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A Triumph for Transparency in Government (Pork Transparency Bill Passes in Senate)
VOLPAC ^ | September 7, 2006 | Sen. Bill Frist, M.D.

Posted on 09/07/2006 6:52:39 PM PDT by burzum

Tonight I’m proud to report that the Senate unanimously passed S. 2590, the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006.

The passage of this legislation is a triumph for transparency in government, for fiscal discipline, and for the bipartisan citizen journalism of the blogosphere.

Without the efforts of ordinary Americans empowered by the Internet, including many hardworking members of the iFrist Volunteers, this legislation might easily have been successfully obstructed. Instead, the unprecedented synergy between online grassroots activists and Senate leadership provides a new model for participatory democracy in action.

I look forward to reconciling S. 2590 with its counterpart in the House and delivering this deserving legislation to the desk of President Bush for his signature.

TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: byrd; frist; pork; porkbusters; secrethold; senate; stevens
This is the bill that Sen. Stevens and Sen. Byrd both put a "secret hold" on. Many thanks to Sen. Frist for forcing this through the Senate.

Curiously noone would vote against this bill when they knew they were going to be on the record. This shows how trivial and corrupt the objections by the two porkloving Senators really were.

1 posted on 09/07/2006 6:52:41 PM PDT by burzum
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To: burzum

We can now prepare ourselves to hear the usual choir sing "Too Little Too Late". Seem the Grim Freepers would rather have the Senate run by these people.

Senate Democratic leadership threatens Disney with legal and legislative sanctions ^ | September 07, 2006 | John in DC

Posted on 09/07/2006 6:12:34 PM CDT by Mo1

Senate Democratic leadership threatens Disney with legal and legislative sanctions
by John in DC - 9/07/2006 06:02:00 PM

This letter was sent today by the entire Democratic leadership of the US Senate. This letter is such a major shot across the bow of Disney, it's not even funny. It is FILLED with veiled threats, both legal and legislative, against Disney. US Senators don't make threats like this, especially the entire Democratic leadership en masse, unless they mean it. Disney is in serious trouble.

Read it, then read my analysis of it below:
September 7, 2006

Mr. Robert A. Iger
President and CEO
The Walt Disney Company
500 South Buena Vista Street
Burbank CA 91521

Dear Mr. Iger,

We write with serious concerns about the planned upcoming broadcast of The Path to 9/11 mini-series on September 10 and 11. Countless reports from experts on 9/11 who have viewed the program indicate numerous and serious inaccuracies that will undoubtedly serve to misinform the American people about the tragic events surrounding the terrible attacks of that day. Furthermore, the manner in which this program has been developed, funded, and advertised suggests a partisan bent unbecoming of a major company like Disney and a major and well respected news organization like ABC. We therefore urge you to cancel this broadcast to cease Disney’s plans to use it as a teaching tool in schools across America through Scholastic. Presenting such deeply flawed and factually inaccurate misinformation to the American public and to children would be a gross miscarriage of your corporate and civic responsibility to the law, to your shareholders, and to the nation.

The Communications Act of 1934 provides your network with a free broadcast license predicated on the fundamental understanding of your principle obligation to act as a trustee of the public airwaves in serving the public interest. Nowhere is this public interest obligation more apparent than in the duty of broadcasters to serve the civic needs of a democracy by promoting an open and accurate discussion of political ideas and events.

Disney and ABC claim this program to be based on the 9/11 Commission Report and are using that assertion as part of the promotional campaign for it. The 9/11 Commission is the most respected American authority on the 9/11 attacks, and association with it carries a special responsibility. Indeed, the very events themselves on 9/11, so tragic as they were, demand extreme care by any who attempt to use those events as part of an entertainment or educational program. To quote Steve McPhereson, president of ABC Entertainment, “When you take on the responsibility of telling the story behind such an important event, it is absolutely critical that you get it right.”

Unfortunately, it appears Disney and ABC got it totally wrong.

Despite claims by your network’s representatives that The Path to 9/11 is based on the report of the 9/11 Commission, 9/11 Commissioners themselves, as well as other experts on the issues, disagree.

Richard Ben-Veniste, speaking for himself and fellow 9/11 Commissioners who recently viewed the program, said, “As we were watching, we were trying to think how they could have misinterpreted the 9/11 Commission’s findings the way that they had.” [“9/11 Miniseries Is Criticized as Inaccurate and Biased,” New York Times, September 6, 2006]

Richard Clarke, the former counter-terrorism czar, and a national security advisor to ABC has described the program as “deeply flawed” and said of the program’s depiction of a Clinton official hanging up on an intelligence agent, “It’s 180 degrees from what happened.” [“9/11 Miniseries Is Criticized as Inaccurate and Biased,” New York Times, September 6, 2006]

Reports suggest that an FBI agent who worked on 9/11 and served as a consultant to ABC on this program quit halfway through because, “he thought they were making things up.” [MSNBC, September 7, 2006]

Even Thomas Kean, who serves as a paid consultant to the miniseries, has admitted that scenes in the film are fictionalized. [“9/11 Miniseries Is Criticized as Inaccurate and Biased,” New York Times, September 6, 2006]

That Disney would seek to broadcast an admittedly and proven false recounting of the events of 9/11 raises serious questions about the motivations of its creators and those who approved the deeply flawed program. Finally, that Disney plans to air commercial-free a program that reportedly cost it $40 million to produce serves to add fuel to these concerns.

These concerns are made all the more pressing by the political leaning of and the public statements made by the writer/producer of this miniseries, Mr. Cyrus Nowrasteh, in promoting this miniseries across conservative blogs and talk shows.

Frankly, that ABC and Disney would consider airing a program that could be construed as right-wing political propaganda on such a grave and important event involving the security of our nation is a discredit both to the Disney brand and to the legacy of honesty built at ABC by honorable individuals from David Brinkley to Peter Jennings. Furthermore, that Disney would seek to use Scholastic to promote this misguided programming to American children as a substitute for factual information is a disgrace.

As 9/11 Commission member Jamie Gorelick said, “It is critically important to the safety of our nation that our citizens, and particularly our school children, understand what actually happened and why – so that we can proceed from a common understanding of what went wrong and act with unity to make our country safer.”

Should Disney allow this programming to proceed as planned, the factual record, millions of viewers, countless schoolchildren, and the reputation of Disney as a corporation worthy of the trust of the American people and the United States Congress will be deeply damaged. We urge you, after full consideration of the facts, to uphold your responsibilities as a respected member of American society and as a beneficiary of the free use of the public airwaves to cancel this factually inaccurate and deeply misguided program. We look forward to hearing back from you soon.


Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid
Assistant Democratic Leader Dick Durbin
Senator Debbie Stabenow
Senator Charles Schumer
Senator Byron Dorgan
The Senate Democratic leadership just threatened Disney's broadcast license. Not the use of the word "trustee" at the beginning of the letter and "trust" at the end. This is nothing less than an implicit threat that if Disney tries to meddle in the US elections on behalf of the Republicans, they will pay a very serious price when the Democrats get back in power, or even before.

This raises the stakes incredibly for Disney.

2 posted on 09/07/2006 6:55:32 PM PDT by MNJohnnie (Say Leftists. How many Nazis did killing Nazis in WW2 create? Samurai? Fascists?)
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To: burzum

This is a victory for the pajamahadeen. If this had not been pursued in blogs and websites like FR no one would have ever been the wiser.

3 posted on 09/07/2006 6:55:41 PM PDT by saganite (Billions and billions and billions-------and that's just the NASA budget!)
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To: burzum

One of the first bills in a while that I'm glad to see passed.

4 posted on 09/07/2006 6:58:02 PM PDT by mysterio
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To: burzum

I wonder if we will find out who requests funding for La Raza. They get millions of taxpayers dollars every year from unidentified congressmen.

5 posted on 09/07/2006 6:58:15 PM PDT by texastoo ("trash the treaties")
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To: calcowgirl; hedgetrimmer; Smartass; Czar


Pork transparency! Can you imagine?

6 posted on 09/07/2006 7:02:25 PM PDT by texastoo ("trash the treaties")
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To: MNJohnnie
MNJohnnie, will you just get over yourself? You are the one who authors the Rush Limbaugh daily threads and you know what he's said time and time again about Chaffey and other limp-wristed Republicans. Heck, he even voted against Bush I by voting for Pat Buchanan in that primary! Do you remember?

More likely, limp-wristed Frist and the other maudlin Republicans only got the balls to do something because they need to rally their base of conservatives.

If it wasn't for true conservatives, they wouldn't have a base.

Get real.
7 posted on 09/07/2006 7:04:02 PM PDT by ConservativeMind
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To: MNJohnnie

We still need to remind everyone of the Bin Laden DECLARATION OF WAR against the United States in 1996!

WHO was president during the 'Decade of Decadence'?

8 posted on 09/07/2006 7:04:37 PM PDT by TimesDomain (When a judge declares himself "MASTER", you become his "SLAVE")
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To: burzum

Great news. Isn't it amazing how things change when they're done out in the open and no less than a unanimous vote. The secret hold rule in the Senate should be done away with.

9 posted on 09/07/2006 7:06:15 PM PDT by jazusamo (DIANA IREY for Congress, PA 12th District: Retire murtha.)
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To: burzum

Most all of this data is already out on the web if you would care to look for it. I had thought different, but once I had my nose rubbed in the data sources, I was - embarrassed...
10 posted on 09/07/2006 9:46:38 PM PDT by ASOC (The phrase "What if" or "If only" are for children.)
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To: burzum

This is a major reform.

Legislators can't help themselves, once the pork trough is opened. They've got to bring home something for their constituents, just to keep even.

Next stop?

Line item veto.

11 posted on 09/08/2006 6:59:59 AM PDT by Santiago de la Vega (El hijo del Zorro)
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To: Santiago de la Vega

Line item veto has already been declared unconstitutional. It changes the balance of power in the federal government.

12 posted on 09/08/2006 12:54:12 PM PDT by hedgetrimmer
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