Friday, January 19, 2007

Blogging the news...

I really dislike having to post all these things on Carter but the fact that he interceded on the behalf of a murderer really disgusts me.
Neal Sher, a veteran of the U.S. Justice Department’s Office of Special Investigation, described a letter he received from Carter in 1987 in an interview with Israel National Radio’s Tovia Singer. The letter, written and signed by Carter, asked that Sher show “special consideration” for a man proven to have murdered Jews in the Mauthausen death camp in Austria.[...]

"In 1987, Carter had been out of office for seven years or so,” Sher recalled. “It was a very active period for my office. We had just barred Kurt Waldheim – he was then president of Austria and former head of the United Nations – from entering the U.S. because of his Nazi past and his involvement in the persecution of civilians during the war. We had just deported an Estonian Nazi Commandant back to the Soviet Union after a bruising battle after which we were attacked by Reagan White House Communications Director Patrick Buchanan.

“Also around that time, in the spring of 1987, we deported a series of SS guards from concentration camps, whose names nobody would know. One such character we sent back to Austria was a man named Martin Bartesch.”

Bartesch, who had immigrated to the U.S. and lived in Chicago, admitted to Sher’s office and the court that he had voluntarily joined the Waffen SS and had served in the notorious SS Death’s Head Division at the Mauthausen concentration camp where, at the hands of Bartesch and his cohorts, many thousands of prisoners were gassed, shot, starved and worked to death. He also confessed to having concealed his service at the infamous camp from U.S. immigration officials.

“We had an extraordinary piece of evidence against him – a book that was kept by the SS and captured by the American armed forces when they liberated Mauthausen,” Sher said. “We called it the death book. It was a roster that the Germans required them to keep that identified SS guards as they extended weapons to murder the inmates and prisoners.”

An entry in the book for October 10, 1943 registered the shooting death of Max Oschorn, a French Jewish prisoner. His murderer was also recorded: SS guard Martin Bartesch. “It was a most chilling document,” Sher recalled.

The same evidence was used by the U.S. military in postwar trials as the basis for execution or long prison sentences for many identified SS guards.[...]

“It always bothered me, but I didn’t go public with it until recently, when he wrote this book and let it spill out where his sentiments really lie,” Sher said. “Here was Jimmy Carter jumping in on behalf of someone who did not deserve in any way, shape or form special consideration. And the things he has now said about the Jewish lobby really exposes where his heart really lies.”
As a Louisvillian, I know how much we need those bridges in Jefferson County. As the mayor said, we cannot wait another 15-20 years before it's built. We have to start the financing of the bridges this year and start saving up all the money. By building them now, money will be saved.
Louisville can't wait until 2024 for the Ohio River bridges project to be completed, so officials need to consider how to speed up and reduce the cost of the $3.9 billion plan, Mayor Jerry Abramson said yesterday.

"The sooner we build it, the cheaper it will be," Abramson said during his "State of the City" address to the Louisville Rotary Club.[...]

"In my judgment the bridges and the redesign of Spaghetti Junction leads that list. It's No. 1," Abramson said.

In an interview after his speech, Abramson said the city plans to work with consultants before the 2008 legislative session to develop financing options in addition to the state and federal funds committed for the project.

In 2006, the Kentucky General Assembly allocated $789 million for the bridges during the next six years, but that plan is evaluated every two years. Lawmakers will revisit the funding in 2008.

State transportation officials increased the price tag for the bridges by 60 percent late last year, a result of factoring in inflation for construction during the project.
Back to Carter, he will be speaking at Brandeis University near Boston next week. Following that, there will be an event where Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz will give a rebuttal. Unfortunately, Dershowitz will not be allowed to be in the vicinity of President Jimmy Carter as it is for the Brandeis community only.

It looks as if Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) is running for re-election.

He may not be a presidential candidate any more but Sen. Bayh is out there promoting energy efficiency along with alternative fuels.
Calling it "one of the defining challenges of our generation," Bayh participated in a panel discussion with congressmen and experts to discuss the importance of energy independence.

After the panel, Bayh announced the reintroduction of energy legislation aimed at reducing oil imports by 75 percent over the next 20 years through steps such as vehicle efficiency, tax incentives and the use of renewable fuels such as ethanol.

"Our ability to make progress on the energy issue will determine whether the United States of America is strong, whether we are prosperous and whether we are free," Bayh said. "In a very real sense, it will define the kind of world our children will inherit from us one day."

Bayh introduced the legislation with fellow Sens. Joseph Lieberman, I-Conn., Norm Coleman, R-Minn., and Ken Salazar, D-Colo. The congressmen criticized President Bush for not taking action on what Bush called "an addiction to oil" in last year's State of the Union address and emphasized the need for immediate action.

"What America needs now is a new declaration of independence -- a declaration of energy independence," Bayh said.

The proposed act aims to reduce use of oil by 7 million barrels per day by 2026. It also constructs a long-term blueprint for energy independence, beginning with conservation and emphasizing alternative fuels.
Barring any breaking news in the next hour and a half, this is the final blog post of the day as I will be offline until after sundown tomorrow evening.

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