Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Kline Gets Klink'd

Kline is upset with a student intern that posted up on the Rowley Blog a picture that photoshop’d Kline into Col. Klink from Hogan’s Heroes. For those of you too young to know, Hogan’s Heroes was a successful TV sitcom that ran from 1965 until 1971. It was set in a camp in Germany and among other things portrayed the Nazi’s as bumbling idiots. It wasn’t a real portrayal of Nazi camps nor was it meant to be taken serious or confused for being accurate. But apparently our own Colonel Kline doesn't get that part...and with the national deficit increasing $2.19 BILLION a day while under his watch...I can understand his inability to grasp reality. While Kline is upset with a lack of judgement by an intern this administration expects to borrow a record $188 billion in the January-March quarter, even more than it anticipated three months ago, the Treasury Department announced Monday

The actor who played Col. Klink, Mr. Klemperer said
the show was never intended to be viewed in a serious light. Whenever anyone tries to overanalyze ‘Hogan Heroes’ I merely tell them that it was a funny show, a wonderful show, and I’m very proud of it. And that’s the end of that”.
Mr. Klemperer’s own Jewish family escaped from Germany in the 1930’s.

While Coleen Rowley’s campaign immediately took the photo down when informed of it and called Kline personally to apologize, Kline has distorted the incident hoping to deflect from his own lack of leadership and general dekline by over stating:
"Rowley personally apologize to him and to every veteran"
How convenient that Kline paints all veterans with him on this. So I went to my husband, a Vietnam veteran, and asked him if he was offended. This is what he had to say:
“I’m offended by John Kline’s immediate and succinct reaction to such a minor event while soldiers continue to die in Iraq due to the lack of adequate armor. I’m outraged that Kline can take the time to use this for his own ends while not drawing attention to the fact that every day American veterans are having their benefits cut, are being denied proper health care, their families are having to use food stamps and aren’t having their basic needs met even while risking thier lives for our county.”
Perhaps the intern made the honest mistake of thinking of Kline as Klink...wonder why?

Kline's Backs More Delayism!

As Congress gets set to reconvene, some politicians like Minnesota's John Kline think that all they need to do to put the DeLay-Abramoff scandals behind them is to elect a "fresh face" as Majority Leader. Why else would Congressman John Kline be supporting Boehner. It can't be because Boehner is an ethical choice! No- He's no better than Delay and in some ways even worse!
Click a 'Fact Sheet on Boehner'. Many believe that the K Street Project started by modeling it after a weekly Boehner meeting group.

Watch a Boehner ad here.

Supporting Boehner is supporting more of the same DeLay-ism. Let Kline know the GOP leadership should be about GOP leadership ethics not egos.

Friday, January 27, 2006

The sad record of John Kline

Is available in detail here.
Thank you to David Bailey for doing such wonderful research.

Travel Back In Time With Kline: The Making Of A Flip Flop

11/28/2004 - Minnesota's Congressman Kline stands with Tom Delay...
First and foremost, the House Republican Caucus ethics rule to which you refer was not repealed, it was revised.
Ah, repealed, revised. I see. Thank you, your intentions toward Delay are very clear even if you do seem to mince words!
When the original rule was passed, requiring any member under indictment to step down from a position in party leadership, no one considered the possibility of a rogue district attorney bent on partisan political persecution. Unfortunately, Travis County District Attorney Ronnie Earle has demonstrated his commitment to doing just that by adding Majority Leader Tom DeLay to the long list of Republican lawmakers he has targeted throughout his career.
Ronnie Earle has been a district attorney for 30 years...In that time he has prosecuted 12 Democrats and 3 Republicans. So a whopping 25% of those he prosecuted were Republican...How much more fair can you get? There is no 'long list', Earl is 'law abiding, hardworking, honest,modern day legal eagle...'

How much more spin and lying can Kline do? Well...
Sadly, it has become necessary to take steps to address the reality of political manipulation of the process and the constitutional right of every American to be considered innocent until proven guilty. Tom DeLay has not, in fact, been indicted. Does he not deserve the same basic rights afforded the rest of us?
To answer Kline, under the law Delay will be innocent until proven guilty in a court of law...But until then he should be removed from the scene of the crime (the GOP lead Congress) and stopped from committing any more....crimes. Geesh Kline, for someone supposedly tough on crime, you seem like a marshmallow...Wonder why?

...come on home to Kline's flip flop land of the here and now.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Kline Supports 'More Of The Same' Corrupted GOP Leadership

A couple of weeks ago Congressman John Kline (MN R) decided to call for Tom DeLay to be replaced he used the unusual harsh statement, "The situation is that Tom's legal situation doesn't seem to be reaching clarity". Ouch! Delay must be reeling with that rebuke.

Naturally having been a close friend and ally to Delay, taking money from Delay's PACs, and consistently voting with Delay, such a strong stance must have cost Kline. But hey, the elections are coming up and Kline will need some 'spin' to minimize his long relationship with the current GOP culture of corruption. So you ask, what other strong moral stands can we expect out of Kline?

Well expect more of the same! While patting himself on the back for the appearance of putting distance between himself and Delay, Kline in fact is promoting more of the same in the way corrupt leadership. While calling for Delay to step down, Kline would like to see Rep. John Boehner of Ohio, chairman of the Education and the Workforce Committee, become majority leader. "I just think that he brings experience and proven ability to address problems," Kline said.

Only John Boehner doesn't have the proven ability to address the ethics and corruption problems having been reprimanded himself in the past for passing out campaign checks while on the House floor. In 1995, Boehner raised eyebrows by distributing campaign checks from tobacco lobbyists on the House floor! Since 2000, his political action committee, the Freedom Project, has raised $32,500 from four of Abramoff's tribal clients-- more than DeLay did.

John Boehner would rule from basically the same power base as Delay. He's a K Street operator who applies a heavy hand on lobbyists for contributions. Boehner is probably no less conservative than Delay and certainly not a reformer. The difference between Boehner and Delay is which House members each one has been raising money for. Boehner would see more of the same corruption as with Delay only with new face. Boehner is widely credited with the passage of "No Child Left Behind Act." He is also one of only a handful of House Republicans to vote with George W. Bush's position literally 100% of the time last year.

It's almost ironic to use reform and Boehner in the same sentence...as Sam Rosenfeld noted, "reform" is the last thing on Boehner's mind.
As Republican Conference chair from 1995 to 1998, Boehner himself initiated the formalized, semi-official marriage of lobbyists and GOP lawmakers now commonly associated with DeLay: in the words of David Maraniss and Michael Weisskopf in their history of the Gingrich years, Boehner served as the leadership's "liaison to business," conceiving of and hosting the Thursday Group, a "weekly strategy session with business and trade association leaders." In 2004 Jeff Birnbaum described Boehner's Thursday Group as "the granddaddy of all [the] mutual-back-scratching sessions" between lawmakers and lobbyists that now occur on a daily, regularly scheduled basis.
So tell us again Mr. Kline, why do you support your good friend Boehner?

Friday, January 20, 2006

John Kline: Voting To Slash Medicaid Benefits

Congressman John Kline (MN-R) voted away our Medicaid health benefits by voting for the Budget Reconciliation Health Care Provision passed by the House on November 18 (HR4241, later inserted into S.1932).

According to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO), HR 4241 contains gross cuts to national funding for Medicaid totaling more than $12 billion over five years; and $50 billion over ten years. As the bill also contains new funding for Medicaid relief for Katrina survivors totaling $2.5 billion and an additional $1 billion in other new expenditures; the net reduction to Medicaid in the House-passed bill is $8.9 billion over five years, and $43.7 billion over 10 years.

The majority of these cuts will fall directly on vulnerable Medicaid beneficiaries who will be faced with dramatically higher out-of-pocket expenses. These expenses include $10 billion in new co-payments, premiums and deductibles over ten years.

Disturbingly, the Congressional Budget Office plainly states that 80% of this $10 billion in savings will result from Medicaid beneficiaries forgoing needed care. The conference agreement also contains $6.1 billion in benefit reductions over ten years, and an additional $6.4 billion in reduced payments for long term care.

Back in the fall of 2000 John Kline said he "supports a Republican proposal that will help the poor and lower middle class pay for drugs, but he doesn't think the federal government should help the wealthy pay for those pharmaceuticals." I guess he forgot about that promise as this bill has poor beneficiaries paying a lot more for a lot less. The American Public Health Association (APHA), the oldest and largest organization of public health professionals in the world, representing more than 50,000 members from over 50 occupations of public health, gives Representative John Kline an overall rating of 0% (the lowest among Minnesota's elected officials!).

That's John Kline -- not looking after your interests especially if you're poor or sick.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Rift With Corruption

The Republican party of Lip Service with Colonel Kline in the lead (MN-R) is getting American troops killed needlessly by providing inadequate armor and now by insisting that add ons and personal purchased armor be removed.

It's unbelievable given the recent Pentagon report that our soldiers have been forbidden from buying or wearing non-standard-issue body armor that will save their lives. What's even sadder is that it has everything to do with GOP corruption.

Since SOTT DefenseWatch released a secret Marine Corps report by the Pentagon last week that determined 80% of the Marines killed in Iraq might have been saved if the Interceptor OTV body armor they were issued was more effective, the Services have ordered anyone wearing any other brand of body armor to "take it off and leave it behind" . The order came with the threat of denied death benefits (SGLI life insurance policy) as well as face disciplinary action.

Seems like a pretty harsh order that runs contrary to their best interests (not to mention survival!). Even the DoD, under severe pressure from Congress, last year authorized a one-time $1,000 reimbursement to soldiers who had purchased civilian equipment to supplement either inadequate or unavailable equipment needed for combat operations. At the time there was no restriction on what the soldiers could buy as long as it was specifically intended to offer personal protection or further their mission capabilities while in theater.

Commanders are reportedly telling their subordinates to take off protective personal armor and that they "have no choice because the orders came from very high up" and have to be enforced. Even Rumsfeld's callous "You go to war with the army you have", doesn't explain asking the Special Operations Operators, Navy SEALS, AF Special Tactics Teams, Delta Force and Special Forces to take off their personally purchased armor. But this does:

Standard issued armor to the Army and Marines comes from Armor Holdings, Inc (NYSE trading symbol: AH) with a current market value of 88 million. Almost 6% of the shares is owned by Foster Friess. Mr. Friess and family has donated more than half a million to Republicans in the past three campaign cycles. ($51,000 so far in 2006). In exchange, Armor gets an exclusive military procurement contract to supply body armor to the Army and Marines.

I would like to believe that the fact that our soldiers have been forbidden from buying or wearing non-standard-issue body armor that will save their lives, has nothing to do with any of this. But given the facts, only a fool would believe so. Daily Kos discusses how the company with the exclusive contract has exploded with profits and the owner is......a big Republican donor.

Powerlline ask the question, "How can it be that the press fawns over every pronouncement from Jack Murtha, while studiously ignoring the observations and opinions of the far more experienced and better-informed John Kline?" My answer would be Murtha's truth speaks louder than Kline's pretty words. In this specific case the lack of words or action from Kline is shameful!

Rep. John Kline as a member of the House Armed Services Committee should be leading the charge against this breaking scandal. He should be asking for an independent investigation, demanding adequate protection forsoldierslders and seeking the truth. Sadly, other than some lip service about supporting our troops, John Kline is AWOL on this subject. It's not good enough to hide behind past service when currently our troops are being asked to fight without adequate protection--hell they're dying because of inadequate armor--all for the sake of following the GOP leadership of greed.

Dragon Skin verses Interceptor Body Armor

Recently Dragon Skin became an item of contention between proponents of the Interceptor OTV body armor generally issued to all service members deploying in combat theaters and its growing legion of critics. Critics of the Interceptor OTV system say it is ineffective and inferior to Dragon Skin, as well as several other commercially available body armor systems on the market. Last week DefenseWatch released a secret Marine Corps report that determined that 80% of the 401 Marines killed in Iraq between April 2004 and June 2005 might have been saved if the Interceptor OTV body armor they were wearing was more effective. The Army has declined to comment on the report because doing so could aid the enemy, an Army spokesman has repeatedly said. (But killing our troops isn't?!)

Sensible guidelines? Or bureaucratic clamp-down? Or greed and corruption? Regardless, it's another GOP disgrace but this time there's a body count.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

John Kline (MN-R) Breaks Up With Delay

Well... okay.. they don't like - totally decide to go their separate ways...just to start dating other people...
Finally Congressman John Kline (MN R) decides to call for Tom DeLay to be replaced! I was beginning to get worried since Congressman Kline’s past DeLay record includes taking $30,000 from DeLay’s ARMPAC, supporting rule changes that would allow the embattled Majority Leader Tom Delay to keep his leadership position even if indicted by a grand jury, and voting with Tom DeLay 96% of the time between January 1, 2004 and March 31, 2005.

Kline’s actions along with his recent strong statement regarding Delay: ‘The situation is that Tom's legal situation doesn't seem to be reaching clarity’, shows all of us John Kline’s leadership qualities and ever vigilant stance against corruption. I mean...Kline really hits Delay for being a criminal with that statement...clarity!?! I guess the definition of clarity is: 'my friend Delay got caught, is probably facing jail time, and since I was his lapdog...well I better be putting some distances between us!"

And it’s good to see Congressman Kline is now put some distance between himself and Tom DeLay especially before the upcoming election. He’s going to need every little bit of ‘spin’ he can manage to continue to fool the voters all of the time.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Tell Kline Body Armor Is Not Optional

Paul Rieckhoff and other veterans have been calling for a congressional investigation in why American troops are not getting adequate body armor. Yet Congressman Kline (MN R) has remained silent regarding this national disgrace.

Once before I posted on Kline's appalling record regarding protecting our troops. While Kline wraps himself in the flag with his numerous trips to Iraq, it's all smoke an mirrors without any substance. John Kline, as a member of the House Armed Services Committee, should be working night and day to ensure our troops have the necessary body armor.
From USA Today
After Army and Marine Corps generals were summoned Wednesday to a closed-door briefing on Capitol Hill, the brass emerged with vows to improve body armor for all U.S. troops in Iraq. The Times report continued, noting that "such armor has been available since 2003," but the Pentagon declined to supply it to the troops despite "calls from the field for additional protection."
Members of Congress were reacting to a newly reported analysis by the Armed Forces Medical Examiner, which concluded that 80% of the fatal injuries to Marines in the study might have been prevented by additional armor coverage. Side armor, a special concern, is just beginning to arrive in Iraq.
The internal government report obtained by the New York Times and published in an article this past weekend confirms that "80 percent of the marines who have been killed in Iraq from wounds to the upper body could have survived if they had extra body armor." Did Congressman Kline know of this report even as he travel around Iraq? Why didn't he immediately hold a press conference and demand this issue be addressed? Does his support of the troops only extend to Bush's war agenda?

More than 2000 American troops have died during combat. And according to the Times analysis, hundreds of the deaths could have been prevented if our soldiers were equipped with the right kind of body armor. Armor that costs as little as $260 per set.

Even Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has said there has been an ongoing shortage of body armor for soldiers in Iraq because the government did not anticipate the scope of the insurgency. Armor producing company have announced that they have the ability to produce more, but the army hasn't ordered it. Add into this the fact the private contractors have adequately protected vehicles but our troops don't. While Kline can travel around Iraq's green zone in the best armored vehicle available, our troops are still cutting up plywood to protect their Hummers.

What possible comfort can Kline give to the families of the dead? Kline voted to send our troops into harms way without caring enough to make sure they had the necessary armor and adequate protection. It's a national disgrace!

Friday, January 13, 2006

While The Economy DeKlines, CD2 Pays

My..My..My..Congressman Kline (MN R) must have decided to start running for re-election. I'm sure that's the reason for the multitude of mailings and invites throughout the Second Congressional District...at taxpayer expense! I got mine on protecting 'the children', my friends in Eagan got one on 'protecting our borders' (which is kind of funny if you think about it...what? Are we afraid that Apple Valley will storm in and demand to rename streets?) and in Northfield Kline sent out invitations on 'Rx rights' for seniors. All were paid for by...TAXPAYER'S EXPENSE!

With the news today that the deficit is hitting a new high of over $400 BILLION, why is John Kline squandering our tax money on self promotion?

Is it too much to ask that Mr. Kline spend his time and our money doing his job? How about balancing the budget, or provide adequate services to Americans like education and affordable healthcare, or giving us moral leadership in WA,DC instead of pandering to criminals like Delay and his legislation, Cunningham and his projects, or Abramoff's special interests. It's time for the gravy train of handouts from John Kline and the rest of the GOP controlled Congress to big corporations and wealthy individuals to stop.

If Kline was really doing his job, the benefits of his actions would show within our community. Instead we have inadequate mass transportation (how long does it take you to get to work?), under funded school mandates (leave no dime behind!), skyrocketing property taxes (yes I said tax not fee), and out of control healthcare costs. No amount of pretty pictures on glossy paper will rectify any of these problems. Only a person with the backbone to stand up and speak the truth will enact change.

Here's a letter published today in the Northfield News by another dis-satisfied constituent:

To the Editor:

Our mail carrier brought us a "Goodie" this afternoon. A full color invitation, mailed to Minnesota's Congressional Second District Seniors from Congressman John Kline, to attend one of two Medicare Rx information sessions he's hosting in Rosemount in January.

Hey, Congressman Kline. You're a little late. The Senior Linkage Line from the Minnesota Board on Aging has held sessions at rhe Northfield Senior Center and, I presume, at other senior centers around the state since at least November. What took you so long?

Why do I suspect that the purpose of the mailing was more to promote Congressman Kline in an election year than to provide information to us seniors? Maybe because it says on the front: "This mailing prepared, published, and mailed at taxpayer expense." Maybe because our esteemed congressman has co-opted a program that was running just fine before he noticed it.

Perhaps if Congressman Kline spent a little more time around his district and less time raising money in Washington, DC, he would have noticed that the Senior Linkage Line program has been here before and said "This isn't my idea, but it's a great program so I want to help publicize it." And maybe, just maybe, he would have decided, "The Federal Government is spending enough money. I'll pick up the tab for this mailing myself."

He could have sent a postcard printed in black and white, no picture, but what the heck. The taxpayer is paying for it. Let's go for a full-size, full-color sheet.

There's a big difference between what Mr. Kline could have done and what he did do. And we're paying for it. Sound familiar?

Michael Romanov

Monday, January 09, 2006

And The Truth Will Set You Free.

I would offer up that John Kline(MN-R) is furious with Murtha because instead of standing with Kline in supporting the amoral Bu$h Administration and their Big Corporations profiting from war, Murtha has decided to stand for the TRUTH. Yes they're both 'brothers in arms' and it's for that reason alone that Kline is so angry with Murtha. After all, arent't 'brothers' suppose to stick together regardless of what happens, Right or Wrong?

Kline (the soldier) puts more value on loyalty and following orders (old soldier) than the truth and facts or what's in the best interests of the people he currently represents now. Unfortunately Kline wasn't elected to stay a soldier in the service, he was elected to serve the best interest of CD2 and use facts and reason instead of partisan loyalty to Bu$h's NeoCon ideology that puts profit above people.

Below is an accounting of a Town Meeting that Murtha was at last week (a real town meeting not the staged events that Bu$h and Kline have held!). It shows a public embracing those that dare speak the truth:
From DC: Hundreds showed up to cheer for Representative Murtha at our Town Meeting on Thursday night. The hall filled fifteen minutes before he was scheduled to appear, an overflow room was set up with a monitor where four hundred more people applauded him, and over five hundred people were turned away. Whenever our country has been attacked volunteers overwhelm recruiting offices. Abuses of our military personnel in the Iraq war has sucked a lot of the patriotism out of young people.

With only one exception the young military men who questioned Representative Murtha Thursday night all wanted to know when there will be some accountability for the civilian leadership that cooked up the Iraq War and then enriched their pals while depriving our frontline fighters of basic equipment. The one exception was an army sergeant who wanted the world to know that his squad back in Afghanistan was not suffering from low morale.

Unlike presidential audiences, this was a public forum and even the half-dozen demonstators outside were invited to come in and ask Congressman Murtha anything they wanted to know. Apparently their pay arrangement didn't include anything other than shouting slogans into the faces of arriving citizens. They looked fairly frightened when real military men bellowed back.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Kline Furious With Murtha

Rep. John Kline, R-MN., who was in the Marines for 25 years, said regarding Murtha, a decorated Vietnam combat veteran who retired as a colonel after 37 years in the US Marine Corps and has become a leading voice in Congress advocating an early withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq:
"I was furious with Murtha,because when that message gets out to our forces, they won't feel love and support. They'll feel betrayal,"
I'm thinking they felt betrayed when they were sent in to a war that had nothing to do with 911, WMD, Bin Laden, or American security and everything to do with record profits for corporations, Bu$h settling old scores, and NeoCons playing generals out of harms way.

Thirteen American soldiers dead this month and it's only the 6th! If Congressman Kline wants to 'love and support' the troops then start by supporting peace as actively as war.

Oh and bring them back home. 'Love and support' is not having to tell one more family thier child has died in the Iraq war.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Inquiring Minds Want To Know?

The house of cards that Jack Abramoff built is beginning to fall down around the ears of his co-conspirator's since he's turned state witness. Of interest is what connections Jack may have had to any Minnesota's Political Leaders. including Congressman John Kline.

ARMPAC (Tom Delay's Americans for a Republican Majority PAC) is the recipient of $10,000 in 2003 from Abramoff. This PAC is the organization which contributed $30,000 to Kline over 2002, 2003, and 2004, and $29,000 to Kennedy. So there does seem to be some connection. Wonder what John Kline has to say? Call him and ask! (DC phone: 202-225-2271 or Burnsville MN phone: 952-808-1213

Here's some questions to ask Mr. Kline:

What and Why did Congressman Kline accept money directly and indirectly from these crooks?

What other Abramoff/Delay/Lay/Cunningham related donations did he get?

What did John Kline trade or do for the money? Did he trade votes? What percent of the time did he vote for legislation that benefited any one of these GOP criminals?

What did Kline's staff do? Did they work with Jack, The Alexander Strategy Group or some of the GOP front entity funded with the dirty money?

Did Kline promote any charity that Abramoff/Delay/Lay/Cunningham supported that now seem to be ways of covering illegal funds?
While you have him on the telephone ask him about the money his buddy Enron CEO Ken Lay (now under indictment!) donated to him in 2000...