Late Push Puts Nader On Iranian Ballot
Says Wants To Beat Iraq To Democracy; Cites No British Memos On Him
In a series of late moves and heavy campaigning, Ralph Nader emerged with enough signatures to be placed on the Presidential ballot in Iran yesterday. Nader will join a roster of seven other candidates in which voting begins today.
After abandoning his plans to be the titular head of the new European Union (see The Garlic 3 June 2005 - Nader Lobbies EU Leaders For Ballot Spot), Nader moved his operations to Teheran and made a furious effort to convince the Iranian people he was their man.
"You won't find any memos on me at Downing Street", Nader exhorted to a crowded rally at coffee shop yesterday morning. "You won't see the U.S. President Bush standing on the deck of an aircraft carrier off your shores declaring "Mission Accomplished".
"Our mission is to - peacefully, and for all Iranians - is to bring democratic and economics reforms to this great land. Let Teheran, not Baghdad be the sails of the new Middle East ship".
Nader has also made a campaign pledge that, if he is successful in winning the European Union post, he will not abandon his Presidency, if elected, in Iran.
Nader also promised the Iranians that "I won't be riding around on a bicycle when there's a crisis and I won't be dancing and drinking with porn stars"
Nader is running in a crowded field, with Akhbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, a former president and moderate pragmatist considered to be the front-runner. Another reform candidate, Dr. Mostafa Moin, who was initially barred from the race by the religious clerics, has gained strongly in the polls.
Though violence has surfaced as the election day drew closer, including some beatings of candidate's supporters, some concern had grown over the escalation of bombings. Religious factions in the government accuse the United States of interfering with the elections as a means to suppress voting and embarrass the Iranian government.
Nader dismissed those assessments, saying "They have their hands full in Baghdad.
Nader has touched the buttons of Iranians by measuring their democratic and economic growth versus that of Iraq.
"Iran will be the driving force for this region while Halliburton is still trying to figure out how to turn on the lights in Baghdad".
With a runoff election expected, as watchers of this race doubt any candidate will garner more then 50-percent of the vote, Nader feels he can make it to the next round.
"This is made for me … This is what I do. I campaign and run for office".
Frist Considering Abandoning Videotape Practice
Senate Leader Under Fire For Backpedaling From Schiavo Diagnosis
For the second day, Senate Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) has come under fire for his practice of using videotape to make decisions, evaluations and diagnosis as the release of the autopsy on Teri Schiavo contradicts the assessment Frist made, leading the Congress to intervene this past Spring in the fiercely-fought Right-To-Die case.
Two days ago, it became know that Frist suppressed a floor vote on the Senate resolution offering a apology to African-American over the Senate's inaction in lynchings. Frist cited that there "was no videotape to authenticate the measure" (see The Garlic, 16 June - Frist Threatened 'Nuclear Option' Over Lynching Bill)
Frist also, back in April, used videotape to concur with Italian doctors on the condition of then-dying Pope John Paul II. Frist stated that he had "viewed for hours, video of the Papal apartment" and that is was "clear to me the Pope had kidney and cardio-vascular failure" (see The Garlic 4 April - Frist Concurs With Vatican Diagnosis)
Yesterday, on the 'Today' program, Frist was backpedaling from the charges that me made a diagnosis in the Schiavo case.
"I never, never, on the floor of the Senate, made a diagnosis, nor would I ever do that,"
The Washington Post reported yesterday just what Frist stated during the Congress debate on passing a bill in an attempt to save Mrs. Schiavo and prevent doctors, and her husband, from removing the feeding tube that was keeping her alive
Frist questioned the diagnosis of the court-appointed doctors, referring to video footage provided by her family that seemed to show Schiavo responding to people around her.
"I question it based on a review of the video footage. ... And that footage, to me, depicted something very different than persistent vegetative state," Frist said at the time.
The Schiavo autopsy indicated the Schiavo's brains was half the size of a normal, healthy brain, that she was likely blind and, otherwise, the condition of her brain was consistent with the symptoms of being in a persistent vegetative state.
On the ABC 'Good Morning' program, Frist continued his backing away.
"I never made the diagnosis, never said that she was not. I did say that certain tests should be performed to determine that before starving her to death."
"She had devastating brain damage, and with that the chapter is closed.
Later on CBS, Frist stated, The diagnosis they made is exactly right. It's the pathology, I'll respect that. I think it's time to move on."
Frist refused comment the rest of the day.
Frist's Senate office released a statement that said, in part, "Senator Frist is considering abandoning the use of videotape in making and evaluations. He's currently watching a self-help video that will assist him in those efforts"
Friday, June 17, 2005
Late Push Puts Nader On Iranian Ballot
9. The Contract For America didn't have the clause that gave them appointment-for-life
8. Trent Lott was booted out, giving them Bill Frist
7. Not knowing the location of Dick Cheney's secret bunker - In event they need him for vote on the 'Nuclear Option'
6. How silly the President looked in a flight suit
5. C-Span tends to make them look about 10-pounds heavier
4. They let Frist and DeLay drag them into the Teri Schiavo mess
3. Tom DeLay - In case he gets convicted and starts naming names
2. The New York Senators admit that they bet against the 69 Mets
1. They thought 'Downing Street Memo' was a horse in the Kentucky Derby
Thursday, June 16, 2005
Frist Threatened 'Nuclear Option' Over Lynching Bill
Said No Videotape To Review To Authenticate Measure
As Senators Mary Landrieu (D-MS) and George Allen (R-VA) read into the record a bill formally apologizing for lynching, and the U.S. Senate's failure to adopt measures to stop it, they did so to an empty chamber, filled with only a small handful of relatives of lynching victims. It was after-hours and with no cameras rolling.
"The Senate failed you and your ancestors and our nation," said Landrieu of Louisiana, the chief Democratic sponsor of the resolution, at a luncheon attended by 200 family members and descendants of victims. They included 100 relatives of Anthony Crawford, as well as a 91-year-old man believed to be the only known survivor of an attempted lynching
Senate Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) blocked having a roll-call vote and threatened to use the 'Nuclear Option if Landrieu, Allen or anyone else pushed the matter.
Frist stated he was "leery" about the bill.
"I don't have any videotape I can review to make a proper evaluation", Frist stated.
Frist had, earlier this year, made a comprehensive diagnosis of the late Terri Schiavo via videotape that was at odds with the doctors who had and were examining the severely brain-damaged young woman, who's Right-To-Die case capture the nation.
Frist also diagnosed the late Pope John Paul II via videotape.
The Lynching Apology Bill ended up having only 80 co-sponsors of the resolution.
"It's a statement in itself that there aren't 100 co-sponsors," Senator John Kerry, Democrat of Massachusetts, said. "It's a statement in itself that there's not an up-or-down vote."
Frist was adamant on not having a floor vote for the measure and stubbornly held his position.
Frist also made himself unavailable for comment, as his staff indicated he was awaiting the videotape of the Schiavo autopsy report for further evaluation of that case.
Tomlinson Investigated Over CPC Lobbyists
Chairman Continues Push For Congress To Slash All PBS Funding
Investigators in the Corporation for Public Broadcasting's Inspector General office are looking into contracts signed by Chairman Kenneth Tomlinson, for nearly $15,000 to two Republican lobbyists.
The move comes as Tomlinson refuses to criticize Congress for the recently announced budget cuts, against staff advise, and pushes forward to have Congress eliminate all PBS funding.
"This is our best chance to kill it off" Tomlinson was reported to have said.
Last month, CPC's general counsel, Donna Gregg, left the corporation and last week, senior vice-president for corporate and public affairs also resigned. Both have said that Tomlinson repeatedly ignored their advise.
The new investigation comes on top on a on-going one, in which, without board approval, Tomlinson paid a White House staff aide over $14,000 to give him reports on the political stripes of guests appearing on the PBS 'Now' program, hosted at the time by Bill Moyers.
Tomlinson has charged that 'Now', and in particular, Bill Moyers, was too liberal and left-leaning.
Moyers, who has bashed Tomlinson and the Republican-loaded CPC for their partisanship and as continually sought a meeting with Tomlinson to discuss the matter, most recently on the Chris Matthew's 'Hardball' program. Moyers also suggested that Tomlinson could have saved the money and just "call me up" to find out who was appearing on 'Now'.
The new investigation of Tomlinson is looking at the $10,000 paid to Brian Dowling, for his work on a bill last year that would have given public radio and television stations more of a voice on the corporation's board. The measure dies and it was opposed by Tomlinson and also, the White House.
Dowling was formerly a top aide to Senator Mel Martinez, Republican of Florida who was forced to resign after it was revealed that he wrote a memorandum on how Republicans could exploit the Terri Schiavo situation.
The other lobbyist signed by Tomlinson, and paid $5,000, was Mark Buse, a former aide to Sen. John McCain, but hired at the suggestion of board member and former chairwoman of the CPC, Katherine Anderson.
Timing of the investigations are most inconvenient to Tomlinson, who is aiming to fill the vacant CPC President's position with a former RNC chairperson, Patricia Harrison. While Democrats are urging a delay in the voting, Harrison is expected to win the approval of the Republican-controlled board.
Tomlinson has dismissed his critics and, publicly says that he is "concerned" about the funding issue.
"We'll be joining with our colleagues in the public broadcasting community to make the case for a higher level of funding as the appropriations measure makes its way through Congress."
One insider, who asked to remain anonymous, said the Tomlinson, and the board, are out to remake the image of PBS.
"They're looking for it to be the 'Fox News' of the public airwaves … Hard-hitting, conservative content .. In-your-face bashing of liberals and flat-out promotion of the Republican agenda …"
"Forget about Buster … He'll end up being on Tomlinson keychain".
10. Janet and LaToya work on an idea for a Carl's Jr. commercial
9. Liz drops by for lunch - and ends up staying for dinner as well
8. Michael works on his new line of pajamas
7. Family lounges around, watching chimps do the housework
6. Michael, closing the door of his bedroom, takes a call from a "young fan"
5. Family confronts Michael about it being time to become black again
4. Marlon and Jackie, feeling neglected, plan a 'Jackson 2' tour
3. With the case over, for nostalgia, Joe beats the children again
2. Jermaine nervously takes his first-ever ferris-wheel ride at Neverland
1. Tito and Randy help Michael clean out his pornographic collection
Wednesday, June 15, 2005
Rather Won't Retire So Viacom To Split Company
Veteran Newsman Stays Put, Says Best Work Still Ahead
Frustrated that CBS veteran newsman won't retire, Summer Redstone and the board of directors at Viacom voted yesterday to split the company in two.
One company will contain Viacom's MTV, Nickleodeon, Showtime, Paramount Pictures and Simon & Schuster. The other will carry CBS, its television stations and radio networks and outdoor advertising.
"He just won't leave", fumed Redstone after the announcement of the split.
Rather, who retired from anchoring the CBS Evening News back in March, refused comment, other than saying that "my best work still lies ahead".
Rather first joined CBS in 1962 and inherited the anchor chair after legendary newsman Walter Cronkite retired in March of 1981.
Sagging ratings and a controversy over documents on President Bush's National Guard Duty, during the 2004 Presidential campaign ultimately forced Rather's retirement.
Rather and CBS News reported the documents as a scoop, however, a detailed study determined to them be forged, resulting in the firing of four of Rather's colleagues. Rather, while reporting the results of a the study of the documents, never admitted that they were fake
In announcing his retirement from the CBS Evening News, Rather did not retire from CBS and was moved over to the CBS program 60 Minutes.
"You would have thought, after the scandal, he's leave" said Redstone. "We offered a very generous retirement package but he refused it".
"They should have fired him years ago, when he walked off the set".
Redstone was referring to the incident in 1987, when upset that the network was cutting into his news broadcast due to a tennis match, Rather walked off the set, leaving the network dark for nearly six-minutes.
Redstone offered, that by splitting the company, they can assign Rather to any property and is considering placing Rather with "something on MTV
Levitra Dumps Saatchi & Saatchi
It appears that Saatchi & Saatchi, of Publicis Group's Consumer Healthcare division, wasn't ready for that special moment, as Levitra removed them from the ad campaign. The loss for Saatchi & Saatchi is reported to be in the neighborhood of $140-Million.
"We weren't just strong and lasting" offered a Saatchi spokesperson. "We didn't have the quality when it counted".
Problems with account surfaced when it was determined that the ad executives could only work on the account for four-hours at a time. On other occasions, those working on Levitra suffered from a blue tinge, or got flush, had stuffy or runny noses.
Schering-Plough, who produces the drug, initially was very satisfied with Saatchi's work.
However, with stiff competition in the marketplace, the work became harder
"We really worked to maintain the quality of the account"
9. Defense Dept. - Use detainees to deliver bad news to Rumsfeld; Might be enough of them to last a year
8. Put the detainees, as a retro, throwback, in chain-gangs down in the South
7. Make them feel like prisoners and have them make international license plates
6. There's enough prisoners for everyone in Congress to bring home as a house servant
5. Cleveland - Nobody will notice or care
4. Add them to the Clear Skies Act and put them in Alaska - Someone is going to have to cut down all those trees
3. Could house them in Colorado Springs and train them for dance aerobics for the next Olympic Games
2. Turn Gitmo into a Reality TV show so U.S. Military can generate revenue with product placements
1. Immigration - Line them up along the border for a Red Rover Game; Any Mexican that breaks through can stay in the country
Tuesday, June 14, 2005
Jackson Cleared; Ponders Future
Considers Children's Album and Moving Neverland To Vegas
Michael Jackson was acquitted yesterday on all charges, ten in total, that he sexually molested a young boy by a jury in Santa Maria, California. The jury in the case, which lasted nearly two-years from arrest-to-verdict, rejected the claims, citing the witnesses as uncredible.
The verdict was a stunning defeat for Santa Barbara County District Attorney, Thomas Sneddon Jr., who has pursued Jackson for over 12-years, since the first time allegations were made against the entertainer. In that case, Jackson dodged the criminal investigation when he made a reported $20-Million settlement with the witness and family
What's next for the King of Pop?
Insiders, and those close to Jackson, say that he has been working on an album of children's music
"He really loves children and wants to do as much as he can for them", said brother Tito.
"I heard, just the other day, a wonderful version of 'Little Boy Blue' … He really has a nice touch with it".
There has also been reports that Jackson will reunite with his brothers for a 'Jackson 5' tour and that it may sign for an extended engagement in Las Vegas.
It has also been rumored that Jackson has plans to move his entire Neverland estate - all animals and amusement rides included - to Las Vegas.
"With Vegas going to being "family-friendly", with other properties there offering amusement qualities, Neverland would fit right in", offered another Jackson family spokesperson.
Reports have circulated, now that Harrah's closed its merger with Caesars, talks have begun with Jackson.
"He would reinvent Vegas", said one longtime observer. "They move Neverland here and they pull in the Europeans and the Asians … It would be like printing money"
What about Jackson and his eccentricities?
"Hey, like it says, what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas"
Schwarzenegger Calls for Special Elections
New Republican Strategy as Cue Taken From Frist To End-Run Rules;
Signaling what may be a new Republican strategy, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has called for a special election in November, to have voters decided on his proposed changes to the state's government.
Schwarzenegger's call for special elections comes on the heels of the state's legislator refusing to pass measures to enact the proposed changes.
Critics have charged that the elections will be costly, running anywhere from $45-Million, to $70-or-$80-Million and, as not being part of a regularly-scheduled election, low voter turn-out is expected.
Assembly Speaker Fabian Núñez, a Democrat from Los Angeles, said that "once again our airwaves will be crowded with negative, deceptive political ads".
The top Democrat in that chamber, president pro tem of the state Senate, Don Perata of Oakland, said that the governor was using the Legislature as an excuse "to star in another war movie."
Republicans charge that the Democrat-controlled legislature is not leading and merely attacking the Governor as he goes about making needed changes. The three measures that will be on the ballot of the special election were among several "Year of Reform" proposals Mr. Schwarzenegger made during his state of the state speech in January and are backed by Republicans and the state's business community
Some Democrats and critics cite the special elections as a new Republican strategy.
"Hey, if you can't get want you want through normal channels, you pull an end-run", said one state senator. "You come up with a catchy title - Year of Reform, Contract For America, etc. and you hoodwink the voters"
Others see this move by Schwarzenegger as a "trial balloon" for a new Republican strategy.
"All you have to do is look at the top Republican in the Senate, Bill Frist", offered a consultant to the Democrats. "He's ready to pull the 'Nuclear Option', changing rules over 200-years-old, to get what the Republicans want. Arnold's doing the same thing. If he gets away with it, why have a legislature? Just have special elections every other month to run your state government"
A spokesperson in the Governor's office indicated the Governor was ignoring the criticism.
"Governor Schwarzenegger, as a naturalized citizen, thinks it's a gas that he can call a special election"
"More Losses" Light Flashing For Krispy Kreme
Krispy Kreme Doughnuts announced yesterday that it will be late filing its quarterly report with the S.E.C. and anticipates a nearly 20% decline in first-quarter revenue.
The Winston-Salem, N.C based company cites an overall loss for the period, attributing the loss to lower store averages and manufacturing and distribution elements.
The Garlic first reported trouble with Krispy Kreme, back in February (see 11 February 2005 - Krispy Kreme Turning Off The Light; Doughnuts To Be Room Temperature)
Krispy Kreme has not filed a quarterly report with the S.E.C. since September 2004, because it has been working to restate past results. The S.E.C. is also investigating the company's accounting and franchise repurchases.
9. Suggested to Bush to "dump Powell - he's not a team player"
8. Listed where all the good art works were in Baghdad for the U.S. to grab before they were pillaged by someone else
7. Asked Bush to "get a handle" on Rumsfeld, that he scares people
6. Bush should take up bicycle riding as a means of "plausible deniability"
5. Believed Military could abuse prisoners, deny it and "blame it on a major U.S. media publication"
4. If any of the memos get leaked, blur the timeline and deny them
3. Recommended using Glen Campbell's music to torture prisoners at Guantanamo
2. Strongly urged a certain Bush Cabinet member to stop sending emails containing Charles & Camilla limericks to Tony Blair
1. Worried Bush team doesn't have enough paid journalists to cover their policies
Monday, June 13, 2005
Bush To Merge Two Agenda Items To Get Approval
Private Patriot Acts For Those Who Open Private SS Savings Accounts
With his approval ratings dropping, with more American's disapproving of the War in Iraq, and the lack of RSVP's from terrorist groups so he can map out his next years' actions on the War Against Terror, President Bush plans on merging his most recent efforts, two agenda items, as a means to fast-track their approval.
The White House will announce this week that, in pushing for the President's plan for the changes in the Social Security system, he will offer individual, customized Private Patriot Acts to those who open a private, Social Security Savings Account.
"The President believes", offered Press Secretary Scott McClellan, "that he can make better use of his time and schedule by combining the two agenda items. He can cover more ground, stretch more truths and otherwise obfuscate both issues".
It will be like having your own 'Letters of Transit'", joked McClellan, referring to the popular Humphrey Bogart movie, 'Casablanca', "for when they 'round up the usual suspects".
The American public hasn't rushed to embrace President Bush's rhetoric or plans for changes in the Social Security System, Other critics have charged that the administration has used misleading projections, that paint a bleaker picture of the system than what actual exists.
While that agenda item stalls, the President has had to go out an lobby for Congress to extend, and add to, the Patriot Act.
As reported by The Garlic last week (10 June 2005 - Bush Lobbies For Patriot Act), the President, as a means to add leverage to his lobbying, has sent questionnaires out to the world's terrorist groups, so that he can show the need for Congress to pass the legislation, and in the process, extend 16 provisions that will expire by the years' end. Additionally, the President is expected to move those 16 sunset provisions into the Clear Skies Act if Congress fails to pass the bill.
As to the Private Patriot Act for new subscribers to opening of Private Social Security Savings Account, McClellan indicated the President feels that will be "easy to pull off".
McClellan said that the core Act that will be in it and, depending on the size of the initial deposit, there'll be a menu of options that can be added to customize it.
"For instance, we can offer a waiver on a search of their medical records, or books they've taken out of the library. If they have the misfortune of being deemed an 'enemy combatant', we can allow them to have a lawyer".
"I know I'm going to get one", admitted McClellan. 'When you see how powerful this Patriot Act is, just how many of our rights it strips away, I sure want to have a lawyer on my side".
New York Back In Olympic Running With Stadium For Mets
National Leaguers Must Rep USA In 2012 Games For Deal To Go Through
Late last night, Mayor Michael Bloomberg put New York back in the running for the 2012 Olympic Games with a proposal that will build a new stadium in Queens for the New York Mets, and, if they win the bid, be the centerpiece for the Olympics.
Also, contingent to winning the rights to host the Games, the Mets would represent the USA in the Olympics. Bloomberg worked throughout the weekend to secure approval from Major League Baseball and the U.S. Olympic Committee.
The new stadium would be ready and open in 2009 and, with having the Mets be the USA team, they will avoid having to vacate the stadium for the Olympics, working the Olympic schedule along with their National League schedule.
"We could have some interesting Day/Night doubleheaders", offered Mets owner Fred Wilson.
"It might not be the 'Dream Team'" said Bloomberg, "but we'll do what it takes to get these Games here in New York City."
Bloomberg was dealt a blow last week when the New York Assembly would not approve the plan for the renovation of the West Side Project, that included a stadium for the Olympics. Also, the IOC was leery about placing the Games in New York after the Russell Crowe incident, where the actor hurled a telephone at a hotel employee (see The Garlic , 7 June 2005, NYC Stadium Plan Dealt Double Blows)
In working the deal this weekend, Bloomberg first approached George Steinbrenner about using Yankee Stadium for the Olympics but, according to the Mayor, Steinbrenner's demands could not be accommodated.
"He wanted the Yankees, of course, to represent the USA and he wanted a ton of cash, plus the ability to sign players during the Olympics. Literally, a guy could be pitching for Cuba one day, and the Yankees the next if we went with his plan".
Both Wilson and Bloomberg would neither confirm or deny the rumor that the Mets will sit down pitching ace, Pedro Martinez and keep him off the roster until the 2012 Games.
Tyson Says Media Twisted His Words
After his humiliating defeat Saturday evening, to Irish journeyman Kevin McBride, when he refused to come out for the seventh round, boxer Mike Tyson announced he is retiring from the sport after 20-years.
Tyson confirmed yesterday that is, indeed retiring, but said the media took his words out of context.
In the post-match press conference, Tyson speculated, in a rambling speech, that he may undertake "missionary work in Bosnia or Rwanda".
"You guys always put words in my mouth" said the angry Tyson. "I didn't say that but you write want you want to write.
When asked to clarify what he said, Tyson offered;
"I said that I was going to watch the DVD of Hotel Rwanda. I like that guy, that actor and I got me a brand new DVD player … I mean I have a friend that has a brand new DVD player".
Tyson, paid $5-Million for the match, is over $20-Million in debt to the IRS and other creditors.
Some G8 Members Concerned About Cancelled Debt
Some members of the G8, who on Saturday formally agreed to cancel at least $40-Billion in debt by a bevy of poor nations, expressed concern, including U.S. Treasury Secretary John Snow.
Having their debt burden reduce were 18 of the world's poorest countries'. They are Benin, Bolivia, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guyana, Honduras, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Nicaragua, Niger, Rwanda, Senegal, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.
All promised to take anticorruption measures but Secretary Snow isn't so sure.
"I've heard rumors" stated Snow, "that some of these countries have already gone out an bought new cars, clothes, taken expensive vacations. This concerns me.
The United States agreed to pay up to $1.75 billion in compensation to international lenders over the next 10 years. Great Britain agreed to pay up to $960 million and other members of the Group of 8 countries have made undisclosed pledges, with more pledges expected from other members, including the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund
10. He knows who beat-up the whistleblower in New Mexico and he's contacted them about Howard Dean
9. He's working on, before the end of his term, to have his head become as large as Jack Germond's
8. Not only is he against closing Gitmo, he's planning on taking the Misses there for a little romantic getaway soon
7. Got the Paris Hilton commercial Tivo'd and watches it as often as he can in his secret bunker
6. He's really Pro-Choice and For Same-Sex Marriages
5. He knows, deep in his bones, the WMD's are still sitting there somewhere in Iraq
4. If the Senate gets stalled, he has a bill he'll introduce to outsource the courts over to Haliburton
3. Disagrees with Howard Dean; In his heart, he, and a lot of other Republicans, are really Black Baptists
2. Sometimes, when waking up from a nap and seeing himself on TV, he gets the bejeezes scared out of him
1. Until the War On Terror is over, he'll continue pissing on a Koran everyday