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This is the moron that Democrats want to lead us?

Discussion in 'Legal' started by Greg Bell, Jan 3, 2004.

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  1. Greg Bell

    Greg Bell Member

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    Reports: Dean was warned on lax Vermont security

    By JOHN SOLOMON and DAVID GRAM
    Associated Press


    Presidential hopeful Howard Dean, who accuses President Bush of being weak on homeland security, was warned repeatedly as Vermont governor about security lapses at his state's nuclear power plant and was told the state was ill-prepared for a disaster at its most attractive terrorist target.


    The warnings, according to documents obtained by The Associated Press, began in 1991 when a group of students were brought into a secure area of the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant without proper screening. On at least two occasions, a gun or mock terrorists passed undetected into the plant during security tests.


    During Dean's final year in office in 2002, an audit concluded that despite a decade of repeated warnings of poor safety at Vermont Yankee, Dean's administration was poorly prepared for a nuclear disaster.


    "The lack of funding and overarching coordination at the state level directly impacts the ability of the state, local and power plant planners to be adequately prepared for a real emergency at Vermont Yankee," state Auditor Elizabeth M. Ready wrote in a study issued five months after the Sept. 11 attacks.


    Security was so lax at Vermont Yankee that in August 2001, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission staged a drill in which three mock terrorists gained access to the plant. The agency gave Vermont Yankee the worst security rating among the nation's 103 reactors.


    The NRC has primary responsibility for safety at Vermont Yankee. But Vermont laws required an active state role by creating a panel to review security and performance and requiring plant operators to set aside money for the state to use in the event of a nuclear disaster.


    Dean's campaign said Saturday it ultimately was the federal government's responsibility to ensure security at the plant, but that he badgered Vermont Yankee's operators and the NRC to make improvements during the 1990s.


    "After September 11, Governor Dean decided the buck stops here in terms of security and personally ran this effort, creating a Cabinet-level agency," spokesman Jay Carson said.


    Carson acknowledged there were weaknesses before 2002 in Vermont's nuclear preparedness, and Dean moved quickly afterward to place state troopers and National Guardsman at the plant, distribute radiation pills to civilians, demand a federal no-fly zone over the plant to prevent an aerial attack, and increase emergency preparedness funding.


    "As many have said before, hindsight is 20-20 and no one could have predicted what could have happened on a terrible day in September 2001," Carson said.


    "In retrospect, every state in the entire country could have been safer. The important thing is after Governor Dean recognized these vulnerabilities, he took swift, bold steps to make things better," Carson said.


    State Auditor Ready, a Democrat and Dean backer, agreed things improved after her critical 2002 report and that security tests this year showed Vermont Yankee was safer. "Once Governor Dean got that report there was swift and thorough action," she said.


    But even after Ready's report recommended the state's nuclear preparedness spending triple from $400,000 to $1.2 million, Dean budgeted only half the increase.


    That led Dean's state emergency management director, Ed von Turkovich, to tell the Legislature in 2002 that the increase to $800,000 "does not cover the expenses related to the program" and that Vermont's nuclear preparedness was "in trouble, grossly underfunded, under-resourced and has been for years."


    The lack of preparedness was blamed in the 2002 audit on inadequate funds. "Vermont receives the least amount of funding for its Radiological Emergency Response Plan, in total dollars, of any New England state that hosts a nuclear power plant," the audit disclosed.


    The audit was not the first warning to Dean, documents show.


    On Feb. 14, 2000, von Turkovich wrote Dean's top deputy, Administration Secretary Kathleen Hoyt, expressing concern the state was not forcing Vermont Yankee, which was up for sale, to set aside more money for preparedness.


    "We are sympathetic to the utility's concern for controlling costs with respect to the pending sale of the plant and have committed to expend additional state and federal resources to subsidize this program in the coming year," von Turkovich wrote.


    "However, I believe in the near future, the present or new owners will need to broaden their level of support for preparedness activities that need to be accomplished on behalf of the communities that reside in the Emergency Planning Zone," he wrote.


    The documents contrast with Dean's position as a presidential candidate who has portrayed himself as more concerned about nuclear security than Bush.


    "Our most important challenge will be to address the most dangerous threat of all: catastrophic terrorism using weapons of mass destruction," Dean said in his speech in Los Angeles last month. "Here, where the stakes are highest, the current administration has, remarkably, done the least."


    Dean also has suggested Bush was unprepared before and after Sept. 11 to fight terrorism. "We are in danger of losing the war on terror, because we are fighting it with the strategies of the past," the Democratic candidate said.


    The Vermont documents show Dean and his top aides received numerous warnings about Vermont Yankee.


    In August 1991, an aide sent a handwritten memo to Dean saying there was a "security error" at Vermont Yankee that was "not public."


    A group of students "on a tour were taken into a secure area without checking through security first," the aide wrote, saying the matter was minor but would be disclosed to federal regulators. Dean initialed the memo, indicating he read it.


    In 1992, the NRC provided information to Dean about "declining performances at Vermont Yankee in three important areas: plant security, engineering/technical support and safety assessment/quality verification," documents show.


    Dean responded by writing the head of the plant that the problems could "have an impact on the health and safety of the people of Vermont" and "it is my expectation that you will do all in your power to correct this declining trend." It was one of several such letters he wrote.


    Just months later, the Vermont Nuclear Advisory Panel, a state panel, reported that it was concerned about two nuclear fuel mishandling incidents at the plant. "The panel finds it unacceptable that the fuel handling incidents occurred as a result of complacent operator and management actions," the panel reported.


    Environmental groups sent Dean repeated letters about the plant's security and safety. During a 1998 federal security test, mock terrorists sneaked a fake gun past security and six times scaled, undetected, the plant's security perimeter fence.


    The 1998 test was alarming because seven years earlier, protesters had managed to breach the same security by scaling the fence or rafting down an adjacent river. The 2001 security test again penetrated Vermont Yankee's security.


    Ready's audit in 2002 questioned why, with so many warnings about safety, Dean's administration had significantly fewer people committed to nuclear emergency planning than neighboring states.


    "Unlike its nearest counterparts, Vermont's Division of Emergency Management has only one full-time and two part-time staff to support" its emergency response program, she wrote. "New Hampshire has nearly 20 full- and part-time staff as well as consultants, while Massachusetts has more than 20 full-time staff to carry out" its program.
     
  2. greyhound

    greyhound Member

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    Not a lot of national spotlight shines on you when you are the Governor of a small state. But if you decide to run for a national office look out!

    Take all the shananigans dug up about Bill Clinton in 1992.

    On the other hand, they didn't seem to slow his momentum much.
     
  3. Daedalus

    Daedalus Member

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    Sealing loads of documents before his presidential bid may be the smartest thing Dean ever did if the dirt peeking from under the edges of the figurative carpet is any indication. Do the Democrats really think Dean is going to lead them away from the secrecy of the Bush admin into some kind of American executive branch Glasnost?
     
  4. w4rma

    w4rma member

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    Bush didn't handle security at this nuclear very well (the federal government provided security for this plant) and he wanted Gov. Dean to raise state taxes on the folks in Vermont to do it in order to pay for his huge federal tax cuts for the super wealthy.

    It was like that all over the country (47% of the plants failed this test).

    Maybe Bush should have funded the security at the plant, instead of redirecting resources towards federal tax cuts for the super wealthy and allowing 9.11 to happen?

    'The goal of the NRC’s Operational Safeguards Response Evaluation (OSRE) over the past few years has been to assess the ability of nuclear plant security to repel armed terrorists. But at 47% of the plants tested, mock intruders were able to reach vital targets inside the plant and simulate destruction of enough equipment TO CAUSE A REACTOR MELTDOWN with a potentially devastating release of radiation.'
    http://www.ncwarn.org/media/past nc warn nr/nr-05-09-01securityfails.htm
     
  5. Glock Glockler

    Glock Glockler Member

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    Bush didn't handle security at this nuclear very well...

    What does this have to do with anything, the thread was about Dean being a moron? Dean doesnt become less of a moron because Bush is also a moron.

    and he wanted Gov. Dean to raise state taxes on the folks in Vermont to do it in order to pay for his huge federal tax cuts for the super wealthy

    1 - I am not wealthy by any means but I did get a nice little break in my tax bill, and I'm grateful for it, in fact, I want more of it. The tax cuts were to all that pay taxes, it's just that those evil wealthy people make a lot more so they pay disproportionately more.

    2 - There is no free lunch. There will be a cost to doing something regardless of whether or not it's done by the Feds or by the States. I dont know where you got this notion that it was free when the Feds did it and not it costs something because the states are doing it.

    Maybe Bush should have funded the security at the plant, instead of redirecting resources towards federal tax cuts for the super wealthy and allowing 9.11 to happen?

    Do you really think that Bush knew about 911 before it happened, that he had some big Red button on his desk that would have blown up the hijackers when pushed, and simply refused to do so? What is to stop me from taking a steak knife, slitting the throat of a trucker who's driving a rig full of chemicals, and running it into a resovoir? I guess it's the fault of Bush and the Republicans if I pull it off.

    Do yourself a favor, take off the silly partisan glasses and try to view things objectively. I'm no fan of Bush and the Republicans, but that doesnt mean that everything is automatically their fault and that the opposing group will lead us to the promised land.
     
  6. Thumper

    Thumper Member

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    Glock, you have no idea of the depths of depravity of some of the DemocraticUnderground folks...perfect example; here's the current most recent thread at DU:

    He thinks we caused the frockin' earthquake...what does that tell you?

    Dean's an idiot leading idiots.
     
  7. Langenator

    Langenator Member

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    I'm still trying to figure something out...the tax cuts for the super rich (which I, a lowly Army Captain, apparently qualify as, since they dropped my taxes) cause lack of funding for Government projects X, Y, and Z, among many, and funding shortages at the state level. Refresh my memory, but when did President Bush veto a single spending bill? Hasn't the small government wing of the GOP been in an uproar ever since the Farm and Education bills?

    Nevermind the fact that the tax cuts are pulling the economy around, or that the state's budget problems are the result of their own inability to stop spending, and basing their revenue figures on best-case economic scenarios.

    Oh, and according to the article, the problems started in 1991, and continued until 2001...can somebody refresh my memory as to who was President for most of that time period?
     
  8. Jeff Thomas

    Jeff Thomas Member

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    w4rma ... super wealthy? Wow. Do you still believe in the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus as well?

    I suppose by super wealthy you mean those of us who actually pay income taxes? Go read the law, friend, and notice what income levels were impacted by the tax cuts. I didn't see you or any other "progressives" lining up to help pay my room and board for the 6 years I went to college ... and ended up earning my high tax rate.

    Frankly, I truly hope Dean scores the nomination. Bush is no picnic, but I always love watching Democrats discuss their fairyland version of national and personal security. Truly exquisite naivete.

    Regards from TX
     
  9. Balog

    Balog Member

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    As has been mentioned before, security at all nuclear facilities in CONUS is very lax. I grew up a few miles from the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating station. Out of the eight members of my immediate family, seven either helped to build or worked in the plant at one time or another. Believe me, you'd wet your pants if you knew how poorly it was guarded. Blaming Dean for the security of this plant is like blaming Dubya for every member of the Armed Forces who commits a crime. I don't like Dean at all, but I think he has enough problems that his opponents don't need to exaggerate and propagandize to make a case against him.
     
  10. Standing Wolf

    Standing Wolf Member in memoriam

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    Five and a half beers short of a six-pack.
     
  11. w4rma

    w4rma member

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    Nuclear security mocked in plutonium raids

    October 8, 2003

    New York: Security at nuclear weapons laboratories in the United States is so lax that they have repeatedly failed drills in which mock terrorists captured radioactive material and escaped, an article in the magazine Vanity Fair says.

    "Some of the facilities would fail year after year," said Rich Levernier, a federal employee who ran simulated "war games" to test security at the nuclear weapons facilities until he lost his security clearance in 2001.

    The article, written by a veteran nuclear industry reporter, Mark Hertsgaard, quotes Mr Levernier as saying teams of mock terrorists ran attack drills on the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico and other premises.

    "In more than 50 per cent of our tests at the Los Alamos facility, we got in, captured the plutonium, got out again, and in some cases didn't fire a shot, because we didn't encounter any guards," he said in the article.

    These failures occurred despite the security forces at the laboratories knowing the dates of the drills months in advance.

    The report says Mr Levernier, a 22-year veteran of the US Department of Energy, was stripped of his security clearance after he faxed an unclassified document to The Washington Post.

    He has filed a Whistleblower Protection Act lawsuit against the department, arguing he was illegally removed from his duties.

    Anson Franklin, a spokesman for the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), told the magazine the lawsuit prevented him from commenting, but he denied that nuclear-weapons facilities are vulnerable to attack.

    "The impression has been given that these tests are staged like football games, with winners and losers," he said. "But the whole idea of these exercises is to test for weaknesses. We want to find them before any adversaries could, and then make adjustments."

    A statement from the NNSA said the incidents cited by Mr Levernier occurred from 1996 to 1999 and noted that the Bush Administration and Energy Department had increased security funding by more than 50 per cent "to ensure that our nuclear weapons materials are not vulnerable to terrorist attack".

    The report said a second whistleblower, Chris Steele, formerly the DOE's senior safety official at Los Alamos, sounded an alarm after he received a safety report last October for the Radioactive Liquid Waste Treatment Facility at Los Alamos.

    Lab officials had analysed various scenarios, including an aircraft crashing into the radioactive waste, and concluded that although such a crash would cause hundreds of thousands of litres of nuclear waste to catch fire, the fire would be put out by the facility's roof-sprinklers.

    "That must be a magical sprinkler system," Mr Steele said, "since it's apparently able to rise up from the rubble, turn itself on, and put out the flames. We should buy one of those for every nuclear plant in the country."

    The Los Alamos laboratory, which was where the first atomic bomb was developed, has faced a series of security lapses in recent years, including a lost hard drive in 2000 that contained classified information. The drive was later found behind a photocopier.

    Associated Press, Reuters
    http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2003/10/07/1065292588799.html
     
  12. Glock Glockler

    Glock Glockler Member

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    w4rma,

    Wow, you know how to use the cut-and-paste function, that's great.

    Perhaps you can elevate my opinion of Democrats and at least attempt to refute some of the points raised.
     
  13. w4rma

    w4rma member

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    What does this have to do with anything, the thread was about Dean being a moron? Dean doesnt become less of a moron because Bush is also a moron.

    This thread should be one about Bush being the moron who *still* hasn't properly funded homeland security in the states. And (see the above article I posted) Bush still hasn't properly dealt with security at nuclear reactors across the country, even after 9.11.

    1 - I am not wealthy by any means but I did get a nice little break in my tax bill, and I'm grateful for it, in fact, I want more of it. The tax cuts were to all that pay taxes, it's just that those evil wealthy people make a lot more so they pay disproportionately more.

    You got a federal tax cut, depending on your circumstances. You got a state tax increase, depending on your circumstances. The GOP leadership increased federal spending, increased deficit spending, thereby increased future taxes from SOMEBODY in America. The GOP leadership has decreased the number of jobs available thereby stagnateing or decreasing mean American salaries.

    2 - There is no free lunch. There will be a cost to doing something regardless of whether or not it's done by the Feds or by the States. I dont know where you got this notion that it was free when the Feds did it and not it costs something because the states are doing it.

    Unfunded mandates seem to be the norm since the GOP got into power. (Super wealthy, maybe American, contributors get paid back their donations + profit. Everyone else gets shafted.)

    Do you really think that Bush knew about 911 before it happened, that he had some big Red button on his desk that would have blown up the hijackers when pushed, and simply refused to do so? What is to stop me from taking a steak knife, slitting the throat of a trucker who's driving a rig full of chemicals, and running it into a resovoir? I guess it's the fault of Bush and the Republicans if I pull it off.

    I said Bush "allow(ed) 9.11 to happen". But I didn't say he knew it was going to happen or tried to make it happen. IMHO, what happened was he ignored the warnings by the CIA and the FBI and former Clinton officials and folks on the Hart-Rudman/Gore-Commision who were trying to warn Bush to enact some of the stuff they had proposed, but that he had tossed into the wastebasket upon taking office.

    Also:
    FBI and US Spy Agents Say Bush Spiked Bin Laden Probes Before 11 September

    FBI and military intelligence officials in Washington say they were prevented for political reasons from carrying out full investigations into members of the Bin Laden family in the US before the terrorist attacks of September 11.

    US intelligence agencies have come under criticism for their wholesale failure to predict the catastrophe at the World Trade Centre. But some are complaining that their hands were tied.

    FBI documents shown on BBC Newsnight last night and obtained by the Guardian show that they had earlier sought to investigate two of Osama bin Laden's relatives in Washington and a Muslim organisation, the World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY), with which they were linked.

    The FBI file, marked Secret and coded 199, which means a case involving national security, records that Abdullah bin Laden, who lived in Washington, had originally had a file opened on him “because of his relationship with the World Assembly of Muslim Youth - a suspected terrorist organisationâ€.
    http://www.gregpalast.com/detail.cfm?artid=103&row=1

    Do yourself a favor, take off the silly partisan glasses and try to view things objectively. I'm no fan of Bush and the Republicans, but that doesnt mean that everything is automatically their fault and that the opposing group will lead us to the promised land.

    I have. I was criticizing Bush for not funding homeland security properly way back in 2001. I'm surely not going to allow the candidate I support to get smeared by something that was Bush's fault.
     
  14. BenW

    BenW Member

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    Interestingly, I read the article you posted and saw:
    Could someone remind me who was President then?
     
  15. Tag

    Tag Member

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    this is what scares me the most... The Palisades nuclear plant is right on Lake Michigan, making not only the areas around the plant itself vulnerable but all the great lakes. and probably much of the midwestern watertable.

    :uhoh:
     
  16. Bruce H

    Bruce H Member

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    No Dean isn't a moron. Why does he want to be president? Why did he enter politics at all? If he was good as a doctor why did he quit? I don't understand the man at all. I worry about the power hungry factor with him.
     
  17. fallingblock

    fallingblock Member

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    "A statement from the NNSA said the incidents cited by Mr Levernier occurred from 1996 to 1999
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    Could someone remind me who was President then?
    ************************************************************

    w4rma does so much scanning in those lefty sources that he sometimes misses small details....:)


    If it's BAD, it must have been Bush:eek: !
     
  18. jimpeel

    jimpeel Member

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    w4rma

    Now there's a great analytical investigative publication.

    Steeeeerike ONE!
    Bush wasn't even the President at that time and couldn't have been the irresponsible President you claim he is. I think that was the other guy.

    Steeeeerike TWO!
    You post that Bush has done nothing -- even insinuating he had prior knowledge of 9-11 -- and then you post an article that refutes the very accusations you made in your initial post.

    Steeeeerike THREE!
     
  19. ravinraven

    ravinraven Member

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    I resent you guys calling Dean a moron.

    Yes. It's true. I resemble that remark. I had a cousin, rest his dumb soul, who was a certified moron. He was Einstein compared to this doctor turned political quack.

    I have three, count 'em--three acquaintances who are registered Democrats. All three have dropped out of the Dean support group. One even had a sign in his yard. He donated it to me a while ago.

    The point is that if Dean is so bad that even democrats are beginning to notice, how are we going to keep him on the ticket so that we can sit around and enjoy the left lobotimizing itself this fall?

    Well, maybe a lobotomy would be an improvement.

    And that Bush! What a caution! How did he get that meteor to hit Iran? How did he get that earthquake going over there? We know how he got that mud slide started in kalif. that killed all those kids. Tax cuts for the rich did that.

    Methinks that the Bush whackers probably aren't sincere in their whacking. If they really thought he did all those things, they certainly wouldn't call attention to themselves lest Dubya set off a quake in their shorts.

    Dubya has his shortcomings. I think he is the result of the Republicans being forced to go lower and lower on the scale of human worth without falling off the scale completely in order to find someone who can compete with the low-life trash that the dems have put forward lately. You know that if Hitlary [sorry, Adolph] ran today, there are enuf fools in the country that she would probably get every eltectoral vote.

    One of my dem friends, a college prof.! switched to rep. shortly after 9-11. He said that the dems were an embarrassment to him.

    And it's a pity. We NEED a two party system. We don't have it now.

    But, it's Sunday morning and I've got a crowd of liberals to meet over coffee in a few minutes.

    rr
     
  20. stevelyn

    stevelyn Member

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    In the Land of the Blind, the one-eyed man is king.:D :evil:
     
  21. greyhound

    greyhound Member

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    I truly think the momentum Dean gained last year is remarkable. Seems now the worm is starting to turn.

    Mainstream press shouted from the rooftops that Dean's appeal was his anti-war stance. Asusual they were wrong. Though anti-war, his real appeal was to the percentage of Democrats that have an insane, all abiding hatred of George Bush, at least the equal if not greater than the Republican hatred for Clinton.

    Problem is, "hating the President" won't win a popular election, and in fact looks like a slaughter if GWB keeps his approval rating around 60%.

    Add to that the fact this eejit causes a ruckus every time he opens his mouth (Confederate flag, "race, God, guns, gays", No safer capturing Saddam, "interesting theory" that Bush knew about 9/11, will talk about Jesus only in the South, etc, etc) and I think even some of the "anybody but Bush" crowd that were so behind him are starting to question.

    His latest brilliant:D move was to criticize Democratic leadership for not curbing attacks on him. Well, Dr. Dean, paint yourself as the outsider "crusading to take our country back from the worst adminstration ever" and don't be surprised that you get treated like one. Saying that "it may be too far gone for my supporters to support a traditional Washington politician" doesn't help.

    Clinton pulled off his "Man From Hope" routine because of his charming ways. People really liked him (me included) in 1992. Howard Dean has all the charm of a pet rock.

    Now though I would never vote for Dean, the thought of Wesley Clark as President genuinely frightens me. But that's a topic for another thread!
     
  22. Thumper

    Thumper Member

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    Yep...Dean was able to tap into that special kind of angry, suppressed dementia that the left seems to share. They see themselves in their candidate every time he sputters and hisses. Contradicts himself? When has that ever been a problem for the uber left?

    I pray that this nincompoop wins the dem nomination. Have you noticed how Fox pretty much gives this guy all the free press he could want? Bet that stops after the nomination, though. ;)

    Every time I see Dr. Deanmento, I picture this guy:

    [​IMG]
     
  23. Jeff Thomas

    Jeff Thomas Member

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    w4rma, with comments such as
    you'll go far in advancing Dean's candidacy. Understanding and politely discussing politics is easier when your historical perspective spans more than 3 years or so. Unfunded mandates weren't a problem before Bush?

    I too love the Bush bashing that coincidentially throws Clinton under the bus almost every time ... but the "progressives" never notice the irony. What a stitch.

    Yes, Bush is a disappointment, like every other Republican President we've seen for a long time. Democrats and Republicans are taking us to the same destination ... simply at different speeds.

    But I'll prefer to head down that path more slowly, and retain some chance of changing course. IMHO, Dean hasn't a prayer ... so he is the perfect Democrat candidate. And, the average Democrat is rabid and illogical enough to choose him.

    Regards from TX
     
  24. El Tejon

    El Tejon Member

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    Dean is not a moron. He is playing to his base and doing a fantastic job.

    This is what scares the beejeebus out of me.:uhoh:
     
  25. w4rma

    w4rma member

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    So, much whacked out bashing of Democrats and Dean. We have a couple of guys who think that if it isn't said by a Murdoch or Rev. Moon source it never happened or it's "liberal propaganda". Bush spikes Bin Laden probes that might have averted 911 and folks, zealotly, think he's fantastic on terrorism. His head lawyer, during the Florida recounts, defends the Saudis against AMERICAN VICTIMS OF 911 and Bush is a true Christian and a one of a kind hero American?

    A Legal Counterattack
    Saudis hire some of the toniest U.S. law firms to defend them against the landmark $1 trillion lawsuit on behalf of the victims of 9-11. So why is the plaintiff’s counsel ecstatic? …

    NEWSWEEK WEB EXCLUSIVE

    April 16 — After months of working below the radar, a huge U.S. legal team hired by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has sprung into action and begun a major counteroffensive against a landmark lawsuit seeking $1 trillion in damages on behalf of the victims of the September 11 terror attacks.

    THE OPENING DEFENSE SALVO in what promises to be a bruising legal battle was fired last week when a trio of lawyers from Baker Botts, a prestigious Houston-based law firm, filed a motion on behalf of Prince Sultan bin Abdul Aziz, the Saudi defense minister. The motion attacked the 9-11 lawsuit as a “broadside indictment of Saudi government, religion and culture.†It also argued that, as the third-ranking official of a foreign government, their client is immune from any U.S. legal action and that he should therefore be dismissed from the case altogether.
    …
    Motley’s team and their investigators have been working closely with some of those government officials. A few of those officials, sources say, see the 9-11 lawsuit as a useful tool to turn up the public heat on the Saudis. In that sense, there is a growing view among U.S. counterterrorism officials that it might be a good thing for the case to proceed—no matter how embarrassing it might prove to the Saudis.

    To keep that from happening, sources close to the case say, members of the Saudi royal family and the country’s wealthiest businessmen—many of whom are defendants in the case—have offered up seven-figure retainers to some of the toniest and most politically connected law firms in the country.

    Baker Botts, Sultan’s law firm, for example, still boasts former secretary of State James Baker as one of its senior partners. Its recent alumni include Robert Jordan, the former personal lawyer for President Bush who is now U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia.
    …
    But legal sources say some high-priced firms and their senior partners have been wary of the Saudi overtures—despite offers of retainers that, in some cases, have ranged as high as $5 million. One former Clinton administration official at a big law firm said he was personally approached to represent a high-ranking Saudi prince in the case but turned it down. “I kept asking myself, ‘do I want to be representing the Saudis against the 9-11 families—especially after all the trouble we had getting cooperation from the Saudis on terrorism’,†the official said. “I finally just said no.â€
    …
    http://www.msnbc.com/news/901320.asp

    Rev. Moon (owner of the Washington Times, UPI, NewsMax) runs a cult in North Korea. From many folks' zealotish defenses of Republicans and zealotish bashes on Democrats, I think he's helping run another in America.
     
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