1. Today is the runoff election in GA for the Senate seat. Help support Jim Martin!
2. Bush admin has apparently hidden "big government" amidst contractors.
We can't possibly donate to every worthy cause we come across. In this economy, many of us can't donate to any worthy causes. For those who can, I'd like to offer the following for consideration:
Brenden died last week but his wish for feeding some of Seattle's homeless was granted. In tribute to his memory, I am hoping some of you will consider making a donation here (where it says "Donation Options", click the drop down box and select "Brenden Foster's Food Drive"). Alternately, you could make a donation in memory of Brenden Foster to a national or local group who works to feed people in need. Feeding America gets a 4 star rating from Charity Navigator.
When asked what the best things in life are, Brenden said, "Just having one."
Be seeing you, Brenden.
McCain: I’d never seen anything like that ad. Putting pictures of Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden next to the picture of a man who left three limbs on the battlefield — it’s worse than disgraceful. It’s reprehensible.Now, not so much.
A new report ranks the states in their efforts to fund smoking prevention programs using the money from the gigantor tobacco settlement. Out of the 50 states, South Carolina is ranked 51st. *Shakes fist at pesky District of Columbia*
So to what do we owe the honor? A little history:
The tobacco settlement was reached a decade ago so states could recoup some of costs of treating smoking-related illnesses, with total payments estimated at $246 billion over the first 25 years, according to the report. South Carolina has gotten $912 million in settlement funds so far.
The settlement proceeds were split into four trust funds, one of which was to be spent on health concerns. In 2003, lawmakers withdrew $100 million from the health fund to help offset a budget deficit then, according to the report, and to help with Medicaid. The other funds were designated for economic development, aid for tobacco farmers and water and sewer projects. [emphasis added]
OK well let's not dwell on the past. What does Fiscal Year 2009 look like for SC?
For FY2009, South Carolina will receive $1.0 million in federal funds for tobacco prevention and cessation. The state Legislature allocated no funds for tobacco prevention programs for FY09.
No tobacco settlement funds have been dedicated to tobacco prevention since 2003.
Well at least we're consistent! So we got that goin' for us.
Bottom line: SC will receive $114 million dollars in FY2009 from tobacco settlement payments and our measly cigarette taxes (7 cents a pack - Dang, 51st again). Of that, we're spending $0 on smoking prevention programs. But we will pay over $1 billion in smoking related health care costs. I hate to invoke the Chewbacca Defense but: That does not make sense. As someone who lacks health insurance due to the outrageous cost of premiums in SC, I'm jes wondering: can I get a bailout over here?
The SC Legislature needs to get their act together pronto. If they don't, I am considering driving them to Nebraska and dropping them off at a hospital. Because they certainly won't find any safe haven in my voting booth come election time.
Is anyone minding the store over at Newsweek?
Phyllis Schlafly lets the wacky fly:
The third group that Republicans lost in 2008 was unmarried women. By a colossal 40-plus point spread, unmarried women voted for Barack Obama by 70 percent to 29 percent.
One explanation is economic: The women who cast off husbands look to Big Brother Government to support them. They vote for the party that promises more benefits from the Welfare State.
The other explanation is social: The feminists have carried on a 40-year campaign to destroy marriage and what they deride as the patriarchy. They want to replace it with a matriarchy.
In the 1970s, the feminists achieved unilateral divorce on demand from state legislatures, unilateral abortion on demand from the courts, and unilateral control over children in the welfare class by taxpayer handouts to women that made husbands and fathers unnecessary.
The feminists have continued their campaign against marriage through Joe Biden's favorite legislation, the Violence Against Women Act, which provides a billion dollars a year to feminist centers to promote divorce and oppose reconciliation. The act is based on feminist ideology that women are naturally victims entitled to tax-paid legal and financial assistance, while men are naturally batterers who are not entitled even to due process protections.
The San Diego Union-Tribune printed this Letter to the Editor last week:
Veterans, active duty, retired military – alarm, alarm! President-elect Obama is proposing a National Security Force with allegiance (pay, benefits provided by the executive branch) to him.
C'mon, some really bad guys have tried that in the past and we know where that went. Not while I draw a breath!
With growing talk in Washington that President Bush may be considering an unprecedented "blanket pardon" for people involved in his administration's brutal interrogation policies, advisors to Barack Obama are pressing ahead with plans for a nonpartisan commission to investigate alleged abuses under Bush.
Constitutional scholars say a pardon of this kind would be an unprecedented move -- the prospective pardon of not just individuals but entire categories of people, perhaps numbering in the thousands, for carrying out the president's orders , which the White House has argued all along were legal.
"The classic pardon is an identifiable individual; here you are talking about potentially thousands of people involved in illegal activities," explained Jonathan Turley, a professor at George Washington Law School. A blanket pardon of this variety, Turley said, "would allow a president to engage in massive illegality and generally pardon the world for any involvement in unlawful activity."
NBC cameraman Bob Brown, correspondent Don Harris, San Francisco Chronicle photographer Greg Robinson, defector Patricia Parks and Congressman Leo Ryan were all killed. Eleven others were shot. They survived by pretending to be dead until the killers drove off.
She used her first floor speech, on the day she was sworn in, to excoriate President Bush's handling of the war and Sen. John McCain (Ariz.), the likely GOP presidential nominee, for suggesting troops could be in Iraq for decades to come. She was heckled by Republicans in response.
"After I was booed, I really felt like I do belong here," she said.
Billionaire oilman T. Boone Pickens is delaying his massive Texas wind project, citing a drop in natural gas prices and the tightening credit market.
But natural gas prices have fallen from over $12 per million British thermal units last summer to current levels of around $6.
The fall in natural gas prices makes switching to wind power a less certain bet, as utilities would be reluctant to replace natural gas with wind now that natural gas prices are so low.
Pickens said Tuesday that natural gas prices need to be about $9/Btu in order for wind power to be competitive.
Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson announced Wednesday that the administration had decided to scrap what had originally been the centerpiece of the program _ a proposal to buy troubled assets to get them off the books of banks as a way of promoting increased lending.
The administration has already spoken for all but $60 billion of the initial $350 billion supplied by Congress, including the $250 billion for direct stock purchases from banks and $40 billion for a new loan supplied on Monday to help stabilize troubled insurance giant American International Group.
A key Democratic lawmaker called Tuesday for the resignation of American International Group's CEO after the troubled insurer held a financial planners conference last week at a posh Arizona resort.
The company responded that the event cost AIG very little and was aimed at boosting income.
AIG had come under sharp criticism for sending executives on a lavish English partridge hunt and a weeklong retreat at a California resort after accepting an $85 billion bailout -- since grown to $150 billion -- from the federal government in September.
Phoenix TV station KNXV, a CNN affiliate, reported that AIG tried to keep its connection to the 2008 Asset Management Conference a secret by ensuring that no AIG logos were on the property.
Undercover footage shot by KNXV shows top AIG executives, including Larry Roth, president and CEO of AIG Advisor Group, sitting poolside and drinking coffee while conference-goers attended meetings. Another executive -- Art Tambaro, head of AIG subsidiary Royal Alliance -- stayed in one of the resort's two-story villas.
The footage also shows a few executives being shuttled in a luxury Lincoln Town Car one night and enjoying dinner and drinks at a McCormick & Schmick's seafood restaurant, where they spent more than $400, KNXV reported.
Beyond the presidential race, it goes without saying the Republican Party took a shellacking nationally. Some on the left will say our electoral losses are a repudiation of our principles of lower taxes, smaller government and individual liberty. But Tuesday was not in fact a rejection of those principles -- it was a rejection of Republicans' failure to live up to those principles.
America didn't turn away from conservatism, they turned away from many who faked it.
Borrowing from Medicare, Social Security, our grandkids and the Chinese to remedy a problem created by too much borrowing strikes me as odd, and hardly the "change" Americans really want. Accordingly, on these and other issues that involve borrowing to spend, I will work with others to change this kind of change.
Change has come. Now it's up to all of us to do something good with it. Keep going.
From Barack Obama's acceptance speech in Chicago last night:
This victory alone is not the change we seek. It is only the chance for us to make that change. And that cannot happen if we go back to the way things were.
It can't happen without you, without a new spirit of service, a new spirit of sacrifice.
So let us summon a new spirit of patriotism, of responsibility, where each of us resolves to pitch in and work harder and look after not only ourselves but each other.
Let us remember that, if this financial crisis taught us anything, it's that we cannot have a thriving Wall Street while Main Street suffers.
In this country, we rise or fall as one nation, as one people. Let's resist the temptation to fall back on the same partisanship and pettiness and immaturity that has poisoned our politics for so long.
As Lincoln said to a nation far more divided than ours, we are not enemies but friends. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection.
And to those Americans whose support I have yet to earn, I may not have won your vote tonight, but I hear your voices. I need your help. And I will be your president, too.
This is our moment.
This is our time, to put our people back to work and open doors of opportunity for our kids; to restore prosperity and promote the cause of peace; to reclaim the American dream and reaffirm that fundamental truth, that, out of many, we are one; that while we breathe, we hope. And where we are met with cynicism and doubts and those who tell us that we can't, we will respond with that timeless creed that sums up the spirit of a people: Yes, we can.
If you need help:
1529 Hampton Street
Columbia, SC 29201
Barack Obama's Voter Protection Hotline: 1-877-US-4-OBAMA (1-877-874-6226)
It's November 4: ZERO disenfranchised voters.
Download yours to printout here. Bring it with you to the polls in case you have a question or run into a problem.
November 4: ZERO disenfranchised voters.
2008 SOUTH CAROLINA
...information on registration, student voting, voting with a disability, early voting, felon enfranchisement, ACLU affiliate chapters, and state election officials.
Print out your state card and stash it in your glove box in case you run into a problem on November 4. Offer copies to friends, family, and co-workers who don't have internet access.
November 4, 2008: ZERO disenfranchised voters. Know your rights and stand up for yourself.
Your vote matters.
TPM Muckraker says the GOP is sending thugs to knock on Hispanic voters' doors in NM and threaten them with immigration action if they try to vote. Nice.
HuffPo has a video of vote flipping in West VA.
In black neighborhoods of Philadelphia, fliers have been posted stating that anyone with unpaid parking tickets will be arrested if they try to vote.
Obsolete language in the South Carolina Constitution establishes an age of consent of 14 (!) for unmarried girls, giving South Carolina the lowest age of consent in the country. A new referendum would remove this language from the state constitution, essentially establishing 16 as the new age of consent.
"She is a direct counterpoint to the liberal feminist agenda for America," he said.
Damn - I thought maybe I'd left my super-secret, for-liberal-feminist-eyes-only Liberal Feminist Agenda on a park bench or at an abortion clinic but apparently it fell into the hands of John McCain. I am so going to get my liberal feminist ass kicked at our next meeting.
Surprise, shock and some fear in a local neighborhood, after an anti-Obama display is hung from a tree. The display is at a home at Symmes and Hicks Road in Fairfield.
And the person who put it there says the message isn't political, it's racist. Shawn Ley spoke with the man who isn't shy about his views.
There it is, right above the "McCain-Palin" sign: a make-shift ghost, hanging from a noose. A Barack Obama sign attached upside down. Obama's middle name: "Hussein" spray painted and misspelled above.
Mike Lunsford hung the ghost in his yard.
Lunsford says he believes Barack Obama is not a "full blooded American." And he says the United States is a white, Christian nation - and only with white Christians should be in power.
A San Bernadino County Republican group apologized this week for distributing a newsletter that depicted Obama on a fake $10 food stamp along with images of a watermelon, ribs, and a bucket of fried chicken. The president of the group, a Republican women's organization that is not part of the state Republican Party, said she had never meant to link the Democratic presidential candidate with any racist stereotypes. "I never connected," Diane Fedele told the Riverside Press-Enterprise. "It was just food to me. It didn't mean anything else."
Earlier this week, a group of Republicans in Sacramento County stirred up controversy by posting a series of violent anti-Obama images on an official state GOP website. Obama was depicted in a turban and paired with images of Osama bin Laden, with a caption that read: "The only difference between Obama and Osama is BS." Below that were the words "Waterboard Barack Obama!" After briefly defending the image, the head of the Sacramento County Republican Party apologized.
Rep. Michele Bachmann (R- MN) went on MSNBC's Hardball tonight and, after running through the usual GOP Obama/terrorist talking points, dropped this bomb: "What I would say is that the news media should do a penetrating expose and take a look. I wish they would. I wish the American media would take a great look at the views of the people in Congress and find out,are they Pro-America or Anti-America?" Dude... what?
The Ohio plumber of 15 years came into the spotlight Sunday when he met Obama as the Democratic senator campaigned in Toledo, Ohio. Wurzelbacher questioned Obama about his plan to increase taxes for incomes of more than $250,000.
Wurzelbacher told Obama he was trying to buy a plumbing business that would put him in that tax bracket and wondered how much he would be taxed if he acquired it.
Joe Biden sounded skeptical of “Joe the Plumber” Wurzelbacher’s working-class credentials Thursday.
“The Joe the plumbers in my neighborhood, the Joe the cops in my neighborhood, the Joe the grocery store owners in my neighborhood — they make, like 98 percent of the small businesses, less than $250,000 a year,” said the Democratic VP nominee. “And they’re going to do very well under us, and they’re going to be in real tough shape under John McCain.”
...acknowledged that he wants to purchase the plumbing business for $250-280,000, not that he would net that much in profits.
He would make much less, he said.
Which would seem to indicate that he would be eligible for an Obama tax cut, not that he would be subject to the tax increase from 36% to 39% Obama would impose on those making more than $200,000 per person, or $250,000 per family.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean annual wage for plumbers, pipefitters and steamfitters in the United States in 2007 was $47,350.
...he doesn't have a good plan put together on how he would buy Newell Plumbing and Heating.
"There's a lot I've got to learn," he said.
Update, 10-17-08: I don't think I want to start another post about JTP :::yawn::: but I will toss out links as I come across them, in case anyone hasn't had their fill yet:
Say it ain't so! McCain is no longer palling around with JTP.
I'm not sure I can give a summary of this - it's too surreal - but you can read about a McCain-Palin rally in VA Beach here.
Color of Change is asking for signatures on an open letter to McCain-Palin, part of which reads:
Today, we're standing together as Americans of all political persuasions to express our deep concern that the decisions of your campaign are contributing to a dangerous atmosphere of paranoia, division, and hate that, as we have already seen, has the potential to seriously harm our country and its progress.
HuffPo reports that the lobbyist McCain hired to head his transition team used to lobby for Hussein - not the middle name Hussein - the actual dictator. I guess it's a good thing that transition team prolly isn't going to be needed.
Sec. 15.45.510. Grounds for recall.
The grounds for recall are (1) lack of fitness, (2) incompetence, (3) neglect of duties, or (4) corruption.
The Troopergate report is due out tomorrow. In the meantime, Todd Palin submitted his written deposition to investigators yesterday and it was immediately leaked to the press. Andrew Halcro goes over the deposition here.
HuffPo reports that Obama's got a solid team in place for transition should he win in November. McCain - not so much. Maybe he should suspend his campaign in order to get going on this task.
TPM's got a new Obama ad criticizing McCain's shiny new mortgage plan which went over like a lead balloon after he unveiled it during Tuesday night's debate.
The NY Times is reporting that "mistakes" have been made by election officials in at least six states resulting in the unlawful purging of voter registrations:
Tens of thousands of eligible voters in at least six swing states have been
removed from the rolls or have been blocked from registering in ways that appear
to violate federal law, according to a review of state records and Social
Security data by The New York Times.
The screening or trimming of voter registration lists in the six states —
Colorado, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Nevada and North Carolina — could also result
in problems at the polls on Election Day: people who have been removed from the
rolls are likely to show up only to be challenged by political party officials
or election workers, resulting in confusion, long lines and heated tempers.
Verify your right to vote has not been mistakenly taken away from you now - don't wait to find out on November 4th. It only takes a minute. Help your friends, family members and senior citizen neighbors who might not know about the importance of verifying their voter registration in advance. Spread the word!
...she got out alive, though there were white-knuckle moments along the way: questions that were answered with painfully obvious talking points that betrayed scant knowledge of the issue at hand, and sometimes little relevance to the question that had been asked.
Biden offered a fluent, self-assured performance of the sort that can not be especially hard for him after two presidential campaigns, 35 years in the Senate, countless appearances on Sunday morning programs. People impressed by references to legislation, or citations of his record in world hot spots from Bosnia to Darfur, got these in spades.
ABC reports that Palin's "That is not so..." quick answer was, in fact, so:
Sarah Palin got her facts wrong in Thursday's debate with Joe Biden when discussing where John McCain stands on new protections for homeowners facing foreclosures.
The Alaska governor incorrectly made it sound like McCain supports giving bankruptcy judges the power to rewrite mortgage payment terms on first homes.
Using this tool you can:
- 1. Register to vote.
- 2. Request to vote absentee.
- 3. Find your polling location.
KATIE COURIC: And, Bob, I understand that John McCain actually floated an alternative plan. What can you tell us about that?
BOB ORR: We're told at the White House Senator McCain offered an alternative plan that would include fewer regulations and more corporate tax breaks for businesses, kind of a private solution. But we're also told those ideas angered and surprised Democrats like banking chairman Chris Dodd who now says he thinks the White House summit was more of a political stunt for McCain.
When asked about his own campaign manager's associations with the mortgage
giants, McCain, in an interview with CNBC Sunday night, said that Davis "has had
nothing to do" with the Homeownership Alliance since it disbanded and "I'll be
glad to have his record examined by anybody who wants to look at it." (The
Homeownership Alliance was set up and funded by both Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae to promote the goal of home ownership and counter efforts to impose tighter
regulations on the two federally sponsored entities.)
...Davis's lobbying firm, Davis Manafort, based in Washington, D.C., continued
to receive $15,000 a month from Freddie Mac until last month—long after the
Homeownership Alliance had been terminated.
Two law enforcement officials said Tuesday the FBI is looking at potential fraudSoooo, the FBI is checking to see if anything funky might have been going on with these corporations. Ya think? Considering the feds have known that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have been cooking their books for years, I wonder what the sudden urgency is? Maybe it's that embarrassing chafing lawmakers are feeling at the idea of giving a trillion dollar blank check to Hank Paulson to bail out these mortgage crooks while their constituents facing foreclosure continue to be kicked to the curb.
by mortgage finance giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and insurer American
International Group Inc. Additionally, a senior law enforcement official said
Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. also is under investigation.
Call me fiscally conservative, but I just don't like the idea of giving $700 billion in taxpayer money to the Secretary of the Treasury with zero accountability. I have contacted my Senators to let them know how I feel and to encourage them not to approve this proposal. I got this sample letter from JRandomPoster on DKos:
September 22, 2008
SC Residents: Find your US Representative here and contact their office too.
Everybody Else: Find your Congressmen here.
UPDATE: Apparently Senator DeMint got my letter and agreed with me (heh):
“After reviewing the administration's proposed bailout plan, I believe it is completely unacceptable,” DeMint, chairman of the Senate Republican Steering Committee, said in the statement. “This plan does nothing to address the misguided government policies that created this mess and it could make matters much worse by socializing an entire sector of the U.S. economy.”
“This plan fails to oversee or regulate the government failures that led to this crisis,” DeMint added.
Sec. 15.45.510. Grounds for recall.
The grounds for recall are (1) lack of fitness, (2) incompetence, (3) neglect of duties, or (4) corruption.
I'm not a resident of Alaska but if I was, surely I'd be wondering if at least #3 and #4 weren't applicable to Governor Palin.
Gov. Sarah Palin has surrendered important gubernatorial duties to the Republican presidential campaign. McCain staff are handling public and press questions about actions she has taken as governor. The governor who said, "Hold me accountable," is hiding behind the hired guns of the McCain campaign to avoid accountability.
[The Troopergate] investigation isn't just examining potential abuse of power by the governor, but also others in her administration...Since Palin's husband and aides refused to comply with subpoenas issued in the Troopergate investigation (I wonder where they learned that?), will Alaskans stand by and accept this We're-above-the-law behavior or will they demand fair and equal legal treatment for all Alaskans by holding the Palin administration accountable?
Palin is facing another ethics complaint, filed by a former state employee and political activist alleging her office used improper influence to award a state job.
Just got this in my inbox. Cos you know, Barack and I are e-mail friendees:
This Sunday, September 21st, please join Barack Obama in Charlotte, where he will talk about his vision for creating the kind of change we need.
Speculation on why, when Sarah Palin was mayor of Wasilla, the city billed victims for their own rape kits:
The rape kits that Sarah Palin had a direct role in forcing women to pay for
contained emergency contraception.
Who ever knew that politics in Alaska was so interesting?
And - thank goodness - a Layman's Explanation of AIG vs Bear vs Lehmann
This morning we woke up to some very serious and troubling news from Wall Street.
The situation with Lehman Brothers and other financial institutions is the latest in a wave of crises that are generating enormous uncertainty about the future of our financial markets. This turmoil is a major threat to our economy and its ability to create good-paying jobs and help working Americans pay their bills, save for their future, and make their mortgage payments.
The challenges facing our financial system today are more evidence that too many folks in Washington and on Wall Street weren’t minding the store. Eight years of policies that have shredded consumer protections, loosened oversight and regulation, and encouraged outsized bonuses to CEOs while ignoring middle-class Americans have brought us to the most serious financial crisis since the Great Depression.
I certainly don’t fault Senator McCain for these problems, but I do fault the economic philosophy he subscribes to. It’s a philosophy we’ve had for the last eight years – one that says we should give more and more to those with the most and hope that prosperity trickles down to everyone else. It’s a philosophy that says even common-sense regulations are unnecessary and unwise, and one that says we should just stick our heads in the sand and ignore economic problems until they spiral into crises.
Well now, instead of prosperity trickling down, the pain has trickled up – from the struggles of hardworking Americans on Main Street to the largest firms of Wall Street.
This country can’t afford another four years of this failed philosophy. For years, I have consistently called for modernizing the rules of the road to suit a 21st century market – rules that would protect American investors and consumers. And I’ve called for policies that grow our economy and our middle-class together. That is the change I am calling for in this campaign, and that is the change I will bring as President.
Watching a woman, slight of build and full of pizazz so thoroughly bedazzle a vast audience is entertaining. Something chimed in my memory when she brought that crowd to its feet with frantic and worshipful cheering.
Ah, yes. I had seen it all before.
It was Judy Garland at The Palace.
And yet no one offered her the vice-presidency. (Fact-checker: Am I right on this?)
Can I just say again: I love that.
Charles Babington analyzes the careening-out-of-control-like-a-covered-wagon-with-a-missing-wheel McCain-Palin campaign claims:
Politicians usually modify or drop claims when a string of newspaper and TV
news accounts concludes they are untrue or greatly exaggerated.
But McCain and his running mate Palin, the Alaska governor, were defiant this
week in the face of similar reports.
Read the details here.
A new McCain-Palin ad reiterates the claim that Palin stopped the scandalous Bridge to Nowhere. As has been documented, over and over, that just ain't so. Today the Wall Street Journal adds their voice to the fact-checkers, stating that Palin:
...endorsed the multimillion dollar project during her gubernatorial race in
2006. And while she did take part in stopping the project after it became a
national scandal, she did not return the federal money. She just allocated it
Read the full WSJ article here.
Maybe Palin should change her rhetoric about the bridge to: That Bridge to Nowhere? I told Congress, 'Yes thanks! And if it becomes politically expedient for me to reverse my position later, I'll keep all the money too!'
RIP McCain-Palin campaign TRUTH. We hardly knew ye.