Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Just when you thought it couldn't get any worse. Companies wanting to relax laws against products made with slave or child labor from importing to this country.
And the sad part is, most of the assholes who would allow these products in, will wrap themselves in the flag and bible to do it.
Monday, November 9, 2009
"It is not enough to look back in wonder at how far we have come; those who came before us did not strike a blow against injustice only so that we would allow injustice to fester in our time. That means removing the barriers of prejudice and misunderstanding that still exist in America." - Democratic Party Platform, 2008
John Aravosis and Joe Sudbay over at AmericaBlog have started a campaign to stop sending the DNC any money, nor any money to the President's re-election campaign.
What Pam Spaulding calls shutting off the gAyTM.
If you're like me, you have to be sick and tired of all the pandering for our votes and money, but when it comes down to the wire, zero support for our agenda.
John and Joe have a petition to sign pledging not to give any money to the national organizations until DOMA, DADT, are repealed and ENDA is passed.
Take the Pledge:
Don't Ask, Don't Give
President Obama promised to be a "fierce advocate" for LGBT Americans. But while making modest progress on a scant few issues, on the major campaign promises made to our community, the President and the Democratic party have failed to keep their commitments.
There has been little, if any, pressure from the White House for votes on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA). The administration continues to send mixed signals on the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell (DADT). And we've been told not to expect the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) to even be considered until President Obama's second term. In the last two weeks alone, we were angered that the Obama administration continued to defend DOMA in the courts -- last June, the administration's lawyers even compared loving gay relationships to incest and pedophilia -- and we were saddened that the White House and the Democratic party refused to help us defeat anti-gay ballot initiatives in Maine and Washington state. LGBT Americans, our families, and our friends kept our promise at the ballot box, we now expect President Obama to keep his in the White House.
So please join me along with Daily Kos, FireDogLake, Dan Savage, Michelangelo Signorile, Andy Towle, Pam Spaulding, Paul Sousa, and many others in pledging no donations to the national party until our agenda gets a fair hearing and vote.
It's time to stop being taken for granted when it comes to money, and no support to ending our status as second class citizens for being LGBT.
Please sign the petition.
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
I guess golf outings are no fun when you have to pay for them out of your own foundation!
In addition to ably serving on the Committee on Veterans Affairs, Congressman Buyer serves on the Energy and Commerce Committee in the Subcommittee on Health, and the Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet. Let's see, health and big telco, wonder where the money came from? Now if he'll only get caught with his zipper down letting me add him to the Hall of Shame.
Friday, October 2, 2009
I did see a bumper sticker today I loved. "Raise America's IQ, Turn Off Fox".
Guess that says everything about Beck and Fox.
Friday, September 25, 2009
For way too long, banks have had the upper hand in calling the shots, but now savvy homeowners are calling them out and in more and more cases, are winning.
Rolling Stone writer Matt Taibbi recently wrote in his blog about one company, Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, that holds over half the mortgages in the country. They lost an important decision in front of the Kansas Supreme Court that ruled MERS had no legal standing to foreclose on properties in that state. The ruling came down because MERS could not provide certified documentation of their right to have anything to do with individual mortgages. No documentation, no right to foreclose.
A landmark ruling in a recent Kansas Supreme Court case may have given millions of distressed homeowners the legal wedge they need to avoid foreclosure. In Landmark National Bank v. Kesler, 2009 Kan. LEXIS 834, the Kansas Supreme Court held that a nominee company called MERS has no right or standing to bring an action for foreclosure. MERS is an acronym for Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, a private company that registers mortgages electronically and tracks changes in ownership. The significance of the holding is that if MERS has no standing to foreclose, then nobody has standing to foreclose – on 60 million mortgages. That is the number of American mortgages currently reported to be held by MERS. Over half of all new U.S. residential mortgage loans are registered with MERS and recorded in its name. Holdings of the Kansas Supreme Court are not binding on the rest of the country, but they are dicta of which other courts take note; and the reasoning behind the decision is sound.
via Landmark Decision: Massive Relief for Homeowners and Trouble for the Banks.
The ruling states in part...
“By statute, assignment of the mortgage carries with it the assignment of the debt. . . . Indeed, in the event that a mortgage loan somehow separates interests of the note and the deed of trust, with the deed of trust lying with some independent entity, the mortgage may become unenforceable. The practical effect of splitting the deed of trust from the promissory note is to make it impossible for the holder of the note to foreclose, unless the holder of the deed of trust is the agent of the holder of the note. Without the agency relationship, the person holding only the note lacks the power to foreclose in the event of default. The person holding only the deed of trust will never experience default because only the holder of the note is entitled to payment of the underlying obligation. The mortgage loan becomes ineffectual when the note holder did not also hold the deed of trust.” [Citations omitted; emphasis added.]
Matt Taibbi is currently working on this story for his next Rolling Stone article. While the court decision applies strictly to Kansas, it sets precedence for other courts in other states grappling with the same problems.
If you or any one you know is facing foreclosure, all is not lost. Many Americans have been able to stop foreclosure of their property, and some have walked away with clear title.
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
XYZ Fire Service Customer Support: (recorded message) "Thank you for calling XYZ Fire Service. If this is a fire emergency, please press one, if this is a medical emergency, please press two."
Caller/Subscriber: (presses one)
XYZ: "Thank you, please wait why we connect you."
Caller: (listening to bad elevator music while call gets re-routed to call center in Mumbai, India.)
XYZ: (recorded message) "We're sorry, due to the unexpected high volume of calls, please stand by for the next available operator."
Caller: (listens to more bad elevator music while watching flames spread. 30 seconds later....)
XYZ: "XYZ Insurance, how can I help you?"
Caller: "My house is on fire and I need help now."
XYZ: "Yes sir, can I have your account number please?"
Caller: "My account number, my house is burning to the ground."
XYZ: "I understand sir, but I need to confirm you're a valid XYZ subscriber."
Caller: "Very well, it's 123-XXX-XXXXX-XXXX."
XYZ: "Thank you sir, now where did the fire start?"
Caller: "In my kitchen, are you sending fire trucks yet?"
XYZ: "One moment sir. Did you say it started in the kitchen? Was this a stove fire?"
Caller: "Yes, my wife was cooking dinner when it started. It spread into the exhaust duct and into the attic."
XYZ: "Sir, XYZ Insurance considers stove fires to be consumer negligence. We also consider the fire in the duct work to be caused by a pre-existing condition, namely grease, and as a result we must rescind your policy at this time."
Caller: "What do you mean rescind? I've been paying you for over 15 years without a claim."
XYZ: "I do apologize sir, but if you check the fine print in your subscription contract, it's all spelled out there. If you feel you are being treated badly, here's our 800 number to register a complaint. 1-800-XXX-XXXX."
The house is now completely engulfed in flames.
Caller: "I can't believe you're cancelling my insurance just when I need it."
XYZ: XYZ deeply regrets your loss, but that is our policy. If there is nothing else, thank you for being a loyal XYZ Fire Insurance customer for all these years."
Caller: "Bastards!" (as he watches his home turn into ash.)
The next time someone you know has been brain-washed by FOX (Faux News Channel) into railing against socialism, ask them how they would like to be the caller in our little story. Sound far fetched? This is exactly how the health insurance companies treat their customers.
If all else fails, suggest they visit the one country with no taxes, no government regulation, no government paid for infrastructure, and no limits on what a person can do. Welcome to the Libertarian paradise of Somalia. Armed street gangs, Warlords, Pirates, and no central government. The Cato Institute must be so proud.
Personally, I believe in socialism for the common good. I want our children schooled. I want fire and police protection. Government regulation is good when it cleans the air and water, let's you eat safe food. Goes after charlatans and rip-off artists. All government services are inherently socialism. Consider the alternative.
Thursday, September 10, 2009
I took my dad to the mall the other day to buy some new shoes (he is 84). We decided to grab a bite at the food court. I noticed he was watching a teenager sitting next to him. The teenager had spiked hair in all different colours; green, red, orange and blue. My dad kept staring at him. The teenager would look and find him staring every time. When the teenager had enough, he sarcastically asked: “What’s the matter old man, never done anything wild in your life?” Knowing my Dad, I quickly swallowed my food so that I would not choke on his response; knowing that he would have a good one. And in classic style he did not bat an eye in his response: “Got stoned once and fucked a peacock. I was just wondering if you were my son.”
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
A portly man outside a Town Hall meeting carries a sign reading "Abolish federal government." A middle-aged banshee screams "Nazi" at a pro-health care reform Israeli emigre. Tap dancing Tom DeLay, caught up in the thrall of his own voice on national TV, demands that Obama show the world his "gift certificate." Rep. Michele Bachmann says that prayer and fasting will defeat health care reform.
Meet the Stupids circa 2009, folks, a familiar perfect storm of the flimflammers and the flimflammed, united as one to make nonsensical noise. I say "familiar" because, no matter how aberrated the recent spate of AstroTurf antics may seem, they are as American as apple pie. In fact, they are based on two of this country's founding principals: paranoia and righteous stupidity.
And my favorite....
It has nothing to do with health care reform.
It has everything to do with fear of change, fear of a Black president and the perceived loss of power. The fact that most of the people protesting are powerless doesn't matter. They are being bankrolled and directed by those who have power, members of the GOP and big business.
Let's concentrate on the protestors for a moment. Most of them wouldn't know Socialism from Botulism. Their worldview is in Braille. Yet, there they are carrying signs decrying "Obama's Nazi health care plan" and offering "Send Obama Home To Kenya" and "Black National Socialism Is Not Utopia."
(Note: Normally, I would shield the names of these folks and refer to them by the generically nonjudgmental term "fucktard A" or "fucktard B." However, these idiots have worked so long and hard for their fifteen minutes of fame; let's ridicule them by name.)
It's way past time to call out these idiots for what they are, ignorant, self righteous bigots, who can't tell the constitution from a Superman comic book. Do yourself a favor and read the whole article.
Thursday, September 3, 2009
Cheney has every right to be worried about Attorney General Eric Holder's inquiry into abuses by CIA officials green-lighted by the Bush/Cheney White House on Enhanced Interrogation Techniques. Currently, Holder's investigation is focused on the small fry who "Were Just Following Orders", but expect that to change real soon. Holder can target all the low hanging fruit he wants, but when push comes to shove, all roads still lead to the Vice Presidents Office through John Yoo and David Addington.
Once the Justice Department decides to prosecute, there isn't a defense lawyer around that won't be willing to drag the higher ups into the case. Once that happens, Holder will have no choice but to start looking there as well. Any attempts to suppress the testimony of those who authorized this debacle will rightly be seen as a miscarriage of justice by the American people.
Unlike his daughter Liz who will go on any network to spout the Cheney family fibs, Dick Cheney is a coward with no balls who will only go on FOX knowing he'll get to say his talking points unchallenged. And why shouldn't he. Every other network will run excerpts from his interview putting out the talking points he wants to make. I'm reminded of the old adage that if you repeat a lie enough times, people will start to believe it.
If you want to see how a real reporter interviews a hostile subject, check out Rachel Maddow's interview of a very uncomfortable Tom Ridge earlier this week on her MSNBC show.
Imagine how different our public discourse would be if a politician knew they would be called out on their lies instead of given a free ride by most of what calls itself the mainstream media.
Monday, July 27, 2009
Congresswoman Dina Titus (D-NV3) recent vote in committee against the health care bill worming it's way through congress points to an issue that keeps rearing it's ugly head.
The issue is taxing the wealthy 5% to help pay for services to the 95% of the rest of the country. Too often over the last 8 1/2 years we've been told increasing taxes on the wealthy would be bad for the economy. For some reason this argument never takes into account the negative aspect of falling wages and benefits to the rest of us. The engine of a prosperous middle class is what truly drives the economy.
The two largest tax cuts enacted during Bush 43 were the Estate Tax and the Capital Gains Tax.
In 2001 when the Estate Tax was lowered the deductible was $675,000 with a maximum tax rate of 55%. Today the tax stands at $3,500,000 deductible with a 45% maximum rate. Next year it disappears altogether, and in 2011 it returns with a $5,000,000 deductible and a 35% maximum rate. The argument used during the debate in 2001 was the need to protect small family farms. It makes a great sound-bite, but nobody spouting this nonsense (read republican/blue dogs)could point to a single family farm lost due to the tax. The real recipient of this change was the Walton family of Walmart fame who stood to save billions (that's billion with a big "B")from the drop in rates.
The most insidious tax cut was for Capital Gains. The long-term rate was lowered in 2003 to 15% for corporations and 5% for individuals. Now understand, capital gains is the profit on investments. The Capital Gains tax is the only tax paid on this income. Capital Gains represent income from investments such as stocks, bonds, increased property values, etc. In 2011, the top rate reverts to 20%.
Warren Buffet, who was one of the biggest winners of the tax cut, commented at the time that he didn't need the cut and his secretary now paid a higher percentage on her income taxes for her $60,000 a year income than he did on his investments.
There are safeguards in place to protect homeowners from paying out long-term capital gains on the increased value of their primary residence at the time of sale. Why investments should be taxed lower than regular income is the issue here. If I work for a living, my maximum tax rate is over 35 percent. If I kick back and live off my investments, my maximum rate is 5 percent as an individual. The only people truly benefiting from this rate drop are the wealthy.
The combined drop in tax revenue over 10 years from these two taxes is estimated to exceed $1 trillion dollars. Or, about what universal health care would cost this country over 10 years.
It's time to stop making excuses for why we can't fix the major problems this country faces because of money, and go where the money is.
Thursday, July 16, 2009
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Vet Voice has more details.
"It is vital to our national security," Murphy said last week in his first interview since taking over the lead on the so-called Military Readiness Enhancement Act. "We have troops that are fighting in two wars ... and we need every qualified able-bodied individual who is able to serve."
The legislation, which has 150 co-sponsors in the House, would repeal the "don't ask, don't tell" policy, which Congress approved in September 1993 and bars the military from discriminating on the basis of a service member's sexual orientation. More than 13,000 military personnel have been discharged for being gay since the law was enacted.
In Murphy, 35, Democratic leadership in the House has an aggressive two-term lawmaker who in 2006 was the first Iraq war veteran elected to Congress. A former prosecutor and West Point professor, Murphy was a captain in the Army's 82nd Airborne Division.
He said he anticipates a drawn-out battle to rally enough support to bring the bill to the floor. The legislation, first introduced in 2005, has never made it out of committee.
"This is going to take months and months, but change is going to happen," Murphy said.
Check out the new web site for Congressman Murphy's effort: LetThemServe.com
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
Check out Matt Taibbi's great article in the latest Rolling Stone. He very effectively breaks down who the major players are that created the economic crisis we are in today, and also shows how the same companies have been doing it to us for decades. The major player in all of this is Goldman Sachs.
The first thing you need to know about Goldman Sachs is that it's everywhere. The world's most powerful investment bank is a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money.
Any attempt to construct a narrative around all the former Goldmanites in influential positions quickly becomes an absurd and pointless exercise, like trying to make a list of everything. What you need to know is the big picture: If America is circling the drain, Goldman Sachs has found a way to be that drain — an extremely unfortunate loophole in the system of Western democratic capitalism, which never foresaw that in a society governed passively by free markets and free elections, organized greed always defeats disorganized democracy.
They achieve this using the same playbook over and over again. The formula is relatively simple: Goldman positions itself in the middle of a speculative bubble, selling investments they know are crap. Then they hoover up vast sums from the middle and lower floors of society with the aid of a crippled and corrupt state that allows it to rewrite the rules in exchange for the relative pennies the bank throws at political patronage. Finally, when it all goes bust, leaving millions of ordinary citizens broke and starving, they begin the entire process over again, riding in to rescue us all by lending us back our own money at interest, selling themselves as men above greed, just a bunch of really smart guys keeping the wheels greased. They've been pulling this same stunt over and over since the 1920s — and now they're preparing to do it again, creating what may be the biggest and most audacious bubble yet.
See Taibbi discuss Goldman Sachs' big scam.
Sunday, July 5, 2009
Former Secretary of State Collin Powell called for a review of Don't Ask Don't Tell on CNN's "State of The Union" Sunday show. Getting Colin Powell to step out on this issue is important based on his participation during the Clinton administration when the law was crafted.
Former Secretary of State Colin Powell said on Sunday that the "Don't Ask Don't Tell" policy he helped craft should be revisited, but he would not go so far as to call for a full repeal of the compromise.
"The policy and the law that came about in 1993 I think was correct for the time," Powell said in an appearance on CNN's "State of the Union." "Sixteen years have now gone by, and I think a lot has changed with respect to attitudes within our country. And therefore, I think this is a policy and a law that should be reviewed."
Thursday, July 2, 2009
SCHEUER: The only chance we have as a country right now is for Osama bin Laden to deploy and detonate a major weapon in the United States....only Osama can execute an attack which will force Americans to demand that their government protect them.
STEWART: What the fuck is that? And by the way, here's the fascinating thing about our culture. My guess is that you didn't hear me say "fuck." Because the Federal government is protecting you and your children's ears from that type of profanity. While, Santa's evil twin gets to, uhh...gets to nonchalantly proposes the needless slaughter of Americans to further his national security plan. But, obviously, in this country, everyone's entitled to their dope-pinion.
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c|
|Osama bin Laden Needs to Attack America|
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
Today marks the 100th Anniversary of the splitting of Lincoln County to create Clark County.
Clark County was named for William Andrews Clark, a mining and railroad magnate who gave Las Vegas its start when he established a maintenance stop for his San Pedro, Los Angeles & Salt Lake Railroad.
Another Clark also played a key role, Hall-Patton said. Pioche businessman Edward Clark worked behind the scenes to make the county split possible. His reward was an appointment as Clark County's first treasurer.
The new county's population, counted officially for the first time during the 1910 census, stood at 3,321 souls.
That's about 600 more than the current enrollment at Clark High School and 27 fewer than the number of guest rooms at Caesars Palace.
Hall-Patton said Clark County's two largest communities a century ago were Searchlight and Goodsprings, and its two largest employers were mines and ranches.
The GOP Leadership in Congress led by Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) are now whining Obama won't talk to them anymore. Where do these assholes get off? All the talk of bi-partisanship early on followed by total Repug refusal to vote for anything Obama suggested even to the point of demanding changes in legislation and then not voting for the bills.
Somebody call the Waaaaaahbulance
This is what FNC considers Fair and Balanced news reporting.
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
One has to ask how much longer can the Republican Party continue to denigrate Gays for wanting to marry while party leaders keep getting caught with their zipper down.
Last week it was Senator John Ensign (R-NV), this week it's Sanford. We're starting a new feature today called Republican Zipper Hall of Shame to document all the marital abuses. The first two names are going to be Sanford and Ensign with Honorable Mention to Newt Gingrich, Rudy Giuliani, John McCain, David Vitter, and our personal favorite Larry "Wide Stance" Larry Craig.
Saturday, June 20, 2009
Today, the Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations held a hearing entitled "Terminations of Individual Health Policies by Insurance Companies." The hearing examined the practice of "post-claims underwriting," which occurs when insurance companies cancel individual health insurance policies after providers submit claims for medical services rendered.
The Committee conducted an investigation into the
practice of health insurance rescission, and the results were alarming. Over the past five years, almost 20,000 individual insurance policyholders have had their policies rescinded by the three insurance companies who testified today: Assurant, UnitedHealth Group, and WellPoint.
Remember, please pass this video around. Let's show the world what kind of creatures are running the single most costly industry to the average American, medical insurance. The only way to get to single payer health care, is to force congress to act. If this video doesn't piss some people off, I don't know what would.
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
This would be the same John Ensign who called for Larry Craig to resign over his alleged hijinks's in a Minneapolis airport. And the same John Ensign who called for Bill Clinton to resign over the Monica Lewinsky affair.
But it should, at the very least, re-open the longstanding debate over how much attention should be paid to a politician's personal life. And when it comes to this topic, Ensign's own record of denouncing the affairs and misconducts of other pols could come back to haunt him.
Nothing like another Republican hypocrite.
The Senator found Bill's actions to be embarrassing....
During the height of the scandal surrounding Bill Clinton's affair with Monica Lewinsky, the Nevada Republican denounced the president's conduct as "an embarrassing moment for the country."
'I think we have to feel very sad for the American people and Hillary and Chelsea,' he said.
Weeks later, Ensign would call on Clinton to resign. "I came to that conclusion recently, and frankly it's because of what he put his whole Cabinet through and what he has put the country through," he was quoted saying at the time. "He has no credibility left," he added.
It goes without saying Ensign is a big supporter of the Defense of Marriage Act and voted for the Marriage Amendment.
Needless to say, the Senator has no intentions of resigning, even with his doe-eyed wife Darlene standing by his side.
Thursday, June 11, 2009
"Today's New York Times story creates a false impression about the AMA's position on a public plan option in health care reform legislation. The AMA opposes any public plan that forces physicians to participate, expands the fiscally-challenged Medicare program or pays Medicare rates, but the AMA is willing to consider other variations of the public plan that are currently under discussion in Congress. This includes a federally chartered co-op health plan or a level playing field option for all plans. The AMA is working to achieve meaningful health reform this year and is ready to stand behind legislation that includes coverage options that work for patients and physicians."
I wonder if they will pull out the old Ronald Reagan record railing against "Socialized Medicine" again? My favorite part is where he talks about medicine being the precursor down the road to socialism.
Our old friend Fred Willard provides the solution to our healthcare woes...
I think even the insurance companies would approve.
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Apparently, we are fair weather friends when he needs votes, and a bother when he doesn't.
Candidate Obama came out strongly against DADT while running for President, but President Obama gives lip service and nothing else.
The biggest slap in the face to the LGBT Community that has been advocating for a change, is the Obama White House sending a lawyer to the Supreme Court to support the current policy. WTF!
I for one refuse to be treated with this much contempt. It's high time the Obama administration jumped on the same band-wagon as the rest of the country. Recent polls show the American public is ready to repeal Don't Ask, Don't Tell. When will Obama show leadership on this issue?
Current polling shows where America is at in their support for repealing DADT that has cost us over 13,000 highly trained military personel since it's passage in the Clinton administration.
- 69% of all Americans
- 58% of Republicans
- 58% of Conservatives
- 60% of Church Goers
Rachael Maddow said it best on her show last night
Failure by President Obama to meaningfully address this issue may become NMNS (no money, no support) in 2010. It takes more than votes to win elections.
Monday, June 8, 2009
Sunday, June 7, 2009
Friday, June 5, 2009
Over the next couple of weeks, expect to see many changes to this blog. There are many features I can't wait to introduce you to.
The one thing I promise is plenty of ranting and raving about Las Vegas, Nevada, and American politics and the lying liars who we elect to represent out interests. As you know, I don't have any problem with calling them out. Now in addition to letters to the editor and letters to politicians, I will be posting my opinions for all to see.
So be sure to check out my new blog on a regular basis for fun, frivolity, rants, and raves.