Thursday, January 31, 2008

Report: U.S. Military not Ready for WMD Strike

Its been six years since 9-11 and we are no closer to being prepared for a terrorist attack. Maybe the $1 trillion wasted on Iraq has something to do with that. It is an unforgivable failure on the part of "our" government:

The U.S. military isn't ready for a catastrophic attack on the country, and National Guard forces don't have the equipment or training they need for the job, a commission charged by Congress reported Thursday.

Even fewer Army National Guard units are combat-ready today than were nearly a year ago when the Commission on the National Guard and Reserves determined that 88 percent of the units were not prepared for the fight, the panel said in its report.

The commission's 400-page report concludes that the nation "does not have sufficient trained, ready forces available" to respond to a chemical, biological or nuclear weapons incident," an appalling gap that places the nation and its citizens at greater risk."

Clinton Remained Silent As Wal-Mart Fought Unions

Barack Obama alluded to Hillary's Walmart ties in a recent debate. Many Americans, tragically, believe Ms.Clinton is a friend of working people. She is not. She refuses to criticize her husband's bringing us NAFTA:

In six years as a member of the Wal-Mart board of directors, between 1986 and 1992, Hillary Clinton remained silent as the world's largest retailer waged a major campaign against labor unions seeking to represent store workers.

Clinton has been endorsed for president by more than a dozen unions, according to her campaign Web site, which omits any reference to her role at Wal-Mart in its detailed biography of her.

Wal-Mart's anti-union efforts were headed by one of Clinton's fellow board members, John Tate, a Wal-Mart executive vice president who also served on the board with Clinton for four of her six years.

Tate was fond of repeating, as he did at a managers meeting in 2004 after his retirement, what he said was his favorite phrase, "Labor unions are nothing but blood-sucking parasites living off the productive labor of people who work for a living."

[...]An ABC News analysis of the videotapes of at least four stockholder meetings where Clinton appeared shows she never once rose to defend the role of American labor unions.

The tapes, broadcast this morning on "Good Morning America," were provided to ABC News from the archives of Flagler Productions, a Lenexa, Kan., company hired by Wal-Mart to record its meetings and events.

A former board member told that he had no recollection of Clinton defending unions during more than 20 board meetings held in private.

Lobbyists Find More Ways to Bond with Lawmakers

The best government money can buy. And lobbyists don't represent us. It is why We The People are not charge, as it should be:

Most of the thousands of lobbyists work across the city, in and around K Street. In the past decade, 18 lobbying firms, corporations and labor unions have purchased town houses or leased office space near the Capitol, joining more than a dozen others that had operated there for years, according to real estate records.

Despite a strict new ban on gifts to lawmakers, lobbyists routinely use these prime locations to legally wine and dine members of Congress while helping them to raise money, campaign records show. The lawmakers get a venue that is often free or low-cost, a short jaunt from the Capitol. The lobbyists get precious uninterrupted moments with lawmakers — the sort of money-fueled proximity the new lobbying law was designed to curtail. The public seldom learns what happens there because the law doesn't always require fundraising details to be reported.

"It's a nice added bonus to say, 'Hey, we're going to host it at our house,'" said Jeffrey Shoaf, chief lobbyist of the Associated General Contractors of America, which opened its doors for nine fundraisers — and others that he says went undisclosed — last year at its redbrick town house two blocks from the Capitol.

The receptions, which can range from small breakfast meetings of five to large catered parties of 100 or so, are only a sliver of the fundraising universe.

Even so, they illustrate that lawmakers still are allowed to accept valuable favors from special interests willing to pay for access, despite promises by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other lawmakers that the restrictions on gifts and trips would "break the link between lobbyists and legislators."

The role of lobbyists in fundraisers wasn't addressed in the lobbying law signed last September. As long as they don't exceed the federal cap on campaign donations — $10,000 per two-year election cycle for political action committees — lobbyists can underwrite an event for a favored senator or representative at a resort, on a golf trip or at their town house.

USA TODAY counted more than 400 congressional fundraisers at lobbyist-, corporate- or labor-owned Capitol Hill facilities last year through November, benefiting 214 lawmakers — 40% of Congress. Those numbers, based on invitations, interviews and Federal Election Commission records, capture only part of the total because many events go undisclosed. The figures don't include fundraisers hosted by lobbyists at their K Street offices, which are subject to the same rules but don't offer similarly convenient geography. USA TODAY also found examples of lawmakers helping the interests of the lobbyists who hosted them.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Chris Mathews: Democratic Machine Behind Hillary

It is friends in high places that make the fraudulent campaign of Hillary Clinton possible. It is those connections that possible the election of Hill Senator of a State she did not live in, with no qualifications. Billary is all about whoring. As Mathews points out, the Clintons are calling on all those connections to make her Presidential bid so formidable. That establishment doesn't mind that Hill and Bill would revert to race-baiting. As long as she wins, they profit. Principles and patriotism take a back seat to power:

It's Over: McCain has it Locked up, Despite Pundits

Listening to the "experts" you would think there is still a race going on the Republican side. Is it wishful thinking? Do they hate McCain? Or are they just wrong? They were wrong (as I was) about Obama after Iowa and before New Hampshire, when they predicted Hillary's demise. McCain won big in Florida. It was a death blow to Romney, Giuliani, and Huckabee. Despite spending having spent approximately $40 million to date, Mitt Romney has not been able to stop the McCain momentum. McCain beat Romney on his strongest issue--the economy. But the biggest winners are the establishment. Why do you think he got all the endorsements:

Senator John McCain’s victory in the Florida primary came in the face of considerable odds and suggests that his chief rival here, Mitt Romney, faces tough going in what has effectively become a two-person Republican field.

This was a battlefield where Mr. McCain was supposed to be at a disadvantage, the first competitive contest open only to Republicans. (The others allowed independents to vote.) “An all-Republican primary!” Mr. McCain said in his victory speech here.

Even though voters here overwhelmingly said their top concern was the weakening economy — the issue that Mr. Romney sought to turn to his advantage, asserting that he was far more qualified than Mr. McCain to manage the country back to prosperity — exit polls found that Republicans were more likely to chose Mr. McCain as the best candidate to deal with economic problems.

The weak performance of Rudolph W. Giuliani, the former mayor of New York, means that Mr. McCain will now face diminished competition for moderate Republican voters. To compound Mr. Romney’s challenge, Republicans said that Mr. Giuliani was on the verge of throwing his support to Mr. McCain, an endorsement that could help Mr. McCain achieve what will be his main goal in the days ahead: getting the party to rally behind him.

What is more, Mike Huckabee, the former Arkansas governor who came in fourth Tuesday night, declared that he was staying in the race, suggesting that he would continue to compete with Mr. Romney for conservative Christian voters.

Barack Obama Denies Snubbing Hillary Clinton

It was the top story for 2 days in the press. And it followed the humiliating defeat of Hillary in South Carolina, the race-baiting allegations, and the Kennedy clan endorsement of Obama. Do you think the establishment is trying to help out Hillary? Or do they love the squabbling? The press likes to ridicule politicians for negative campaigning and the war of words they frequently engage in. What they don't mention is that gossipy coverage gets big ratings or sells papers. Informing the public about the issues, what the state of the economy is, or the details of the Washington tax stimulus package, take a backseat (unless you watch CSpan only):

Sen. Barack Obama today sought to quell talk that he deliberately snubbed Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, his rival for the Democratic nomination for president, during Monday night's State of the Union address.

Accompanied by Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill as he traveled to his grandfather's birthplace of El Dorado, Kan., and then on to Missouri, Obama, the Illinois freshman senator, sought to downplay the incident, saying he was surprised by the reports and photographs showing Obama turning away when Clinton approached to shake hands with Massachusetts Sen. Edward Kennedy.

"I was turning away because Claire asked me a question as Sen. Kennedy was reaching for her," Obama explained to reporters aboard his campaign plane. "Sen. Clinton and I have had very cordial relations off the floor and on the floor."

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

A Shameless Hillary Declares Victory in Florida

The Clinton's are without a doubt the lowest form of political animals. Once again they've demonstrated they will do anything to gain power. Despite a vow to not seek the votes of Florida, not only does Hillary seek their votes but promises to steal the delegates, whom have been told would not be counted. In the process, Hillary has plenty of press coverage for "winning the primary" in Florida. She gets free media coverage and diverts attention from the South Carolina fiasco and the Kennedy snub. Never mind that the candidates didn't campaign in Florida. Is that fair? The Clintons are not about fair. If it comes down to a brokered convention Florida delegates could be counted. The Clintons are committing a fraud for all to see and will probably get away with it:

The sanctions make Tuesday night's results largely meaningless to the Democratic presidential race. Obama described the primary as a "beauty contest" Tuesday, and his campaign issued a statement declaring the race a tie in the delegate count: "Zero for Obama, zero for Clinton."

But Clinton has pledged to fight to have the state's delegates seated at the August convention in Denver, and has increasingly stressed the state's importance since losing Saturday's hotly contested primary in South Carolina to Obama.

[...] Though Democrats agreed to leave the state off their itineraries in a show of solidarity with the national party, Clinton attended permitted fund-raisers in Florida on Sunday and planned to appear with supporters there after polls closed.

And turnout was high for the race even though no delegates were at stake. Nearly 400,000 people cast early or absentee ballots ahead of the primary, and Tuesday's vote was expected to top the nearly 800,000 who turned out in 2004.

Donna Brazile, who managed former Vice President Al Gore's presidential bid, said many Democrats were likely to turn out to vote on a state constitutional amendment that would limit property tax increases and expand homestead exemptions.

"People are very afraid this will cut public services, cut back education," said Brazile, a CNN analyst. "So the Florida Education Association and all of the unions are spending millions of dollars to get voters to turn out."

Study: Afghanistan Could Fail as a State

What we need is a surge for Afghanistan. Expect to hear this call from that half-wit occupying the White House. Or is he busy looking for war with Iran? Then again there isn't much oil in that country:

Afghanistan risks sliding into a failed state and becoming the "forgotten war" because of deteriorating international support and a growing violent insurgency, according to an independent study.

The assessment, co-chaired by retired Marine Corps Gen. James Jones and former U.N. Ambassador Thomas Pickering, serves as a warning to the Bush administration at a time military and congressional officials are debating how best to juggle stretched warfighting resources.

The administration wants to re-energize anti-terrorism efforts in Afghanistan and Pakistan, where al-Qaida is regenerating. But the U.S. still remains heavily invested in Iraq, and officials are sending strong signals that troop reductions there will slow or stop altogether this summer.

[...]Sen. John Kerry said it was "past time for wakeup calls" and that a "comprehensive, thoughtful approach" in Afghanistan was urgently needed.

"The same extremist group which plotted the attacks of 9/11 are reconstituting themselves on the Afghan border and grow more organized by the day, making the stakes higher and higher," said Kerry, D-Mass., a senior member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

The Jones-Pickering assessment, slated for public release on Wednesday, says the U.S. should rethink its military and economic strategy in Afghanistan in large part because of deteriorating support among voters in NATO countries.

Bush, Neocons Taking Over Government in Afghanistan

Bush is trying to consolidate his conquests before he leaves office. The latest includes installing a American citizen as the next President of Afghanistan:

Senior Foreign Office officials believe the Afghan-born US ambassador to the UN, Zalmay Khalilzad, is planning to stand for the presidency of Afghanistan and played a complex role in advising the current president, Hamid Karzai, to block the appointment of Lord Ashdown as the UN envoy to the country.

Ashdown, the former Liberal Democrat leader who became the international community's high representative in Bosnia, withdrew his application for the role on Sunday in the face of Afghan objections, leaving western policy in chaos.

America and Britain had been lining Ashdown up for a senior role since October, and believed they had the support of the UN secretary general, Ban Ki-Moon, and Karzai.

High-level British sources believe that Karzai changed his position as he faced mounting objections from Pashto-speaking warlords and after advice given to him by Khalilzad, a former US ambassador to both Iraq and Afghanistan. Khalilzad is himself a Pashtun. British sources suggested that contrary to the official US position, Khalilzad had been warning Karzai that Ashdown was an interventionist figure and would weaken his authority still further.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Pat Buchanan: McCain Presidency Would Mean War with Iran

Buchanan tells it like it is on the Morning Joe program. He makes it clear that John McCain will get us into more wars if he becomes President. Lets not forget that he is the biggest booster of the surge. This means he doesn't care what the people think. Just like Bush.

Superdelegates May Determine Nominee, Not the People

It could turn out that Barack Obama wins a majority of the votes in the primaries and ends up not winning the nomination. That is because a group of party hacks have been given the status of 'superdelegate'. And they can support whomever they want. This means that a handful of well-connected individuals would horse trade in the proverbial smoke-filled room as to who represent the Democratic (most likely) and Republican parties in the general election. The most likely beneficiary of a brokered convention would be the establishment candidate, Hillary Clinton. The people's will would be thwarted, again. Just another reason to oppose the two-party and support something that comes from the people:

National party rules give special status to a select political group, including members of Congress, governors, members of the Democratic National Committee, past party officials, and former elected leaders like Presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter and their vice presidents, Al Gore and Walter F. Mondale.

Officially designated unpledged party leader and elected official delegates, members of this high-powered group are usually known by a catchier term: superdelegates.

If the primary season does not settle the nomination fight and it turns into a hunt for individual delegates, it is conceivable that this group of politicians and party insiders could hold the balance in awarding the nomination.

[...]Superdelegates were created after the 1980 election and were intended to restore some of the power over the nomination process to party insiders, keeping a lid on the zeal of party activists. They immediately came in handy for Mr. Mondale in his 1984 presidential bid, when they gave him a cushion over the upstart campaign of Gary Hart.

Since 1984, they have constituted 15 to 20 percent of the delegates at Democratic conventions, where they have historically supported the front-runner.

According to a recent telephone survey of superdelegates by The New York Times and CBS News, about one-third have expressed no preference in the 2008 race, about 25 percent support Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton and about 10 percent favor Senator Barack Obama. The remainder did not return calls or refused to comment.

But nothing in the rules binds any of the superdelegates, and they are free to shift positions, unlike pledged delegates who are committed to support a particular candidate at least through an initial convention vote. That creates a situation that political aficionados dream about: a deadlocked convention up for grabs until a bloc of superdelegates comes together and anoints a nominee.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

John McCain on Meet The Press Transcript

John McCain will never admit that he has flip flopped on the issues. Like in this interview with Tim Russert, he refuses to acknowledge that he is wrong on any issue. At least Mitt Romney will acknowledge his change on the abortion issue. Not only will McCain not admit his contradictions but arrogantly insists that he is what he says he is. Conservatives angrily criticize the Senator for his lack of ideological credentials. McCain counters that he was with Reagan in the beginning, eventhough he didn't always support that President's tax cuts. He has to be on every side of the issues and then brags that he is principled. Amazing:

MR. RUSSERT: Senator McCain, you have said repeatedly, "I know a lot less about economics than I do about military and foreign policy issues. I still need to be educated." Is it a problem for your campaign that the economy is now the most important issue, one that, by your own acknowledgement, you're not well versed on?

SEN. McCAIN: Actually, I don't know where you got that quote from. I'm very well versed in economics.

(End videotape)

MR. RUSSERT: Well, I'll tell you...

SEN. McCAIN: Now I know where you got that quote from. Now I know where you got the quote from.

MR. RUSSERT: I will show you where I got the quote from. I got it from John McCain, and here it is. "McCain is refreshingly blunt when he tells me I'm going to be honest, I know a lot less about economics than I do about military and foreign policy issues. I still need to be educated." Wall Street Journal, November 26th, 2005. You repeated it to the Boston Globe in December of '07. You said it.

SEN. McCAIN: OK. Let me tell you what I was trying to say and what I meant in that soundpiece. I spent 22 years in the military. I spent 20 years in the Senate Armed Services Committee. I've been involved in national security issues all my life. I attended the National War Cause. Of course I know more about national security than any other issue. That's been my entire life. Am I, am I smart on economics? Yes. I was chairman of the Commerce Committee. Why--that's why people like Phil Gramm, Tom Coburn and Warren Rudman and Carly Fiorina and the real strong economic minds, Jack Kemp, the real strong minds on the economy and, and conservatives on the economy are supporting me. They don't think that I'm--of course, I always have things to learn, and I continue to learn every day. But I'm very strong on the economy, and, frankly, my economic record is a lot stronger than that of the governor of Massachusetts when you look at his record as governor.

Another contradiction:
MR. RUSSERT: One of the questions that has been raised repeatedly in this campaign, Senator, is your opposition to the Bush tax cuts back in 2001.

SEN. McCAIN: Mm-hmm.

MR. RUSSERT: One of only two Republican senators. Back then you gave a floor speech and said this...

SEN. McCAIN: Mm-hmm.

MR. RUSSERT: ..."I cannot in good conscience support a tax cut in which so many of the benefits go to the most fortunate among us at the expense of middle-class Americans who most need tax relief."

Then you were on MEET THE PRESS in April of '04. I asked you about that vote. I also asked you about postponing the Bush tax cut, and this is what you said.

(Videotape, April 11, 2004)

SEN. McCAIN: I voted against the tax cuts because of the disproportional amount that went to the wealthiest Americans. I would clearly support not extending those tax cuts in order to help address the, the deficit.

(End videotape)

MR. RUSSERT: You wouldn't support extending them...

SEN. McCAIN: Mm-hmm.

MR. RUSSERT: ...but you are now supporting extending them...

SEN. McCAIN: Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm.

MR. RUSSERT: ...on the, on the radio with this ad.

SEN. McCAIN: Mm-hmm.


SEN. McCAIN: I'll make the Bush tax cuts permanent.

(End audiotape)

SEN. McCAIN: Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm.

MR. RUSSERT: That's a direct contradiction.

SEN. McCAIN: Well, at the time I still wanted to do two things. One was a different set of tax cuts that also had more emphasis on middle and lower income Americans. But most importantly, most importantly, we are now facing a situation with a shaky economy with tax cuts not being permanent, then the people experience an increase in their taxes.

And let me go back to 2001 again. I was right, we had to have restraint of spending. I'm proud to have been one in the Reagan revolution where we not only cut taxes, which I'm proud to have supported and I have a record of it, but we restrained spending. And when you have tax cuts and not restrain spending and let things go completely out of control, as we did, look, we lost the 2006 election because we didn't restrain spending. So I not only didn't--had a different set of tax cut proposals, which were very strong, but I also had restraint of spending. And I believe to this day if we'd adopted the tax cuts that I proposed, and I did have a strong tax cut proposal, today we'd be talking about further tax cuts instead of alienated our base by letting spending get completely out of control, and then we then are facing--and it's one of the major contributors to the fiscal difficulties that we have in America today. I'm proud of my record of tax cutting, I'm proud of my record of, of being a fiscal conservative. Would I have had those tax cuts differently? Of course I would have. And now, right now today, Americans in 2010 are facing, unfortunately, the prospect of a tax increase when we had--if we don't make them permanent, if--in a time of a very shaky economy. I think that's the worst thing we could do.

MR. RUSSERT: But you have changed your mind?

SEN. McCAIN: No, I have not changed my mind in that I want restraint of spending. I would have had a different set of tax cuts. We've got to make these tax cuts permanent. We have to, otherwise I think it'll have a negative impact on our economy.

MR. RUSSERT: But you told me in '04 you were against making them permanent.

SEN. McCAIN: In '04 our economy was fine. And I have said many, many times since then, I've said many, many times, as the tax cuts came closer to whether they need to be made permanent or not, I've said 500 times that I want the tax cuts to be made permanent. Did I want my tax plan approved when I was running in 2000? Yes. And if we'd have done what I wanted to do, we'd be talking about more tax cuts today.

- Read the entire transcript...

McCain is Right: Romney Called for Timetables

Another Romney flipflop. This one is bad since it occurred just months ago:

Mitt Romney, the Republican presidential candidate who sits atop the GOP pack in fundraising, appears to have grown comfortable with talk of "timetables," in addition to talk of "milestones," when discussing U.S. involvement in Iraq.

The former Massachusetts governor is quick to note, however, that these timetables should be private and not published.

When asked by ABC News' Robin Roberts on "Good Morning America" if he believes there should be a timetable for withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq, Romney replied, "Well, there's no question that the president and Prime Minister al Maliki have to have a series of timetables and milestones that they speak about, but those shouldn't be for public pronouncement."

The former governor went on to explain, "You don't want the enemy to understand how long they have to wait in the weeds until you're going to be gone. You want to have a series of things you want to see accomplished in terms of the strength of the Iraqi military and the Iraqi police and the leadership of the Iraqi government."

When asked a similar question on CBS's "Early Show," Romney responded, "Well, I wouldn't publish [a timetable] for my adversaries to see," advocating instead "a series of milestones, timetables as well, to measure how well they're doing."

"But," Romney said, "that's not something you publish for the enemy to understand, because of course they could just lay in the weeds until the time that you're gone. So these are the kinds of things you do privately, not necessarily publicly."

While Romney's Tuesday call for "milestones" is nothing new, he has mostly shied away in the past from employing the more politically charged terminology of "timetables."

Saturday, January 26, 2008

South Carolina Repudiates Clinton Race-Baiting

Could there be a backlash against the Clintons? They used race to divide the people of South Carolina, in other primary states, and it has failed, so far. We won't know until Florida and February 5th whether divide-and-conquer politics will have succeeded or if the Clinton gang self-destructed:

South Carolina (Reuters) - Barack Obama easily won South Carolina's bitterly contested Democratic presidential primary with the aid of heavy black support on Tuesday, dealing a setback to rival Hillary Clinton after a week of political brawling.

Obama, an Illinois senator who would be the first black U.S. president, beat Clinton and John Edwards handily in the latest fight in a back-and-forth Democratic nominating battle. Clinton and Edwards were running close for second place, according to exit polls.

South Carolina was the latest test for Obama and Clinton, a New York senator, in their escalating battle for the right to represent the Democratic Party in November's presidential election.

After two consecutive losses, in New Hampshire and Nevada, Obama badly needed a win on Saturday as he headed into the February 5 "Super Tuesday" contests in two dozen states to have a realistic chance of victory.

The high stakes fueled a week of angry accusations, harsh advertisements and increasingly personal jabs between the two candidates, capped by a volley of attacks on Obama from Clinton's husband, former President Bill Clinton.

Exit polls showed Obama won four of every five black voters in a state where they were expected to be about half of the primary electorate. He also won one-quarter of white votes, higher than many had predicted.

Why we're Needed: World Income Inequality and Globalization

I made this addition to TPP on the issue of world income inequality. The purpose is to point out that globalization and outsourcing have neither benefited America or the rest of the world. There is in fact greater inequality. This in turn creates much of the increased turmoil in the world. In can be argued that 9-11 had in roots economic injustice. A poor world is one in where hatred and ignorance breeds. In Muslim nations power is in the hands of a few (or a dictator) while the great majority suffer. And this poverty is what fuels Jihadism. There is great resentment among the peopl at the fact that Sheiks live in great luxuary, with the help of Western oil companies, while they live in abject poverty. America should side with the people of the world and help promote economic justice. That will lead to greater democracy and fewer threats like al Qaeda. Prior to radical Islamic there was Soviet Communism that also took advantage of poverty and economic inequality:

"In nation after nation, conditions for a majority of people have actually worsened in the last decade, as the gap between those on top and bottom grows. A U.N. report released on August 25, 2005 reported that in sub-Saharan Africa alone, the number of poor people increased by almost ninety million in little more than a decade (from 1990 to 2001). In Latin America, unemployment rose from nearly 7 percent in 1995 to 9 percent in 2002....Despite claims that the globalization of capitalism is raising living standards for all, this 158-page U.N. report, The World Social Situation: The Inequality Predicament, noted that greater economic globalization has gone along with with greater inequality both between and within countries. Even comparatively wealthy nations like the United States, Canada, and Britain have failed to escape this trend."

- Source: The Real Wealth of Nations by Riane Eisler

Clinton Posed with Obama "Slum Lord" in 1990s

Once again the Clintons are caught being hypocrites. The power couple have had a history of posing and taking money from countless numbers of criminals. So when Hillary attacked Obama for his ties to a crook, we shouldn't be surprised that Billary also had met or took money from the same person:

Bill and Hillary Clinton got walloped yesterday when a photograph surfaced showing them posing with an alleged fraudster whom the former first lady had called a "slum landlord" and linked to Barack Obama in Monday's debate.

In the picture, Hillary Rodham Clinton is grinning alongside Chicago builder and Democratic moneyman Antoin "Tony" Rezko - who stands between the Clintons.

Rezko has been indicted on federal fraud charges and goes to trial next month. The charges involve an alleged scam by Rezko to extort payoffs from companies looking to do business with two state boards in Illinois.

Just days ago, Sen. Clinton slammed Obama for his connection to Rezko, after the presidential rivals got in an angry personal exchange about Republican ideas.

"I was fighting against those ideas when you were practicing law and representing your contributor, Rezko, in his slum landlord business in inner-city Chicago," Clinton fumed.

NBC revealed the photo yesterday when Clinton appeared on the "Today" show.

"I probably have taken hundreds of thousands of pictures. I don't know the man. I wouldn't know him if he walked in the door. I don't have a 17-year relationship with him," Clinton said when asked by host Matt Lauer for her explanation.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Detroit's Mayor in Sex Scandal

If it weren't bad enough that the people of Detroit are suffering, largely due to a totally inept, corrupt government, but they are forced to live through the embarrassment--and cost--of a sex scandal. The tax payers of Detroit, whom cannot afford paying millions for the whistle blowers settlements,are being dealt possibly a death blow. Democrats or Republicans don't to mention what scandals go on when towns are controlled by one party:

But what makes this one extraordinary are the lengths to which the forbidden lovers went to cover up their trysts. Back in April 2002, only four months into Kilpatrick's first term, rumors emerged of a wild party involving a stripper at the mayoral mansion. Around the same time, one of the mayor's bodyguards, Harold Nelthrope, reported that the mayor's personal police posse was running amuck, crashing cars and racking up overtime. Deputy Police Chief Gary Brown launched an investigation, which could have uncovered the clandestine couple. But two weeks into his investigation, Brown was fired. A month later, Brown and Nelthrope filed a whistleblower lawsuit against Kilpatrick and the city, which finally came to trial last summer. Kilpatrick and Beatty insisted under oath there was no affair and that they hadn't fired Brown. Even without the text messages that appear to maker liars out of them now, the jury found against Kilpatrick and the city. The case ended up being settled for $9 million of Detroit taxpayers' dollars--or, as the Free Press figured it, the equivalent of 126 police officers' salaries.

Now, Kilpatrick and Beatty could face perjury charges--a 15-year offense. The county prosecutor, Kym Worthy, announced Friday she is launching an investigation, which is expected to include how the Free Press obtained the text messages the city failed to turn over during the trial last summer. Worthy is promising to be "fair, impartial and thorough. We will not be rushed by anyone or anything."

Predictably, there is outrage all over Detroit and calls for the mayor's head. "He's an embarrassment and now it's proven he's a habitual liar," city union boss John Riehl, told NEWSWEEK. Riehl, who represents 900 Detroit workers in the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, is having them picket city hall on Wednesday to demand that Kilpatrick resign. "He's put Detroit's national image in the gutter."

Florida Republican Presidential Debate Transcript

Romney is ahead in the polls in Florida and he did very well in Thursday's debate. McCain might not have it wrapped-up after all. It was clever for the candidates to avoid attacking each other. It drew a obvious contrast to the squabbling among the Democrats. Read the Entire transcript here. Here's an excerpt:

MR. WILLIAMS: So to our candidates, gentlemen, welcome to you all. Thank you for being here, and let's begin. And Governor Romney, I thought we'd begin with you. The president just today signed off on this economic stimulus plan that would send out 116 million checks to American homes. The plan is somewhat contrary to yours, providing lots of short-term stimulus to individuals. Your plan, as you know, focuses as much on the long term as the short term. Are you disappointed that your recipe for the economy was not embraced by the president? And as a follow-up, will you now embrace his plan?

MR. ROMNEY: Well, there's a great deal that is effective in his plan. I just wish it went further. What's effective is, first, he's getting money back to consumers. And given the fact that two-thirds of our economy is a consumer economy, getting money back into the hands of our citizens, a lot of them paying a lot for gasoline, a lot for heating oil, a lot of people concerned about how to make ends meet, that makes sense to me. Mine was a little different. It had a permanent tax cut for people at the lowest income tax bracket. I also have a savings plan for individuals that allows folks who are making under $200,000 a year to save their money tax free, no (interest on ?) interest, dividends or capital gains. I guess we can get to that later. But his first start to help the consumers is a good start.

I just think we need to go further.

Second, we go to -- to corporate support and helping corporations have the incentive to buy more capital equipment. That he also does. I do it more aggressively than he does by writing off a larger amount of capital expenditures -- getting companies to, frankly, buy more stuff so that as they do so that other companies will hire people because if you want to turn an economy around, the key thing is to grow jobs. It's not just to get checks in the hands of consumers; it's consumers buying things that creates jobs. It's companies buying things that create jobs.

And then finally, his last leg is with regards to helping the FHA take on a broader array of -- of -- of homes that are in trouble, homeowners that are in trouble. And that's really very important, and I'm appreciative of the fact that the president took that step. We -- we really have across the country a housing crisis, a mortgage crisis, that seems to have spilled out into the entire economy, and -- and the effect of this, of course, is to put a lot of pain against a lot of people. And so helping reverse the housing crisis is critical.

And that's why expanding the FHA loan requirements, or excuse me, if you will, loosening those requirements and expanding the ability of FHA to help out homeowners would make a big difference. So net-net is something I support, and I look forward to taking it further.

NY Times Endorses Establishment Candidates: Clinton, McCain

I recently recently that the likely winners of their respective primaries are the most establishment of the candidates...Hillary Clinton and John McCain. The Times just confirmed that belief:

It is unfair, especially after seven years of Mr. Bush’s inept leadership, but any Democrat will face tougher questioning about his or her fitness to be commander in chief. Mrs. Clinton has more than cleared that bar, using her years in the Senate well to immerse herself in national security issues, and has won the respect of world leaders and many in the American military. She would be a strong commander in chief.

[...]As strongly as we back her candidacy, we urge Mrs. Clinton to take the lead in changing the tone of the campaign. It is not good for the country, the Democratic Party or for Mrs. Clinton, who is often tagged as divisive, in part because of bitter feeling about her husband’s administration and the so-called permanent campaign. (Indeed, Bill Clinton’s overheated comments are feeding those resentments, and could do long-term damage to her candidacy if he continues this way.)

We know that she is capable of both uniting and leading. We saw her going town by town through New York in 2000, including places where Clinton-bashing was a popular sport. She won over skeptical voters and then delivered on her promises and handily won re-election in 2006.

Here's their logic for endorsing McCain:
[...]there is a choice to be made, and it is an easy one. Senator John McCain of Arizona is the only Republican who promises to end the George Bush style of governing from and on behalf of a small, angry fringe. With a record of working across the aisle to develop sound bipartisan legislation, he would offer a choice to a broader range of Americans than the rest of the Republican field.

We have shuddered at Mr. McCain’s occasional, tactical pander to the right because he has demonstrated that he has the character to stand on principle. He was an early advocate for battling global warming and risked his presidential bid to uphold fundamental American values in the immigration debate. A genuine war hero among Republicans who proclaim their zeal to be commander in chief, Mr. McCain argues passionately that a country’s treatment of prisoners in the worst of times says a great deal about its character.

Why they didn't endorse Giuliani. I kind of agree with this reasoning:
The real Mr. Giuliani, whom many New Yorkers came to know and mistrust, is a narrow, obsessively secretive, vindictive man who saw no need to limit police power. Racial polarization was as much a legacy of his tenure as the rebirth of Times Square.

Mr. Giuliani’s arrogance and bad judgment are breathtaking. When he claims fiscal prudence, we remember how he ran through surpluses without a thought to the inevitable downturn and bequeathed huge deficits to his successor. He fired Police Commissioner William Bratton, the architect of the drop in crime, because he couldn’t share the limelight. He later gave the job to Bernard Kerik, who has now been indicted on fraud and corruption charges.

The Rudolph Giuliani of 2008 first shamelessly turned the horror of 9/11 into a lucrative business, with a secret client list, then exploited his city’s and the country’s nightmare to promote his presidential campaign.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Clintons Leave no Fingerprints

Excellent analogy and article. The reason they leave no fingerprints is because they are master criminals (Whitewater, Filegate, Chinagate, Travel Officegate, Pardongate, etc., etc.):

First, a quick show of hands: How many of you honestly thought we'd make it through this Democratic presidential primary without a bruising debate over race? Whether or not the Clintons were involved, this conversation is hardly shocking. And before it's over, it will likely grow more intense.

What is surprising, however, is how skillfully, and with how much brilliant calculation, Hillary Rodham Clinton and her husband steered the nomination campaign toward these turbulent waters. She's done nothing but win since this debate began and even if she loses on Saturday in South Carolina, she's framed the campaign in a way that lets her live to fight another day. Perhaps even more surprising has been the media's willingness to be played.

Voters Pessimistic About America's Future

The time is now for a political break from the two-party system. The status quo is frightening to contemplate:

Whatever their ideological differences this election year, Americans seem able to agree on one thing: the political landscape being crisscrossed by the 2008 candidates is barely recognizable as the one traveled by George W. Bush and Al Gore a mere eight years ago.

Obviously, Sept. 11 and its aftermath have changed the country in countless and irretrievable ways. But even beyond the emergence of war and national security as pre-eminent concerns, there has been a profound reordering of domestic priorities, a darkening of the country’s mood and, in the eyes of many, a fraying of America’s very sense of itself.

While not universal, that tone pervaded dozens of interviews conducted over the last week with Americans of all political stripes in 8 of the 24 states that hold primaries or caucuses on Feb. 5, as well as with historians, elected officials, political strategists and poll takers. As the candidates fan out to New York and California and here to the heartland, they are confronting an electorate that is deeply unsettled about the United States’ place in the world and its ability to control its own destiny.

We have no say:
Now, Americans feel a loss of autonomy, in their own lives and in the nation. Their politics are driven by the powerlessness they feel to control their financial well-being, their safety, their environment, their health and the country’s borders. They question whether each generation will continue to ascend the economic ladder. That the political system seems so impotent only deepens their frustration and their insistence on results.

As she considers this campaign, Susan C. Powell, a 47-year-old training consultant who lives in a Kansas City suburb, said that what she feels is not so much hopelessness as doom.

“I know plenty of people who are doing worse than they were,” Ms. Powell said, “and nobody’s helping them out. People’s incomes are not keeping pace with inflation. People can’t afford their homes. People in their 30s and 40s, middle-income, and they don’t have jobs they can count on or access to health care. How can we say that we’re the greatest country on earth and essentially have the walking wounded?

Democrats Uneasy with Clintons' Aggression

This is proof for why we need alternative to the two-party system. All this squabbling is going while our economy is crumbling. Does this suggest these people are putting their country first? We face a crisis. The candidates should be working together to come up with solutions, not distracting us with childish arguments. What more proof do you need to show that the two-party system is failure. In fact, the Wall St. collapse is due to these people running the country without the consent of the governed. Since it is the very same corporations that profited from the housing boom, and from those onerous sub-prime loans, that run our nation. The politicians just stood around and refused to stop the profiteers from plundering the economy:

A growing number of U.S. Democrats are expressing concern over the aggressiveness in Sen. Hillary Clinton's campaign.

With the New York senator's husband, former President Bill Clinton, taking a more active role in her campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination, much of recent attack advertising has been focused on her chief rival, Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., , the Washington Post reported.

Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., who endorsed Obama last week, criticized Bill Clinton for what he called his "glib cheap shots" at Obama.

"That's beneath the dignity of a former president," Leahy told reporters. "He is not helping anyone, and certainly not helping the Democratic Party."

Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., who is not aligned with any of the contenders, said party unity was being threatened by the escalating attack ads.

Bloomberg Dismisses Stimulus Package

I added several of the ideas proposed by the NY Mayor to the People's Platform proposal section, also the criticisms of the Federal governments stimulus package:

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Wednesday the White House and Congress are negotiating a shortsighted economic stimulus package and should focus instead on encouraging immigration and helping strapped homeowners.

"We can't borrow our way out of this. The jig is up," Bloomberg said during a speech to the U.S. Conference of Mayors, which honored his environmental efforts.

The billionaire mayor, who is said to be considering an independent presidential bid yet denies that he is a candidate, said the $150 billion stimulus package being hammered out between Democratic and Republican leaders won't be enough.

"There's just one problem: It's not going to make much of a difference because we've already been running huge deficits," Bloomberg said. "If we spend all the money right now, and there is no recovery because of it, then we don't have a second hand to play."

- Read entire article.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

House Fails to Override Health Bill Veto

This demonstrates once and for all Bush's lack of concern for the people of America:

For the second time in three months, the House failed Wednesday to override President Bush's veto of a bill that would greatly increase spending on a popular children's health insurance program.

Democratic leaders fell 15 votes shy of obtaining the two-thirds majority needed for an override. The final vote was 260-152, with 42 Republicans siding with Democrats.

The result was expected, even as override supporters pointed to the slowing economy as another reason to spend another $35 billion on the State Children's Health Insurance Program over the next five years.

[...]The legislation that Bush vetoed would have increased enrollment in the children's health program from 6 million to 10 million over the coming five years. The revenue needed for that enrollment increase would come from a 61-cent increase in the federal excise tax on a pack of cigarettes, as well as comparable tax increases on other tobacco products.

[...]The president's second veto occurred in December. He said the bill encouraged too many families to replace private insurance with government-subsidized health coverage. He vetoed a similar bill in October. Democratic leaders then fell 13 votes short in their attempt to override that particular veto, so they actually lost ground Wednesday.

The children's health program serves families that earn too much to qualify for Medicaid, but not enough to afford private insurance.

Drought Could Force Nuke-Plant Shutdowns

This is another reason why nuclear power is not a viable source of energy:

Nuclear reactors across the Southeast could be forced to throttle back or temporarily shut down later this year because drought is drying up the rivers and lakes that supply power plants with the awesome amounts of cooling water they need to operate.

Utility officials say such shutdowns probably wouldn't result in blackouts. But they could lead to shockingly higher electric bills for millions of Southerners, because the region's utilities may be forced to buy expensive replacement power from other energy companies.

Already, there has been one brief, drought-related shutdown, at a reactor in Alabama over the summer.

"Water is the nuclear industry's Achilles' heel," said Jim Warren, executive director of N.C. Waste Awareness and Reduction Network, an environmental group critical of nuclear power. "You need a lot of water to operate nuclear plants." He added: "This is becoming a crisis."

An Associated Press analysis of the nation's 104 nuclear reactors found that 24 are in areas experiencing the most severe levels of drought. All but two are built on the shores of lakes and rivers and rely on submerged intake pipes to draw billions of gallons of water for use in cooling and condensing steam after it has turned the plants' turbines.

Because of the yearlong dry spell gripping the region, the water levels on those lakes and rivers are getting close to the minimums set by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Over the next several months, the water could drop below the intake pipes altogether. Or the shallow water could become too hot under the sun to use as coolant.

Most Americans believe U.S. economy in decline: Zogby

The American people know better than the politicians what's really going on. That is why the American people must come up with a solution. Thus the need for TPP:

Most Americans believe their country's economy is in decline and that its cities are experiencing economic troubles on a variety of fronts, according to a Zogby International Poll released Wednesday.

Americans also count five economic issues among the top 10 problems cities face, said John Zogby, speaking at a meeting of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, which sponsored the poll. These include affordable housing, the housing market, local job development, health care and property taxes.

But they are also worried about their individual well-being, the survey of 32,085 people found.

More than two-thirds of respondents said they get less spending power from their paychecks than they did five years ago, and more than a quarter say unemployment has risen in their cities in the past five years.

- Read more of the poll results...

Maureen Dowd: Two Against One

Famed columnist, Maureen Dowd, does it. This time she exposes the Clintonian dirty campaigning tactics:

If Bill Clinton has to trash his legacy to protect his legacy, so be it. If he has to put a dagger through the heart of hope to give Hillary hope, so be it.

If he has to preside in this state as the former first black president stopping the would-be first black president, so be it.

The Clintons — or “the 2-headed monster,” as the The New York Post dubbed the tag team that clawed out wins in New Hampshire and Nevada — always go where they need to go, no matter the collateral damage. Even if the damage is to themselves and their party.

Bill’s transition from elder statesman, leader of his party and bipartisan ambassador to ward heeler and hatchet man has been seamless — and seamy.

[...] Bad Bill had been roughing up Obama so much that Representative James Clyburn of South Carolina suggested that he might want to “chill.” On a conference call with reporters yesterday, the former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, a national co-chairman of the Obama campaign, tut-tutted that the “incredible distortions” of the political beast were “not keeping with the image of a former president.”

Jonathan Alter reported in Newsweek that Senator Edward Kennedy and Rahm Emanuel, the Illinois congressman and former Clinton aide, have heatedly told Bill “that he needs to change his tone and stop attacking Senator Barack Obama.”

- Read the entire article...

Monday, January 21, 2008

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Video: Clintons will do "Just About Anything" to Regain Power

Mike Barnacle appearing on Morning Joe described the tactics of the Clintons. He is right on in essentially calling Billary thugs:

Ross Perot Quotes

Added quotes from Ross Perot.