Sarah Palin supports development of the Pebble Mine - the largest open pit mine in North America. Pebble mine jeapordizes the entire Bristol bay ecosystem which contains the largest sockeye salmon run in the world. The mine would pollute an unprecidented number or rivers, lakes, and bays. Although Palin claims that the mine would create jobs for Alaskans, it will effectively destroy the commercial and sport fishing industry in Bristol Bay - the main source of income for Alaskans in Bristol bay. Pebble Mine's potential for pollution would make the Exxon Valdez oil spill look like a tiny grease stain.
Sarah Palin sues the federal government over listing polar bears as a threatened species. Why? Because it could restrict the oil industry that fills her pockets. This is the same reason she wants to open up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for oil drilling.
Sarah Palin spent $400,000 of state money to "educate" Alaskans about aerial hunting of wolves and bears. State tax money was used to directly influence the outcome of proposition 2 which would have limited aerial shooting of predators. Since Alaskans had previously voted twice to ban aerial shooting of predators, Palin used state tax money to buy support for aerial shooting. Proposition two was voted down on 8/26/08.
Sunday, August 31, 2008
Saturday, August 30, 2008
Four Things Sarah Barracuda Believes About The Environment
1. Palin believes that we should drill in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, which McCain has previously opposed. He's wavered on the issue before, though, so his nomination of Palin may be the tipping point. She also supports offshore drilling.
2. Palin is a proponent of a natural gas pipeline from Alaska's North Slope.
3. Palin has sued the Department of the Interior about putting the polar bear on the endangered species list.
4. Palin supports mining in Bristol Bay, which may disrupt salmon, bears, and caribou.
Posted by Art L aka Wolfdancer at 7:39 AM
Friday, August 29, 2008
NEW YORK - Barack Obama's acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention was seen by more than 38 million people.
Nielsen Media Research said more people watched Obama speak than watched the Olympics opening ceremony in Beijing, the final "American Idol" or the Academy Awards this year. Obama talked before a live audience of 80,000 people in Denver.
His TV audience nearly doubled the amount of people who watched John Kerry accept the Democratic nomination to run against President Bush four years ago. Kerry's speech was seen by just over 20 million people.Obama's audience might be higher, since Nielsen didn't have an estimate for how many people watched Obama on PBS or C-SPAN Thursday night.
BTW: I watched the speech on PBS
Posted by Art L aka Wolfdancer at 3:13 PM
The choice is problematic for McCain on a number of fronts.
- Palin is the least qualified and experienced running mate in the history of the office, having served a total of 20 months in office, and none on the national level.
- Does anyone really want Sarah Palin a heartbeat away from the Presidency should McCain become unable to serve?
- Although known as a reformer, Palin is a product of the corrupt Alaskan political machine, and is even under criminal investigation herself for abusing the power of her office.
- Can she possibly face off against Joe Biden on any issue?
- She pronounces “nuclear” like George Bush. I knew that the GOP ticket wanted to continue Bush’s policies….but four more years of Bushisms too!?
- She supports Obama’s energy plan, all but undercutting the one supposed strength she brings to the ticket.
Rahm Emmanuel pretty much sums it up:
“After trying to make experience the issue of this campaign, John McCain celebrated his 72nd birthday by appointing a former small town mayor and brand new Governor as his Vice Presidential nominee. Is this really who the Republican Party wants to be one heartbeat away from the Presidency? Given Sarah Palin’s lack of experience on every front and on nearly every issue, this Vice Presidential pick doesn’t show judgement: it shows political panic.”
Andrew Sullivan says:
(C)ompare McCain’s pick with Obama’s: a man with solid foreign policy experience, six terms in Washington and real relationships with leaders across the globe.
One pick is by a man of judgment; the other is by a man of vanity.
She may be a fine person, but she’s my age, she has zero Washington experience, and no foreign policy expertise whatsoever.
McCain has just told us how seriously he takes the war we are in. Not seriously at all.
MSNBC has a good pro/con rundown.
Posted by Art L aka Wolfdancer at 3:05 PM
While watching McSame introduce his running mate (See Below) one of the local TV commentators stated that Sarah Palin is the 1st woman to be on a Major Party Presidentual ticket. How stupid can they be? In 1984 Geraldine Ferraro ran with Walter Mondale.
Posted by Art L aka Wolfdancer at 12:22 PM
Posted by Art L aka Wolfdancer at 12:15 PM
Among other things, she supports drilling in Alaska, with limits, she’s pro-life and she’s a fiscal conservative. … Plus, Palin’s an interesting character: a former beauty queen, she was a star high school basketball player (she was known as “Sarah Barracuda” for her intense play). Palin married her childhood sweetheart, a blue collar oil field worker (who is on leave, so as not to create a conflict of interest). She hunts, she fishes, and earlier this year, she posed for Vogue.
Posted by Art L aka Wolfdancer at 11:35 AM
Thursday, August 28, 2008
From Think Progress
Here are some examples (from just this month) of McCain’s so-called “peaceful and stable” Iraq:
– August 9: A suicide car bomb in Tal Afar killed at least 25 people.
– August 24: A suicide bomber killed 25 people, including women and children, in Baghdad’s Abu Ghraib district.
– August 27: A suicide bomber killed 28 and wounded 45 in Iraq’s Diyala province.
Moreover, while U.S. troop deaths in Iraq reached their lowest point since the beginning of the war last month, they are on the rise again. According to icasulaties.org, 20 U.S. military personnel have been killed so far this month in Iraq — up from 13 in July.
But this isn’t the first time McCain’s assessment of the security situation in Iraq has been off. Last May he said the northern city of Mosul was “quiet” despite the fact that a car bomb had killed three and wounded nine there the very same day.
Posted by Art L aka Wolfdancer at 6:18 PM
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
BTW. WTF is wrong with Tom Brokaw? Last night before Hilliary's speech Tom wondered out loud I hope she goes easy on his POW Status.
There are many sites on the web that claim they have the truth about McCains stay in the Hanoi Hilton, some of the documents posted show how he betrayed the troops and other prisoners. I won't post those sites and don't know if it is true or not. I don't really care. What I do care about is that McCain thinks he can get a free pass on many questions just because he was a POW. I care because during the last election the same people supporting McCain swiftboated John Kerry. They complained that he used his Viet Nam experience helped him get where he is. They Just couldn't believe that Kerry was a War Hero. Yet, Like the blind rats they are hang on McCains every word. I'm tired of being over P.O.W.ered by McCain!
Posted by Art L aka Wolfdancer at 11:11 AM
Monday, August 25, 2008
Saturday, August 23, 2008
"We’re in Iraq as the result of a democracy asking for us to come in there. It’s not an invasion. It’s not a takeover. We’re not trying to annex Iraq."
LMFAO @ DICK The Spin is so thick I need HipBoots
Posted by Art L aka Wolfdancer at 1:36 PM
The Bush administration's attempt to change the definition of abortion to include many forms of birth control is its boldest attack yet to limit access and the delivery of crucial information and services.
The repercussions of this initiative will primarily be felt by low-income women and families seeking the healthcare they deserve. If implemented, our statewide network of more than 70, Title X-funded family planning sites may be unable to provide comprehensive information and common contraceptive methods.
We could either be forced to hire employees who will refuse to do their job or risk losing funding because of perceived discriminatory hiring practices.
We could be competing for scarce dollars with entities, such as pregnancy crisis centers, that refuse to provide women with full access. Some pharmacists will not fill certain prescriptions and insurance plans could drop existing equity coverage for contraceptives.
We must ensure that this proposal, which would devastate the nation's network of safety-net providers for low-income women and families, is immediately thwarted.
From The Boston Globe
Posted by Art L aka Wolfdancer at 12:41 PM
Thursday, August 21, 2008
LIMBAUGH: No, he's not. He's -- it's -- to me, it is striking how unqualified Obama is and how this whole thing came about with, within the Democrat Party. I think it really goes back to the fact that nobody had the guts to stand up and say no to a black guy. They just -- they were -- liberal policies are always going to end up strangling liberals, too.
And I think, I think this is a classic illustration here where affirmative action has reared its ugly head against them. It's the reverse of it. They've, they've ended up nominating and placing at the top of their ticket somebody who's not qualified, who has not earned it.
It's perfect affirmative action. And because of all this guilt and the historic nature of things, nobody had the guts to say, well, wait a minute, do we really want to do this?
So they do it and then they start behaving in manners and ways that let us know that they know that they've goofed up with the choice. Actually, it's been somewhat fascinating to watch.
Posted by Art L aka Wolfdancer at 10:14 AM
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Monday, August 18, 2008
Saturday, August 16, 2008
George W. Bush: “Bullying and intimidation are not acceptable ways to conduct foreign policy in the 21st Century.”
BEIJING - AUGUST 10: President of the United States, George W. Bush holds up the American Flag the wrong way before wife Laura Bush instructs him to turn it around at the swimming arena at the National Aquatics Center during day 2 of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games on August 10, 2008 in Beijing, China. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Posted by Art L aka Wolfdancer at 8:16 AM
Friday, August 15, 2008
from Wake Up WalMart
Today, those signatures will be hand-delivered to the FEC, along with a formal complaint against Wal-Mart.
Amazingly, the story keeps getting worse for Wal-Mart. Giving even more credence to the official complaint, the Wall Street Journal just released another story on Wal-Mart's electoral improprieties. Among other things, the story describes a taped political meeting where Wal-Mart managers mislead workers about EFCA and rue the potential of a Democratic win in November. Read the full article here.
Yet again, Wal-Mart has shown it will go to any length to profit at the expense of its workers. Because of you, Wal-Mart will be held accountable--if not in the court of law, then in the court of public opinion.
If you haven't already, you can sign our petition to the FEC here. Below is our press release on the official complaint to the FEC.
Posted by Art L aka Wolfdancer at 6:11 PM
If you've read this blog for awhile you might have seen my rants against a local hate radio show (The Warroom) that went national. Quinn and Rose had another local hater on bring up Obama's Birth Certificate again. When will this silly attack stop?
Obama's Birth Certificate
From Media Matters
Citing "a guy" and "some people," Quinn & Rose guest host Pintek said of Obama: "I'm still not convinced that he actually was born a natural-born citizen"
Summary: On The War Room With Quinn & Rose, guest host Mike Pintek echoed right-wing websites in questioning the authenticity of Sen. Barack Obama's birth certificate, claiming: "I still keep wondering about his birthplace and his birth certificate. I'm still not convinced that he actually was born a natural-born citizen."
PINTEK: That brings us to -- back to Obama. Obama, he takes off, he's in Hawaii now. He claims that's his home. We wonder. I still keep wondering about his birthplace and his birth certificate. I'm still not convinced that he actually was born a natural-born citizen. I'm still not convinced about that. But we may never be able to prove that either without a real, honest-to-God birth certificate. Maybe one does not exist. You know, the one that they post -- they posted doesn't -- that looks like a Photoshop deal. According to some people who know what they're talking about, who are experts on this, they say that the birth certificate that he's got on his website and has been posted to the Daily Kos and some other places, is -- it looks very much like a Photoshop deal and doesn't look legit. So what's he hiding?
CALLER: Isn't there some way, or maybe I'm just wishing, that the Republican Party could file a class-action suit against Democrats -- against Obama demanding that he provide positive proof that he is a bona fide American citizen?
PINTEK: Well, that's a -- it's actually happening in the blogs. It's not a class-action suit. This would -- I don't know how you'd go about this. I guess you'd have to file some kind of a claim with the elections commission that Barack Obama's not a bona fide natural-born citizen and here's why and then force him to prove it. You would have to take -- somebody would have to go to court to do that. You could also continue to make it a campaign issue, as they are in the blogs. This is not an official Republican campaign issue. It's not an official John McCain issue. But this keeps popping up in the blogs, and just -- the last time I filled in for Quinn and Rose, a guy sent me info about his belief that the so-called Barack Obama birth certificate is actually Photoshopped. And he has a close-up there where it looks -- the name is in there, and it is -- and Barack's name appears to have been added later. In other words, it was text over an image of a blank birth certificate, and then you enter text on top of it. And this guy is a webmaster, and he says -- you know, he says, "I work with digital images all the time, and this one looks like it's been tampered with."
And then there's the issue of, you know, under Barack's father's race, it says "African." What? What race is that, exactly? If you -- go look at it -- Certificate of Live Birth, State of Hawaii, Honolulu, Barack Hussein Obama the second, date of birth August 4, 1961. His mother's maiden name: Stanley Ann Durham -- last name is Stanley Ann Durham or Ann Dunham or something like that. Father's name: Barack Hussein Obama. Mother's race: Caucasian. Father's race: African. Wouldn't that be -- wouldn't that be negroid? Or black? Why would you put "African" down there? Kind of weird, isn't it? It's just weird. It's like he's hiding something. Something's not right here. And maybe he is a bona fide natural-born citizen and this could be cleared up very easily. But it's not. So, kind of weird.
Posted by Art L aka Wolfdancer at 5:42 PM
I'm not a big fan of Walt Disney for many reasons. Back in the 60's they would not allow us long haired hippy folks into Disneyland. During the HUAC hearings in the 50's Walt named names.
Walt Disney: Hollywood's Dark Prince by Marc Eliot is a bio that Walts family tried to stop from being published.
However, When it comes to Peter Pan I have most of the books written by James M Barrie as well as many movies (except for the Disney cartoons). I've seen the play on Broadway many times and I thought that Johnny Depp should have won an Oscar for Finding Neverland.
So once again the Disney folks are at it again when it comes to Unions and Strikes. There was a lot of Police violence when Disney cartoonists tried to orgainize in the 30's.
ANAHEIM, Calif. - Cinderella, Snow White, Tinkerbell and other fictional fixtures of modern-day childhood were handcuffed, frisked and loaded into police vans Thursday at the culmination of a labor protest that brought a touch of reality to the Happiest Place on Earth.
The arrest of the 32 protesters, many of whom wore costumes representing famous Disney characters, came at the end of an hour-long march to Disneyland's gates from one of three Disney-owned hotels at the center of a labor dispute.The protesters were arrested on a misdemeanor count of failure to obey a police officer and two traffic infractions, said Sgt. Rick Martinez of the Anaheim police. They were cited and released, Sgt. Chris Schneider said.
'Taking away entitlements stinks'
Bewildered tourists in Disney T-shirts and caps, some pushing strollers, filed past the commotion and gawked at the costumed picketers getting hauled away. The protest shut down a major thoroughfare outside Disneyland and California Adventure for nearly an hour.
"It's changing my opinion of Disneyland," said tourist Amanda Kosato, who was visiting from north of Melbourne, Australia. "Taking away entitlements stinks."
The dispute involves about 2,300 maids, bell hops, cooks and dishwashers at three Disney-owned hotels: the Paradise Pier, the Grand Californian and the Disneyland Hotel.
Two-tier wage system?
The workers' contract expired in February and their union says Disney's latest proposal makes health care unaffordable for hundreds of employees and creates an unfair two-tier wage system. The union also says Disney wants to create a new category of part-time employees who would receive greatly reduced benefits.
"The other hotels around the area all have health care that is provided by the boss and have been able to get wage increases," said Ada Briceno, president of Unite Here Local 681, which represents the workers.
"At the other hotels in the same classification, for the same work, the workers get paid $2 to $3 an hour more."
Those who were arrested sat in a circle on a busy intersection outside the park holding hands until they were placed in plastic handcuffs and led to two police vans while hundreds of hotel workers cheered and chanted.Rest of the Story at MSNBC.com
Posted by Art L aka Wolfdancer at 8:39 AM
I was very happy when I got a digital TV converter a box few months ago. If you don't have cable or a digital TV your gonna need a box by next February. I can't get cable here at the St. Josephs Home for Wayward Men, so with some help from Ms. C I got my digital box. Seems that St. Joes is listed as a Business and the good old US Government (The FCC) will only give those 40 $ discount coupons to private homes.
The two good things about the box are that I don't have to watch the Steelers on snowy fuzzy channels any more (reception is just like cable) and it adds more channels. I now have three PBS stations, two weather channels and RTN (Retro TV Network). RTN plays old TV shows (even has retro commercials). One of those old shows I like to watch is Dragnet. While surfing the web I found the 1st color Dragnet show. I don't know if it will be on RTN cause they have only shown the B&W ones so far. Isn't funny that the 1st color Dragnet is about LSD?
Posted by Art L aka Wolfdancer at 8:01 AM
Thursday, August 14, 2008
Posted by Art L aka Wolfdancer at 12:53 PM
From Wonk Room
Sen. John McCain’s (R-AZ) plan to extend health benefits to veterans living in rural areas of the country received mostly negative reviews on Saturday from veterans attending the Disabled Veterans of America convention in Nevada.
According to the Las Vegas Sun:
Just one of 14 veterans interviewed by the Sun after his speech said he is a certain McCain voter, and the nonpartisan group’s legislative director expressed concerns about McCain’s proposed “Veterans’ Care Access Card.”
Indeed, prominent veterans organizations oppose McCain’s proposal to “give veterans the option to use a simple plastic card to receive timely and accessible care” outside of the VA system.
AMVETS, Disabled American Veterans, Paralyzed Veterans of America, and the Veterans of Foreign Wars all argue that while veterans should have access to private care, providing “rural veterans greater access to VA-sponsored care exclusively through provide providers” may undermine the VA:
- “The VA’s specialized health-care programs…would suffer irreparable impact by the loss of veterans from those programs.”
- “The VA’s medical and prosthetic research program…would lose focus and purpose were service-connected and other enrolled veterans no longer present in VA health care.”
- If veterans turned to private practice, “they would lose the many safeguards built into the VA system through its patient safety program, evidence-based medicine, electronic medical records and bar code medication administration,” resulting in “lower quality of care for those who deserve it most.”
Currently, the VA “outpaces other systems in delivering patient care.” A recent study by the RAND corporation found that “VA patients were more likely to receive recommended care” and “received consistently better care across the board, including screening, diagnosis, treatment and follow up”Rather than taking veterans out of a system that consistently delivers “higher quality of care,” McCain should expand its services and improve access. As the RAND study concludes, “if other health care providers followed the VA’s lead, it would be a major step toward improving the quality of care across the U.S. health care system.”
Posted by Art L aka Wolfdancer at 12:48 PM
Posted by Art L aka Wolfdancer at 12:43 PM
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Randy Scheunemann, Sen. John McCain’s (R-AZ) top foreign policy adviser, “prepped his boss for an April 17 phone call with the president of Georgia” and then helped McCain “prepare a strong statement of support for the fledgling republic.” That day, Scheunemann’s lobbying firm “signed a $200,000 contract to continue providing strategic advice to the Georgian government.”
Posted by Art L aka Wolfdancer at 10:54 AM
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
WASHINGTON — Just months before President Bush leaves office, his administration is antagonizing environmentalists by proposing changes that would allow federal agencies to decide for themselves whether subdivisions, dams, highways and other projects have the potential to harm endangered animals and plants.
The proposal, first reported by The Associated Press, would cut out the advice of government scientists who have been weighing in on such decisions for 35 years. Agencies also could not consider a project's contribution to global warming in their analysis.
Reaction was swift from Democrats and environmental groups.
The chairman of the House committee that oversees the Interior Department, Rep. Nick Rahall, D-W.Va., said he was "deeply troubled." Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., head of the Senate's environment committee, said Bush's plan was illegal. Environmentalists complained the proposals would gut protections for endangered animals and plants.
"This proposed rule ... gives federal agencies an unacceptable degree of discretion to decide whether or not to comply with the Endangered Species Act," Rahall said.
Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne defended the revisions, saying they were needed to ensure that the Endangered Species Act would not be used as a "back door" to regulate the gases blamed for global warming.
If approved, the changes would represent the biggest overhaul of endangered species regulations since 1986 and accomplish through rules what conservative Republicans have been unable to achieve in Congress: ending some environmental reviews that developers and other federal agencies blame for delays and cost increases on many projects.
In May, the polar bear became the first species declared as threatened because of climate change. Warming temperatures are expected to melt the sea ice the bear depends on for survival.We need to focus our efforts where they will do the most good," Kempthorne said in a news conference arranged hastily after the AP reported details of the proposal. "It is important to use our time and resources to protect the most vulnerable species. It is not possible to draw a link between greenhouse gas emissions and distant observations of impacts on species."
The rule changes unveiled Monday would apply to any project a federal agency would fund, build or authorize that the agency itself determines is unlikely to harm endangered wildlife and their habitat. Government wildlife experts currently participate in tens of thousands of such reviews each year.
The revisions also would limit which effects can be considered harmful and set a 60-day deadline for wildlife experts to evaluate a project when they are asked to become involved. If no decision is made within 60 days, the project can move ahead.
"If adopted, these changes would seriously weaken the safety net of habitat protections that we have relied upon to protect and recover endangered fish, wildlife and plants for the past 35 years," said John Kostyack, executive director of the National Wildlife Federation's Wildlife Conservation and Global Warming initiative.
Under current law, federal agencies must consult with experts at the Fish and Wildlife Service or the National Marine Fisheries Service to determine whether a project is likely to jeopardize any endangered species or to damage habitat, even if no harm seems likely. This initial review usually results in accommodations that better protect the 1,353 animals and plants in the U.S. listed as threatened or endangered and determines whether a more formal analysis is warranted.
The new rules were expected to be formally proposed in the next couple of days, officials said. They would be subject to a 30-day public comment period before being finalized by the Interior and Commerce departments. That would give the administration enough time to impose the rules before November's presidential election. A new administration could freeze any pending regulations or reverse them, a process that could take months. Congress could also overturn the rules through legislation, but that could take even longer.
Between 1998 and 2002, the Fish and Wildlife Service conducted 300,000 consultations. The National Marine Fisheries Service, which evaluates projects affecting marine species, conducts about 1,300 reviews each year.
Some federal agencies and private developers say that process has killed or delayed some worthwhile projects.
"Over the years, the Endangered Species Act has become a regulatory nightmare that kills or stalls even the most well-crafted land-use projects," said Rob Rivett, president of the Pacific Legal Foundation, a group that supports property rights and limited government. "The economy suffers, people suffer, rational environmental planning suffers. Some careful streamlining is long overdue."
Posted by Art L aka Wolfdancer at 10:49 AM
Monday, August 11, 2008
by By N. BRUCE DUTHU NY Times
ONE in three American Indian women will be raped in their lifetimes, statistics gathered by the United States Department of Justice show. But the odds of the crimes against them ever being prosecuted are low, largely because of the complex jurisdictional rules that operate on Indian lands. Approximately 275 Indian tribes have their own court systems, but federal law forbids them to prosecute non-Indians. Cases involving non-Indian offenders must be referred to federal or state prosecutors, who often lack the time and resources to pursue them.
The situation is unfair to Indian victims of all crimes — burglary, arson, assault, etc. But the problem is greatest in the realm of sexual violence because rapes and other sexual assaults on American Indian women are overwhelmingly interracial. More than 80 percent of Indian victims identify their attacker as non-Indian. (Sexual violence against white and African-American women, in contrast, is primarily intraracial.) And American Indian women who live on tribal lands are more than twice as likely to be raped or sexually assaulted as other women in the United States, Justice Department statistics show.
Rapes against American Indian women are also exceedingly violent; weapons are used at rates three times that for all other reported rapes.
Congress should step in and clearly establish the authority of Indian tribes to investigate and prosecute all crimes occurring on Indian lands — no matter whether tribal members or nonmembers are involved.
Historically, Indian tribes have exercised full authority over everyone within Indian lands. A number of the early federal treaties expressly noted a tribe’s power to punish non-Indians. Toward the latter part of the 19th-century, however, federal policy shifted away from tribal self-government in favor of an effort to dismantle tribal government systems. Criminal law enforcement, especially in cases involving non-Indians, increasingly came to be viewed as a federal or state matter.
Thirty years ago, the Supreme Court formalized the prohibition against tribes prosecuting non-Indians with its decision in Oliphant v. Suquamish Indian Tribe. In this case, a Pacific Northwest tribe was attempting to try two non-Indian residents of the Port Madison Reservation for causing trouble during the annual Chief Seattle Days celebration — one for assaulting an officer and resisting arrest and the other for recklessly endangering another person and harming tribal property. The court held that the tribe, as a “domestic dependent nation,” did not possess the full measure of sovereignty enjoyed by states and the national government, especially when it came to the affairs of non-Indian citizens.
Then in 1990, the court extended its Oliphant ruling to cases involving tribal prosecution of Indian offenders who are not members of that tribe. Congress subsequently passed new legislation to reaffirm the power of tribes to prosecute non-member Indian offenders, but it left the Oliphant ruling intact.
This means that when non-Indian men commit acts of sexual violence against Indian women, federal or state prosecutors must fill the jurisdictional void. But law enforcement in sexual violence cases in Indian country is haphazard at best, recent studies show, and it rarely leads to prosecution and conviction of non-Indian offenders. The Department of Justice’s own records show that in 2006, prosecutors filed only 606 criminal cases in all of Indian country. With more than 560 federally recognized tribes, that works out to a little more than one criminal prosecution for each tribe.
Even if outside prosecutors had the time and resources to handle crimes on Indian land more efficiently, it would make better sense for tribal governments to have jurisdiction over all reservation-based crimes. Given their familiarity with the community, cultural norms and, in many cases, understanding of distinct tribal languages, tribal governments are in the best position to create appropriate law enforcement and health care responses — and to assure crime victims, especially victims of sexual violence, that a reported crime will be taken seriously and handled expeditiously.
Congress should enact legislation to overrule the Oliphant decision and reaffirm the tribes’ full criminal and civil authority over all activities on tribal lands. This law should also lift the sentencing constraints imposed in 1968 that restrict the criminal sentences that tribal courts can impose to one year in jail and a $5,000 fine. In cases of rape, state court sentences typically exceed 8 years, while federal sentences are more than 12 years. Tribes should have the latitude to impose comparable sanctions. (A bill pending in Congress would extend tribal sentencing authority to three years, with more latitude in cases of domestic violence, but its prospects of passage are uncertain.)
Congress recently allocated $750 million for enhancing public safety in Indian country. This money will help tribes hire and train more police, build detention facilities and augment federal investigative and prosecutorial capacity for Indian country crimes. Ideally, the grant process will be efficient enough to make sure that this money reaches the places most in need.
But financial aid will not be enough to stop sexual violence against Indian women. Tribal courts have grown in sophistication over the past 30 years, and they take seriously the work of administering justice. Congress must support their efforts by closing the legal gaps that allow violent criminals to roam Indian country unchecked.
N. Bruce Duthu, a professor of Native American studies at Dartmouth, is the author of “American Indians and the Law
Posted by Art L aka Wolfdancer at 6:52 PM
With Obama vacationing this week, the McCain campaign is planning on hammering him about jobs. Odd that. Because as this new DNC ad shows, jobs, at least, American jobs are definitely not a strong suit in McCain’s economy.
AFL-CIO blog: (May’08)
(W)e learned one of McCain’s fundraisers lobbied for the Colombian government, pushing an anti-worker trade deal that McCain supports (despite the fact that dozens of union members are killed every month). This week, it comes out that McCain is taking his economic advice from a former lobbyist for a bank with interests in the housing market. And already there’s another revelation about someone on McCain’s campaign staff: One of his top money men is responsible for outsourcing thousands of jobs.
Hat tip to Cliff Schecter at Firedoglake who yesterday wrote how McCain top adviser, Randy Altschuler, is the founder of OfficeTiger, a company based in Chennai, India. OfficeTiger’s mission was to convince U.S. companies to outsource jobs to India-and it seems Altschuler has been quite successful in shipping out U.S. jobs.
Now, its business in a tailspin, DHL wants to combine operations with rival United Parcel Service and close its huge hub here. If the merger goes through, community officials and union leaders warn, staggering job losses will eviscerate the economy and the social fabric of nine struggling counties in southeast Ohio.
“Never before have so many people been abandoned at once,” said (Ohio resident Mary) Houghtaling, who runs a local hospice. “It is inconceivable to think about losing 10,000 jobs in the first wave, and the estimates run in the 30,000 range as the wave continues.”
But on Wednesday, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported that McCain’s campaign manager, Rick Davis, previously worked as a lobbyist for the German group, Deutsche Post World Net, and was paid $185,000 to help engineer the 2003 deal, plus another $405,000 for other work.
…to his work nixing the Boeing deal with the Air Force that may cost jobs in 40 states, but has benefited his lobbyist/campaigners:
But last week, McCain’s subsequent effort to redo the tanker deal was dealt a setback. Government auditors ruled that the Air Force made “significant errors” when it rebid the contract and awarded the $35 billion project to Boeing’s chief rival, partners European Aeronautic Defense and Space Co. (or EADS) and Northrop Grumman. It’s likely the Air Force will have to redo the bid yet again, which analysts say will delay the replacement of the fleet’s 1950s-era refueling tankers. The auditors’ ruling has also cast light on an overlooked aspect of McCain’s crusade: five of his campaign’s top advisers and fund-raisers-including Tom Loeffler, who resigned last month as his finance co-chairman, and Susan Nelson, his finance director-were registered lobbyists for EADS.
Posted by Art L aka Wolfdancer at 2:16 PM
Saturday, August 9, 2008
Last night in the Steelers 1st preseason game Charlie Batch suffered a broken collar bone. Charlie is one of the best, if not the best backup quarterback in the NFL. Off the field Charlie has done much for his hometown of Homestead PA as well as Pittsburgh.
Link to The Batch Foundation
Posted by Art L aka Wolfdancer at 8:09 PM
Friday, August 8, 2008
Thursday, August 7, 2008
Posted by Art L aka Wolfdancer at 3:28 PM
With new disclosures that the Administration tried to "cook the books at the CIA" by creating a phony, forged link between Al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein, "We cannot step back and let this President escape accountability."
If you have already signed the impeachment petition at www.kucinich.us, thank you. If you haven't, please do. And, in the next few weeks, please ask just one more person to sign so we can let the members of Congress hear our collective demand that they meet their obligation to uphold the Constitution.
Posted by Art L aka Wolfdancer at 3:20 PM
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
From Think Progress
In a series of public events today, John McCain has ramped up his disingenuous attack on the impact proper tire inflation can have in saving energy. At a rally in South Dakota, a hyper McCain yelled to the crowd: “My opponent doesn’t want to drill. He doesn’t want nuclear power. He wants you to inflate your tires.” Earlier in the day, he said: “We’re not going to achieve energy independence by inflating our tires.”
Of course, Obama has never suggested that proper tire pressure would “achieve energy independence.” McCain’s insincere demagoguing of this issue overlooks a crucial and important fact – ensuring proper tire pressure is a better and more immediate response than oil drilling to the nation’s pain at the pump.
In a post on the Wonk Room, Charles Territo, the director of communications for the Auto Alliance (which represents Chrysler, Ford, and GM, among others), notes some facts McCain should keep in mind:
• The Department of Energy estimates that 1.2 billion gallons of fuel were wasted in 2005 as a result of driving on under-inflated tires.
• Fuel efficiency is reduced by 1% for every 3 PSI that tires are under-inflated.
• Proper tire inflation can save the equivalent of about 1 tank of gas per year.
• Proper tire inflation also reduces CO2 emissions.
• Experts estimate that 25% of automobiles are running on tires with lower than recommended pressure, because people don’t know how to check their tires or don’t realize that tires naturally lose air over time.
Territo notes that the Auto Alliance sponsored tire pressure checks for members of Congress and their staff last week. “Surprisingly, we found that most drivers had tires between 5 and 7 pounds under inflated — some had tires under-inflated by as much as 20 pounds,” he writes. “This significantly reduced their vehicle’s fuel economy.” If conservatives truly want to take immediate action on energy, they can stop wasting time on political stunts and start checking their tires.
Posted by Art L aka Wolfdancer at 8:15 AM
By SEN. JOE BIDEN • July 9, 2008
When you first hear the idea "let's allow offshore drilling and it will cut gas prices," it sounds like it makes sense, especially when gas is more than $4 a gallon. But the facts say otherwise.
The only way we can achieve energy and climate security in this country is to reduce our dependence on oil.
Unfortunately, President Bush and Sen. John McCain are trying to sell us on the oil companies' old argument that repealing the 27-year old moratorium on drilling in protected areas offshore will lower gas prices. Americans need to put this tired debate to rest. Our security -- both here at home and abroad -- depends on it.
First, the oil companies in this country now hold 7,000 leases to drill offshore, yet only 20 percent of those leases are producing oil. That is 68 million acres for which they already have the rights to drill. Nearly 80 percent of our offshore oil is already available for leasing -- approximately 54 billion barrels total. They could be drilling in these areas, but they are not.
Assuming oil companies drilled in new areas, it would take at least a decade for new production to begin. Just last week, the U.S. Energy Information Administration concluded new drilling would have no impact on oil prices before 2030.
Prices would still be determined by the world market, which will be adding billions of new consumers from growing economies in China, India and other countries.
OPEC countries control two- thirds of the world's oil reserves. If we add a bit more oil to the market, they can cut their own output to keep prices high.
Moreover, the majority of the world's oil is in unstable regions. Prices surge when officials threaten to attack Iran or raids shut down production in Nigeria.
Here in Delaware, we are paying $10 more a day for gas -- around $3,600 a year -- than we were seven years ago. That is a bite out of a family's budget.
During the same period, permits for new oil drilling leases increased by 361 percent. Put simply, allowing more drilling does not equal cheaper gas.
Instead, we should be talking about a cleaner, more fuel-efficient future. Oil companies have the money to make new investments. In the first quarter of this year, the five largest domestic oil companies made $37 billion in profits. Since 2001, the number is close to $600 billion.
We should take back tax breaks for big oil companies, which total more than $2 billion over 10 years, and invest in green energy technology. We should have a windfall profits tax to fund everything from mass transit to high-speed rail to the next generation of safe, efficient cars. Finally, we should restrict speculation and price-gouging, and stand up to OPEC's monopoly.
We need solutions of the future, not drilling ourselves deeper into dependence on oil.
U.S. Sen. Joe Biden of Delaware, a Democrat, serves on the Foreign Relations and Judiciary Committees.
Posted by Art L aka Wolfdancer at 8:07 AM
Sunday, August 3, 2008
Wal-Mart to Employees: Don't Vote for Democrats
by Kathy G, The G-Spot at 10:57 AM on August 1, 2008.
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is mobilizing its store managers and department supervisors around the country to warn that if Democrats win power in November, they'll likely change federal law to make it easier for workers to unionize companies -- including Wal-Mart.
In recent weeks, thousands of Wal-Mart store managers and department heads have been summoned to mandatory meetings at which the retailer stresses the downside for workers if stores were to be unionized.
What are they worried about, exactly?
It seems to boil down to this: they're very, very worried that the Employee Free Choice Act (otherwise known as "card check") will pass, and that this will make it easier to organize unions in Wal-Mart stores. Just yesterday I was writing with some skepticism that this legislation might not live up to its proponents' claims, but maybe I was wrong, and it will turn out to be more effective than I thought. And maybe the Dems pose more of a threat to the economic powers that be than I often think they do. Also, I must say, sentences like the following put a spring in my step and a song in my heart:
The actions by Wal-Mart -- the nation's largest private employer -- reflect a growing concern among big business that a reinvigorated labor movement could reverse years of declining union membership.
As the article documents, it's not just Wal-Mart that's up in arms over card check -- the entire business community is very, very concerned as well. They're putting big bucks behind the effort to torpedo this legislation. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is part of the anti-card check campaign, and I practically did a spit take reading what their spokesman had to say about it: "This is a David-and-Goliath confrontation, but we believe we'll have enough stones in the sling to knock this out."
There's plenty of other great stuff in the article as well. For one thing -- oopsy! -- it looks like those politically oriented meetings with employees may be against the law:
Wal-Mart may be walking a fine legal line by holding meetings with its store department heads that link politics with a strong antiunion message. Federal election rules permit companies to advocate for specific political candidates to its executives, stockholders and salaried managers, but not to hourly employees. While store managers are on salary, department supervisors are hourly workers.
A Wal-Mart spokesman denies that employees were being told how to vote:
"If anyone representing Wal-Mart gave the impression we were telling associates how to vote, they were wrong and acting without approval," said David Tovar, Wal-Mart spokesman. Mr. Tovar acknowledged that the meetings were taking place for store managers and supervisors nationwide.
Sounds good -- except:
"The meeting leader said, 'I am not telling you how to vote, but if the Democrats win, this bill will pass and you won't have a vote on whether you want a union,'" said a Wal-Mart customer-service supervisor from Missouri. "I am not a stupid person. They were telling me how to vote," she said.
Anyway, as they say, read the whole thing.
Posted by Art L aka Wolfdancer at 6:19 AM