Ranting and Venting

You'll see links to news articles, snippets from interviews and other web paraphenalia. This will also be a dumping ground for various stuff that I might need to get off my chest. Hence the Ranting and Venting title.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Emperor Bush's Fight Against The Constitution

Bush Push in Congress a Sign of Fear and Weakness:
The Bush administration's full-court press against the Constitution is on, with the president getting closer to Senate, and possibly full Congressional approval of his warrantless spying program by the National Security Agency, and with a lobbying campaign on to get his program for kangaroo courts and life-time detention without trial for terror "war" detainees approved by Congress.

It's staggering to see this happening after a federal court just ruled that NSA spying without a show of probable cause is a violation of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and the Fourth Amendment, and after the US Supreme Court just ruled that Bush was in violation of the Geneva Convention on the Treatment of POWs for refusing to treat the detainees at Guantanamo in accordance with US and International Law.

One might think this to be a case of a powerful president just steamrolling the courts and the Congress, but I think it is not a sign of strength, but rather the desperate act of a man who sees impeachment in his future, and who is acting while he can to try to cover up a few of his crimes.

For while the list of this president's crimes against the Constitution, the Republic and the People of the United States is long and ugly, the truth is that the two areas where he is the most vulnerable to impeachment are precisely the two that he is working so hard now to make go away: the warrantless NSA spying program and the abuse of the detainees at Guantanamo and elsewhere.
There are 8 weeks before the Elections. They have that long to steamroll through Congress changes to the laws so that all of Bush's illegal actions will be retroactively wiped out.
Even if the president succeeds in twisting enough arms to win approval for his kangaroo court at Guantanamo, it will not erase the fact that for five years he has held captives (including children as young as 7!) from the War in Afghanistan and from his program of kidnapping people all around the world in detention without recourse to a legitimate tribunal, and without protection from torture and abuse, all in violation of not only the Geneva Conventions, but of U.S. criminal law. Even if he succeeds in getting the law changed to allow him to spy on Americans without a warrant, Congress has no power to waive the Fourth Amendment, which requires probable cause before the government can seize property and monitor communications.
What are the Democrats doing about it? Nothing.
[...]The Democratic Party is making a huge and historic mistake by urging Congressional Democrats to sit on their hands while Republicans debate these crucial issues, and by having campaigning candidates for Congress duck the issue of President Bush's impeachable crimes. First of all, it is insulting the intelligence of the American voter for Democrats to pretend, as does House minority leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), that impeachment will be 'off the table' if Democrats retake the House in November. Of course Democrats will hold impeachment hearings in November; they will have to, if only to challenge the president's claim that he can ignore acts of Congress by issuing 'signing statements.'
It's up to us, people. Use your vote in Congress to remove the Republican fascists and then we can go after Emperor Bush. The Democrats have once again failed to create excitement in the Democratic voting base.

I'm telling you right now what our rally cry would be, IMPEACH BUSH!

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Was the 2004 Election Stolen?

It is very important that you read this entire article. It makes sense and is has facts and evidence to back it up.
Like many Americans, I spent the evening of the 2004 election watching the returns on television and wondering how the exit polls, which predicted an overwhelming victory for John Kerry, had gotten it so wrong. By midnight, the official tallies showed a decisive lead for George Bush -- and the next day, lacking enough legal evidence to contest the results, Kerry conceded. Republicans derided anyone who expressed doubts about Bush's victory as nut cases in ''tinfoil hats,'' while the national media, with few exceptions, did little to question the validity of the election. The Washington Post immediately dismissed allegations of fraud as ''conspiracy theories,''(1) and The New York Times declared that ''there is no evidence of vote theft or errors on a large scale.''(2)

But despite the media blackout, indications continued to emerge that something deeply troubling had taken place in 2004. Nearly half of the 6 million American voters living abroad(3) never received their ballots -- or received them too late to vote(4) -- after the Pentagon unaccountably shut down a state-of-the-art Web site used to file overseas registrations.(5) A consulting firm called Sproul & Associates, which was hired by the Republican National Committee to register voters in six battleground states,(6) was discovered shredding Democratic registrations.(7) In New Mexico, which was decided by 5,988 votes,(8) malfunctioning machines mysteriously failed to properly register a presidential vote on more than 20,000 ballots.(9) Nationwide, according to the federal commission charged with implementing election reforms, as many as 1 million ballots were spoiled by faulty voting equipment -- roughly one for every 100 cast.(10)

The reports were especially disturbing in Ohio, the critical battleground state that clinched Bush's victory in the electoral college. Officials there purged tens of thousands of eligible voters from the rolls, neglected to process registration cards generated by Democratic voter drives, shortchanged Democratic precincts when they allocated voting machines and illegally derailed a recount that could have given Kerry the presidency. A precinct in an evangelical church in Miami County recorded an impossibly high turnout of ninety-eight percent, while a polling place in inner-city Cleveland recorded an equally impossible turnout of only seven percent. In Warren County, GOP election officials even invented a nonexistent terrorist threat to bar the media from monitoring the official vote count.(11)

Was the 2004 Election Stolen?:

U.S. War prisons legal vacuum for 14,000

Once again the Bush administration have proved why they care little for humanity, the Constitution and just about anything except their profits.
In the few short years since the first shackled Afghan shuffled off to Guantanamo, the U.S. military has created a global network of overseas prisons, its islands of high security keeping 14,000 detainees beyond the reach of established law.
14,000, FOURTEEN THOUSAND people were captured, questioned, tortured, and held for years without so much of a reason why they were detained.
Captured on battlefields, pulled from beds at midnight, grabbed off streets as suspected insurgents, tens of thousands now have passed through U.S. detention, the vast majority in Iraq.
Can you imaging what would have happened if Emperor Bush got his way and did that here like he wanted? Remember when he tried to give the army the power to enforce domestic law like police? There would be riots, uprisings, bombings, attacks, and general civil unrest. Just like what's happening over there.

We're causing the problems in Iraq. They've been getting worse since they got there.

Bush got what he wanted though. Oil company profits are higher than they've been in human history.

U.S. war prisons legal vacuum for 14,000:

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Friday, September 15, 2006

U.S. Report on Iran Dishonest

In yet another example of this Republican Government lying to the American people and the world; the IAEA in Vienna blasted back at a report published by a House committee calling it "outrageous and dishonest".

The letter, obtained by The Associated Press on Thursday outside a 35-nation board meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency, says the report is false in saying Iran is making weapons-grade uranium at an experimental enrichment site, when it has in fact produced material only in small quantities that is far below the level that can be used in nuclear arms.

The letter, which was first reported on by The Washington Post, also says the report erroneously says that IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei removed a senior nuclear inspector from the team investigating Iran's nuclear program "for concluding that the purpose of Iran's nuclear program is to construct weapons."

In fact, the inspector was sidelined on Tehran's request, and the Islamic republic had a right to ask for a replacement under agreements that govern all states relationships with the agency, said the letter, calling the report's version "incorrect and misleading."

"In addition," says the letter, "the report contains an outrageous and dishonest suggestion that such removal might have been for 'not having adhered to an unstated IAEA policy barring IAEA officials from telling the whole truth about the Iranian nuclear program.'"

Once again, the U.S. is trying to start another war with a Middle Eastern country.

The House commit (House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence) tried to defend them selves saying:
"All IAEA complains about is a photo caption. If you read the report, it's very clear that what it is saying is that Iran is working to develop the capability to enrich uranium to weapons grade, not that they have done so," Ware said. "They use a string of adjectives, while not pointing to any substantive criticism of the report. There are areas where we would disagree with them. A disagreement does not make what we say erroneous."
The report said that Tehran was making weapons grade uranium. Not that it was trying to make it.

You know what this reminds me of? When the IAEA and Emperor Bush last tangled. Remember what was about? Weapons of Mass Destruction! Bush and the Pentagon said he had them, and the IAEA (along with the rest of the world except lapdog Blair) said he did not. Bush said he had proof. It turns out he didn't. He made the whole thing up so that he could invade Iraq, destabilize the region and drive gas prices through the roof.

Wait, didn't he have an oil business he was chairman of?

What's their next step? When do we invade Mexico?

The elections are coming up people. Cast your vote and let this government know how angry you are at them!

IAEA: U.S. report on Iran 'dishonest' - Yahoo! News

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Monday, September 11, 2006

Koppel on Discovery :: Town Meeting

I just watched the "Koppel on Discovery" show called The Price of Security. This is nothing new for Ted Koppel. While at Nightline, Koppel brought plenty of American audiences together too — for a gathering in Tampa, Fla., to discuss health care; in Decker, Mich. to discuss domestic terrorism; and in Houston, Texas to talk about disaster management.

I wanted to give a light critique of the show. It lasted about an hour and a half and had a very wide range of invited guests which ranged from both sides, Republican and Democrat. Ted Koppel himself tried to stay out of the discussion himself as much as possible. Althoughh it seemed he wanted to say much more. There was a few times he fired back. One time was when Zoe Baird spoke about Wire tapping and Call intercepting. She how there is a discussion of the legality of this. Ted Koppel fired back about how the Government did this without worrying about the legality of it until they were found out.

Overall, I found it informative but at a very high level. There was a lot of talk (from the Republicans) about how this is a difficult time and the administration is doing a great job in providing security to thAmericanan people. I was very amused at thalmostst apologist attitude the former and current Republican governmenofficialsls took when speaking about or nearly about the government.

I found the thing slanted a bit to the right for me. I think that is only because of the people invited, Government Officials, People who co-authored the USA Patriot Act, and three or four Tom Ridges.

I did find one person that actually said something of value. His name is Alamdar Hamdani and he is the Director of the ACLU of Texas. He said of how he represented people who were just like him (he was the only Muslim in the room, as far as I could tell) and were approached and questioned by the F.B.I. He said that he understood why people looked at him with jaundiced eyes when they look at the color of his skin of find out he is Muslim. What he could not tolerate is when Government looked at him with jaundiced eyes. He was actually put on the No Fly List.

Hmmm... I wonder why? Could it be because he is a terrorist? Or is it really because he has views that differ from the administration.

This was just a shallow scratch at the surface of the problems we as a people face with this current administration and the World.

I would love to see this discussion continue in every home and street corner in this country. Would we need to involve the government? We would not have to. They are already listening.

Discovery Channel :: Koppel on Discovery :: Town Meeting

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Sunday, June 25, 2006

ZZZZZZZZzzzzz..... I'm Awake! I'm Awake!

It looks like after an incredibly long hiatus, that I have returned to my roots, err, blog. I don't know how much I'm going to be posting as I wind back into this but I AM back.

You can now look forward to my inane chatter once again!

I'll start posting articles soon. In the meantime, I would like to say hello again to all my readers (both of you) and thank you for waiting!

Adam Mindwolf

Friday, February 24, 2006

Florida Voting Machine Logs Reveal Anomalies

No surprises here. Please move along.

boot1780 from Slashdot writes:
"Having 'successfully sued former Palm Beach County (FL) Supervisor of Elections Theresa LePore to get the audit records for the 2004 presidential election,' Black Box Voting reports that the 'internal logs of at least 40 Sequoia touch-screen voting machines reveal that votes were time and date-stamped as cast two weeks before the election, sometimes in the middle of the night.' Besides the date discrepancies, they claim to have discovered countless other errors and anomalies, including a case of one voting machine being 'powered down 128 times during the election'." Given the findings here, can we have a do-over?
Nope, no do over. Republican will never allow that to happen. No matter how much they stuffed the ballot box. Is it me? It seems like all this work the GOP is doing is just to make it easier to stage an election so they can seize power and make it look like it was legal.

You can see the raw voting logs for Palm Beach County Here:

From BlackBoxVoting.org:
After investing over $7,000 and waiting nine months for the records, Black Box Voting discovered that the voting machine logs contained approximately 100,000 errors. According to voting machine assignment logs, Palm Beach County used 4,313 machines in the Nov. 2004 election. During election day, 1,475 voting system calibrations were performed while the polls were open, providing documentation to substantiate reports from citizens indicating the wrong candidate was selected when they tried to vote.

Another disturbing find was several dozen voting machines with votes for the Nov. 2, 2004 election cast on dates like Oct. 16, 15, 19, 13, 25, 28 2004 and one tape dated in 2010. These machines did not contain any votes date-stamped on Nov. 2, 2004.


The logs rule out the possibility that these were Logic & Accuracy (L&A) test results, and verified that these results did appear in the final totals. In addition to the date discrepancies, most had incorrect polling times, with votes appearing throughout the wee hours of the night. These machines were L&A tested, and the L&A test activities appeared in the logs with the correct date and time.

According to the voting machine assignment log, these machines were not assigned to early voting locations. The number of votes on each machine also corresponds with the numbers typical of polling place machines rather than early voting.

Many of these machines showed unexplained log activity after the L&A test but before Election Day. In addition, many more machines without date anomalies showed this log activity, which revealed someone powering up the machine, opening the program, then powering it down again. In one instance, the date discrepancy appeared when someone accessed the machine two minutes after the L&A test was completed.
Scary huh? Any bets that the GOP will brush this off? How about the media never even reporting it?

The Slashdot post and discussion are here:
Florida Voting Machine Logs Reveal Anomalies

The BlackBoxVoting article can be found here:
Someone accessed 40 Palm Beach County voting machines Nov 2004

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It's the Corporation, Stupid. The Sellout of National Security

I've quoted Molly Ivans before. She's an excellent journalist with a good sense of humor. Here' she writes about the United Arab Emirates taking over our ports. Bush seems to like it...

Molly Ivans of Truthdig writes:
So, aside from the fact that it’s politically idiotic and at least theoretically presents a national security risk, just what is wrong with the Dubai Ports deal?

President Bush said: “I want those who are questioning it to step up and explain why all of a sudden a Middle Eastern company is held to a different standard than a Great British company. I’m trying to conduct foreign policy now by saying to the people of the world, we’ll treat you fairly.” So, what’s wrong with that? There’s our only president standing up against discrimination and against tarring all Arabs with the same brush and all that good stuff. (The fact that it was Mr. Racial Profiling speaking, the man who has single-handedly created more Arab enemies for this country than anyone else ever dreamed of making is just one of those ironies we regularly get whacked over the head with.)

OK, here’s for starters. We have already been warned that, should we back out of the DP deal, the United Arab Emirates may well take offense and not be so nice about helping us in the War on Terra—maybe even cut back its money, as well as its cooperation. This is a problem specific to the fact that we are dealing with a corporation owned by a country: A corporation only wants to make money, a corporation owned by a country has lots of motives.

Second, this is a corporation, consequently its only interest is in making money. A corporation is like a shark, designed to do two things: kill and eat. Thousands of years of evolution lie behind the shark, whereas the corporation has only a few hundred. But it is still perfectly evolved for its purpose. That means a corporation that makes money running port facilities does not have a stake in national security. It’s not the corporation’s fault any more than it’s the shark’s.

Balance, the word balance when used between security and profit scares me.

The president is quite correct that a “Great British” corporation has no more or less interest in helping terrorists than an Arab corporation. It is not the corporation that is supposed to have other interests—it is government. But as Michael Chertoff, secretary of homeland security, said, “We have to balance the paramount urgency of security against the fact that we still want to have a robust global trading system.”

“Balance” is the arresting word here—keep your eye on “balance.” We have an administration that is absolutely wedded to corporate interests, both American and global. It honestly believes that “free trade” is more important than the environment and more important than the people. It has repeatedly demonstrated it is willing to let both go in order to foster free trade. There is no “balance” in its consideration on these issues, and now, it turns out, not much “balance” on national security, either.

The people running this country—and that includes most of the leaders of both parties—have proven again and again they are perfectly willing to outsource American jobs, American wage standards, and American health and safety standards all for the sacred, holy grail of free trade. Why would it surprise us that national security is ditto?

The entire article can be found here:
It's the Corporation, Stupid

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Thursday, February 23, 2006

Budget Cuts Threaten Environment

My friends at the National Environmental Trust sent me an interesting email in response to my previous post concerning Bush's pretend oil addiction.

Here's the email:
Hey man, nice piece on the Bush budget and renewable energy. If you'’re looking for more, we'’ve pulled together a bunch of resources on both energy and on Bush'’s proposal to sell public lands to make up for budget shortfalls. You might find something else you can use there: http://www.net.org/policy/budget/

Keep up the good work.

So quite naturally, I checked it out. They have managed to put together a pretty nice collection of articles and links that describe, to the letter, just how stupid Bush thinks we are. He just simply tells us how green he is while he makes it easier for oil and pollution. Personally, I think he drinks the stuff.

From NET.org:
It is now clear that President Bush's budget has completely undercut his State of the Union address promise to address our "addiction to oil" by 2025. The President pledged to increase funding for alternative energy by 22 percent, but his budget cuts the very programs that would help us reach this goal. Overall cuts in energy efficiency and conservation are mirrored by a 13 percent reduction in environmental funding, and by proposals to raise money by selling public lands. See below for more about specific budget cuts.
I won't post the links here, but be sure to visit the site and check them out.

The entire article can be found here:
Budget Cuts Threaten Environment

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Bush's Renewable Energy Plan Merely an Election Campaign

Emperor Bush wound up his sweeping three state, two day tour that he used to push his renewable energy plans. It would have almost have been believable except that the plan came from a Texas Oil-Barron, an ultra-conservative, a former oil company executive, and the signer of 6 years of budgets that cut renewable energy funding and pave the way for more oil use in the country.

This is another case of Bush's two-faced policies. He tells something the American people want to hear, and then go and do what American corporations want. Which is usually to the detriment to the American people. Here he's saying that he wants to push for renewable energy but his policies say otherwise.

Caren Bohan of Reuters writes:
President George W. Bush called on Tuesday for tapping renewable energy sources like wind and solar power to contend with surging energy costs but environmental groups questioned his commitment to easing U.S. oil dependence.

Bush also told employees at a key laboratory for renewable energy research that he regretted "mixed signals" that had led the Colorado facility to announce job cuts earlier this month because of budget cuts.

He visited the National Renewable Energy Laboratory a day after his administration rushed the transfer of $5 million to the lab to enable it to restore the jobs and resolve what could have been an embarrassing situation.

Here's a small fact: Bush's Budget would have laid off 32 employees from the laboratory because of a $28 million cut from it's budget. How did the GOP fix the PR problem? $5 million dollars. That doesn't sound like Bush is committed to renewable energy but is willing to make it look like he is.

How about his budget? It has nothing more than token increases and major cuts in other areas:
Although the proposed budget boosts funding for solar power by 77 percent to $148 million and doubles biomass research programs to $150 million, research and development funding for geothermal and hydropower has been eliminated. The FY07 budget request for research and development for wind‚—the fastest growing energy source in the country‚—is $44 million. This is a $930,000 (2 percent) cut from last year‚’s request.

The 2007 budget also proposes cutting almost two-thirds of the $23 million designated for renewable energy and energy efficiency programs in the 2002 Farm Bill (HR 2646, Sec.9006). This cut would be harmful to farmers, ranchers, and small rural businesses. These people rely upon grant and loan programs to support energy efficiency improvements and the purchase of renewable energy systems including wind, solar, biomass, and geothermal energy sources. At a time when America's rural communities are facing economic challenges, funding renewable energy and energy efficiency projects would help establish an additional income source for landowners, create jobs, and lower energy costs for rural consumers. The Bush administration also attempted to slash this program in the 2005 and 2006 budget proposals. In both cases, UCS worked with coalition partners to successfully restore full funding during the congressional appropriations process. We will push for full funding of the program again this year. From the Union of Concerned Scientists

Let's face it, if he really wanted a renewable energy policy, he would spend more than that. While a 77% increase is good it only raises it to $150 million in a $3 trillion budget.
While we applaud President Bush's call to reduce U.S. oil dependence, the proposed budget will do virtually nothing to reduce our reliance on foreign oil. There are no incentives in the proposed budget for improving the fuel economy of today's cars and trucks. This is the best way to reduce oil dependence over the next 20 years. The relatively small increase in research dollars for hybrid technology ($6.7 million according to the White House) is positive, but is paltry in comparison with the size of the problem the United States sends more than that overseas to pay for oil every 15 minutes.
From Reuters:

Dave Hamilton, an energy expert at the Sierra Club environmental group, said an energy bill Bush signed last August was a "missed opportunity" to have boosted alternative-fuels research funds further.

He said Bush's latest energy initiatives were "baby steps in the right direction." But he added, "The administration's larger actions have moved counter to the goals of reducing foreign oil dependence."

Addressing the issue of the jobs that had just been restored at the lab, Bush said, "I recognize that there has been some ... let me say, mixed signals when it comes to funding."

"Our mutual desire is to clear up any discrepancies in funding, and I think we've cleaned up those discrepancies," he added.

Yeah, now we know you are lying to us.

The Reuters article can be found here:
Bush's Renewable Energy Plan Merely an Election Campaign

The Union of Concerned Scientists article can be found here:
Bush Administration FY07 Budget —Highlights and Lowlights

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Sunday, February 19, 2006

Where have we been?!?!?

So you guys have probably been wondering about our sparse posts lately. Well I decided to explain it. Demetrios are going to be losing our jobs at the end of the week. They decided to outsource our jobs to that far away land called Houston, TX.

So in the time that we should be diligent and blogging and swearing, we've been job searching (and just a little bit of drinking).

I wanted to let you guys know that we are still here. We haven't given up (or been arrested) but it seems fairly important to have an income. At least that's what my fiance and kids keep telling me.

So bear with us. Soon we'll be posting like mad again. Hell, if we don't find jobs soon, we'll be posting just to have something to do. You might even get sick of us!

Wish us luck. We'll let you know what's going on.

Adam Mindwolf

Prosecutors Urge 10-Year Sentence for Corrupt Republican Cunningham

Federal prosecutors are so disgusted with Randy "Duke" Cunningham's Corruption that they have petitioned the court for "duke" to have the full 10 year sentence.

It's not all too shocking when you read some of the things he did.

Charles R. Babcock of the Washington Post writes:
[B]ecause of "unparalleled corruption" that included a "bribe menu" on congressional letterhead telling a defense contractor what payments were required for different levels of federal funding, federal prosecutors said in court papers yesterday.

For instance, it said that Cunningham offered one of the contractors, identifiable in the court papers as Mitchell Wade, head of a Washington company called MZM Inc., $16 million in government contracts in return for the title to a boat Wade had just bought for $140,000. A copy of the notes is included in the filing, showing, the government said, that Cunningham charged an additional $50,000 for every $1 million more.

When the payments reached $340,000, the rate for each $1 million of federal funding dropped to $25,000, the document said.

The 35-page memo detailed several other incidents, including several in which the government said Cunningham attempted to tamper with witnesses when he feared that his actions would be discovered.


Cunningham's downfall began last June when the San Diego Union-Tribune reported that Wade had bought Cunningham's house there for $700,000 more than it was worth in 2003. The congressman used the proceeds to buy a more expensive home in Rancho Santa Fe.

The prosecutor's filing said that in 2004, Cunningham set out to erase the mortgages on his new home. First he demanded that the other contractor, identifiable as Brent Wilkes, head of ADCS Inc., give him $525,000 to pay off a second mortgage. The contractor did so on the condition that he received an additional $6 million in government funding, prosecutors said.

Cunningham demanded that Wade pay him $500,000 to pay off the rest of the mortgage, which prosecutors said Wade did by writing checks for $171,000 and $329,000 to Top Gun Enterprises, a memorabilia company Cunningham used to sell books and mementos of his days as a Navy fighter pilot in Vietnam.

Cunningham attempted to fabricate evidence and tamper with witnesses to his corruption, the government said, including persuading a real estate agent to write a letter justifying the lower price Wade resold his home for, and a phony letter in which Cunningham expressed his surprise at the low price and promised to pay Wade the difference.

He did not pay, the filing said.

The punchline is, when Cunningham's lawyer read the filing he released a statement saying the filing was "not surprising, but it is sad."

Sad? How can that be sad? Cunningham is a corrupt congressman and needs to be put away for skimming millions of dollars. Is that part sad?

We should give him ten years for each dollar he took.

The entire article can be found here:
Prosecutors Urge 10-Year Sentence for Corrupt Republican Cunningham

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