Saturday, May 24, 2008

Terrorists To Skip NYC For Mtns Of Colorado

If I were an Islamic extremists hanging out in the mountains of Pakistan or Afghanistan, where would I want to strike the infidels in America? Would it be the iconic sights of New York City? Perhaps the halls of government in Washington, D.C. like the White House or Congress. Or maybe go out west and take out Hollywood, the purveyor of all the unholy shit that is made there. Well forget about that, because the Department of Homeland Security knows where the next attack is going to be, right in the gambling center of Colorado Springs.

From The Colorado Springs Gazette:

Colorado Springs-based Ramblin Express, which shuttles gamblers to mountain-town casinos, including Cripple Creek, has received $382,000 in anti-terrorism grants.

The most recent grant, for $184,415, was announced this month as part of the Department of Homeland Security's $844 million Infrastructure Protection Activities program.

Ramblin Express' grant is among the $11.2 million allocated to the Intercity Bus Security Grant Program, which is intended to assess risks and prevent attacks on that part of the nation's transportation system.

It's not clear what threats Ramblin Express is addressing or what the grant money has gone for because the company's owner, Todd Holland, couldn't be reached for comment.

Even the Heritage Foundation couldn't defend this crap. This is another example of the ridiculousness that goes on in the Bush Administration. Funds to prevent attacks in places like NYC and DC get diverted to rich bastards like Todd Holland. I wonder what McCain sycopha...errr, Senate Homeland Security Chair Joe Lieberman thinks about this? Maybe Holland is a patriotic American just doing his duty for the country, and certainly not a lobbyist-funding, Republican donor either.

The O'Falafel Military Service

Bill tries to get away with acting like a big tough army man, but his next caller makes him angry when he injects a little truth into the mix:

McCain Aide Apologizes For Calling Women Bitches

Alex Castellanos is a CNN contributor and an aide to the McCain campaign. This past Tuesday he defended one of his colleagues who referred to women as bitches because in his words, "sometimes a woman deserves to be called a bitch". Now of course CNN made no public amends for that but word got around and he decided to apologize for it.

From ThinkProgress:

Same thing happened to me last week, last time I was on the round table, I was trying to make a point about Senator Clinton’s toughness and strength, which I respect, and I chose the wrong words and the way to say it. And I’m sorry I said it that way. It was the wrong thing.

He fit his apology in smoothly when the talk was about Hillary's disgusting remarks yesterday, where she used Bobby Kennedy's assassination to justify her staying in the race until at least June. Both Castellanos and Clinton obviously have problems putting things in a way that both prove their point and that do not offend millions of Americans in one fell swoop. The only difference is that one is a blatantly sexist remark and the other is just.....morally bankrupt. The other difference is that Castellanos is merely an aide, while Clinton is/was a candidate running for President, so by default what he says will not get much coverage.

While both of them apologized for what they said, I feel that both problems will remain. One is that Clinton isn't leaving anytime soon and will continue to make outrageous comments that do absolutely no good for the party. The other is that Castellanos is only one among many that will continue to make sexist remarks that affect all women, not just Hillary Clinton.

Not Much Going For McCain-McBush In Phoenix,AZ

Phoenix, Arizona is a mostly Republican town in a mostly Republican state. This is the state of Barry Goldwater, the icon of the GOP nearly fifty years ago. Although Arizona is trending blue, they still gave George Bush more than a ten percent margin of victory in 2004. Now, four years later, as he tries to help his favored candidate in downtown Phoenix, nothing is turning out as it should for a simple fundraising event.

From The Phoenix Business Journal:

A Tuesday fundraiser headlined by President Bush for U.S. Sen. John McCain's presidential campaign is being moved out of the Phoenix Convention Center.

Sources familiar with the situation said the Bush-McCain event was not selling enough tickets to fill the Convention Center space, and that there were concerns about more anti-war protesters showing up outside the venue than attending the fundraiser inside.

Another source said there were concerns about the media covering the event.

Bush's Arizona fundraising effort for McCain is being moved to private residences in the Phoenix area. A White House official said the event was being moved because the McCain campaign prefers private fundraisers and it is Bush administration policy to have events in public venues open to the media. The White House official said to reconcile that the Tuesday event will be held at a private venue and not the Convention Center.

Hmm, does that mean that Bush will pick up the tab of flying to Phoenix and be carted to and fro this fundraiser?

Probably not, but considering all that Bush has stolen from the American people in the last eight years (liberties, freedoms, our economic future), the fact that he couldn't fill up an event for John McCain in his hometown is almost worth the expense. McCain, with being the nominee for months, can't even come close to Obama's fundraising prowess anyways

Friday, May 23, 2008

How Dare You Senator Clinton!

It is even worse to see and hear her say it. By the tone of her voice, she could have been telling the time on her watch:

And now she makes a quick 'clarification':

Hillary Brings Up RFK Assassination To Justify Staying In The Race

Seeing what Hillary Clinton said about why she is staying in the race had my jaw dropping to the floor all on its own just now. For her to mention that Robert Kennedy Jr. was assassinated in June as a reason to stay in the race that she lost is a slap in the face not only to the memory of Bobby, Barack Obama and the Democratic Party, but a display of carelessness for humanity. She would pull anything and everything out of the woodwork to continue to run for President as we can clearly see here.

From The Huffington Post:

Hillary Clinton's argument for staying in the race took a disturbing turn today. While meeting with the editorial board of South Dakota's Sioux Falls Argus-Leader, she raised the specter of assassination while discussing why she would stay in the race:
"My husband did not wrap up the nomination in 1992 until he won the California primary somewhere in the middle of June, right? We all remember Bobby Kennedy was assassinated in June in California. I don't understand it."
The issue of assassination has been a sensitive one this election. Black voters have repeatedly expressed concern that Barack Obama would be assassinated during the race, sentiment that hearkens back to the murders of civil rights leaders, Bobby Kennedy's assassination included.

Hillary may not understand it, but that would be because she is divorced from reality. Sure, her campaign around her knows the end is inevitable but Mrs. Clinton thinks otherwise. To invoke the assassination of Bobby Kennedy is a sin among sins. I wrote her off as my choice for President a long time ago, but now I don't even want her to be my Senator.

McCain And The Media "Forgot" To Mention His Cancer Earlier This Year

The big story on this Friday before Memorial Day is the long-awaited disclosure of McCain's medical records. Everyone says he's looking good, even the "evil, commie, hippie, liberal" New York Times. The only problem is that while McCain is cancer-free at this moment in time, he had surgery to remove a cancerous tumor back in February.

From AmericaBlog:

So, to clarify AP's headline "McCain appears cancer free, healthy" - they really meant "this month."

Nice. From AP:
McCain's most recent exams show a range of health issues common in aging: He frequently has precancerous skin lesions removed, and in February had an early stage squamous cell carcinoma, an easily cured skin cancer, removed. He had benign colon growths called polyps taken out during a routine colonoscopy in March.
McCain isn't cancer-free if he had cancer 3 months ago. What a ridiculously sloppy AP headline, and now this will be the story - McCain is cured! (Except that he had cancer as recently as 3 months ago - hey, maybe Pastor Parsley healed him?) Anybody else troubled that candidate McCain was running for the GOP nomination, went for cancer surgery, and didn't bother telling anyone? What else isn't he bothering to tell us, and won't he tell us in the future? If this is McCain's standard for disclosure about his medical condition, we'd need weekly document dumps of his medical files because McCain clearly has a policy of hiding his true medical condition while running for president.

I understand why he hid this, he had a primary to win and didn't want anyone to know that he was about to go under the knife for reoccurring cancer. That said, he is still being dishonest and the media is playing right along with it. If they weren't covering for him, they would have put that February incident right in the headline.

Hillary Clinton Debunks Her Own FL/MI Delegate Argument


McCain Is Too Old: He Said It, Not Me

Yesterday McCain called Barack Obama "young man" and it raised a collective ear but of course no reply from the Illinois Democrat. Age is a touchy issue, one that no one wants to really bring up but is on the minds of voters and political strategists on both sides of the partisan divide. Yet sometimes the best way to talk about it is to let the center of attention say it in his own words.

From ThinkProgress:

On Aug. 1, 2000, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) appeared on PBS’s Newshour with Jim Lehrer. When asked about the possibility that he might run for president in 2008, McCain said that he would probably be too old:

LEHRER: Finally for the record, you have not lost your desire to be President of the United States have you?

McCAIN: Certainly it’s been put in deep cold storage. haha..

LEHRER: You haven’t lost it?

McCAIN: Well, in 2004, I expect to be campaigning for the reelection of President George W. Bush, and by 2008, I think I might be ready to go down to the old soldiers home and await the cavalry charge there.

McCain can use whatever metaphor he deems fit, but the message there is set. Sure, people change their minds, heck, McCain can do it in just a few short hours or days when it comes to the issues the American people care about (like campaign finance reform, Iraq, the economy, Iran, etc etc). So I'll just sit back and let McCain's cavalry comment speak for itself.

McCain's Reformist Talk Is Shredding His Campaign

The John McCain the press loves and adores is more myth than man. He talks a good game when he is doing his shpeel, but in reality, he is just as deep in the mud as any other politician that sucks at the teat of the Washington Lobbyist Cabal. As the talk of Clinton v. Obama subsides and the narrative switches over to Obama v. McCain, the tough talk is going to be scrutinized on both sides, whether McCain or his sycophants in the press like it or not. The hypocrisy of who is in his campaign as opposed to what he says about lobbyists is finally starting to bite him in the ass, as several lobbyist/campaign aides have been let go, yet those five are just the tip of the iceberg.

From The Huffington Post:

In glaring defiance of such reformist claims, McCain selected former Texas Congressman Thomas G. Loeffler as his national finance co-chairman, despite the fact that Loeffler matches to perfection those officials McCain demonizes, the ones who pass through a revolving door in order to "leave their posts and become lobbyists for the special interests they have aided."

After dumping Loeffler and four other high-dollar Capitol Hill rainmakers, McCain is twisting in the wind as he tries to justify retaining in key campaign posts three other leaders of the special interest community: Campaign Manager Rick Davis, senior strategist Charles (Charlie) Black and top foreign policy adviser Randy Scheunemann. Every one of them would feel more pride than shame in being described as "special interest lobbyists with the fattest wallets and best access who carry the day when issues of public policy are being decided."

Once a politician is forced down the path of ethical purity, however, the genuine difficulty emerges with the realization that few if any of the men and women who help run campaigns have clean hands.

Were McCain to decide to really turn over a new leaf, what would he do, for example, in the case of Mike Hudome, president of MH Media in Bethesda, Md., a firm which has been paid $10.6 million for television ads by the current McCain campaign? Year in, year out, who pays the bread and butter fees that keep food on Hudome's kitchen table? Just take a quick trip on the web to MH Media's web site and you will get a taste of the kind of work MH Media does.

If you click on the link, you can see that they are working for the cigarette industry, fighting those pesky local governments that want to reduce smoking through taxation. Nearly everyone that has influence in his campaign is a lobbyist and McCain knows it. The lobbyists don't care, that game is their bread and butter. They, nor anyone that takes a look at the whole picture knows that someone who talks a tough game on the outside yet is soft on the inside is a fraud. John McCain's Straight Talk Express derailed a long time ago and it is only a matter of time before the nation sees a decrepit, rusted-out bus on the side of the road with his name on it.

The Myth Of Illegal Immigration

Media Matters covers the news like no other. The disturbing trends in many media outlets show that fear and hate are used in abundance to project ridiculous information in order to scare Americans:

Apparently The Constitution Does Not Apply To Mr. Rove

It isn't breaking news that Karl Rove or anyone in or out of the Bush White House has any regard for our nation's highest governing document. What's the Constitution anyways when you have a lust for all encompassing power and a need to be above the law? Well Karl Rove does not have to come out and say that he or his friend the President want dictatorial powers in order to ignore the Congress, they just do it. And now they mock it.

From RawStory:

House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI) issued a subpoena Thursday to former White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove for testimony about politicization of the Department of Justice (DOJ), including the case of former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman, who was jailed for bribery in what was widely seen as a political prosecution.

In response, Rove's attorney Robert Luskin questioned why the subpoena was necessary and mocked Conyers in a letter copied to RAW STORY.

"I do not misunderstand either the Committee's procedures or the scope of its interest in Mr. Rove; nor, in light of your reported remarks about the need for 'someone' to 'kick his ass,' am I the least bit confused about the Committee's motives and intentions," Luskin wrote. "I confess, however, that I do not understand why the Committee is threating a subpoena to Mr. Rove for information related to the alleged 'politicization of the Department of Justice,' when, as the Committee is surely aware, Mr. Rove has already received a subpoena for the same subject matter from the Senate Judiciary Committee."

How sad that the media then buys that this is strictly a partisan story. If the politicization of the Department of Justice is alleged, why can't Karl Rove voluntarily come to Congress to discuss that, under oath? Whats the harm if there has been no foul? The problem is, as we already know, there have been multiple fouls and Rove does not want to be held accountable for his criminal behavior. He hasn't shown up for his first subpoena from the Senate, the Department of Justice will not fulfill its duty to compel him to testify and the loser here is all of us and the health of our democracy.

All I have to say is that our next President, in addition to the hope and change he brings, better make sure that all those guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors be brought forward to face justice and not be allowed to get away with the raping of our Republic.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

When Confronted About Not Voting For G.I. Bill, McCain Goes Nuts

One good thing John McCain did today was reject Pastor Hagee's endorsement. Of course it took three months to do it, but he finally gave in. However, one good thing couldn't go without an equally bad outburst and McCain delivered. See, he was too busy raising money in California today to be bothered about a vote in the Senate. McCain has missed many votes over the last year while campaigning, but legislation that enables veterans to go to college should be something he might be inclined to show up for. When Obama called him out on it, McCain lost it.

From The Atlantic:

"It is typical, but no less offensive that Senator Obama uses the Senate floor to take cheap shots at an opponent and easy advantage of an issue he has less than zero understanding of. Let me say first in response to Senator Obama, running for President is different than serving as President. The office comes with responsibilities so serious that the occupant can't always take the politically easy route without hurting the country he is sworn to defend. Unlike Senator Obama, my admiration, respect and deep gratitude for America's veterans is something more than a convenient campaign pledge. I think I have earned the right to make that claim.

"When I was five years old, a car pulled up in front of our house in New London, Connecticut, and a Navy officer rolled down the window, and shouted at my father that the Japanese had bombed Pearl Harbor. My father immediately left for the submarine base where he was stationed. I rarely saw him again for four years. My grandfather, who commanded the fast carrier task force under Admiral Halsey, came home from the war exhausted from the burdens he had borne, and died the next day. I grew up in the Navy; served for twenty-two years as a naval officer; and, like Senator Webb, personally experienced the terrible costs war imposes on the veteran. The friendships I formed in war remain among the closest relationships in my life. The Navy is still the world I know best and love most. In Vietnam, where I formed the closest friendships of my life, some of those friends never came home to the country they loved so well .

"But I am running for the office of Commander-in-Chief. That is the highest privilege in this country, and it imposes the greatest responsibilities. It would be easier politically for me to have joined Senator Webb in offering his legislation. More importantly, I feel just as he does, that we owe veterans the respect and generosity of a great nation because no matter how generously we show our gratitude it will never compensate them fully for all the sacrifices they have borne on our behalf.

McCain makes the excuse that he came up with a bill to help veterans (he drew it up after Webb's proposal was submitted). However McCain's plan goes nowhere near Webb's bill that actually pays for college and not drops a few metaphorical pennies and nickels in the bucket. McCain says the Obama made a cheap shot, but the true wound is the one McCain inflicted on the troops by not supporting the Webb bill. Then McCain placates the troops by saying some garbage about how showing our gratitude can never compensate them.

Well, we could start somewhere productive, such as enacting Jim Webb's bill but Johnny boy can't be stopped on this rant. McCain finally tries to connect Obama's attacks on him and the difference between the bills with how Obama would conduct his Presidency. I hate to break it to McCain, but the Senate supported Webb's bill with 75 votes with no mention of the cheap substitute McCain came up with so that he wouldn't have to be seen as voting against the troops. Sorry, we see through that political bullshit.

The Nuclear Option Will Most Likely Be A Dud

The so-called nuclear option that is being touted by Hillary Clinton supporters will most likely fail if and when it is presented to the DNC committee. Remember, its the Democratic Party, not the Hillary Party. Greg Sargent of TPM breaks it down for us:

Senate Passes Webb's GI Bill

Congratulations to the Senate for passing Webb's economic and educational package for our nation's troops. More than half of the Republicans voted for it, defying their dear leader (a.k.a. Mr. 28%) due to plenty of little add-ons to the bill. Although the motion to start ending the conflict was voted down, this is considered major progress in that the Senate got something done that wasn't completely regressive in nature.

From Yahoo News:

The vote on the domestic add-ons was a rebuke to Bush, who has promised to veto the measure if it contains the domestic measures. However, the president still has enough GOP support in the House to sustain a veto.

The House still has to act on the bill. Last week, it voted to reject money for continuing the war. It endorsed the help for veterans and the unemployed, but kept its version clean of most other domestic programs.

The huge tally in the Senate was driven by $15.6 billion over two years to extend unemployment benefits by 13 weeks and more than $50 billion over the upcoming decade to provide returning Iraq war veterans with sharply increased college aid.

But dozens of add-ons favored by senators in both parties contributed to the unexpectedly sweeping tally that embarrassed the White House.

Embarrassing the White House is always nice. George Bush wanted the war funding bill to be free of excessive waste (such as helping our troops to pay for college) because frankly, all of these soldiers should be going back for their 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th tours in Iraq and/or Afghanistan, right George?. Seriously, how dare they want to better their lives? Now we all expect the President to veto this so he gets his way to claim a spirit of bipartisanship. What happens next is up to Congress and if they have the chutzpah to override his dismissal of our soldiers.

Dear Senators and Members of Congress, this is the time of year we recognize Memorial Day and turning your backs (by a 2/3rds margin) on the President is the right thing to do for the troops in your state/district and for every man or woman that dons the uniform of our military.

Ellen Exposes Gay-Hating McCain

Ellen may be known for humor on her widely watched TV show, but on today's episode she'll be credited for helping to expose John McCain's belief that gays in America should remain as second class citizens. She used humor in the segment, but the point that came across was clear. John McCain does not think gays deserve the same rights as straight people.

From ThinkProgress:

Yesterday, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) taped an interview with Ellen DeGeneres, which airs today. Ellen, who recently announced that she plans to take advantage of the California Supreme Court’s recent gay marriage ruling and wed her longtime girlfriend, actress Portia di Rossi, pressed McCain on his stance on gay marriage.

McCain said that he opposes gay marriage, but said couples should be able to allowed to enter into legal agreements:

McCAIN: Well, my thoughts are that I think people should be able to enter into legal agreements, and I think that is something that we should encourage, particularly in the case of insurance and other areas, decisions that have to be made. I just believe in the unique status of marriage between man and woman. And I know that we have a respectful disagreement on that issue.

DEGENERES: Yeah, I mean, I think that it is looked at, and some people are saying that blacks and women did not have the right to vote. Women just got the right to vote in 1920, blacks didn’t have the right to vote until 1870, and it just feels like there’s this old way of thinking that we’re not all the same. We are all the same people. All of us. You’re no different than I am. Our love is the same.”

The audience was largely silent for McCain’s remarks, but cheered loudly after Ellen spoke.

As ThinkProgress also notes, what he's said in the not-too-recent past is not exactly what he told Ellen on her show. McCain tried to soften his view for Ellen's audience but reality suggests otherwise. Also, he doesn't mind accepting people into his campaign like Pastor Hagee, who blames gays for the destruction of New Orleans from Hurricane Katrina. When John McCain walks Ellen down the aisle, hell will be frozen several times over.

I Ask Myself This Everyday

Is it the debt? The desire to win despite reality? Sheer arrogance?

I'm having trouble coming up with an answer.

Israel To Bush: Get Lost, We're Talking To Syria

Last week George Bush made waves in the American Presidential political scene all the way from the Knesset in Jerusalem. In an allusion to Barack Obama and Democrats in general that do not share his bloodlust for war, he said talking to countries that sponsor terrorism is a form of appeasement just as Neville Chamberlain had done with Hitler seventy years ago. Well Israeli Parliament members got to hear his message in person and this week they responded.

From The Huffington Post:

According to 29-year CIA veteran and former NSC official Bruce Riedel, Wednesday's announcement of joint peace negotiations between Israel and Syria revealed President Bush's diminished standing in Middle East affairs.

"Think of the irony," Riedel said. "George Bush goes to Jerusalem last week. He gives an impassioned speech about never dealing with nasty regimes [that sponsor terror]. He basically says 'don't make agreements that appease [them].' And less than a week later, the Israeli government announces it is engaged in peace negotiations with the Assad dictatorship in Syria. We're talking about a rather distasteful regime that likely had a hand in the murder of [former Lebanese Prime Minister] Rafik Hariri. I guess [Israeli Prime Minister] Ehud Olmert didn't think the speech was meant for him."

Assad, although not as harsh as his father, is still a dictator and still sponsors terror. He's a cruel bastard and Syria deserves a lot better. Yet, Israel chose to talk with his government because a majority of Israelis desire peace. Israel does not want to be in a perpetual state of war, it has been the mainstay for more than 60 years, even before they were a state. Bush loves war because it doesn't touch him, but Israel knows the pain and suffering up close and they want to find solutions, not exacerbate the problems (settlements excluded). These talks with Syria might not solve everything, but its still a step in the right direction.

Alaska's Gov. Hates Polar Bears

The cute and cuddly stuffed animals may be a bit different from the ferocious real-life polar bears that roam the Arctic region but that doesn't mean anyone has to hate on them. Unfortunately Governor Sarah Palin does and she is challenging the ruling that will put them on the endangered species list. Their natural environment is rapidly shrinking due to climate change and something must be done. Palin, being a Republican wants to keep the status quo which will enable the bears to eventually die off.

From the AP:

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The state of Alaska will sue to challenge the recent listing of polar bears as a threatened species, Gov. Sarah Palin announced Wednesday.

She and other Alaska elected officials fear a listing will cripple oil and gas development in prime polar bear habitat off the state's northern and northwestern coasts.

Palin argued that there is not enough evidence to support a listing. Polar bears are well-managed and their population has dramatically increased over 30 years as a result of conservation, she said.

Climate models that predict continued loss of sea ice, the main habitat of polar bears, during summers are unreliable, said Palin, a Republican.

The announcement drew a strong response from the primary author of the listing petition.

"She's either grossly misinformed or intentionally misleading, and both are unbecoming," said Kassie Siegel of the Center for Biological Diversity. "Alaska deserves better."

Alaska does deserve better and so do it's polar bears. I'm leaning towards the 'intentionally misleading' argument. Palin will do or say whatever it takes to keep the oil money rolling in, especially with prices at record highs. A true leader would look at the big picture concerning oil and climate change, but all she can see is the checks that the oil industry cuts her state for the short term.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Another Reason On Why Its Good To Have The Dems Control Congress

Pelosi and Reid aren't perfect but watching Congressman Waxman chair a committee meeting is truly something to behold. Watch as he shuts down the other member of the committee so he can try and get an answer out of one of Bush's cronies:

State Department Likes Cluster Bombs

War entails many brutal things to say the least. Nothing good comes from it unless you are a war profiteer who's only concern is getting rich off the deaths of others. However when you look at certain details, one of the worst aspects are nations that drop cluster bombs on one another. These bombs split apart in the air and essentially lay a carpet of death and destruction as the bomber flies overhead. Not only that, but many of the bomblets do not go off, leaving multiple pieces of explosives that end up killing mostly children who's curiosity leads to terrible ends. So how does the State Department run by the Bush Administration feel about possible baning the practice of cluster bombing?

From RawStory:

The United States on Wednesday opposed a worldwide ban on cluster bombs, calling instead for "technological fixes" that would make them safer.

State Department expert Stephen Mull told reporters the United States is "deeply concerned" about the danger of such munitions, but said a ban like one proposed at a major conference in Dublin would be impractical.

"We think that it will be impossible to ban cluster munitions as many in the Oslo process would like to do, because these are weapons that have a certain military utility," Mull said.

If technological fixes were possible, they'd have been utilized already. That excuse is essentially a lame cop out. Mull continued to shift in his answer, saying that eliminating the weapon is impractical but it is also useful for the military. That is all bullshit and he knows it and so do his superiors at Foggy Bottom and across the way at the White House. The only reason they continue to support the making of these cluster bombs is because they are profitable to weapons makers inside the United States. As long as they can sell them, there's money to be made and that is what truly drives these people, profit without ethical qualms for what their product might do.

Why Won't McCain Repudiate And Denounce Ant-Semite Hagee?

John Hagee has already been exposed for his anti-gay and anti-Catholic sentiments. John McCain says he disagrees with some of his views yet continues to hold onto his endorsement. While Hagee has "apologized" about the Catholic comments, he stayed silent about hating gays and now we find out he hates Jews as well. How much does he hate them (me included!) you ask?

From The Huffington Post:

John Hagee, the controversial evangelical leader and endorser of Sen. John McCain, argued in a late 1990s sermon that the Nazis had operated on God's behalf to chase the Jews from Europe and shepherd them to Palestine. According to the Reverend, Adolph Hitler was a "hunter," sent by God, who was tasked with expediting God's will of having the Jews re-establish a state of Israel.

Going in and out of biblical verse, Hagee preached: "'And they the hunters should hunt them,' that will be the Jews. 'From every mountain and from every hill and from out of the holes of the rocks.' If that doesn't describe what Hitler did in the holocaust you can't see that."

He goes on: "Theodore Hertzel is the father of Zionism. He was a Jew who at the turn of the 19th century said, this land is our land, God wants us to live there. So he went to the Jews of Europe and said 'I want you to come and join me in the land of Israel.' So few went that Hertzel went into depression. Those who came founded Israel; those who did not went through the hell of the holocaust.

How dare this bastard talk about my great-grandparents like that. Fuck him! This sermon, even if it is ten years old, is disgusting and has no business in an open and religiously tolerant nation. Hagee is a sick bastard who belongs at a KKK rally, not standing behind John McCain and his Presidential bid. For McCain to keep this guy around is a slap in the face not only to Jews, but to any group persecuted by Hitler or any other dictator who has advocated and carried out instances of ethnic cleansing.

If McCain can kick a few lobbyists to the curb, he can do the same to this gasbag.


On a somewhat related note, hear me rant about McCain and a few other things at 5:30EDT on Sirius' Indie Talk Ch. 110

Voting For Democrats Gets You Things Like This

Republicans represent the status quo and when it comes to energy, that means the continuous flow of pollution into our environment. With people like Congressman Jerry McNerney (D-CA) and a new President in 2009 that has a last name that starts with an O, we'll be seeing far more bills like this....and most importantly their passage and implementation.

NY GOP Does Two Huge Favors For Dems

It isn't often that the New York State Republican Party likes to bend over for their opposition, but their Chairman Joseph Mondello did just that this week. Not only did he book the Sheraton in Midtown for their party (Republicans love to bash Democrats for only caring about downstate NY) in all of their hypocritical glory, but he added a nice big cherry on top of that sundae.

From The Daily Politics:

A number of Republicans are shaking their heads in astonishment over the fact VP Dick Cheney has been tapped by state GOP Chairman Joseph Mondello to headline the party's annual dinner May 29, DN Capitol Bureau Chief Ken Lovett reports.
"I'm glad that we're following the winning model that they put forth in Mississippi," an aide to former Gov. George Pataki quipped. "It's just so ridiculous, I can' t even be pithy because it's asinine."

Cheney stumped for the losing Republican Greg Davis in a special House election last week in Mississippi. It was the third off-cycle loss for the House Republicans (the others were in Illinois and Louisiana).

A Senate Republican questioned how at a time when the GOP is fighting to maintain its slim majority the party can bring into New York "the only person more unpopular than George Bush."

That is a very good question, and I'm glad I'm not the one having to answer for it. I'm ecstatic that he went forward with the plan though. I hope all New Yorkers can see just who the Senate GOP Majority loves to hang out with, even if he is more unpopular than George Bush. They'd just prefer that it not be made public.

Oh well.

Peter King Sticks Up For His Buddy Vito

There is nothing like a good sense of camaraderie among office co-workers. If I get caught drunk driving with a BAC twice the legal limit, father a love child and hide it for three years from my legal family 250 miles away and act like a complete hypocrite at my job, I want a friend like Peter King. After laying out some of the facts in diatribe, he decided to get some "perspective."

From Peter King's Op-Ed in the NY Post:

Let's get some perspective: Presidents such as John Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson had extramarital affairs; Grover Cleveland and (it's now believed) Thomas Jefferson fathered children out of wedlock. Objective journalists would look at the entire person and not present a trivialized, prurient caricature.

The Vito Fossella that I know is a hardworking congressman who addresses issues seriously, while still holding onto his engaging, bantering sense of humor. And - in a field full of egotists and prima donnas - he's a congressman who's called Vito by his staff and anyone who walks up to him on the street.

I recall being with him on President Bill Clinton's 1998 trip to Northern Ireland at a key juncture in the Irish peace process. At one point, I went with Vito and his wife Mary Pat to a low-income Catholic neighborhood in West Belfast, where we met with a bunch of Irish kids who'd never before encountered a guy called Vito. He couldn't have been more gracious or cordial - talking, smiling and posing for pictures with kid after kid.

For perspective's sake, Vito Fossella is no Jefferson, Kennedy or LBJ. Name me one thing of value to our country that he's done in ten years. No, talking, smiling and posing for pictures does not count, even if it is West Belfast. While Jefferson did father children with his slaves, he is also credited with things like.....helping to write the Declaration of Independence and the U.S.-f**king-Constitution! Vito has been a sycophantic follower of George Bush for the last eight years. He's proud of his vote to defend marriage. He's proud to support the war in Iraq and to lower taxes for the rich by screwing the poor (including many Staten Islanders who have had their homes foreclosed on).

Spare me your "Vito is a good man" crap Mr. King. Congressman Fossella is as much a scumbag in his personal life as he has been working in Congress.

A Speech In Iowa Last Night Reverberates From Coast To Coast

Barack Obama may have been speaking from Iowa last night, but every single American could hear what he was saying. Congratulating Hillary Clinton for her valiant effort, attacking John McCain as he will from now to the general election and giving us all a vision of hope and change that will transform our nation for the better was the message. Another brilliant speech by the Senator from Illinois:

Fox News Is Now Officially A Comedy Channel

Watch out Comedy Central, lookout late night TV, there is a new player in the laughs department of cable television. The new guy is none other than Fox News and they made a big splash last night covering, of all things, the media and in particular NBC. Their claim (swallow coffee and put down the cup first) is that the Peacock Network blurs the line between news and commentary. And who else would make that assertion on Fox but arch-conservative Laura Ingraham (with an assist from none other than Karl Rove).

From ThinkProgress:

Last night, Karl Rove appeared on Fox News’s “The O’Reilly Factor” to discuss President Bush’s interview with NBC and accusations that the network distorted Bush’s comments. Rove and guest host Laura Ingraham quickly attacked NBC’s ethics:

INGRAHAM: Yes, well, Karl, this follows on, you know, on primary nights, big nights, when you’re with Brit and everybody here. Over at NBC, they have a couple of their, you know, commentator types Matthews and the like, sitting next to Tom Brokaw and Brian Williams. I mean, there is no line between news and commentary. It’s all blurred.

Rove added that the “journalistic standards of MSNBC, which are really no standards at all,” are now “creep[ing] into NBC.”

Now while I would usually introduce the pot to the tea kettle here, that wouldn't be fair, unless the pot can hold cubic tons and the tea kettle is one of those itsy bitsy designer models meant for a single cup. The two of them went on and on about NBC, seemingly ignoring the rampant hypocrisy that one of them works for McCain and won't mention it on air. This isn't even commentary on the news, its pure comedy, what else could it be (besides a disgrace to the institution of the fourth estate)?

Pledged Delegates? Check!

Last night Oregon and Kentucky cast their ballots and the former went to Obama and the latter to Clinton. Looking through a narrow window, you could say that it is a split, some sort of balance or even a sign that the primary must go on. To go on national television last night and use that as your justification to keep running without looking at the big picture would be disingenuous...and Hillary Clinton did just that.

As Obama has said, she can keep on going as long as she wants. Yet this race is not about her, nor is it about Barack Obama. This primary race is about the Democratic party and our nation, and millions have spoken out already and have decided on a nominee. The voters have given Obama the majority of pledged delegates and most are already moving to rally behind him.

Then at the end of the night the April fundraising numbers came out. Obama raised over $31 million. Clinton took in an impressive $22 million and both beat out McCain's personal best of $18 million. However there is much more to those millions. Clinton is still in debt, reportedly that number matches what Obama raised in April. That is the picture of a failed campaign, a candidate with that much debt isn't going very far in the general election, even if the opposition is John McCain. Not only has our party begun to rally behind Obama in spirit, our pocketbooks have been backing him for quite sometime (not paying millions to Mark Penn helps too).

Though Montana, South Dakota and Puerto Rico are still coming up on the primary calendar, it is not a race solely about those two states and one commonwealth. If the race were truly neck and neck Obama would not have begun to secure the majority of superdelegates to finish this thing up for good. Yet, it is coming and in less than two weeks we will have our nominee, though we already know his name.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

McCain Screws Up On Iran....Again

Mr. Foreign Policy can't answer a simple question about Iran correctly:

Despite his assertion, Ahmadinejad is just a puppet. A loud, obnoxious and scary one, but still a puppet with no real power.

Um, Senator Clinton, Karl Rove Is Not Your Friend

You would think the woman that coined the term "Vast Right Wing Conspiracy" would know which politicos to trust when they open their mouths. Apparently she has lost her touch and all sense of reality when she used excerpts from Karl Rove to say that she is the stronger candidate. Clinton is either grasping at straws to remain relative in the twilight of her campaign or has lost all sense of reality.

From RawStory:

At a campaign stop in Prestonburg, Kentucky, Sen. Hillary Clinton said that an election analysis by a firm led by Karl Rove supports the argument that she is a stronger Democratic candidate than Sen. Barack Obama.

Said Clinton, "There've been a lot of analysis [sic] about which of us is stronger to win against Sen. McCain, and I believe I am the stronger candidate. And just today I found some curious support for that position when one of the TV networks released an analysis done by -- of all people -- Karl Rove saying that I was the stronger candidate. Somebody got a hold of his analysis and there it is."

Would that network happen to be Fox News, where Karl works as an "analyst" now? This wouldn't be the same Karl Rove that helped to get George Bush elected and re-elected would it? Or perhaps it is the Karl Rove that is currently giving advice to John McCain while he "analyzes" politics for the "fair and balanced" Fox News?

If Hillary Clinton honestly believes what Karl Rove says out in public, I've got land in the Gulf of Mexico to sell her along with some cars with fresh coats of paint on em'.

Wishing Ted Kennedy The Best

The Liberal Lion, the longest serving Senator second to Robert Byrd, the great Ted Kennedy was given the terrible news that he has a malignant brain tumor, the likely cause of his seizure this past weekend. His family is all around him at the hospital in Boston and he is good spirits, but malignant tumors like this are not a good sign.

From the AP:

Doctors for the Massachusetts Democrat say tests conducted after Kennedy suffered a seizure this weekend show a tumor in his left parietal lobe. Preliminary results from a biopsy of the brain identified the cause of the seizure as a malignant glioma.

His treatment will be decided after more tests but the usual course includes combinations of radiation and chemotherapy.[...]

The doctors said Kennedy will remain in the hospital "for the next couple of days according to routine protocol."

"He remains in good spirits and full of energy," they said.

Kennedy's wife and children have been with him each day but have made no public statements.

Malignant gliomas are a type of brain cancer diagnosed in about 9,000 Americans a year — and the most common type among adults. It's a starting diagnosis: How well patients fare depends on what specific tumor type is determined by further testing.

Average survival can range from less than a year for very advanced and aggressive types — such as glioblastomas — or to about five years for different types that are slower growing.

We should know in the next few days what type of tumor the Senator has and of course like all cancers, nothing is set in stone when it comes to life expectancy and treatment procedures. What is certain is that Sen. Kennedy will be getting the best possible care and will continue to be a prominent political figure as he has been for nearly half a century.

Our hearts, thoughts and prayers are with the Kennedy family.

Quinn Looks Forward To Big Development Projects On West Side

From this morning Crain's New York event:

MTA: Good At Wasting Our Money

With a budget in the billions of dollars, fiscal planners might not think much of $200,000. To 99 percent of us that is a hefty chunk of change and no one likes seeing that many dollar bills going to waste. However, the MTA doesn't seem to think much of it, or their riders for that matter when they decided to give the said amount to a man that doesn't even work for them anymore.

From The NY Daily News:

Metropolitan Transportation Authority veteran Thomas Savage will receive a full year's salary as if he was still reporting to work as president of the MTA Bus Co. - even though he stepped down from the executive post last month, the authority said.

Spokesman Jeremy Soffin described the $200,000 as a necessary cost of a larger initiative to consolidate management positions, which the authority expects to lead to financial savings down the road.

Savage retired despite having one year left on his multiyear contract, Soffin said.

Gene Russianoff of the Straphangers Campaign had kind words for Savage and the MTA's efforts to streamline operations - but said he believed the MTA is "too generous" when crafting packages for executives.

A necessary cost?

How exactly is a fully loaded salary for someone that left their position necessary for the MTA, or any company for that matter. Especially when the dollars come from taxpayers and/or straphangers, that type of waste is pathetic.

Obama Can Celebrate All He Wants

Once Kentucky and Oregon's votes are counted tonight, it is virtually assured that Barack Obama will have the majority of pledged delegates, representing the voters in the Democratic primary. At one point that count mattered most to both candidates, but one has continued to push the goalposts to all ends of the field to make their campaign look viable. Now Obama wants to celebrate that achievement in Iowa tonight and the Clinton camp is showing their bruised egos and complaining about it.

From The Washington Post:

Obama is favored to win the Oregon primary today, and Clinton is an even stronger favorite to win the Kentucky contest. But Obama will not celebrate primary night in either of those states. Instead, he has chosen to be in Iowa, where his victory in the caucuses in January turned the Democratic race upside down. There, at a rally in Des Moines, he is expected to declare that he has secured a majority of the pledged delegates currently eligible to attend August's Democratic convention in Denver.

Obama and his advisers insist the event will stop short of a declaration that he has won the nomination. But it will be seen as another signal to superdelegates to climb aboard his bandwagon as quickly as possible.

The celebration, however, has rankled the Clinton campaign and the candidate herself. They see it as a highhanded effort to embarrass her and to generate renewed calls from others in the party for her to quit the race before anyone has achieved a genuine majority of pledged delegates and superdelegates.

In a signal of how fragile the detente between the two sides is, the Clinton campaign sent out a tart memo yesterday under the name of communications director Howard Wolfson calling the Obama rally in Iowa "a slap in the face of millions of voters in the remaining primary states and to Senator Clinton's 17 million supporters." Then, in language tying the Obama campaign to the Bush White House, the memo continues: "Premature victory laps and false declarations of victory are unwarranted. Declaring mission accomplished does not make it so."

Ouch, Wolfson needs to cool those defensive jets of his. There have been many a Clinton celebration during this primary season where it was not warranted. I understand that they have been through a lot over there but Obama is not calling for her to drop out even though she fell through that floor a long time ago. George Bush comparisons are also out of line. There is no slap in the face to the voters from Obama, the voters have spoken for the most part and have decided to go with him.

Hillary Clinton and her loyal band of supporters may be hurt that she couldn't win the nomination, but now it is time to learn a little humility and accept that the majority of voters in this primary have sided with Barack Obama.

Newell And Henry Square Off, Shelly Silver Nowhere To Be Found

Sheldon Silver didn't show up to Democracy for New York City's debate between the primary candidates for the 64th Assembly District. He claims he is waiting to see who all the candidates will be, code word for I'm too good for a debate because I'm Mr. Speaker of the Assembly. Someone doesn't think their shit doesn't stink, but down here under his high horse it is revolting.

Anyways, his challengers, Paul Newell and Luke Henry did show up and there was definitely a lot to talk about. Here are a few clips thanks to the camera work of Azi Paybarah of the NY Observer:

First, are these guys electable?

Are you a progressive?

And will you fight for affordable housing?

There's plenty more coverage from the debate, check out Azi's YouTube page for all the clips.

Vito Is On His Way Out, Recchia Too!

There were three people running for New York's 13th Congressional district but now its down to one. Both incumbent Vito Fossella and challenger Dominic Recchia are dropping out of the race. Vito's reasons are a little more in depth than Recchia, with the affair, love child, DWI, future ex-con status, hypocritical stance on marriage, screwing the taxpayers, you get what I'm saying. Well today is the day both exit stage left and what are we going to be left with?

From The Daily Politics:

Fossella was reportedly scheduled to break the news to his staff via an early-morning conference call tomorrow, but word started leaking out late tonight and the congressman's hand was forced.

He provided the following statement to The Staten Island Advance:

"After a great deal of consideration, I have made the decision not to seek re-election to the United States House of Representatives this November. This choice was an extremely difficult one, balanced between my dedication to service to our great nation and the need to concentrate on healing the wounds I have caused to my wife and family."

"Despite the personal mistakes I have made, I am touched by the outpouring of support and encouragement I have received from so many people. Their kind words and prayers during this difficult time mean more to me than I can express. And while many have urged me to run for re-election, I believe this course of action is best for my family and our community."

This comes as details continue to emerge about how Fossella and a former Air Force colonel, Laura Fay, with whom he fathered a child out of wedlock, trysted while traveling on taxpayer funded junkets.

And Recchia?

On the Democratic side, a source confirms the rumor that Councilman Domenic Recchia is NOT expected to follow through with his nascent bid for Fossella's seat, despite the fact that he is sitting on some $325,000.

That leaves Brooklyn attorney Stephen Harrison, who ran an unsuccessful challenge to Fossella in 2006, as the lone announced candidate.

Now wait a minute here. Harrison may have been unsuccessful, but he came closer than any other challenger in quite sometime and pulled in over 43 percent of the vote with no help from the party. He was outspent 13 to 1 and earned the respect of the local Democratic clubs. If the party brass would have help him out, he can take back the district for the Dems this year. I know the establishment wants someone from Staten Island, but Steve has proven he will fight for every single resident of NY-13, whether they be in his native Brooklyn or Staten Island.

Monday, May 19, 2008

James Baker III Disagrees With McCain/Bush On Appeasement

Don't worry, the right wingers won't be lighting their torches and starting a witch hunt for former Secretary of State James Baker anytime soon. Baker's comments about the true definition of appeasement were made in October of 2006. Thats would be way before George Bush brought up the subject while speaking to the Knesset last week. McCain quickly seconded the President's misbegotten definition while on the campaign trail, but that does not negate the words of the man that served under Reagan and George H.W. Bush.

From Op-Ed News:

Republican James Baker III, who served as Ronald Reagan's Chief of Staff and George H. W. Bush's Secretary of State had an interesting interview on Fox News' Hannity and Colmes show on Friday, October 6 2006 during which he said "Talking to an enemy is not, in my view, appeasement." [...]

Below is a partial transcript of the October 2006 Fox News interview. The entire transcript can be seen at,2933,218260,00.html:

COLMES: A level of engagement which some have said is not present today. Is this administration engaged enough with the people they should be talking to, to solve the kind of problems you're talking about?

BAKER: My view is that you don't just talk to your friends. You talk to your enemies, as well. And the diplomacy involves talking to your enemies.

You don't reward your enemies...

COLMES: Right.

BAKER: ... necessarily, by talking to them if you're tough and you know what you're doing. You don't appease them. Talking to an enemy is not, in my view, appeasement.

When there isn't a partisan agenda afoot, Republicans like Baker can be quite forthcoming and honest about the realities of geopolitics and diplomacy. Baker comes from an older, less fanatical breed of GoOPers that can talk candidly (especially on FoxNews) from time to time and deal with reality. Although we won't hear Baker come out and reassert what he said in 06' this week, it really doesn't matter because we have his words on tape.

Charlie Black Must Go

Five lobbyists have now left McCain's sordid campaign for their dubious ties to unethical companies and countries. None of them however are as bad as Charlie Black, but Charlie thinks he's done nothing wrong....well its time to tell him and McCain that no one believes them anymore.

CREW Files Ethics Complaint Against Vito

Today CREW is taking Congressman Vito Fossella to task for his lack of ethics as a Congressman and thereby, a human being. Vito has been getting back into public life lately, but he shouldn't expect a free pass just because he has "learned his lesson." What Fossella has done is a ridiculous laundry list of screw ups that disqualifies him from public office.

From The Daily Politics:

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington announced today it sent an ethics complaint against Rep. Vito Fossella to the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct seeking an investigation into whether he violated any travel rules and/or the prohibition on conduct that reflects badly on the body.

"Given that the committee will already be consider Rep. Fossella's criminal conduct, the committee should take the opportunity to consider whether, by using taxpayer funded travel to pursue his romantic relationship with Lt. Col.Fay, Rep. Fossella violated House travel rules and the prohibition against conduct that does not reflect creditably on the House," CREW Executive Director Melanie Sloan wrote.

"The committee should consider not only the trips previously reported, but also should investigate whether Rep. Fossella availed himself of other unreported congressional delegation travel opportunities in order to conduct his illicit affair...At the very least, Rep. Fossella should be require to reimburse the Treasury for the costs of his travel"

CREW knows it has no shot at getting the Committee to do anything, since one action would lead to 435 or more others. Ethics, credibility and accountability still have little say in the House of Representatives. Sure, there are exceptions to the rule but for the most part, those things are sorely lacking.

NY Legislators Find HMOs Deny Medicine To Patients

What was already obvious to thousands, if not millions of HMO patients was made clear to New York's elected officials. Insurance companies deny service and medication to their paying clients is the status quo, yet with lax oversight by the Bush Administration and their approval of the practice, nothing has been done to help regular people. Hopefully the study these officials commissioned will make things go in the right direction.

From NY1:

State Senators Jeff Klein, Tom Duane and John Sabini analyzed 19 of New York's major HMOs, and found that 14 of them deny or restrict access to medications which do not have a generic equivalent.

They also said many of those drugs are used to treat conditions that affect higher percentages of blacks and Hispanics as compared to whites, such as heart disease and diabetes.

"The most expensive drugs for the most critical of illnesses are made prohibitively expensive on co-pays and this is just another example on how hard it is to fight to ensure people -- no matter what they come from, no matter what language they speak, no matter what they look like -- have the same access to healthcare as everyone else," said Sabini.

It is a terrible system where Big Pharma and the HMO industry gets to profit from each other's policies while people who desperately need medication are those that suffer the most. Perhaps the executives at Blue Cross, Pfizer, etc like to see people in pain and add to their suffering. They already have fistfulls of money, do they really want that much more? Or is it, like the article suggest, something against minorities?

McCain Moments

He really is getting good at saying one thing, then contradicting himself after:

NY Post Fires Reporter After Being Targeted By NYPD

Freelance reporter Leonardo Blair has a lot going for him. Born in Jamaica, Mr. Blair made it to New York and has a Master's degree in Journalism from Columbia and was worked freelance for the NY Post. Then he was picked up by the NYPD and temporarily thrown in jail for being in the wrong place at the wrong time and for the color of his skin. They let him go after he told them he was a reporter, but that wasn't the end of it.

From The NY Daily News:

Leonardo Blair, 28, a freelance crime reporter since May 2007, was let go just days after he slammed the NYPD in a federal suit filed on his behalf by the New York Civil Liberties Union.

Blair's suit came on the same day the Post defended the Police Department's controversial stop-and-frisk policy in an editorial.

"The Post won't have any comment," said the newspaper's spokesman Howard Rubenstein.

Blair refused to comment when reached Sunday night.

The Jamaican-born reporter was let go, in part, because the paper's editors were caught off guard by the suit he filed May 7, sources told the Daily News.

"Caught off guard" sounds a lot like they were pissed that Blair decided to fight for his rights to be treated equally under the law. The first hand account he wrote for them helped to sell papers, but taking the NYPD to court seems to be another matter for the brass at the Post. Now Mr. Blair and the Post won't comment, so the full story is going to have a tough time in coming out to see the light of day.

One thing is for certain though, if Blair were white, there wouldn't be a story to report.

Working Families Party Reasserts Tax Proposal On The Wealthy

Although the tax hike on New York's wealthiest failed during the budget process this year, there is new hope for implementation of it yet again. It doesn't look exactly like what it did two months ago, but a redistribution of income for those that have less is definitely a good thing considering all of the corporate welfare that has been going on in New York and the country in the last few years decades.

From The NY Sun:

Under a plan advanced by the labor-backed Working Families Party, the wealthiest New Yorkers would see their state personal income taxes more than double.

Marginal income between $500,000 and $1 million would be taxed at a rate of 9.35%. Between $1 million and $5 million, the rate would go up to 10.35%. From $5 million to $10 million, the rate would be 11.85%. Income above $10 million would be taxed at $13.85%, which is more than double the current rate of 6.85%.

Party officials said the tax hike would generate $6.5 billion a year for the state and would apply to just fewer than 100,000 filers.

The money would be used to pay for a property tax break for households with up to $250,000 in gross adjusted income. The plan would give rebates to homeowners when their taxes consume a certain percentage of their income. The rebate would cover 70% of the taxes owed above the percentage cap, which would range between 5% and 9% of income.

It is time for legislation on local, state and federal levels to have some progressive threads in it. This bill would do just that for the Empire State. Even though Speaker Silver hasn't come out for it yet, I doubt it matters until Joe Bruno is no longer one of 'three men in a room'. Despite that, we must continue to push for these issues so that New York weeds out the politicians who side for the wealthy and not the people.

Getting rid of Bruno's majority this November will go a long way in starting that process.

McCain For Withdrawal After He Was Against It

No one makes the best anti-John McCain ads like John McCain:

Conserving Energy The Hard Way May Be The Best Way

Alaska is not a place known for its energy conservation. Residents get paid by the government for the tremendous amount of oil that is pumped out of the state and people like it that way. No one wants to mess with the oil because everyone is invested in it. However, oil doesn't simply come out of the ground and turn on the lights. In the remote town of Juneau power is mostly supplied by hydroelectricity and this past winter it was cut off by an avalanche. What would these poor residents do?

From The Independent:

Everyone has been doing their bit, including the city authorities, which took steps that included closing the municipal sauna, mothballing one of the two lifts in the main library and turning off the airport's runway lights when planes are not landing or taking off. The hope is that some of the initiatives will endure after the avalanche damage is repaired, which may not be until early July.

Businesses have responded too. Televisions in display windows have gone dark. Department stores, hotels and offices have replaced some bulbs with energy-saving models and simply removed others.

At the convention centre, the thermostats have been notched down eight degrees to a not-so-toasty 60F. "Turn off, turn down, unplug," Sarah Lewis, chairwoman of the Juneau Commission on Sustainability, said recently. "That's what everyone is doing and being vigilant about and commenting when others are not."

In all, the city, unreachable by road and with a population of 30,000, has managed to cut consumption by 30 per cent in less than a month, a margin some experts had thought impossible.

It is impossible if you are not presented the situation where you have to cut your wasteful ways. When people are thrown extraordinary challenges, there is something inside of all of us to do what you gotta do. Survival is a basic human instinct, but living in our mass-consumption society makes us feel a level of comfort that lulls us into complacency. Perhaps Juneau can show us the way to be energy-conscious and 30,000 people can be an example for a nation of 300 million.