Wednesday, April 30, 2008

I think John Kerry Spoke very well

You know, I thought this was during Bill's watch

glad someone mentioned it. Via Abcnews I found thise article

Hoosier Responsible?

Clinton Decries China's Acquisition of Indiana Company -- Ignoring Her Husband's Role in the Sale:

The article is found at

What Clinton doesn't tell voters is that Magnequench was originally sold to Chinese interests during her husband's administration, which okayed the move despite concerns about national security and eventual job loss. Experts say the Chinese acquired the "technical sophistication" that created the magnets long before George W. Bush took office.

Sen. Evan Bayh, D-Ind,, Clinton's top surrogate in the state, often joins her on the stump in bashing the president for allowing Magnequench to move abroad. What Bayh doesn't tell voters these days is that he has blamed the company's moving on a 1995 decision made by Clinton's husband's administration.

Andy Albers, a former vice president of Magnequench, said he received a phone call from Clinton's campaign to go over key details of Clinton's Valparaiso event before it happened on April 12.

"I told them all the truth, but it didn't go anywhere," Albers told ABC News. "Evan Bayh and Hillary Clinton are living in some false reality here, making all these false accusations."

In Piittsburgh on April 14, Clinton told voters that "not only did the jobs go to China, but so did the intellectual property and the technological know-how to make those magnets."

Albers says no secrets or intellectual property transferred to China when Magnequench moved in 2003, despite the claims of these politicians.

Ummm, just a suspension?

I think the way you show these things aren't tolerated is by firing the person. But, that is just my opinion. This was via abcnews and I hope there will be a followup to the investigation. The perpetrator did admit to hanging the noose, I would love to hear his rationale. Complete article at this link, here is an excerpt:

A U.S. Secret Service agent was suspended after admitting responsibility for tying what an African American agent reportedly said was a noose hanging in the agency's Beltsville, Md., training facilities.

Eric Zahren, a spokesman for the Secret Service, confirmed Monday that "an employee observed a rope tied in a loop, which was interpreted as a noose, in one of the training buildings," he said.

The alleged noose was first reported by Cox Newspapers, which reported the rope was discovered by an African American agent April 14. The agent is a member of the Secret Service's uniformed division, which protects the White House and its environs, the service reported.

The employee who admitted to tying the rope, Zahren said, had been placed on administrative leave pending an internal investigation. The rope was typically used for dog training, according to Zahren.

The Secret Service does not and will not tolerate racial, cultural or religious bias of any kind," said Zahren.

The incident comes at an inconvenient moment for the agency, and not only because Americans are contemplating whether to elect their first African American president with Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill.

The Secret Service is in the middle of an epic eight-year discrimination suit in which an African American agent charges the agency systematically discriminates against African American agents. Fifty-eight African American agents have given statements in support of the suit filed by agent Reginald G. Moore.

Currently, a federal judge is weighing whether to sanction the service for a fourth time, for failing to turn over evidence during the trial's discovery phase, Cox reported.

The Secret Service has denied Moore's charges.

A view on the gas-tax holiday/halting proposal

It may not be popular but I believe it is based in reality. I found this via Reuters. Here is an excerpt that I hope you will take the time to read and then click this link to read the article in its entirety. Believe me, I want to save money but I also have to look at the big picture, not just the feel good moment. I don't there will be any easy answers to what is going on with the economy and no matter who is the next president, there will have to be a lot of compromise and working together between the congress and the President. All three right now have a lot of ideas, getting them to happen once in office is a completely different thing. Anyway, here is the excerpt:

Clinton-McCain gas tax holiday slammed as bad idea

By Alister Bull

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A gas tax holiday proposed by U.S. presidential hopefuls John McCain and Hillary Clinton is viewed as a bad idea by many economists and has drawn unexpected support for Clinton rival Barack Obama, who also is opposed.

"Score one for Obama," wrote Greg Mankiw, a former chairman of President George W. Bush's Council of Economic Advisers. "In light of the side effects associated with driving ... gasoline taxes should be higher than they are, not lower."

Republican McCain and Democrat Clinton, who is battling Obama for their party's nomination, both want to suspend the 18.4-cents-per-gallon federal gas tax during the peak summer driving months to ease the pain of soaring gas prices. The tax is used to fund the Highway Trust Fund that builds and maintains roads and bridges.

Economists said that since refineries cannot increase their supply of gasoline in the space of a few summer months, lower prices will just boost demand and the benefits will flow to oil companies, not consumers.

"You are just going to push up the price of gas by almost the size of the tax cut," said Eric Toder, a senior fellow at the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center in Washington.

Obama criticized the plan as pure politics and said the only way to lower the price of gas is to use less oil.

"It would last for three months and it would save you on average half a tank of gas, $25 to $30. That's what Senator Clinton and Senator McCain are proposing to deal with the gas crisis," he said on Tuesday in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

"This isn't an idea designed to get you through the summer, it's an idea designed to get them through an election."

More about the war we're currently in

just in case you are interested in things other than Vanity Fair covers (which I believe most people are)

via The Canadian Press:

U.S. State Department says terrorists gaining strength in Afghanistan

WASHINGTON — The Bush administration says 2007 saw a 16 per cent increase in terrorist attacks in Afghanistan.

In a newly released report, the U.S. State Department blames the increase on a resurgence of extremist groups both in Afghanistan and in neighbouring Pakistan.

The report says that resurgence has resulted in a corresponding rise in the number of people killed, wounded or kidnapped by terrorists last year in Afghanistan.

It also says that al-Qaida has rebuilt to some of its pre-9-11 capabilities in Pakistan's remote tribal areas.

About that war we're still in

via Time:

Iraq: US Deaths Hit 7-Month High

I've actually never heard of THE FAMILY, have you?

I find the most interesting things while web-surfing. Thankfully, I love reading. This was on Huffington Post. Go to their website for the complete article

There's a reason why Hillary Clinton has remained relatively silent during the flap over intemperate remarks by Barack Obama's former pastor, Jeremiah Wright. When it comes to unsavory religious affiliations, she's a lot more vulnerable than Obama.

You can find all about it in a widely under-read article in the September 2007 issue of Mother Jones, in which Kathryn Joyce and Jeff Sharlet reported that "through all of her years in Washington, Clinton has been an active participant in conservative Bible study and prayer circles that are part of a secretive Capitol Hill group known as the "Fellowship," aka The Family. But it won't be a secret much longer. Jeff Sharlet's shocking exposé, The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power will be published in May.

Sean Hannity has called Obama's church a "cult," but that term applies far more aptly to Clinton's "Family," which is organized into "cells" -- their term -- and operates sex-segregated group homes for young people in northern Virginia. In 2002, writer Jeff Sharlet joined the Family's home for young men, foreswearing sex, drugs, and alcohol, and participating in endless discussions of Jesus and power. He wasn't undercover; he used his own name and admitted to being a writer. But he wasn't completely out of danger either. When he went outdoors one night to make a cell phone call, he was followed. He still gets calls from Family associates asking him to meet them in diners -- alone.

The Family's most visible activity is its blandly innocuous National Prayer Breakfast, held every February in Washington. But almost all its real work goes on behind the scenes -- knitting together international networks of rightwing leaders, most of them ostensibly Christian. In the 1940s, The Family reached out to former and not-so-former Nazis, and its fascination with that exemplary leader, Adolph Hitler, has continued, along with ties to a whole bestiary of murderous thugs. As Sharlet reported in Harper's in 2003:

During the 1960s the Family forged relationships between the U.S. government and some of the most anti-Communist (and dictatorial) elements within Africa's postcolonial leadership. The Brazilian dictator General Costa e Silva, with Family support, was overseeing regular fellowship groups for Latin American leaders, while, in Indonesia, General Suharto (whose tally of several hundred thousand "Communists" killed marks him as one of the century's most murderous dictators) was presiding over a group of fifty Indonesian legislators. During the Reagan Administration the Family helped build friendships between the U.S. government and men such as Salvadoran general Carlos Eugenios Vides Casanova, convicted by a Florida jury of the torture of thousands, and Honduran general Gustavo Alvarez Martinez, himself an evangelical minister, who was linked to both the CIA and death squads before his own demise.

At the heart of the Family's American branch is a collection of powerful rightwing politicos, who include, or have included, Sam Brownback, Ed Meese, John Ashcroft, James Inhofe, and Rick Santorum. They get to use the Family's spacious estate on the Potomac, the Cedars, which is maintained by young men in Family group homes and where meals are served by the Family's young women's group. And, at the Family's frequent prayer gatherings, they get powerful jolts of spiritual refreshment, tailored to the already-powerful.

Clinton fell in with the Family in 1993, when she joined a Bible study group composed of wives of conservative leaders like Jack Kemp and James Baker. When she ascended to the senate, she was promoted to what Sharlet calls the Family's "most elite cell," the weekly Senate Prayer Breakfast, which included, until his downfall, Virginia's notoriously racist Senator George Allen. This has not been a casual connection for Clinton. She has written of Doug Coe, the Family's publicity-averse leader, that he is "a unique presence in Washington: a genuinely loving spiritual mentor and guide to anyone, regardless of party or faith, who wants to deepen his or her relationship with God."

I hope there is some investigation done on this


Suspicious Phone Messages Target Black Voters in North Carolina

Watchdog Group Says Calls May Be Linked to Ones in Virginia and Ohio

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

You Wonder What the Motivation Was?

You can never guard against people with bad intentions. USA Today had this report:

Baxter CEO: Heparin contamination appears intentional

WASHINGTON (Reuters) — The contamination of Baxter International's (BAX) blood-thinner heparin appears to have been deliberate, the company's chief executive said in testimony prepared for a congressional hearing Tuesday.

"We're alarmed that one of our products was used, in what appears to have been a deliberate scheme, to adulterate a life-saving medication, and that people have suffered as a result," Baxter Chief Executive Robert Parkinson said.

"We deeply regret that this has happened, and I feel a strong sense of personal responsibility for these circumstances," he said.

So was it Politics that a Hilary Supporter invited Wright to speak?

This has been on many news blogs I've seen. So what is the story? Only Rev. Reynolds know her motivations. A bit from the New York Daily News where the article can be found in its entirety (I always encourage readers to go to the source)

Is Jeremiah Wright a colossal disaster for Barack Obama or a press trick?

The Rev. Jeremiah Wright couldn't have done more damage to Barack Obama's campaign if he had tried. And you have to wonder if that's just what one friend of Wright wanted.

Shortly before he rose to deliver his rambling, angry, sarcastic remarks at the National Press Club Monday, Wright sat next to, and chatted with, Barbara Reynolds.

A former editorial board member at USA Today, she runs something called Reynolds News Services and teaches ministry at the Howard University School of Divinity. (She is an ordained minister).

It also turns out that Reynolds - introduced Monday as a member of the National Press Club "who organized" the event - is an enthusiastic Hillary Clinton supporter.

On a blog linked to her Web site- Reynolds said in a February post: "My vote for Hillary in the Maryland primary was my way of saying thank you" to Clinton and her husband for the successes of Bill Clinton's presidency.

The same post criticized Obama's "Audacity of Hope" theme: "Hope by definition is not based on facts," wrote Reynolds. It is an emotional expectation. Things hoped for may or may not come. But help based on experience trumps hope every time."

In another blog entry, Reynolds gives an ever-sharper critique of Obama: "It is a sad testimony that to protect his credentials as a unifier above the fray, the senator is fueling the media characterization that Rev. Dr. Wright is some retiring old uncle in the church basement."

A View on Debates that does have some merit

source: SeattleTimes (where you can find the article in its entirety)

ON DEADLINE: Debate on debates fueled by losing candidates

AP Special Correspondent

Debate challenges are a ploy, not an issue. They are in the playbook for the candidate trying to catch up, in this case Hillary Clinton.

Demanding that Barack Obama debate her is a guaranteed applause line at Clinton's campaign rallies. But the topic seldom makes much difference to voters, and it probably won't this time as Obama declines more debates, saying that there have been enough, meaning that he prefers to run his own campaign and go to Democratic voters on his own terms.

Candidates debate when it fits their strategies, or when they have no alternative. The latter was the situation early in this campaign, when there were a dozen faces in the candidate crowd and none of them dared risk staying away.

Now that it is Clinton versus Obama, debating fits her game plan but not his, so there will be none before the next set of primaries on May 6 in North Carolina and Indiana, and probably not afterward, either.

Debate challenges hinge on the campaign situation. When Vice President Al Gore thought he was on a glide path to the 2000 nomination, he didn't express much interest in debates. That changed when former Sen. Bill Bradley emerged as a formidable challenger. Then Gore challenged Bradley to virtually nonstop debates. He said they should scrap TV advertising and debate twice a week instead. While Bradley knew better than to accept that Gore maneuver, he lost in the end.

The Clinton campaign is hammering the topic, telling Democrats i

Quote for the Day

If you haven't any charity in your heart, you have the worst kind of heart trouble - Bob Hope

Monday, April 28, 2008

How come Fox News doesn't air this repeatedly

Is the reporter (I use that term loosely) even trying to hide his agenda. I hope people will take the time to view this in its entirety" By the way does anyone know the name of the idiot reporter?

Hypocrisy in Politics - are we really surprised?

I can't say I was surprised when I read this via ABCNews. Why, because I heard it before. It just seems that not many want to point out that it is just hypocrisy. Here is a partial of the article "Clinton Campaign Chair Threatened to Strip Michigan of Delegates in 2004" please click link to read article in its entirety

"He kept insisting that they were going to move up Michigan on their own, even though if they did that, they would lose half their delegates. By that point Carl and I were leaning toward each other over a table in the middle of the room, shouting and dropping the occasional expletive.

"'You won't deny us seats at the convention,' he said.

"'Carl, take it to the bank,' I said. 'They will not get a credential. The closest they'll get to Boston will be watching it on television. I will not let you break this entire nominating process for one state. The rules are the rules. If you want to call my bluff, Carl, you go ahead and do it.'

"We glared at each other some more, but there was nothing much left to say. I was holding all the cards and Levin knew it."

Clinton herself said, in October 2007, "It's clear, this election they're having is not going to count for anything." She said she was keeping her name on the ballot (unlike her competitors) just so when it came time for the general election she could argue she had not ignored the state.

It wasn't until Clinton lost the Iowa caucuses in January that she acted as if the Florida and Michigan contests had any meaning at all. As Tallahassee political journalist S.V. Dáte recently wrote in Slate, "Last summer and fall, when the DNC made these decisions, she had a lot more clout. She exercised none of it."

As for Ickes and McAuliffe -- they have exercised a great deal of clout. But it has been in the name of preserving order, even if that meant stripping recalcitrant state Democrats of their delegates.

As McAuliffe said then -- "the rules are the rules."

Why? "For the good of the party," he wrote (then

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Part of Michael Moore's letter from his blog

Please take the time to read it in its entirety at his website found at this link

on to some of his words. I do think the entire letter is well balanced"

Don't get me wrong. I lost my rose-colored glasses a long time ago.

It's foolish to see the Democrats as anything but a nicer version of a party that exists to do the bidding of the corporate elite in this country. Any endorsement of a Democrat must be done with this acknowledgement and a hope that one day we will have a party that'll represent the people first, and laws that allow that party an equal voice.

Finally, I want to say a word about the basic decency I have seen in Mr. Obama. Mrs. Clinton continues to throw the Rev. Wright up in his face as part of her mission to keep stoking the fears of White America. Every time she does this I shout at the TV, "Say it, Obama! Say that when she and her husband were having marital difficulties regarding Monica Lewinsky, who did she and Bill bring to the White House for 'spiritual counseling?' THE REVEREND JEREMIAH WRIGHT!"

But no, Obama won't throw that at her. It wouldn't be right. It wouldn't be decent. She's been through enough hurt. And so he remains silent and takes the mud she throws in his face.

That's why the crowds who come to see him are so large. That's why he'll take us down a more decent path. That's why I would vote for him if Michigan were allowed to have an election.

But the question I keep hearing is... 'can he win? Can he win in November?' In the distance we hear the siren of the death train called the Straight Talk Express. We know it's possible to hear the words "President McCain" on January 20th. We know there are still many Americans who will never vote for a black man. Hillary knows it, too. She's counting on it.

Pennsylvania, the state that gave birth to this great country, has a chance to set things right. It has not had a moment to shine like this since 1787 when our Constitution was written there. In that Constitution, they wrote that a black man or woman was only "three fifths" human. On Tuesday, the good people of Pennsylvania have a chance for redemption.

Michael Moore

It's a bit hard to understand how the wife had no idea

Really disturbing story found on CNN this morning. In 24 years the wife never wondered about the cellar?

Police: Captive woman had at least 6 children by father

(CNN) -- Austrian police believe a 73-year-old man held his daughter captive in his cellar for the past two decades and fathered at least six children with her, according to police and state-run news reports Sunday.

The woman, identified as 42-year-old Elisabeth F., has been missing since 1984 when she was 18 years old, police said at a news conference.

The situation came to light earlier this month after her daughter -- a 19-year-old woman, identified as Kristen F. -- was hospitalized after falling unconscious, according to police.

She was admitted to a hospital in Amstetten, outside Vienna, by her grandfather with a note from her biological mother requesting help.

But police said a DNA test later revealed her grandfather, Josef F., was also her father, according to ORF, Austria's state-run news agency.

That sparked a police investigation which revealed that Josef F. may have fathered at least six children with his daughter, forcing her and three of the surviving children to live in the cellar of his house, according to ORF's Peter Schmitzberger.

The children are now between the ages of 5 and 19 years old.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Election Day 2008 countdown banner

Friday, April 25, 2008

What's going on in Los Angeles

Experience LA

Thursday, April 24, 2008

CBS News Widget I found

Words from Doug Wilder

Doug Wilder words from the Bloomberg article:

Obama Gets Encouragement and Warning From Wilder (Update3)

By Heidi Przybyla

April 24 (Bloomberg) -- Doug Wilder, the nation's first elected black governor, has both encouragement and a warning for Illinois Senator Barack Obama.

The encouragement is that Obama is approaching the race issue the right way, and the nation is ready to elect a black president. The warning is that it may not be as ready as polls suggest.

``Let's not kid ourselves again, the issue of race will not disappear; but I don't think it will predominate,'' the former Virginia governor said in an interview at his office in Richmond, where he is now mayor. At the same time, he said, even if Obama is the nominee and heads into the fall with an apparent lead, the election ``will be closer than any polls will suggest.''

Wilder, 77, is an authority in the matter. In 1989, he won the Democratic gubernatorial nomination in the overwhelmingly white onetime cradle of the Confederacy. Polls taken just before Election Day had put him ahead of his Republican competitor by as much as 10 percentage points; he won by less than half a percentage point.

Wilder said he believes Obama has done a good job so far in blunting the race issue. ``Obama, by not running as an African- American, has been able to show that race is coincidental to his being,'' rather than the centerpiece of his campaign, he said.

The message Obama, 46, sends to voters is ```I'm not being dominated by any groups,''' Wilder said. ``That includes African- Americans.''

`Ingrained Difficulty'

Wilder said he isn't surprised that Obama has run behind New York Senator Hillary Clinton among white voters in some states. Obama has faced more ``ingrained difficulty'' as a black candidate than Clinton has as a woman, Wilder said.

Bias against Clinton, 60, may have more to do with specific incidents that have reinforced stereotypes, he said. ``Hillary's reactions to things conjure up images that are not necessarily the healthiest in terms of hissy fits or reactions because of emotions, like the crying and the weeping and then forgetting somewhat that she did that,'' he said.

In Pennsylvania's April 22 Democratic primary, Obama lost by 10 points to Clinton as white Democrats voted for her by a 65-to- 35 percent margin. Black Democrats supported Obama by a 90-to-10 percent margin. In exit polls, 19 percent of Pennsylvania Democratic voters said race was important in making their choice.

`Struggling' for White Votes

Obama is ``struggling'' with white working-class voters in the nomination contest, Wilder said. ``I don't think that struggle will emanate through the general election because they have far more in common with him than they do with the Republican candidate.''

Discussing the Pennsylvania results yesterday in Indiana, Obama said ``we're continuing to make progress'' with white working-class voters. ``We haven't gone backwards, we're going forward.''

Still, Wilder said, Obama should be prepared for a discrepancy between polling and election results, which came to be known as the ``Wilder effect'' after the 1989 race.

Previously, it was dubbed the ``Bradley effect'' after Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley's 1982 gubernatorial loss in an election that polls had projected him to win. In both cases, exit surveys were inaccurate, leading pollsters to conclude that some white voters gave misleading answers to conceal racial prejudice. Polls before the Pennsylvania contest predicted a 5-point loss for Obama.

Wilder predicted a tight race for Obama against the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, Arizona Senator John McCain, if Obama does win the nomination. He said he had advised the candidate on how to handle the race issue.

`High Ground'

``I've told him to keep the high ground,'' Wilder said. ``Let the rest of us do what needed to be done'' in responding to attacks.

``I told him it's going to be very difficult, particularly running against a woman,'' he said. ``And racially it's going to be even more difficult.''

When Wilder ran for president for three months in 1992, internal polling in New Hampshire, the nation's first primary state, showed him at the top of the preference list based on his positions, his biography and his speeches, he said.

``As soon as my picture was put up associated with that, it would go down,'' he said.

This year, Obama was projected to win the Jan. 8 New Hampshire contest after beating Clinton in the Iowa caucuses on Jan. 3. Polls showed him ahead by 13 points. Yet Clinton beat him by 3 points in the Granite State.

``He should never have believed those New Hampshire polls, and I think now he recognizes that,'' Wilder said.

Pitch for Kaine

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

I found this NYT Editorial interesting since they endorsed Clinton

source: NYT

NY Times assails Clinton for negative campaign

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The New York Times, which endorsed Hillary Clinton for president, sharply criticized on Wednesday what it called her negative campaign against Barack Obama in the race for the Democratic nomination.

In editorial headlined "The Low Road to Victory," the Times called the campaign ahead of Tuesday's Pennsylvania primary "meaner, more vacuous, more desperate, and more filled with pandering than the mean, vacuous, desperate, pander-filled contests that preceded it."

It laid most of the blame on Clinton, endorsed in January as a knowledgeable and experienced candidate.

The editorial ran a day after Clinton scored a decisive victory over Obama in Pennsylvania, cutting into the Illinois senator's national lead in popular votes and delegates who will select the Democratic Party's nominee in August.

"It is past time for Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton to acknowledge that the negativity, for which she is mostly responsible, does nothing but harm to her, her opponent, her party and the 2008 election," the Times said.

The Democratic-leaning editorial page issued a warning about negativity in its January endorsement of Clinton, noting at the time, "We urge Mrs. Clinton to take the lead in changing the tone of the campaign. It is not good for the country, the Democratic Party or for Mrs. Clinton."

What is going on with Darfur

via the Washington Times:

Darfur casualty estimate rises to 300,000

By Betsy Pisik
April 23, 2008

NEW YORK — The senior U.N. humanitarian official yesterday raised by half the estimated casualties in Darfur, saying that as many as 300,000 had been killed by warfare, disease and hunger.

John Holmes, the U.N. undersecretary-general for humanitarian affairs, told the Security Council that the situation had worsened in the past four years, as the numbers of casualties and the displaced rose and as assaults on aid workers increased.

The new figure of 300,000 dead is not based on new surveys, Mr. Holmes said, but on "a reasonable extrapolation."

In 2006, the United Nations estimated 200,000 casualties. That figure had not been increased for two years, despite the cyclical fighting of Sudanese government and rebel forces against an ever-splintering assortment of well-armed rebel groups.

I guess this is part of playing politics

I admit it is one way to insure an easier path for your "real" candidate. Yesterday's election was more than just voting for your favorite person. Souce phillyburbs

Republicans switched for variety of reasons

The Intelligencer

Republicans-turned-Democrats flocked to the polls Tuesday for lots of reasons.

Some became disillusioned with the GOP. Some admitted they wanted to clear their real favorite's path to the White House in November. And others simply wanted a say in the historic primary.

In Bucks and Montgomery counties, the race attracted 50,000 new Democrats to the party. Statewide, they were joined by another 100,000.

One of them, Dan Henrich of Upper Moreland, called himself a “Democrat for the day.”

Last month he switched his party registration from Republican to vote for Barack Obama because in Pennsylvania voters must be registered members of a political party to vote in that party's primary.

“I'm not thrilled with [John] McCain,” he said. “I think Obama will bring a good amount of reform. Hillary [Clinton] makes me sick.”

But the 20-year-old Temple University political science student is a Republican at heart, especially when it comes to abortion.

“I am strongly pro-life,” said Henrich, who foresees the next president wielding tremendous influence in this area given the advanced ages of several Supreme Court justices.

He plans to go back to the GOP, primarily for local election reasons, but is still undecided if the November general election battle is between McCain and Obama.

Henrich said he does have reservations about the Arizona senator, especially over the war in Iraq and his plan to continue some Bush policies. But a McCain-Clinton race is a no-brainer for him.

Republican re-registration cards were available at every polling place, geared toward people like Henrich who have strayed from the flock for this monumental day but are truly Republicans. The message is clear — we will welcome you back with open arms.

In Langhorne, more than a dozen voters in the borough snatched forms to re-register as Republicans after casting their votes for one of the two Democrat candidates, poll workers said.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

A Quote for the Day

Today give a stranger one of your smiles. It might be the only sunshine he sees all day.

One Way to know our military is stretched...

constant lowering of standards/eligibility

via aolnews: click the link for the complete article

More Convicted Felons Allowed to Enlist

Posted: 2008-04-22 07:46:52
Filed Under: Nation News
WASHINGTON (April 21) - Under pressure to meet combat needs, the Army and Marine Corps brought in significantly more recruits with felony convictions last year than in 2006, including some with manslaughter and sex crime convictions.

Data released by a congressional committee shows the number of soldiers admitted to the Army with felony records jumped from 249 in 2006 to 511 in 2007. And the number of Marines with felonies rose from 208 to 350.

Those numbers represent a fraction of the more than 180,000 recruits brought in by the active duty Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines during the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 2007. But they highlight a trend that has raised concerns both within the military and on Capitol Hill.

The bulk of the crimes involved were burglaries, other thefts, and drug offenses, but nine involved sex crimes and six involved manslaughter or vehicular homicide convictions. Several dozen Army and Marine recruits had aggravated assault or robbery convictions, including incidents involving weapons.

Both the Army and Marine Corps have been struggling to increase their numbers as part of a broader effort to meet the combat needs of a military fighting wars on two fronts. As a result, the number of recruits needing waivers for crimes or other bad conduct has grown in recent years, as well as those needing medical or aptitude waivers.

Happy Earth Day!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Quote for the day

could be a repeat but I like it. I've been complaining a bit too much this past week

Pain is inevitable, misery is an option

Came across this widget

does anyone know how accurate it is?

click here to learn more

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Quote for the day

There is not a word on my tongue, but behold, O Lord, You know it altogether. - Psalm 139:4

Friday, April 18, 2008

Being a Californian this bothers me - UNEMPLOYMENT

especially with the mayor and our council people approving hikes for LADWP (on top of all the surcharges LADWP tack on each month anyway). I'm glad the LA Times is covering it, the full article is on their page:

By Marc Lifsher, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
12:22 PM PDT, April 18, 2008
SACRAMENTO -- California's unemployment rate rose by a whopping half a percentage point in March, reaching 6.2% as a weakening economy shed jobs in the ailing construction and financial activities sectors. In all, 1.13 million were unemployed.

The Economic Development Department reported that March's unemployment was the highest since July 2004, when the rate was also 6.2%.

Unemployment is up 1.2% from a year ago, with 229,000 more Californians looking for work.

Although total nonfarm jobs increased by 1,000 compared to February, the number of unemployed people rose by 84,000 last month, the state said.

"This is a huge increase," said Howard Roth, chief economist for the state Department of Finance. He blamed the steady rise in joblessness -- up from 5.0% in March 2007 -- on deterioration of the crucial housing market. "The bubble has a slow leak, so it's hard to tell how long it will take" to fully deflate, he said.

The rise in unemployment during March affected all of Southern California, with the worst effects in the Inland Empire. The rate in Riverside County -- not seasonally adjusted -- rose to 7.4% from 7.0%, while in San Bernardino County it rose to 6.7% from 6.3%.

Unemployment in Los Angeles County hit 5.8%, up three-tenths of a percentage point from the previous month.

The uptick in people losing their jobs "means more bad news ahead for state and local [government] budgets," said Stephen Levy, director and chief economist of the Center for the Continuing Study of the California Economy in Palo Alto.

Next month, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and state lawmakers must grapple with plunging tax revenue and a projected $8-billion-plus budget deficit as they prepare the state's spending plan for the fiscal year beginning July 1.

I honestly did not see this endorsement coming

Robert Reich endorses Obama via his blog. Actually he has an interesting blog, today was my first time reading it so I encourage you to read his blog at this link:

Anyway, here is a partial of what was written in his blog today:

Friday, April 18, 2008
Obama for President

The formal act of endorsing a candidate is generally (and properly)limited to editorial pages and elected officials whose constituents might be influenced by their choice. The rest of us shouldn't assume anyone cares. My avoidance of offering a formal endorsement until now has also been affected by the pull of old friendships and my reluctance as a teacher and commentator to be openly partisan. But my conscience won't let me be silent any longer.

I believe that Barack Obama should be elected President of the United States.

Although Hillary Clinton has offered solid and sensible policy proposals, Obama's strike me as even more so. His plans for reforming Social Security and health care have a better chance of succeeding. His approaches to the housing crisis and the failures of our financial markets are sounder than hers. His ideas for improving our public schools and confronting the problems of poverty and inequality are more coherent and compelling. He has put forward the more enlightened foreign policy and the more thoughtful plan for controlling global warming.

He also presents the best chance of creating a new politics in which citizens become active participants rather than cynical spectators. He has energized many who had given up on politics. He has engaged young people to an extent not seen in decades. He has spoken about the most difficult problems our society faces, such as race, without spinning or simplifying. He has rightly identified the armies of lawyers and lobbyists that have commandeered our democracy, and pointed the way toward taking it back.

In the News: Marriage Scams and the Military

I'm sure things like this have been going on for years. CNN posted this online today, of course their website will have the complete article. I commend those in the military and any profession that speak out against people in their ranks that give them a bad name. :

Prosecutors: U.S. sailors' marriages a scam

NEW YORK, New York (CNN) -- It was a scam involving green cards and greed, prosecutors said Thursday.

Dozens of young Eastern European women have been accused of marrying U.S. sailors not for love but for the right to stay in the United States. The sailors received marriage benefits they were not entitled to, court papers said.

In recent days, federal authorities have arrested 33 couples in eight states, including New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Georgia and California, and charged them with marriage fraud.

One woman taken into custody Wednesday by U.S. marshals in Queens, New York, was found in an apartment with her boyfriend. Handcuffed and put into a police car, she denied the charge, saying, "It's not an illegal marriage."

Agents with the Naval Criminal Investigative Service said the sailors were in on the scam, which ultimately cost the Navy about $500,000.

What we see are small pockets of friends forming this conspiracy," said Samuel Worth, special agent in charge of the Naval Criminal Investigation Service in Norfolk, Virginia.

The sailors, based at Naval Station Norfolk, are said to have met the women at bars and restaurants in nearby Virginia Beach or were set up by Navy buddies.

In some cases, documents show, the couples married within hours of meeting.

"I don't know if they targeted sailors, but they did meet them, befriended them, and a verbal contract was formed," said Deputy Chief Jim Cervera of the Virginia Beach Police Department.

According to the indictment, the sailors are accused of receiving thousands of dollars in housing allowances to which they were not entitled. The women, most of whom are from Russia or Ukraine and had arrived on work or student visas, got a fast track to citizenship.

Some of them received military identification cards from the Defense Department, exposing a security vulnerability, Worth said. "In these cases, we don't know where they come from or what their intentions are."

Five of the accused sailors served on the USS Iwo Jima, an amphibious assault ship. Two others served on the USS Wasp, also an amphibious assault ship. Those on active duty were taken from the ships to face charges in Virginia, which added another cost.

"There's an impact to mission readiness," Worth said. "Those sailors have to be replaced, and the replacements have to be trained."

Thursday, April 17, 2008

I admit I voted for Bill Clinton, but the man just lies

like no one I know. It really is driving me nuts. Anyway, here is another example. To be fair I believe all politicians lie. They embellish. I guess I'm just a bit worn about this entire over-blowing of the bitter thing. I'm just saying. I think too it is because I honestly did not believe the Clintons had to resort to some of the tactics they've done recently. It's more like they turned me off rather than other candidates turning me on.

Over seven stops in North Carolina, Clinton said "Everywhere I go there are all these people with signs, saying I'm not bitter - I'm not bitter."

Clinton said during a stop in Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania "this fellow said to me... "President Clinton, we are not bitter, we just want to turn the country around." Clinton said another supporter in North Carolina said "I hunt 'cause I like to and I go church 'cause I need to. And if I were a millionaire, I would still hunt and go to church.' He said what we need is to get this country together, get it on the road and go forward. So that is what this election is about. And we all gotta go forward together. We all have to go forward together."

The strong sentiments were appreciated by the crowd, but were not entirely accurate. During Clinton's seven stops in North Carolina on Saturday there were no "I'm not bitter" signs. There was a small assortment of people at his later events wearing stickers with the slogan, but many of those sporting the stickers weren't even sure what they meant. Clinton also was a bit confused about his encounter in Pennsylvania. The conversation actually took place at an earlier event in Bloomsburg, PA - or so Clinton told the crowd in Bloomsburg.

More in the news about food situation

Found via CNN today. Check their website for the complete article:

U.N.: N. Korea faces food crisis

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) -- North Korea faces a looming food crisis due to floods last year, the U.N. food agency said.

Food prices at North Korean markets have doubled while state rations are dwindling, the World Food Program said Wednesday.

Key donors such as China and South Korea are not expected to send as much direct assistance to the North as they have in the past.

"The food security situation in the (North) is clearly bad and getting worse," Tony Banbury, WFP Asia regional director, said in a statement. "It is increasingly likely that external assistance will be urgently required to avert a serious tragedy."

Jean-Pierre de Margerie, WFP's country director in North Korea, said by telephone from Pyongyang that North Korean officials were admitting for the first time that the state ration system -- already erratic in providing food to the country's 23 million people -- was breaking down.

"It's a bit of a perfect storm shaping up," he said.

Prices of staple foods have doubled in the past year in the capital. A kilogram (2.2 pounds) of rice now costs about a third of a typical worker's monthly salary of 6,000 won (about US$2), WFP said.

In another blow to the food situation, direct aid from North Korea's two top donors -- China and South Korea -- is also expected to decline this year.

Due to rising food prices, China has restricted its exports and is not expected to send as much to its communist ally as in the past, de Margerie said.

Is anyone paying attention?

Sometimes there are things that are happening that I personally believe deserves more coverage than if Britney Spears got her restraining order extended. So many people are affected by this yet so many decide to spend their lives on things that really don't matter. I understand that when things are crazy people like to surround themselves with fluff but ignoring pressing issues does not make them go away. Anyway, this coverage about food supply is taken from the New York Times. You can find the complete article by clicking this link. - a Thnker

A Drought in Australia, a Global Shortage of Rice

Published: April 17, 2008

DENILIQUIN, Australia — Lindsay Renwick, the mayor of this dusty southern Australian town, remembers the constant whir of the rice mill. “It was our little heartbeat out there, tickety-tick-tickety,” he said, imitating the giant fans that dried the rice, “and now it has stopped.”

The Deniliquin mill, the largest rice mill in the Southern Hemisphere, once processed enough grain to meet the needs of 20 million people around the world. But six long years of drought have taken a toll, reducing Australia’s rice crop by 98 percent and leading to the mothballing of the mill last December.

Ten thousand miles separate the mill’s hushed rows of oversized silos and sheds — beige, gray and now empty — from the riotous streets of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, but a widening global crisis unites them.

The collapse of Australia’s rice production is one of several factors contributing to a doubling of rice prices in the last three months — increases that have led the world’s largest exporters to restrict exports severely, spurred panicked hoarding in Hong Kong and the Philippines, and set off violent protests in countries including Cameroon, Egypt, Ethiopia, Haiti, Indonesia, Italy, Ivory Coast, Mauritania, the Philippines, Thailand, Uzbekistan and Yemen.

Drought affects every agricultural industry based here, not just rice — from sheepherding, the other mainstay in this dusty land, to the cultivation of wine grapes, the fastest-growing crop here, with that expansion often coming at the expense of rice.

The drought’s effect on rice has produced the greatest impact on the rest of the world, so far. It is one factor contributing to skyrocketing prices, and many scientists believe it is among the earliest signs that a warming planet is starting to affect food production.

It is difficult to definitely link short-term changes in weather to long-term climate change, but the unusually severe drought is consistent with what climatologists predict will be a problem of increasing frequency.

Indeed, the chief executive of the National Farmers’ Federation in Australia, Ben Fargher, says, “Climate change is potentially the biggest risk to Australian agriculture.”

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Another Quote for the Day

Nothing splendid has ever been achieved except by those who dared believe that something inside of them was superior to circumstance

I can't imagine the horror his daughters witnessed

Read about this Shea stadium fan and I really can't imagine. I pray for his family, especially his two daughters. Complete article found at Sports Illustrated at this link:

Fan falls to death at Shea Stadium

NEW YORK (AP) -- A man attending a New York Mets game with his family lost his balance on an escalator and fell two stories to his death, police said.

Antonio Nararainsami, 36, and several relatives, including his two young daughters, were leaving the stadium at the end of Tuesday night's game against the Washington Nationals when he fell in a section below the left field stands and landed on a concrete floor. Nararainsami, a Guyanese native who lived in Brooklyn, was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead half an hour later.

Kevin Prashad, a cousin who attended the game, said Nararainsami was walking down the escalator, which wasn't moving, and was holding the hand rail when he "lost his footing."

The Mets said in a statement that they had been "advised of a tragic accident that resulted in the death of a fan." They said team officials and police were investigating.

"Our deepest and heartfelt condolences go out to the fan's family," the team's statement said.

The death of Nararainsami, who was wearing a Mets cap when he fell, appeared to be an accident, and no charges had been filed, police said.

Nararainsami installed heating and air conditioning systems for a living, loved sports and was the captain of a local cricket club, his relatives said. His wife, pregnant with their third child, had stayed home while he attended the game.

Nararainsami's death wasn't the first at Shea. In 1985, a 21-year-old Yonkers man fell 100 feet from an escalator and was killed.

People will stoop to any level

A Quote for the Day

The best way of avenging thyself is not to become like the wrong-doer. - Marcus Aurelius Antoninus

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Another sign about the condition of our economy

The New York Times ran an article about businesses declaring bankruptcies. Read the entire article at this link:

Retailing Chains Caught in a Wave of Bankruptcies

Published: April 15, 2008

The consumer spending slump and tightening credit markets are unleashing a widening wave of bankruptcies in American retailing, prompting thousands of store closings that are expected to remake suburban malls and downtown shopping districts across the country.

Since last fall, eight mostly midsize chains — as diverse as the furniture store Levitz and the electronics seller Sharper Image — have filed for bankruptcy protection as they staggered under mounting debt and declining sales.

But the troubles are quickly spreading to bigger national companies, like Linens ‘n Things, the bedding and furniture retailer with 500 stores in 47 states. It may file for bankruptcy as early as this week, according to people briefed on the matter.

Even retailers that can avoid bankruptcy are shutting down stores to preserve cash through what could be a long economic downturn. Over the next year, Foot Locker said it would close 140 stores, Ann Taylor will start to shutter 117, and the jeweler Zales will close 100.

The surging cost of necessities has led to a national belt-tightening among consumers. Figures released on Monday showed that spending on food and gasoline is crowding out other purchases, leaving people with less to spend on furniture, clothing and electronics. Consequently, chains specializing in those goods are proving vulnerable.

Retailing is a business with big ups and downs during the year, and retailers rely heavily on borrowed money to finance their purchases of merchandise and even to meet payrolls during slow periods. Yet the nation’s banks, struggling with the growing mortgage crisis, have started to balk at extending new loans, effectively cutting up the retail industry’s collective credit cards.

“You have the makings of a wave of significant bankruptcies,” said Al Koch, who helped bring Kmart out of bankruptcy in 2003 as the company’s interim chief financial officer and works at a corporate turnaround firm called AlixPartners.

Oil in the News

Another CNN article, this one about the price of oil. As always, full article at the link.

NEW YORK ( -- Crude oil prices rose to a new record high above $113 a barrel Tuesday as the U.S. dollar weakened further against the euro.

Light, sweet crude for May delivery rose to a new trading high of $113.93 a barrel in early morning electronic trading. The previous high of $112.21 was set April 9.

Oil settled at a record closing high of $111.76 a barrel on Monday.

"The path to $115 is cleared," said Stephen Schork, publisher of the oil trading newsletter The Schork Report.

Ringing dollar bell

The latest surge in crude prices is partly due to weakness in the U.S. dollar, analysts said. As the dollar has dropped versus the euro, many investors have flocked to commodities such as oil and gold to preserve the value of their assets.

"Those Pavlovian dogs are barking. Until someone breaks them out of that paradigm, they're going to keep trading that way," said Schork.

The euro bought $1.5865 early Tuesday, up from $1.5808 the previous session. The euro hit an all-time high against the dollar last Thursday.

Traders are also trying to get ahead of rising demand for crude as refineries finish their maintenance cycles and begin gearing up for fuel production over the next few months, Schork said.

Glad to know we've had 1000 visitors

Hope you enjoy this blog (even in areas of disagreement). We don't always agree with each other but we do respect others views. We try to refrain from people who just rant though. There is so much going on with the world and in the world. Please take time to think.

McCain and the Media

He seems to be liked across the board by the media - liberal and conservative. (I actually get tired of those labels). Anyway an MSNBC article had more, click the link for full story:

McCain: Speaking to his base, the media

Posted: Tuesday, April 15, 2008 9:14 AM by Mark Murray

This piece by the Washington Post’s Milbank might generate some discussion today. “So much for the liberal media. John McCain and Barack Obama both appeared before the nation's newspaper editors yesterday. The putative Republican presidential nominee was given a box of doughnuts and a standing ovation. The likely Democratic nominee was likened to a terrorist.” More: “McCain got a standing ovation -- an honor Obama did not receive when his turn came two hours later.”

The Wall Street Journal previews McCain’s economic speech. "Mixing austerity and tax cuts, Sen. John McCain is laying out an economic plan that includes increased Medicare premiums for wealthy seniors and a one-year freeze on spending along with a proposal to review a vast swath of federal programs. In a major economic speech Tuesday, the likely Republican presidential nominee also acknowledges economic distress among students and families.”

“He plans to aid students caught in the credit crunch who may have trouble obtaining college loans and to call for another big tax cut -- this one helping families with children. The proposals, combined with those he has already put on the table, show the Arizona senator's mixed approach to economics. He pushes tax cuts, a traditional Republican favorite; government reforms, such as an end to pork-barrel projects; and new spending for those he sees as deserving, such as students looking for loans and homeowners who need to refinance their troubled mortgages."

Bloomberg News also previews the McCain speech: "To ease gasoline prices, which average $3.37 a gallon nationally, McCain will propose a ‘gas-tax holiday,’ scrapping the 18.4 cents-per-gallon federal levy from Memorial Day to Labor Day this year. ‘Because the cost of gas affects the price of food, packaging, and just about everything else, these immediate steps will help to spread relief across the American economy,' McCain will say in the speech."

US responds to the food shortage

I admit that anything these various food shortages are a bit scary to me. I find myself looking for as much news about the shortages and the various responses. I am glad that President Bush is not ignoring what is happening. The entire link for this particular article can be found at the CNN website at this link - AnIntelligentMind

-- U.S. President George W. Bush has ordered the release of $200 million in emergency aid to help countries where the soaring cost of basic food has spurred riots and instability.

The money, to be drawn down from a food reserve, will address food needs in Africa and elsewhere, the White House said.

The announcement follows an appeal to the international community by World Bank President Robert Zoellick.

"The international community must fill the at least a $500 million food gap identified by the U.N.'s World Food Programme to meet emergency needs," he said. "Governments should be able to come up with this assistance and come up with it now."

The United States is the world's largest provider of food aid, delivering more than $2.1 billion in food aid to 78 countries last year, the White House said in a statement.

Riots from Haiti to Bangladesh to Egypt over surging food prices have brought the issue to a boiling point and catapulted it to the forefront of the world's attention.

"This is the world's big story," said Jeffrey Sachs, director of Columbia University's Earth Institute

Quote for the day

Your problems will be large or small according to whether your thinking and faith are large or small.

Monday, April 14, 2008

I can actually believe this

I never really saw Condoleezza Rice as trying to be a VP - at least at this time. I think it was just a lot of talk or she might have had a fleeting interest. You never know but I would be extremely surprised if she was offered or accept running as a VP. I don't get that she is just giving lip service to not running either. Anyway, via ABCNews, which has the complete article:

Rice Shoots Down VP Rumors

April 14, 2008 7:26 PM

ABC News Kirit Radia Reports: Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice poured cold water on rumors that she was angling for the vice presidential spot on presumptive Republican nominee John McCain's White House bid.

"I do not want to be, don't intend to be, won't be on his ticket," she told the Associated Press in an interview in Alabama today where she received an honorary degree from Air University at Maxwell-Gunter Air Force Base.

"It's time for me to do something else," she added, saying she would return to Stanford University after the Bush administration leaves office next January.

Rice praised Sen. McCain, of Arizonia, as "an amazing man" with "great intellect" but said the last time she spoke with him was last month after his passport file had been breached.

Speculation that Rice was lobbying for the VP job swirled after Republican strategist Dan Senor said on ABC's This Week with George Stephanopoulos that "Condi Rice has been actively, actually in recent weeks, campaigning for this."

It was later revealed that Rice delivered a speech to an influential conservative group and separately addressed other issues such as race that are typically beyond her foreign policy portfolio as Secretary of State. Her spokesman consistently denied she would do anything other than return to teaching.

So Bill & Hilary being Bill & Hilary have selective memory

When people like to blow things up into something that it isn't, at least be consistent. I found the NewsBusters article pretty relevant to the show that Mrs. Clinton is putting on now. I do believe Mrs. Clinton is a hard worker but she stoops to a level I can't respect. Too often she is playing this "Big Boys are ganging up on me" routine when it doesn't hold water since she has a lot of "Big Boys" in her corner working in front of and behind the scenes. Bottom line, when Bill's term was over everyone "knew" Hilary would get her turn and she is now doing whatever it takes to get that chance no matter what dirt it involves. - AThinker

Will Media Remember Gov. Clinton's 'Insecure White People' Remarks?

Photo of Noel Sheppard.
By Noel Sheppard | April 14, 2008 - 00:27 ET

By now you've likely heard about Democrat presidential candidate Barack Obama's recent gaffe concerning high unemployment in small towns making Americans "cling to guns, or religion, or antipathy to people who aren't like them."

With this in mind, if media really are in the tank for Obama, and want to help him navigate this minefield he's created for himself, maybe they should look at some speeches Gov. Bill Clinton made in 1991 and 1992 that typically involved some form of the phrase "economically insecure white people."

Although Clinton was typically talking about how, in his view, Republicans tried to use race to gin up votes amongst financially struggling Caucasians, the similarities would certainly be enough to deflect attention away from Obama, assuming this was the press's modus operandi.

For instance, the Los Angeles Times reported on September 17, 1991 (emphasis added, h/t Huffington Post):

In complaining that President Bush has been exploiting the race issue to divide the Democrats, Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton, a probable presidential contender, said: "The reason (Bush's tactic) works so well now is that you have all these economically insecure white people who are scared to death."

As Clinton sees it, Bush has been telling worried white workers: You're right. I won't do anything for you. Government can't do anything for you. But at least I won't do anything to you.

In fact, if media did a little digging, they'd find this to be quite a common theme of Clinton's back then:

  • Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton, trying to convince Alabama Democrats to support his presidential bid, accused Republicans of trying to woo white voters by preying on unfounded racial fears.

    Clinton told a meeting of the Alabama Democratic Party black caucus that Republicans "find the most economically insecure white folks and go scare the living daylights out of them." -- AP, October 13, 1991

  • Why does the President refuse to let a civil rights bill pass? Because he knows that the people he is dependent on for his electoral majority -- white working class men and women, mostly men, have had their incomes decline in the 1980s and they may return to their natural home, someone who offers them real economic opportunity. And so he is dredging up the same old tactic that the hard right has employed in my part of the country, in the South, since I was a child. When everything gets (hyped ?) and you think you're going to lose those people, you find the most economically insecure white people and you scare the living daylights out of them. -- Georgetown University, October 23, 1991
  • 1,000 Illinois Democrats had gathered in Chicago for their annual fund-raising dinner. Clinton, 45, was determined to give them his best shot. And he did, vigorously attacking George Bush: ''You know, he wants to divide us over race. I'm from the South. I understand this,'' Clinton croaked. ''This quota deal they're gonna pull in the next election is the same old scam they've been pulling on us for decade after decade after decade. When their economic policies fail, when the country's coming apart rather than coming together, what do they do? They find the most economically insecure white men and scare the living daylights out of them.'' -- Sunday Times, November 3, 1991
  • "If you were in the do-nothing faction and you were about to get voted out, you just found the most economically insecure white people and scared the living hell out of them. We were raised on his. . . What did it do for us? Nothing. Kept us down. Kept us flat. All the progress we've made in the South, we've made since we started working together again.'' -- Houston Chronicle, June 7, 1992
Are we likely to see such reports in the coming days? Stay tuned.

Quote for the Day

Love does not consist of gazing at each other, but in looking together in the same direction

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Please don't try to justify this mess

Glad he did some good things in his life but it does not take away from what is wrong nor the impact on the life of his daughter. Truly sad to read this on MYVOICEDC today. Please click the link for more information. - ATHINKER

Civil Rights Leader Convicted of Incest

April 11th, 2008

Associated Press Writer

LEESBURG, Va. – A jury convicted an iconic civil-rights figure of incest Thursday after concluding that he had sex with his teenage daughter 15 years ago. The Rev. James L. Bevel, 71, a top lieutenant to Martin Luther King Jr. who also helped organize the Million Man March, faces up to 20 years in prison when he is sentenced.

The four-day trial in Loudoun County Circuit Court included bizarre testimony about Bevel’s philosophies for eradicating lust, and parents’ duty to “sexually orient” their children.

Bevel’s daughter testified that she was repeatedly molested by Bevel beginning when she was just 6 years old, culminating in an act of sexual intercourse in 1993 or 1994 that formed the basis of the incest charge.

The jury reached its verdict after about three hours of deliberations.

Before the verdict, the jury had heard only passing reference to Bevel’s role in the civil rights movement. But during the sentencing phase of the trial Thursday afternoon, the jury saw a documentary that spelled out Bevel’s key role in organizing the 1963 Birmingham Children’s Crusade. Bevel and King were leading organizers of the marches, in which police turned fire hoses and dogs on child protesters, drawing international attention to the brutality that was keeping segregation in place in the South.

Bevel was also a leading organizer at other iconic events in the civil rights movement, including the 1965 march at Selma, Ala.

Prosecutor Nicole Wittmann acknowledged Bevel’s accomplishments but said the jury shouldn’t be swayed by them.

“There’s nothing I can say to take away what this man has accomplished, but there are two Jim Bevels,” Wittmann told the jury. “We’re talking about the one who had sex with his child.”

Jurors heard a phone call between Bevel and his daughter in which he never explicitly admits to sexual intercourse but seems to take for granted that it occurred. During the call he explains the importance of teaching his daughter “the science of marriage” and admits that he did not want her to get pregnant after the incident.

Family members who confronted Bevel in 2004 testified that Bevel read a written accusation by his daughter and replied that he did not contest the facts she laid out.

But Bevel denied the charge on the witness stand. He testified that his family mistakenly perceived his refusal to deny the specific allegations against him as an admission of guilt.

Public defender Bonnie Hoffman urged the jury to ignore evidence that Bevel led an unconventional, communal lifestyle in which he taught that it was parents’ duty to “sexually orient” their children.

Instead, she told the jury to focus on the single incident for which Bevel was charged: an act of sexual intercourse that occurred in 1993 or 1994 while the daughter was a teenager and was living with her father in Leesburg.

Hoffman said there were questions about the timeline — the daughter said she could not recall exactly what year the act occurred, and her recollection of when she lived in Virginia did not fully mesh with school records and other testimony.

Hoffman also questioned why the daughter returned to voluntarily live with her father after the alleged incest. The daughter testified that she went back because she had nowhere else to go.

Prosecutor Nicole Wittmann warned the jury against getting confused by Bevel’s sometimes convoluted explanations of his philosophies and his justifications for his actions.

“There’s no excuse for his philosophy in the law, or whether he’s eccentric, or whether he’s an historical figure. … There’s no exception” Wittmann said.

The Associated Press generally does not identify the victims of sexual abuse. The daughter is one of 16 children Bevel said he has had with several different women.

The trial divided members of Bevel’s large family, with relatives testifying for both the prosecutor and defense.

Even the daughter expressed mixed emotions. As she waited Thursday for a verdict, she was occasionally joined by her father as the two smiled and cooed over the daughter’s new baby girl — Bevel’s granddaughter.

“The hardest part is I love my father, and I wish he loved me as much as I love him,” The daughter told jurors during the sentencing phase.

I've never watched Dave Chapelle

so can someone tell me what his skit was about. I'm trying to figure out the tie in to this CNN news article, which I've partially posted. Please check out link for original article.

Ohio state troopers disciplined for Ku Klux Klan photo

SANDUSKY, Ohio (AP) -- A highway patrolman who was photographed in a handmade Ku Klux Klan costume while on duty the day before the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday has been suspended without pay, authorities said.

A fellow trooper who transmitted the cell-phone photo of white-masked lawman has been demoted.

Craig Franklin, a 12-year veteran of the Ohio Highway Patrol, is pictured in the January 20 photo with a white cone on his head, white paper mask and a white cloth covering his shoulders, according to a highway patrol report.

Franklin is otherwise in trooper uniform. A handgun holster, a radio normally issued by the patrol and other police equipment can be seen in the photo, the report said.

Franklin and Trooper Eric Wlodarsky told an investigator that the picture was taken as a joke and was modeled on a television skit by comedian Dave Chappelle.

Highway patrol officials began an investigation after the patrol's Administrative Investigative Unit received an anonymous letter that included two photographs of Franklin in the outfit, an interoffice memo said.

Franklin, Wlodarsky, another trooper and a dispatcher discussed Martin Luther King Jr. Day at their post on the day the photo was taken, the report said. The national holiday was the following day.

None of the 13 troopers assigned to the Sandusky post are black.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Sometimes I just don't get the Democrats

They say they are for the common people all the time but so many things their party do is like some type of "club". I already get a headache with the entire joke of a delegate, superdelegate thing and now this "wanting to get paid" to support? Some of the Philadelphia party members will have to explain this mentality of entitlement to me. I found this on Reuters what are your thoughts? I don't know whether it is politics or food banks. I always have volunteered for "free" so maybe I don't get the entire paying volunteers thing. Again, what are your views? Does this go on everywhere? Here's a bit of the story found online:

Democratic candidate Barack Obama, who has built his candidacy on the promise of a “new kind of politics,” has run up against the old kind of politics in Philadelphia.

The Los Angeles Times reports that Obama’s refusal to pay “street money” to volunteers in Pennsylvania’s largest city may cost him support in the state’s April 22 primary.

Local party leaders in Philadelphia expect candidates to deliver cash to help them get out the vote, the Times says. Teens who hand out leaflets typically get a $10 bill, while more experienced volunteers can get up to $100. The total for America’s sixth-largest city could come to $500,000.

“This is a machine city, and ward leaders have to pay their committee people,” ward leader and Obama supporter Carol Ann Campbell told the Times.

Obama often rails against the influence of money in politics, and his campaign has told Philadelphia officials they should expect no street money.

That could cost him support in an area where he will have to run up large margins to counteract rival Hillary Clinton’s strength elsewhere in the state, the Times said. Local officials expect the Clinton campaign will have no qualms about handing out street money, which is legal and has been a fixture in previous presidential campaigns.

Obama’s stance could also cause resentment among the city’s poor, black voters, who see the black candidate’s well-funded campaign spending lavishly on TV ads but freezing out field workers for whom a $50 bill would be a big payday.

Now I see why the USPS always want rate hikes

Found this goodie via USA Today. Don't forget the next rate increase is coming this May. Too bad I'm still having trouble with getting my packages delivered. I guess when the mail carrier in my area gets tired of delivering they stop and do some bogus "notice left" swipe even when there is no notice or attempt made for trackable packages. Anyway, here is the story:

U.S. Postal Service defends $13,500 dinner charge

The U.S. Postal Service is defending the decision to spend $13,500 at a steakhouse in Orlando, telling the South Florida Sun-Sentinel that this was a reasonable expense designed to "woo corporate clients."

Federal investigators reported earlier this week that postal employees spent about $160 a person for the 2006 meal at Ruth's Chris Steak House in Orlando:

For this occasion, USPS paid for 81 dinners averaging over $160 per person for customers of the Postal Customer Council at an upscale steak restaurant. Further, USPS paid for over 200 appetizers and over $3,000 of alcohol, including more than 40 bottles of wine costing more than $50 each and brand-name liquor such as Courvoisier, Belvedere, and Johnny Walker Gold.

They charged the tab to government purchase cards.

"This is not taxpayer money. What we spend is what we make. The Postal Service is funded solely by our products and services," spokesman Gerry McKiernan tells the paper.

That doesn't assuage the concerns of GAO investigator Gregory Kutz.

"For the most part, my stamps helped pay for the dinner," he tells the Sun-Sentinel. "Every time you lick a stamp, think about Ruth's Chris."

(File photo by Damian Dovarganes, AP.)