Wednesday, October 31, 2007

My two cents...

* From the Democratic Debate:
Senator Joe Biden had the best statement (The Caucus at The New York Times):

Biden on Giuliani | 10:03 p.m. Mr. Biden rises above all this and says he’s not running against Hillary Clinton and turns on …. Rudy Giuliani! As he did in the last Democratic debate, Mr. Biden says Mr. Giuliani is “the most uninformed person” on American foreign policy, adding that all of Mr. Giuliani’s sentences, he says, consist of “a noun, a verb and 9/11.”

Thanks, Sen. Biden. You are correct!

This quote published in the Guardian is also true:
When it comes to one-sentence takedowns of pompous politicians, columnist Jimmy Breslin's famous description of Rudy Giuliani is perfect: "A small man in search of a balcony."

* Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi wants to protect our children through the Consumer Product Safety Commission by expanding the agency. However, it appears that the Chairwoman of the Commission wants to continue to protect manufacturers instead of our kids. The Swamp:
.....A week after acting Chairwoman Nancy Nord told a Senate committee that a Democratic proposal to expand her agency "could have the unintended consequence of hampering, rather than furthering, consumer product safety," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called today for her resignation.

"Any commission chair who does not, in the face of the facts that are so clear, say we don’t need any more authority or any more resources to do our job, does not understand the gravity of the situation," Pelosi said....

Nord works for the American people, not for the manufacturers. She should gladly welcome any help she could get to expand the testing of toys. Is Nord just adhering to the Republican strategy of protecting big business instead of consumers?

*** There was a story on Countdown with Keith Olbermann that showed how Bill O'Reilly sent two of his thugs to bother Rosie O'Donnell at a book signing in New York City. Security had to remove the O'Reilly disciples who were harassing Rosie. Miss O'Donnell should have looked into the camera and said, "Bill, how is Andrea Makris doing?" It is inappropriate for O'Reilly to send his pointy-headed, ignorant thugs to intimidate any citizen.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Tuesday's Notes

* In today's Columbus Dispatch, there are several letters to the editor from people who seem to be supporting Republican Rep. Deborah Pryce's (OH-15) lack of effort to attend sessions of the House of Representatives. Pryce has, according to the Washington Post, missed 107 votes just since January 2007. I wonder how many people were contacted to write these letters hailing Pryce's absences.

* Mayor Mike Coleman of Columbus, a Democrat, has a Republican opponent in this election. Bill Todd is running a one issue campaign, which has to do with giving more school vouchers to students. Some of Todd's biggest supporters are charter school owners. (Fun fact: Bill Todd contributed $250 to the Coleman campaign in 2005, according to the Dispatch.)

* Finally there is someone who got exactly what he deserved! NY Times:
A fake news conference at the Federal Emergency Management Agency has produced, along with outrage and ridicule, its first personnel casualty.

John P. Philbin, until last week the agency’s public relations chief, was supposed to start work Monday as the new director of public affairs for the nation’s top intelligence official, Mike McConnell.

But he learned instead that he would not.

“We do not normally comment on personnel matters,” said a statement issued for Mr. McConnell, the director of national intelligence. “However, we can confirm that Mr. Philbin is not, nor is he scheduled to be, the director of public affairs....”

Did Mr. Philbin think that the public was stupid enough to believe his fake news? Apparently so.

Monday, October 29, 2007


>>> The Boston Red Sox won the World Series. Yawn.

>>> Penn State University is also known as PeeSU for the students' hobby of throwing bags of urine at visiting teams and their bands.

>>> This administration could have ended the war and other hostilities with the use of diplomacy. Apparently, Mr. Bush and company just haven't made the effort to work for peace.

>>> The Bush Administration finds it hard to give up on its friends, like Ahmad Chalabi. Here is a tidbit from the Miami Herald:
Ahmad Chalabi, the controversial Iraqi politician and one-time Bush administration favorite, has reemerged as a central figure in the latest U.S. strategy for Iraq.....
How is it possible that this guy just seems to be in the center of everything concerning Iraq?

> When the government says that x number of Taliban have been killed in Afghanistan, how are they positive exactly how many were killed and that they were all Taliban?

+++ Here is a great response from The Gap (Raw Story):
US clothing retailer Gap Inc. said Sunday it will not sell garments that were allegedly produced by Indian child labour following an undercover expose by a British newspaper.....

"Our team in India is conducting a full investigation and we have already made sure the products will never be sold," said Dan Henkle, Gap Inc.'s senior vice president of social responsibility, in a company statement.....

I'm glad to see The Gap respond so quickly to the controversy.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Take Note

I think I want some more information on this:
(This article from The Observer was posted at Raw Story.)

Child workers, some as young as 10, have been found working in a textile factory in conditions close to slavery to produce clothes that appear destined for Gap Kids, one of the most successful arms of the high street giant.

Speaking to The Observer, the children described long hours of unwaged work, as well as threats and beatings.

Gap said it was unaware that clothing intended for the Christmas market had been improperly subcontracted to a sweatshop using child labour. It announced it had withdrawn the garments involved while it investigated breaches of the ethical code imposed by it three years ago......

I hope that The Gap investigates this immediately. Corporations have the responsibility to continue to monitor their manufacturer and prevent this type of abuse.

>>>>>>> Here is another take on the Republican retirements from The Stanford Review:

.....In 2008, however, already greater numbers of Republican incumbents from vulnerable districts, many of whom were serving in the minority for the first time, have announced that they will retire rather than seek re-election. Included in this category are Rep. Deborah Pryce of Ohio, who is retiring, and Rep. Heather Wilson of New Mexico, who is leaving her House seat to run for Senate. Both Pryce and Wilson barely squeaked past 50% in 2006 in two of the closest races in the country. Still other Republicans, including Reps. Jim Ramstad of Minnesota, Jerry Weller of Illinois, and Ralph Regula of Ohio will be retiring in suburban districts nearly evenly divided between Republicans and Democrats, where Democrats can yield top-tier candidates.

Still others, like Bill Young of Florida and Tom Davis of Virginia, could choose to leave evenly divided districts to retire or seek a different office, causing the number of open seats to grow. Because the wave of retirements that allowed the Republicans to take the majority in 1994 did not happen for Democrats in 2006, some consider Democratic wins in 2006 to be a two-part cycle that will conclude with Republican retirements in 2008, which could cause Democrats to win nearly as many seats in 2008 as they already did in 2006.

These trends should be especially troubling for Republicans because the lines of House districts drawn for the 2000’s were drawn in Republicans’ favor to either defend Republican incumbents or add to the Republican majority. Congressional district lines are drawn by state legislatures with governors’ approval, and in 2006, Republicans lost control of three state senates, six state assemblies, and six governorships. For the first time since 1994, Democrats now hold a majority of the nation’s governors......

The future looks bleak for the Republicans. As long as the GOP continues to support Bush's wars without end, the American public will look to Democrats for leadership.

Friday, October 26, 2007

FEMA: Trying to Control the News

Brian Williams on NBC Nightly News mentioned this story this evening. The NBC report is here:
FEMA Workers Masquerade as Reporters

This is the article from the New York Times:
The White House scolded the Federal Emergency Management Agency on Friday for staging a phony news conference about assistance to victims of wildfires in southern California.

The agency -- much maligned for its sluggish response to Hurricane Katrina over two years ago -- arranged to have FEMA employees play the part of independent reporters Tuesday and ask questions of Vice Adm. Harvey E. Johnson, the agency's deputy director....

....FEMA gave real reporters only 15 minutes notice about Tuesday's news conference . But because there was so little advance notice, the agency made available an 800 number so reporters could call in. And many did, although it was a listen-only arrangement......

Incredible. What kind of people has this administration placed at FEMA? Any and all who participated in this sham should be punished.

Republicans Still Hate Children

-Even though the House of Representatives has re-worked and passed a new S-CHIP bill (healthcare for poor American children), the President has vowed to veto the bill. Why does President Bush hate poor children? Perhaps he'd pass the S-CHIP bill if it had something to do with Halliburton or Blackwater or even some Texas oil field.

Here is more on S-CHIP from the NY Times:
The House approved a revised bill to finance the children’s health insurance program yesterday by a 265-to-142 margin — a strong mandate, but still not enough to overcome another promised veto by President Bush.....

Who voted AGAINST S-CHIP H R 3963 this time? Here is the list of from the Washington Post:
[If your representative is on this list, you should call/e-mail his/her office and tell them you won't forget their vote against healthcare for poor children.]

Robert Aderholt, Todd Akin, Rodney Alexander, Michele Bachmann, Spencer Bachus, Richard Baker, J. Gresham Barrett, Roscoe Bartlett, Joe Barton, Judith Biggert, Gus Bilirakis, Rob Bishop, Marsha Blackburn, Roy Blunt, John Boehner, Jo Bonner, John Boozman, Charles Boustany, Kevin Brady, Paul Broun, Henry Brown, Ginny Brown-Waite, Michael Burgess, Dan Burton, Dave Camp, John Campbell, Chris Cannon, Eric Cantor, John Carter, Steve Chabot, Howard Coble, Tom Cole, Michael Conaway, Ander Crenshaw, Barbara Cubin, John Culberson, David Davis, Geoff Davis, Nathan Deal, Mario Diaz-Balart, Lincoln Diaz-Balart, John Doolittle, Thelma Drake, John 'Jimmy' Duncan, Vernon Ehlers, Terry Everett, Mary Fallin, Tom Feeney, Jeff Flake, Randy Forbes, Jeff Fortenberry, Virginia Foxx, Trent Franks, Rodney Frelinghuysen, Scott Garrett, Phil Gingrey, Louie Gohmert, Virgil Goode, Bob Goodlatte, Kay Granger, Sam Graves, Ralph Hall, Robin Hayes, Dean Heller, Jeb Hensarling, Wally Herger, Peter Hoekstra, Kenny Hulshof, Bob Inglis, Tim Johnson, Sam Johnson, Walter Jones, Jim Jordan, Ric Keller, Steve King, Jack Kingston, John Kline, Joe Knollenberg, Randy Kuhl, Doug Lamborn, Ron Lewis, John Linder, Frank Lucas, Daniel Lungren, Connie Mack, Donald Manzullo, Kenny Marchant, Kevin McCarthy, Michael McCaul, Thad McCotter, Jim McCrery, Buck McKeon, John Mica, Jeff Miller, Marilyn Musgrave, Sue Myrick, Randy Neugebauer, Devin Nunes, Ron Paul, Stevan Pearce, Mike Pence, John Peterson, Chip Pickering, Joe Pitts, Ted Poe, Tom Price, Adam Putnam, George Radanovich, Thomas Reynolds, Mike Rogers, Mike Rogers, Hal Rogers, Dana Rohrabacher, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Peter Roskam, Edward Royce, Paul Ryan, Bill Sali, Jim Saxton, Jean Schmidt, Jim Sensenbrenner, Pete Sessions, John Shadegg, John Shimkus, Adrian Smith, Lamar Smith, Mark Souder, Cliff Stearns, John Sullivan, Lee Terry, Mac Thornberry, Todd Tiahrt, Timothy Walberg, Greg Walden, Zachary Wamp, Dave Weldon, Jerry Weller, Lynn Westmoreland, Ed Whitfield, Roger Wicker, Joe Wilson

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Some Facts & Figures

The financial cost of Bush's Iraq War is not even close to the administration's original estimate.

Raw Story:

The United States is spending about $8,000 per man, woman and child in the country to pursue wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to new estimates that show the wars will cost about $2.4 trillion over the next decade.
More than one-fourth of the money spent in Iraq and Afghanistan -- $705 billion -- will go to paying interest on the wars' costs, which are being funded with borrowed dollars, according to an estimate to be released Wednesday by the Congressional Budget Office. Iraq accounts for about 80 percent of the costs with a $1.9 trillion tab, including $564 million in interest, a House budget committee staff director told USA Today, which reported the numbers Wednesday morning....
....The latest estimate is more than 40 times higher than the Bush administration's initial estimates that the war would cost between $50 billion and $60 billion....

Now the President has asked for even more money.

> > Honda Motors must be doing something right. Wall Street Journal:

Honda Motor Co. Thursday said its group net profit shot up 63% in the July-September quarter as a weaker yen and solid sales of small, fuel-efficient vehicles boosted its bottom line.
Japan's second-biggest car maker by sales volume posted a group net profit of ¥208.48 billion ($1.83 billion) for its fiscal second quarter, up from ¥127.91 billion in the same period last year....

Don't you think that the executives of American car companies should find out how Honda made these astounding profits?

**** Giuliani's lead in the California polls has decreased. The Press Enterprise:
The race for the Republican presidential nomination has started to close in California, a new poll shows, with front-runner Rudy Giuliani's summer lead cut in half.

The survey released today by the nonpartisan Field Institute found that likely GOP primary voters' preferences for the former New York mayor have dropped from 35 percent two months ago to 25 percent.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, U.S. Sen. John McCain and former U.S. Sen. Fred Thompson are neck and neck for second place. Romney received 13 percent of the vote, with McCain and Thompson both at 12 percent.....

Are people abandoning Giuliani?

> Asia Times:

Iraq war veterans now stationed at a base here in upstate New York say that morale among US soldiers in the country is so poor, many are simply parking their Humvees and pretending to be on patrol, a practice dubbed "search and avoid" missions....

.....he participated in roughly 300 patrols. "We were hit by so many roadside bombs we became incredibly demoralized, so we decided the only way we wouldn't be blown up was to avoid driving around all the time."

.....According to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), the number of Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans seeking treatment for PTSD increased nearly 70% in the 12 months ending on June 30.....

The battle-weary soldiers and Marines are physically and mentally exhausted. However, this administration wants to keep them fighting in this war forever.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

California Fires

The Carpetbagger Report mentioned this Wall Street Journal blog:

Washington Wire was a little stunned to receive a press release today hawking disgraced former Federal Emergency Management Agency Director Michael Brown as “available for interviews” to discuss the wildfire crisis in Southern California.....

> According to Keith Olbermann, Fox News is blaming the fires in California on a memo about Al Quida (or however you spell it!!!). The original memo was published in the Arizona Republican in 2003. 2003!

Do you wonder if they would have had control of the fires if thousands of California's National Guard troops were in the state instead of Iraq? If all that military equipment that belongs to the California National Guard were in the state, would the fires have been out by now? Guess we'll never know. While this administration keeps troops and equipment in its never ending war in Iraq, homes and business are being destroyed.

Red Sox?

The people of New York and the tri-state area are angry after reading this:

Rudy Giuliani is cheering for the Red Sox.

According to the New York Post, New York Daily News, and New York Times, Rudy Giuliani, Republican presidential contender, is now a Red Sox fan. Here is the story in the NY Times:

Now, some of us at The Caucus don’t know much about sports. But even our jaws dropped yesterday when we heard Rudolph W. Giuliani, the world’s number-one Yankee fan, say he was rooting for the Red Sox....

Will Yankee fans ever forgive Rudy?

> Does anyone else believe that listening to Fred Thompson speak is about as much fun a watching paint dry?

> Even though Republicans continue to attack Sen. Hillary Clinton, she remains strong and positive. Despite the problems that she and former President Bill Clinton had in their marriage, they've worked hard to strengthen their bonds through the counseling of Rev. Billy Graham and lots of prayers. Isn't that admirable? Isn't that the kind of thing we like to see---people working hard to save their marriage?

$10 Billion A Month

President Bush wants more money for his war that has no exit strategy.
Columbus Dispatch:

President Bush asked Congress yesterday for another $46 billion to fund the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and finance other national security needs....

....The figure brings to $196.4 billion the total requested by the administration for operations in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere for the budget year that started Oct. 1. It includes $189.3 billion for the Defense Department, $6.9 billion for the State Department and $200 million for other agencies.

To date, Congress has provided more than $455 billion for the Iraq war, with stepped-up military operations running about $10 billion a month.....

Let me repeat the phrase........'...$10 billion a month...'

$10 billion a month

Someone please step up to the microphone and say, "Enough!"

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Strange Stuff

There is some weird stuff happening in the Giuliani campaign.
ABC News:

Presidential candidate Rudolph Giuliani hired a Catholic priest to work in his consulting firm months after the priest was accused of sexually molesting two former students and an altar boy and told by the church to stop performing his priestly duties.

The priest, Monsignor Alan Placa, a longtime friend of Giuliani and the priest who officiated at his second wedding to Donna Hanover, continues to work at Giuliani Partners in New York, to the outrage of some of his accusers and victims' groups, which have begun to protest at Giuliani campaign events.....

Yuck. What about Giuliani's 'family values'? Family values not only covers the sanctity of marriage, honor, respect, but also the protection of children. If Giuliani were elected President, would he put this Placa guy in a position of authority?

Why does Glenn Beck hate California so much?

Right-wing blowhard Glenn Beck didn't make any friends in Southern California on Monday. Media Matters caught him in flagrante delicto on his talk radio show, declaring, "I think there is a handful of people who hate America. Unfortunately for them, a lot of them are losing their homes in a forest fire today." (Thanks to David Roberts at Grist for the tip.)
......The comment came in the context of a discussion of how Beck's politics differ from Arnold Schwarzenegger's. Beck took issue with Schwarzenegger's recent proposal that Republicans need to move to the political center if they want to win elections. The governor has also been out front on environmental issues, as befits a California political leader, because out here on the West Coast, we all hate America so much that we want to pass legislation limiting the production of greenhouse gases, and thus simultaneously destroy the economy and force everyone to drive small foreign cars......

There must be something wrong with a man who finds delight in the suffering of others.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Questions for a Monday Morning

> Valerie Plame appeared on 60 Minutes last evening and the Today Show this morning. Why did people in the Bush administration feel the need to expose her undercover status? Was it all for political payback?

> Do you think it is possible to have a moratorium on news about Britney Spears? Pleeeeeaaase!

> I feel bad for Cleveland fans. When will Cleveland fans get winning teams? I hope that it will be during my husband's lifetime.

> If a Republican is elected President, will a war with Iran be inevitable (if Bush hasn't bombed them before he leaves office)?

> Why are so many people still ignorant about global warming? Are they just stupid?

> How can anyone take Rudy Giuliani as trustworthy? He cheated on his wife and denied FDNY the communications system they needed.

> Have you noticed how popular Governor Ted Strickland is among Ohioans? The Strickland administration is a real change from the disastrous Republicans. People have real confidence in Strickland.

> Why does the Republican candidate for Columbus mayor want to increase school vouchers?

> If the members of the Bush family endorse Giuliani, isn't that reason enough to not support him?

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Ohio GOP Not Working to Recruit Women

An article in today's Columbus Dispatch really gets you a little perturbed. It seems as though the Ohio Republicans in the legislature just don't care enough to want to recruit women. Here are some excerpts from the Dispatch:
....Unless former state Sen. Karen Gillmor decides to run next year, Senate Republicans have no female candidates lined up to join the team in 2009, meaning that for the second time in 24 years the caucus could be all-male and all-white....
......Only five of 53 GOP House members are female....
.....11 of 46 House Democrats are women, including Minority Leader Joyce Beatty of Columbus....., four of 12 Senate Democrats are women, and the caucus has had a female leader for nearly three years...
....Senate President Bill M. Harris, R-Ashland, insists his lack of "ladies" is not for a lack of effort. "We've just not been successful in doing that. It's not been intentional."

In addition to traditional family obligations that keep women from running, Harris blames term limits, saying that women in politics want more long-term, stable careers.....

Harris sounds a little sexist, doesn't he? Has he talked to many women interested in politics? I doubt it.

It is possible that Ohio women are just not interested in the Ohio GOP's right wing agenda and the GOP's lack of effort in solving school funding. Ohio women who enter politics tend to be more at home at the all inclusive, multi-cultural, Democratic Party.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

The Vote to Override Bush's Veto of S-CHIP

Who voted NOT to override Bush's veto of S-CHIP???? I'm so glad you asked! Here are their names, as posted by the Washington Post:

Robert Aderholt, Todd Akin, Rodney Alexander, Michele Bachmann, Spencer Bachus, Richard Baker, J. Gresham Barrett, Roscoe Bartlett, Joe Barton, Judith Biggert, Brian Bilbray, Gus Bilirakis, Rob Bishop, Marsha Blackburn, Roy Blunt, John Boehner, Jo Bonner, John Boozman, Charles Boustany, Kevin Brady, Paul Broun, Henry Brown, Ginny Brown-Waite, Michael Burgess, Dan Burton, Steve Buyer, Ken Calvert, Dave Camp, John Campbell, Chris Cannon, Eric Cantor, John Carter, Steve Chabot, Howard Coble, Tom Cole, Michael Conaway, Ander Crenshaw, Barbara Cubin, John Culberson, David Davis, Geoff Davis, Nathan Deal, Mario Diaz-Balart, Lincoln Diaz-Balart, John Doolittle, Thelma Drake, David Dreier, John 'Jimmy' Duncan, Terry Everett, Mary Fallin, Tom Feeney, Jeff Flake, Randy Forbes, Jeff Fortenberry, Virginia Foxx, Trent Franks, Rodney Frelinghuysen, Elton Gallegly, Scott Garrett, Phil Gingrey, Louie Gohmert, Virgil Goode, Bob Goodlatte, Kay Granger, Sam Graves, Ralph Hall, J. Dennis Hastert, Doc Hastings, Robin Hayes, Dean Heller, Jeb Hensarling, Wally Herger, Peter Hoekstra, Kenny Hulshof, Duncan Hunter, Bob Inglis, Darrell Issa, Sam Johnson, Tim Johnson, Walter Jones, Jim Jordan, Ric Keller, Steve King, Jack Kingston, John Kline, Joe Knollenberg, Randy Kuhl, Doug Lamborn, Jerry Lewis, Ron Lewis, John Linder, Frank Lucas, Daniel Lungren, Connie Mack, Donald Manzullo, Kenny Marchant, Kevin McCarthy, Michael McCaul, Thad McCotter, Jim McCrery, Patrick McHenry, Buck McKeon, John Mica, Jeff Miller, Gary Miller, Marilyn Musgrave, Sue Myrick, Randy Neugebauer, Devin Nunes, Ron Paul, Stevan Pearce, Mike Pence, John Peterson, Chip Pickering, Joe Pitts, Ted Poe, Tom Price, Adam Putnam, George Radanovich, Thomas Reynolds, Mike Rogers, Hal Rogers, Mike Rogers, Dana Rohrabacher, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Peter Roskam, Edward Royce, Paul Ryan, Bill Sali, Jim Saxton, Jean Schmidt, Jim Sensenbrenner, Pete Sessions, John Shadegg, John Shimkus, Bill Shuster, Lamar Smith, Adrian Smith, Mark Souder, Cliff Stearns, John Sullivan, Tom Tancredo, Lee Terry, Mac Thornberry, Todd Tiahrt, Timothy Walberg, Greg Walden, Zachary Wamp, Dave Weldon, Jerry Weller, Lynn Westmoreland, Ed Whitfield, Roger Wicker, Joe Wilson

Two Democrats voted against the override:
Jim Marshall, Gene Taylor

Shame. Shame. Shame. Don't you think they'd like to hear from us?

Here is a tidbit from Best Syndication about the ramifications of this vote:
....So is this a loss for the Democrats who supported this bill? This is a loss for Republicans according to some political analysts. Democrats will likely leverage this veto against the Republican in the next election. California Democrat Representative Pete Stark said “This veto… has shown the American people the President’s true priorities.”
Stark went on to say “He is a war President, and all he cares about is war and more war. The previous speaker talked about a hundred and ninety four billion dollars for the war in Iraq, and these funds aren’t paid for… The President is cutting a million children off. It costs a fraction of his illegal war.”

President Bush would rather spend $9 BILLION per MONTH in Iraq than money on healthcare for American children.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

More Details On Trial

There is more information about the trial of Mark Lay of MDL and its ties to money lost from the Ohio Bureau of Worker's Compensation. Here is an excerpt from the Dispatch:
The former chief financial officer of the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation testified in federal court today that he received cash and an offer of lifetime employment from a Cleveland-area broker if he supported a risky hedge fund for the bureau that eventually lost $216 million.

Terrence W. Gasper said the offer was made in 2004 by Patrick White, president of the former Great Lakes Capital Partners in Westlake, shortly before Gasper agreed to pump an additional $100 million into an investment run by MDL Capital Management of Pittsburgh that was losing money at the time.
Gasper was testifying at the federal fraud trial of Mark D. Lay, MDL's chief executive and founder......

......Gasper, who has pleaded guilty to accepting bribes and who is serving a 64-month federal prison sentence, testified that White gave him cash during an April 2004 meeting at the Bag of Nails restaurant in Worthington - a month before Gasper agreed to put an additional $100 million in the hedge fund....

I've eaten at the Old Bag of Nail restaurant in Worthington and no one gave me a cash bribe. I must have been sitting at the wrong table!!!!

So this is the way the state of Ohio operated under the administration of Republican Gov. Bob Taft????? Amazing! Taft's administration and these hedge fund shenanigans caused a loss of $216 MILLION!!! The Ohio Republican Party thinks that Ohioans are going to forget this behavior and vote for Republicans?????? You've got to be kidding!


- Just when you thought there could not be another story about Republican corruption in Ohio, news about a trial comes to light.
Columbus Dispatch:
...When another bureau official questioned a risky hedge fund run by MDL Capital Management that eventually lost $216 million, Terrence W. Gasper warned him to make sure he had his facts straight because MDL was "a friend of the bureau."
.....Lay said he had leveraged only four, five or six times the investment, but McLean insisted it was more like 17 or 18 times, Gasper said. It was McLean who told The Dispatch in 2005 that Gasper had called MDL "a friend of the bureau" when McLean raised questions about it.....
....White was helping market the MDL investment, and Gasper said White's assurance was one of the reasons he agreed in May 2004 to pump an additional $100 million into the hedge fund even though it had lost millions of dollars.....

Under the administration of Republican Governor Bob Taft , money belonging to the Ohio Bureau of Worker's Compensation was played with as though it were money from the board game Monopoly. Hundreds of millions of dollars were at risk because the GOP appointees were trying to help their "friends" instead of the disabled workers of Ohio.

- > Which Presidential candidate raised the most money on Wall Street in the last quarter?
Bloomberg has the answer:
Hillary Clinton raised more money on Wall Street last quarter than Barack Obama, Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney combined.

Clinton beat Democratic presidential rival Obama in donations from employees of the top 10 underwriters of U.S. stock offerings, a reversal from previous quarters. The New York senator brought in $748,896 from the firms in July through September, compared with $177,456 for Obama, an Illinois senator....

.... Clinton's lead in public opinion polls and disciplined campaign is persuading Wall Street to invest in her, said Rogan Kersh, associate dean of New York University's Wagner School of Public Service. ``The reason they call it the smart money is because in the end they bet on the horse that wins,'' Kersh said....

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Tuesday's Notes

* President Bush is still trying to justify his veto for the children's healthcare program, S-CHIP, according to the NY Times. While his war in Iraq is costing us $2 billion/week, Mr. Bush is unwilling to support healthcare for poor American children.

* While surfing cable channels on TV yesterday, I saw about 2 minutes of that new right wing financial channel. When I realized the person on the screen was Neil Cavuto, I knew I had seen enough. I'll continue to get my financial news from CNBC.

* Last night on the Daily Show, Jon Stewart showed a number of video clips of right wingers like Hannity 'dissing' the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to Al Gore. Check out the video here.

* There is an interesting story and video from KMOV-TV in St. Louis about the return of injured members of the military. (I thought that Bush and the Pentagon did not allow pictures to be shown of the wounded.) Here is an excerpt from KMOV:
... Monday morning a giant C-17 plane arrived at Scott Air Force Base carrying war wounded....

Scott Air Force Base is one of three hubs transferring the wounded onto flights to their home bases or keeping some overnight till their flight out the next day....

An average of 1,500 war wounded pass through Scott Air Force base in a year.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Did you know......

> Paul Krugman has an opinion piece in the NY Times that describes how some right wingers suffer from "Gore Derangement Syndrome"-----
....Partly it’s a reaction to what happened in 2000, when the American people chose Mr. Gore but his opponent somehow ended up in the White House. Both the personality cult the right tried to build around President Bush and the often hysterical denigration of Mr. Gore were, I believe, largely motivated by the desire to expunge the stain of illegitimacy from the Bush administration.

And now that Mr. Bush has proved himself utterly the wrong man for the job — to be, in fact, the best president Al Qaeda’s recruiters could have hoped for — the symptoms of Gore derangement syndrome have grown even more extreme.

The worst thing about Mr. Gore, from the conservative point of view, is that he keeps being right. In 1992, George H. W. Bush mocked him as the “ozone man,” but three years later the scientists who discovered the threat to the ozone layer won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. In 2002 he warned that if we invaded Iraq, “the resulting chaos could easily pose a far greater danger to the United States than we presently face from Saddam.” And so it has proved.....

>> Erik Prince (the CEO and founder of Blackwater) has ties to Dr. Dobson's 'Focus On the Family' conglomerate? Prince's father was a major financial contributor to Dobson.

> President Bush's Coalition of the Willing (nations that supposedly willingly signed on to help U.S. troops in Iraq) has been called the 'Coalition of the Reluctant' in Roger Cohen's article in the New York Times:

....In Chisinau — you guessed it; that’s the capital of Moldova — Cagan asked for more sappers in Iraq. Moldova currently has 11 bomb-disposal experts there. Yes, 11.

In downtown Tirana, hub of a 20th-century exercise in Communist folly and now a place in need of American money, Cagan pressed the Albanians to go beyond their 120-strong contingent in Iraq. Albania is considering an additional 125 to 150 troops.

As for Cagan’s stops in the Macedonian capital of Skopje and Kazakhstan’s Astana, it’s unclear what transpired. Macedonia has 40 troops in Iraq; the Kazakhs have 27 military engineers. Other states visited included Ukraine, which may offer a little help in Iraq, and the Czech Republic, which has 100 troops in Iraq and got promises of military equipment....

How much money, special equipment, and training are given to these countries by Bush in exchange for
troops? We may never know.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

A Woman As President

I think that many women are looking forward to a chance to vote for a woman for President. Every major country has, at one time or another in modern history, had a female as the president or prime minister:
India: Indira Gandi, Israel: Golda Meir, Corazon Aquino: Philipines, England: Margaret Thatcher,
Argentina: Isabel Peron, Benazir Bhutto: Pakistan, Angela Merkel: Germany, are just a few.

Isn't it time for the United States to have a woman as President? With Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House, our daughters have been able to watch a female lead the Congress. Pelosi has been a great role model. Now it is time to go forward another step--- elect a woman as President. Those suffragettes of the early 1900's would be so proud of how far we've come.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Gore Wins Nobel Peace Prize

Congratulations to Al Gore for being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize!!!!!!!

NY Times:
The Nobel Peace Prize was awarded today to Al Gore, the former vice president, and to the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change for its work to alert the world to the threat of global warming....

Thursday, October 11, 2007

The Republican Smear Machine at Work

According to the Carpetbagger Report, Think Progress has the e-mail that was sent by a staffer of Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell with the purpose of attacking the child who spoke in favor of S-CHIP. Don Stewart, communications director for McConnell, sent an e-mail to reporters that smeared the child and his family.

Senator Mitch McConnell should be ashamed of himself and his staff member. According to the Cincinnati Post, 54,000 in Kentucky get their health insurance through S-CHIP. Does McConnell care about the poor children in his state? Apparently not. Has McConnell fired Don Stewart yet? Contact McConnell's office here.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

More on S-CHIP

Why do Republicans feel the need to go after a 12 year old boy and his family?
According the the New York Times, the Republicans and their supporters (including hag Michelle Malkin) have attacked the young boy who spoke on behalf of S-CHIP. Here are some excerpts from the NY Times:

.....In recent days, Graeme and his family have been attacked by conservative bloggers and other critics of the Democrats’ plan to expand the insurance program, known as S-chip. They scrutinized the family’s income and assets — even alleged the counters in their kitchen to be granite — and declared that the Frosts did not seem needy enough for government benefits.....

......An aide to Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader, expressed relief that his office had not issued a press release criticizing the Frosts.

But Michelle Malkin, one of the bloggers who have strongly criticized the Frosts, insisted Republicans should hold their ground and not pull punches......

Even if McConnell's office didn't issue an "official" press release about the Frost family, rumors are flying that the home address and phone number of the family originated out of McConnell's office.

Michelle Malkin should be ashamed of herself for attacking the Frost family. Malkin and the rest of these GOP opponents to children's health coverage won't discuss the merits of the program, but they will attack the messenger.

Here in Franklin County Ohio, over 5,000 children are enrolled in the S-CHIP program. The Republicans don't care about poor sick kids because these kids can't vote.

Fred, Rudy, & Larry: GOP's Stooges

* Fred "zzzzzzzz" Thompson's debate performance was deemed a success by some because
(a) he stayed awake during the entire performance
(b) he didn't call "Russia" the "Soviet Union"
(c) a majority of the audience stayed in their chairs while they slept.

In my opinion, Fred Thompson is about as exciting as watching Jello melt.

* According to Street Insider, Rudy "9/11" Giuliani will appear with the Focus on the Family Values Voter Summit, October 20, in Washington, DC. Exactly which of Giuliani's values does the group like - his open adultery, the 3 marriages, the 2 divorces, his racism, or his poor relationship with his children???????????

* Last night on Countdown with Keith Olbermann the new music video featuring Republican Sen. Larry Craig was shown. You may watch it here (PG):

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

News From All Over

> Is the adminstration and General Petraeus lying with statistics. Some recent deaths are not counted in the numbers given by the Department of Defense.

U.S. Deaths Confirmed By The DoD: 3814
Reported U.S. Deaths Pending DoD Confirmation: 3
Total 3817

Richards, Jack D.29-Jul-2007
Cassidy, Gerald J.25-Sep-2007
Note: The soldiers listed above died from wounds received in Iraq, however, the DoD has not included their deaths in their official count.

> UPI:
The Iraqi government wants Blackwater USA to pay $8 million to each of the 17 families whose relatives were shot to death in Baghdad last month.

The government also wants the United States to sever ties with the private security firm within six months and to hand over the shooters for prosecution under Iraqi law, the BBC reported Tuesday......
North Carolina-based Blackwater is the largest of 28 private security firms used to protect U.S. officials in Iraq. Blackwater employs 744 U.S. citizens in Iraq.......

According to the book, Blackwater recruits its troops in Chile, Columbia and El Salvador. Here are some excerpts from Blackwater, by Jeremy Scahill:

p. 200 .....The Chilean commandos working for Blackwater "are valued for their expertise in kidnapping, torturing and killing defenseless civilians.......”

p. 182 ...among the largest contingents of non-U.S. soldiers imported to Iraq by Blackwater were former Chilean commandos, some of whom trained or served under the brutal military dictatorship of General Augusto Pinochet......

> The Guardian has some news on Burma:

The prospect of a meeting between Burma's detained opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi and the military ruler faded today, after she refused to accept preconditions for the talks set by the junta.

Last week Burma's reclusive military leader, General Than Shwe, agreed to meet Aung San Suu Kyi but only if she renounced her confrontational stance against the regime and renounced calls for sanctions on Burma....

Aung San Suu Kyi is a brave woman. She has been on house arrest for years but she is still able to inspire her people.

> A letter to the editor in the Montgomery Advertiser responds to a previous letter which accused "...Democrats of half-truths and outright lies...."

The letter reminds the previous letter writer, Mr. Johnson, about the behavior of the Republicans.

....Perhaps Mr. Johnson and the rest of his self-righteous hate mongers should recall the likes of Jack Abramoff, Mark Foley, Robert Ney, Curt Weldon, Don Sherwood, Rick Renzi, John Porter, Richard Pombo, John Doolittle, Thomas Reynolds, Deborah Pryce, Sue Kelly, Katherine Harris, John Sweeney, Christopher Shays, and of course Larry Craig and David Vitter.

Did you notice Deborah Pryce's name in that collection of Republican names?

Monday, October 08, 2007

Monday's News

> From the Democratic Voice of Burma:
Two unknown youths arrested during last month’s protests have died in detention after being beaten by soldiers, according to a former detainee. The former detainee, who was recently released from Rangoon City Hall where the two young men were also held, told DVB that they died on 29 September after being badly beaten up by soldiers from Battalion 66.....

A number of monks and civilians detained at the Government Technology College compound in Insein township have been transferred to unknown locations by authorities, said witnesses.
An eye-witness, speaking on condition of anonymity, told DVB that several detainees were seen being taken from the GTC compound to an unknown location in eight military trucks at around 11pm last Wednesday.....

> There is some scary stuff going on in Switzerland. It looks like a right wing political party is promoting a campaign against immigration and foreigners. Called the SVP, the extreme right wing party is trying to gain seats in the Swiss Parliament. See the New York Times for additional info.

> Raw Story has the video from Saturday Night Live and the segment about Larry Craig. Video Here.

> I had to turn off Rachel Ray this morning because she had Jenna Bush as a guest.

> Republican Sen. Larry Craig will be inducted into the Idaho Hall of Fame, according to ABC News. Wow! The people of Idaho must be so proud.

Friday, October 05, 2007

More on Ohio's 15th

Washington Post:

The last month hasn't been a good one for House Republicans.

Already on the ropes thanks to President Bush's dismal job approval ratings and continued public unhappiness about the war in Iraq, the strategists in charge of winning back a majority for the GOP have seen a number of long-serving members decide to retire -- creating a number of vulnerable open-seat races.....

........Ohio's 15th District (Currently R): Will Republicans find a top-tier candidate to run for this Columbus-area seat being vacated by Rep. Deborah Pryce (R)? The jury is still out. A long list of elected officials has already said "no" to the race, and the fact that former Ohio State football great Chris Spielman is getting serious consideration speaks to the level of desperation within the Republican ranks. Meanwhile, Mary Jo Kilroy, who lost to Pryce by just 1,000 votes last November, has been in the race for months and seems to have cleared the Democratic primary field. Did we mention that President Bush carried the district by only 2,000 votes in 2004 and the state Republican Party is still trying to clear the rubble of election 2006? (Previous ranking: 3)...

> Ohioans are sick, sick, sick of Republicans and their scandals. Even though Chris Spielman has been mentioned by some GOPers, he will not give up his time with his family and lucrative ESPN analyst career for the Congress.

> Buckeye Fans: Pick up a copy of The Columbus Monthly to read about the 15 Most Popular Buckeyes. Who do you think is the most beloved Buckeye? (All you need to do is remember the only man to receive 2 identical trophies.)

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Bruce, Yao, & Orrin

Have you heard Bruce Springsteen's latest CD?
Here are part of the lyrics from Springsteen's song, "The Last to Die."
(Lyrics found at AZLyrics)

...Who'll be the last to die for a mistake
The last to die for a mistake
Whose blood will spill, whose heart will break
Who'll be the last to die

Who'll be the last to die for a mistake
The last to die for a mistake
Darlin' your tyrants and kings form the same fate
Strung up at your city gates
And you're the last to die for a mistake...

>>>> Have you seen this picture (Stareastasia) of Yao Ming and Jackie Chan?

>> I can't believe I'm agreeing with Orrin Hatch! Sen. Hatch is very disappointed about President Bush's veto of the SCHIP bill (Seattle Post-Intelligencer).

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

* According to MSNBC.COM, President Bush has vetoed the bill for children's health, known as SCHIP. This is horrible. While Bush is spending $3 BILLION/week in Iraq, the health and welfare for America's children isn't that important to this administration. Shame on Bush. Shame on anyone who voted against SCHIP.

* I just saw Republican Rep. Jack Kingston (GA-1st) on MSNBC-TV. He was defending Rush Limbaugh. Kingston kept accusing the "Democrat" Party of attacking troop-loving Limbaugh. Please call/e-mail Kingston and tell him he is wrong on two counts:
1. Kingston should not defend Limbaugh's attacks on our troops.
2. Tell Kingston it is the DEMOCRATIC PARTY.

Washington, DC (202) 225-5831
Savannah, GA office (912) 352-0101
Bexley, GA office (912) 367-7403
Brunswick, GA office (912) 265-9010
Valdosta, GA office (229) 247-9188

> Raw Story has even more about the Limbaugh flap. The CEO of Clear Channel, Mark Mays, defended Limbaugh. (Don't you wish you had enough money to buy Clear Channel so that you could fire Limbaugh?)

Nancy Pelosi On The View

Yesterday, the Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, was on The View. Elizabeth Hasselbeck told Pelosi that Bush's surge was working. Pelosi put Hasselbeck in her place.

Vote Vets has a new ad featuring an American who received a Purple Heart. Watch the video.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007


> If Republican Fred Thompson is elected president, will he try to end the Medicare Prescription Drug benefit? Thompson had a few things to say about the senior drug benefit in the DesMoines Register:
Republican presidential candidate Fred Thompson said in Iowa on Monday that he would have opposed the 2003 Medicare prescription drug bill, written and championed by Iowa's popular Republican Sen. Charles Grassley.
Thompson, campaigning in central Iowa, described the program to an audience in Marshalltown as an expensive expansion of government at a time when entitlement programs needed overhauling.
"We cannot afford that program," Thompson said later in a Des Moines Register interview......

>Will the far right religious members of the Republican Party nominate their own presidential candidate? With the Republican Party in a mess (broke, infighting, loss of public trust), it appears that they are losing their base. Can Republicans hold back a Democratic Party tidal wave in November 2008?

>With more nations pulling out of Bush's coalition in Iraq (Iceland and the UK), who will remain?

> Will Republican Rep. Ralph Regula (OH-16) announce his retirement soon?

> Rush Limbaugh (right wing egotistical gas-bag) has recently called soldiers who voice their opposition to Bush's Iraq war "phony soldiers." Now Sen. Harry Reid (NV-Dem) has written a letter to Limbaugh's bosses at Clear Channel. Here is a little background from USA Today:
......On his show Monday, Limbaugh fired back at Reid -- accusing him of a smear campaign -- and then had this to say:
"What I want to do now is demand that Harry Reid come on this program and confront me like a man. Live, unedited, come on this show and let's go at it. I'm not going to allow hack politicians to lie about what I said, to cover up what they have said and done."

Meanwhile, on the floor of the Senate yesterday, Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, wondered if Limbaugh "was just high on his drugs again."

That led Limbaugh to call the senator "Tom 'Dung Heap' Harkin," and led conservative blogger/commentator Michelle Malkin to revisit claims Harkin had made about his service in the military during the Vietnam War....

Limbaugh, as you may recall, was unable to serve in Viet Nam because of a large cyst on his ass. Isn't it amazing that Limbaugh, who never served in the military, continues to insult those who have worn and continue to wear military uniforms? Why does Limbaugh hate those in the military? Is he jealous? Is he just being disrespectful? Or is he just hate anyone who isn't a pompous ass like himself?

Monday, October 01, 2007

The Latest Scare

Raw Story has some info about Bush's next target----- Iran:

The only thing different about the Bush Administration's rhetoric about Iran and statements made regarding Iraq before the US invasion in 2003 are the words chosen, says journalist Seymour Hersh.

"They've changed their rhetoric, really. The name of the game used to be nuclear threat," Hersh said on CNN's Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer, adding a moment later, "They've come to the realization that it's not selling, it isn't working. The American people aren't worried about Iran as a nuclear threat certainly as they were about Iraq. So they've switched, really."

The Bush Administration is all but set to authorize a campaign of limited, surgical airstrikes against Iranian targets, Hersh reports in the New Yorker's latest edition.....

Here are some excerpts from Seymour Hirsch's article in The New Yorker:
....During a secure videoconference that took place early this summer, the President told Ryan Crocker, the U.S. Ambassador to Iraq, that he was thinking of hitting Iranian targets across the border and that the British “were on board.” At that point, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice interjected that there was a need to proceed carefully, because of the ongoing diplomatic track. Bush ended by instructing Crocker to tell Iran to stop interfering in Iraq or it would face American retribution.

At a White House meeting with Cheney this summer, according to a former senior intelligence official, it was agreed that, if limited strikes on Iran were carried out, the Administration could fend off criticism by arguing that they were a defensive action to save soldiers in Iraq. If Democrats objected, the Administration could say, “Bill Clinton did the same thing; he conducted limited strikes in Afghanistan, the Sudan, and in Baghdad to protect American lives.” The former intelligence official added, “There is a desperate effort by Cheney et al. to bring military action to Iran as soon as possible. Meanwhile, the politicians are saying, ‘You can’t do it, because every Republican is going to be defeated, and we’re only one fact from going over the cliff in Iraq.’ But Cheney doesn’t give a rat’s ass about the Republican worries, and neither does the President.”

....The retired four-star general confirmed that British intelligence “was worried” about passing the information along. “The Brits don’t trust the Iranians,” the retired general said, “but they also don’t trust Bush and Cheney.”

Please read the entire New Yorker article. Then go sit somewhere quiet and say a prayer for peace.

**** Notes on Burma - If you are interested in what is happening in Burma, please visit for the latest news. The crackdown on the peaceful demonstrations has started now that the monks and others are being arrested, tortured, and murdered. I should warn you that there are some disturbing pictures on the website.