Friday, July 29, 2005
Oliver Stone is planning to do a movie on President G.W. Bush for “misusing” his powers…. He cites that Bush has busted the economy……
People like Stone aggravate me…He is an extreme leftist who hangs out with communist. He once said about Fidel Castro, ”[Castro] is very warm and bright… a very driven man, a very moral man. He’s very concerned about his country. He selfless in that way.”……
Oliver Stone said this about a tyrannical dictator who has hundreds of political prisoners, oppresses his country and allows the largest ring of child prostitution in the world. If Oliver Stone was born in Cuba, he would probably be thrown in jail, beaten to death and heavily tourted for his comments about his country’s president….. But thankfully Stone was born in the U.S., a place where you can openly speak your mind…. Lucky him!!
Stone is just like the hundreds of extreme-liberals whose main point of contention against Bush is “He’s an idiot and a complete moron.” These convincing and eloquent points for debate fascinate me, but let’s look at other facts. September 11th devastated the American economy. Yet, we haven’t gone through any large scale financial situation in the country. No major depression or recession that has truly affected American lives. We are a country at war, but exactly how many of us notice it, other then seeing some reports on the news. In general we have all lived our lives pretty normally. Yes, their have been financial strains in thousands of American families, but things are getting better. The economy continues to rise and just early this month the dollar rose against the euro and climbed to an 11-month high versus the yen.
Can things be better? Of Course. Can they be worse? HECK YEAH… but we are doing amazingly well for all the horrible things that we have been faced with…..
OLIVER STONE - STONE SLAMS BUSH REACTION TO 911
Thursday, July 28, 2005
In addition I love how some people blame all wired things on the "Miami Cuban Mafia" ... On a popular web page, one post on http://poynter.org/forum/?id=letters stated:
"Miami Heat" -- The taping incident gave the Herald editors an easy public excuse for firing him, but I suspect that privately a big part of the reason was the heat they got from the local Cuban-American extremists because of DeFede's columns on Cuba, Luis Posada, etc.
.... It's amazing how an incident with an African-American politician and other non-Cubans is still blamed on the Cuban American community!!! Thanks for the props, we wish we where that powerful to just take out anyone we wanted, maybe we should see what we can do about that pesky Fidel character....
The Miami Herald's Jim DeFede was fired for illegally taping a conversation with ex-Miami Commissioner Art Teele.
Can you hear the clapping all the way from Miami???
I don't want to be a horrible person, but his departure from the Herald is not only a victory for righteousness, but for all normal human beings. He wrote many stories that bended the truth and tried to destroy people's lives. Amazingly some believe his "investigative reporting" has calmed down from his earlier years. I can only imagine the stories he once penned. Defede’s twisted columns made plenty in the South Florida community upset. His picture, well..... Herald.com 07/28/2005 Herald columnist Jim DeFede fired over taped phone call
Defede illegally tape corded Teele who committed suicide in the Miami Herald building on Wednesday afternoon. Teele, who was involved in public corruption charges, sex scandals, financial problems and much worse (see the Miami Times article), was on his way to talk to Defede about the article when he committed suicide
Wednesday, July 27, 2005
The reality is that most of the people who move to DC are the best of the best; they were class presidents, beauty queens, and general over achievers. They flock to DC with their overwhelming resumes and find a home in a city of like minded people (on one side of the spectrum or another). Many D.C. offices are filled with HOT staffers, walk into the Rules Committee office for example…
These haters need to get off their Blogging high horse and take a good look in the mirror, would you even be nominated to the list, hmmm... probably not, you probability moved to DC thinking it was the "Hollywood for the Ugly" and thought your chances were a little bit better in this town..... With comments like yours maybe people think DC is an ugly town because it's full of bitter, self-involved people, loathing in their own pity, who can't brake out for a moment to be happy for other people's success…
Capital Living 50 Most Beautiful -
Tuesday, July 19, 2005
From Interview with Pittbull:
Q - I've asked other artists from Cuba this before; if they were organized free shows out there, would you go perform for free?
A -I'd be very interested in that, because it comes from the heart. But politically it wouldn't be a good move for Pitbull because I'd be supporting Castro. I cannot go out there and speak my mind, I'd be put in prison.
Pitbull's official site: http://www.pitbullmusic.com
Article from the Gramma Diario, the official Cuban Government Newspaper.... Highlighting the great work of the Cuban Democracy group and Mauricio!!
El bloqueo a Cuba sin antifaz
Dinero vía Mauricio
NICANOR LEÓN COTAYO
En Miami revelaron que enmiendas presentadas en el Congreso para suavizar aspectos del bloqueo a Cuba no avanzaron porque la ultraderecha compró el voto de un numeroso grupo de legisladores.
Ocurrió dos semanas atrás, y las propuestas iban desde aflojar las duras restricciones a los viajes de cubanoamericanos a la Isla, hasta permitir el envío a esta de jabón y pasta de dientes en paquetes de regalos.
Tal suceso devino festejo en Miami, sobre todo para Ileana Ros-Lehtinen y Lincoln Díaz-Balart, a manera de consuelo transitorio ante las derrotas que han sufrido en ese frente durante los últimos años.
¿Cómo alcanzaron esa "victoria"? Lo informó allí El Nuevo Herald al decir que solo uno de los representantes de la ultraderecha, Mauricio Claver-Carone, contactó a más de 120 legisladores y "les donó dinero para sus campañas".
Al respecto, un integrante del Centro de Estudios Lexington Institute, con sede en Virginia, Philip Peters, declaró: "No hay dudas de que las contribuciones de campaña jugaron su papel".
El señor Mauricio Claver-Carone dirige un denominado comité U.S. Cuba Democracy, vinculado a la Fundación Nacional Cubano Americana (FNCA), el cual desde su creación en agosto del 2003 —dicen— ha recaudado unos 750 000 dólares.
Según el Centro para una Política Responsable, con sede en Washington, ese grupo de cabildeo ha entregado 214 000 dólares para 113 candidatos a la Cámara de Representantes y 54 000 para 12 aspirantes al Senado.
Alrededor del 70% de ese dinero benefició a los republicanos, como en los casos del líder de su mayoría en la Cámara, Tom DeLay, quien recibió 2 500 dólares, y del senador por la Florida Mel Martínez, a quien le fueron entregados unos 7 000.
El Latin America Working Group, organización opuesta al bloqueo, dio a conocer que 33 legisladores cercanos a sus posiciones se alejaron de estas luego de recibir dinero del grupo Cuba Democracy.
Lo dicho permitió ahora, entre otras cosas, frenar enmiendas a favor de más viajes de cubanoamericanos a la Isla, y de permitir el envío aquí de jabón y pasta de dientes en paquetes de regalos.
Para llegar tan lejos no dudan, como acaban de reconocerlo públicamente, en comprar a ilustres hombres del Capitolio de Washington igual que hacen cuando adquieren un pedazo de carne en el mercado.
No sorprende, luego que Bush asignó públicamente 59 millones de dólares para acciones subversivas contra Cuba, apoyado en la ley Helms-Burton que supuestamente ampara ese comportamiento de asaltantes de caminos.
Impúdica actuación de Estados Unidos, cuyos gobernantes tienden un cerco a Cuba en nombre de la democracia y con sus hechos la trituran salvajemente, al igual que en otras partes del mundo.
La forma en que recientemente fueron saboteadas en el Congreso de Washington varias enmiendas no favorables al bloqueo, vuelve a certificar que han fallecido la vergüenza y el honor de quienes así actúan.
Sunday, July 17, 2005
People close to Menendez brush off the LiCausi situation. She came in a time when the Representative was going through a rough divorce, had some health problems and under a high amount of stress. His friends stated that LiCausi was only a companion during those hard times. His trust in her propelled her career. During this same time period he met his current wife, and have a strong relationship.
A Swift Climb Up the Ladder For an Ex-Aide To Menendez
By JEFFREY GETTLEMAN
The New York Times
Late Edition - Final25
In January 1998, Kay Elizabeth LiCausi, a 26-year-old graduate of Rutgers University and a former Congressional intern, walked into the second-story office of a New Jersey congressman to start a job as scheduler.
The work was not glamorous -- sorting through invitations, checking Amtrak timetables and fetching breakfast. But Ms. LiCausi was working for Representative Robert Menendez, a rising star in Democratic Party politics and the de facto political leader of Hudson County, who was soon to become the highest-ranking Hispanic member of Congress. She quickly gained his trust, and less than three years later was promoted to director of his New Jersey headquarters.
But in 2002, after helping Mr. Menendez win re-election to a sixth term, Ms. LiCausi left his staff. Since then, her influence has far exceeded that of a midlevel Congressional assistant. She has amassed hundreds of thousands of dollars in contracts as a consultant, lobbyist and fund-raiser.
Some of the work was orchestrated by Mr. Menendez, who steered more than $200,000 worth of political consulting and fund-raising contracts her way. Several of her clients are businesses and organizations run by prominent supporters of Mr. Menendez. Other clients need the assistance of the powerful congressman, and Ms. LiCausi has lobbied her former boss on their behalf.
The revolving door between government and lobbying hangs on a well-oiled hinge, and tales of former lawmakers or high-ranking staff members cashing in on their relationships and inside knowledge are almost cliches.
But what has struck many seasoned politicians and consultants in New Jersey is the speed of Ms. LiCausi's ascent and the scope of her work, even in the state's forgiving political culture. She had little experience on Capitol Hill or in Trenton. In her highest position, she supervised a half-dozen members of Mr. Menendez's Jersey City staff.
''This woman starts out as a midlevel staffer and then, all of a sudden, she's the greatest lobbyist on the East Coast?'' said Bobby Jackson, the publisher of a small newspaper in Jersey City, who supported Glenn Cunningham, the former mayor of Jersey City, a political opponent of Mr. Menendez.
In an interview, Mr. Menendez praised Ms. LiCausi as an ''incredibly talented individual'' who was fluent in the nuances of politics, policy and process. He acknowledged that he recommended her for a $130,000 contract to raise money for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Caucus, an organization in which he wields enormous clout as the third-ranking Democrat in the House. He also said that he had recommended her, when asked, for lobbying and political work.
Ms. LiCausi declined repeated requests to be interviewed, though she provided a resume and a statement, which said: ''I am proud of my career and the quality of my work on behalf of all my clients. I have been successful for two reasons -- I have worked hard and I'm good at what I do.''
The tale of her swift success, however, is complicated by the widespread belief among elected officials and political consultants in Hudson County and former members of Mr. Menendez's staff that she and the congressman had a romantic relationship.
Both Ms. LiCausi, who is 33 and single, and Mr. Menendez, 51 and recently divorced, refused to address any aspect of their nonprofessional lives. ''That's strictly personal,'' Mr. Menendez said.
Lobbying, of course, is an extremely lucrative, though loosely regulated field, where what is acceptable varies case to case and state to state. In New Jersey, the lines between business and politics, politicians and businessmen, are as blurry as in most other places. At the public's insistence, politicians have made attempts to limit and restrain the flow of influence, with little success.
Ms. LiCausi built her business with little attention until last August, when Mr. Menendez insisted that Gov. James E. McGreevey speed up his plans to resign amid a sex and patronage scandal. An unidentified McGreevey aide warned Mr. Menendez to back down, accusing him of also having an affair and setting up the woman in business and referring clients to her.
After a conversation with Mr. McGreevey, Mr. Menendez immediately dropped the issue, although Mr. McGreevey's early resignation could have set off a chain of events that could have led to a United States Senate seat for Mr. Menendez -- something he said he has dreamed of since he was 19. In fact, many people view him as the front-runner to fill Senator Jon S. Corzine's seat should Mr. Corzine be elected governor this fall.
In 1993, as Mr. Menendez was beginning his career in Congress, Ms. LiCausi was beginning her political climb. She started off as an intern for Representative Robert E. Andrews of South Jersey, worked for the National Women's Political Caucus in Washington, then held a few short-term campaign jobs before becoming an aide in New Jersey for Senator Robert G. Torricelli.
As Mr. Menendez's scheduler, she quickly established herself as his confidante.
''She'd pick him up in the morning, she'd get the right coffee, she'd get the special bread he liked, and the two of them would have breakfast alone,'' said Jose Manuel Alvarez, Mr. Menendez's former district director.
Ms. LiCausi was promoted several rungs, and by 2000 took Mr. Alvarez's place as district director, with her salary rising to more than $80,000, almost double her starting pay. The next year, when Mr. Menendez began an infamous feud with Jersey City's mayor, Mr. Cunningham, Ms. LiCausi was frequently deployed to enforce Mr. Menendez's agenda and stem the intraparty rift. She seemed to relish this role, including in her resume a line from a political Web site describing her as a ''tough, no-nonsense pol who has made her boss the Boss of Hudson County'' -- though Mr. Menendez chafes at the term boss.
In 2002, Ms. LiCausi helped Mr. Menendez win re-election in a typical landslide for him. Later that year, she left his staff to set up her consulting and lobbying shop. Her company, K.L. Strategies, is a modest operation: Ms. LiCausi and an associate. It is based in Hoboken, not far from where Mr. Menendez lives.
Her client list quickly blossomed. One client was Liberty HealthCare System, whose president, Jonathan M. Metsch, is a longtime fund-raiser for Mr. Menendez. At a ribbon cutting for the new Jersey City Medical Center in 2004, Dr. Metsch lavished the congressman with praise for his help in securing government-backed bonds. Dr. Metsch declined to be interviewed. A hospital spokesman issued a statement describing Ms. LiCausi as an ''effective advocate.'' However, the chairman of the hospital's board, James McLaughlin, said in an interview that he had never heard of her.
By 2004, she listed 10 clients with the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission and was paid $143,500 -- though she reported doing lobbying work for only three of them. Several of her clients have ties to Mr. Menendez. She was paid $22,500 by Imperial Construction Group of Elizabeth, a construction management firm led by two executives who are Cuban-American, like Mr. Menendez, and have helped organize fund-raisers for him. Imperial executives declined to discuss why they hired Ms. LiCausi.
''Bob's a great guy; that's all I got to say,'' said Lou Fernandez, one of the three principals.
Ms. LiCausi was also paid $7,500 by Liberty National, an affiliate of Applied Development Company, a major waterfront developer founded by Joseph Barry, a longtime Menendez ally. Mr. Barry was convicted in 2004 on federal charges that he paid off a Hudson County official in connection with a Hoboken project; he is serving 25 months in prison. (Ms. LiCausi's office is in a building owned by an Applied company). Several of Ms. LiCausi's clients declined to discuss why they hired her or what she has done for them. But a spokesman for Goldman Sachs, the financial services firm, which hired her as a lobbyist in 2003, said that she was helpful in tracking legislation and arranging meetings.
George D. Warrington, the executive director of New Jersey Transit, said Ms. LiCausi was known to staff members from her work for Mr. Menendez and was hired last December for $3,000 a month to do community outreach.
''We needed somebody who knew Hudson County like the back of her hand,'' Mr. Warrington said.
Ms. LiCausi also has a contract for $7,500 a month from the Mills Corporation, one of the developers of Xanadu, a billion-dollar mall and entertainment complex being built in the Meadowlands. Plans call for the addition of a light-rail line, and developers are hoping that the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee that Mr. Menendez serves on will provide financing.
In fact, several of Ms. LiCausi's clients are pushing for federal transportation money, including Union County. According to her own e-mail message in January, Ms. LiCausi informed a county official that she had lobbied Mr. Menendez on a road expansion project near a new mall in Elizabeth. ''FYI, I had breakfast with Bob this morning and reiterated how important this project was to Union County/Winning Strategies/KL Strategies,'' she wrote. (Winning Strategies is a lobbying firm Ms. LiCausi sometimes works with.)
At the same time she was building her lobbying business, Ms. LiCausi was working as a paid political consultant and fund-raiser for Mr. Menendez. As soon as she left his staff, she began making $5,000 a month from his re-election campaign and another $5,000 a month from a political action committee he controls, according to federal campaign finance records.
She also received $10,000 a month from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in 2003 and 2004. Mr. Menendez acknowledged that he encouraged the committee to hire Ms. LiCausi, one of a handful of fund-raisers nationwide.
''I said, here's someone who's very competent, who's a big part of my political operation and can help us do this, and they decided to hire her,'' he said. ''So that is true, I was supportive for her in that case, but that's a political context.''
Repeated requests were made to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee for details of Ms. LiCausi's fund-raising efforts, but officials said it was impossible to break out contributions she had raised.
Ms. LiCausi is also vice chairman of the Hudson County Democratic Party, an elected position that is closely controlled by party leaders. One of the politicians she lobbied, according to her own disclosure forms, was State Senator Bernard F. Kenny Jr., the Hudson County Democratic chairman and a confidante of Mr. Menendez -- though Mr. Kenny rejected the notion of a conflict of interest, saying he separated her political and lobbying roles.
Mr. Menendez said there was no impropriety involved in his support for Ms. LiCausi.
''The bottom line is,'' Mr. Menendez said, ''the people of my district and the people of New Jersey need to know: Do I do my job ethically? Do I work hard for them every day? Do I fight for them every day? Am I willing to make difficult decisions, even in the face of adversity? I think my whole life has been about that.''
Copyright 2005 , The New York Times Company.