4-Star General Secretly Sacked

This sounds interesting.

Seattle Post Intelligencer:

In an extraordinary move, the Army sacked a four-star general who was the subject of a Defense Department investigation into alleged sexual misconduct, officials said Tuesday.

Gen. Kevin P. Byrnes, commander of Army Training and Doctrine Command, was approaching retirement when the decision to relieve him of duty was made by the Army chief of staff, Gen. Peter Schoomaker.

The Army announced no specific allegation against Byrnes, but a senior official said it involved unspecified sexual misconduct. The official spoke only on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the allegation.

Disciplinary action against officers is not rare, but it is extremely unusual in the case of a four-star Army general…

Byrnes, 55, a Vietnam veteran who entered the Army in 1969 as a second lieutenant, ranked third in seniority among the Army’s 11 four-star generals.

And from ArmyTimes.com:

In April the Pentagon announced that Lt. Gen. William Wallace had been nominated for a four star and assignment as commander of Training and Doctrine Command, to succeed Byrnes, but he has not yet been confirmed by the Senate. There was no public indication at the time that Byrnes was under investigation.

Schwarzenegger’s Massive Failures as Governor Make Him the Prime Candidate for the GOP Nominee in 2008

StopArnold.com describes this article from Unconfirmed Sources as “satire,” but we’re not so sure. Apparently the new Republican paradigm is to annoint as leaders those who excel in incompetence and as liars. Schwarzenegger would seem to be fit the bill.

Unconfirmed sources report that Arnold Schwarzenegger is being considered the front runner in the race to be Republican nominee for President in 2008. Schwarzenegger’s slide in the polls has proved, despite constitutional hurdles, that he has the right stuff to be a Republican President…

Schwarzenegger’s plummet in the polls is attributed to his reckless financial plans, vilifying of nurses and school teachers, and tightly controlling the access of the media to his public appearances. All of which is scoring points with Republican big wigs in Washington. Republicans need to see that a candidate is mean enough and divisive enough to the top dog in their party.

The similarities between the current President Bush and Schwarzenegger have become striking as the two become the center of the Republican party. Both where elected by landslides of popular support from across all parts of the country. Both have shown an amazing ability to build consensus within their own party. Both have seen their poll numbers plummet since February. And both have failed to arrest plunging poll numbers by launching new advertising campaigns to promote their agendas.

Harris Hires 2000 Co-Conspirator Who Overbilled and Destroyed Files

Funny how so many toadies from the 2000 Presidential election are coming out of the woodwork again. First there was John Roberts, who gave so “freely” of his time to strategize a Supreme Court case in favor of Bush. He was recently paid back in full, with a nomination for a lifetime appointment on that very panel.

Now there’s Katherine Harris’ faithful lackey, Adam Goodman. The St. Petersburg Times paints a portrait of Goodman, who will help Harris run against Sen. Bill Nelson, today:

Amid the public snubs from top Republicans and the grim poll numbers showing Nelson drubbing Harris are the whispers from fellow Republicans that Goodman is just out for a buck. Word is that his firm, the Victory Group, stands to make more than $1 million on the race.

“Ka-ching,” said Rick Wilson, a political consultant who used to work with him. “It would be hard to ignore the temptation of that much money, even if you cared about the odds.”

Goodman…hinted that his deal with Harris called for him to get a bonus if she wins.

Back in early 2001, according to democrats.com, Goodman and Harris were trying to figure out how to bill Florida for something surely all states would have wanted to pay for – helping get George Bush installed as president. But the two had a little trouble arriving at the right price.

Secretary of State Katherine Harris tried to have the state pay $12,000 to a Republican operative who she has maintained was a volunteer working out of her Capitol office during last year’s presidential recount…

She was responding to an April 3 note from Goodman suggesting that she pay him $20,000 from an as yet nonexistent campaign account for his work…

[I]n her April 9 reply to Goodman, she wrote: “As we discussed in DC — You said $12,000. I am not trying to be weird about this because I want to pay you what you deserve, but they have been working on this since I returned. Now you say $20,000. I am confused — they will be, too. This is a delicate matter.”

It is unclear in the correspondence who the “they” were that Harris referred to.

Probably the same press corps who doctored her photos with all that extra make-up. Goodman never did get paid that time, but it sounds like he learned his lesson and plans to make up for it now. We might have gotten a further preview in 2000 of the lengths to which he is prepared to go.

[Harris] returned to the headlines last month thanks to The [N.Y.] Times article, which reported that Harris’ lawyers said the computers Goodman and Stipanovich used had essentially been wiped clean — a possible violation of Florida’s public records law. Harris’ office later recanted that story and, after initial resistance, allowed a media consortium including The Post to hire a nationally known data recovery company to examine the computers.

That review found hundreds of documents that had been deleted, including a political speech written by a Harris press aide in early 2000 endorsing George W. Bush for president as well as draft memos of a public statement that showed her position shifting over a span of hours from one that favored Gore to one that helped Bush.

Whatever works, I guess. Look out, Bill Nelson.

FCC Quietly Hires Way-Right Activist

The Columbia Journalism Review has an article about how Federal Communications Commission Chairman Kevin Martin has quietly hired a conservative activist as an advisor. Penny Nance is a well-known anti-porn, pro-Jesus “former” lobbyist and president of the Kids First Coalition.

According to CJR, she’s got some scary wingnut creds:

Nance is a long-time anti-pornography activist and has worked as a lobbyist for groups that “push for Christian precepts in public policy.”

Until recently a board member of Concerned Women for America, which describes its mission, in part, as “helping … to bring Biblical principles into all levels of public policy,” Nance also worked as a lobbyist for a group called the Center for Reclaiming America. On its Web site, the Center claims that it “focuses on five key fronts of the modern-day culture war: (1) Religious Liberties, (2) the Sanctity of Life, (3) the Homosexual Agenda, (4) Pornography, and (5) Promoting Creationism.”

The site also says that its aim is to “defend and implement the Biblical principles on which our country was founded.”


Das Guber Has a Shoe Fetish – Maria Calls Him ‘Imelda’


We already know Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger loves his cowboy boots, but we didn’t know his wife Maria Shriver calls him “Imelda” after former Philippines first lady Imelda Marcos, who famously owned 3,000 pairs of shoes. According to the UK newspaper The Times, Arnie also has armed security that guard his gold-plated cowboy boots at the Sacramento Hyatt Regency hotel. The Governator doesn’t mess around when it comes to his s*!#kickers!

Chuppies Also Crave Aromatherapy Shampoo

A survey of young Chinese consumers – dubbed “Chuppies” – commissioned by shipping giant UPS revealed more interest in American goods than we on this side of the pond imagine. Toiletries and consumer electronics were most desired, while cigarettes and American liquor were least.

American Toiletries: 53 percent of all respondents would like to see a broader selection of U.S. products, such as shampoo, shower gel and dental care products.

American Consumer Electronics: 53 percent of those polled want a broader selection of American electronics. The most likely purchases this year are digital cameras, laptop computers and video/digital recording devices.

Apparel/Fashion Accessories: 52 percent said they want more American fashion, especially athletic shoes, sandals, t-shirts with American logos, sportswear and blue jeans.

American Books, Music and Videos: 50 percent would like to see a broader product selection of American entertainment. This year’s most likely purchases are American videos/DVDs and music compact discs.

Home Appliances: 45 percent would like to see more U.S. durable products including refrigerators, washers/dryers and microwaves.

UPS is big in China, recognizing the vast opportunity for serious bucks there.

“According to the State Department, U.S. exports to China have grown 80 percent since 2001, but this survey shows the Chinese would like even more quality American items,” said Kurt Kuehn, UPS senior vice president, worldwide sales and marketing. “The spending power of this middle class is exploding. Many American companies view China as a threat rather than an opportunity; they run the risk of missing the China potential and being left behind.”

Bush Admin: What the World Needs Now is More Amputees

The Bush administration seems poised to end a 10-year moratorium on the manufacture and deployment of landmines or, in military parlance, antipersonnel devices. George H.W. signed the original moratorium, Bill Clinton extended it through his two terms, but G.W. plans to get the maiming devices back into the field by 2007.

According to the Interpress News Service, the Pentagon will decide whether or not to begin producing a new type of antipersonnel land mine called a ”Spider” in December — just in time for Christmas. The first of those mines would to roll out in early 2007 — 10 years after 145 nations signed the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty, which the U.S. has continued to refuse to sign.

According to Human Rights Watch (HRW), the funds for Spider’s production are already earmarked, as the Pentagon has requested 1.3 billion dollars for the mine system, as well as for another mine called the Intelligent Munitions System, which is expected to be fully running by 2008.

A new report by the HRW issued Wednesday notes these weapons that kill and maim an estimated 500 people, mostly civilians, each week. The group called on the Bush administration to halt all research and development on all types of these widely-banned weapons.