Archive for violation

Did Mitch McConnell violate federal law by misusing his Senate staff?


huh what'd they say

The watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics and Washington has asked the FBI to investigate whether or not Mitch McConnell is in hot water. CREW is asking if "Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY), violated federal law and Senate rules by misusing Senate staff or resources to conduct opposition research on potential campaign opponents."

(CNN) – One of the questions to emerge from that secret recording of a Mitch McConnell campaign strategy session is whether it proves the Senate Minority Leader is caught on tape misusing his congressional staff. [...]

In the Mother Jones transcript, a campaign strategist at the McConnell meeting in February is quoted as thanking "LAs" or legislative assistants (legislative assistant being a title for a specific congressional staff position) for their work in developing opposition research on potential opponents, including actress Ashley Judd, who has since decided against a run for the Kentucky seat.

"So I'll just preface my comments that this reflects the work of a lot of folks: Josh, Jesse, Phil Maxson, a lot of LAs, thank them three times, so this is a compilation of work, all the way through," the unidentified strategist is quoted as saying in the liberal magazine's transcript.

Yes CNN, "the liberal magazine's transcript" is making all kinds of biased liberal assumptions in its biased liberal transcript. Good thing unbiased "liberal media" source CNN pointed that out.

The question CREW is asking is whether the adviser said, "thank them for their free time." You can hear that part in the first few seconds of the audio above, starting at about :25, ending at about :33.

As CNN notes, Congressional staffers are allowed to volunteer their personal time to political activities. Socialists!

Before I read the full post or anything that would sway me one way or the other, I listened to the recording several times, and each time I thought I heard "three times," with an S at the end. Then I read the rest of the report to understand that the conclusion wouldn't favor Team McConnell. Fine by me.

Listen carefully yourselves and let me know what you think.


VIDEO: "Shell sent two rigs to go try to drill in the Arctic, and both rigs went ker-splat!"


shell oil maddow show

ker splat

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Via the L.A. Times:

Plagued with problems with both its drilling rigs and its oil spill containment vessel, Shell Alaska announced Wednesday that it will not conduct offshore drilling operations in the Alaska Arctic this year.

The decision to “pause” Arctic drilling during the upcoming ice-free months of summer will allow the company to repair and retool its troubled rigs and prepare for future operations in a program that has already cost the company nearly $5 billion.

Rachel Maddow:

"So Shell was the only oil company deemed ready enough to start drilling in the Arctic, to start drilling in this pristine environment where we have not allowed drilling in the past. Shell was the only company given the go-ahead by the U.S. government.

Shell sent two rigs to go try to drill in the Arctic, and both rigs went ker-splat!

And then today Shell said, 'You know what? Forget it. We're out. We can't do it.'"

"And given Shell's mess up there... the Interior Department is right now doing an emergency review of whether Arctic drilling can be done safely at all."

"What happens next in this industry is anybody's guess."

To repeat, what does it take? We were lucky this time, no spill, no leaks... that we know of.

Here's the back story:

Multiple safety, environmental violations on another Shell Alaska Arctic drilling rig

That Shell Arctic drilling “emergency plan”… What could possibly go wrong?  

Dep’t. of What Could Go Wrong? More headaches for Shell Alaska’s new offshore drilling program in US Arctic

VIDEO: Now what? Arctic offshore drilling, a broken oil rig. “What if the same problems had been encountered miles away?”

VIDEO: Big Oil is neither competent nor capable of safe drilling in the Arctic. Period.

bp maddow showoil geyser maddow show


Multiple safety, environmental violations on another Shell Alaska Arctic drilling rig


what does it take

What does it take? Previously:

That Shell Arctic drilling “emergency plan”… What could possibly go wrong?  

Dep’t. of What Could Go Wrong? More headaches for Shell Alaska’s new offshore drilling program in US Arctic

VIDEO: Now what? Arctic offshore drilling, a broken oil rig. “What if the same problems had been encountered miles away?”

VIDEO: Big Oil is neither competent nor capable of safe drilling in the Arctic. Period.

It's bewildering that the Obama administration and Drill-Baby-Drillers still take risks with the world we live in, a world that needs care, not abuse. Sadly, corporate profits are a priority and lobbyists who apply so much political pressure triumph way more often than they should.

When will they learn that they and their families are as vulnerable as anyone else who inhabits this planet? Family values? Yeah, right. "Pro-life"? Don't make me laugh.

How many more of these reports, like this one from the L.A. Times, will it take to convince those who insist on drilling that clean energy ("clean" coal is not clean, by the way, and the Keystone XL Tar Sands Pipeline is a disaster-in-waiting) is the only feasible solution if Mother Earth is to survive?

The U.S. Coast Guard has found evidence of multiple safety and environmental violations in Shell Alaska's Noble Discoverer Arctic drilling rig and forwarded it to the U.S. Justice Department for a decision about possible civil or criminal penalties, authorities confirmed Friday.

The news is the latest setback for Shell’s troubled Arctic drilling program... It has been plagued with logistical and mechanical troubles that raise questions about the company’s ability to continue this year. [...]

The Coast Guard found a lack of preventive maintenance and “systematic failure” led the Discoverer to experience a loss of its propulsion system and an explosion in its exhaust system, according to a letter to Shell’s president from U.S. Rep. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) that detailed 16 reported deficiencies. [...]

The violations appear to be serious enough that Coast Guard officials in Alaska said they have referred the case to the Justice Department for review.


Supervisor: Paul Ryan campaign event, "a highly inappropriate use of hangar space," violated county rules


One might conclude that Paul Ryan felt "entitled" to break a few county rules when he held a rally for thousands in a local airport hangar in Wisconsin.

Via JS Online:

A Nov. 5 rally for Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan at a county-owned Mitchell International Airport hangar violated county rules and lease terms for the firm that rents the space, a county supervisor said Wednesday.

Supervisor Patricia Jursik called Ryan's election eve rally "a highly inappropriate use of hangar space." She said the rally violated the county's hangar lease with Sterling Aviation, where Ryan spoke to more than 2,000 supporters.

"It turned that hangar into a big convention hall," Jursik said in an interview.

He also caused traffic jams and violated the county ethics ordinance, but who's counting?

In case anyone is wondering, Supervisor Jursik is an independent, so this wasn't about politics.

The airport manager said Ryan was originally given approval because they thought it would be nothing more than a landing and takeoff, as other national candidates have done. But it turned into something bigger and "inappropriate," you know, kind of like the Romney-Ryan campaign.


Quickie: Rick Perry's $800,000 little secret


Today's Quickie:

Taegan links to Politico, and Politico shares a secret with us:

Perry's team reached a confidential settlement last week in which his campaign admits that it violated disclosure laws by hiding the details of more than $800K it spent on amenities at the governors mansion, including flowers, food and drink -- even cable television bills that included hundreds of dollars worth of charges for movies and events.

There now, see what a breath of fresh air he is? Transparent as mud.

That was today's Quickie. Was it good for you?


Bachmann Family Clinic may have violated contract: "No religious based counseling"


My original 2010 post about Marcus Bachmann and his "ungay" clinic. Others here.

Below is a screen grab of an excerpt from the Bachmann & Associates, Inc. clinic overview, the same clinic run by Michele Bachmann's husband, the same clinic that received "big government handouts", the same handouts that Michele denied she and Mr. Michele benefited from.

In the contract with the U.S. government was this provision:

XXIII.3 “GRANTEE agrees that no religious based counseling shall take place under the auspices of this grant.”

Now here is just one excerpt from the "program overview". There are others that are similar:


If she and her husband can't adhere to such a simple rule, and if Candidate Michele can't comprehend basic facts and/or rules in general, it's a safe bet to state unequivocally, right here and right now, that she is unqualified to hold the office of president, or vice president... or any other public office, for that matter.

Think Progress has more.


Wisconsin GOP election fraud exposed


Wisconsin Republicans keep exponentially increasing their slime factor. I didn't think that was even possible after tracking the political vulgarity oozing from Governor Scott Walker and his gang of GOP legislators, I was wrong.

In a previous post, I noted that the name of a lawmaker's dead father was forged on a recall petition to oust a Democrat. I also wrote about Supreme Court recount ballots chain of custody being compromised. But it appears that was just a drop in the bucket of Republican sleaze.

Via the Democratic Party of Wisconsin:

MADISON – A formal challenge to be filed later today against Republican recall petitions asks the Government Accountability Board to disqualify thousands of invalid signatures, and reject recall elections against three Democratic state senators, because widespread and systemic election fraud has tainted the entire GOP operation. [...]

[Senate Democratic Leader Mark Miller] Miller ... "The vast depth of this misconduct calls into question the legitimacy of every signature collected by these circulators, and shows that the GOP effort failed to gather the valid signatures needed for recall elections."

The formal challenge, to be filed on behalf of the Democratic senators this afternoon, shows that the number of invalid signatures gathered through systemic election fraud would reduce the total collected against each of the three Democratic state senators well below the threshold required to trigger a recall election.   [...]

The challenge of GOP recall petitions features scores of claims from Wisconsin citizens who were victimized by the wholesale election fraud of the disreputable out-of-state firm hired by Wisconsin Republicans to collect signatures. ... Kennedy owns a tarnished reputation based on past offenses in Colorado.

Much more here.

H/t: @TksABunchJohn