Wednesday, August 27, 2008


"Private nursing homes conduct registration drives," noted Paul Sullivan of the group Veterans for Common Sense, but "we are not aware of any efforts VA has taken to assist veterans with registering and voting."

"The goal of President George W. Bush, Karl Rove, and VA Secretary James Peake is to run out the clock so that no voter assistance is provided to our hundreds of thousands of hospitalized and homeless veterans," Sullivan argued. "If President Bush and Karl Rove run out the clock, then our veterans and our democracy lose. Shame on Bush, Rove, and Peake for undermining the voting rights of our disabled veterans during a time of war."

Voter Registration Drives Barred from Vets Homes

Aaron Glantz, OneWorld USTue Aug 26, 1:56 PM ET

SAN FRANCISCO, Aug 26 (OneWorld) - As citizens across the United States gear up for a historic and highly competitive set of national, state, and local elections this November, a federal government policy is keeping voter registration groups away from thousands of elderly and disabled military veterans.

When Silicon Valley labor organizer Steve Preminger went over his precinct maps in 2004, he couldn't believe what he saw. Of the 400 veterans who lived at the nearby Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Menlo Park nursing home, only one had voted in the year 2000. So Preminger, who also heads a local chapter of the Democratic Party, gathered together a stack of voter registration cards, and he and a friend began walking the halls looking for veterans who were interested in registering to vote.

"We thought registering people to vote is as American as apple pie," he said. "Who better to reach out to than those who have sacrificed so much for this country?"

Almost immediately, VA officials threw him out. "We got summarily evicted by a supervisor who was re-enforced by security."

The VA has since explained that its decision to evict Preminger was part of a Bush Administration policy that bars outside groups from registering voters who live in VA nursing homes, hospitals, and transitional housing for homeless veterans.

In an e-mailed response to questions for this story, VA press secretary Alison Aikele said that "designating a VA hospital as a voter registration site" would make it harder for the government to care for wounded veterans. It "would be disruptive to the quality care we provide our veterans," she said.

Veterans groups have expressed outrage over the policy, which they say is disenfranchising as many as 400,000 veterans who often do not know they need to re-register to vote when they move into a VA facility and it becomes their official, state-sanctioned address. The VA has even barred local elections officials from carrying out voter registration drives.

In June, the VA barred Connecticut Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz and Attorney General Richard Blumenthal from entering its West Haven facility to help register voters.

Preminger has gone to court to get the policy overturned and has been joined in his complaint by elections officials in 22 states. "During visiting hours anyone can come into a VA facility and talk to veterans about the weather or sports," attorney Scott Rafferty said. "We should be able to come in and talk to these same Americans and ask them if they want to register to vote and who they want to vote for."

But the wheels of American justice can be slow, and with another presidential election just two months away, Preminger's case is still working its way through the courts.

Meanwhile, the VA has refused to soften its position. On May 5, the Department of Veterans Affairs issued a new rule, VHA DIRECTIVE 2008-025, which states succinctly: "to avoid disruptions to facility operations, voter registration drives are not permitted."

Veterans' advocates are now looking toward Congress to overrule the VA policy. They're hoping the House and Senate will speed through the "Veteran Voting Support Act" as soon as lawmakers return from major party political conventions in September. They say the bill, which would overturn the VA's policy and allow voter registration drives, must be passed immediately if veteran voters are to be reached -- and in many cases re-enfranchised -- ahead of November's election.

In the meantime, non-partisan veterans organizations wait for the chance to register their fellow veterans to vote.


You would never know it by watching MSNBC, CNN or FOX NEWS but a wave of violence has swept across IRAQ.

The IRAQ WAR and the 160,000 young AMERICANS deployed to IRAQ are not even on the radar screens of MSNBC, CNN and FOX NEWS.

The media---which mirrors the attitude of the American public---couldn't care less about the 160,000 young AMERICANS "stranded" in IRAQ.

Comments by BILL CORCORAN, editor of CORKSPHERE

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

45 Dead, 79 Wounded in Wave of Violence

Bombing in Jalawla' Raises Tensions with Baghdad


Why Iraq still matters to the presidential campaign,according to Mark Brunswick of the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

Violence erupted throughout central, eastern and northern Iraq on Tuesday, leaving at least 45 dead and some 79 wounded. The major single attack was a suicide bombing that struck at a police recruiting center in the mostly Kurdish town of Jalaula' northeast of Baquba in troubled Diyala Province. The attack raised suspicions among Kurds because it comes in the wake of disputes between the Kurds of Diyala and the government of Nuri al-Maliki, who has sent Iraqi government troops into Diyala. When the troops entered Khanaqin, a potentially oil-rich city near the Iranian border that is largely Kurdish, there were tensions with the local population and with the Peshmerga Kurdish paramilitary.

On Tuesday, residents of Khanaqin staged a demonstration against the presence in their city of government troops. Jalawla' is near Khanaqin. Al-Hayat writes in Arabic that when Iraqi troops first went into the northern, Kurdish areas of Diyala, they gave the local Peshmerga 24 hours to get out of the region. The Diyala governing council resisted this ultimatum, creating tension with the central government. The Kurdistan Regional Government also disputed the decree, eliciting charges from Baghdad that the KRG was attempting to extend its authority into provinces not in its purview (Diyala is not part of the KRG). Al-Hayat says that the Peshmerga had just returned to Khanaqin and Jalawla' after the withdrawal of federal troops.Shawn Brimley and Colin Kahl argue against al-Maliki's crackdown on the Sunni Arab Awakening Councils.Kurdish journalists are in danger in Iraqi Kurdistan.

Al-Hayat reports a new poll that shows that half of KRG residents feel that they have little freedom of speech.


FOX NEWS continues to carry the water for the Bush White House and the Pentagon and LIE to the American public about the success of "the surge."

But FOX NEWS isn't alone in praising the success of "the surge." RUSH LIMBAUGH, SEAN HANNITY AND MICHAEL SAVAGE, all right-wing "hate" radio talkshow hosts, also continue to LIE to their listeners about how well things are going in IRAQ.

Here is a story which points out what filthy liars FOX NEWS, RUSH LIMBAUGH, SEAN HANNITY AND MICHAEL SAVAGE are in their ongoing effort to mislead their audiences the the real truth about IRAQ.

BAGHDAD - Three blasts killed at least 34 Iraqis on Tuesday, most of them in a suicide car bombing that struck a group of police recruits, officials said. It was one of the highest daily casualty tolls in recent months.

The Associated Press

Two of the bombs went off in Diyala province, which has been the site of much of the recent violence and a stronghold of Sunni insurgents.

In the provincial town of Jalula, an assailant drove a car toward a building where new police recruits had assembled, said Col. Ahmed Mahmoud Khalifa, the local police chief.

The car approached the building but was stopped by guards. The driver then detonated the explosives, the chief said. He said 25 people were killed and 40 wounded.

Local police have been forming an emergency response force in the region, with each tribal sheik allowed to send a certain number of recruits. Monday was the last day of recruitment, and applicants came to the police center on Tuesday to check whether they had been accepted, Khalifa said.

After the blast, security forces imposed a curfew on Jalula, about 80 miles northeast of Baghdad.
Children killed on way to shrineElsewhere in Diyala, a roadside bomb struck a van carrying a Sunni family near the town of Mandali along the Iranian border, said Col. Sarchal Abdul-Karim, a spokesman of Iraqi border guards in the area.

Five members of the family were killed, including two women and two children, the spokesman said. The family was on the way to a religious shrine, the colonel added.

Also Tuesday, a bomb planted in a parked car killed four people and wounded six, including three policemen, in the city of Tikrit north of Baghdad.

The explosion went off during morning rush hour in a central street used by local government officials to go to work, said a police official who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to speak to the media.

More here: