Those whose arguments are empty of fact are usually full of shit. --David Porter
Get it out there. Call, write, talk, inform.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Jack-Booted Thugs Gone Wild

This is disgusing on so many levels. It would be difficult to believe that the mayor doesn't have a good case for entrapment. Deliver drugs mayor's house, wait till mayor's mother takes package inside, break door down, shoot dogs. Unreal.

Maryland Mayor's Dogs Killed By SWAT Team After Cops Deliver Pot

BERWYN HEIGHTS, Md. — A SWAT team raided the home of a Washington, D.C.-area mayor, killing his two black Labrador retrievers and seizing an unopened package of marijuana delivered there.

Prince George's County Police said Berwyn Heights Mayor Cheye Calvo brought a 32-pound package of marijuana into his home that had been delivered by officers posing as delivery men. The Tuesday evening raid was conducted by county police narcotics officers and a sheriff's office SWAT Team.

The package was addressed to Calvo's wife, Trinity Tomsic. His mother-in-law had asked the supposed delivery men to leave the package outside. Calvo has not been charged, though police said he, his wife and his mother-in-law are "persons of interest" in an ongoing investigation.

"We never opened the box. We have nothing to do with this box," Calvo said.

Sheriff's office spokesman Sgt. Mario Ellis says deputies "apparently felt threatened" when they shot the dogs.

Calvo said officers entered about 7:30 p.m., first shooting 7-year-old Payton. They then pursued 4-year-old Chase, who ran away and was shot by police from behind, he said.

Calvo said he doesn't have any idea how the package ended up at his house. He called the raid "the most traumatic experience" of his life.

Calvo, who called his town "Mayberry inside the Capital Beltway," gets a small stipend as mayor and works at the SEED Foundation, a nonprofit that runs public boarding schools for at-risk students. His wife works as a state finance officer.

"These were two beautiful black Labradors who were well-known in the community. We walked them twice a day; little kids knew their names and would come up to them and pet them," he said.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Stop Your Whining about Taxes

Right now, July 2008, the tax rate for the wealthiest Americans is at it lowest level since the Great Depression. The Super-Rich are being taxed at such a low rate, in fact, that Warren Buffett (the 3rd richest man in the world) has said that the Super-Rich need to start paying their fair share of taxes.

Buffet has offered $1 million to ANY of his fellow CEOs who can prove that they pay a higher tax rate than their secretaries. Buffet admitted that he himself pays at a tax rate of 17.7 percent but that the secretaries in his office pay a tax rate of about 32.9 percent. Buffet says that he doesn’t use accountants or tax shelters to decrease his tax rate he only uses the normal tax code.

The change in people’s After-Tax Income from 1979 to 2005 illustrates just how much the rich are getting richer and the poor getting nowhere at all. The amount of income that people have left over after they have paid their taxes has increased:
228% for the richest 1%
80% for the top fifth
30% for the fourth fifth
21% for the middle fifth
16% for the second fifth
6% for the bottom fifth.

The top .01 percent of the Richest families have 22% of the nation’s wealth.
Let me make that easier for you: 14,000 families have almost a quarter of all the wealth in America.

Contrast that with the bottom 90% of families. These 133, 000 families (yes, this is the category you are probably in) have just 4% of the nation’s wealth!

14,000 families have 22% of all the wealth.
133,000 families have 4% of all the wealth.

Both the wars we are fighting right now, in Afghanistan and in Iraq, are costing $10 to $12 Billion per month. Think about that--Every month we spend over $10 Billion dollars. To date, American Taxpayers have spent $628 Billion on the wars. I wonder what else America could do with $628 Billion?

America needs everyone to pay their fair share for these wars. Who do you think has more difficulty spending $80 to fill up the gas tank, someone who makes $35,000 a year and pays a tax rate of 32.9 percent or someone who makes $500,000 a year and pays a tax rate of 17.7 percent?

The White House has predicted a record $482 Billion deficit for the 2009 budget year.

The federal deficit is the difference between what the government spends and what it takes in from taxes and other revenue sources. The government must borrow money to make up the difference.

While the deficit would be a record in absolute dollar terms, it would be below the 2004 deficit, 3.6 percent of GDP, and the record deficit of 1983, 6 percent of GDP, when compared with the size of the overall U.S. economy. (Notice those years folks, ALL with Republican presidents and Republican controlled Congress.)

So if you are one who complains about taxes, you should ask yourself why 14,000 families who have 22% of all the wealth and pay less in taxes (as a percentage of income) than you do.

Like Father Like Son

Uh oh, it seems that trouble is a brewin' for the McCain's.

Andrew K. McCain, son of John McCain, has resigned two high posts in the banking industry.

Andrew McCain stepped down from the boards of Silver State Bancorp and Silver State Bank of southern Nevada for "personal reasons". Uh-huh, like he doesn't want to be dragged down with a failing bank that the American Taxpayers will have to bail out?

Shares of Silver State Bancorp, of which Andrew McCain owns 1,226, closed at $1.28 a share on Friday. The stock's 52-week high on Nasdaq (symbol SSBX) is $24.10.

John McCain was one of the "Keating Five," congressmen investigated on ethics charges for strenuously helping convicted racketeer Charles Keating after he gave them large campaign contributions and vacation trips. McCain intervened on behalf of Charles Keating after Keating gave McCain at least $112,00 in contributions.

Keating was convicted of racketeering and fraud in both state and federal court after his Lincoln Savings & Loan collapsed, costing the taxpayers $3.4 billion. His convictions were overturned on technicalities; for example, the federal conviction was overturned because jurors had heard about his state conviction, and his state charges because Judge Lance Ito (yes, that judge) screwed up jury instructions. Neither court cleared him, and he faces new trials in both courts.)

Is Andrew getting out while the gettin's good?

Stay tuned...

Monday, July 21, 2008

The Very Picture of Success

OK, now I get why Republicans think everything from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to the economy is great, never been better; these pictures of oilrigs after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in the gulf of Mexico, according to John McCain,“have survived, very successfully, the impacts of hurricanes.”

Really? These are success stories according to McCain? What the hell does a disaster look like? Click on the picture for a larger view, and keep in mind that McCain said, "I’m aware that off the coast of Louisiana and Texas there are oil rigs, as we well know, and those rigs have survived, very successfully, the impacts of hurricanes – hurricane Katrina as far as Louisiana is concerned."

The U.S. Minerals Management Service offshore damage assessment of Hurricanes Katrina and Rite found that: 113 platforms were totally destroyed, and - more importantly - 457 pipelines damaged, 101 of those major lines with 10" or larger diameter. At least 741,000 gallons were spilled from 124 reported sources (the Coast Guard calls anything over 100,000 gallons a "major" spill).

Hurricane Katrina resulted in 70 spills from outer continental shelf structures with a total volume of approximately 5,552* barrels of oil and petroleum products, including damage to 27 platforms and rigs that resulted in the spilling of approximately 2,843* barrels of petroleum products, including 2,252 barrels of crude oil and condensate. Damage to 43 pipelines resulted in the spilling of approximately 2,710* barrels of oil and petroleum products.

Further, regarding the combined impacts of hurricanes Katrina and Rita on outer continental shelf structures in the Gulf of Mexico, the report stated, "124 spills were reported with a total volume of roughly 17,700 barrels of total petroleum products." The report further noted that "about 13,200 barrels were crude oil and condensate from platforms, rigs and pipelines, and 4,500 barrels were refined products from platforms and rigs."

This, to the Republicans, is success! This is "not one drop of oil was spilled off of those rigs out in the Gulf of Mexico." -- Mike Huckabee and John McCain.

Are Republicans just idiots, or are Republicans just lying?

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Cindy and John McCain--JUST Like You and Me!

Cindy’s fortune: An asset and a liability
By: Kenneth P. Vogel July 3, 2008

In 2004, Republicans demanded fuller disclosure about the considerable fortune of Teresa Heinz Kerry, wife of Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry.

Now, the GOP is reaping what it sowed.

While Cindy McCain, her dependent children and the trusts and companies they control made as much as $29 million — and likely substantially more — from her family’s business interests from 2004 through last year, data from the Internal Revenue Service, the U.S. Senate, the U.S. Office of Government Ethics and the Center for Responsive Politics also reveals that they spent $11 million purchasing five condominiums for the family, hired additional household help and racked up progressively larger credit card bills almost every year.

Their credit card bills peaked between January 2007 and May 2008, during which time Cindy McCain charged as much as $500,000 in a single month on one American Express card and $250,000 on another, while one of their two dependent children had an AmEx card with a monthly balance as large as $50,000.

The McCains each have a Black Centurion AmEx Card . The Centurion Card (how appropriate for McCain)has an annual fee of $2,500, a one-time $5,000 initiation fee for the first year, and is only offered to people who spend at least $250,000 a year on the card. Yes, the McCain's spend at least $250,000 a year on their card, and I don't think it's because they can't afford to pay cash at the time.

“It has been the McCains’ practice and procedure, as previously indicated, to pay off the balance of credit cards on a monthly basis, so they do not carry credit card debt,” the aide said in a statement.

The affluent lifestyle and free-spending habits of the McCain clan.

UPDATE: July 31, 2008

McCain's $520 loafers put 'elitist' shoe on the other foot
McCain has worn a pair of $520 black leather Ferragamo shoes on every recent campaign stop — from a news conference with the Dalai Lama to a supermarket visit in Bethlehem, PA. I wonder if McCAin think these are now his "Lucky" shoes?

Michelle Obama onde told Access Hollywood during a family interview that Obama was wearing ten year old pants and a worn-out belt and hurriedly adding, "Don't pan down to the shoes -- because we've talked about getting new shoes for him."

Who's the Elitist Bitch now?

Does Having Alzheimer's Qualify One to be President?

It is brutally obvious that if (as McCain himself has said) Foreign Policy is McCain's forte and domestic economic stability (as McCain himself has said)is his weakness, then John McCain is not at all fit or qualified to be president.

"The issue of economics is not something I've understood as well as I should,"--John McCain, December 17 in New Hampshire.

McCain is running on his supposed foreign policy superiority, which, in fact, is inferiority:

McCain Confuses Shiites And Sunnis-- Tue Mar 18 2008

McCain Confuses Iran/al Qaeda Link In Speech Marking 5th Anniversary of Iraqi Invasion--Wednesday, March 19th, 2008

McCain blunders on Iraq again: Confuses Iraqi cleric with Prime Minister on ceasefire deal--Sunday April 6, 2008

McCain Confuses al Qaeda in Iraq with Shi’ites, AGAIN--Tuesday, April 8th, 2008

McCain Confuses Sudan and Somalia-- June 30, 2008

McCain AGAIN Refers To A Non-Existent Country.
At his press conf on July 14, John McCain referenced current relations between Russia and, um, a non-existent country. From a transcript... "I was concerned about a couple of steps that the Russian government took in the last several days. One was reducing the energy supplies to Czechoslovakia.
Apparently that is in reaction to the Czech's agreement with us concerning missile defense, and again some of the Russian now announcement they are now retargeting new targets, something they abandoned at the end of the Cold War, is also a concern."

Czechoslovakia, as any 5th grader knows, hasn't existed in over 15 years. McCain CONTINUES TO MAKE this mistake. Three months ago, McCain told Don Imus that he would "work closely with Czechoslovakia and Poland and other countries" to install the European Missile Defense System in Poland.

And AGAIN during debate in October 2007, McCain said: "The first thing I would do is make sure that we have a missile defense system in place in Czechoslovakia and Poland, and I don't care what his objections are to it."

on Good Morning America, Sen. John McCain refused to call the situation in Afghanistan “precarious and urgent,” but admitted that “We have a lot of work to do.” He warned of a “very hard struggle, particularly given the situation on the IRAQ-PAKISTAN border.”

Of course, Iraq is nowhere near Pakistan. In fact, Baghdad — the capital of Iraq — is over 1,500 miles from Pakistan’s capital of Islamabad:

Can we afford a president who doesn't even know where the bad guys are? McCain would bomb the wrong country. McCain would get confused and bomb Nebraska or some other place that he thought was a Middle Eastern country!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Lying Hypocrites to the Right.

In an interview with the Washington Times, McCain's TOP ECONOMIC ADVISER Phil Gramm bashes America, calling America a "nation of whiners."
How dare Phil Gramm slander America! How dare Phil Gramm say that we are just a bunch of little babies! Why does Phil Gramm HATE America so much?

"You've heard of mental depression; this is a mental recession," he said, noting that growth has held up at about 1 percent despite all the publicity over losing jobs to India, China, illegal immigration, housing and credit problems and record oil prices. "We may have a recession; we haven't had one yet."

"We have sort of become a nation of whiners," he said. "You just hear this constant whining, complaining about a loss of competitiveness, America in decline" despite a major export boom that is the primary reason that growth continues in the economy, he said.

McCain's campaign responded:
"Phil Gramm's comments are not representative of John McCain's views."

What? How can Gramm be McCain's TOP ECONOMIC ADVISER but "Phil Gramm's comments are not representative of John McCain's views."

I smell a lie and a hypocrite. Why is it when Wesley Clark makes a comment, it is "OOOO, Obama is attacking McCain's war record!" But when McCain's TOP ECONOMIC ADVISER speaks in an interview for a major newspaper, "Phil Gramm's comments are not representative of John McCain's views." BULLSHIT.

p.s. See my previous post aboout the Enron Loophole:

Phil Graham's Enron loophole put limits on the ability of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) to prevent speculative trading in energy and commodity markets. Ine the time since Graham created the Enron loophole in 2000 the price of oil has risen by nearly 500 percent.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

WHO Played the Race Card First?

New Jersey GOP takes down ‘Obama loves America like O.J. loved Nicole’ banner from website.

After local Democrats “alleged racist campaign tactics,” the Republican Club in Pemberton, NJ removed a banner yesterday from its website that compared Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) to O.J. Simpson. “Obama loves America like O.J. loved Nicole,” the banner read. Though the image has now been removed, Blue Jersey saved a screen shot of the offensive banner:


Ed Kuck, the Republican County committeeman who placed the image on the website, told the Philadelphia Inquirer that he had put it up while adding pictures from a local rally for Sen. John McCain (R-AZ).

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

It should be renamed Bigot City, USA

We really, really do need for people to pass an IQ test in order to vote.
Read the story and then you will know what to do with:
Don LeMaster
(419) 422-8216
Findlay, OH 45840


Leroy Pollard
(419) 425-9947
Findlay, OH 45840

In Flag City USA, False Obama Rumors Are Flying

By Eli Saslow Washington Post Staff Writer Monday, June 30, 2008; A01

FINDLAY, Ohio -- On his corner of College Street, Jim Peterman stares at the four American flags planted in his front lawn and rubs his forehead. Peterman, 74, is a retired worker at Cooper Tire, a father of two, an Air Force veteran and a self-described patriot. He took one trip to Washington in 1989 -- best vacation of his life -- and bought a statue of the Washington Monument that he still displays in a glass case in his living room.

He believes a smart vote is an American's greatest responsibility. Which is why his confusion about Barack Obama continues to eat at him.

On the television in his living room, Peterman has watched enough news and campaign advertisements to hear the truth: Sen. Barack Obama, born in Hawaii, is a Christian family man with a track record of public service. But on the Internet, in his grocery store, at his neighbor's house, at his son's auto shop, Peterman has also absorbed another version of the Democratic candidate's background, one that is entirely false: Barack Obama, born in Africa, is a possibly gay Muslim racist who refuses to recite the Pledge of Allegiance.

"It's like you're hearing about two different men with nothing in common," Peterman said. "It makes it impossible to figure out what's true, or what you can believe."

Here in Findlay, a Rust Belt town of 40,000, false rumors about Obama have built enough word-of-mouth credibility to harden into an alternative biography. Born on the Internet, the rumors now meander freely across the flatlands of northwest Ohio -- through bars and baseball fields, retirement homes and restaurants.

Faced with polling that shows about one in 10 Americans thinks Obama is Muslim, the candidate's campaign has launched an aggressive effort to discredit rumors and clarify Obama's past. It created a "Fight the Smears" Web site and a new television ad that reiterates Obama's Christian faith, patriotism and family background. Dozens of volunteers have been sent to Ohio five months in advance of the election so they can spend extra time educating voters.

But on Peterman's block in Findlay, the campaign's efforts may already be too late. A swing voter who entered this election leaning Democratic, Peterson faces a decision that is no longer so simple as a choice between Obama and Republican Sen. John McCain, he said. First, he must pick the version of Obama on which he will stake his vote.

Does he choose to trust a TV commercial in which Obama talks about his "love of country"? Or his neighbor of 40 years, Don LeMaster, a Navy veteran who heard from a friend in Toledo that Obama refuses to wear an American-flag pin?
Does he trust a local newspaper article that details Obama's Christian faith? Or his friend Leroy Pollard, a devoted family man so convinced Obama is a radical Muslim that he threatened to stop talking to his daughter when he heard she might vote for him?

"I'll admit that I probably don't follow all of the election news like maybe I should," Peterman said. "I haven't read his books or studied up more than a little bit. But it's hard to ignore what you hear when everybody you know is saying it. These are good people, smart people, so can they really all be wrong?"

'Funny About Change'

Peterman bought his single-story house here in 1959, a few months after he left the Air Force and married. His wife, Mildred, had grown up in Findlay, and they never considered moving anywhere else. On College Street, the couple found all the hallmarks of America's heartland: a house for $9,000; a neighborhood where their two boys, one handicapped, could play outside after dark; a steady "pencil-pushing" job up the road for Jim at Cooper Tire headquarters.

The neighborhood built up around them. Leroy and Wanda Pollard came in 1962, drawn from southern Ohio by a booming auto industry that offered Leroy plenty of work as a mechanic. Mary Dunson bought the place next door in 1963. Don LeMaster, a police officer, moved in up the street with his wife, Margaret, in 1970.

Every newcomer to the block was white, working-class and Midwestern, and the neighborhood jelled easily. They babysat for one another. They complained to one another about their teenagers. They helped raise one another's grandkids. In all, seven different families have lived on the same block of College Street for at least 35 years.

"We all just found a great place at a great time," Leroy Pollard said.

Peterman hung the American flag on his porch first, in 1960, and the rest of College Street followed his example. By 1980, patriotic displays had grown into an unspoken contest of one-upmanship. Sixty flags planted in one yard on Memorial Day; a living-room window painted red, white and blue; a Buckeye tree decorated with Christmas ornaments celebrating Americana; a gigantic plastic unicorn perched on a front porch and draped in an American flag.

The entire block -- and, soon, the entire town -- shared in unabashed pride and gratefulness for the country that had given them this place. In 1968, a local congressman persuaded the House of Representatives to officially declare Findlay as Flag City, USA.

But with their pride came a nasty undercurrent, one that Obama's candidacy has exacerbated: On College Street, nobody wanted anything to change (I guess someone should tell the people on College street the McCain wants to do away with Social Security and cut Medicaid--that's change!). As the years passed, Peterman and his neighbors approached one another to share in their skepticism about the unknown. What was the story behind the handful of African Americans who had moved into a town that is 93 percent white? Why were Japanese businessmen coming in to run the local manufacturing plants? Who in the world was this Obama character, running for president with that funny-sounding last name?

"People in Findlay are kind of funny about change," said Republican Mayor Pete Sehnert, a retired police officer who ran for the office on a whim last year. "They always want things the way they were, and any kind of development is always viewed as making things worse, a bad thing."

When people on College Street started hearing rumors about Obama -- who looked different from other politicians and often talked about change -- they easily believed the nasty stories about an outsider.

"I think Obama would be a disaster, and there's a lot of reasons," said Pollard, explaining the rumors he had heard about the candidate from friends he goes camping with. "I understand he's from Africa, and that the first thing he's going to do if he gets into office is bring his family over here, illegally. He's got that racist [pastor] who practically raised him, and then there's the Muslim thing (so which is it Pollard, is he a crazy christian or a Muslim? Dumdass). He's just not presidential material, if you ask me."

Said Don LeMaster: "He's a good speaker, but you've got to dig deeper than that for the truth (Then do it, you idiot). Politicians tell you anything. You have look beyond the surface, and then there are some real lies."

Said Jeanette Collins, a 77-year-old who lives across the street: "All I know for sure about Obama is that we're not ready for him."

Only one man on College Street remains open-minded, and recently even Peterman has started to sway. Like most of his neighbors, he dislikes McCain for his stance on the Iraq war and would like to cast his vote for a president who will bring the troops home. But on a recent visit to his son's auto shop, Peterman overheard misinformed customers talking again about a Muslim in the White House.

"I don't know. The whole thing just scares me," Peterman said. "I'm almost starting to feel like the best choice is not voting at all."

The Truth Squad

So far, those who have pushed the truth in Findlay have been rewarded with little that resembles progress. Gerri Kish, a 66-year-old born in Hawaii, read both of Obama's autobiographies. She has close friends, she said, who still refuse to believe her when she swears Obama is Christian. Then she hands them the books, and they refuse to read them. "They just want to believe what they believe," she said. "Nothing gets through to them."

The new advertisement running in Findlay, in which Obama is pictured with his white mother and white grandparents as he talks about developing a "deep and abiding faith in the country I love" while growing up in the Kansas heartland, is dismissed by residents of College Street as the desperate lies of another dishonest Washington politician. And they say that Obama's moves to put distance between himself and the Muslim community, with his campaign declining invitations to visit mosques and Obama volunteers removing two women in head scarves from the camera range at a rally in Detroit earlier this month are just a too-late effort to disguise his true beliefs.

For the past month, two students from the University of Findlay have spent their Tuesday nights walking from door to door in the city to tell voters about Obama. Erik Cramer and Sarah Everly target Democrats and swing voters exclusively, but they've still experienced mixed results. Sometimes, at a front door, they mention their purpose only to have a dozen rumors thrown back at them and the door slammed. "People tell us that we're in the wrong town," Everly said.

Soon, on a Tuesday night, they'll walk down College Street -- past the American flags, past the LeMasters, past the Pollards -- and knock on Jim Peterman's front door. They will ask for two minutes of his time, and Peterman will give it to them. He will listen to their story, weighing facts against fiction. For a few minutes, he might even believe them.

Then he'll close his door and go inside, back to his life. Back to his grocery store, back to his son's auto shop, back to the gossip on College Street. Back to the rumors again.

What Bush REALLY Thinks of Americans


The NEW War in Afghanistan

For the second month in a row, U.S. and allied troop deaths in the Afghan war have surpassed those in Iraq.

In June, 46 foreign troops died in Afghanistan and 31 troops died in Iraq. In May, 23foreign troops died in Afghanistan and 21 died in Iraq.

A Pentagon report issued last week about Afghanistan said security in many areas of the country is regarded as "fragile" and Taliban militants have regrouped into a "resilient insurgency" after the Taliban was toppled from power in 2001.