Saturday, March 29, 2008

The Fed Offers More Corporate Welfare To Fat Cat Bankers

Just as New York is gearing up to screw the middle class in these hard financial times, the Federal Government is making the rough patch much smoother for those in the upper class corporate world. The $30 billion dollars provided by the Fed to finance the JP Morgan-Bear Stearns deal outraged many this past week (even motivating hundreds to protest their offices), but imagine how much more ticked off average Americans will be when they hear that the $30 billion in corporate welfare was just the start of this financial insanity.

From RawStory:

The Federal Reserve announced Friday it will auction another $100 billion in April to cash-strapped banks as it continues to combat the effects of a credit crisis.

The central bank said it would make $50 billion available at each of two auctions, on April 7 and April 21.

Through the end of March, the Fed has provided $260 billion in short-term loans to commercial banks through the innovative auction process. It also has employed Depression-era provisions to provide money to investment banks.

Billions upon billions are being "loaned" from the government (meaning us, the taxpayers) to giant corporations with CEOs that make millions upon millions. How exactly is this fair? I'm sorry, the Reagan "trickle-down" theory is no longer viable in a reasoned debate, it has long since been discredited. This action is strictly meant to help the rich stay rich while the vast majority of us is kept down.

Never, ever, let a Republican tell you they aren't in favor of a welfare system, ever. They are lying through their teeth.

John McCain And The Maverick Teleprompter

How hard is it for someone to read big, bold text from a teleprompter?

Apparently it is rocket science for John "McBush" McCain. What would this man do if his handlers didn't write what he had to say? Could he come up with anything original besides "bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran?"

Probably not.

Another MTA Fare Hike On The Horizon???

The economic recession in our country has begun and here in New York the effects are being felt more and more every single day. With the budget coming out on Tuesday, cuts are expected across the board and New York City's very own M.T.A. is no exception to being slashed. Paterson wants to chop $60 million out of the transit authority's budget and possibly bring their budget gap to over a quarter billion dollars. And do you know what that means for those of us that ride the rails?

From The Daily News:

The cuts would widen a $200 million budget deficit that the Metropolitan Transportation Authority is projecting for next year.

Paterson's proposal also raises concern that other money the MTA believed it would receive after hashing out its financial plans last year with former Gov. Eliot Spitzer could be in jeopardy.

"A fare increase next year is almost inevitable" if the Paterson proposal survives budget negotiations with the Senate and Assembly, according to Assemblyman Richard Brodsky (D-Westchester).

I disagree with Brodsky's opposition to congestion pricing, but this would certainly continue the governmental beat down of the middle class in New York. State leaders can't possibly think that it is o.k. to tax average New Yorkers with fare increases and handicap many people who are trying to catch up with government assistance. The only welfare that seems to be popular these days in the halls of government is for corporate giants that can only afford two yachts instead of three.

Clean Energy From A Dump Can Be A Reality

Landfills are generally thought of as eyesores and the sources of horrific smells that coalesce from every piece of junk and scrap of garbage imaginable. Plenty of jokes have been made about Fresh Kills landfill at Staten Island's expense, there's even an ice cream flavor for the old landfill down there. For a while now, borough President James Molinaro wants to do something about it, and make the landfill into a wind farm, but for some reason there has been roadblocks thrown up in his path.

From The NY Times:

Mr. Molinaro noted that BQ Energy, which has worked upstate, is willing to develop the farm at no cost to the city. “The city needs to begin the land lease process now,” he wrote. He first began promoting the plan in August.

But the cooperation of the state’s Department of Environmental Conservation would be required, and has not been forthcoming. In the letter, Mr. Molinaro wrote that one official there he met with in December had a “lukewarm at best” reaction to the plan.

“She said she would have to study the issue, but has yet to get back to us,” he wrote.

The response from the new Governor has also been tepid as the Times notes. Common sense says that clean energy is a no-brainer, especially if BQ Energy wants to develop it at no cost. The project could power 5,000 homes and save New York millions in non-renewable energy costs (not to mention helping our environment). So Mr. Paterson and the folks at DEC.....why is this a problem??

Friday, March 28, 2008

It Must Be Hard To Be Dana Perino

Then again, she's chosen to lie and manipulate facts for a President responsible for thousands upon thousands of deaths in a war that he started without provocation.

Senator Leahy Tells Clinton To Drop Out

In one of the harshest comments from the Democratic establishment to date, Senator Leahy (an Obama supporter) unequivocally told the fellow Northeastern Senator to drop out of the race. He talked about the reality of the race between the two Dems and the way that is playing with the eventual contest with McCain.

From ABC News:

In an interview on Vermont Public Radio, said "There is no way that Senator Clinton is going to win enough delegates to get the nomination. She ought to withdraw and she ought to be backing Senator Obama. Now, obviously that's a decision that only she can make frankly I feel that she would have a tremendous career in the Senate."

Leahy said he was fretting about the impact of the protracted Democratic race.

"I am very concerned," he said. "John McCain, who has been making one gaffe after another, is getting a free ride on it because Senator Obama and Senator Clinton have to fight with each other. I think that her criticism is hurting him more than anything John McCain has said. I think that's unfortunate."

It is unfortunate Senator Leahy. Clinton responds that she wants the voters to vote first and I think that is all well and good. People should vote and exercise their opinion on who should face McCain this fall. On the other hand, Senator Clinton is no dummy, and she knows she isn't going to win the popular vote, the pledged delegates or the amount of state contests. The only way for her to win is by fiat with superdelegates, so for her to claim that the voters can somehow prove her to be the popularly elected candidate is ridiculous. It is more than ridiculous, it is unfortunate.

The Death Of The Elephant As We Know It

Editor and Publisher is reporting that the Sunday Magazine in the New York Times is going to address an important political issue. Is time up for the Republican party? This isn't a piece that Republicans can whine about to their conservative or neo-conservative friends. The article examines the 2006 election and takes insights from influential Republicans such as Ken Mehlman and Rich Bond, former chairman and consultant respectively. Basically, it doesn't look pretty for the GOP.

From Editor and Publisher:

“Karl Rove had a plan to realign American politics for generations. Now GOP leaders are struggling to prevent another 1964,” reads the rest of the cover tag. The article was penned by Benjamin Wallace-Wells, who also writes for Rolling Stone. Ken Mehlman, the former party chairman, says in the massive piece, “What is concerning is that we lost ground in every one of the highest -growth demographics” in 2006. “If there are Republicans out there who think that 2006 was a year that could be changed by a few votes in a few districts,” he adds, “they need to wake up.” Much of the article examines the plight of Rep. Tom Cole of Oklahoma, who is in charge of turning around the GOP’s fortunes. But the article notes, “In their intimacy with the numbers, many Republican operatives now worry that crucial segments of the electorate are slipping away from them." For example, “Republicans had traditionally won the votes of independents; in 2006, they lost them by 18 percent….Suburban voters, long a Republican constituency, favored Democrats in 2006 for the first time since 1992.” Says longtime GOP candidate/consultant Rich Bond: "Tom was dealt an almost unwinnable hand." Many more Republicans than Democrats are stepping down this year, making it almost impossible for the GOP to make gains, the article relates. The influential Cook Political Report offers an even worse assessment, projecting that 12 of the 14 seats most likely to change hands now belong to Republicans. But Cole sees fully 75 seats in play and feels John McCain at top of ticket will help in many. “Cole’s strategy is not complicated,” Wallace-Wells observers, “but it does contain an essential difficulty: at a moment when Washington is deeply unpopular, he wants his candidates to run as insurgents, but voters still identify Republcians with that they don’t like about Washington.”

And that is what the primary problem is for the GOP. They held power in Washington exclusively from 2000- 2006 and the Congress going back to 1994. In that short time they became more corrupt than any Congress in a long, long time. Their ideology sounded good to many independents in theory fifteen years ago, but now seeing it in practice has shown the fallacy of neo-con thought.

Cole may have a simple strategy, but that will translate into a simple outcome, the further destruction of the Republican party, not only in Washington, but in many states and regions across the country.

Cenk Doesn't Let McCain Get Away With Economic BS

McCain tried to respond to Barack Obama's economic speech yesterday here in New York, but since he doesn't know much about it to begin with, its easy to smash any argument from the McMaverick.

Progress On The Budget Leaves Out The Tax On Wealthy

April 1st is four days away and the budget is starting to form into a more solid object. Unfortunately that will not include an additional tax on New Yorkers that make over a million dollars. With the enormous gap in the state's budget, that $1.5 billion in extra revenue sure would have been nice, but the objections from the slightly Republican Senate and their ringleader Joe Bruno quashed those hopes. Gov. Paterson just wants to have it done...and he sided with Bruno in order to be ready for Tuesday.

From The NY Times:

Mr. Silver’s plan for a so-called millionaires’ tax, which had been met with skepticism from the governor’s office and the State Senate from its inception, was a critical piece of the Assembly’s budget plan. The Assembly estimated that it would add more than $1.5 billion in revenue, and Mr. Silver defended it vigorously.

But as it became increasingly clear that neither Mr.. Paterson nor Mr. Bruno would support the plan, Mr. Silver agreed to stand down.

“There will not be an income tax on high earners as part of the budget,” he said in an interview Thursday night. But he pledged to continue pressing for a tax increase on the wealthiest New Yorkers once the budget is completed. “My conference and I still believe it’s the appropriate thing to do, and it is what we should be doing as we go forward.”

The likelihood of it passes looks slim, at least for this year. Paterson needs this budget under his belt and Bruno has no intention of spreading the burden of the recession onto the rich. What we need is to make the Senate blue this November and restart next session with full control of the state government. Unfortunately for now, it seems that everything is being decided by the three men in a room, and only one of them passionately wants to see the millionaire's tax through.

Dean Sets The Deadline

As the Democratic primary season is set to head into another month, the top of the food chain at the DNC wants to see this mess wrapped up no later than July 1st. Howard Dean has made himself clear that this race must end once the voting is over and not let it go until the late August convention. McCain is free to bash either candidate and the stronger Democrat in this race still has to deal with an opponent that doesn't want to give up a dream that has long since faded in the majority of the party's eyes. It has to stop, and Dean is determined to make it so in three months time.

From The Guardian:

In an interview with The Associated Press, Dean also said he hopes the Democratic nominee will be determined shortly after the voting ends in June and that he will encourage the superdelegates who will play a role to make up their minds before the August convention in Denver.

Dean said the charges and countercharges between Clinton and Obama have gotten too personal at times. He declined to say how they have crossed the line, but he said he's made it clear privately when it has happened.

``You do not want to demoralize the base of the Democratic Party by having the Democrats attack each other,'' he said Thursday during the interview in his office at Democratic National Committee headquarters. ``Let the media and the Republicans and the talking heads on cable television attack and carry on, fulminate at the mouth. The supporters should keep their mouths shut about this stuff on both sides because that is harmful to the potential victory of a Democrat.''

Superdelegates - the nearly 800 party and elected officials who can support whomever they choose at the convention, regardless of what happens in the primaries - should make up their minds before August to avoid a fight at the convention, Dean said.

``There is no point in waiting,'' he said. The Democratic political organization ``is as good or better as the Republicans', and we haven't been able to say that for about 30 years. But that all doesn't make any difference if people are really disenchanted or demoralized by a convention that's really ugly and nasty.''

Ugly and nasty is inevitable this year, but we expect it from the Republicans, not from within the party. Dean correctly says there is no point in waiting, but the only thing that can come to mind is that it would make for further chances for Hillary Clinton to attack and destroy Barack Obama. He is, by the way, the candidate with more votes, more delegates and has won more states, regardless if the Clinton campaign says they count or not.

So let the rest of the states vote and unless something drastic happens, we will end up with roughly similar percentages as we do now in late March. Clinton could do the right thing now and concede for the sake of the party....or she can continue doing whatever it takes to win even if it drags us all down in November.

MoveOn Goes After Fox News Parrots

It is time for the major networks to stop trying to emulate Fox News and MoveOn supporters went out to give them the message:

Al Gore Calls Out Wingnut Climate Change Skeptics

On the upcoming episode of 60 Minutes this weekend, Al Gore is on the show and he is fighting back against critics who still have their heads stuck in the ground. Al and many of us in the reality-based community are sick and tired of hearing the lame excuses that delusional people such as Senator James Inhofe come up with in order to cover their eyes from the massive 800 ton gorilla sitting in the room with all of us.

From CBS News:

Confronted by Stahl with the fact some prominent people, including the nation’s vice president, are not convinced that global warming is man-made, Gore responds: "You're talking about Dick Cheney. I think that those people are in such a tiny, tiny minority now with their point of view, they’re almost like the ones who still believe that the moon landing was staged in a movie lot in Arizona and those who believe the world is flat,” says Gore. "That demeans them a little bit, but it's not that far off," he tells Stahl.

Gore’s campaign to make the world more aware of man’s role in global warming won him the Nobel Peace Prize last year. He donated the $750,000 prize money to The Alliance for Climate Protection, the non-profit he started to help him on his quest. He and his wife, Tipper, tell Stahl they not only matched the Nobel money with their own, but they are also donating to the organization the significant profits from his book and Oscar-winning documentary film about global warming, "An Inconvenient Truth." The funds will help The Alliance for Climate Protection execute a new $300 million ad campaign on global warming set to start next week.

Some of the ads will feature unlikely alliances to drive home the message that people of all stripes are concerned about global warming. These include the Rev. Al Sharpton and the Rev. Pat Robertson, Toby Keith and the Dixie Chicks, and Nancy Pelosi and Newt Gingrich.

See, even some on the right can realize that our planet is in serious danger. If people like Pat Robertson and Newt Gingrich can understand, then hopefully the remaining demented naysayers can come to grips with reality as well.

This issue should no longer be up for debate, our climate should not be political issue. We all live here and we all are and will deal with the consequences of how we treat our planet. People long ago gave up the idea that the world is flat, now it is time to let go of this fallacy too.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Appeals Court To Bust Siegelman Out Of Jail

It looks like Don Siegelman is about to win back his freedom after serving nearly two years in jail due to a public corruption conviction. He was found guilty of taking money in exchange for influence on the state's health board, but the solvency of that conviction is in jeopardy.

From NBC-13:

ATLANTA, Ga. -- The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals has granted former Gov. Don Siegelman's request to be released from prison pending the outcome of his appeal.

Siegelman is currently serving a 7-year sentence in the Oakdale Federal Correctional Complex in Louisiana following his 2006 public corruption conviction.

Acting U.S. Attorney Louis Franklin confirms the 11th Circuit granted Siegelman's release in a fou- page order which states Siegelman had raised a "significant question" about his conviction.

There have been many doubts surrounding the prosecution of his case and the political motives behind it all. Before the Appeals Court issued this ruling, the House Democrats asked Attorney General Mukasey to have Siegelman temporarily released to testify about his case, but the Justice Department denied the request. Now it looks like the Bush Administration's attempt to subvert the truth from coming out might be for naught.

Aww, too bad, score one for justice and one against the White House.

New York State Infringes The Right To A Public Defense

From the NYCLU:

If you are accused of a crime and cannot afford an attorney, you have the right to be provided meaningful and effective counsel.

It is a right that New Yorkers take for granted.

It is a right denied to hundreds of New Yorkers every day.

It is a right that all New Yorkers have the right to a spirited public defense. It is a travesty that those that can not afford an attorney do not have a fair defense.

Cars That Run On Air Coming Sooner Than You Think

Kiss gasoline goodbye, forget about ethanol and leave the hybrids at the dealership, because in two years, there will be an automobile for sale that literally runs on air. Zero Pollution Motors has set up shop in nearby New Paltz and will be selling a vehicle that can get up to a thousand miles per 1-2 hour charge and can do 96 mph to get there.

From The NY Daily News:

New Paltz, N.Y., has long been known as a bastion of progressive thinking, living and being, man. So it's no surprise the town is headquarters for a company planning to produce the world's first air-powered automobile for the U.S. by 2010. The France-based Zero Pollution Motors says it's manufacturing 10,000 vehicles in its first year and expects to sell them for about $17,800. The cars will have 75 horsepower — that's a little less than the SmartForTwo — will seat six and will produce zero emissions.

"Electricity powers an onboard compressor to compress air to 4,500 pounds per square inch into a pressure tank contained in the vehicle," ZPM communications director Kevin Haydon told the Daily News from New Paltz. "This can be done in a garage overnight and it will take 1-2 hours. The compressed air is then used to power the engine."

Interest in the car is already high and it isn't hard to see why. With gas prices continuing their fast-paced ascent, people are looking for a better way to get around. The air-powered car (or AirCar for short) will be available by 2010 an orders will be taken much sooner than that. With inventions like this, all we need know is to fix the problem of where that 1-2 hour charge comes from. Getting rid of coal, oil and nuclear based power sources and switching to wind and solar will help complete an environmentally friendly way of making our country run.

Why The Press Loves McCain

There are many reasons to speculate on why the national press loves John McCain so much. He talks to them on his bus as if he were their friend, he invites them to barbecues, he uses self-deprecating humor and to top it off, he has the record of being a war hero. All of that and then some come together to shape what Neal Gabler calls the first postmodernist candidate. He is able to go into the hearts of what we know as journalists today and exploits them for all they're worth.

From The NY Times:

Seeming to view himself and the whole political process with a mix of amusement and bemusement, Mr. McCain is an ironist wooing a group of individuals who regard ironic detachment more highly than sincerity or seriousness. He may be the first real postmodernist candidate for the presidency — the first to turn his press relations into the basis of his candidacy.

Of course this is not how the press typically talks about Mr. McCain. The conventional analysis of his press popularity begins with his military service. If campaigns are primarily about narratives, he has a good and distinguished one, and it would take a very curmudgeonly press corps to dismiss it, even though that is exactly what a good portion of it did to Senator John Kerry’s service record in 2004. Reporters also often cite Mr. McCain’s bonhomie as the reason for their affection. As Ryan Lizza described it last month in The New Yorker, a typical campaign day has Mr. McCain rumbling from one stop to another on his bus, the Straight Talk Express, sitting in the rear on a horseshoe-shaped leather couch surrounded by reporters and talking “until the room is filled with the awkward silence of journalists with no more questions.”

The Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen, citing the conviviality during the 2000 campaign, wrote that “a trip on his bus is, well, a trip.” And as the party master, Mr. McCain is no longer the reporters’ subject. He is their pal.

Gabler goes on into the intricacies of how McCain works his magic and how the press gleefully responds in the way the "maverick" desires. The press is almost like a pack of dogs being guided by a skilled trainer who knows all the tricks. Here on the left we scream and shout at the press to wake up and become independent of the campaigns and report fairly and accurately, but as Chris "Tweety" Matthews joyfully exclaims, 'they're his base.'

What needs to happen is a constant barrage of truth from the progressive media and blogosphere, coupled with the Democratic campaigns/nominee's steady stream of attacks on McCain. Obama is doing quite well with this so far and tries to stay away from the "wonkiness" that the press hates all the while coming back to the base to talk about concrete programs that will help our nation come back from the disaster that is the Bush Presidency. It is a fine line that Obama (and Clinton) must walk in order to appease the current system of how the media (doesn't) works for the sake of ratings and not to inform average Americans.

3 A.M. Girl Stands Up To Hillary, Endorses Obama

Senator Clinton, that is the problem with buying stock footage, you never know what you're gonna get from it!

Bush Sees Iraq Violence As A "Positive Moment"

Normal, rational people tend to look at the recent uptick of violence in Iraq as a bad thing but our pResident, George Bush is neither normal or rational. He had the audacity to say that the increased violence is a positive moment in Iraq's history because the government is reacting forcefully to the resistance being shown by the people. Confused a little? You should be.

From The Times (U.K.):

President Bush gave warning yesterday that Iraq’s “fragile situation” required the US to maintain a strong military presence there, even as he defended the withdrawal of British troops from Basra, the scene of heavy fighting in recent days.

In an interview with The Times, he backed the Iraqi Government’s decision to “respond forcefully” to the spiralling violence by “criminal elements” and Shia extremists in Basra. “It was a very positive moment in the development of a sovereign nation that is willing to take on elements that believe they are beyond the law,” the President said.

The President is having trouble keeping his story straight on the difference between the American and British troops because he doesn't use logic. Of course he never had before so why should we expect rationality now? What he conveniently forgot to mention was that these people that are "beyond the law" (*cough* hypocrite *cough) are needed to make the country work as one. They are taking their frustrations to the streets (and unfortunately with arms towards our own soldiers) because the government is not working for all Iraqis.

Despite George's claims of surge success, the country is still chaotic, and will continue to be so as long as we keep our imperialistic foreign policy in place. What is it now, 298 days and change until he's out of office? Not that I'm counting or anything.

Blackwater Is Now Officially A Disease

Rhetorically speaking, Blackwater USA has been a disease spawned by the greedy Military-Industrial complex in our country and has been unleashed on population of Iraq and our soldiers that serve there. They have caused death and destruction that can never be repaired. Basically, they suck. Now however, Blackwater is officially a medical term to describe a deadly fever by Iraqi doctors.

From IPS News:

"This disease is a severe form of malarial infection caused by the parasite plasmodium falciparum, which is considered the worst type of malarial infection," Dr. Ali Hakki from Fallujah told IPS. "It is one of the complications of that infection, and not the ordinary picture of the disease. Because of its frequent and severe complications, such as Blackwater fever, and its resistance to treatment, P. falciparum can cause death within 24 hours."

What Iraqis now call Blackwater fever is really a well-known medical condition, and while it has nothing to do with Blackwater Worldwide, Iraqis in al-Anbar province have decided to make the connection between the disease and the lethal U.S.-based company which has been responsible for the death of countless Iraqis.

The disease is most prevalent in Africa and Asia. The patient suffers severe intravascular haemolysis -- the destruction of red blood cells leading to kidney and liver failure. It also leads to black or red urination, and hence perhaps the new name 'Blackwater'.

So the fever may not be named specifically for the mercenary group but it is still very appropriate considering the reality of Blackwater Worldwide and their effect on Iraq. I wonder if they can come up with something particularly nasty for Erik Prince? Maybe one of the ten plagues or the latest variation of Ebola.

I Apologize Senator Clinton

Clearly by watching the photoshopped video, I can see that you were indeed in grave danger, and showed true leadership over in Bosnia twelve years ago. Again, so sorry, you are extremely brave.

4000 Isn't Just A Number

Now that the death toll from Iraq for our soldiers is over 4,000 after five years, pundits and politicians take a day to discuss the number, what it means and what to do about it based on their view of the war and if it is effective or not. Often, the people on TV overlook the fact that it isn't just a number, it signifies loss of loved ones and tragically for the Velez family, the loss of two brothers. Though this isn't simply about two men dying on the battlefield, this story is far worse.

From Details Magazine:

Andrew Velez idolized his older brother, Freddy. So when Freddy joined the Army and went to fight in the Middle East, Andrew followed. Now both brothers are dead—but only one of them is being called a hero.

Three A.M., a few nights before Christmas, 2004. The war in Iraq is approaching its second anniversary, and the conflict in Afghanistan is into year four. A soldier sits in a small suburban house. He is a baby-faced 21-year-old but has a look of exhaustion that can’t be concealed. He should feel safe here. But the young man has lost his ability to reason. He closes his eyes as if to tune out the chatter from the other people in the room, and when he opens them, he snaps. “The hajjis are coming!” he screams. “The hajjis are coming!”

To those around him it’s clear that Army Specialist Andrew Velez has been sucked into some dark corner of his mind. “They’re coming!” he repeats. “They’re coming!” Andrew stands up and runs around the house, turning off all the lights. A young woman is standing nearby, and Andrew ushers her into a bedroom, hollering at her to duck for cover. He drops to the floor and slides across the room on his stomach. At some point he produces a rifle, albeit an imaginary one, and squeezes the invisible trigger. “I’m not gonna die!” he shouts. “I’m not gonna die!” Then Andrew runs for the back door. The woman chases him. When she steps outside, Andrew pulls her to the ground to protect her from enemy fire. “I’m not gonna die!” he screams. “I’m coming home to see my babies!”

That is just the beginning of this sad and disturbing article. Andrew's brother died in Iraq and was labeled a hero, but they turn a blind eye to Andrew and the effect of the war on him. This a must-read account of what war can do to people.

Truly horrific.

Debate To Tax The Rich Heats Up

As the budget deadline looms near, everyone in New York is looking to get their agenda accomplished. Bloomberg is working hard on congestion pricing, some legislators are looking to get paid more and a Working Families Party idea to raise the tax on millionaires is making its way through the process. Since things are still uncertain, we are hearing a lot from those that want to see the massive budget gap partially filled by this tax and those (the rich) that do not. The ads have already started appearing for congestion pricing and now we have those in favor of the millionaires tax.

From The Daily News:

The one-minute spot starts airing today - just as state lawmakers are back in Albany with one week to go until the April 1 budget deadline - and will remain on the air "for a while," according to Ron Deutsche, executive director of New Yorkers for Fiscal Fairness.

The spot, entitled "Tough All Over," notes how the cost of gas and health insurance keeps escalating, which is allegedly squeezing the middle class nearly out of existence as "the rich are getting richer" and "the wealthiest New Yorkers just aren't paying their fair share."

"A national recession means out state's budget is in trouble," the ad continues. "Some Albany leaders want to cut funding for hospitals and nursing homes and reduce money for schools and colleges. There is a better choice. By raising taxes on people who earn over a million dollars a year, we can protect education and save quality healthcare. Taxing millionaires or cutting schools and health care - that's an easy choice."

Sure, its a little deceptive, but sometimes its hard to fit all the details into thirty seconds and get your point across. The facts are that the middle and working classes are punished in more ways than just taxes and the rich have plenty of money in order to live comfortably. The complaints from the wealthy fall on mostly deaf ears across the state, considering the burgeoning number of foreclosures, rising gas prices and a whole host of issues in this declining economy.

If lawmakers are smart, they'll include this in the budget since their constituents want it. According to the Quinnipac survey , 77 percent of people support it. Not only is it popular, it'll make a billion and a half dollar difference in these hard times. Despite the assumption that the rich will leave NY (which isn't true), it is more important that the burden of the recession not be placed on the people that have always taken the brunt of bad times, those who make way less than a million dollars a year.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

How One Goes About Filing An FEC Report

Jane Hamsher shows us how easy it can be, even when up against a rule breaker like John McCain:

Protest For Tibet, Get A Beatdown By The NYPD

I've seen Free Tibet signs on cars and whatnot my whole life, but I never thought the violence that stems from the Chinese occupation would reach just a mile from my home here in Manhattan. Unfortunately it seems to be the case that quite a few officers from the New York Police Department thought it would be a good idea to threaten and physically beating protesters simply because they oppose the Chinese being in Tibet.

From InfoWars:

Disgusting video footage of New York cops clubbing and arresting peaceful Tibetan protesters who were merely walking down the street has gone relatively ignored beyond Youtube.

While stories emerge out of China every day of police beating and killing Tibetan protestors in the streets, the same sort of behavior by cops in America tells its own story.

The footage was shot at a free Tibet peaceful assembly in New York on the 14th of March.

It shows the protestors holding flags and signs and peacefully walking down the street towards the UN building in the Turtle Bay neighborhood only to be accosted by police officers with batons.

One officer identified as "Delgado" is seen in the video pushing people as the group crosses the street.

Another officer, identified as "Serano" is caught threatening to kill two protesters as the cameraman passes. He later admits to the threat and apologizes for it.

As the group nears the UN building, cop cars and vans screech onto the sidewalks, cops pour out and begin to beat the protesters with clubs as UN security guards observe without becoming involved.

A non uniformed officer, who seems to be directing the entire operation, then orders the cameraman to step back and move away.

"Look at these cops, clubbing people in front of the UN, unbelievable, protesting to free Tibet, cops clubbing people in their legs on the sidewalk, in front of the UN in America, unbelievable, this is not China." the American cameraman announces in disbelief.

The officer identified as Serano then forces the cameraman away from the melee, telling him to shut the camera off and that he will not talk to him because he may be a reporter.

Several officers then follow the cameraman asking him about his recording of the incident.

Right here in Manhattan.

Shame on the NYPD.

And shame on YouTube, it seems the video on InfoWars has been taken down.

McCain To Subprime Mortgage Victims: Eh, So?

John McCain sat down in Los Angeles yesterday to map out what he proposes to do about the housing market fiasco going on, especially with foreclosures on a perilous rise and the industry's effect on the market as a whole. While Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton want to help lenders who were taken advantage of to some degree, McCain has other ideas.

From The LA Times:

In a speech at a small printing business in Santa Ana, the presumptive Republican nominee said he was "committed to the principle that it is not the duty of government to bail out and reward those who act irresponsibly, whether they are big banks or small borrowers."

McCain cited the $30-billion plan by New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton to aid homeowners and communities threatened by foreclosures, saying that it sounded "very expensive" and that he would "like to know how it's paid for."

His remarks came as the mortgage crisis and related economic troubles increasingly are moving to the forefront of the presidential campaign. Clinton and the Democratic front-runner, Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois, have criticized mortgage-lending practices and called for government intervention to provide relief to homeowners.

By contrast, McCain -- who has been trying to shore up his economic credentials -- placed some of the blame on homeowners themselves, while also scolding "complacent" lenders.

Well gee Mr. McCain, that sure is nice of you to scold those lenders. I wonder why you didn't favor legislation in the last few years to back that up, but hey, what are actions when you have words? Or is that the other way around? Oh yeah and by the way, we could come up with $30 billion dollars in less than three months, as soon as we shut off the spigot that fuels this ridiculous war that you think is going so swimmingly.

Does NAFTA Make Hillary Human?

David Shuster calls out Hillary Clinton's NAFTA inconsistencies. She claimed lack of sleep made her exaggerate the whole Tuzla thing, what will she say now to her contradictory remarks on the "free trade" agreement that led to the loss of thousands upon thousands of American jobs.

The GOP Is Falling Apart At The State Level Too

Nationally it isn't hard to see the cracks spreading on the facade of the Grand Old Party. Picking McCain was a hard thing to see for many conservatives, yet their choices that didn't make it through the process weren't all that great to begin with. Now that they are stuck with McCain, it seems that the state parties aren't going to have much in the way of support for the nominee.

From Politico:

The state party woes are especially ill-timed since McCain will face a Democratic nominee who may be considerably better funded and organized, and since Republicans will be facing an energized Democratic party that is shattering primary election turnout records.

“After twelve years of being in power, you tend to get fat and lazy, and in some cases arrogant with respect to your positions,” said Saul Anuzis, chairman of the Michigan Republican party. “There is no doubt that we have had people who have gotten caught up in both illegal activities and immoral activities and none of that helps the party as a whole.

“If you go back to 2006 most people would agree that not only did we lose our brand, that we damaged our brand significantly,” Anuzis said. “We are clearly rebuilding.”

Clearly, "rebuilding" is a nice way to put it, but Saul is being quite honest about the fat, lazy and arrogant part. Their hubris (and lack of caring for the majority of Americans) has brought them down to size and frankly, that seems to be a good thing. America has had enough "illegal and immoral," it is time for a change in the way we do things, and what we can expect from our government.

Tony Avella Wants Clean Money In NYC

Unlike other politicians in New York that think clean money means having it laundered, Councilman Tony Avella wants to see election reform here in Gotham. Avella is somewhat of a renegade compared to the other 50 members, and consistently advocates for meaningful reform, even if it has a small chance of passing. Yesterday however, he stood up with election reform proponents (myself included) on the steps of City Hall in order to get a bill ready for the Mayor and Council to consider.....and pass.

From The Daily News:

Queens Councilman Tony Avella, the underdog 2009 mayoral hopeful who views the fact that he has raised less money than his opponents as a badge of honor, today unveiled a Clean Money, Clean Elections bill that would provide a full public financing (at the taxpayers' expense) for candidates for city office.

(And yes, this is part of the revolution).

Avella argues that the current partial public financing system is failing because many candidates opt out in order to avoid spending limits.

The system as it exists also relies too heavily on bundlers and special interest donors, the councilman said, (albeit less so since the campaign finance reform signed into law by Mayor Bloomberg, which is being challenged in federal court).

Avella denounced his fellow citywide candidates (particularly a certain Council Speaker) for accepting too much special interest cash, particularly from developers.

"They're not contributing just for the sake of it, they're contributing because they want something," Avella said. "I tell people when they give to me, they're not getting any favors."

I asked Avella whether he would accept contributions from developers and he responded: "It's not going to happen." He later amended that to: "If there were no strings attached, yes," allowing that there are some "good developers who try to work with the community."

That said, there are some people from whom Avella said he would never accept campaign cash - Donald Trump, for example.

The Daily News doesn't sound too hopeful in her post about this having a chance to happen but that doesn't mean this is over before it starts. The Mayor himself ran on a theme that he couldn't be bought and his support on this issue what kick things into high gear. Of course at the moment he is rather busy with passing congestion pricing, so we'll have to check back next week after the Council is finished with that 'little' matter.

How WalMart Spread Out

No music here, just one light for every store that was opened in almost the last fifty years:

Senator Clinton Does Damage Control

Finally with the truth staring at her in the face, the Senator relented on her story that she fought off 3,000 armed men single-handedly and then went on and rescued the Prince and the Princess in Tuzla. Okay okay, I'm exaggerating a bit, but then again, so is Hillary Clinton. For weeks she tried to peddle this crap about her heroic efforts to broker peace in Bosnia, when the truth was far from her own recollection of events. So why couldn't she just tell the truth from the get go?

From Yahoo News:

That's a question worth considering as the former first lady tries to contain damage to her credibility after getting caught exaggerating the danger of her 1996 trip to Bosnia. Two others: Is there a pattern of embellishment? And is she held to a higher standard than her rival, Barack Obama?

The answers: Yes, she's held to a higher standard and, yes, she does exaggerate her credentials. Perhaps she's driven by insecurity; Clinton must think her resume needs padding to reflect "35 years of experience" and the promise to be "ready on Day One."

Otherwise, the truth would have sufficed.

The fact is that Clinton and her entourage were warned in advance that Bosnia was hostile territory and that there had been sniper fire reported in the hills surrounding the tarmac at some point before the trip. As a journalist on the trip, the story I wrote began, "Venturing to the front lines of the Bosnia peacekeeping mission, Hillary Rodham Clinton greeted U.S. troops today and heard horror stories about the region's devastating civil war."

So we have to worry about an insecure candidate who would rather embellish her biography in order to garner a few extra votes, to look a little stronger and a little tougher. Is that the kind of leader we need in the White House?

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

McCain Camp Tries A New Teleprompter To Make Him Look Authentic

Despite repeated attempts, getting John McCain to look like he knows something from memory is been hard work for his campaign staff. He either looks entirely too scripted, or he just doesn't know what he's talking about. Well it looks like the top brass have come up with something new, though the machine has been around awhile.

From Hotline:

In an effort to improve John McCain's big speech delivery, his campaign put in place for today's speech a large flat screen monitor and two side panel teleprompters. Campaign officials have expressed concern that McCain has looked in prior speeches like he was watching a tennis match. Today, by installing a large monitor in the back of the room, McCain is able to fix his gaze straight ahead.

The goal, of course, is to help McCain look like he's speaking more naturally to the nearly 20 cameras on hand for the AZ Sen's most extensive remarks on the housing crisis to date.

That is the goal, but what will the reality be? I doubt McCain has much to say on the Housing crisis, because if you are in bed with the people that screw the working-middle class over, generally you aren't going to say anything that might help those that are losing their homes. Though at least he won't look fake when he sides with the banking industry over the people who have been foreclosed on.

The Truth Behind The Surge

While George Bush and John McCain claim success in Iraq, the truth on the ground is far different:

Bill Kristol Denies Racism Problem In America

Can this guy get more wrong about the pulse of America (not to mention getting his facts straight in general)? Bill Kristol is one of the premier mouthpieces of the neo-con establishment and he personifies them with the utmost perfection. Their ideas about how to make our country go backward prosper are so out of whack that I swear Donald Duck would do a better job. Recently he tried to say that there is no problem when it comes to racism and America. Well Mr. Kristol, like you views on most things, you are completely and utterly wrong.

From The Nation:

Preeminent neocon and newly-minted New York Times columnist Bill Kristol embarrassed himself last week by incorrectly stating that Barack Obama was present for one of Jeremiah Wright's fiery sermons and for neglecting to mention that his information came from the notoriously untrustworthy right-wing tabloid,

Now Kristol has embarrassed himself again this week by stating, in the wake of Obama's speech on race, that racism is not really a problem in America. "The last thing we need now is a heated national conversation about race," Kristol writes. "Racial progress has in fact continued in America. A new national conversation about race isn't necessary to end what Obama calls the 'racial stalemate we've been stuck in for years' -- because we're not stuck in such a stalemate."

Kristol provides no empirical evidence to back up such an ignorant claim. He fails to mention, for instance, that 50 percent of African-American men in New York City were unemployed as of 2004; or that 1 in 10 black men in their 20s are behind bars; or that more than half of all black men in inner cities do not finish high school; or that the subprime lending crisis is considered to be "the greatest loss of wealth for people of color in modern US history," according to United for a Fair Economy.

See, Kristol doesn't care about those problems. That apathy goes to heart of the problem I (along with many others) have with the neo-conservatives. For them, the only thing that matters is what looks back at them in the mirror. They can not see that helping their fellow Americans is what helps all of us, and consequently the heartless neo-con as well. We can point out all the facts about racism and the effects it has produced over the last three and a half centuries in America, but it will not faze people like Kristol. To Billy boy, Wolfowitz, etc all that counts is themselves. I'd love for someone to get through to them, but for now I'm thankful they are losing their power in American politics and will soon be relegated to fringe status as they were before Ronald Reagan started winning elections back in the 1960s.

Sheldon Silver Shows His Concern About Primary Challengers

Matt Townsend of the New York Observer wrote a piece today about being polled about the upcoming primary election in Assembly District 64. If you don't know that number, you will shortly, it is the district of the Speaker of the Assembly, one of the three men in a room, Sheldon Silver. Apparently Silver is worried about at least one of his primary challengers, Paul Newell.

From The NY Observer:

Last month, a market-research firm called my Lower East Side apartment to gauge my support for Paul Newell.

I admitted that I had never heard Newell's name before, and the caller quickly explained that Newell will challenge my state assemblyman-Speaker Sheldon Silver-in the Democratic primary in September.

The caller told me Newell is 32, worked as a community organizer and lives on the Lower East Side. Then he presented positive statements about Newell and Silver, followed by negative statements about Silver. He asked me to say if the statements would make me "more likely" or "less likely" to vote for that candidate. Then it was over, but the origin of the call was a mystery.[...]

When asked if he was worried about Newell, Silver responded: "I'm always confident that my record on education, rebuilding ground zero and transportation is unmatched by any public official. I think my record speaks for itself."

When I spoke to Newell, he said he heard about the poll from several people, and he has no doubt that Silver commissioned the poll to see how vulnerable he is.

Newell said that he believed Silver's campaign may have been reacting to some 6,000 fliers he and his supporters handed out to voters in the 64th Assembly District on Super Tuesday. From what he heard about the poll, Newell said, the positives the callers are presenting come almost verbatim from the flier.

"My gut reaction [to the poll] is that I can't believe he's calling this many voters and telling them my positives and his negatives," Newell said. "I thought it meant that he's taking the race seriously, but I might have liked if the giant had been sleeping for a few more months.[...]

"There is no doubt in my mind that Sheldon Silver commissioned the poll," Newell said. "It was either me or him, and it wasn't me."

Seeing this story is rather amusing to me, since I was talking to Luke Henry a couple hours ago at City Hall about the race (He was there in support of Clean Elections in NYC). I asked him about possible upcoming debates and rhetorically if he thinks he'll see Silver on stage with him anytime soon. Of course he noted that we need to put pressure on the Speaker to show up at some point. Yet that doesn't mean he isn't paying attention, and doing a poll on the race all the way back here in March is telling that Shelly is worried about the much needed change we need in this country, and specifically up in Albany.

The Pennsylvania Low Down

Chris Bowers sits down with John Mercurio at HotLine TV to discuss what the Pennsylvania primary is shaping up to be and what it means in the national context:

Through 3-D Glasses, McCain Sees Success In Iraq

John McCain, the maverick extraordinaire is on a path to look as much like George Bush and Dick Cheney as possible. He really can't seem to stop himself on going as far right as possible. Perhaps he is judging the "progress" in Iraq based on his trip to the Haditha market last year (you know the one that reminded Rep. Pence (R-IN) of his home state), but for some reason he sees us succeeding in Iraq.

From The Huffington Post:

CHULA VISTA, Calif. — Fresh off his eighth Iraq visit, Sen. John McCain declared Monday that "we are succeeding" and said he wouldn't change course _ even as the U.S. death toll rose to 4,000 and the war entered its sixth year.

To underscore his view of the stakes in Iraq, the certain Republican presidential nominee twice referenced a recent audio tape from Osama bin Laden in which the al-Qaida leader urged followers to join the al-Qaida fight in Iraq and called the country "the greatest opportunity and the biggest task."

"For the first time, I have seen Osama bin Laden and General (David) Petraeus in agreement, and, that is, a central battleground in the battle against al-Qaida is in Iraq today. And that's what bin Laden was saying and that's what General Petraeus is saying and that's what I'm saying, my friends," McCain said.

"And my Democrat opponents who want to pull out of Iraq refuse to understand what's being said and what's happening _ and that is the central battleground is Iraq in this struggle against radical Islamic extremism," he added. McCain also said Democratic rivals Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton were naive and "dead wrong" to want to withdraw troops.

No Mr. McCain, it isn't just your Democratic opponents, it is two-thirds of the country that wants out of Iraq. We are sick of the deaths, sick of all the casualties and sick of the destruction being wrought both on Iraq and the welfare of our own nation. You sir, are naive to think we are doing anything good in Iraq. And that "dead wrong" comment? Why don't you tell that to the 4,000 families that have lost their loved ones in Iraq over the last five years? I'd love to see that YouTubed, as you go to every door and have it slammed in your face.

Come Stand Up For Clean Elections In NY Today!

At high noon on the steps of City Hall you can be part of the action and see the efforts made by Citizen Action as Councilman Tony Avella joins us to propose a truly clean elections system here in New York, both as a state and here in the city. There has been a lot of hard work involved in getting just to this point, but with the help of many New Yorkers that have not heard the call, we can help enact real reform right here, right now.

From The Daily Gotham:

Join Council Member Tony Avella and me on Tuesday, March 25, at noon, on the steps of City Hall. Council Member Avella will be announcing the "Clean Money, Clean Elections" (CMCE) bill that he is sponsoring in the City Council. The more support we can get, in the form of people coming out, the more initial impact we'll make.

CMCE will virtually eliminate private fundraising for candidates. It will truly level the playing field for candidates who don't have access to big money. It will reduce the lower of lobbyists who use big campaign donations and bundling to gain access to our elected officials. In short, CMCE will make our elected officials responsible to constituents, not special interests.

This will be an enormous uphill battle. Entrenched special interests, and the politicians in their pockets, will fight tooth and nail to maintain the current system. They'll call it "the best in the country," without a shred of evidence to back that claim up. They'll put legislative hurdles in our path.

That post would be from Dan Jacoby, one of the key citizen backers of this legislation. It is immensely important to him to see real reform in New York, as it is to myself. I hope we will get a huge turnout today, so come one, come all and see citizen action in progress!

Can WalMart Pick-Up That 3AM Phone Call?

Cheers to Wakeup Walmart on their latest video:

Exposing the evils of Walmart is a beautiful thing!

M.T.A. Can't Deliver On Anything

New Yorkers have been paying increased prices to ride the subway for almost a month now and none of the promises made by either the Mayor or the M.T.A. are going to come true. We fought tooth and nail against their quest to pile on the burden of commuters. They countered with saying sweet nothings like shorter wait times on the 1, 4 and 6 and more trains on the G train. Ultimately the people's campaign to stop the M.T.A. failed, approved by our ex-Governor. Yet we were supposed to get better service, and now that is not happening.

From The NY Times:

The postponed service upgrades included plans to add more frequent service on the G line in Brooklyn and Queens, extending B and W service on weeknights to 11 p.m. from the current 9:30 p.m., and shaving one or two minutes from waiting times for evening service on the 1, 4 and 6 lines. The M.T.A. had also said it would create a new bus line, the M13, from the Lower East Side to East Midtown, and would extend the B71 and B77 buses from Brooklyn via the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel into Manhattan, where they would go to South Ferry.

Officials said the upgrades could still be approved in June if the authority’s finances recovered.

They had previously warned that the beefed-up service would only be approved if the authority produced healthy financial results in the first three months of the year.

But the authority revealed today that the money it receives from taxes on real estate transactions had fallen significantly in February and March.

Gary J. Dellaverson, the chief financial officer of the authority, called the economic outlook “gloomy” and used words like “frightening” and “dramatic” to describe the fall in real estate-related revenues.

Yeah, the economy is definitely frightening, I'll agree to that. Yet to rely on that heavily on real estate revenues seems absurd. It would be like basing your retirement security on commodities. Perhaps if the M.T.A. would manage their money more efficiently, we wouldn't be in this mess...and they wouldn't have to rely on their riders to bail them out every couple of years with fare increases.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Don't Worry About Our Troops, They Volunteered

The Vice President is on a rampage roll lately with his oh so compassionate remarks about the American people and the war in Iraq. His latest testament to having human compassion was warm and fuzzy as he usually is, about as caring as Satan on a hot day in hell. When asked about the terrible milestone of 4,000 deaths in Iraq, he claimed the most ridiculously absurd thing anyone could think about.

From ABC News:

"I want to start with the milestone today of 4,000 dead in Iraq. Americans. And just what effect do you think it has on the country?" asked ABC News' White House correspondent, Martha Raddatz, who traveled with the vice president on a nine-day overseas trip to Iraq and other countries in the Middle East.

"It obviously brings home I think for a lot of people the cost that's involved in the global war on terror in Iraq and Afghanistan," Cheney said in the interview, conducted in Turkey. "It places a special burden obviously on the families, and we recognize, I think — it's a reminder of the extent to which we are blessed with families who've sacrificed as they have."

"The president carries the biggest burden, obviously," Cheney said. "He's the one who has to make the decision to commit young Americans, but we are fortunate to have a group of men and women, the all-volunteer force, who voluntarily put on the uniform and go in harm's way for the rest of us."

Um.....WTF!?! The President does not give two shits about the burden he has placed on America and its soldiers that bravely fight under our flag. If he had any empathy at all, he'd call off this needless, ridiculous and expensive occupation of another country that does not want us there.

Oh and by the way Mr. Cheney, those soldiers that volunteer to go over there, do you mean soldiers like these?

Its....Raining McCain

Is this for real? Its anyone's guess, but to me this is absolutely hilarious:

Four Thousand Reasons To Leave

Sunday may have been a day of easter egg hunts and young children getting their picture taken with the Easter bunny, but it was far more grim in the streets of Baghdad and Iraq as a whole. As a few of our soldiers made their way down a Baghdad street, a bomb brought four of their young lives to a close. In that instant four families lost a loved one and the nation counted it's four thousandth death in this avoidable tragedy that has gone on for more than five years.

From Yahoo News:

The American deaths occurred Sunday, the same day rockets and mortars pounded the U.S.-protected Green Zone in Baghdad and a wave of attacks left at least 61 Iraqis dead nationwide.

An Iraqi military spokesman said Monday that troops had found rocket launching pads in different areas in predominantly Shiite eastern Baghdad that had been used by extremists to fire on the Green Zone, which houses the U.S. Embassy and the Iraqi government headquarters.

"We hope to deal with this issue professionally to avoid civilian casualties," said spokesman Qassim al-Moussawi.

The four soldiers with Multi-National Division — Baghdad were on a patrol when their vehicle was struck at about 10 p.m. Sunday in southern Baghdad, the U.S. military said. Another soldier was wounded in the attack — less than a week after the fifth anniversary of the conflict.

Navy Lt. Patrick Evans, a military spokesman, expressed condolences to all the families of soldiers killed in Iraq, saying each death is "equally tragic."

Yes Mr. Evans, each death is equally tragic, yet we continue to accrue equally tragic casualties in this misbegotten folly of a war. Easter may have been a happy day for many that believe in the Easter bunny, but not for those four families that had their worst fears realized....and the 3,996 families before them.

More To The Spitzer Story Than We Thought

It is old news that Roger Stone hated Eliot Spitzer with a passion. Of course it was quite the hub bub when he left that nasty message on the answering machine of Eliot's dad last year. Besides angry messages, could there be more to Stone and Spitzer...and especially in regards to the ex-Governor's downfall this month?

From RawStory:

Last November, his lawyer wrote a letter to the FBI. In it, GOP political operative Roger Stone's attorney, Paul Rolf alleged that New York Governor Eliot Spitzer "used the services of high-priced call girls" while in Florida, basing his information on a "social contact."

The letter, dated Nov. 19, said Stone gleaned the information from "a social contact in an adult themed club."

"The governor has paid literally tens of thousands of dollars for these services," Rolf wrote. "It is Mr. Stone's understanding that the governor paid not with credit cards or cash but through some pre-arranged transfer."

It continued, including particular detail -- Stone's lawyer wrote that the governor hadn't taken off his calf-length socks "during the sex act."

It's unclear whether Stone's letter sparked the investigation: court papers say the investigation began "in or about October 2007."

It wouldn't be surprising if this were the work of Roger Stone. The Republican operative has long been an agent of dirty tricks in order to take down Democratic officials. He worked in the political department of Richard Nixon (not the button making and sign-waving kind either), spreading malicious rumors about Michael Dukakis and helping to create chaos in Miami when they were trying to count all the ballots in 2000.

Oh and of course GOP loudmouth (not to mention an exposer of CIA undercover agents) Robert Novak made mention of Stone in connection to Spitzer while the house was falling around Spitzer in the last couple weeks. You know when Novak drops a bomb, something usually stinks about the official mainstream story.

Hillary Caught Lying About Her Trip To Bosnia

If a picture tells a thousand words, then imagine how many this video shows about Hillary Clinton and her truthiness:

President Bush Hates Butterflies And Prairie Dogs

You would think it would take an imaginary evil cartoon character from some Disney movie in order to create hatred towards cute little creatures. How could anyone want to see butterflies, prairie dogs and hundreds of other critters die off for good and be passed by other than in a make-believe nightmare? Well that nightmare is coming true for many different species of plants and animals here in the United States and it is all thanks to George Bush and his Interior Department appointees like Dick Kempthorne.

From The Washington Post:

With little-noticed procedural and policy moves over several years, Bush administration officials have made it substantially more difficult to designate domestic animals and plants for protection under the Endangered Species Act.

Controversies have occasionally flared over Interior Department officials who regularly overruled rank-and-file agency scientists' recommendations to list new species, but internal documents also suggest that pervasive bureaucratic obstacles were erected to limit the number of species protected under one of the nation's best-known environmental laws.

The documents show that personnel were barred from using information in agency files that might support new listings, and that senior officials repeatedly dismissed the views of scientific advisers as President Bush's appointees either rejected putting imperiled plants and animals on the list or sought to remove this federal protection.

Officials also changed the way species are evaluated under the 35-year-old law -- by considering only where they live now, as opposed to where they used to exist -- and put decisions on other species in limbo by blocking citizen petitions that create legal deadlines.

How could they do such a thing you ask? Why would they do this? Are they really that greedy to obtain land for stripping minerals and razing forests? Yes, they really are that greedy. They'll do whatever it takes to appease the industries that can benefit from killing off endangered life. They know what they are doing is wrong and that is why they are trying to cover up their trail.

"Lawsuits, starting in the early '90s, have really driven things," Hall said, adding that the administration has tried to keep species from declining to the point where they need to be listed. "I'm feeling pretty good we're back on track to do the job the way it's supposed to be done."

In court cases, however, a number of judges have rejected decisions made by Hall's agency and have criticized its slow pace. On March 5, a U.S. district judge in Phoenix ordered Interior to redesignate bald eagles in Arizona's Sonoran Desert as threatened after the agency delisted the entire species last summer.

Three weeks before Interior officials rejected a petition to keep the desert eagles listed, a scientific advisory panel it convened wrote that the population "appears to be less viable than populations in other parts of the country" because it had fewer than 50 nesting pairs. Survival usually requires 500 breeding pairs.

The Fish and Wildlife Service never released that report, along with internal agency documents showing "substantial" evidence that the Arizona eagles should be kept on the list: Both the report and the documents were unearthed under the Freedom of Information Act by the Center for Biological Diversity, an advocacy group.

Yep, thats right, they'll even sacrifice the bald eagle. So much for showing patriotism through a love of animals. I can hardly wait until this Administration is gone forever. I can only hope all of the criminals are prosecuted for their crimes against our country and nature itself.