Archive for June, 2004

Arianna Huffington Coming to OKC–Tickets On Sale Now

Wednesday, June 30th, 2004

Greetings Fellow Democrats,

Several of you have requested information on how to get tickets to our Medallion Dinner featuring Arianna Huffington on July 10th.

Today, we got about half of the invitations in the snail mail. So we can use some volunteers tomorrow. Many have said that the day time hours don’t work for them. So if you can give a bit of your evening, we can probably use you. Call state party HQ if you are coming in the evening at 405-427-3366.

Lynn Green
OK Co. Democratic Party Secretary

Sue Google and Lose: You May Actually Win

Wednesday, June 30th, 2004

Look Who’s Talking

When a small Oklahoma company filed suit against Internet magnate Google in October 2003, the wires lit up.

Computer whizzes and law buffs were abuzz–did SearchKing, an Oklahoma City-based software and Web site public relations firm–have a chance against the Web’s top search engine? And more importantly, was the suit even valid?
As it happened, the answer to both questions was “no.”

After Google filed a rebuttal in late December 2002, a U.S. District Court judge dismissed the case.

But Bob Massa, chief executive of SearchKing, couldn’t be happier about the results–then and now.

“With us, one of the upsides of that whole thing was the publicity,” Massa said, adding that traffic on his Web site increased dramatically as a result and he received tremendous exposure. “We never really intended to win. We wanted to recoup some of the losses for our customers.”

Those losses, which are an arguable figure, are at the heart of a case involving the complexities of search engines and their use of links.
In its suit, SearchKing claimed that Google unfairly reduced SearchKing’s Web sites’ top rankings in search results, resulting in decreased traffic that was harmful to its clients’ companies. But the story is rooted in PageRank, an algorithm Google utilizes to determine which Web pages will get top rankings.
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New Iraqi Premier Ex-CIA Intelligence Officer

Wednesday, June 30th, 2004

A Pitiful Occasion for the People

So, in the end, America’s enemies set the date.
The handover of “full sovereignty” was secretly brought forward so that the ex-CIA intelligence officer who is now premier of Iraq could avoid another bloody offensive by America’s enemies.
What was supposed to be the most important date in Iraq’s modern history was changed - like a birthday party, because it might rain on Wednesday.

Pitiful is the word that comes to mind.
Here we were, handing “full sovereignty” to the people of Iraq - “full”, of course, providing we forget the 160,000 foreign soldiers whom Prime Minister Iyad Allawi has apparently asked to stay on in Iraq, “full” providing we forget the 3,000 US diplomats in Baghdad who will constitute the largest US embassy in the world.

And we never even told the Iraqi people we had changed the date.

Few, save of course for the Iraqis, understood the cruelest paradox of the event.

For it was the new Iraqi Foreign Minister - should we not put his title, too, into quotation marks? - who chose to leak “bringing forward” of “sovereignty in Iraq” at the NATO summit in Turkey.
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The Blue Jeans Have Spoken

Wednesday, June 30th, 2004

Welcome to NewsOK.com

Virginia “Blue Jeans” Jenner, Democratic candidate for District 12, said she filed a complaint with the state Ethics Commission that Wagoner County Election Board Secretary Jason Rousselot should not be permitted to count the votes.

Jenner thinks Rousselot should step down because his brother, Wade Rousselot, is also a candidate.

“It’s a conflict of interest,” she said.

A Temporary Breath of Leadership in Oklahoma

Wednesday, June 30th, 2004

Welcome to NewsOK.com

Oklahoma’s leader wasn’t Gov. Brad Henry on Monday or Tuesday. And it wasn’t even Lt. Gov. Mary Fallin.

Henry was in Japan, on his way home from a two-week trip to Asia, and Fallin was in Washington, D.C.

Under state law, Senate President Pro Tempore Cal Hobson was the state’s top elected official during Henry and Fallin’s absence.

The transfer of power is not that unusual.
Fallin took the reins of power again upon her return to Oklahoma late Tuesday.

Flush Rush from Armed Forces Radio

Wednesday, June 30th, 2004

Liberals Want More Antidote for Limbaugh on American Forces Radio

Lawmakers used to wrangling over troop levels and weapons systems find themselves in a dispute over whether military personnel abroad should be given more of a liberal antidote to conservative commentator Rush Limbaugh.

GAO Says Iraq Worse Off Since U.S. Invasion

Wednesday, June 30th, 2004

Iraq is Worse Off Than Before the War Began, GAO Reports

by Seth Borenstein

WASHINGTON - In a few key areas - electricity, the judicial system and overall security - the Iraq that America handed back to its residents Monday is worse off than before the war began last year, according to calculations in a new General Accounting Office report released Tuesday.

The 105-page report by Congress’ investigative arm offers a bleak assessment of Iraq after 14 months of U.S. military occupation. Among its findings:

-In 13 of Iraq’s 18 provinces, electricity was available fewer hours per day on average last month than before the war. Nearly 20 million of Iraq’s 26 million people live in those provinces.

-Only $13.7 billion of the $58 billion pledged and allocated worldwide to rebuild Iraq has been spent, with another $10 billion about to be spent. The biggest chunk of that money has been used to run Iraq’s ministry operations.

-The country’s court system is more clogged than before the war, and judges are frequent targets of assassination attempts.

-The new Iraqi civil defense, police and overall security units are suffering from mass desertions, are poorly trained and ill-equipped.

-The number of what the now-disbanded Coalition Provisional Authority called significant insurgent attacks skyrocketed from 411 in February to 1,169 in May.
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Limbaugh Has No Place on the Front Line

Tuesday, June 29th, 2004

By Mike Farrell

June 25, 2004

“Do the right thing.” These were Secretary of State Colin Powell’s words of
advice to the Wake Forest University class of 2004 in his May 17
commencement address. Then Powell issued an incontrovertible condemnation of the actions of U.S. soldiers’ abuse of Iraqi prisoners: “Our nation is now
going through a period of deep disappointment, a period of deep pain over
some of our soldiers not doing the right thing at a place called Abu
Ghraib…. All Americans deplored what happened there.”

Well, perhaps not all Americans. There’s at least one American who has
publicly praised, condoned, trivialized and joked about the abuse, torture,
rape and possible murder of Iraqi prisoners. This American does not appear
to be going through “a period of deep pain.” This American has instead
called the abuse “a brilliant maneuver” and compared it to a college
fraternity prank: “This is no different than what happens at the Skull and
Bones initiation,” he said.

He excused the actions of our soldiers this way: “You know, these people are
being fired at every day. I’m talking about people having a good time, these
people, you ever heard of emotional release? You ever heard of need to blow
some steam off?”

Who is this American so unlike “all Americans,” as Powell described us? Rush
Limbaugh, host of the nationally syndicated radio program, “The Rush
Limbaugh Show.”
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Oh Crap. Not the Christians Again

Tuesday, June 29th, 2004

Better Angels: Christians and Neocons Join Forces to Drag Us Into War with North Korea

Christians and Neocons Join Forces to Drag Us Into War with North Korea

North Korea is one of Bush’s points on the “Axis of Evil.” I’m not about to argue that Kim Jong Il isn’t a nutcase or that North Korea doesn’t present issues for the rest of the world, but I do think aggression in this case is a bad move. I’m not an expert on NK by any means, but from my dovish lefty perspective it seems caution would be the operative word in trying to undo the current regime.

Not so the Neocons. They’ve simply got to stick our ugly American noses in there, despite the potential consequences. And they’re doing it with help from our old friends from the “Christian Right.”

Sorry Jim…Dumb Law, But Thems the Breaks

Tuesday, June 29th, 2004

Welcome to NewsOK.com

The Oklahoma Supreme Court on Monday rejected a Lawton senator’s lawsuit to allow him to serve two more years in the Senate despite reaching the 12-year legislative term limit.

This means that Sen. Jim Maddox’s Senate service ends this year when a successor is elected in a special election to fill the remainder of his term.

Bye, George.

Tuesday, June 29th, 2004

Bloomberg.com: U.S.

President George W. Bush’s job approval rating dropped to 42 percent, the lowest level of his presidency, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll, the Times reported.

Krugman: Who Lost Iraq?

Tuesday, June 29th, 2004

Opinion > Op-Ed Columnist: Who Lost Iraq?” href=”http://www.nytimes.com/2004/06/29/opinion/29KRUG.html?th=&pagewanted=print&position=”>The New York Times > Opinion > Op-Ed Columnist: Who Lost Iraq?

By PAUL KRUGMAN

The formal occupation of Iraq came to an ignominious end yesterday with a furtive ceremony, held two days early to foil insurgent attacks, and a swift airborne exit for the chief administrator. In reality, the occupation will continue under another name, most likely until a hostile Iraqi populace demands that we leave. But it’s already worth asking why things went so wrong.

The Iraq venture may have been doomed from the start — but we’ll never know for sure because the Bush administration made such a mess of the occupation. Future historians will view it as a case study of how not to run a country.

Up to a point, the numbers in the Brookings Institution’s invaluable Iraq Index tell the tale. Figures on the electricity supply and oil production show a pattern of fitful recovery and frequent reversals; figures on insurgent attacks and civilian casualties show a security situation that got progressively worse, not better; public opinion polls show an occupation that squandered the initial good will.

What the figures don’t describe is the toxic mix of ideological obsession and cronyism that lie behind that dismal performance.

The insurgency took root during the occupation’s first few months, when the Coalition Provisional Authority seemed oddly disengaged from the problems of postwar anarchy. But what was Paul Bremer III, the head of the C.P.A., focused on? According to a Washington Post reporter who shared a flight with him last June, “Bremer discussed the need to privatize government-run factories with such fervor that his voice cut through the din of the cargo hold.”
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