Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Sarah Palin Huffs and Puffs Over Joe McGinniss' New Book "The Rogue"

Updated September 27th, 2011!

It didn't take long for Sarah Palin and her camp to weigh in on the controversies stated in the Joe McGinniss book.  While Palin herself has not come out to denounce the book, people close to her have already attacked the book.  For instance, Palin's husband, Todd, said the book contained "disgusting lies."

Now, Palin's lawyers are stepping into the game serving a notice of possible litigation - not an actual lawsuit - and the letter from Palin's lawyers to the publisher of McGinniss' book, Crown Publishing, a division of Random House, is full of the kind of ridiculous nonsense expected of Palin.

The note, written by John Tiemessen, reads as follows:
Enclosed is an e-mail by your author Joe McGinniss. In this e-mail, Mr. McGinniss admits that your own lawyers instructed him that “nothing I can cite other than my own reporting rises above the level of tawdry gossip.”….Indeed, Mr. McGinniss admits that the allegations are false unless he can find someone or something to show they are true. We know from the final book that he was unable to do so.

It is malicious for your company to publish a book wherein it, and the author, admit that they were fully aware the statements in the book were false, intended to be false, and were intended to harm…

Accordingly, since both your company, and the author, clearly knew the statements were false, admitted they had no basis in fact or reality, but decided to publish in order to harm Governor Palin’s family, you and Mr. McGinniss have defamed the Palins. This letter shall serve as written notice under AS.09.30.070 (b) that a claim may be brought against you, your company and Mr. McGinniss for knowingly publishing false statements.

In the interim, please take note of the following: It is unlawful to delete emails or destroy records upon being notified of the need of business records for litigation purposes. In addition, courts may impose civil sanctions against a defendant that destroys emails and other documentation. Please immediately provide notice to your employees to save and back up all records pertaining to the Palins and the book “The Rogue." Further, as Mr. McGinniss waived the attorney client privilege and disclosed to third parties what "Random House lawyers" told him (he needed sources and the book was not publishable without them), we will also be entitled to review your company's legal correspondence with Mr. McGinniss and his responses thereto.

Please do not hesitate to call if you have any questions or concerns or if you wish to resolve this dispute.
What is interesting about this note?  Everything.

First, Palin's lawyer John Tiemessen attacks Joe McGinniss' "anonymous" sources and claims that McGinniss admits the information in his book was false.  McGinniss had never admitted doing anything wrong as Tiemessen claimed.

Secondly, it is funny to think that Tiemessen actually believes that one disclosed email where McGinniss references "Random House lawyers" somehow waives McGinniss' entire attorney client privileges.  Referencing communication to your lawyer does not somehow entitle an opposing party to view your correspondences.

This is ridiculous!

I guess that since Tiemessen released this letter stating the information in McGinniss' book is false, he must have had communication with Sarah Palin proving the book contains false and malicious information and therefore Joe McGinniss is entitled to see the evidence Palin and her lawyer have and all correspondences regarding such issues.

The last sentence is also laugh-worthy.  Tiemessen actually had the nerve to put in his little note that Crown Publishing should not hesitate if they wish to resolve this dispute.

What is funny about that last line is that there would be only one way to solve this situation should Tiemessen's claims were to be true and that would be to sue Crown Publishing and demand the book be pulled from the shelves but instead Tiemessen only raises the specter of litigation and tries to gain access to McGinniss' confidential information.

It appears that Palin's team is trying to find out any weak links in McGinniss' chain so that they can exploit them for a Palin victory.  If Palin had proof that McGinniss was presenting false information in his book, Palin could simply come forth with evidence of the truth and easily win a case against the publishers.  For instance, McGinniss raises some interesting questions regarding the birth of Palin's son Trig.  Palin could easily release Trig's birth certificate and her medical records to dispel what Tiemessen calls "false statements."

Tiemessen wrote that "Mr. McGinniss admits that the allegations are false unless he can find someone or something to show they are true."  How is that not true for Tiemessen and his client?  Palin's claims are false unless she can find someone or something to show they are true, such as a birth certificate.

It is highly unlikely that Palin will pursue a legal course of action because doing so would require Palin to be deposed, and since we all know Palin to be a habitual liar, a deposition would but the former half-term governor of Alaska at risk of perjury.

Update - It seems my comments have struck a chord with some of the folks at Big Government.  See their flaming comments below:

Notice how one commenter, Hustlers Love BoBo, chose his name to insult other commenter (and Midnight Review regular) HuskersLoveBo?

Also notice how even presenting a logical statement, such as one email does not throw away McGinniss' attorney client privilege, is confronted with insults and zero facts supporting why they believe Palin's lawyer to be in the right.

I won't hold my breath waiting for Big Government to delete these flaming comments and reign in their violent fans.

Update - While waiting for that last comment to be deleted this new nugget of hate was directed my way from a commenter by the name of IronHawk86:

I shouldn't feel special - check out IronHawk86's other recent comments:

Sounds like IronHawk86 is a really mature individual.  Seems like his insults on Big Government aren't a real stretch - he loves to call people "shitstain," "asslicker," and "cocksucker" on other sites, too.

Based on his comments, IronHawk86 is either just a stupid and ignorant pawn influenced by right-wing media or he is a sheltered 25-year-old rich boy who doesn't want daddy taxed so he can inherit it all.

Conservative Conjures Obama Assassination On Big Government / Modern Relevance Of James Garfield's Domestic Policies

You would think that the right-wing has learned to tone down their rhetoric since the Gabrielle Giffords assassination attempt by Jared Loughner but it appears the conservative base is still at it.

In the comments on a Big Government post, one reader in particular stated amazement that Obama's "commie @zz has lasted longer than James Garfield."

James Garfield was assassinated in 1881, dying as a result of being shot by Chales J. Guiteau.  His presidency was only 200 days long.

It is interesting to note that Garfield was a Republican and perhaps his biggest domestic policy concern regarded civil rights promoting equal treatment of African-Americans and a "universal" education system.

The plight of African American civil rights weighed heavily on Garfield's presidency. During Reconstruction, freedmen had gained citizenship and suffrage that enabled them to participate in state and federal offices. Garfield believed that their rights were being eroded by southern white resistance and illiteracy, and was vitally concerned that blacks would become America's permanent "peasantry". The President's answer was to have a "universal" education system funded by the federal government. Garfield's concern over education was not exaggerated; there was a 70% illiteracy rate among southern blacks. Congress and the northern white public, however, had lost interest in African American rights. Federal funding for universal education did not pass Congress during the 1880s.

President Garfield appointed several African Americans to prominent positions: Frederick Douglas, recorder of deeds in Washington; Robert Elliot, special agent to the U.S. Treasury; John M. Langston, Haitian minister; and Blanche K. Bruce, register to the U.S. Treasury. Garfield began to reverse the southern Democratic conciliation policy implemented by his predecessor, Rutherford B. Hayes. In an effort to bolster southern Republican unity Garfield appointed William H. Hunt, a carpetbag Republican from Louisiana during Reconstruction, as Secretary of the Navy. Garfield believed that Southern support for the Republican party could be gained by "commercial and industrial" interests rather than race issues. He cautiously gave senatorial patronage privilege to Virginia Senator William Mahone of the independent Readjuster Party. Garfield was the first Republican president to initiate an election policy to obtain support from southern independents.
While conservatives like to tout the Republican party's early involvement in civil rights as proof that they are a party by the people and for the people, they have shifted far from those days over a century ago.  The policies of Garfield are interesting and the situation surrounding them sound surprisingly like modern times.

Instead of southern white resistance, civil rights are now under assault from tea party groups - although they claim to be strict constitutionalists, there are a surprising number of proposed constitutional amendments or constitutional interpretations coming from the conservative base that are designed to restrict civil rights, such as beliefs regarding the treatment of homosexuals, immigrants, or particular religions.

Also, the push for a "universal" education system funded by the federal government is very similar to the push for a universal health care system, as well as a defense of the Department of Education.  Conservatives have argued that both are an over-reach of the federal government but the reality is that rising costs in both health care and education have taken a toll on Americans, whether it be income or quality of life, essentially establishing a permanent "peasantry" out of the once-increasing middle class.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Big Government Defends Texas Socialism

AWR Hawkins decided to yammer on Big Government Saturday about how Rick Perry is turning out to be one big conservative disappointment and that the Klondike Clap Trap, Sarah Palin, should now enter the race and reign as the superior candidate (is Hawkins forgetting Batshit Bachmann is still in the race?).  There seems to be only one problem with Hawkins' argument against Rick Perry - it seems to support the idea of socialism in Texas.

But a strange thing happened on the way to deciding who the Republican nominee is going to be, and that strange thing was Perry’s inexplicable refusal to recant his support for a Texas tuition waiver for illegal aliens. No matter how you slice it, his ongoing defense of giving nearly $100,000 (over four years) to pay for an illegal alien to go to college is an albatross around his neck that’s so big even McRomney can see it.

Perry is good man, and in my opinion, has been one of the greatest governors to ever hold the office in Texas. But all that gets overshadowed when his response to criticism about using taxpayer monies to pay tuition for illegals is: “If you say that we should not educate children who have come into our state for no other reason than that they’ve been brought there, through no fault of their own, I don’t think you have a heart.”

First, somebody on Perry’s team needs to understand that illegals who go to college aren’t “children” – they’re 18 years old or older (that’s why they’re going into college instead of pre-K).

Secondly, even if they were children, on a matter of principle the whole idea is wrong (and it’s definitely not indicative of conservatism).
Apparently, charging in-state tuition for residents of Texas is actually giving $100,000 to children men and women of Texas.  When did it become okay for conservatives to start giving out taxpayer's money?  Especially to the liberal-biased education system?

Hawkins doesn't stop there.  He goes on to try and simplify his argument for his audience and uses the following analogy:
Think about it this way: What if someone breaks into my house and their kid tags along because it’s too hot for the kid to wait in the car. The argument could then be made that the kid ended up in my house “through no fault of [his] own.” Now, does the fact that the kid had no choice obligate me to provide him with a cool drink and a snack while my house is pillaged by his father?
So what is Hawkins' solution?  Shoot dead both father and son despite only participation from the father?

Hawkins is not obligated to provide this kid with anything but he doesn't realize that his "cool drink and a snack" may come in the form of the government stepping in to arrest the father and hold the child until proper living situation can be sorted out.  Also, considering illegal immigration is a crime and the child had come "through no fault of [his] own," that child also becomes the victim, but Hawkins does not care.

I posed this question to the folks on Big Government and await for the flaming.

I was surprised to see a somewhat rational argument made by someone on Big Government though.

A reader by the name of "sulmak" made the following statement:
Despite actually biting my lip during Perry's election last November(mainly because the guy just gave me a wierd feeling), I find myself constantly defending him. No I don't agree with the in state tuition thing, but is hardly a deal breaker. It is important to consider, in Texas, there is no state income tax, which illegals often evade. There is a sales tax and a property tax, both of which illegal immigrants pay because they work fine as indirect taxes. The law required they be proven resident for years to qualify. Since in-state tuition is funded by state taxes, not federal, they pay the taxes that pay for instate tuition.

Republican Debate's "Small Business Owner"

Thursday, September 22nd, Republicans held another debate at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida.  It was sponsored by Fox News and Google.  Before the debate really started and the candidates began giving their answers something struck me as odd.  It began with the first question.

Brett Baier played a video clip of an Orlando "small business owner" by the name of Dave Meldeau who voiced his concerns regarding the current economic situation.
As a small business owner, one of the obstacles I have in growing my business in today’s economy is having the confidence and incentive to go out and hire new employees. I’m wondering what each one of our candidates would propose to do as president to help incent small businesses like mine to hire new employees and to confidently grow our business in this troublesome economic environment.
Before Rick Perry even gave a response I had paused the debate.  I was curious as to wether or not Dave Meldeau was truly a "small business owner" who was interested in incentive proposals from the GOP candidates.  The results of my search were very interesting.

According to Florida's Division of Corporations, Meldeau is a business owner from Orlando but as for being a "small business owner" in the traditional sense, Meldeau appears to be far from that definition.

Meldeau is associated with two corporations located in Florida - Outer Island Resources Inc. and Elite Trader Network Inc. (ETNtrade).

The first corporation, Outer Island Resources Inc.,  has very little information about it.  According to online searches, Meldeau's company has been in business for over five years, has estimated annual sales of $93,000, and an estimated one employee.   Outer Island Resources Inc. is the registered agent Meldeau's second corporation. 

Meldeau's other company, Elite Trader Network Inc., is a different story.  Given the information present on their website, ETNtrade sounds remarkably like one of those companies you hear about on late-night infomercials promoting get-rich-quick schemes. 

ETNtrade is less then two years old that features a team of people referred to by the website as "the elite," most of who go by aliases such as "Johnny Law," "DanTrader," or "Dollar Bart" - Meldeau is affectionately known as "OptionDave." 

OptionDave's bio reads as follows:
From 2001 to 2008, Dave Meldeau, OptionDave, traveled the world introducing Traders of all backgrounds to the protection and profitability of the Options Market. Since then, he has offered these same opportunities to a broader audience through the use of an Online Training Platform. For this reason, when you join one of OptionDave’s ETNtrade Classes, it is not uncommon to have traders from 5 continents all in attendance together.

OptionDave has taught students from over 18 countries, including the USA, Canada, England, Scotland, Ireland, France, Sweden, Australia, South Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, India, Brazil, and many countries in Africa. He has had the pleasure of introducing over 20,000 to some of the Option Market's most coveted strategies that have helped his Students protect their assets and create profits no matter what the Market throws at them.
His Twitter account refers to him as a stock option trader, educator, and coach and features tweets that look like they were ripped from a penny stock message board.  Just check out OptionDave's blog where he talks about his students making enough in one trade to pay off weeks of his classes!

Now here is an interesting question - Meldeau asks the GOP candidates what they are willing to do to create incentives for people like him to grow their businesses but why should it matter to a person who appears to have two companies with seven employees who claims he can teach individuals to "create profits no matter what the Market throws at them?"

Not only does "OptionDave" seem to be an investing genius, his very business model does not seem to be centered on job creation or growth, rather it revolves around a membership base expanding to select groups with individuals in those groups hoping to make it big paying Meldeau's company hundreds of dollars so that they can participate in a 7-week program involving 14 2-hour "webinars," or seminars based over the internet.  Essentially, ETNtrade offers no tangible good, selling advice online presumably from a home office - both companies are registered to Meldeau's residential address. 

As a side note, who would trust a business that promotes the ability to teach people to protect their assets and guarantee profits in the market when it's owner's own personal property lost close to one hundred thousand dollars in just three short years?

Because of these questions surrounding Meldeau, who only appears to be asking this question as a form of self-promotion, the question itself loses all meaning and the entire debate is framed with hollow rhetoric from the onset.

Interested in Rick Perry's response?
Well, Rick Scott is sitting right over there, and he and I compete every day with trying to get jobs into our states. And what we have done in the state of Texas over the course of the last decade is to lower that tax burden on the small businessmen and women, have a regulatory climate that is fair and predictable, and sweeping tort reform that we passed in 2003 that told personal injury trial lawyers, don’t come to Texas, because you are not going to be suing our doctors frivolously.

That’s the way you get the government off of the back of small businessmen and women. And that’s the way you free up those small business entrepreneurs, where they know that they can risk their capital and have a chance to have a return on investment.

If it will work in the state of Texas, it will work in Washington, D.C. And that’s exactly what I’m going bring to Washington when I go there in November — or, excuse me, in January of 2013.
Rick Perry discusses reduction in government regulations as a solution and did anyone happen to catch just where this "small business owner" makes their money?


Enough said.

Anyone remember part of the cause of the economic collapse a couple years ago?

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Big Government's "Poor" Hypocrisy and John Fleming's Class Warfare

Do the rich pay taxes on their Cuban cigars?
It seems the folks at Big Government have revived an old meme which circulated two years ago regarding cigarette taxes and lower income individuals.  According to the propaganda site, Democrats are considering a tax hike on the poor by increasing an excise tax on cigarettes.
President Obama called for tax hikes worth $1.5 trillion on Monday, but in a less remarked-upon move, members of Democratic leadership in the U.S. Senate have also been pushing for tax increases of their own. However, unlike Obama’s proposal, which is squarely focused on enhancing the revenue that upper-income taxpayers are required to pay out, the proposal being pushed by Sens. Durbin, Murray and Begich (respectively, the Assistant Majority Leader, the Secretary of the Conference and the Chair of the Steering and Outreach Committee) aims to raise taxes significantly on some of the poorest Americans.

Via the Winston-Salem Journal:
A group of 14 U.S. senators — all Democrats — are using a familiar strategy as they try to raise the federal excise tax on tobacco products.
Senate Bill 1403 would provide annual funding to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act by essentially doubling the excise tax on cigarettes and small cigars.
For example, the federal excise tax for cigarettes would go from $1.006 a pack to $2.01.
American smokers are disproportionately poor. Back in 2009, when the last federal cigarette tax increase was set to go into effect, Gallup data indicated that more than half of smokers earn less than $36,000 per year; only 13 percent of smokers made $90,000 or more annually.
Why is this interesting?

Big Government quantifies being poor at making $30,000 per year or less.

This is interesting considering all their whining about many "poor" Americans paying little or no federal income tax and the silence in regards to republicans who want to increase the taxes on those very same individuals.  All this in the wake of Republican congressman John Fleming complaining that he gets to take home only $400,000 after taxes.
Fleming charged that the plan is a terrible idea which kills jobs provided by wealthy "job creators" who pay personal income taxes. When asked about his business ventures -- including his role in a number of Subway restaurants and UPS stores -- from which he earned $6.3 million last year, Fleming told MSNBC host Chris Jansing that his business expenses left him with little to tax "by the time I feed my family."

Fleming told Jansing that the $6.3 million is "before you pay 500 employees, you pay rent, you pay equipment and food."

"The actual net income of that was a mere fraction of that amount."

“By the time I feed my family, I have maybe $400,000 left over," Fleming said.
Fleming is upset that his take-home cash is more then ten-times greater then the annual income of one poor person.  Also consider this - $6.3 million divided by 500 employees comes to a whopping $12,600 per worker, but that is not considering rent, equipment, and food, so Fleming probably pays his employees far less.

Who is engaging in class warfare now?

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Sarah Palin Slept With NBA Star, Husband's Business Partner, and Snorted Cocaine

Joe McGinniss's new book, The Rogue: Searching for the Real Sarah Palin, hits bookstores next week, but its controversial claims about the former Alaska governor are already making waves.

In the book, McGinniss writes that Palin had a one-night stand in 1987 with future NBA basketball player Glen Rice nine months before she married her husband Todd. He quotes a friend who said Palin "had a fetish for black guys for a while."

"She was a gorgeous woman. Super nice. I was blown away by her," Rice tells McGinniss in the book, NBC reports. "Afterward, she was a big crush that I had."

McGinniss's book also alleges that Palin had an extramarital affair with her husband's business partner, Brad Hanson, in the mid-1990s, and snorted cocaine off a 55-gallon oil drum while snowboarding.
So here is the real question: What will Sarah Palin do in response to this book?

Will she deny, deny, deny, or will she go on the attack and possibly attempt to sue McGinniss for his book?

I personally believe the content of McGinniss' book.  Palin has done nothing to make me think otherwise, and her self-righteous attitude does even more to confirm my suspicions.  I am also interested in what McGinniss has to say about Trig's birth and who his real mother may be.

Be sure that thin-skinned Sarah will be flailing around in the coming weeks...

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Republicans - Not Just Obama Administration - Involved In Solyndra "Scandal"

Michael McAuliff wrote the following for The Huffington Post:
Solyndra first came into the picture during the Bush administration, when it was one of just 16 firms found eligible for several billion dollars available in the Energy Policy Act of 2005's guaranteed loan program.

And more, the Energy Policy Act, which the Bush administration used to promote Solyndra, was passed by the same committee under the leadership of Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas).

One Democrat noted that while the GOP has been having a field day with the involvement of an Obama bundler, another major investor in a similar position is Madrone Capital Partners, run by Walmart's Walton family -- major GOP donors.

Further, the Bush administration nearly pushed a guaranteed loan through for Solyndra the day before Obama took office, ThinkProgress reported.
Conservatives are more interested in politicizing this situation, with top Republicans in congress calling for investigations of all sorts but the truth is they are guilty of the same cronyism they blame the president and his administration of.

Should the Obama administration held off on backing Solyndra?


While it appears that the root cause of this whole thing stems from Solyndra's inability to compete with less expensive manufacturers overseas, this is also very telling - American industry stands no chance against the likes of Chinese products without heavy investment from the government.  Once such industries become established only then they will be competitive in a world market, but more importantly, be competitive in America.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

September 11th Ten-Year Anniversary

I recall everything about September 11th.  I remember where I was, what I was doing, and how I was feeling.  In memory of those who had lost their lives on that day and in honor of those who worked tirelessly to help I post this song, "Serenade" by The Steve Miller Band, as a tribute.  At that time, a Steve Miller Band album was in my car and when I started my car to head home to find out more about what had just happened - I was in school when news broke - this was the first song to come on.

Consider the lyrics and that day's events and the song takes on an all new meaning.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Mitt Romney The Son Of Outlaws and Mexican Immigrants

Grab your guns and your pocket constitutions and be ready to have your mind blown - Republican presidential candidate is the son of outlaws and Mexican immigrants.

That's right.  Romney, the perceived front-runner of the GOP primary, is the grandchild of fugitives and the son of a Mexican immigrant, essentially making Romney an "anchor baby."

Jeff Biggers wrote the following for Salon:
In truth, while Romney's great-grandfather may have never lost his love of the United States, he didn't leave Arizona on good terms. Or even legal ones.

In the 1880s, the Mormons of Arizona didn't just face increasing persecution for their polygamous ways. They also confronted resentment over their aggressive land deals and encroaching settlements. Five Mormons, including William Flake, (the great-great-grandfather of Republican Senate candidate and Rep. Jeff Flake of Arizona), were convicted of unlawful "cohabitation" in 1884 and sent to prison. In a related land claims dispute involving Miles P. Romney, Mormon leader David Udall (the great-grandfather of U.S. Sens. Tom Udall, D-N.M., and Mark Udall, D-Colo., was sent to prison in Detroit on perjury charges.

Miles Romney took a different course. Faced with the same perjury charges over his land claim in St. Johns, Ariz., in the spring of 1885, Miles Romney went on the lam and forfeited over $2,000 in bond, according to Dave Udall's diary. A local newspaper account said Romney's flight left his community "in the lurch," and scholars agree.

"Fearing he would be prosecuted for polygamy, as well as for the earlier charge of perjury regarding his land claim, Romney skipped bond and fled to Mexico," wrote Mormon historians JoAnn Blair and Richard Jensen in the Journal of the Southwest in 1977.

In other words, the candidates' forefathers fled to Mexico for sanctuary, the very behavior that Romney is denouncing among Mexicans and others who come to the United States. Running for president in 2007 Romney called out New York, San Francisco and other cities for passing sanctuary policies.

"Sanctuary cities become magnets that encourage illegal immigration and undermine secure borders," he declared.

In his memoir, Romney skims over his family's lawless behavior and picks up the story from the border, seen through the eyes of one of Miles P. Romney's "plural" wives:

"When she arrived at the border of Mexico, she was asked to pay an entry toll. Having no money, she was forced to leave behind the iron stove that she had carried across the wilderness as collateral.

Theirs was a life of toil and sacrifice, of course, of complete devotion to a cause. They were persecuted for their religious beliefs but they went forward undaunted."

Two decade later, Romney's ancestors returned. Having sided with Mexican dictator Porfirio Diaz, the Romney clan fled their homes and ranches in 1912 when the Mexican Revolution came to town. Along with thousands of Mormons they took advantage of the porous borders to find refuge in sanctuary cities, such as in Texas, Ohio, New Mexico and Arizona. They also received more than $20,000 allocated by the U.S. government for aid and relocation efforts.

"He had an abiding loyalty to America," Romney concludes, "and a deep interest in politics. These were the same values and commitments that animated my grandfather and my father and my mother. They were the same values that were passed along to me."

Now his values include supporting Arizona's SB 1070, which seeks to supersede federal immigration law by making it a crime to be in the state without proper residency documents and requiring police to verify immigration status in a case of reasonable suspicion. With key provisions of the law struck down twice by federal courts, Gov. Jan Brewer recently filed an appeal before the U.S. Supreme Court.

In the spring of 2010, Romney was the first Republican contender to speak in support of SB 1070, which would punish immigrants from Mexico for doing what his ancestors did. The former Massachusetts governor's statement was guarded, yet unmistakably in favor of the state's mandates on police enforcement of immigration status. Romney declared: "Arizona's new immigration enforcement law is the direct result of Washington's failure to secure the border and to protect the lives and liberties of our citizens."
Romney's grandfather fled America to escape jail.  While a fugitive, essentially renouncing his citizenship to America, Romney's grandfather had a child - Mitt Romney's father, George.  When the Mexican revolution broke out, the Romneys decided it was time to sneak across the border and escape their new country and George's home.  They even received government subsidies along the way!

Romney, the son of Mexican immigrant, is not only a hypocrite for supporting anti-immigration laws that would prevent what his family used to regain access to this country, but if you consider ideas circulating among the conservatives regarding citizenship, Romney should not be eligible to hold the office of president because he is not a true citizen of America.  Right Bachmann?

Friday, September 9, 2011

Andrew Breitbart, Big Journalism Attack on Media Matters' IRS Filings Debunked

For some reason Andrew Breitbart, Mike Flynn, and Dana Loesch, from the propagandist Big websites, descended upon the Media Matters for America headquarters in Washington DC to request the non-profit's tax filings. Apparently, the latest right-wing meme regarding Media Matters is that they are not disclosing current tax information and are skirting the law. The three conservative activists decided to film their journey to try and prove a point but were unfortunately thwarted when Media Matters complied with their request.

That's right - when Breitbart and company asked for their latest filings, Media Matters handed it to them but that didn't satisfy the folks at Big Journalism.  Big Journalism's editorial panel had this to say regarding the situation:
Unlike other tax-exempt organizations that make their latest IRS filings easily available at their own websites (such as the Media Research Center, for example), MMFA apparently wants the public to find that information for itself. Since the most recent available IRS 990 filing from MMFA covers 2009, we decided to see if they had any more recent information to provide us.

By sheer chance, we happened to walk into the building as MMFA head honcho David Brock was walking in. He looked very uncomfortable. But he kindly sent a couple of goons–who by this time had brought their own video camera–to deliver a sheaf of papers. Sadly, it was just MMFA’s IRS 990 filing for 2009 all over again.
Apparently, Big Journalism was not only mad that Media Matters doesn't post their filings on their website even though they admit in their article that you can find it for free from websites such as GuideStar, they were also mad that they didn't get the most "recent" filing - Media Matters handed them the same 2009 Form 990 that can be found online.

If you watch the video on the Big Journalism post, it would appear that Media Matters was attempting to stonewall Breitbart's crew but if you watch the video Media Matters took of the event, you clearly hear them tell Breitbart that their next filing won't be until November.  You see, Breitbart wants to make Media Matters look bad by confusing the public over the details regarding their filings.  By complaining that Media Matter's last IRS filing was from 2009 gives the appearance that Media Matters hasn't reported their financials to the government for over two years but if you consider IRS requirements regarding when to file, which requires the organization to "file Form 990 by the 15th day of the 5th month after the organization’s accounting period ends (May 15th for a calendar-year filer)," then it would appear Media Matters is within the law.

The last three years of filings tell a lot that Big Journalism doesn't.  The 2007 form was signed by David Brock in May of 2008, 2008's form in August of 2009, and the 2009 form in November of 2010.  Below are screenshots of the top of the form indicating the year and the signature of Brock, Media Matter's chairman and CEO.

2007 Form 990

2008 Form 990

2009 Form 990

Big Journalism had gone on in their blog post to cry about "goons" trying to prevent them from filming David Brock but if you pay attention to the Big Journalism video, it appears Breitbart and his cohorts attempted to walk through the lobby and go all the way up but were stopped.  The video shot by Breitbart shows two separate incidents - one from earlier in the day and one from later in the day.  Anyone knows that in today's day and age you cannot enter a private building freely.

Breitbart appeared to shove his way onto the lobby elevator but apparently didn't go up being that there is no video of him in the offices of Media Matters.  Comparing both videos, it is obvious that Breitbart attempted to waltz into the Media Matters headquarters and start bellowing for answers but was stopped by these so called "goons."

Breitbart admits that during their second visit to the organization, Media Matters provided them with copies of their most recent IRS filings that could be obtained free over the internet.  This was handed over to them in the lobby.

So the conclusion to all this is that Andrew Breitbart and the Big team do not understand, or choose not to understand, tax filings and intended to mislead the public as to the financial status of Media Matters.  This is all part of an orchestrated attack from the right against the media fact-checking organization that has been very critical of the information these activists masquerade as news.

Bachmann's Hispanic-American Hypocrisy (Tales From The Republican Debate)

Wednesday's debate for the Republican nomination yielded some very interesting sound bites, from Rick Perry and Mitt Romney's back-and-forth regarding job creation to Ron Paul promising a gallon of gasoline for ten cents.  One comment in from Minnesota Representative Michele Bachmann stood out as being particularly absurd - asked about immigration using a hypothetical situation involving a completed fence and cheap gas, Bachmann alluded to revoking citizenship to the children of immigrants and used a funny personal story to drive her point home.
HARRIS: Congresswoman, you said the fence -- that you believe the fence is fundamental as an integral part of controlling the border. Let's say that in 2012 or 2013, there's a fence, the border is secure, gasoline is $2 a gallon.

What do you do then with 11 million people, as the Speaker says, many of whom have U.S.-born children here? What do you do?

BACHMANN: Well, again, understand the context and the problem that we're dealing with.

In Mexico right now, we're dealing with narco terrorists. This is a very serious problem. To not build a border or a fence on every part of that border would be, in effect, to yield United States sovereignty not only to our nation anymore, but to yield it to another nation. That we cannot do.

One thing that the American people have said to me over and over again -- and I was just last week down in Miami. I was visiting the Bay of Pigs Museum with Cuban-Americans. I was down at the Versailles Cafe. I met with a number of people, and it's very interesting. The Hispanic-American community wants us to stop giving taxpayer- subsidized benefits to illegal aliens and benefits, and they want us to stop giving taxpayer-subsidized benefits to their children as well.

HARRIS: A quick 30-second rebuttal on the specific question.

The fence is built, the border is under control. What do you do with 11.5 million people who are here without documents and with U.S.- born children?

BACHMANN: Well, that's right. And again, it is sequential, and it depends upon where they live, how long they have been here, if they have a criminal record. All of those things have to be taken into place.

But one thing that we do know, our immigration law worked beautifully back in the 1950s, up until the early 1960s, when people had to demonstrate that they had money in their pocket, they had no contagious diseases, they weren't a felon. They had to agree to learn to speak the English language, they had to learn American history and the Constitution.

And the one thing they had to promise is that they would not become a burden on the American taxpayer. That's what we have to enforce.
While there were a couple interesting things about her response, there was one comment in particular that was strikingly hypocritical.

Bachmann talked about her photo-op with Cuban-Americans in Miami and how illegal immigrants and their children should not receive any benefits funded by taxpayers but what she failed to acknowledge is that many Cuban-Americans immigrated to America and upon touching American soil were granted amnesty and  qualified to receive government entitlements.  Prior to the 1980s, there was no real policy in place and Cubans were admitted to the country as political refugees.

Why is it different for a Cuban to come to America and be granted protected status because of the political situation in Cuba when Mexicans coming to America seeking employment and protection from what Bachmann calls "narco terrorists" are "burden[s] on the American taxpayer?"

If you look at the demographics of where Bachmann was talking to these Hispanic-Americans, roughly one-third to one-half of that population were born outside America.  This demographic has been subsidized by the government for decades.  A majority of the population Bachmann cites as inspiration for her harsh words against other Hispanics, are essentially illegal immigrants - the only thing different is that the government looks the other way for Cubans.  

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Nikkie Haley, Spending, and The GOP Hypocrisy

Renee Dudley wrote the following for The Post and Courier:
Gov. Nikki Haley's weeklong trip to Europe in June in search of "jobs, jobs, jobs" cost South Carolinians more than $127,000. But the governor and her entourage of more than two dozen returned without any finished deals to bring new employers to the Palmetto State.

Haley, who captured the governor's office preaching fiscal restraint, spent the cash so she, her husband and the rest of the state's contingent could stay in five-star hotels; sip cocktails at the Paris Ritz; dine on what an invitation touted as "delicious French cuisine" at a swanky rooftop restaurant; and rub elbows with the U.S. Ambassador to France at his official residence near the French presidential palace.

The South Carolina group also threw a soiree at the Hotel de Talleyrand, a historic Parisian townhouse where they feted foreign employers in hopes they'd set up shop in South Carolina.

The Department of Commerce billed the $25,000 event as a "networking opportunity for members of the South Carolina delegation."

"It was a great party," Commerce Secretary Bobby Hitt said in an interview last week.

Expenses from the trip still are being submitted, Hitt said. The $127,000 figure represents spending only by the Commerce Department, which covered many but not all of Haley's expenses, he said.

It's unclear exactly what Haley accomplished during the taxpayer-funded excursion. Many documents released Monday to The Post and Courier in response to a July 7 Freedom of Information Act request were heavily redacted.

During a press conference -- unrelated to the trip -- Friday afternoon in Charleston, Haley told the newspaper the state "closed two deals" while abroad. She referred further questions to the Commerce Department.

In a follow-up interview Friday, Hitt said the state, in fact, closed no deals. Two agreements involving foreign employers are in the works, he said. He provided no details.
What is the national significance and how this relates the current GOP field - particularly the tea party favorites?

Michele Bachmann recently spent the night at the South Carolina governor's mansion for the second time this year.

Rick Perry teamed up with the governor to promote the "Cut, Cap, And Balance Pledge."

Ron Paul even speaks at the same events as the tea party favorite.

All these candidates attack the government over spending and claim to be fiscally conservative.  The tea party loves to attack the president over every vacation or overseas trip.  Remember the lies surrounding his India visit?

So here you have these candidate's "fiscally conservative" pal vacationing in France on the taxpayer's dime throwing lavish soirees with nothing to show.

By the way, where are all the bobble heads on Fox News to cry about this waste of money?  They loved that whole Obama-spends-$200-million-per-day-India-trip lie so you would think they would jump on this.

Short Thought On Hypocritical GOP Comments

I was listening to the Republican presidential candidates and it got me thinking. You hear Mitt Romney defend the universal healthcare he ushered in as governor of Massachusetts stating that his plan was the solution for his state - not the entire nation. You then hear candidates like Rick Perry talk about how they created jobs in their respective states and how that will work for the entire nation.

Here was my thought: why are some things state-specific, like Romney's healthcare, while other things are universal, like Perry's job ideas?

Each state is different with different economic demands and problems. What works in Iowa may not work in Florida. These candidates like making blanket statements for one reason - it sounds good.

Happy Labor Day!

I'm a little late with this post but here is a great song to sing while thinking about labor day!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Mitt Romney's Voting Record!

I thought this was too funny to pass up.  Tony Schinella wrote the following for the Concord Patch regarding Mitt Romney's presence at a Tea Party event:
About 25 members and activists of assorted Tea Party organizations in New Hampshire held a counter-demonstration on Sunday, before the appearance of former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, stating that while the candidate was speaking at the Tea Party Express rally in Concord, they did not consider him a member of the movement.

Jerry DeLemus, whose Granite State Patriots Liberty PAC meets right near Romney’s summer home in Wolfeboro, said that neither the candidate nor campaign representatives have met with activists in New Hampshire, despite their requests and invitations.

“A photo op is just that, a photo op,” he said. “I can have my picture taken outside the Supreme Court and that doesn’t make me a Supreme Court justice.”

DeLemus said despite his voting record not being in line with Tea Party activists, they would still like to talk to Romney about why he made the decisions he made while governor.

Andrew Hemingway, the chairman of the Republican Liberty Caucus of New Hampshire, said Romney’s values were not the Tea Party’s values.
Emily Friedman wrote the following for ABC News' blog The Note:
Many of the protesters repeat the same “anyone but Romney” line, explaining that they cannot see past his voting history, particularly when it comes to health care.
When had Mitt Romney held a position to vote?  He lost his 1994 bid for the U.S. Senate against Ted Kennedy and his only government position held was governor of Massachusetts, which he held from 2003 to 2007.  Last time I checked, the governor doesn't vote with the legislature.

I find this interesting because this seemingly innocuous comment is a little more revealing - it shows the ignorance of the tea party movement.  They cry about all the horrible things with government but they have no idea what they are talking about.  They call their critics socialist without knowing what that word even means and they attack a candidate's voting record despite one not existing.


Thursday, September 1, 2011

Why Obama Should Not Have Pushed Back Jobs Speech

President Obama, always looking to be the bigger man, agreed to postpone his jobs speech by one day due to the cries of congressional Republicans.

In my opinion, the president should not have delayed his speech and should have let Republicans throw their tantrum and skip out on the important event.


Because now that Obama conceded to Republicans yet again these are the kinds of headlines we will see from the right-wing media:

Conservatives will undoubtedly push a narrative that the president is disinterested in job creation and is willing to delay speaking on such an important issue.  Want to bet they will complain whatever the president does on September 7th as being less important then the now-delayed jobs speech?

MTV Programming Under New Abortion Laws

Get ready for a new fall line up from MTV.  With conservative legislators rushing to change abortion laws, the following programming will become all the more a reality in the near future:

This is not a joke.

While the images refer to the popular MTV program that follows the lives of pregnant teenagers and the impact on their lives, laws proposed by Republicans around the nation make the above situations closer to becoming a reality.  With these laws in place, births that arise from situations such as rape or incest will become more common, so MTV better get in front of the curve with their programming - these shows would undoubtedly be hits in the red states where such laws are already starting to materialize.  

Big Government Calls Hurricane Irene "A Big Rainstorm"

Wayne Allyn Root, a right-wing propagandist for Andrew Breitbart's hack site Big Government recently took to the conservative blog to make yet another attack at the media, this time focusing on the recent news regarding Hurricane Irene barreling up the east coast.  Root dismissed the storm as nothing more than "a big rainstorm" and believed the media and politicians were over-hyping the hurricane for political gain.
Media and politicians need big catastrophes and emergencies to burnish their images and make them seem important. They need to brandish words like “the worst ever” “the biggest ever” “the most deadly ever.” The media loves these bigger-than-life headlines because they are highly profitable. The bigger, the better- it’s all good for business. The more hysterical they can make the public, the higher the ratings. Catastrophes SELL!  
Politicians also need catastrophes and emergencies- to show they are in charge, looking out for us helpless little people. Politicians desperately need high profile platforms to showcase their leadership skills, to shout “Get out now, or you’ll die. I’m saving your life. I’m the only thing that stands between you and annilihation.” Emergencies allow politicians to bully, intimidate and threaten citizens, and to prove how obviously more important and brilliant they are than the lowly citizens. And, of course, if the politician is right, and the worst happens, they’ve got a platform to shout about how much we need them and how indebted we should be to them  
.But what if they’re wrong? Shouldn’t they be held accountable for pulling a false alarm? Shouldn’t they be called out for needlessly scaring citizens, shutting down entire cities, entire states, the entire Eastern Seaboard for…a big rainstorm? Shouldn’t they pay the consequences for threatening and intimidating their own citizens to abandon their homes and businesses…for a big rainstorm?
Root cries about the big commotion over the hurricane costing average citizens and businesses billions in lost wages and revenue.  He accuses politicians for needlessly shutting down America's largest city, New York City, over some rain.  Ignore the fact that current figures place damage caused by Hurricane Irene over $7 billion.

Root may feel pretty cozy in his Snuggie sitting in front of his television located in his freedom bunker watching Fox News but here in the real world, Irene was a big deal.  This author's family and friends located in New York and New Jersey were evacuated from their homes due to flooding and power outages.  Root likes to talk about lost income for businesses and wages for workers who were supposedly needlessly evacuated but it makes it hard for a business to operate when there is three feet of water flooding the streets.

I also want to point out something else regarding Root's little piece - his constant mention of the media fear-mongering.
Media and politicians need big catastrophes and emergencies to burnish their images and make them seem important. They need to brandish words like “the worst ever” “the biggest ever” “the most deadly ever.” The media loves these bigger-than-life headlines because they are highly profitable. The bigger, the better- it’s all good for business. The more hysterical they can make the public, the higher the ratings. Catastrophes SELL!   
Remind you of a particular cable channel that constantly pushes such stories while simultaneously pointing to their high viewership numbers as proof they are legitimate?  Sounds more like they found a working equation for selling catastrophes.