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.