Saturday, December 13, 2008

Another Rant Against Mitch McConnell...

    and I do not believe that there are enough rants about this Republican Communist. Yes, I said it. Communist! Look at the Republican party especially over the past eight years and the laws that they have enacted in the fight against terrorism. For that matter, look at the laws which they have enacted against you and I. Republicans have more leanings towards communism than they do any sort of democracy.

   That being said... Here's the rant.

Dan E in Blue Hampshire  Sat Dec 13, 2008

Yes, yes, I know, he's a union-busting, corporate whore.  Film at eleven.  I know this.  You know this.

He's out to kill my home town (Toledo) and the part of the world I grew up in (the Great Lakes)

So, I want it asked, in so many words,

Why does Mitch McConnell hate America?

Northwest Ohio is home to about three quarters of a million people; most of the manufacturing jobs there are tied to the auto industry.

If you kill that, you kill my home.  You kill my city.  You kill the people I grew up with.  You kill the places I loved.

And I want to know why, Mitch.  I want to know who's paying you.  I want to know if the money is good enough, you money-grubbing tool.

And as for unions, what's wrong with individual people getting together to ensure that they have the ability to bargain with large entities on an equal basis? Isn't that the point to unions?  Isn't the free response of people to market conditions what is supposed to be the genius of free market liberal democracies?  Aren't you in favor of capitalism, freedom, and democracy, Senator?

Oh wait, you don't want freedom or free markets, do you, Mitch?  You don't actually want EQUALITY  You want your corporate patrons to get rich, and the hell with the rest of us, right?

So tell me, Mitch, Why do you hate America? Because you sure as hell hate Americans.

Feds Top Protect Credit Card Customers From Rate Increases

  From the Federal Reserve comes this important notice to credit card holders. This notice was released in May of this year, but as is usual, no-one heard about it.

The Federal Reserve Board on Friday proposed rules to prohibit unfair practices regarding credit cards and overdraft services that would, among other provisions, protect consumers from unexpected increases in the rate charged on pre-existing credit card balances. 

The rules, proposed for public comment under the Federal Trade Commission Act (FTC Act), also would forbid banks from imposing interest charges using the "two-cycle" billing method, would require that consumers receive a reasonable amount of time to make their credit card payments, and would prohibit the use of payment allocation methods that unfairly maximize interest charges. They also include protections for consumers that use overdraft services offered by their bank.

"The proposed rules are intended to establish a new baseline for fairness in how credit card plans operate," said Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke.  "Consumers relying on credit cards should be better able to predict how their decisions and actions will affect their costs."

The proposed changes to the Board’s Regulation AA (Unfair or Deceptive Acts or Practices) would be complemented by separate proposals that the Board is issuing under the Truth in Lending Act (Regulation Z) and the Truth in Savings Act (Regulation DD).

The provisions addressing credit card practices are part of the Board’s ongoing effort to enhance protections for consumers who use credit cards, and follow the Board's 2007 proposal to improve the credit card disclosures under the Truth in Lending Act. The FTC Act proposal includes five key protections for consumers that use credit cards:

  • Banks would be prohibited from increasing the rate on a pre-existing credit card balance (except under limited circumstances) and must allow the consumer to pay off that balance over a reasonable period of time.
  • Banks would be prohibited from applying payments in excess of the minimum in a manner that maximizes interest charges.
  • Banks would be required to give consumers the full benefit of discounted promotional rates on credit cards by applying payments in excess of the minimum to any higher-rate balances first, and by providing a grace period for purchases where the consumer is otherwise eligible.
  • Banks would be prohibited from imposing interest charges using the "two-cycle" method, which computes interest on balances on days in billing cycles preceding the most recent billing cycle.
  • Banks would be required to provide consumers a reasonable amount of time to make payments.

The proposal would also address subprime credit cards by limiting the fees that reduce the available credit. In addition, banks that make firm offers of credit advertising multiple rates or credit limits would be required to disclose in the solicitation the factors that determine whether a consumer will qualify for the lowest rate and highest credit limit. 

"Unfair practices can impose significant costs on credit card users," said Federal Reserve Board Governor Randall S. Kroszner. "The new proposed rules would provide the benefit of substantial protection against practices that can harm consumers."

The Board's proposal under the FTC Act also addresses acts or practices in connection with a bank’s payment of overdrafts on a deposit account, whether the overdraft is created by check, a withdrawal at an automated teller machine, a debit card purchase, or other transactions. The proposal requires institutions to provide consumers with notice and an opportunity to opt out of the payment of overdrafts, before any overdraft fees or charges may be imposed on consumers' accounts. 

To ensure that consumers enjoy the same protections regardless of the institution from which they obtain a credit card or receive overdraft protection, the Board's FTC Act proposal is issued concurrently with substantively similar proposals by the Office of Thrift Supervision and the National Credit Union Administration that would apply, respectively, to savings associations and federally-chartered credit unions.

All three Federal Register notices are attached. In light of the significance of the issues raised, the comment period for the FTC Act proposal ends seventy-five days after publication of the proposal in the Federal Register, while the comment periods for the Regulation Z and DD proposals end sixty days after publication. Publication of each of the proposals is expected shortly.

Highlights of Proposed Rules Regarding Credit Cards and Overdraft Services

Statement by Chairman Ben S. Bernanke

Statement by Governor Randall S. Kroszner

Michael Moore: Senate Tells Middle Class To Drop Dead

   I'm about to post a letter from Michael Moore which I found over at the DailyKos only because Mr. Moore is right about the subject on which he is writing. The subject is the Big 3 automakers and their impending (?) bailout and the fact that the Republicans in the Senate are pretty much trying to tell Detroit and and the American middle-class to go to hell.

Senate to Middle Class: Drop Dead ...a message from Michael Moore

by Michael Moore   Fri Dec 12, 2008


They could have given the loan on the condition that the automakers start building only cars and mass transit that reduce our dependency on oil.

They could have given the loan on the condition that the automakers build cars that reduce global warming.

They could have given the loan on the condition that the automakers withdraw their many lawsuits against state governments in their attempts to not comply with our environmental laws.

They could have given the loan on the condition that the management team which drove these once-great manufacturers into the ground resign and be replaced with a team who understands the transportation needs of the 21st century.

Yes, they could have given the loan for any of these reasons because, in the end, to lose our manufacturing infrastructure and throw 3 million people out of work would be a catastrophe.

But instead, the Senate said, we'll give you the loan only if the factory workers take a $20 an hour cut in wages, pension and health care. That's right. After giving BILLIONS to Wall Street hucksters and criminal investment bankers -- billions with no strings attached and, as we have since learned, no oversight whatsoever -- the Senate decided it is more important to break a union, more important to throw middle class wage earners into the ranks of the working poor than to prevent the total collapse of industrial America.

We have a little more than a month to go of this madness. As I sit here in Michigan today, tens of thousands of hard working, honest, decent Americans do not believe they can make it to January 20th. The malaise here is astounding. Why must they suffer because of the mistakes of every CEO from Roger Smith to Rick Wagoner? Make management and the boards of directors and the shareholders pay for this.

Of course that is heresy to the 31 Republicans who decided to blame the poor, miserable autoworkers for this mess. And our wonderful media complied with their spin on the morning news shows: "UAW Refuses to Give Concessions Killing Auto Bailout Bill." In fact the UAW has given concession after concession, reduced their benefits, agreed to get rid of the Jobs Bank and agreed to make it harder for their retirees to live from week to week. Yes! That's what we need to do! It's the Jobs Bank and the old people who have led the nation to economic ruin!

But even doing all that wasn't enough to satisfy the bastard Republicans. These Senate vampires  wanted blood. Blue collar blood. You see, they weren't opposed to the bailout because they believed in the free market or capitalism. No, they were opposed to the bailout because they're opposed to workers making a decent wage. In their rage, they were driven to destroy the backbone of this country, not because the UAW hadn't given back enough, but because the UAW hadn't given up.

It appears that the sitting President has been looking for a way to end his reign by one magnanimous act, just like a warlord on his feast day. He will put his finger in the dyke, and the fragile mess of an auto industry will eke through the next few months.

That will give the Senate enough time to demand that the bankers and investment sharks who've already swiped nearly half of the $700 billion gift a chance to make the offer of cutting their pay.

Fat chance.

Michael Moore

Friday, December 12, 2008

A Letter From The Republican Party

   No, it isn't a real letter from the GOP, but this made up letter does capture the true outlook and the morals of those Republicans which I have come to hate with a passion!

Dear Human Applicant:

We are writing to inform you that though we'd like to take steps to save the economy, allowing you to keep a roof over your head and food in your children's mouths, we've been informed that your gardener, Cruz, makes $18 dollars an hour, which far exceeds the pay for gardeners in your human competitor countries like China and South Korea.

Therefore we must insist you inform Cruz that unless he willingly cuts his salary in half and gives up his single family dwelling for housing more consistent with that of your competitors (see above right) we are going to be forced to use your tax refund to fund AIG's "Mercedes For Millionaires" program.

Additionally, we've learned that you have "Child Care" and that you are providing said "Child Care" with something you call "Health-Insurance".

We are somewhat baffled as to WHY you would provide said "Child Care" with said "Health Insurance" when its well known that many of your Human competitors not only don't provide their "Child Care" with "Health Insurance" but  forgo "Child Care" altogether by choosing not to hold down a job.

We strongly feel that you should rescind this "Health Insurance" scam in order to be stay competitive with Humans all over the world. After all would it be so hard for your "Child Care" to simply "Pray" for better health like your competition has for 3000 years?

Further concerns arise around your choice to adhere to concepts like "workplace safety", which is at odds with the practice of certain of your foreign based competitors.

For instance we hear that your Offspring (who does not even work) still has all its factory installed limbs, whereas Offspring in competitive countries (unburdened by child labor laws) have successfully existed for tens of years after having arms or legs amputated due to accidents in their place of gainful employment.

Therefore we are going to have to respectfully withhold further assistance until you can prove that you are willing to take the viability steps of removing your smoke detectors, gas shut off valves, as well as the cut-guard on your circular saw.

We do look forward to your submitting a fully-realized (HCRP) Human Competition Restructuring Plan, wherein we'd like you to consider not-educating any penis-challenged of your progeny (many of your competitors just sell them off for a dowry), executing any of your homosexual neighbors (stoning is a popular method) and going without potable water.


The Republican Party of The United States Of Free Markets*

UAW Blasts Republican Senators...

   as they should be calling these dicks with ears to task for their attempts at busting the UAW out of existence. 

   Always remember, Republicans are for no one but themselves and big business, period. they do not give a fuck about either you or myself getting paid a fair wage and they certainly do not care about whether or not we have healthcare through work insurance or otherwise.

   In the case of the Big 3 automakers, the GOP would rather watch these companies go down the tubes with their jobs, just to put the UAW out of business. If those shitheads on Wall Street had been represented by a union, we would no longer have a Wall Street which is getting that $800 billion or so.

   The leadership of the United Auto Workers has something to say about this .

A plan to give General Motors and Chrysler $14 billion in short-term loans fell apart in the U.S. Senate late last night. Senate Republicans blamed the UAW for not agreeing to reach wage parity with employees of the foreign autoworkers in United States by the end of 2009.

"The demand by the Senate GOP caucus would have no question treated workers differently from every other stakeholder instead of leaving it to the auto czar to work out the timetable and the mechanism for implementing sacrifices by all of the stakeholders," Gettelfinger said.

Gettelfinger said the union made it clear Thursday night that "we were prepared to make further sacrifices."

"But we could not accept the effort by the Senate GOP caucus to single out workers and retirees for different treatment and to make them shoulder the entire burden of restructuring," Gettelfinger said.

He emphasized that the UAW had made several concessions since 2003, including last week when he announced the union would push back the automakers’ payments to the retiree trust fund, which helps the companies save billions of dollars in the meantime.

Gettelfigner took aim at criticism over UAW wages and demands that compensation be made the same as foreign auto companies’ U.S. plants. He pointed to research that showed Toyota workers at a plant in Kentucky were making, with bonuses, $30 an hour, compared to the $28.12 an hour paid to UAW workers at the Detroit automakers.

"This was just simply subterfuge on the part of the minority in the Republican party who wanted to tear down any agreement that we came up with," Gettelfinger said.

Gettelfinger said he told U.S. Sen. Bob Corker, a Republican from Tennessee, that if Toyota was going to be used as the benchmark for wages, the union leader was willing to send a team of his researchers to Toyota to study the automaker’s entire wage structure.

"In addition to that, if we were going to use them as a benchmark, we should be permitted to see how they pay their management," Gettelfinger said. "If we did that, we should also see their dealer contracts and as well as their supplier contracts. That would only make sense to me instead of somebody saying, ‘Here’s the wage — that’s what you have to agree to.’ "

Gettelfinger blamed some Southern Republican who are antiunion and who represent communities that are home to foreign automakers. He said it was a "two-fer" by piercing "the heart of organized labor while representing the foreign brands."

  While we are looking at the auto industry, GM made an announcement today.

 Detroit Free Press

General Motors Corp., which is involved in a last-ditch effort to garner federal funds to help it survive through January, confirmed this morning that it is slashing approximately 250,000 units of production in the first quarter by shutting down most North American assembly plants for about 30% of the first quarter.

  A cut back in hours worked will more than likely be the next step.

Smithfield Workers Score Big Win!

    it looks like a few of the unions in America are on a roll. the latest union to score a big win is the United Food and Commercial Workers Union, who won the right, after a 16 year battle, to organize at Smithfield Foods in North Carolina.

   Employees at Smithfield Foods’ Bladen County plant voted 2,041 to 1,879 to be represented by a union. The vote was counted tonight by federal officials.

A union victory is considered a coup in North Carolina, which has the lowest rate of unionization in the nation. It is part of a larger struggle to organize meat-packing plants that have moved to the Southeast in the past few decades hoping to escape the reach of unions.

   A good deal for these workers at Smithfield as they work at some very crappy and grueling tasks in a slaughterhouse. It's about time that Smithfield got smacked down a notch or two. They've been scaring their workers into avoiding unions for years.


Virginia-based Smithfield had earned a national reputation for its hostility to organized labor: A 2005 report by Human Rights Watch had singled out Smithfield for creating a "climate of fear" among workers, including intimidation, harassment and even beatings of suspected activists.
Indeed, such tactics are what caused the two previous union elections at Smithfield to be dismissed:

The results of two previous elections at the plant in the 1990s were thrown out after federal officials declared that the company had harassed and fired union supporters, even forcing an employee to stamp the words "Vote No" on dead hogs.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Auto Bailout Bill Dies


Republicans Let US Auto Fail

by Doctor Who  Thu Dec 11, 2008

As I listen to C-Span it is obvious that the US Auto Bailout is dead!  And let it be clear it is the Senate Republicans who killed it!

After a few speeches Harry Reid will hold a cloture vote on the Bill which Reid expects to fail.  He is then going to close the doors and go home.

Why?  All because the Republicans could not get their amendment to establish by a date certain, pay equity between non-union, foreign car workers and UAW workers building US cars.

The good the bad and the ugly of all this after the jump

The Good:

For once the Dems. played chicken and forced the Repugs to blink.  They held fast against selling out the US UAW worker.  Give credit to Chris Dodd and Deb Stabineau who clearly hung this around the Repubs neck where it belongs.

The Bad:

The Southern Repugs killed this Bill for the sole purpose of favoring foreign car in their home States over US car companies in the Northeast.  The purpose of their little pay equity ploy had nothing to do with saving US auto companies and workers, and everything to do with preventing unions being formed among the foreign car workers in their States.

The Ugly:

As Sen. Dodd so eliquently put it, there is a good chance it will be an ugly day on Wall Street tomorrow and even uglier days ahead for thousands of US autoworkers and the communities in which they live.

Why We All Need a Union!

Published on Wednesday, December 10, 2008 by

Workers of America: Wake Up! We All Need a Union!

by Dave Lindorff

We workers of America, white collar, pink collar, blue collar, and no collar at all, have just gotten a wonderful example of the power of having a union. It¹s an example that should have every unorganized employee in America looking for a union organizer.

With the recession deepening, it¹s clear that major layoffs are in store, and that employers are going to be putting the squeeze on employees, even if they don¹t drop them. Individually, workers have little leverage in such a situation.

Look what happened to the workers at Chicago-based Republic Windows and Doors. The company was losing business, and according to some of its employees, had been in recent weeks secretly moving some heavy equipment out of the plant, possibly in preparation for relocation to some lower-wage location. Then its bank, Bank of America, one of the nation¹s largest financial institutions, and a recent recipient of $25 billion in federal bailout funds from the US Treasury and the Federal Reserve Bank, informed the company that it would not supply credit for the firm to meet payroll. The workers were told by management that the plant would be shut down in three days.

At many companies across America, such news would be met by groans and tears, but by little else. What can an employee do when the boss says the company is closing its doors? Well, Republic¹s workers, members of the United Electrical Workers union, didn¹t take the news lying down. They took it sitting down on the factory floor.

The company's 300 workers quickly organized a round-the-clock sit-in occupation of the plant, vowing to stay until they got the 60 days notice that the law requires in the event of relocations. They also demanded that they be paid accrued vacation pay, which the company had said would be lost.

Bank of America was initially unmoved, but the workers began a national publicity campaign that was leading to protests at B of A offices across the country (one was planned for tomorrow here in Philadelphia). Boycotts were also being organized of the bank.

Then this afternoon, Bank of America folded, announcing that in the face of all the protests and the bad publicity, which focused much on the fact that the bank that was refusing to lend to a troubled American manufacturing firm had just received $25 billion from taxpayers that was intended to ³unfreeze² credit at the banks, it would after all extend credit to Republic Windows and Doors.

This is a happy ending story for the workers at Republic, who will at least get paychecks through the holidays, even if the future of their company remains iffy.

But more importantly, it is a powerful message to America¹s workers: united we can win. Divided and unorganized, we are going to be trampled.

There is a second message here too. Americans across the nation need to contact their congressional representatives and senators, and President-Elect Barack Obama (who backed the workers at Republic), and demand that as one of the first acts of the new Congress, they pass into law the Employee Free Choice Act‹a labor law reform that would end the ability of employers to stall off union elections for years, and to refuse to bargain a first contract with a new union. The act, which Obama, during his campaign, vowed to support, as did nearly all Democratic candidates for Congress, would require employers to accept the certification of a union whenever a majority of workers at a workplace signed cards saying they want a union, and would require them to negotiate and reach a first contract within 90 days.

Such an act would finally restore some semblance of fairness into the union organizing process, which has been skewed over the last 40-50 years to be almost impossibly in management¹s favor. Little wonder that union membership in the private sector has fallen to below 9% (from over 30% back in the early 1950s), even as polls repeatedly show that a majority of Americans would want to have a union at their job if they could get one.

The Republic Windows and Doors victory is a victory for all workers in America, and is a clarion call for more unions everywhere.

Let¹s get to work and organize.

Dave Lindorff is a Philadelphia-based journalist and columnist. His latest book is "The Case for Impeachment" (St. Martin's Press, 2006). His work is available at

© Copyrighted 1997-2008

Political Humor: Rod Blagojevich And?

  With the Blago story being the biggest thing going on at this time, I thought that you might like to read some of what the late-night comedians are saying.

  Shall we start with..

Conan O'Brien:

"Rod Blagojevich was arrested for trying to sell a seat in the Senate to the highest bidder. Isn't that crazy? Yeah. And folks, if convicted, he could wind up in prison, where his seat will be sold to the highest bidder."

"Speaking of Governor Blagojevich. Today -- coincidence -- today is his birthday. So for the second day in a row, Federal agents jumped out and yelled, 'Surprise!'"

"A plan to bail out the Big Three automakers stalled in Congress today. Yeah. As a result, Congress plans to buy a better-built Japanese bailout plan."

David Letterman:

"We're not kidding about this economy, which is so bad that Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich had to mark down the price of a Senate seat 40%."

Craig Ferguson:

"It is not all bad news for Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, because today is his birthday. If you want to get Blagojevich a present, you can't go wrong with a good lawyer."

Jay Leno:

"How many people in our studio audience got your seats tonight because you paid off Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich?"

"Don't you love watching congressmen lecture auto executives on how to run their business? I mean, you got people that put us a trillion dollars in debt lecturing people who put us a billion dollars in debt."

  Remember Joe the Plumber?

Jimmy Kimmel:

"But Joe actually did have praise for McCain's running mate, Sarah Palin. He called her the real deal. That's great, I'm glad they got along. And they're perfect for each other, in a way. In fact, they're actually starring in a new movie together. I don't know if you've heard, it's called 'Dumb and Plumber.'"         Political Humor

Republic Windows Workers Win! Plant Occupation Over

  This is a big win for workers in this country. Let us hope that the trend will continue.

  UE News

After the conclusion of negotiations Wednesday evening, the membership of Local 1110, more than 200 workers, met in the plant cafeteria to hear and consider the tentative settlement that had been worked out by UE negotiators over the past three days.

The settlement was approved by a unanimous vote.

The settlement totals $1.75 million. It will provide the workers with:

  • Eight weeks of pay they are owed under the federal WARN Act,
  • Two months of continued health coverage and,
  • Pay for all accrued and unused vacation.

JPMorgan Chase will provide $400,000 of the settlement, with the balance coming from Bank of America.

  But  this isn't over yet, my friends. Do to  the support of these workers from all over, the plant may be re-opened.

   Kingsley then announced the creation of a new foundation, dedicated to reopening the plant. It will be initiated with seed money from the UE national union and the thousands of dollars of donations to UE Local 1110's Solidarity Fund that have come in from across the country and around the world in just the past five days.

  One way to help the economy?

CEO Of AIG Says Sales Of Assets May Be Put Off

  I was wondering how long it would take companies such as AIG to blame lower prices on failing to sell these assets.

  News Daily

The CEO of U.S. insurer AIG , which is looking to shed assets around the globe as part of a $152 billion U.S. government rescue package, said that difficult markets may delay the sale plans, though certain units have attracted heavy interest.

  This ass-wipe was in Kong Kong when he made the comments and I wonder, are the Chinese the only people that can afford to buy this stuff up? They have their own economic crisis going but they can still buy the United States up?

At the end of his speech, Liddy answered a question regarding the speed at which AIG would repay the $152 billion.

He said the company has not been loaned that entire amount, rather the federal government has loaned it $40 billion, which could grow to $60 billion. Liddy explained that there are also two financing vehicles.

"They transfer risk and opportunity from those RMBs (residential mortgage backed securities) to the Federal Reserve. I would suspect that the Fed will do very well on those."

  Sure they will, Liddy, and I'm getting a Golden Parachute for Christmas.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Will Obama Reauthorize Bush's Torture Policies?

  I most certainly hope not.

  The Public Record

The Democratic chairman of the House Intelligence Committee said he told President-elect Barack Obama’s transition team that some of the Bush administration’s controversial interrogation policies should remain intact.

In an interview with Congress Daily, Silvestre Reyes, D-Texas, said he also recommended Obama retain the directors of the CIA and national intelligence, both of who oversaw and implemented the White House’s domestic surveillance activities.

"The leadership of both the CIA and the [Director of National Intelligence] is going to be pivotal to keeping us safe and secure,” Reyes told Congress Daily. “I made a recommendation that they stay on during the transition so that there would be a period of time that there would be overlap."

Moreover, Reyes, who earlier this year voted in favor of reauthorizing the Bush administration’s warrantless wiretapping program, said he advised Obama’s transition team that obtaining information from suspected terrorists is crucial and “some options” that extend beyond interrogation rules in the Army Field Manual need to be available.

  Mr. Reyes, Wal-Mart may be hiring for the holidays. Please do go apply, and get lost.

  If Obama does  reauthorize the Bush torture policies, I'm one vote that he will not have the next time around.

Obama's Polling Numbers...

  are still looking pretty impressive despite all of the crap going on in America.

  CNN on Tuesday.

   Seventy-nine percent approve of Obama's performance so far during transition, with 18 percent disapproving.

Obama's approval rating is 14 points higher than the approval rating for President-elect George Bush in 2001 and 17 points higher than President-elect Clinton's rating in 1992...

And 78 percent of those questioned said they believe Obama will be a uniter -- 20 points higher than those who felt the same way about then President-elect Bush in 2000. Twenty percent say Obama will be a divider, 16 points lower than those who said the same about Bush.

  Great numbers from CNN. Now, let us go to the LATimes poll which came out today.

   Nearly three-quarters of those surveyed feel positive about Obama's election as president, a figure that includes not just an overwhelming majority of his fellow Democrats but a substantial majority of independents and nearly a third of Republicans.

Overall, nearly 8 in 10 approve of the way Obama has handled his transition to the White House and nearly three-quarters approve of his Cabinet picks. Strong majorities endorsed two of Obama's most prominent choices: Democratic New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton as secretary of State and Republican Robert M. Gates, a holdover from the Bush administration, as secretary of Defense.

Overall, 4 in 10 said they expected Obama's policies to make them personally better off, 15% said worse off, and the rest said they expected their circumstances to stay about the same, or were uncertain.

  Last but not least, the latest poll from WSJ/NBC

The poll found that 73% of adults approve of the way he is handling the transition and his preparations for becoming president.

So far, Americans are buoyed. Mr. Obama is viewed favorably by more Americans than ever, and three of four say they can relate to him as their president.

Similarly, three of four say he has struck the right balance over how involved he should be in making policy before taking office. Two-thirds say they are generally pleased with the people he has appointed.

Much of the warmth toward Mr. Obama stems from frustration with the status quo, the poll suggests. Nearly half of those surveyed said 2008 will go down as one of the worst years in U.S. history -- 20 percentage points higher than the poll has found in past years. And 90% of Americans say the economy has gotten worse in the past 12 months.

Only one in five Americans approves of the job the federal government is doing in handling the financial crisis, with 71% disapproving.

With that backdrop, people are rooting for Mr. Obama, said Mr. McInturff, the Republican pollster. He compared it with the goodwill that surrounded Mr. Bush after the 2001 terrorist attacks.

  Mr. Obama has set himself some high standards and so have we. We need to help this administration meet those standards and the issues that we all are facing if we are to not only survive ourselves, but also as a country.

KopBusters Nab Crooked Police?

  it is time to depart from the usual government crap and to present something different to you.

Kop Busters went and rented a house in Odessa, Texas just to see what the local police would do if they suspected something illegal going on.

KopBusters rented a house in Odessa, Texas and began growing two small Christmas trees under a grow light similar to those used for growing marijuana. When faced with a suspected marijuana grow, the police usually use illegal FLIR cameras and/or lie on the search warrant affidavit claiming they have probable cause to raid the house. Instead of conducting a proper investigation which usually leads to no probable cause, the Kops lie on the affidavit claiming a confidential informant saw the plants and/or the police could smell marijuana coming from the suspected house.

The trap was set and less than 24 hours later, the Odessa narcotics unit raided the house only to find KopBuster's attorney waiting under a system of complex gadgetry and spy cameras that streamed online to the KopBuster's secret mobile office nearby.

The attorney was handcuffed and later released when eleven KopBuster detectives arrived with the media in tow to question the illegal raid. The police refused to give KopBusters the search warrant affidavit which is suspected to contain the lies regarding the probable cause.

  The cops got busted, so what do they do? How about trying to charge KopBusters with a crime?

The police would not comment but later stated they were trying to charge KopBusters with a crime.

It is not illegal to grow plants under a light in your home but it is illegal to lie on an affidavit and plant drugs on a citizen. This operation was the first of its kind in the history of America.

Blagojevich Should Resign As Governor

   After all of the crap that has happened with Governor Blagojevich since yesterday, President-elect Obama has said that Blagojevich needs to resign his position.

   President-elect Barack Obama believes that Gov. Rod Blagojevich should resign, his advisers said on Wednesday. "The President-elect agrees with Lt. Gov. Quinn and many others that under the current circumstances it is difficult for the governor to effectively do his job and serve the people of Illinois," Robert Gibbs, the incoming White House press secretary, said.

Gibbs said that Obama believes the Illinois general assembly should now take control of the issue of picking a new U.S. Senator for Illinois.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Mitch McConnell: Auto Bailout Critic has a story up about those critics of the upcoming auto bailout which I found interesting to read. What really caught my eye was one critic and the things which he said. Obviously, that would be the asshat Senator from Kentucky,Mitch McConnell.

  Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, one of the Republicans considering filibuster options, said he doesn't see the benefit of bailing out an industry that hasn't provided a plan for  "long-term viability."

  Mr. McConnell, did the financial sector, which you helped bailout, provide you with a plan for "long-term viability" before you voted to give them $700 billion of taxpayer cash? If they did, myself and the rest of the taxpayers would like to see that plan. You know as well as I do Mitch, that there was no plan put forth by Wall Street before you and the rest of the Congress gave them an early Christmas gift. So cut the crap boy!

"The draft plan released yesterday fails to require the kind of serious reform that will ensure long-term viability for struggling auto companies. By giving the government the option of canceling government assistance in the event that reforms are not being achieved -- rather than requiring it -- we open the door to unlimited federal subsidies in the future," McConnell, R-Ky., said.

"I want to support a bill that revives this industry. But I will not support a bill that revives the patient with taxpayer dollars yet doesn't secure a commitment that the patient will change its ways so future help isn't needed," he added.

  Am I to assume, Mr. McConnell, that since you have no problem with the auto industry going under along with all of the jobs lost, that you drive a foreign vehicle?

   You sir, are fucking pathetic. So is the rest of your party and that is why you will be in the minority for a very long time.

  There was one other character,Daniel Mitchell from the libertarian Cato Institute who had an idea.

...said the government should have no role in helping the industry, except to provide positive economic conditions -- "a lower corporate tax rate, less red tape and things like that," he said.

  The Republican cure all for everything! Less taxes, and less regulation! What part of stupid do they not understand?

Republic Windows to Get Bank Of America Loan

Dec. 9 (Bloomberg) -- Bank of America Corp. will provide a "limited amount of additional loans" to shuttered Republic Windows & Doors LLC in Chicago to pay employees occupying a building after the bank ended the company’s line of credit.

  It is reported that a planned protest for Wednesday will still go on.


The United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America, which represents the Republic employees, plans a rally at noon tomorrow at the Bank of America building in Chicago. The bank has received $15 billion from the U.S. Treasury as part of its effort to boost capital, while Merrill Lynch & Co., the securities brokerage it is buying, received $10 billion.

  Score one for the good guys ( workers. )

Obama And Blagojevich: Nothing There Folks so Move Along


Obama Wouldn't Play

by BarbinMD   Tue Dec 09, 2008

When the news of the arrest of Illinois Governor Rob Blagojevich broke, it took the RNC less than an hour to try and tie him to President-elect Barack Obama, an attempt so pitiful that even the Washington Times wasn't buying it. Apparently the RNC didn't bother to read the Criminal Complaint.

Here's where it talks about Candidate 1, Obama's preference to replace him in the US Senate:

By this time, media reports indicated that Senate Candidate 1, an advisor to the President-
elect, was interested in the Senate seat if it became vacant, and was likely to be supported by the President-elect.  During the call, ROD BLAGOJEVICH stated, “unless I get something real good for [Senate Candidate 1], shit, I’ll just send myself, you know what I’m saying....And if I don’t get what I want and I’m not satisfied with it, then I’ll just take the Senate seat myself.”  Later, ROD BLAGOJEVICH stated that the Senate seat “is a fucking valuable thing, you just don’t give it away for nothing.”

But Obama wouldn't play:

ROD BLAGOJEVICH stated that he is "struggling"  financially and does "not want to be Governor for the next two years."  ROD BLAGOJEVICH said that the consultants (Advisor B and another consultant are believed to be on the call at that time) are telling him that he has to "suck it up" for two years and do nothing and give this "motherfucker [the President-elect] his senator.  Fuck him.  For nothing?  Fuck him."  ROD BLAGOJEVICH states that he will put "[Senate Candidate 4]" in the Senate "before I just give fucking [Senate Candidate 1] a fucking Senate seat and I don't get anything."

Later in the conversation, ROD BLAGOJEVICH said he knows that the President-elect wants Senate Candidate 1 for the open seat but "they're not willing to give me anything except appreciation. Fuck them."

No, fuck you, Governor.

Too bad for the Republicans that Blagojevich had no role in Obama's campaign, his transition, and that the two men have never been close.

Illinois Gov. Blagojevich Arrested

   Things aren't looking to good for this man.

Gov. Rod Blagojevich and his chief of staff were arrested today by FBI agents on federal corruption charges.

A three-year federal corruption investigation of pay-to-play politics in Gov. Rod Blagojevich's administration has expanded to include his impending selection of a new U.S. senator to succeed President-elect Barack Obama, the Tribune has learned.

  This story is still coming out so for more details you can check here.

UPDATE: It seems that the governor has also been charged with attempting  to sell the Senate seat formerly occupied by President Elect Obama. Does Blagojevich have no limits on corruption?

   News Daily

Blagojevich was also accused of threatening to withhold state assistance to the Tribune Company in connection with the sale of the Chicago Cubs' baseball home, Wrigley Field, in order "to induce the firing of Chicago Tribune editorial board members sharply critical" of him.

The 51-year-old Blagojevich and his chief of staff, John Harris, were charged in a federal complaint with conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and solicitation of bribery.

  This arrest has been at least 3 years in the making and it is about fucking time that this creep got nailed for his criminal activity. One bad Democrat down, so let's find a better one to replace him with.

Did Republic Windows Owners By Similar Plant In Iowa?

  From Chi-Town Daily News

   A company managed by the wife of Republic Windows and Doors owner Richard Gillman recently purchased an Iowa plant that manufactures similar products, according to public records

Echo Windows and Doors was created two weeks ago and lists Sharon Gillman as its manager, according copies of records obtained by the Daily News from the Iowa Secretary of the State. According to Cook County property tax records, Sharon Gillman is Richard Gillman's wife.

  This story is taking on an entirely new life of its own, is it not? We have Bank of America performing possibly illegal acts against Republic Windows. then, we have Republic Windows definitely performing illegal acts against their workers. We also have those same workers taking over the closed plant and thus bringing this mess out into the open. What a soap opera this is becoming!

The Gillimans could not be reached for comment today. But this afternoon, Richard Gillman released a statement confirming the creation of the new company.

Also, Amy Zimmerman, who has served as Republic’s marketing director, is now listed as the contact on the newly registered domain name. She refused comment today.

   I smell a few rats in this thing, Bank of America being one of them. I'm wondering which bank financed Echo Windows? Dare a guess?

Go and read the entire article because this is getting to be an interesting case.

Monday, December 08, 2008

BEWARE: Scam perpetrated on lefty blogs

by AtlantaJan @ DKos  Mon Dec 08, 2008


On December 6, someone posted a diary titled, "Today, I found out we have nothing." It was a long sob story that elicited the usual sympathy and offers of help from kind-hearted Kossacks.

Someone in the comments smelled a scam and checked it out. That someone was correct.

But here's the deal: the company that the scam artist diarist was traced back to had a product being advertised on many of the lefty blogs including TalkingPointsMemo, fivethirtyeight, Atrios and the Huffington Post as a weight loss wonder drug. And it was much worse than just trading on the sympathy of generous individuals. If you have dealt with them, you need to know some vital information.

This weekend I was at a friend's house. In her kitchen, I noticed a bottle of acai berry pills. Being curious, I asked her what they did. She said they were supposed to help you lose weight. She said they only cost $5 for shipping, so what did she have to lose?

My friend is a devotee of fivethirtyeight, so I asked her A red light went off in my head. I had remembered one of the commenters on the scam diary saying something about a product that was advertised by the company that was tied to the scam diarist. The commenter said that the company advertised that it "only charged for shipping," but then, people ordering it would find their accounts debited for $78.

I immediately told my friend that we needed to get on her computer and look at her account. Sure enough, there it was: a charge for $78.81 by Advanced Wellness Research. Today, my friend called her bank to report the fraud. Her bank immediately told her she needed to get a new debit card because the charge was scheduled to be made monthly. Her bank also tried to call several numbers associated with the withdrawal, but, naturally, none of them worked.

So she now has a new debit card and her bank is following up on her fraud report.

I know this isn't much of a diary, but I couldn't let this go without warning y'all. If you or someone you know has been taken advantage of, GO TO YOUR BANK IMMEDIATELY.

UPDATE: To clarify.

  1. Popvent posts a diary about how his family has lost everything.
  1. He provides a link to his wife's business site, HealZoo, which, according to a comment by Kossack Ultraslacker, is linked to a number of scam sites. HealZoo is a weight loss website.
  1. A commenter pointed out that Popvent's IP address was linked to an acai berry scam. This commenter also noted that people would send for the acai berry pills thinking they were only paying shipping. Then their bank accounts would be charged $78.

I may have made a leap, based on other comments, that linked Popvent to the acai berry scam. If so, I apologize. However, based on the googling skills of smarter Kossacks than me, Popvent appears to be a bit shady.

And the acai berry scam is real.

     This is a pretty wide scam going on here.

     More comments by folks who have been ripped of can be found at the Complaints Board.

Chicago Aldermen Suggest Dropping Bank of America

   Bank of America is catching hell from all over the place, as if they give a shit.

   Even Illinois Governor Blagojevich has called for the states agencies to no longer do business with the bank at least until BofA restores the Republic Windows and Doors line of credit.

  In Chicago

Flanked by union leaders at a news conference, more than a dozen aldermen demanded that City Hall divest itself of funds deposited at Bank of America — and stop approving zoning changes sought by the bank and its subsidiaries — in retaliation for the bank’s decision to cut off Republic’s line of credit.

  Hats off to the Republic workers! There needs to be much more of this kind of action all over the United States, and I'm sure that there will be.

   Bank of America needs to be placed into  " time out."

Bank Of America Using Bailout Funds In China?

  As if this bank isn't getting enough bad publicity with their fiasco with Republic Windows and Doors over the banks dropping the companies credit line which left workers in the dust so far as employment went, it seems that now the bank is using funds to purchase some Chinese assets.

  BofA took $15 billion dollars in bailout cash and then one month later went and spent $7 billion to acquire more holdings of China Construction Banks  which is mainly owned by the Chinese government. BofA's stake increases from 10.75% to 19.1%.   But that is not the worst part.


    The Chinese government has a $586 billion stimulus package which is to be partly funded by bank loans! So the US taxpayers are not only funding the US stimulus package but, thanks to Bank of America, the Chinese as well!

  Do these banking felons have no shame?  Bank of America would rather fund the Chinese economy rather then help to keep a business open and people employed in the United States?

  ... Essentially, the United States Treasury has gifted $7 billion dollars of your money to the Chinese government with Bank of America as an intermediary.     Economy in Crises

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Barack Obama: " ...things are going to get worse before they get better."

  The above quote was from Obama's sit down with Tom Brokow on NBC's " Meet The Press " on Sunday. As is usual for the President-elect, Obama was very candid about the problems which America, and the rest of the world, will face with the economic turmoil which is upon us.

    A few of the questions and answers follow.

MR. BROKAW:  On this program about a year ago, you said that being a president is 90 percent circumstances and about 10 percent agenda.  The circumstances now are, as you say, very unpopular in terms of the decisions that have to be made.  Which are the most unpopular ones that the country's going to have to deal with?

PRES.-ELECT OBAMA:  Well, fortunately, as tough as times are right now--and things are going to get worse before they get better--there is a convergence between circumstances and agenda.  The key for us is making sure that we jump-start that economy in a way that doesn't just deal with the short term, doesn't just create jobs immediately, but also puts us on a glide path for long-term, sustainable economic growth.  And that's why I spoke in my radio address on Saturday about the importance of investing in the largest infrastructure program--in roads and bridges and, and other traditional infrastructure--since the building of the federal highway system in the 1950s; rebuilding our schools and making sure that they're energy efficient; making sure that we're investing in electronic medical records and other technologies that can drive down health care costs.  All those things are not only immediate--part of an immediate stimulus package to the economy, but they're also down payments on the kind of long-term, sustainable growth that we need.

  Repairing our bridges and our roads would put tons of people to work right from the start. My concern would be whether or not the company who does the hiring will pay a decent wage or will it take advantage of those workers who happen to be in dire need?

  On the Big 3 automakers.

MR. BROKAW:  A number of people--Paul Ingrassia, as a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter from The Wall Street Journal has said we ought to have a government-structured bankruptcy and maybe even an automobile czar of some kind.  One name that has come up is Jack Welch, the former CEO of GE, the parent company of NBC.  Does that kind of plan have any appeal for you?

PRES.-ELECT OBAMA:  Well, there are a lot of discussions taking place right now between members of Congress, the Bush administration.  I've had my team have conversations with these folks to see how can you keep the automakers' feet to the fire in making the changes that are necessary.  But understand, these aren't ordinary times.  You know, some people have said let's just send them through a bankruptcy process.  Well, even as large a company as GM, in ordinary times, might be able to go through a Chapter 11 bankruptcy, restructure, and still keep their business operations going.  When you are seeing this kind of collapse at the same time as you've got the financial system as shaky as, as it is, that means that we're going to have to figure out ways to put the pressure on the way a bankruptcy court would, demand accountability, demand serious changes.  But do so in a way that it allows them to keep the factory doors open.  And, you know, right now there's a number of discussions about how to do that, and I hope that we're going to see some short-term progress in the next few days.  My economic team is focused on what we expect to inherit on January 20th, and we'll have some very specific plans in terms of how to move that forward.

MR. BROKAW: Let me ask you as we conclude this program this morning about whether you and Michelle have had any discussions about the impact that you're going to have on this country in other ways besides international and domestic policies. You're going to have a huge impact, culturally, in terms of the tone of the country.


MR. BROKAW:  Who are the kinds of artists that you would like to bring to the White House?

PRES.-ELECT OBAMA:  Oh, well, you know, we have thought about this because part of what we want to do is to open up the White House and, and remind people this is, this is the people's house.  There is an incredible bully pulpit to be used when it comes to, for example, education.  Yes, we're going to have an education policy.  Yes, we're going to be putting more money into school construction.  But, ultimately, we want to talk about parents reading to their kids.  We want to invite kids from local schools into the White House.  When it comes to science, elevating science once again, and having lectures in the White House where people are talking about traveling to the stars or breaking down atoms, inspiring our youth to get a sense of what discovery is all about.  Thinking about the diversity of our culture and, and inviting jazz musicians and classical musicians and poetry readings in the White House so that, once again, we appreciate this incredible tapestry that's America.  I--you know, that, I think, is, is going to be incredibly important, particularly because we're going through hard times.  And, historically, what has always brought us through hard times is that national character, that sense of optimism, that willingness to look forward, that, that sense that better days are ahead.  I think that our art and our culture, our science, you know, that's the essence of what makes America special, and, and we want to project that as much as possible in the White House.

  An intelligent President in the White House! Who'd have thunk it?

America's CIA: The Cocaine Drug Lord?

  Many of you older readers and those of you who just happen to be curious about our government and some of its past " shady " activities will remember those golden Reagan years which included such crime examples such as the Iran/Contra affair back in the eighties. You will remember that there were allegations that the CIA was dealing drugs ( Cocaine ) and that they were dropping it on our American citizens.

   This subject of the CIA peddling in dope has risen to the surface once again.

CommonSense2k8, a diarist at DailyKos, has been researching the CIA and their drug dealing activities and has come up with a very cool video on the subject. The diarist wishes this video to be passed around and shared with everyone that you know, so I'm doing my part.



Several people in the past, Rep. Maxine Waters being one of them, have tried to expose this to the general public, but in the end were met with failure.
A system rigged around protecting itself doesn’t let itself be destroyed.

In addition to producing the above video, I put together Hours of Videos and Pages of Documents on CIA Drug Trafficking into a LEGAL torrent, hosted on The Pirates Bay: Download the Torrent Here.
I encourage you to download it and look at all the information for yourself.
Please send the above YouTube video to anyone you know.

The goal is to get this information to the masses. It is about time this nation woke up to what our own government has been doing.
Information is Key, without it we are powerless, with it, our potential is unlimited.

Please check out for more information and links about this issue, and more to come in the coming weeks and months.

Part 2 of the CIA Drug Trafficking exposé will be released before Xmas.

Read my past diaries on Drugs in America:
America's Unspoken Dark Side: The CIA Drug Trade

A Word Of Wisdom And Warning To Obama And The Democratic Party

    Remember the past 16 years or so President-elect Obama.

    The RepubliCons and the blue-dogs did a fine job resisting anything that could be vaguely construed as progressive during the Clinton years. Health care reforms, nah. Gays in the military, nah. After failing early on, BillCo hewed to the center and pondered on "what is 'is' ." Bang!

    In contrast, G.W. did not get his agenda passed by playing nice with the Democrats nor even with many in his own party -- he had a vision he believed in and he had it executed. Bodies were left by the wayside scarcely noticed.

    Have Obama and the Democratic leadership been taking notes? They best get a lot done, and a lot undone within 18 months or we'll see how outdated that fine chameleon of the GOP really is in 2010. It would be so nice to see history in the making rather than a repeat of history delivered, sooner or later, to the GOP on a platter of compromise.       by dRefractor

Serial Pregnancy Gets Woman Arrested

   I met one of the victims of this woman in the following story when I was living in the Tampa Bay area, which is why I am presenting this piece.

    Meet Samantha Harris, age 27. she has accused at least 6 men of getting her pregnant, at different times. Two of those men, she conned into marry her, by not only lying about being pregnant, by by also telling at least one of them that she had an inheritance coming, among other things.      Source

     Tampa philanthropist Don Wallace was accused of molesting Harris as a child as well as being the father of her child.

      Wallace denounced the allegations, and a DNA test earlier this year absolved him of the paternity issue

Harris has one daughter, 6-year-old Sabrina. Before accusing Wallace of fathering the child, Harris led another man to believe that he was the girl's father. A DNA test more than five years after Sabrina's birth proved that he was not, records show.

  As it turns out, this woman has mental issues, and a few others as well.

  My mouse doesn't want to cooperate with me, so I send you here for the remainder of the story.