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Archive for August 27th, 2007

Bad to Worse: Gonzo Out, Chertoff In???

Posted in H.L. News, Main Blog (All Posts) on August 27th, 2007 8:56 am by HL


CNN: Bush Plans To Install Inexperienced, Bush Loyalist Clay Johnson At Homeland Security

This morning, CNN’s Suzanne Malveaux reported that “very senior level sources” inside the administration are telling her that Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff will replace Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.

Additionally, these sources say Chertoff will be replaced at Homeland Security by Clay Johnson III, the Deputy Director for Management at the Office of Management and Budget.

Johnson, who has no homeland security experience, is a professional Bush loyalist. While Johnson may have familiarity with some aspects of DHS’s budget, he appears to have no experience in the many responsibilities of the department, including immigration, air travel security, disaster response, and other aspects of our nation’s homeland defense.

He is one of Bush’s oldest friends, having attended both prep school and college with the President. Johnson served as Bush’s gubernatorial chief of staff in Texas before heading up the Bush-Cheney transition team.

When Bush first chose Johnson as his chief of staff in Texas, he said it was specifically because of his friend’s loyalty to him:

“I want someone whose primary interest is me — George Bush


Local Governments Response to Bad Economy: More Prisons.

Posted in H.L. News, Main Blog (All Posts) on August 27th, 2007 8:12 am by HL


Governor: Prison is the start of area’s rebuilding

Natchez Democrat
Excerpt:

NATCHEZ — A private prison on U.S. 84 is the first big project to come to Adams County in years, but it won’t be the last, the governor says…

Barbour, who supported efforts to bring the facility to Adams County, was enthusiastic about the $105 million project.

The governor’s hometown of Yazoo City plays host to three federal prisons, and Barbour said a county couldn’t ask for a better industry.

“There’s no pollution and they don’t have recessions,” Barbour said with a laugh…

Grennell said he completely agrees with Barbour’s assessment of the area’s future.

“We’ve got several projects we’re working on,” Grennell said.

“This represents a step in the right direction on the road to industrial recovery in Adams County,” West said. “This and other things happening will fuel the economy for southwest Mississippi.”

breaking ground on a new private prison


One More Reason Not to Join The Army: Cancer

Posted in H.L. News, Main Blog (All Posts) on August 27th, 2007 8:02 am by HL


Cancer in Iraq vets raises possibility of toxic exposure

Arizona Daily Star
Excerpt:
After serving in Vietnam nearly 40 years ago — and receiving the Bronze Star for it — the Tucson soldier was called back to active duty in Iraq. While there, he awoke one morning with a sore throat. Eighteen months later, Army Sgt. James Lauderdale was dead, of a bizarrely aggressive cancer rarely seen by the doctors who tried to treat it….

As a mining engineer, Lauderdale knew exactly what it meant when he saw the thick black smoke pouring nonstop out of the smokestacks that line the Iraq/Kuwait border area where he was stationed for three months in 2005.
“He wrote to me that everyone was complaining about their stinging eyes and sore throats and headaches,” Dixie said. “For Jim to say something like that, to complain, was very unusual.
“One of the mothers on the cancer ward had pictures of her son bathing in the brown water,” she said. “He died of kidney cancer.”
Stationed in roughly the same area as Lauderdale, yet another soldier — now fighting terminal colon cancer — described the scene there, of oil refineries, a cement factory, a chlorine factory and a sulfuric acid factory, all spewing unfiltered and uncontrolled substances into the air.
“One day, we were walking toward the port and they had sulfuric acid exploding out of the stacks. We were covered with it, everything was burning on us, and we had to turn around and get to the medics,” said Army Staff Sgt. Frank Valentin, 35.


More Gay Republican Hypocrisy With a Bad Ending

Posted in H.L. News, Main Blog (All Posts) on August 27th, 2007 7:57 am by HL


Murder-Suicide Claims Prominent GOP Strategist; Gaydars Going Wild

Pensito Review
Excerpt:

Ralph Gonzalez, a former executive director of the Georgia GOP while Ralph Reed was its chair, was found shot to death yesterday with two other men in a home he with shared with one of them in Orlando….
A prominent Republican Party consultant is one of three men found dead in a Central Florida home Thursday in an apparent double murder-suicide possibly sparked by a lovers’ quarrel, according to detectives…Reed himself, the former head of the Christian Coalition, also flies under
the gaydar in Republican conservative circles. If he’s not gay, he fooled me.


Soldiers Who Died in Helicopter Crash Were to Testify in Trial Against Superior

Posted in H.L. News, Main Blog (All Posts) on August 27th, 2007 7:51 am by HL


Witnesses In Army Trial Killed In Crash

Honolulu Post Chronicle
Excerpt:

Several U.S. Army soldiers killed in a helicopter crash in Iraq last week were to be witnesses in the homicide trial of their former superior.

Honolulu’s KITV reported Sunday that some of the soldiers who died in the crash had been scheduled to testify in the trial of Sgt. 1st Class Trey Corrales, who is accused of orchestrating the death of an Iraqi detainee this year.

Corrales, who was in the same Hawaii-based platoon as the soldiers killed in Wednesday’s crash, allegedly shot the detainee repeatedly June 23. He is accused of then ordering his subordinate and fellow defendant, Spc. Christopher Shore, to continue shooting the man. The detainee died from those wounds.

Retired military lawyer Earle Partington said the loss of the witnesses could prove detrimental to the prosecution’s case against the pair.

“If these witnesses are no longer alive, there is no way for the accused or their counsel to question them. Unfortunately, it could mean that there is no trial,” Partington told the TV station. “Obviously, it depends on what witnesses the government still has


4,000 National Guardsman Cheer Call For Iraq Withdrawl

Posted in H.L. News, Main Blog (All Posts) on August 27th, 2007 7:46 am by HL


Troops Cheer Call For Iraq Withdrawal

CBS
Excerpt:

(AP) A call by Puerto Rico’s governor for a U.S. withdrawal from Iraq earned a standing ovation from a conference of more than 4,000 National Guardsmen….
Col. David Carrion Baralt, the Guard’s top official in the U.S. Caribbean territory, said Acevedo received a standing ovation.

“Maybe the (officers) were not expecting those kinds of comments, but having a dialogue is the point of conferences like these,” Carrion said by phone.

The nonpartisan National Guard Association represents nearly 45,000 current and former Air and Army National Guard officers and petitions Congress for resources.