From Florida to California, panic-stricken communities have responded to the upcoming round of military base closings by spending millions of dollars on high-powered lobbyists to make sure their hometown bases survive. The lobbyists – primarily former congressmen, ex-military officials and people involved in previous rounds of base closings – are using their contacts and expertise to make the case that the installations are an asset that neither the military nor the communities can afford to lose. “When we can’t personally be in Washington, they share our message,” said Pamella Dana, director of Florida Gov. Jeb Bush’s Office of Tourism, Trade and Economic Development. “They keep their finger on the pulse of what’s going on day-to-day in congressional circles or budgetary circles as it pertains to defense.” But some defense analysts question whether the communities are getting their money’s worth.
The Rev. Al Sharpton robbed his aborted Presidential campaign’s war chest. The FBI has opened an investigation into fast-talking Al’s fast and loose campaign ethics. Sources say the bureau has him cold. But Sharpton is stealing a page from Tom DeLay’s playbook. When caught breaking the law, blame your opponents and say it’s all a giant conspiracy. But Sharpton getting caught with his hand in the till doesn’t surprise longtime watchers of the flamboyant preacher. You did the crime Al. Do the time.
Everybody close to Tom DeLay knows he’s a crook. Hell, even those who don’t know DeLay knows he’s dishonest. But Delay wants his fellow Republicans to continue backing him by claiming all the questions about his flawed ethics and illegal activity are just a big, bad plot by the Demcorats. Hillary Clinton tried the same thing to explain away her husband’s dalliances. She blamed it all on “the vast right wing conspiracy.” Didn’t work for her. Doesn’t work for DeLay.
Ever notice how often propaganda web sites (both conservative and liberal) beg for money? For political movements that claim, so often, to have the support of “mainstream America” these folks sure seem to have their hand out a lot. FreeRepublic.Com holds more fundraising telethons than public television. Visitors are bombarded with “support FreeRepublic” buttons and requests for money. WorldNetDaily has, on an average day, at least nine come-ons to buy its products disguised as headlines on its homepage. NewsMax, which is funded out of the deep right-wing pockets of billionaire conservative demagogue Richard Mellon Scaif, still has ten or more money-grabbing schemes on its front page using the same typeface and size as its so-called “news” headlines (although the “headlines” do start with “adv”). DemcraticUnderground.Com carries at least two “donate” links on its home page along with a message to buy liberal books through their affiliation with Amazon.Com so the web site can make money from the purchase. Buzzflash hypes their “premium” service.