March 11, 2008 archive

The Impeachment of Eliot Spitzer

My friends, the choice before us can not be more stark or more clear.

On the one hand we have a man who, if every single allegation and inference is proven true, paid money to have sex and tried to conceal that fact from his wife, the government, and the people who elected him.  He hypocritically denounced the crimes he was committing.


On the other hand we have a man who is a war criminal.  Who’s administration has killed hundreds of thousands of innocents (maybe along with a few guilty). and rendered millions homeless refugees.  Who has condemned millions of women to Sharia Law and Burkas.  Who lied 935 times to us and the whole world.  Who is even now plotting to extend this illegal war that has damaged our national defense and our economy in a direction that will DESTROY IT!  We can not beat Iran.

We.  Will.  Lose.

Not only that, they have raped our Constitution and laws- Habeas Corpus, Torture and the Geneva Convention, Warrentless Wiretapping and National Security Letters, Ignored Supeonas and Signing Statements, Corruption of the Department of Justice and Selective Prosecution.

Made it happen on purpose or let it happen on purpose?  Katrina, Recession, Out of control Mercenary Armies, Poisoned Water Supplies, Crappy Equipment, Crappy Food, Crappy Leadership, and Embassies as big as the Vatican pre-built as non-functional ruins under no bid crony contracts.

These people are-

  • Thieves
  • Liars
  • Torturers
  • Murderers

And Traitors.

The DOW’s best day in 5 1/2 years. Your money working for investor class.

The Dow Jones average was up 417 points today.  You know, because the US economy is doing so well, jobs are popping up everywhere and everything financial is coming up Roses!  

OOP’s.  My bad.  Here is the real reason.  

Here is the Headline and some input from CNNMoney:

Stocks surge with the Dow soaring 417 points as investors cheer reports that the central bank is pumping an additional $200 billion into the banking system.

Stocks rallied Tuesday as investors welcomed news that the Federal Reserve will lend up to $200 billion to banks and lenders as a means of loosening up tight credit markets.

According to early tallies, the Dow Jones industrial average (INDU) jumped almost 417 points, its fourth-biggest one-day point gain ever and the biggest one-day point gain since July 2002. In percentage terms, the gain of 3.55% was the best since March 2003.

The blue-chip index had ended the previous session at a 17-month low.

The broader Standard & Poor’s 500 (SPX) index climbed 3.7% after ending the previous session at a 19-month low. It was the biggest one-day percentage gain since May 2002.

What does this mean to you, American citizen?  Well, it means that the Federal Reserve is going to have to print more money in order to bail out the companies that, not unlike a Las Vegas gambler, placed all their money on number 18 on the Roulette wheel and the wheel stopped on 24.  Close, but a loser.

The Fed will make up to $200 billion available to a group of 20 big investment firms for a term of 28 days, rather than overnight. The program is being coordinated with central banks worldwide.…

CT Republican Rubs Sleep From His Eyes

This week’s Litchfield County Times has a fascinating and instructive article on CT State Senator Andrew Roraback (R-30th District). Universally known as Andy in the NW Corner of Connecticut, where he is widely respected as honest and effective, especially on environmental issues, he is one of an endangered species, moderate New England Republicans.

His rep is good enough that he was one of 24 local elected officials (half and half) from around the nation given a Aspen Institute-Rodel Fellowship, this one with a focus on helping foster further understanding of foreign governments and policy issues.

Well, this crop of Fellows were just shipped to the Middle East and it was evidently quite the wake-up call to Sen. Roraback. He learned first hand that that a lot of Iraqis have bailed out of their country in desperate fear:

“When you see a room crowded with people who have fled Iraq, you see the human cost [of the war],” he said. “We know the cost to American lives, but there are 500,000 Iraqi refugees in Jordan and they’ve fled their home because of the war. It put a face on the cost of this war in this country.”

Congressional races round 2: Minnesota

Continuing through the alphabet….

Minnesota has 8 representatives: 5 Democrats and 3 Republicans

Filing deadline is July 15, primary is Sept. 9

District: MN-01

Location Southern MN, bordering WI, IA, and SD

Representative Tim Walz (D)

First elected  2006

2006 margin 53-37

2004 margin NA

Bush margin 2004 51-47

Notes on opponents Walz ousted Gutknecht while raising $500 K less

Current opponents Dick Day, Mark Meyer, Brian Davis

Demographics 77th most rural (43.5%), 31st fewest Blacks (1.0%)

Assessment Somewhat vulnerable; Superribbie ranks this the 17th most vulnerable Democratic seat; still, Walz has to be favored.  

District: MN-02

Location Southern suburbs and exurbs of twin cities

Representative John Kline (R)

First elected  2002

2006 margin 56-40

2004 margin 56-40

Bush margin 2004 54-45

Notes on opponents In 2006, Collen Rowley raised $700K to Kline’s $1.5 million; in 2004, Teresa Daly raised $1.2 million to Kline’s $1.6 million

Current opponents Steve Sarvi

Demographics 36th highest income (median = $61K), 10th fewest in poverty (3.9%), 60th fewest Blacks (1.6%)

Assessment Possible.  Superribbie calls the 69th most vulnerable Republican seat.  I think it might be more vul. than that.  Kline’s winning percentage isn’t rising with time, he did barely better than Bush in 2004.

District: MN-03

Location Suburbs of the twin cities

Representative Jim Ramstad (R) possibly retiring

First elected  1990

2006 margin 65-35

2004 margin 65-35

Bush margin 2004 51-48

Notes on opponents Neither recent opponent had money

Current opponents :

Terri Bonoff

Ashwin Madia

and former Repub: Jim Hovland

Demographics 26th wealthiest (median income = $64K), 5th fewest in poverty (3.5%),  80th fewest Black (3.8%)

Assessment So far as I can tell, Ramstad is retiring, making this a prime pickup opportunity; superribbie ranks this as the 12th most vulnerable Republican seat.

District: MN-04

Location St. Paul and suburbs

Representative  Betty McCollum (D)

First elected  2000

2006 margin 70-30

2004 margin 57-33

Bush margin 2004 37-62

Notes on opponents In 2004, Patrice Bataglia raised $200K to McCollum’s $700K; in 2006, Obi Sium raised $75K to McCollum’s $600K

Current opponents John Mayer, possibly others. Mayer seems to have no website, others’ sites are down

Demographics Not unusual on what I track

Assessment  Safe

District: MN-05

Location Minneapolis and suburbs

Representative Keith Ellison (D)

First elected  2006

2006 margin 56-21 (remainder to an independent)

2004 margin NA

Bush margin 2004 28-71

Notes on opponents Tammy Lee actually raised more money than the Republican (Alan Fine) and got almost the same number of votes.  Each raised about $200K, Ellison raised about $800K

Current opponents Apparently Barb White, who also might be running in MN-04, or maybe not running at all

Demographics 45th most Democratic, per Cook PVI

Assessment Safe

District: MN-06

Location Mostly in central MN, but extending east and south to the WI border

Representative Michele Bachmann (R)

First elected  2006

2006 margin 50-42 (remainder to John Binkowski)

2004 margin NA

Bush margin 2004 57-42

Notes on opponents Bachmann beat out Wetterling for an open seat. Each spent about $3 million – Bachmann a little less, Wetterling a little more

Current opponents :

Bob Olson and

Elwyn Tinklenberg

Demographics 53rd highest income (median = $57K), 18th fewest in poverty (4/7%), 18th most Whites (94.9%), 28th fewest Blacks (0.9%), 42nd fewest Latinos (1.3%)

Assessment We have definite possibilities.  superribbie  (link above) ranks this the 45th most vulnerable Republ

District: MN-07

Location Western MN, bordering SD and ND and Canada

Representative Collin Peterson (D)

First elected  1990

2006 margin 70-29

2004 margin 66-34

Bush margin 2004 55-43

Notes on opponents In 2004, David Sturrock raised $125K to Peterson’s $500K.  In 2006, Michael Barrett raised little

Current opponents None declared

Demographics 6th most rural (66%), 22nd most Whites (93.1%), tied for fewest Blacks (0.3%)

Assessment I don’t call a lot of people DINO, but Peterson is a DINO.  Still, he wins, he doesn’t use a lot of money, and he lines up on the D side, and this is a Republican district

District: MN-08

Location Northeastern MN, bordering WI, Lake Superior, and Canada, including Duluth and International Falls

Representative Jim Oberstar (D)

First elected  1974

2006 margin 64-34

2004 margin 65-32

Bush margin 2004 46-53

Notes on opponents In 2006, Rod Grams raised $500K to Oberstar’s $1.4 million; the 2004 opponent raised little

Current opponents None declared

Demographics 12th most rural (62.6%), 34th most veterans (16.2%), 20th most Whites (94.6%), 11th fewest Blacks (0.5%), 11th fewest Latinos (0.8%)

Assessment safe

I Hate

I found this piece today that I had wrote on April 1st of 2007. I slightly updated the links to bring it current because I wanted to share it with you here. Although I occasionally do feel this way now, I am happy to report that those feelings are not as lingering nor as intense as they were before.

For this reason, I see hope

Pony Party: Beat It!

The ponies are here prematurely, but there’s a good excuse (later, promise!). A little emergency here, but no worries — wrangling is being provided by the thoroughly Pony-proof  nocatz. Meanwhile, enjoy the drum circles, bring your own bongos and trust me when I say this will all make sense very soon. Or not. Who knows? KTXLUVYABAI!!


Four at Four

  1. While it will come as no surprise to anyone who doesn’t watch Fox News, McClatchy Newspapers reports that an Exhaustive review finds no link between Saddam and al Qaida. “An exhaustive review of more than 600,000 Iraqi documents that were captured after the 2003 U.S. invasion has found no evidence that Saddam Hussein’s regime had any operational links with Osama bin Laden’s al Qaida terrorist network. The Pentagon-sponsored study, scheduled for release later this week, did confirm that Saddam’s regime provided some support to other terrorist groups, particularly in the Middle East, U.S. officials told McClatchy. However, his security services were directed primarily against Iraqi exiles, Shiite Muslims, Kurds and others he considered enemies of his regime.” But, then we knew that back before Bush decided to invade. The report officially comes out tomorrow.

  2. The Washington Post reports that Blackwater is under investigation. “House oversight committee Chairman Henry A. Waxman expanded his effort yesterday to investigate private security contractor Blackwater Worldwide, calling for a wide-ranging federal inquiry into the company’s employment practices. In letters to the Internal Revenue Service, the Small Business Administration and the Labor Department, Waxman (D-Calif.) questioned Blackwater’s classification of its workers as ‘independent contractors’ rather than employees. That designation, which the government has questioned in the past, has allowed the company to obtain $144 million in contracts set aside for small businesses and to avoid paying as much as $50 million in withholding taxes under State Department contracts, he said.” Blackwater, of course, claims the allegations are “completely without merit”.

  3. The New York Times reports Pollution is called a byproduct of a ‘clean’ fuel. People living in Moundville, near Tuscaloosa, Alabama, began to notice “an oily, fetid substance… fouling the Black Warrior River”. The source of the pollution “turned out to be an old chemical factory that had been converted into Alabama’s first biodiesel plant, a refinery that intended to turn soybean oil into earth-friendly fuel.” “The discharges, which can be hazardous to birds and fish, have many people scratching their heads over the seeming incongruity of pollution from an industry that sells products with the promise of blue skies and clear streams… According to the National Biodiesel Board, a trade group, biodiesel is nontoxic, biodegradable and suitable for sensitive environments, but scientists say that position understates its potential environmental impact.”

  4. Rob Shaw writing for Time magazine, tells How Google Earth ate our town.

    When they hear the telltale sirens of a fire truck bursting out of the station in Nanaimo, the locals don’t need to look out of the window or tune in to newscasts to find out where the action is. Instead, they can simply log on to Google Maps or Google Earth and track the firefighters in real time as they tear down the streets of this Vancouver Island port community. The Google-enabling of Nanaimo’s fire service, launched just weeks ago, is the latest venture in a British Columbia town that has been dubbed the capital of Google Earth…

    [This] is a big deal for an old coal mining city of only around 78,000 people, nestled about an hour north of Victoria. What Nanaimo lacks for in size, it has tried to make up in sheer volume of raw electronic data.

    The city’s planning department has, over the past five years, steadily fed Google a wealth of information about its buildings, property lines, utilities and streets. The result is, a clearing house of city data viewed through the robust and freely available Google Earth 3D mapping program.

    Sad that my first reaction to reading this was not ‘how cool!’, but ‘how could this be used by terrorists?’

Agata paints the town red.

Warsaw, Poland September 21, 1940 – “I put my hand on her chest to stop the streaming blood. She told me that she could not breathe, her body trembled and she closed her eyes,” said Szymon Porchinzy of his 12-year-old daughter Agata’s last moments after she was shot by an German sniper last Saturday.

Anna was shot in the left side of her chest while she was inside her home in Warsaw, in the northern part of the ghetto. An ambulance tried to reach her but German soldiers opened fire at it, wounding a paramedic and causing the tires to lose air, and so she bled to death three hours after she was wounded.

Her 39-year-old father Teodor, 37-year-old mother Róza, and the rest of Agata’s family surrounded her, praying for her safety. Her father pressed on the wound while her brother Szymon held her hands as her body was severely trembling. She asked her father to help her to breathe.

“Dad, I cannot breathe, all of you leave me please, let me breathe, enough, enough,” were Agata’s last words, according to her father.

Teodor tried CPR, but he failed. No more pulse and no more breath.

Agata had gone to fetch some clothes from the second floor when, according to Teodor, “the German sniper on a nearby building shot her in her chest.”

The gunshot penetrated both her chest and the door of the room, and blood poured from her chest and back.

“I heard a gunshot and soon her scream filled the house. I went upstairs, [and saw] her knees gave in and slowly she fell down while calling for her mother,” said her 17-year-old brother Teofil.

Her father carried his wounded daughter and tried to evacuate her to the hospital but when he reached the door of the house, his brothers prevented him from leaving as German snipers were shooting anything moving.

Several phone calls later, the ambulance center told the family to evacuate the girl. Her mother Róza carried Agata but as soon as she left the house, the German soldiers opened fire at her and the wounded girl fell to the ground. Teofil dragged her into the house.

While Agata laid dying, the family waited as explosions, gunshots, tanks and artillery sounded all around them. German forces cut the electricity and shot the water tanks on the roof. The radio and phone lost their power.

“We used water only for drinking; the smell of the toilet filled our home and we used [flags for communication] to conserve power,” said her brother Szymon.

“My uncle Wawrzyniec, 28, crawled from our house to his house and brought a kerosene lamp, but it went out the same night,” Szymon added.

“Near the door of our house there were dead bodies; the German soldiers prevented paramedics from carrying them away,” Szymon said.

Szymon began to cry as he recalled his “clever sister,” who shared many of his interests. “She likes sport like me; she is also a good volleyball player and used to participate in school championships.”

The family could not afford paints for Agata to practice her favorite hobby. “She used to [draw] landscapes with a pencil, [there was] no money for colors,” Szymon said.

The following Saturday morning, thousands of Polish Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto participated in Agata’s funeral procession.

Read more about this story here:


$4 Gas, Revolution, and Our Corporate Masters

Gasoline prices hit new high

U.S. average retail gasoline prices have reached a new high of almost $3.20 per gallon and will likely jump another 20 to 30 cents in the next month, worsening the pain of consumers struggling to make ends meet in an economic downturn.

Exxon Mobil Corp., Chevron Corp. and ConocoPhillips reported earnings of almost $10 million {a fucking} hour in the fourth quarter. The economy appears headed toward the first contraction in a presidential election year since 1980. Democrats will probably raise taxes on the oil companies by at least $1.8 billion a year by 2009, senators in both parties say.

“I don’t think you want to be politically or any other way aligned with oil companies that are racking up these kinds of profits at a time when consumers in your state are paying $3 or $3.50 a gallon for gasoline,” says Senator John Thune, a South Dakota Republican who doesn’t face re-election.

emphasis {ahem} mine.

When oh when, Sweet Goddess, will…


Real REAL bad stuff going on in Iraq

So it has pretty much been adopted by many of those who still deny reality that the “decrease in violence” is the proof that the ill fated escalation worked.  And it is also evident that John W. McCain has been a chief proponent and certainly the main beneficiary of this absolutely over simplistic and erroneous line of thinking.

But, buried in the hullabaloo of the latest Democrat to be in the cross hairs (due in large part to his own actions), as well as the obsession over the Clinton/Obama tit-for-tat is some news from Iraq that really does not bode well.  I offer a bit of analysis, but more in the way of information as to the situation on the ground.

Land of the Jailed and Home of the Fearful

I know there are a lot of my fellow citizens who have little sympathy for the struggles of undocumented workers in the United States.

I’ve heard all the arguments, the fears, the anger, and the confusion.

This essay is not intended to address any of that.  Whatever anyone feels about folks coming in to the United States illegally is something I will be happy to discuss at another time, in another essay.

Right now we have legislation pending written to treat immigration as a local law enforcement problem.

I got an email from talking about the Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga) sponsored S2717:

[The] Effective Immigration Enforcement Partnerships Act of 2008. The purpose of this bill is to provide local governments and law enforcement the resources, training, and authority to enforce U.S. immigration law at the local level. According to his website, aspects of the bill include:

• “Clarifying their authority to enforce federal immigration laws during their normal course of duty”

• “Expanding the 287(g) program to every state.” Section 287(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act authorizes state and local police to perform enforcement duties related to illegal immigration

• “Offering a basic training course for all state and local law enforcement officers”

• “Compensating state and local entities for immigration enforcement related expenses”

If you go to, you will see an option to have your say over this bill, whether you agree it should be passed or disagree and wish to let your representatives know you think this bill should not be passed.

A small story of exceptional courage

Years ago I worked as a Family Therapist in a shelter for runaway youth. For some reason, I’ve been thinking lately about one of the last families I worked with in that position. The lessons they taught me have stuck with me for years now. And perhaps I’d like to give voice to the amazing courage I saw on display.

The story starts with 14 year old Amy running away from home. She spent a few days at the shelter and then I met with Amy, her adoptive mother Jackie and her adoptive younger sister Jessica. Jackie had adopted both of these girls after major physical and sexual abuse in their young lives. She had also adopted an older boy who had sexually molested Jessica in her home and been removed. I never met him.

In the first meeting I was a little concerned at how harsh Jackie was with the two girls. There was a group of my colleagues who observed the session behind a one-way mirror who criticized me afterwards for not intervening on behalf of the girls. But something in me told me to leave it be…so I did.

I went on to work with Jackie, Amy and Jessica over a period of a few months. And Jackie became a hero of mine. I was awed by her commitment to these girls no matter what. She loved and cared for them with a fierceness that only a very strong woman could do.  

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