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Sunday, October 31, 2010

Tired of Obama bashing? Here are answers for the hate-mongers – Part 6

This is a special post on Obama Bashing from The Dunning Letter and will appear daily until the November 2 elections

Credit Card Companies – President Obama ended Bush policies of protecting credit card companies, and replaced this with new consumer protections, banning industry predatory practices.
Unemployment Benefits – In 2009, he extended unemployment benefits for 1 million people.
Home Ownership – Extended the Home Buyers Credit for first-time home buyers in 2009.
Federal Budget – Overturned Bush and Reagan practice of not listing select federal programs in the federal budget to make the budget look smaller.
Healthcare Reform – Signed the historic healthcare reform bill that was met with mixed feelings, but considered by experts to be a giant first step in reforming the healthcare industry.

Comments are welcome.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Tired of Obama bashing? Here are answers for the hate-mongers – Part 5

This is a special post on Obama Bashing from The Dunning Letter and will appear daily until the November 2 elections

Bush Cover Ups – Halted the Bush administration practice of rewriting scientific and environment regulations and reports to agree with GWB’s policies.
Border Security – Signed legislation for southwest border security, increasing finds for agents on the Mexican border.
Iraq War – Began the phased withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq.
Fallen U.S. Soldiers – Ended Bush imposed “blackout” on media of the coverage of returned fallen soldiers from Iraq and Afghanistan.
Cuba Policy – Put in place a new policy to allow Cuban families to return home to visit their families.

Comments are welcome.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Drug makers desert public over profits - Part 2

One of the biggest problems when pharmaceutical companies abandon certain drugs is the “scrambling” necessary to take care of patients. Dr. Richard Schilsky, professor of medicine and chief of hematology/oncology at the University of Chicago said, “We literally don’t know from week to week who’s going to be able to be treated.” Erin Fox, manager of the Drug Information Service at the University of Utah Health Care says it is a daily disaster.

The Institute of Safe Medicine Practices surveyed 1,800 health care workers this past summer that confirm it is a “mess” out there. More than hald indicated that in the past year they either “always” or “frequently” been confronted with shortages of common drugs. Two deaths resulted from a morphine shortage. Another patient woke up in the middle of surgery because they were under-sedated.

Read more here.

Tired of Obama bashing? Here are answers for the hate-mongers – Part 4

This is a special post on Obama Bashing from The Dunning Letter and will appear daily until the November 2 elections

Stem-Cell Research – President Obama removed restrictions on and provided federal support for embryonic stem-cell research, paving the way to potential discoveries for serious, even fatal medical conditions.
SCHIP Expansion – Expanded State Children's Health Insurance Program to cover health care for 4 million more children.
Offshore Tax Havens – Closed offshore tax havens and negotiated with Swiss banks for U.S. government access to records of tax evaders.
Corporate Offshore Tax Benefits – Ended the policy of offering tax benefits to corporations who move jobs overseas, which became popular in the Bush administration.
TARP – The Troubled Asset Relief Program is another mixed report card. Although started in the Bush administration, Obama has taken most of the heat for this issue. Pennsylvania Democratic Senate candidate Joe Sestak said however sick it made him, it had to be done. John McCain and Mitch McConnell voted for it. The program’s Special Inspector General says TARP worked, in connection with other government programs. Republican Senator Judd Gregg, NH, agrees.

Comments are welcome.

Tired of Obama bashing? Here are answers for the hate-mongers – Part 3

This is a special post on Obama Bashing from The Dunning Letter and will appear daily until the November 2 elections

Health Care – President Obama appropriated $19 billion in stimulus money to implement an electronic medical records system that could help save lives in emergencies.
Nobel Peace Prize – The President was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009, and donated the award money to charity.
Tobacco Regulation – Authorized the Federal Drug Administration to begin regulating tobacco.
Energy and Environment – Proposed multiple energy saving and energy producing measures that were killed by a Republican Senate.
Gay Rights – signed the first major federal gay rights legislation which placed violence against gays in the list of federal hate crimes.

Comments are welcome.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Drug makers desert public over profits

In an investigation by MSNBC, they found that drug shortages—even in critical areas like treating cancer—are posing a “growing public health crisis.” And it’s because the drug companies aren’t making them due to loss of profits from generics. Drug makers contacted would not respond to MSNBC. We’re talking about emergency care items like sterile injectables used for saving lives in allergic reactions and heart attacks.

Valerie Jensen, associate director of the Food and Drug Administration says underlying all the shortages is the “profitability problem.” Since the FDA can’t require production of the needed drugs, there is no one to compel drug makers to do what is right. The companies aren’t even required to notify the FDA there is a shortage, unless there is no alternative. Even if they don’t, there are no sanctions.

Read more here.

More on this later.

Tired of Obama bashing? Here are answers for the hate-mongers – Part 2

This is a special post on Obama Bashing from The Dunning Letter and will appear daily until the November 2 elections

Auto Industry Rescue – Obama saved the automobile industry from impending disaster. All major car companies are on the way to recovery, and have paid back much of the money loaned them.
American Cities – Obama has focused more attention on helping cities than any president before him, even creating an office of Urban Policy. He has taken action again gang warfare by proving assistance through the Recovery Act.
Muslim Relations – Although controversial, the President has reached out to the Islamic community for help and guidance in stopping terrorist activities.
Supreme Court – Obama appointed the first Hispanic, also a female, and yet another female to the Supreme Court in his first two years.
Women’s’ Rights – The first bill Obama signed was the “Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act” which defines equal pay in the marketplace.

Comments are welcome.

Tired of Obama bashing? Here are answers for the hate-mongers

This is a special post on Obama Bashing from The Dunning Letter and will appear daily until the November 2 elections

This is the first post in answer to all those sad, miss-informed individuals out there who seem to have taken on the position of hate-merchants against President Barack Obama. The question is, when you hear the truth, will you really check my facts and adjust your thinking, or continue with the same blinders you’ve been wearing since January of 2009?

  • Government transparency – Obama ordered respect for the Freedom of Information Act, overturning former Bush administration limits on accessibility. Has displayed an openness in administration that is 180 degrees out from GWB.
  • White House Salaries – Limited senior aides to $100,000.
  • Guantanamo Bay – Ordered its closing and abolished Bush/Cheney “enhanced” interrogation tactics.
  • Itaq War – Set a timetable for withdrawing U.S. troops.
  • Stimulus Package – Mixed bag but business is hiring and unemployment dropped to 9.5% from 9.7% in January 2010. Many state and local governments owe their survival to the stimulus program.

Comments are welcome.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

How about Palin for President in 2012 with O’Donnell as her running mate?

Now I am not a chauvinist, which my wife will readily attest to. I have been for womens’ rights all my adult life, and I felt Hillary Clinton should have been nominated by her party to run for president in 2008, with Obama her running mate. And now we are looking at another potential match up in 2012 that could include a woman, or perhaps two. Sarah Palin and Christine O’Donnell to steer this country right into obscurity.

Why not? Palin can keep her eye on Russia, and O’Donnell can debate the Constitution. Either can out-dumb the other, unless Palin has decided to brush up on what’s going on by reading a newspaper or occasionally consulting news on the Internet. Taxpayers would probably even be willing to pay for a special room in the White House which the two of them can hold regular tea parties.

Poor, out-of-touch Senator John McCain said it wasn’t yet time to endorse Sarah Palin for 2012. I disagree and, as a staunch progressive pledge my full support for a Palin/O’Donnell ticket to run against President Obama in two years.

See Sarah Palin gaffes here.

See Christine O’Donnell gaffes here.

Things don’t look good for progressives, but could they get better?


Photo by Mirimcfly

Not according to the Cook Political Report. As of today, Cook is predicting a wave next week that has “crested” around 8 Senate seats and 52 House seats in contention for the Democrats to worry about. A huge loss by the Dems has subsided in the last month, but the report doesn’t look for many gains by the left. With Independents clearly turning to the right, there’s little left they can do but hope for a miracle.

If President Obama had listened to the next Chicago mayor, his party might well have been flying high by now. Rahm Emanuel wanted to cut a deal on health care and get busy on the economy. Obama said no. This might well have earned him some points with the GOP to at least start immigration reform, and quell the “Don’t ask don’t tell” mess. In both cases, he may have lost a huge block of voters.

Read more here.

GOP goes un-American to win in Nevada

When you tell a group not to vote in order to win an election, you have stooped to the lowest level when it comes to American ideals. A sixty-second ad run by an organization called Latinos for Reform (you can see below on You Tube) is running in Nevada to help elect Tea Party candidate, Sharron Angle, and defeat Democrat Harry Reid. It says: "Don't vote this November. This is the only way to send [Democrats] a clear message…”

Despicable, but typical of what we have come to expect from tea partiers.



The Nevada Latin Chamber of Commerce has condemned the ad, and the Nevada Democratic Party states that Latinos for Reform is operating to elect Sharron Angle. Its president was director of Hispanic affairs for the Republican National Committee in the past, which could indicate his intentions are not necessarily in the best interest of Hispanics. In other words, Karl Rove business as usual.

Read more here.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Facebook’s latest privacy faux pas…if you care


Photo by Daveynin
 Helen A.S. Popkin on MSNBC, who follows the social media stuff, says apps like Facebook’s Farmville have shared “tens of millions” of that site’s app users’ personal information. What is most important is the fact that one of the item’s released, the “Facebook ID” number assigned to a user, can be used to look up all of your personal information, even if you made this private.

You can see a CBS News report from You Tube here.

Even Facebook users that don’t use applications are still in jeopardy because your private data can be accessed through your friends who do use the apps. This isn’t the first time Facebook has been in the news for privacy breaches, and it would seem that its founder, Mark Zuckerberg, may be a genius when it comes to giving out your information, but a complete dope when it comes to protecting it.

See these tips “How to Protect Your Facebook Info” from Popkin.

Read more here.

Remington an example why gun control advocates don’t trust the industry

They could have fixed it for 5.5 cents per rifle years ago, but decided against a modification of the Remington Model 700-series rifle that could have saved lives. A CNBC investigation has uncovered that the company has had “concerns” over this gun’s safety for 60 years but did nothing. That should give hunters that use the rifle a real warm feeling, but they can thank the organization they probably belong to known as the National Rifle Assn. (NRA).


Photo by Generaal Gibson
 Remington’s strategy in court is to convince a judge, who is probably afraid of the NRA members sitting in the front row that the “inexperienced Users” are at fault. You have to be real dumb if you have encountered the miss-fire, know you didn’t accidentally pull the trigger, and still support Remington and the NRA on this issue. It’s said the recall campaign could cost up to $300 million, which is more that the entire net worth of Remington.

I say put them out of business.

Read more here.

Identity theft still around and still worth your concern

Jeff Blyskal, senior editor for Consumer Reports, says people are afraid of identity theft because it’s “hyped up” by companies selling ID theft protection products. That’s the reason millions have signed up for the services, and at once feel completely secure.

Not so, says Jay Foley of Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC). You could still be vulnerable on banking transactions, illegal use of your driver’s license, and what kind of fraud is going on with your credit cards in the worldwide Internet underground.

The video below is an excellent explanation and WARNING on identity theft from ITRC.



Foley says some of these companies offer “whole life monitoring,” which also checks public records that often can detect identity threats. One of the companies he likes is Identity Guard, which I agree with based on my experience with them.

For all questions on how to protect yourself, visit ITRC’s “Prevention Tips.”

Read more here.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Why Islamic law outrages Americans

According to the Federal Supreme Court of the United Arab Emirates, it is OK to beat your wife and children. Just don’t leave any marks. So says the strict Islamic law in a land where there is actually a large foreign population. The court ruled in a case where a husband beat his wife and daughter, leaving both with physical evidence of the beating.

Although the husband is admonished for only the appearance of abuse, the law clearly flies in the face of a civilized society. In the video below, a religious Cleric actually tells an interviewer that these beatings honor the woman.



If you are interested, based on a site, The American Muslim (TAM), violence is not accepted in their interpretation of Islam. It says: “Marriage in the Islamic context is a means of tranquility, protection, peace and comfort.” Perhaps why they left the middle-east.

Read more here.

Is your child a bully or is he or she being bullied? Do you really know?

Now is the time to find out. A new report from Clemson University says 1 in 6 kids is bullied; 35 percent of older kids say they would do it. The research covered 524,054 students at 1,593 schools across the country including grades three through twelve. Anonymously, 17 percent said they are being bullied with almost half of boys and girls saying it has been going on for over a year.

Two recent cases of suicide due to bullying are 18-year-old gay student Tyler Clementi of Rutgers University, and 15-year-old Phoebe Prince from a Massachusetts high school. Kids say they don’t believe there are provisions made to protect them. A likely fear since much of the bullying occurs in classrooms in front of teachers.

The time has come for all parents to sit down with their children and determine if they are involved in bullying, whether giving or receiving. It could save your kids life.

Read more here.

Watch a You Tube video here of Ellen DeGeneres, gay talk show host, begging for help to stop bullying.

Finally…evidence of the Hispanic vote next month

Much of Nevada is glitz, gambling and entertainment centered around the cities of Las Vegas, Reno and Laughlin. It takes hundreds of people to support the gaming industry like jobs in cooking, making beds and restaurant and bar services. Hispanic labor leader Geoconda Arguello-Kline says her group “feels powerful,” which would indicate they are planning to vote.

Nevada’s Latino voters number 224,000 and turned out 3 to 1 for President Obama in 2008. Senate leader Harry Reid is hoping for the same November 2. Representing 9 percent of the electorate nationwide, Hispanics still support Democrats 2 to 1. But the figures indicate only 51% will vote next month. Not if Arguello-Kline has anything to do with it.

Get out and vote!

Read more here.

Friday, October 22, 2010

QUESTION TO ALL VOTERS: Do you really want to return to the George Bush/GOP failed policies?



President Obama said it: “The worst thing we could do is go back to a philosophy that nearly destroyed our economy.” Surely an enlightened public will grasp the fact before November 2, that by letting the Republicans take over Congress we are destined to dig the hole of economic devastation much deeper. Not to mention the loss of a number of our consumer rights to big business.

Even though Nancy Pelosi may not be the answer, do you really want Tea Party connected John Boehner running the House? Considering Tea Party candidates Christine O’Donnell of Delaware, Sharron Angle of Nevada, and especially Rand Paul of Indiana, do you want anyone from this disjointed and racist group in office? That could be even worse than the Bush days.

Think about it but vote on November 2.

Read more on this here.

Who said there is no enthusiasm to get out the Democratic vote?

URGENT REQUEST FOR ASSISTANCE!
Photo by MacroMondays

I have been contacted recently with a series of emails from Markos Moulitsas, founder of the progressive political blog, Daily Kos. Considering his site receives hundreds of thousands of visitors on a daily basis, it would seem the enthusiasm for getting out the Democratic vote is very much underestimated.

But Moulitsas is serious, and he wants us progressives to also get serious about the election in less than two weeks. If you want to help, go to CallOuttheVote.com to do telephone work from your home. It will give you a chance to get a feel for the political process, and help the cause at the same time.

Be sure to vote!

Obama now fears losing the female vote?

First it was the gay vote. Then it was the Blacks. After that came Hispanics. Now, it’s females the President is afraid of losing to the GOP. There’s nothing left but white males, and they never have been in his camp. In Seattle, he did tell the ladies he thought his policies had helped them.

With the statement “If everybody that voted in 2008 shows up in 2010 we will win this election,” Obama would pretty much have to be of the opinion that he has not fully lost the above groups. One of the issues he is emphasizing is abortion, and how a Republican takeover of Congress could eliminate the progress the feminist movement has made in this controversy.

Read more here.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Is the Tea Party racist? Just ask J.T. Ready

The NAACP just released a report saying that Tea Party events have become a forum for extremists. It found that organizations like the Council of Conservative Citizens (CCC) which opposes all efforts to “mix the races of mankind,” and white nationalist Web site Stormfront.org have become involved in Tea Party chapters. Gordon Baum of the CCC states the southern chapters are “very active” in preserving their culture.

But the most blatant evidence of racism in the Tea Party with overtones of Nazism thrown in was the party’s invitation for J.T. Ready, admitted racist and neo-Nazi from Mesa, Arizona, to speak at the Phoenix Tea Party in 2009. It was a “hate-Obama” rally that took place at the state Capitol on July 4.

The Tea Party has found the ultimate way to celebrate this country’s independence.

Read more here and here.

The epitome of…not the American dream

You are probably better off by just remaining jobless and staying on unemployment benefits.

A lesson we were supposed to have learned from the Great Depression was that the U.S. government is strong enough, and smart enough, to be able to care for all of its citizens. A combination of business and government is supposed to provide the proper environment for all those who want to work to have a job. Somehow the lesson and the dream have shattered in the last twelve years to the extent that, all of a sudden, you’re better off on welfare.

The fact that folks quit looking for a job because they can earn more collecting unemployment benefits should trouble all Americans, no matter how secure you are in your particular circumstances. We have an election coming that has pitted two political parties against each other using tactics that are both demeaning to the tradition of this country and an insult to their constituents. Their only concern is reelection.

Having said it before, I say it again: is it time to consider a social democracy?

Read more here on joblessness.

Read my series on social democracy here.

Doctors influenced to recommend certain drugs after receiving pharmaceutical company gifts

A recent investigation by ProPublica, Consumer Reports magazine and NPR radio found that from only seven drug firms that were questioned, 17,000 doctors and health care providers had taken money from these companies. They included AstraZeneca, Cephaton, GlaxoSmithKline, Johnson & Johnson, Eli Lilly, Merck and Pfizer. Over 380 walked away with over $100,000, and it’s all legal, most of the time not improper.

Dr. John Santa, director of the Consumer Reports Health Ratings Center commented, "The amount of money involved is astounding, and the ProPublica report's account of the background of some of the physicians is disturbing." ProPublica also found in state medical board disciplinary records that 250 doctors paid to speak had been sanctioned for inappropriate activities, some had even lost hospital privileges or were convicted of a crime.

See You Tube video on the subject, following.



Must reading on this subject here, here and here.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Arizona State Senator starts new racist campaign

State Senator Russell Pearce from Arizona, who authored SB1070, the state’s new immigration law, is at it again, but now Hispanic children are his target. Pearce is known for his association with J.T. Ready an admitted racist and neo-Nazi, and now he wants to change the 14th Amendment that automatically grants citizenship to babies born to illegal immigrants in the U.S. He is joined by lawmakers in 14 other states.

You can see the Pearce/Ready camraderie in the You Tube video, below.



The 14th Amendment interpretation dates back to 1898, and maybe there is some need for revisiting it for the sake of a more modern understanding. But Russell Pearce is not the right individual for the task with his excess baggage of Latino hate. Now Pearce has said he wants to take this all the way to the Supreme Court. Most legal minds have said his legislation will only waste more money for the state of Arizona and elsewhere.

Read more here.

Researcher says cell phones could upend current political polls

Pew Research Center says there is a bias for Republicans between polls using cell phones and those that don’t. The latter use land-lines and traditionally vote for the GOP, where cell phone users tend to be younger, Hispanic, Black and vote Democratic. Four out of five polls use only land-lines. In a most recent land-line poll, there was a difference of 12 points favoring Republicans. When cell phones only were used, that edge was reduced to only 7. Significant.

If it takes one pollster to figure out that others are doing it wrong, the industry would seem to have a problem. It is a well known fact that some un-thinking folks rely entirely on polls to make their voting decision, so be fore-warned and research those candidates before voting.

But be sure and vote.

Read more here.

Caveman parenting for screaming brats

A new study by the University of Notre Dame says that plenty of snuggles and cuddles and hugs will make Junior grow up to be a well adjusted child who is considerate of others. Like the caveman used to do it. The study’s main focus was on a problem that exists in schools today of terrorizing ones peers through bullying. Apparently the Stone Age parents had the right idea to teach their kids how to “navigate the world."

This said, I want to focus on the little “screamers” who apparently have received little more from their parents than undying approval to act in any way they want in public. And become one of the biggest annoyances in super markets, department stores, even Starbucks. These little urchins run wild, screaming and antagonizing everyone around them, while their idiot parents look on in a fawning manner.

Kids like this should be born at least age 18, or kept underground until they are.

A must read here.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Pinal County, Arizona Sheriff using alarmist tactics that don’t ring true

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer used the state’s new Immigration Law, SB1070, to increase her support with unmindful Arizonans for the November election. But Paul Babeau, Sheriff of Pinal County, Arizona has resorted to the alarmist approach on his way to outclass Maricopa County Sheriff, Joe Arpaio, when it comes to publicity.

Babeau says that Mexican drug cartels are “conquering” parts of the United States. Law enforcement says not true. Santa Cruz, County Sheriff Tony Estrada, a 40 year veteran, wouldn’t say Babeau is lying, but he did say he hasn’t “…seen the drug cartels controlling American territory.” News Hounds says that Barbeau is Fox News “frontline warrior against 'illegals' and drug smugglers” with a heavy dose of anti-Obama talk thrown in to the mix of border hysteria.”

In reality, Border Patrol arrests are down 17 percent in 2010 for the fifth straight year. When are Arizonans and the rest of the country going to figure out that they have been duped by this racial conspiracy?

Read more here, here and here.

Napolitano would reform border enforcement. Where are the President and Congress?

Homeland Security Sec. Janet Napolitano feels that the key to controlling border crossings is to heavily regulate businesses that knowingly hire illegal immigrants. Cut off their job supply and eliminate the reason for them to enter the U.S. Napolitano would do this by strengthening enforcement tools such as raising the penalties against employers who know the workers are illegal.

Many who are opposed to immigration reform want strict guidelines that allow the immigrant population to work in the U.S., and eventually attain American citizenship. There is nothing wrong with asking this group to do the same that immigrants from European countries have done for years. What everyone must understand, however, is that this country could not continue to prosper without the Latino immigrant workers in the fields. That is a fact.

Read more here.

Even religion can be a victim of the economy

The Crystal Cathedral Ministries in Garden Grove, California has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. This is Robert H. Schuller’s dream that started from a drive-in theatre in 1955, moving in 1961 to a sanctuary designed by the architect, Richard Neutra. I attended services in the late 1950s at the drive-in because the assistant pastor lived across the street from me in Huntington Beach and said they were desperate to add new members.

The Cathedral has been a tourist attraction for years, but has recently become the victim of the economy and a decrease in donations. The elder Schuller retired in 2006 and placed his son, Robert A. in charge, but later removed him from one of the church’s main sources of income, the Hour of Power TV program.

The Crystal Cathedral is a magnificent monument to the founder’s philosophy that everyone should have a place to worship, even in a t-shirt and shorts, which many donned when it was a drive-in.  I did.

Read more here.

Phoenix Suns owner, Robert Sarver gets “Year in Sanity” award

Salon.com has recognized Robert Sarver, a banker and entrepreneur in addition to owning the Phoenix Suns basketball team, for his “sanity” in condemning Arizona’s new Immigration Law, SB1070. Sarver commented that it interfered with “…basic principles of equal rights and protection under the law…” The “Year in Sanity” award came after the team donned jerseys saying “Los Suns” to honor the Latino community in game 2 of the recent playoffs.

Sarver affirms that federal immigration laws have failed, but you don’t replace one bad law with another bad law. He states that SB1070 is “flawed.” Most of the country knows this by now, since Federal Judge Bolton struck down the substance of the bill, and an appeal by Arizona’s Governor, Jan Brewer, was denied. Brewer has still been able to ride the momentum of SB1070 with out of touch Arizonans to November’s ballot.

Read more here.

Read more about Jan Brewer here.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Will Starbucks wine and beer mix with guns?

Eventually it all has to get down to booze, and Starbucks is testing the serving of wine and beer in its Seattle Capitol Hill store. They already allow customers to bring their guns to locations in all “open-carry” states, which Washington is. The mixture of beer and gun bubbas should prove to be another interesting experiment.

For the life of me I cannot understand why these gun fanatics feel they have to parade around with their guns strapped on. Is it just to prove they are a real man or woman?

Gun violence has occurred in open-carry bars, and some gun control advocates think it is just a matter of time until it gets worse. A reason for this is the general feeling, portrayed daily by organizations like the National Rifle Assn., that gun owners should be allowed such unlimited freedom with their handguns.

Here are two instances of gun violence in bars, one resulting in death. First, Euclid, Ohio, then Manchester, New Hampshire.

Read more here.

California not exactly Palin country

It’s hard to imagine how any educated and cultural area outside of the hick town where Sarah Palin was mayor would be Palin country. I imagine even Wasilla residents are having second thoughts. She drew only 2,000 recently at a Republican stronghold in Orange County, California; a number that should have been 10 times that based on the number of conservatives. I know. I used to live there.

But the Sunshine state in general is too smart to let this harlequin impress those individuals who can think for themselves, which apparently eliminates the 2,000 who came to see her talk. Yes, I said harlequin, or buffoon if you will, and if you don’t agree, just take a look at the Palin You Tube video below. A recent poll says 58 percent of California’s registered voters don’t care for Palin. The other 48 percent either never watch the news or are from Wasilla, Alaska.



Read more here.

It’s the outsourcing stupid

President Obama says to end tax breaks that reward the moving of jobs overseas, commonly called outsourcing. But even some of his own Democrats failed to support his bill that would eliminate some tax credits for operations abroad. And the Dems wonder why labor has deserted them. One of the President’s most recent messages to voters is that these tax dollars should be used for jobs in the U.S. Isn’t that what the unemployed want?

Obama goes on to stress the importance of putting our money where our workers are, and that means spending it with American businesses that are struggling in this economy. In a September ABC News report, it said when companies do start hiring again, it will be education and specialized skills that land the jobs. The rest are left to wallow in low paying jobs or just stay unemployed.

But even many of those will be sent out of the country just to keep big business happy.

Read more here and here.

Nevada on the fringe of lunacy with Sharon Angle

I do not live in Nevada. I am not a Democrat. But Harry Reid must defeat Tea Party candidate Sharon Angle if Nevada is to continue as a civilized state. Angle’s latest TV ad attacks Reid for his support of the DREAM ACT, rivaling the 1988 “Willie Horton” ad in its despicability. Then she heads over to a Las Vegas school to defend the ad to Hispanics. The ad shows three “illegal immigrants” trying to cross the border. (SEE BELOW)

The same three “illegal immigrants” were used in an ad by the Louisiana Governor, indicating they must be crossing several borders at once. Tibi Ellis, Chairwoman of the Nevada Republican Hispanic Caucus who also used to work for Angle, has condemned the ad calling it “propaganda.” It’s this kind of racist politics that has turned off most of the American voting public, but apparently not the Tea Party.



Read more here, here and here.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Potential Tea Party victories should send chills up the spines of voters with sound minds – Part 2

The Tea Party rage has been described as a protest vote of angry citizens that will go with anyone but with the Washington regulars. As the old saying goes, they want to throw out the baby with the dirty bath water. The New York Times article dubs this “…stubbornness of voter anger toward the establishment…” and I call it simply stupid and lazy. Stupid in their inability to evaluate individual candidates, and too lazy to honestly analyze the issues.

This label rings true when you consider the primary elections of Christine O’Donnell from Delaware, and Joe Walsh in Chicago. Other candidates are charged with far-reaching financial troubles, domestic altercations and other problems. Although there is no official platform, the Tea Party promises strict interpretation of the Constitution.

As an example, this line of reasoning brought the Ohio candidate for the Tea Party to the conclusion you could eliminate the Departments of Agriculture, Education, Interior, Housing and Urban Development, Transportation, Energy, plus others to achieve a “pure government.”

Pathetic!

Potential Tea Party victories should send chills up the spines of voters with sound minds


Photo by Gemsling
 After Republican fears that this lunatic fringe could scuttle their plans to take over Congress in the mid-terms, The New York Times reports that some Tea Party candidates are strong enough to create a caucus large enough to support their agenda. That would be to repeal health care reform, financial regulation, and replace Social Security and Medicare with personal savings accounts.

With 33 of their candidates in House tossup races, and 8 with good chances at Senate seats, this is a call to arms for all progressives that need to get out and vote to prevent this cataclysm. Since African-Americans and Hispanics would be hardest hit by a Tea Party style government—which, by the way, has no official platform—they should think twice about staying home on Election Day. States with the highest concentration of Tea Party candidates are South Carolina, Massachusetts, and Arizona.

Get out the vote!

More on this later.

The homeowner did it…so says Wall Street

Wall Street is attempting to relieve the banks of the responsibility that they first lured, and then sold homebuyers crappy mortgages. It’s not their fault, says the Street. It’s the homeowner’s fault. This “out of touch,” “still don’t get it” group has become even more pathetic in recent months, while trying to get the financial downturn they caused behind them.

Well, it won’t happen, and no matter how many times this arrogant bunch of bozos cries wolf, it will always be known that they caused the worst financial decline in history since the Great Depression. In California, not only have thousands of homeowners reported on questionable mortgage practices, but even thousands more said that bank incompetence was responsible for them not getting loan modifications.

What happened to investigations that really investigate? What we need is another Kefauver.

Read more here.

Two earlier posts on foreclosure here and here.

Pornography lucrative but dangerous…for all of us

According to the latest figures I could come up with, pornography is a $57 billion industry worldwide, $12 billion in the U.S. There are 4.2 million porno websites, and daily online searches for porn represent 25 percent of the total. Every second, 28,258 Internet users are looking at it, with the average age of first exposure to it 11 years old. 47 percent of Christians say pornography is a major problem at home.

But they all may have to wait while two California companies, Vivid Entertainment Group and Wicked Pictures complete HIV tests after an actor tested positive for HIV. Actually, Vivid said it had more than adequate stock on hand of new releases. One troubling fact to come out was that a San Fernando Valley, California clinic has refused to release data to Cal/Osha.

In his new book, Captured by a Better Vision: Living Porn-Free, Tim Chester describes the spread of pornography as an epidemic.

Read more here.

See pornography stats here and here.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

U.S. Chamber of Commerce solicits foreign funds to support Republican candidates

In this election season, the Chamber pledged to spend an “unprecedented” $75 million to defeat Democratic candidates, according to the Center For Media and Democracy. And some of it is coming from countries like Bahrain, India, Egypt, Abu Dhabi, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Brazil, China, as well as other countries. The money is used to fund political attack ads against Democrats through their 501(c)(6) non-profit status.

The money is funneled to the U.S. Chamber through a network of organizations in the foreign countries, above, where it is used at the organization’s discretion. It is also interesting that the Chamber successfully lobbied to kill campaign financing reforms that would have established some transparency in this mid-term political fiasco.

Read more here.

Read earlier post on anonymous donors here.

Wanna know where all that secret money goes?

To the GOP, of course, eventually, but it funnels through seven non-profit 501(c) organizations that do the collecting. The New York Times calls these groups a “regulatory netherworld” because neither the IRS nor the Federal Election Commission is keeping a close watch. Thanks to a conservative Supreme Court, it’s politics as usual, completely out of hand. Here are the culprits and how much they are spending.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce: about $5 million. Primarily supports Republican candidates. The 60-Plus Association: about $4.7 million. Its chairman is against taxes and backs the Tea Party. Americans for Job Security: nearly $3.8 million. Usually leans Republican when it spends. American Future Fund: about $3.6 million. Has supported Republicans exclusively.

Crossroads Grassroots Policy Strategies: about $2.9 million. A Karl Rove group. Revere America: about $1 million. Former New York Republican Governor George Pataki chairs group. American Action Network: about $550,000. Will support Republican congressional candidates.

Back room politics at its best.

Read more here.

The Supreme Court’s anonymous corporate donor mess

Since the Supreme Court made it legal this year for corporations to make anonymous unlimited donations to political candidates, you may never know who is donating to whom. But the giving could be unearthed in shareholder reports or other leaks, so some companies are already shying away from this method. Reporters caught 3M, Best Buy and Target in the act, but Dell, Colgate-Palmolive and Microsoft have decided against any corporate donations.

This is all the result of a conservative Court that could be paired down in the not to distant future to a more moderate body. Obviously, Republicans are the ones receiving the lion’s share of the money, which would certainly bend SCOTUS in the direction of big business. New York City advocate, Bill de Blasio, estimates that $80 million has already been spent by groups with anonymous donors, with even more expected in the final days before mid-terms.

Anonymous comments on this blog make sense, but when you are dealing with millions of dollars to influence politicians—and that is what it is—we should draw the line.

Read more here.

Did a “robo-signer force you out of your foreclosed home?

The state attorneys general are getting in the foreclosure mess and from the looks of it all, things could get messy. In the fourth year of a housing crisis caused at least partially by lax mortgage industry dealings, now the states are looking for a fall guy. Banks repossessed almost 3 million homes from Jan. 2007 to Aug. 2010, and will take a record 1.2 million this year.

At least part of the problem is the use of robo-signers, who may handle hundreds of documents a day. Some, working out of attorney’s offices, are alleged to have used inaccurate or incomplete information. Supposedly, they didn’t review all the information necessary to make the foreclosure decision. All this at a time when banks are still remembered for causing the recent financial crisis.

And the Republicans claim we have too much regulation.

Read more here and here.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Once again, the United Kingdom shows the way

We may be 215 years away from British rule, but they are still teaching us the ropes when it comes to running a country. Ruth Marcus, in a Washington Post editorial, illustrates how UK conservatives make those in the U.S. look like incompetent clowns, which most of those in Congress are. She provides us five points where the Tories show our congressional leaders how to get the job done.

First, instead of painting blue sky, be specific in attacking the fiscal crisis. Marcus uses the “laughable” Republican “Pledge to America” as an example. Second, sacrifice has to start at the top with the rich. Third, the Tea Party is another joke, because there is a need for government programs and regulation. Fourth, not only stop the Bush tax cuts, enact tax increases on higher incomes. Fifth, the Tories visualize politics as a “reasonable debate, not tribal dividing lines.”

Somehow, this country must find a way to return to effective and civilized government.

U.S. gun dealers supply Mexican drug cartels

In an earlier post, “Mexican investigator beheaded looking for Pirates who killed American jet skier,” the jet skier, David Hartley, lost his life when shot by Mexican pirates who probably acquired their weapons from U.S. gun dealers. And the NRA along with other gun rights bubbas says the industry is over-regulated. Take a look at the facts behind this issue.

There is evidence Mexican drug cartels have recently increased activity on U.S. gun purchases. In Phoenix, Arizona, alone, ATF seized 1,300 illegally trafficked firearms and 71,000 rounds of ammunition. Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) identified more than 90 percent of semi-automatic assault rifles in a raid as coming from the U.S. A dozen of these rifles were traced to a firearms dealer in Henderson, Nevada working out of his home.

And finally, ATF has concluded in their study that a significant percentage of all weapons seized from Mexican cartels originate from the U.S.

When will this madness end, and Congress and the White House come to their senses to pass new gun control laws?

Read more here.

Mexican investigator beheaded looking for Pirates who killed American jet skier

First the Mexican pirates kill jet skier David Hartley, then a Mexican investigator looking into the case is beheaded. All likely due to the fact that Hartley and his wife got too close to the turf of the Gulf Cartel and Zeta drug gang. There has been no sign of the man’s body, or his jet ski. It is likely that the pirates got their weapons across the border in the U.S.

Since a “stinging criticism” of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) by the Justice department, the agency has been ordered to place more emphasis on monitoring U.S. gun stores where many of the cartel weapons are coming from. Gun rights groups, of course, think ATF is already too aggressive in regulating the firearms industry. This new strategy is called, “Project Gunrunner; a Cartel Focused Strategy.

Read more here, here and here.

Next: Unbelievable facts on U.S. gun dealers selling to drug cartels.

Why are gasoline prices going up?

The Lundberg Survey, which is the bible of crude oil and gas prices nationwide, says the average price per gallon has increased by 8.23 cents in just the last two weeks. The price of a gallon of regular is at $2.77. But the U.S. Energy Information Administration says it should average $2.69 for the second half of 2010. A barrel of crude is also expected to average $77 in the 4th quarter. So what’s the culprit in gas prices?

Crude makes up over 50% of its cost, followed by taxes, refining, then distribution and marketing. And there’s also the age-old arbitrator, supply and demand, which is based entirely on the whims of the American driving public. Another factor—and one that has been challenged recently—is speculators, thought to have been responsible for the last big increase. One source reports that for every gallon the average barrel of crude goes up, gas will follow for around 2.4 cents.

Hybrid cars…here we come.

Read more here and here.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Bailed out Wall Street increasing bonuses again

Following my last post, “Good relations, but with regulation, needed with business,” there is the announcement today that Wall Street banks will pay $144 billion in salary and bonuses this year, a 4 percent increase from 2009. At the same time, the “Street” is expected to layoff workers in coming months; no doubt not the ones receiving bonuses. Someone commented it was a “public relations disaster” to can the work force while increasing bonuses. No kidding.

As many Wall Street observers have said over and over, these morons just don’t get it. To illustrate the bizarre nature of this whole situation, large Wall Street banks are reluctant to issue bonuses before the end of the year for those employees who will suffer should the Bush tax cuts expire on January 1. Poor babies. You can only push the average guy and gal so far, and many are nearing the end of their rope.

Read more here.

Good relations, but with regulation, needed with business

It does seem reasonable to have a good mix of business and government experience in the administration’s cabinet members, as well as other levels. President Obama has the fewest of the other presidents and plans to do something about it. The idea is to shore up relations with the business community, changing the general sense that the President “…doesn’t consider business a noble profession.”

There are many consumer advocates out there who also hold this opinion. The financial companies and health insurers, to name only a couple of culprits. But there must be a balance somewhere, and it is up to Obama to find this without giving up the store. The “store” being consumer rights. There is a traditional belief that Democrats represent the little guy—it started with FDR and the New Deal—but that has changed, unfortunately.

It is also pathetic the current administration is waiting for the midterms to decide which direction to swing.

Read more here.

Do you have bedbugs? If so, watch out for the scammers too


Photo by Wonderferrer
 They are everywhere and they like it when you help them relocate by hustling them off in your purse, on your shoes, luggage or clothes, and in the super market shopping bag. Getting rid of bedbugs is big business, and it’s bringing the exterminators out of the woodwork.

The National Pest Management Assn. says we are “on the threshold of a bedbug pandemic, not just in the U.S., but around the world. Now that would scare hell out of anybody.

DDT used to do the job but there is nothing today to effectively deal with bedbugs, and it could cost thousands of dollars to get rid of them. Nike Town, Victoria’s Secret and Abercrombie & Fitch closed their New York outlets to deal with infestations. So it is inevitable the con artists will soon abound from the Internet and from junk mail offers. Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. You have been warned!

Read more here.

Foreclosure mess arises from incompetence

On the one hand the banks, due to their stupidity and incompetence, have decided to cease all foreclosures until they accurately identify those that are legitimate. That statement alone is proof of why government regulation is so necessary in the financial sector. On the other hand, President Obama does not support the move because it “…is simply not the prudent step to take in this fragile housing market.”

Neither point makes sense. What makes sense is for the administration to hold banks responsible for getting it right, and fine the banks for every bogus foreclosure. In addition, they should pay a fee to those who are victims of their ineptitude. It’s all about the money.

Read more here and here.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Republican candidate dons Nazi attire

Just when you thought you had heard it all, some bozo from Ohio, a Republican candidate, puts on a Nazi Waffen-SS uniform and parades around in it. Now the fact that Rich Iott even did this—no matter why—proves that he is completely out of touch with reality, and probably not fit for office. Eric Cantor, who is Jewish and Republican, says he will not support Iott. Cantor’s statement, Iott counters, is strictly political.

I went to the Wiking site and found symbols in the upper left hand section that looked familiar, so decided to research it further. On Wikipedia, Wiking was a German SS Panzer division, and the symbols I mentioned represent the Waffen SS branch. The Wiking site specifically states it is a “German reenactment” site

Florida Democratic Rep. Debbie Wasserman portrays Iott as an “…example of GOP candidates with extreme views.” Don’t think we’ve heard the last of this.

Read more here.

Remember “Made in Japan?” Now it’s made in China with a political twist

Candidates from California to New York are blaming each other for exporting jobs out of the country to China. At least 29 are using it in their advertising, one in particular featuring China’s Chairman Mao. Senator Harry Reid of Nevada says Sharron Angle is “a foreign worker’s best friend.” And of course the muck goes on and on.

Actually, there are signs that China could dominate the world economy in the future, according to a poll by Pew Research. But why only China? I have yet to talk to a customer service representative—most all of them are outsourced overseas—in China. They are all in India, possibly the next focus of disdain if China doesn’t work for the candidates.

Read more here.

How many seniors are mad as hell over losing COLA?

More anger the Democrats do not need, and it isn’t their fault. There is a system for determining the raise, based on inflation, and since it registered negative again this year, there will be no cost of living increase in 2011. There was no raise in COLA in 2010 either. With the loss of 95,000 jobs in September, the Dems are taking a real hit just before the election.

Rep. Earl Pomeroy, D-N.D. is asking for another $250 stimulus payment to Seniors: a similar move was blocked by both Republicans and Democrats in 2009. He points out that "Costs of living are inevitably going up, regardless of what that formula says. Seniors in particular have items such as uncovered drug costs, medical costs, utility increases, and they're on fixed incomes."

So, Seniors, get angry but don’t take it out on the Democrats.

Read more here.

Anger works both ways

The Republicans are angry over everything the Democrats do, especially President Obama, but with little to add re. what should be done. It’s an impasse that includes Tea Party members, and the ultra-conservative right, except maybe with more venom. It started the first day of the Obama administration and hasn’t let up since. Have to give these fanatics an A for effort.

But Politico says that the Hispanic community has been taking lessons on anger, which could turn this into votes in November. For Democrats. Pew Research says the Latinos are less motivated, but Arturo Vargas, who heads the National Assn. of Latino Elected Officials in Los Angeles doesn’t agree. He says he has seen Hispanics “deeply engaged,” closely monitoring what’s going on. Only three weeks to E-Day.

Read more from Politico here.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Don’t want no more stinkin’ political telephone calls?

This is yet another case where the politicians fixed the law to allow them opportunities not allowed to others, as in the FTC’s Do-Not-Call Registry. Political calls are legal, and they are much more annoying than the junk phone calls received from junk mailers in the past. The Dunning Letter did a post on last September 8, “Tired of political robocalls?” that announced the site, StopPoliticalCalls.org.

I didn’t subscribe, as I am also not on traditional junk mail opt-out sites, so that I can monitor what these lunatics are doing and report it to you. Like the current parade of politicians that start out by saying, “This is (name),” at which point most of us hang up. What makes it even more distasteful is that it is a robocall with no live person on the other end.

My advice is to hang in there until you get the name, write it down, never vote for any one on this list, then make your selection from those who don’t call but do measure up to your expectations. Goodbye robocalls.  Or...you can subscribe to StopPoliticalCalls.org.

Donald Trump for President? Let’s look at the track record

He hinted in Scotland, where he went recently for a much contested honorary degree that he may run for President in 2012 against Barack Obama. That’s Donald Trump, and the baggage he carries isn’t just his luggage for the trip. David Kennedy, former head of the university in Ireland that bestowed the degree says that Trump is not an honorable businessman.

There is also a checkered past in real estate ventures. In 2007, he had at least 20 U.S. projects and several more overseas. Since then many have been delayed, cancelled, or turned over to the bank. In March his Trump Tower in Atlanta was in foreclosure, and in the early 90s he bordered on bankruptcy. In 2009, Trump Entertainment Resorts filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

Yup, that’s just the guy we need to get us out of this economical mess.

Read more here and here.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Good news, bad news on jobs

The good news is that jobless claims have fallen to the lowest level in three months. The bad news is that 95,000 jobs were lost in September and unemployment is still at 9.6 percent. A lot of temporary census jobs ended and state and local governments in financial trouble are laying off workers. The question is, are jobs available, and, if so, why aren’t they being filled?

A new study suggests that, with the number of job vacancies out there, and if those were being filled, the unemployment rate would drop to 6.6 percent. Some may be due to benefits available to workers who are being more selective, but a new paper says employers are also responsible because they aren’t trying hard enough to fill the vacancies. You can’t force companies to hire, but if affordable, it would certainly be in America’s best interest now to make the move.

Read more here.

BLS Report here.

Study here.

Just how bad is racism?

Predatory lending directed at minority neighborhoods has been blamed for the onslaught of foreclosures that are at least partially responsible for the current housing crisis. In August, more than three-quarters of a billion dollars had not been disbursed for Katrina victims, many of them in black neighborhoods. In July someone in Utah released a list of 1,300 alleged illegal immigrants with their personal information, including Social Security numbers. And one Phoenix cop calls the new Arizona Immigration Law “racist.”

The racism issue has not been solved. It is still seething within the best neighborhoods, and at the highest levels of education and in the work force. If ever a grassroots effort was needed, it is here.

Read more here, here, here and here.

Friday, October 08, 2010

Gun laws must be changed now to protect the innocent

It is out of hand! You can’t watch the news anymore without hearing of another shooting, and in many cases multiple deaths. The loophole where these crazy freaks are getting these handguns must be closed, whatever it is. If it steps on the toes of the NRA and gun groupies, so be it. Someone must stand up to this amalgamation of unreasonable bubbas and quit accepting their sophomoric saying, “Guns don’t kill, people do.” I Googled “2010 shooting deaths” and got 52.2 million hits.

Here are links to some of them, all after May 1, 2010:

May 21

July 3

August 30

Sept. 26

Sept. 27

Sept. 30

Sept. 30

Oct. 4

Oct. 4

Oct. 4

Google: “2010 shooting deaths”

We have to get guns off the street, even if it makes it inconvenient to obtain them for those who do it legally.