOT want to give any kind of fair coverage to a man with integrity--he might force them to do the jobs they don't want to do--or prosecute them for their treason and sedition (NYT anyone?).

The MSM has a lot to lose if Fred wins. Perhaps THAT should be the real story--the MSM's motive in falsely reporting and cherry picking on ANY of the conservative campaigns.

Catch the Wave!

Cross posted at
Grizzly Groundswell here.

Its Time To Vote for 2007 Most Self-hating Jew Awards

Ladies and Gentlemen---there you have it: the Nominations for 2007 Most Self Hating Jew Awards.

Below are the Nominees in all four categories:
  1. Self Hating Jews of 2007-24 Nominees
  2. Not Self Hating---JUST STUPID- 8 Nominees
  3. Self Hating Ex-Jews-2 Nominees
  4. Self Hating Media- 3 Nominees
click here to vote

Each Nominee has at least one hyper-linked article supporting their case--why they should win in their category. Its an incredibly diverse list--You folks really know your stuff.These links are from blogs across the read them all and then make your vote. VOTING INSTRUCTIONS ARE AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS POST

Self Hating Jews Of 2007:
  • Amira Hass, Editor at Ha'aretz. If KRB were a working journalist that's AH - . According to her Wiki entry, she's lived among Palis continuously since 1993.
  • Gerald Michael (Geraldo) Rivera GERALDO RIVERA DOES IT AGAIN! special kuddos to my daughter on this one, because it is her idea..of course I am a only a little prejudice.
  • Israeli prof Gary Sussman - who's also a self-hating South African, it seems.

Not Self Hating-Just Stupid Award:

  • Orthodox Anarchist" Daniel Sieradski, who forcibly injects post-avant garde and hip-hop influences into Orthodox Judiasm in an online format.

Self Hating Ex-Jews:

Self-Hating Media

Voting instructions

1) Please make sure to vote in each of the four categories
2) I couldn't find polling software that would take 24 nominees (category one has 24 nominees) so I am going to ask you to vote by commenting on this post.
click here to vote... YES I know its a pain..but think of me next Saturday night counting all the votes.
3) if you just want to vote and NOT have your vote comment posted...let me know and I will count it but not post it. At least Once A Day I will post a vote count.

Voting closes next Saturday at Midnight---God-willing winners will be posted next Sunday

click here to vote

Fred Thompson Isn't Desperate

I have often said people keep saying Fred Thompson doesn't have a "fire in his belly" and I have maintained that it translates to Fred Thompson "doesn't reek with the stench of desperation" as well as saying that is one thing that particularly appeals to me.

He sticks to the issues instead of attacking opponents like a rabid dog, he doesn't flip flop on those issues and stays consistent with his message.

CNN manages to quote a small portion of comments made by Fred to make it appear as if he really doesn't want to run for president.

Republican Fred Thompson has long faced criticism he lacks motivation to be President of the United States, and the former Tennessee senator's latest comments Saturday may spark new criticism on that front.

The quotes CNN uses are:

"I'm not particularly interested in running for president," the former senator told voters at a campaign event in Burlington, Iowa when challenged by a an audience member over his desire to be commander-in-chief.


"But I think I'd make a good president," Thompson continued. "I have the background, capability, and concern to do this and I'm doing it for the right reasons."


I am not consumed by personal ambition," Thompson also said Saturday. "I'm offering myself up."

"I'm only consumed by a few things and politics is not one of them."

Fred Thompson, over on the Fred File is relieved that he doesn't have to depend on the media to accurately quote him because he can go directly to the public and lists the entire transcript of that exchange:

A Message from the Campaign Trail
Posted on December 29th, 2007
By Fred in On The Road

Every once in a while I am more thankful than ever for today’s technology which allows me to talk to you directly instead of having to go through the filter of the main stream media.

Some of them are intent on making the outcome of the campaign dependent upon their pre-conceived notions. Every once in a while their incomplete and slanted coverage makes this clear.

Today I had this story written about me regarding what I said at a Town Hall event in Burlington, Iowa by a reporter who wasn’t even at the event. Incidentally, I declined to be interviewed by this particular reporter yesterday for reasons which will soon be apparent.

In referring to me, she reported “he doesn’t like modern campaigning, isn’t interested in running for President, and will not be devastated” if he doesn’t win.

The following is a transcript of what I actually said in response to a question by a local Burlington resident which was the basis of the reporter’s story:

Q: My only problem with you and why I haven’t thrown all my support behind you is that I don’t know if you have the desire to be President. If I caucus for you next week, are you still going to be there two months from now?

…In the first place I got in the race about the time people normally get into it historically. The fact of the matter is that others started the process a lot earlier this time than they normally do. I think it was for some of them when they were juniors in high school.


That is a very good question, not because it’s difficult to answer, because, but I’m gonna answer it in a little different way than what you might expect.

In the first place, I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t. I wouldn’t be doing this if i didn’t. I grew up very modest circumstances. I left government, I and my family have made sacrifices for me to be sitting here today. I haven’t had any income for a long time because I’m doing this. I figure that to be clean you’ve got to cut everything off. And I was doing speaking engagements and I had a contract to do a tv show, I had a contract with abc radio like I was talking about earlier and so forth. I guess a man would have to be a total fool to do all those things and to be leaving his family which is not a joyful thing at all if he didn’t want to do it.

But I am not consumed by personal ambition. I will not be devastated if I don’t do it. I want the people to have the best president that they can have.

When this talk first started, it didn’t originate with me. There were a lot of people around the country both directly and through polls, liked the idea of me stepping up. And of course, you always look better at a distance, I guess.

But most of those people are still there and think its a good idea. But I approached it from the standpoint of a deal. A kind of a marriage. If one side of a marriage has to be really talked into the marriage, it probably ain’t going to be a very good deal for either one of them. But if you mutually think that this is a good thing. In this case, if you think this is a good thing for the country, then you have an opportunity to do some wonderful things together.

I’m offering myself up. I’m saying that I have the background, the capability, and the concern to do this and I’m doing it for the right reasons. But I’m not particularly interested in running for president, but I think I’d make a good president.

Nowadays, the process has become much more important than it used to be.

I don’t know that they ever asked George Washington a question like this. I don’t know that they ever asked Dwight D. Eisenhower a question like this. But nowadays, it’s all about fire in the belly. I’m not sure in the world we live in today it’s a terribly good thing if a president has too much fire in the belly. I approach life differently than a lot of people. People, I guess, wonder how I’ve been as successful as I’ve been in everything I’ve done. I won two races in TN by 20 point margins, a state that Bill Clinton carried twice. I’d never run for office before. I’ve never had an acting lesson and I guess that’s obvious by people who’ve watched me. But when they made a movie about a case that I had when I took on a corrupt state administration as a lawyer and beat them before a jury. They made a movie about it and I wound up playing myself in the movie and yeah I can do that.

And when I did it, I did it. Wasn’t just a lark. Anything that’s worth doing is worth doing well. But I’ve always been a little bit more laid back than most. I like to say that I’m only consumed by very, very few things and politics is not one of them. The welfare of our country and our kids and grandkids is one of them.

If people really want in their president a super type-a personality, someone who has gotten up every morning and gone to bed every night and been thinking about for years how they could achieve the Presidency of the United States, someone who can look you straight in the eye and say they enjoy every minute of campaigning, I ain’t that guy. So I hope I’ve discussed that and hope I haven’t talked you out of anything. I honestly want - I can’t imagine a worse set of circumstances than achieving the presidency under false pretenses. I go out of my way to be myself because I don’t want anybody to think they are getting something they are not getting. I’m not consumed by this process I’m not consumed with the notion of being President. I’m simply saying I’m willing to do what’s necessary to achieve it if I’m in sync with the people and if the people want me or somebody like me. I’ll do what I’ve always done in the rest of my life and I will take it on and do a good job and you’ll have the disadvantage of having someone who probably can’t jump up and click their heels three times but will tell you the truth and you’ll know where the President stands at all times.

It is clear that there are those in the media who will exact a high price for candor and from those whom they consider to be insufficiently ambitious. But it is with increasing amazement that we see that those who are willing to slant or leave out important parts of a story to make their point.

If a candidate succumbs to this he will be reduced to nothing more than a sound bite machine.

As for me I am going to continue to say exactly what is in my heart and is on my mind and give straight and honest answers to those who ask straight and honest questions.

Incidentally, the audience in Burlington broke into applause in the middle of my answer. The reporter wouldn’t know that because she wasn’t even there.

The reporter wasn't even there.

'nuff said.


Perhaps CNN's reporter should have taken the lead of this reporter from ABC, who actually WAS there:

Political Punch
Power, pop, and probings from ABC News Senior National Correspondent Jake Tapper

The Passion of the Fred

December 30, 2007 10:36 AM

Former Sen. Fred Thompson, R-Tenn, accused some of my colleagues of "journalistic malpractice" just now on Fox News Sunday.

He's referring to coverage implying that Thompson said he's "not particularly interested in running for president," like this story.

As our awesome ABC News off-air reporter with the Thompson campaign advised us last night, and as Jim Geraghty at National Review points out that may not be the fairest characterization of Thompson's complete remarks.

The larger point Thompson seems to have been trying to make is that he's not interested in the process of running for president, but he wants to be president and thinks he'd be a good one.

He also said -- and this isn't new -- that those who have had fire-in-the-belly for the job aren't necessarily the people who should be entrusted with the job.

"I am not consumed by personal ambition," Thompson said. "I will not be devastated if I don't do it. I want the people to have the best president they can have…"

"I approach it from the standpoint of a deal," he said to a voter who wondered why he should caucus for Thompson, "of kind of a marriage. You know, if one side of the marriage has to be really talked into the marriage, you know, it's probably not going to be a very good deal for either one of them.

"But if you mutually think that this is a good thing — in this case, if you think this is a good thing for the country, the you have the opportunity to do some wonderful things together. I'm offering myself up. I'm saying that if I have the background, the capability and the concern to do this and I'm doing this for the right reasons..."


Check out Fred Thompson's message to Iowa voters:


Successful MSO Debut

موسيقى, عقاب موسيقى, عقاب
Saudi's Muslim Symphony Orchestra wraps up triumphant
First Season Tour

December 30, 2007
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Overwhelmed by jubilant throngs of eager fans, estimated to be in the tens of thousands, many of whom had been patiently waiting since early this morning, nearly one hundred exhausted but exuberant members of the Saudi's fledgling Muslim Symphony Orchestra, accompanied by a beaming maestro Sheik Ali Jadid Muhammed, deplaned from their silver SAA 747 and stepped onto the tarmac at Riyadh’s King Khaled International Airport this afternoon at 2:45 pm amid heavy police security. Unconfirmed reports of a planned attack by Israeli suicide bombers appeared to do little to dampen the festive atmosphere of this triumphant and long-awaited homecoming celebration.

Returning from their whirlwind first season Middle Eastern regional tour, the MSO’s renowned music director and founder, the venerable seventy-eight year old Sheik Ali, was greeted warmly by Crown Prince Faisal al Faisal, accompanied by his large retinue, comprised of various government officials, high-ranking military officers, and his own personal entourage of thirty-three of his forty-two wives and all but four of his fifty-seven sons. Speaking on behalf of the Royal Family, Crown Prince Faisal expressed his deep appreciation of the spectacular success of the Kingdom’s first pan-Arab Muslim symphony orchestra.

Following a short speech by the Crown Prince, conductor Ali Muhammed was presented with the coveted Royal Order of the Silver Palms for his exemplary service to the Kingdom. Immediately after the completion of the awards ceremony, Sheik Ali and the other members of the orchestra were whisked away in waiting limousines, under heavy police security, to the Golden Tulip Riyadh Palace Hotel, where they will have a chance to rest and freshen up in preparation for this evening’s planned gala festivities at the Royal Palace.

"It is our fervent hope", conductor Ali Muhammed opined in a short interview granted to Al-Jazerra TV upon his arrival at the luxurious and heavily-guarded Palace Hotel, "that through this universal language of music, we can bring our message of love and peace to this troubled region, and eventually perhaps to the rest of the world."

Born in the summer of 2005 from an informal conversation over tea and cakes between Maestro Ali Muhammed and the Saudi Minister of Culture, Prince Ibn al Faisal, this bold and innovative concept of an all-Arab Islamic symphony orchestra went from casual idea to full-fledged reality in just a little over one year. A dream fulfilled, the world-class MSO now boasts a full compliment of seventy-two accomplished musicians and almost two-dozen support staff.

In December 2006, plans were drawn up for the nascent orchestra's ambitious Middle Eastern Regional Premier Tour. Encompassing seven cities in six separate countries, the MSO's First Season inaugural began on March 15, 2007, with their debut performance at the glittering Prince Ali Palace in the ancient Saudi coastal city of Jeddah. Over the next nine months, the MSO would perform a continuing series of concerts to sell-out crowds in Cairo, Gaza City, Mogadishu, Kuwait City and Baghdad, finally wrapping up their wildly successful First Season sojourn with an extraordinary command performance for Syria's youthful and enthusiastic President Dr. Bashar al-Assad and family at the beautiful and historic Azem Palace in the capital city of Damascus.

Restricted by Shari'a law to an all-Islamic venue, the MSO's inaugural series none the less boasted an impressive array of talented Muslim composers and performers from throughout the Middle East and beyond.

To lead off Thursday evening's dazzling command performance, Maestro Ali chose that magnificent but seldom performed Muslim masterpiece, Saudi composer Mahmoud al-Kahlani's monumental Symphony in G, better known as the Saladin Symphony, written to commemorate the famous 1187 Battle of Hattin, when Saladin defeated the Christian King of Jerusalem and reclaimed the holy city for Islam.

The symphony's ominous and somber first movement, centering on a contentious dialogue between the strong sonorous strains of the string section, representing the courageous Muslim warriors, in opposition to the blaring dissonance of the Christian trombones is left intentionally unresolved. The fiery second movement, expressing the violence of the actual battle scene, overflows with the discordant sounds of an embattled orchestra; until finally this swirling maelstrom is magnificently resolved in a rousing crescendo of the final movement, culminating in the triumphant fanfare of the victorious Muslim trumpets.

Before the final note had sounded, overcome by emotion, the predominately male audience leaped to their feet and erupted in tumultuous applause, shouting fervent Encores and Bravos and Allah ak'bars, while from their separated section in the rear of the auditorium, one could hear the rapturous ululations of the women's traditional zaghareet.

Following a short interregnum, during which the audience had an opportunity to regain its composure and settle back down into their seats, the houselights gradually dimmed and an expectant hush fell over the crowd. Silently emerging from the shadows, the solitary regal burqa-clad figure of the legendary Samarra al Jihadi stepped into the spotlight at the center of the stage. At the sight of the beloved, world-renowned Iraqi Mezzo-Soprano, once again the largely Syrian male audience erupted into enthusiastic applause.

Bowing gracefully in acknowledgment of her warm reception, Madame al Jihadi patiently waited for the ovation to subside, then, with great nobility of soul, she subtly motioned to conductor Ali Muhammed, who raised his baton and proceeded to guide the waiting orchestra into those first familiar strains of Abdul Fawzi's poignant and lyrical Islam O' Islam aria from his ambitious 1979 three-act opera Muhammed Slays the Infidel.

Needless to say, Samarra al Jihadi's rich and soulful rendition of Fawzi's famous aria brought yet another riotous standing ovation from the ecstatic audience, many of whom were in tears. The acclaimed Iraqi Diva eventually received no less that twelve curtain calls that evening, before the house lights finally came back on for the Intermission.

After the thirty minute interlude, an excited and reinvigorated audience returned promptly to their seats and eagerly awaited the start the second half of the program, which promised to be even more thrilling than the first.

Finally, after what seemed like ages, once again the lights in the great Azem Palace hall dimmed; then, heralded by a sudden stirring blast of military trumpets, proudly marching in from stage left, dressed in gleaming white robes, signifying their purity, especially flown in the previous day from their humble homes in the wild tribal regions of Waziristan, the much-anticipated, world-famous Mullah Omar Madrassa Boys Choir, formed up at center stage amidst rounds of exuberant applause.

Under the able direction of their enthusiastic and accomplished music director, Sheik Hussein al Zaid, the thirty-two young immaculate Afghan boys, ranging in age from nine to fifteen years, enthusiastically began their a cappella concert with a lively and spirited interpretation of al Jizri's ever-popular folk song "Blood of the filthy Zionists", following this up with a rousing rendition of that perennial Syrian favorite "Lebanon is ours forever!" After an exhilarating twelve song recital, the Madrassa Boys Choir rounded out their wildly successful debut performance for the evening with the fiery Mujaheddin fighting anthem, "Death to the Jews! Death to the sons of apes and pigs!"

Following this evening's spectacular performance, and after a well-deserved rest, the M.O.M. boys would spend the rest of the week as honored guests of President and First Lady Assad, touring the many historic and religious sites of Damascus, before leaving Sunday morning for their long flight home.

Good job boys!

However, by far the most anticipated, and ultimately successful offering of this entire gala command performance was to be the final event of the evening: the special guest appearance of that incredibly popular singing sensation from Gaza City, Gaza Strip, that precocious 11-year-old singing host of Gaza City's most famous children's TV show, "Tomorrow's Pioneers", the vivacious and talented Saraa Barhoum, singing her latest Islamic hit, "We will meet our death with no hesitation!" As expected, the tiny but irrepressible Saraa, wearing her colorful hijab and trademark pink jeans, brought the ebullient audience to their feet. The inevitable curtain calls would have gone on throughout the long night, if little Saraa had not been whisked away by concerned security officials well before the wild applause had subsided.

All in all, one can say without doubt, that the newborn MSO can be justly proud of its unquestionably successful Inaugural Tour. Having, in the words of its eminent founder, Sheik Ali Jidad Muhammed, "through this universal language of music, brought this Saudi message of love and peace to this troubled region". And, one can only hope, "eventually perhaps to the rest of the world".

Bon voyage, our brave little MSO!
موسيقى, عقاب موسيقى, عقاب

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Ron Paul Excluded from Fox Debate? Nope, NOT a is a FORUM, people should learn the difference.

[Update] Note----The DEBATE is on the 10th, the Fox "event" is a forum, not a debate so all of this has been a hyped up, trumped up lie from the beginning that has done nothing but make Paul and his supporters look very bad.

[Update] 1/1/08- Follow up on this piece can be found here.

According to an AP report, on January 6, 2008, the New Hampshire Republican Party is sponsoring a forum for Republican presidential candidates.

It will be a 90 minute forum, airing live at 8 p.m. ET on the Fox News Channel and on Fox News Radio, and unlike a debate the candidates, which have been listed as Rudy Giuliani, Mike Huckabee, John McCain, Mitt Romney and Fred Thompson, will be answering questions from Chris Wallace around a table in a studio on the campus of St. Anselm College in Goffstown, N.H.

Fox, and the New Hampshire Republican Party, has not announced why Ron Paul is not on that list from the AP report.

Ron Paul has collected massive amounts of money as shown here and here, but according to Rasmussen, that has not translated into double digit polling numbers as money sometimes does.

With just days to go before the unpredictable Iowa caucuses, it’s Rudy Giuliani 19% , Mike Huckabee 17%, Mitt Romney 14%, John McCain 14%, and Fred Thompson at 13% (see recent daily numbers). Ron Paul currently attracts 6% of Likely Republican Primary voters nationwide.

This leaves key questions for Fox and the New Hampshire Republican Party to answer publicly.

Did they exclude Paul?

If so, why did they exclude Ron Paul from the forum?

If it is because of his polling numbers being in the single digits despite his monetary gains from his supporters, it would, perhaps be understandable.

The Ron Paul website has issued a press release stating:

According to the New Hampshire State Republican Party and an Associated Press report, Republican presidential candidate and Texas Congressman Ron Paul will be excluded from an upcoming forum of Republican candidates to be broadcast by Fox News on January 6, 2008.

“Given Ron Paul’s support in New Hampshire and his recent historic fundraising success, it is outrageous that Dr. Paul would be excluded,” said Ron Paul 2008 campaign chairman Kent Snyder. “Dr. Paul has consistently polled higher in New Hampshire than some of the other candidates who have been invited.”

Snyder continued, “Paul supporters should know that we are continuing to make inquiries with Fox News as to why they have apparently excluded Dr. Paul from this event.”

Other sites supporting Ron Paul are trying to organize efforts to protest this decision although barring any communication with the New Hampshire Republican Party and Fox, no one but the AP has listed those attending the forum.

One of the ideas being thrown around on Daily Paul is to non violently "sabotage" the forum.

NON VIOLENT sabotage of the debate: Have people planted in the audience to disrupt proceedings. If we have 10 or so supporters in the hall - they could pipe up one at a time - one every six minutes or so - right while one of the others is speaking. Imagine, while Rudy is speaking, someone from the audience piping up: "Where is Ron Paul?" There would be commotion. The supporter would likely be arrested and thrown out of the hall. The proceedings would be disrupted. And just as things settle down, and a new question is asked, someone else does the same thing. It would bring proceedings to a standstill and make the point. This would have to be coordinated before hand. Protesters would have to be PEACEFUL and NON-VIOLENT, and willing to be arrested and take all consequences.

Other posters on Daily Paul seem to have cooler heads and are making it clear that Paul's supporters reflect on the candidate.

Remember the last time Dr. Paul was excluded from an event in Iowa? We were able to turn it to our advantage. There is a way to turn this to our advantage once again - we just have to figure out how. Stay calm and keep your composure. Before you do anything, think of how Dr. Paul would respond, and of how your actions will reflect on him, the campaign and all of us.

Freedom's Phoenix says that through "unnamed Republican sources", they have found out that the New Hampshire Republican Party is not responsible for Ron Paul being excluded as they encourage people to stop calling them by stating "However, the New Hampshire GOP and its Chairman Fergus Cullen, is getting targeted by Ron Paul supporters and IT IS NOT THEIR DOING. You have crashed their servers and melted their phone lines, and they are not responsible. Please stop immediately!"

Looking through the NHGOP press releases, I see no mention of any of this and nothing on the Fox site either.

The original AP report does not list any source, named or unnamed and the only mention of this from any official site is from the Ron Paul site itself, although the internet is full of the news on blogs in support of Ron Paul, forums and other websites.

This will be updated tomorrow as more word comes out.

Perhaps by then some official word will have come out one way or another.


Bush Signs Extension of SCHIP into Law

Short and sweet, the President signed the extension of SCHIP into law today and despite the best efforts of the Politicians to make it a shorter extension so that it could be "used" in the 2008 elections, this bill will cover the SCHIP program until March 31, 2009.

The legislation also provides a 0.5 percent increase for Medicare doctors for six months, delaying a scheduled 10 percent pay cut.

Bush twice vetoed more ambitious earlier bills that would have expanded the children's health program to cover about 10 million children in low and moderate income families, despite bipartisan support.

Bush and Democrats have been locked in a fight over budget and spending and the president said the previous bills were too costly and would push more children into government-run health care instead of private plans.

Bush also objected to raising tobacco taxes to pay for the proposed expansion of the State Children's Health Insurance Program known as SCHIP.

Democrats had hoped for a short-term extension so they could reopen the battle before the November 2008 presidential and congressional elections, but Republicans forced them to extend it through March 2009.

Amazing to me how some politicians would have rather made it a short extension, risking the low incomes childrens health insurance in upcoming battles, simply to "use" the children as a political tool in the 2008 elections.

How sick is that?

This is what politics have become.


Kristol's New Gig at NYT Has Heads Exploding Across The Blogosphere

I open memeorandum this morning and what do I see?

That Bill Kristol is getting a weekly column at New York Times and I have to admit, my head almost exploded also, but for very different reasons.

The heads on the left side of the blogosphere are exploding because god forbid, the extremely liberal Times is going to have another conservative voice and free speech and political viewpoints should only be free if it matches the lefts viewpoint, in their minds.

My head is ready to explode for the opposite reason.

How can Kristol lower himself like that?

Has he forgotten that the New York Times actually showed a video of an American soldier dying before his family had even been informed, or that they are constantly reporting leaked information that puts our troops lives in danger, or what about the fantastic deal they gave for a full page smear ad against General Petraeus?

Need I go on?

The amusing part of this whole thing though is reading through the reactions from the other side of the blogosphere as they completely lose what little mind they had left over this.

The posts alone are bad enough, but some of the comments in the comment section show these people for exactly what they are and I will show you a few here.

A comment from getoffmeds over at Huffington post, where the story originated.

satyriasis - Kristol does not deserve a job, he deserves a prisoner number.

Reading through them, most will (maybe) cancel their subscription to NYT because Kristol will have one column a week, the antisemitism is also running rampant and one of their commenters mentions it to them as well using the term fascism regarding their rhetoric.

Next up is Vox Popoli and this was the post itself:

This is EXACTLY what the New York Times needs, a second Jewish faux conservative to provide balance to the Jewish liberal, the other Jewish liberal, the other other Jewish liberal, the black liberal and the woman liberal. Which makes me wonder, where's the Hispanic liberal and the gay liberal needed to complete the set? Instead of a credibility-challenged neocon, you'd think they could have found a gay Judeo-Hispanic liberal woman and killed five birds with one hire.

That one speaks for itself.

The American Street:

Following Newsweek’s decision to hire Karl Rove, this demonstrates clearly that the corporate media is more interested in circuses and profits than in meaningful debate.

I point that one out because of the thinking process used. In case they don't understand what business is about, it IS about making money or the paper cannot stay IN business.

An op-ed column is there to give a different point of view about the current news of that day or week, NOT debate.

That kind of backwards thinking is why people cannot separate opinion from fact and howl at the moon about the NYT decision which dares give someone a column to express their opinion if it doesn't match the opinion of those condemning this move.

Then we come to a blog called driftglass:

Because the New York Times just announced that, as far as it's concerned, being a mendacious prick is no longer a bad thing.

Being a slaughterporn whore is no longer shameful.

Apparently being a walking advertisement for every single thing that is wrong with the blood-caked, sociopathic Neocon Right is no longer even an impediment to extremely lucrative employment at the apex of the "liberal" NYT.

TBogg goes for the most tasteless, classless post of the day with this:

For some reason that can only be explained by a deeply held belief that someone somewhere is in possession of pictures of Arthur Sulzberger Jr, fucking a chicken, the New York Times has decided to give up some weekly editorial space to Bill "Completely Fucking Wrong Even When He Orders Breakfast" Kristol.

I will mention this one simply because the title proves MY title correct... that being " The post in which my head explodes"...


Just a small sample of reactions to start you off, you really should go to each of these and read the comment sections for yourself.

Quite enlightening.


Friday, December 28, 2007

Judicial Watch's Top Ten Most Corrupt Politicians

Hat tip to Weekly Standard which after reading it led me to the Judicial Watch's article naming the "Ten Most Wanted Corrupt Politicians" for 2007.

The list mentions Hillary Clinton (D-NY), John Conyers (D-MI), Larry Craig (R-ID), Diane Feinstein (D-CA), Rudy Giuliani (R-NY), Mike Huckabee (R-AR), I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, former Chief of Staff to Vice President Dick Cheney, Barack Obama, (D-IL) Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), and Harry Reid (D-NV).

Judicial Watch is a conservative, non partisan educational foundation that promotes transparency, accountability and integrity in Government, politics and law. Judicial Watch fulfills its educational mission through litigation, investigations and public outreach.

Overall, Judicial Watch spokespersons have made hundreds of appearances on virtually every major news network, and have participated in hundreds of interviews on radio stations nationwide. Judicial Watch investigations and legal actions have been covered in every major print publication.

Although they call themselves conservative, as you can see from the list above, they go after both Republican and Democratic politicians with equal intensity if they see corruption, to hold them accountable.

Number one on their list this year is Hillary Clinton:

In addition to her long and sordid ethics record, Senator Hillary Clinton took a lot of heat in 2007 – and rightly so – for blocking the release her official White House records. Many suspect these records contain a treasure trove of information related to her role in a number of serious Clinton-era scandals. Moreover, in March 2007, Judicial Watch filed an ethics complaint against Senator Clinton for filing false financial disclosure forms with the U.S. Senate (again). And Hillary’s top campaign contributor, Norman Hsu, was exposed as a felon and a fugitive from justice in 2007. Hsu pleaded guilt to one count of grand theft for defrauding investors as part of a multi-million dollar Ponzi scheme.

The portions in bold above, I am providing links to the news articles (which Judicial Watch did not provide, relating to those claims.

Ethics Complaint about financial disclosures:

According to the Washington Post, Hillary and Bill Clinton both run the family charity since 2001 and she has failed to report it in her Senate financial disclosures on five occasions.

The Ethics in Government Act requires members of Congress to disclose positions they hold with any outside entity, including nonprofit foundations. Hillary Clinton has served her family foundation as treasurer and secretary since it was established in December 2001, but none of her ethics reports since then have disclosed that fact.

The foundation has enabled the Clintons to write off more than $5 million from their taxable personal income since 2001, while dispensing $1.25 million in charitable contributions over that period.

Clinton's spokesman claims the failure to list this was an "oversight".

Norman Hsu:

Mr. Hsu was one of the top Clinton "bundlers" (gathers contributions and sends them to the campaign).

In late August, Norman Hsu came to everyones attention in connection with the Paw family, who donated $45,000 to the Hillary Clinton campaign, where reporters dug up the fact that their residence was also used by Norman Hsu as a home address, according to public records.

From there reports came in showing that Norman Hsu was a fugitive from the law for 15 yrs, which prompted politicians to start returning his contributions in an attempt to distance themselves from him.

On December 4, 2007 it was reported that Norman Hsu was indicted from a federal grand jury for cheating investors out of $20 million in a ponzi scheme as well as violating campaign finance laws.

You can read his full indictment here.

Next on Judicial Watch's list is John Conyers:

Conyers reportedly repeatedly violated the law and House ethics rules, forcing his staff to serve as his personal servants, babysitters, valets and campaign workers while on the government payroll. While the House Ethics Committee investigated these allegations in 2006, and substantiated a number of the accusations against Conyers, the committee blamed the staff and required additional administrative record-keeping and employee training. Judicial Watch obtained documentation in 2007 from a former Conyers staffer that sheds new light on the activities and conduct on the part of the Michigan congressman, which appear to be at a minimum inappropriate and likely unlawful. Judicial Watch called on the Attorney General in 2007 to investigate the matter.

In 2004 complaints were filed against Conyers which caused an informal investigation which suddenly stopped and was reopened in 2006, for the reasons listed above, but the Ethics Committe closed the investigation, simply making him agree to "clarify work rules with his staff to ensure his office complies with ethics regulations."

Third on Judicial Watch's list is Larry Craig:

In one of the most shocking scandals of 2007, Senator Craig was caught by police attempting to solicit sex in a Minneapolis International Airport men’s bathroom during the summer. Senator Craig reportedly “sent signals” to a police officer in an adjacent stall that he wanted to engage in sexual activity. When the police officer showed Craig his police identification under the bathroom stall divider and pointed toward the exit, the senator reportedly exclaimed 'No!'” When asked to produce identification, Craig presented police his U.S. Senate business card and said, “What do you think of that?” The power play didn’t work. Craig was arrested, charged and entered a guilty plea. Despite enormous pressure from his Republican colleagues to resign from the Senate, Craig refused.

At the end of August, reports hit the news of Larry Craig pleading guilty to disorderly conduct, which resulted in him resigning from Mitt Romney's campaign, announcing his own resignation, then changing his mind, because of an arrest for allegedly making sexual advances in a mens room at a Minneapolis airport.

Sgt. Dave Karsnia stated in the police report "At 1216 hours, Craig tapped his right foot. I recognized this as a signal used by persons wishing to engage in lewd conduct. Craig tapped his toes several times and moves his foot closer to my foot. I moved my foot up and down slowly. While this was occurring, the male in the stall to my right was still present. I could hear several unknown persons in the restroom that appeared to use the restroom for its intended use. The presence of others did not seem to deter Craig as he moved his right foot so that it touched the side of my left foot which was within my stall area."

The Idaho Statesman wrote an article with the results of a five month investigation, which can be found here.

Fox has also provided the PDF of the full police report on Craig's arrest.

Fourth on Judicial Watch's list is Dianne Feinstein:

As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee's subcommittee on military construction, Feinstein reviewed military construction government contracts, some of which were ultimately awarded to URS Corporation and Perini, companies then owned by Feinstein's husband, Richard Blum. While the Pentagon ultimately awards military contracts, there is a reason for the review process. The Senate's subcommittee on Military Construction's approval carries weight. Sen. Feinstein, therefore, likely had influence over the decision making process. Senator Feinstein also attempted to undermine ethics reform in 2007, arguing in favor of a perk that allows members of Congress to book multiple airline flights and then cancel them without financial penalty. Judicial Watch’s investigation into this matter is ongoing.

The San Francisco Chronicle did an in depth article into this situation, in 2003, discussing how Feinstein's spouse, Blum, did benefit from military related contracts.

In January of 2007, MetroActive weighed in with some more relevant information about Feinstein, Blum and her position on the Military Construction Appropriations subcommittee where she was voting for contracts that benefited her husbands companies.

As chairperson and ranking member of the Military Construction Appropriations subcommittee (MILCON) from 2001 through the end of 2005, Feinstein supervised the appropriation of billions of dollars a year for specific military construction projects. Two defense contractors whose interests were largely controlled by her husband, financier Richard C. Blum, benefited from decisions made by Feinstein as leader of this powerful subcommittee.

She lobbied Pentagon officials in public hearings to support defense projects that she favored, some of which already were or subsequently became URS or Perini contracts. From 2001 to 2005, URS earned $792 million from military construction and environmental cleanup projects approved by MILCON; Perini earned $759 million from such MILCON projects.

That appears to be a serious conflict of interest and in March of 2007, after MetroActive's exposé, Dianne Feinstein resigned as chair of a powerful military construction committee after reports that for years she abused her position to award her husband's companies billions of dollars in government contracts.

Number 5 on Judicial Watch's top ten list is Rudy Giuliani:

Giuliani came under fire in late 2007 after it was discovered the former New York mayor’s office “billed obscure city agencies for tens of thousands of dollars in security expenses amassed during the time when he was beginning an extramarital relationship with future wife Judith Nathan in the Hamptons…” ABC News also reported that Giuliani provided Nathan with a police vehicle and a city driver at taxpayer expense. All of this news came on the heels of the federal indictment on corruption charges of Giuliani’s former Police Chief and business partner Bernard Kerik, who pleaded guilty in 2006 to accepting a $165,000 bribe in the form of renovations to his Bronx apartment from a construction company attempting to land city contracts.

Billing obscure agencies:

In November of 2007 reports came to light that Rudy Giuliani had previously billed "obscure" agencies tens of thousands of dollars in security expenses while starting his affair with Judith Nathan, via The Politico and

Under New York's Freedom of Information Law, The Politico was able to obtain documents showing "that the mayoral costs had nothing to do with the functions of the little-known city offices that defrayed his tabs, including agencies responsible for regulating loft apartments, aiding the disabled and providing lawyers for indigent defendants."

The Politico had also obtained American Express bills, and a letter written by
City Comptroller William Thompson wrote of the expenses from fiscal year 2000, which covers parts of 1999 and 2000.

Police Vehicle provided to Judith Nathan:

ABC's The Blotter first reported that Rudy Giuliani provided a police driver and city car for his mistress Judith Nathan and that she used the Police Department as her "personal taxi service".

Giuliani did not answer questions asked of him by the Daily News about that.

Bernard Kerik corruption charges:

November 10, 2007, Washington Post reported that Bernard Kerik was indicted on corruption charges which he plead not guilty to.

Here is the PDF for Kerik's indictment.

Number six on Judicial Watch's top ten corrupt politicians is Mike Huckabee:

Governor Huckabee enjoyed a meteoric rise in the polls in December 2007, which prompted a more thorough review of his ethics record. According to The Associated Press: “[Huckabee’s] career has also been colored by 14 ethics complaints and a volley of questions about his integrity, ranging from his management of campaign cash to his use of a nonprofit organization to subsidize his income to his destruction of state computer files on his way out of the governor’s office.” And what was Governor Huckabee’s response to these ethics allegations? Rather than cooperating with investigators, Huckabee sued the state ethics commission twice and attempted to shut the ethics process down.

Some of those ethics complaints were highlighted by many media organizations, one of which was MSNBC and another The Politico.

The ethics commission fined Huckabee $1,000 for failing to report that he paid himself $14,000 from his 1992 U.S. Senate campaign and $43,000 from his 1994 lieutenant governor's campaign.

Huckabee also failed to disclose $23,500 he received from a nonprofit organization set up to handle his speaking engagements.

According to Huckabee’s disclosure reports, he accepted more than 300 gifts worth at least $130,000, ranging from $3,700 cowboy boots to a $600 chainsaw and $250 worth of dental care.

Those are just a small sample of some of the ethics complaints listed against Huckabee.

Other complaints involve Action America, more undisclosed gifts, his Governors Mansion, his wedding registry, and computer drivers.

Number seven on the Judicial Watch's list was Scooter Libby and considering the news influx that surrounded his trial, I think that one is self explanatory.

Libby, former Chief of Staff to Vice President Dick Cheney, was sentenced to 30 months in prison and fined $250,000 for lying and obstructing the Valerie Plame CIA leak investigation. Libby was found guilty of four felonies -- two counts of perjury, one count of making false statements to the FBI and one count of obstructing justice – all serious crimes. Unfortunately, Libby was largely let off the hook. In an appalling lack of judgment, President Bush issued “Executive Clemency” to Libby and commuted the sentence.

Number eight on Judicial Watch's corrupt politicians list is Barack Obama:

In 2006, it was discovered that Obama was involved in a suspicious real estate deal with an indicted political fundraiser, Antoin “Tony” Rezko. In 2007, more reports surfaced of deeper and suspicious business and political connections It was reported that just two months after he joined the Senate, Obama purchased $50,000 worth of stock in speculative companies whose major investors were his biggest campaign contributors. One of the companies was a biotech concern that benefited from legislation Obama pushed just two weeks after the senator purchased $5,000 of the company’s shares. Obama was also nabbed conducting campaign business in his Senate office, a violation of federal law.

Antoin Rezko:

According to the New York Times, Antoin Rezko's company was one of the first campaign donors to Barack Obama as well as holding fund-raisers and rallying support for Obama.

After Rezko was indicted on federal charges of business fraud and influence peddling involving the administration of Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich of Illinois,Barack Obama has given over $21,000 to charity from Rezko's donations from Rezko associates. He also gave away $11,500 from Mr. Rezko himself last fall.

Also reported by the New York Times:

Records show that when Mr. Obama needed cash in the waning days of his losing 2000 Congressional campaign, Mr. Rezko rounded up thousands of dollars from business contacts. In 2003, Mr. Rezko helped Mr. Obama expand his fund-raising for the Senate primary by being host of a dinner at his Mediterranean-style home for 150 people, including some whose names have since come up in the influence scandal.

And when Mr. Obama and his wife, Michelle, bought a house in 2005, Mr. Rezko stepped in again. Even though his finances were deteriorating, Mr. Rezko arranged for his wife to buy an adjacent lot, and she later sold the Obamas a 10-foot-wide strip of land that expanded their yard.

The land sale occurred after it had been reported that Mr. Rezko was under federal investigation. That awkward fact prompted Mr. Obama, who has cast himself as largely free from the normal influences of politics, to express regret over what he called his own bad judgment.

$50,000 worth of stock:

In another New York Times article it was reported that Obama bought more than $50,000 worth of stock in two speculative companies whose major investors included some of his biggest political donors.

One of the companies was a biotech concern that was starting to develop a drug to treat avian flu. In March 2005, two weeks after buying about $5,000 of its shares, Mr. Obama took the lead in a legislative push for more federal spending to battle the disease.

He also bought $50,000 woth of stock in a satellite communications business whose backers include four friends and donors of Obama's and they had raised over $150,000 for his political committees.

Obama's spokesperson claims that his broker had purchased the stocks without consulting Obama.

Number nine of Judicial Watch's list is Nancy Pelosi:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who promised a new era of ethics enforcement in the House of Representatives, snuck a $25 million gift to her husband, Paul Pelosi, in a $15 billion Water Resources Development Act recently passed by Congress. The pet project involved renovating ports in Speaker Pelosi's home base of San Francisco. Pelosi just happens to own apartment buildings near the areas targeted for improvement, and will almost certainly experience a significant boost in property value as a result of Pelosi's earmark. Earlier in the year, Pelosi found herself in hot water for demanding access to a luxury Air Force jet to ferry the Speaker and her entourage back and forth from San Francisco non-stop, in unprecedented request which was wisely rejected by the Pentagon. And under Pelosi’s leadership, the House ethics process remains essentially shut down – which protects members in both parties from accountability.

Everyone remembers Nancy Pelosi's "drain the swamp" comment when she promised to end corruption in Washington, so lets move to the $25 million gift to her husband, which was reported, in May, from the National Ledger and other media sources.

The earmark Pelosi inserted and voted for was a project involving "renovating ports in Speaker Pelosi’s home base of San Francisco. Paul Pelosi just happens to own apartment buildings near the areas targeted for improvement, and will almost certainly experience a significant boost in property value as a result of Pelosi’s earmark."

Last but not least we come to the last name on the Judicial Watch's list, Harry Reid.

Over the last few years, Reid has been embroiled in a series of scandals that cast serious doubt on his credibility as a self-professed champion of government ethics, and 2007 was no different. According to The Los Angeles Times, over the last four years, Reid has used his influence in Washington to help a developer, Havey Whittemore, clear obstacles for a profitable real estate deal. As the project advanced, the Times reported, “Reid received tens of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from Whittemore.” Whittemore also hired one of Reid’s sons (Leif) as his personal lawyer and then promptly handed the junior Reid the responsibility of negotiating the real estate deal with federal officials. Leif Reid even called his father’s office to talk about how to obtain the proper EPA permits, a clear conflict of interest.

Nevada land deal:

The Associated Press broke this story back in back in 2006 with extensive research into the Nevada Land deal that brought Reid $1.1 million dollars, where he did not disclose to Congress an earlier sale in which he transferred his land to a company created by a friend and took a financial stake in that company.

Land deeds obtained by The Associated Press during a review of Reid's business dealings show:

The deal began in 1998 when Reid bought undeveloped residential property on Las Vegas' booming outskirts for about $400,000. Reid bought one lot outright, and a second parcel jointly with Brown. One of the sellers was a developer who was benefiting from a government land swap that Reid supported. The seller never talked to Reid.

In 2001, Reid sold the land for the same price to a limited liability corporation created by Brown. The senator didn't disclose the sale on his annual public ethics report or tell Congress he had any stake in Brown's company. He continued to report to Congress that he personally owned the land.

After getting local officials to rezone the property for a shopping center, Brown's company sold the land in 2004 to other developers and Reid took $1.1 million of the proceeds, nearly tripling the senator's investment. Reid reported it to Congress as a personal land sale.

The whole AP story can be found at Breitbart.

Judicial Watch doesn't even get into the Reid/Abramoff connection and when dealing with corruption and politicians, that is one area which there is enough documentation that it should have been included but perhaps wasn't because investigations are still ongoing.