Old News?

No doubt that everyone has heard in the news recently about Hillary Clinton’s pay-to-play stories while she was Secretary Of State.

But is this news? I’ve been keeping a file of news articles of Hillary’s corruption now for quite a few months. Anything that’s shady I learn of Hillary Clinton I write down along with the URL of the mainstream media (or other trusted media) source.

I’ve known about Hillary’s pay-to-play for a long time now. It was reported in 2015 that shady stuff was going on while Hillary was Madam Secretary. Why is it just fully coming to light now?

Brian brought up a good point last night. The media wanted to release it now. The media had it for months, if not years, but they chose now to release it. Maybe because it’s a slow news cycle. During the primary there was always something to report about Trump. He totally dominated the news.

But why not push this story out when it mattered; during the primary? Cause they never needed to “sell papers” or generate clicks on stories. There was always something else going on. So we’re thinking the media sat on it until it was a slow news cycle.

Of course I’ve known about the pay-to-play for months now. I’ve been screaming about the blatant corruption of the Clinton’s. So have other progressives.

Recently Chris Hayes and Joan Walsh finally realized Hillary is a warmongerer and her being president would be dangerous. We’ve been saying that the whole damn time! But they dismissed us; everyone did; during the primary. Now they finally realize Hillary is dangerous.

Makes me wonder what else they’ll be parading out later about Hillary. Her ties to the big banks, ties to Monsanto, Wal-Mart director where she did nothing to help unions, her son-in-law’s ties to Goldman Sachs, ties to Russia with the uranium purchase; the list goes on. Hell maybe they have the transcripts of Hillary’s speeches they’re sitting on.

Hillary supporters should get ready cause if Hillary becomes president, be prepared to defend all these scandals and many more.

Years Of Living Dangerously

I’m really excited that finally a network is giving some attention to our climate change problem. Showtime now has a series out, Years of Living Dangerously, which airs Sunday’s at 10PM.

The other week the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) shouted saying, “Hey guys! We have a problem here!” and no one was listening. And it doesn’t have to be that difficult. Instead places like Oklahoma, who is now making solar and wind more expensive.

One of the reasons I became a vegetarian was to help the planet. I also ride a scooter, recycle, put solar panels on my house, bought a Prius, bought an electric car, reuse as much as I can, etc to help the planet and reduce my carbon footprint.

I think with a little effort we can do amazing things. For instance why don’t we stop eating meat one or two days a week? Why don’t we plant some trees? Or get a pile of recyclables and take them somewhere if you can’t recycle at your house? I think little things that won’t change your lifestyle can make a difference.

If you have Showtime, make sure to catch Years of Living Dangerously. They have celebrities like Harrison Ford, Jessica Alba, Chris Hayes, and Michael C. Hall on there who go investigate climate change and its effect. It’s pretty cool. Check it out if you can.

This problem of climate change doesn’t and shouldn’t be political.

Tesla Car Fires

I’m not getting how news of the third Tesla Model S has sent stocks plummeting and people skeptic about electric cars. I’m doing some math here to try and illustrate why this shouldn’t be such a big deal.

According to Tesla, there have been around 20,600 Telsas sold (including the Roadster; around 2,500 Roadsters were made). 3 Teslas have caught fire… So 1 out of 6,867 Teslas have caught fire.

According to the US Beureu of Transportation Statistics there are 254,212,610 registered passenger vehicles on the road as of 2009. According to the National Fire Protection Association, 152,300 vehicles catch fire per year… So 1 out of 1,669 cars catch fire each year.

I was attempting to find how many new cars catch fire per year but I wasn’t able to find that data as this may seem to some comparing apples to oranges.

I still feel safer in an electric than in a gasoline powered car. We shall see if the NHTSA launches an investigation and what they find.

Let’s See How Rediculous This Sounds

As we prepare to enter or affect yet another region in the middle east, it’s nice to know that after 150+ people died at the hands of an evil dictator the US will be there… Never mind that when thousands upon thousands were being killed by genocide in Darfur we didn’t go in or try to help them but whatever.

I guess we never crossed some “red line” with the number of deaths via gun violence in this country to warrant something to actually be done.

The right likes to use that argument for gun violence “guns don’t kill people, people kill people”. How about for chemical weapons… “chemical weapons don’t kill people, people kill people”?

Maybe is it that chemical weapons don’t give us more freedom but guns do?

Or how about “the only way to stop a bad guy with a chemical weapon is with a good guy with a chemical weapon”?

I’m confounded.

The Other Crisis

Before I start this post which I’m sure a lot of people would say I’m wrong on… I would like to say how pathetic it is that our Senate couldn’t pass one of the poorest, weakest gun control bills ever. And, no offense, how stupid some people are who believe the lies from the NRA. It’s daft that a bill that could have saved some lives couldn’t get passed in our country.

Anyway, to start my thoughts about what happened in Boston… I understand this was a terrorist attack but I’m shocked that the explosion that happened in Texas didn’t get covered. In Texas, one of their fertilizer plants exploded and killed 14 people and injured 200. Five times the amount of people were killed in Texas than were killed in Boston. And twice as many were injured in Texas than in Boston… Yet the media, all they covered was Boston.

It’s very sad to hear in our country of business’ not being regulated enough that something happens which costs people their lives. The last time the fertilizer plant in Texas was inspected by Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) was in 1985.  Almost thirty years ago.

Due to them not being inspected regularly, the plant could get away with having crappy safety standards, or no safety standards at all. This happens a lot in coal mining and oil. They either pay the fine or don’t do anything at all. The fines are less expensive than to actually implement safety standards for their employees. We saw another example of this recently with the pipeline explosion in Arkansas.

I can’t understand anyone being against this kind of regulation. I can’t understand how anyone can argue on the side of the business. We all want clean water, we all want safe cars, police, etc. We all don’t want to see people or animals hurt or killed. It’s just sad.

It makes me angry that these kinds of things can be prevented. It also makes me sad that more people died from a lack of government regulation than from a terrorist attack; however we’ll always remember Boston. Will anyone remember Texas?

Gun Companies

I find it interesting that very few gun companies are publicly owned. In fact, out of the most popular gun manufacturers only a few are publicly owned and traded.

Most of the companies you’re hard pressed to find information about the actual person(s) who own them. They seem to want to keep their lives very private; especially after tragedies like the one that just happened in Connecticut. Come on, what can they say? Their product was used to kill 20 innocent kids.

I’ve said on my twitter that I’m sick of this gun debate. I’ve said what I had to, quoted statistics about guns, etc. At this point I think no guns for anyone except law enforcement… And even there that may be a stretch considering police used 90 rounds to take down a teenager in Los Angeles.

I hope Obama is true to his word in what he said last night. This debate has been over. The fat lady has sung and is well on her way back home now. The time for action is long overdue.

National Defense Authorization Act

Why the hell is the so called “liberal media” not talking about this? This bill gives the military the ability to detain and arrest US citizens indefinitely who are suspected of terrorism… on US SOIL and WITHOUT TRIAL.

Obama, veto this bill. This bill is sick. How many more liberties do we have to give away in the name of terrorism? Especially when we’ve killed bin Laden and seem to have the whole “terrorism” thing under control.

If we keep taking away the rights of our citizens, there will be no country to protect. And let us not forget the wise words of Benjamin Franklin: “Those who sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.”

Is China The New US?

Interesting articles this morning. Three years ago, 16% of Chinese said there in the past year that they couldn’t provide food for themselves or their family, compared with Americans at 9%.

Now it’s the complete opposite. 6% of Chinese say they couldn’t feed their family in the past year, where as 19% of Americans said it.

Also the news has it that GAP is closing stores in the US in order to expand to China.

What the hell is going on? Is the United States not a first world country anymore?

Regarding Anthony Weiner

It goes without saying that I’m pretty upset about this whole situation with Anthony Weiner. He is one of my favorite congressmen. I believe he truly has the best intentions for America and I feel I can trust him (yes, even after all those photos and chats). I believe him to be one of the few good guys.

I think the media has blown this thing way out of proportion. Congressman Weiner didn’t have sex with anyone. Nor did he break any laws (of course pending the 17 year old girl investigation).

His district is smart. His district doesn’t want him to go. They know him to fight. He’s one of the only ones who actually fight for progressive values and what’s right.

I think it’s wise of him to take a leave of absence and get his shit together before continuing representing people. His personal life obviously needs to get in order before he can properly continue the fine job he’s doing.

I’m just really upset this had to happen and very upset at the media for making it a circus. The likes of David Vitter (who actually broke laws) is still in Congress. No high ranking Republican officials asked for his resignation.

Maybe if the media wasn’t so stupid and if American’s weren’t so obsessed with sex they’d actually report on things that matter, like the debt ceiling.

Thoughts On Osama bin Laden

It cost the United States $1.2 trillion dollars, ten years, and over 900,000 deaths to finally get Osama bin Laden. Granted not all of the money or treasure was used just to get him. We spent needlessly in places where he was not and for reasons that don’t make any sense.

Now that he’s dead, who won? We as Americans are still scared. We still have to go through full body scans and shoe checks at the airport. We still have the Patriot Act which takes away our rights as Americans if we were to be called a terrorist. We still torture. We still have Gitmo opened. We still have two wars going on that had nothing to do with bin Laden.

The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and basically everything we did post 9/11, we made al Qaeda stronger. Instead of one big branch, they separated. Store owners, ordinary citizens, and people who have nothing to do with bin Laden can be al Qaeda. They saw us steamroll into their country, killing their people; we breed that hate. We responded to their violence with more violence.

I do have to point out, I appreciate how they buried bin Laden at sea, like an Islamic funeral; instead of lord knows what some people in this country would have preferred.

However, I’m sure us cheering in every major city in the US that he was dead angered some too. (Remember how we saw some Muslims cheering that September 11th happened?) Why can’t we be better than that? If we’re so “exceptional” how come we torture, how come we celebrate our enemies deaths? I believe that just gives them more reasons to hate us.

Re: A Barack Obama Report Card

I actually have a little bit of time today to catch up on some news. I read a Barack Obama Report Card and decided to blog about what I think his report card should be.

Political Identity: C.
I know who Obama is. I know his vision for this country. I just don’t see the path on which we’ll get there. So far in his path he hasn’t taken the courageous steps I had hoped he’d take. He needs to better stand up for the middle class and the poor. Instead he panders to the rich too much. He needs to go further to the left and stop appearing so right. In some regards, he’s further to the right than Reagan.

Campaign Team: D.
Where was his team during the 2010 elections? He should have had them assembled to help out his fellow Democrats. He did a brilliant job in 2008, but come 2010 they were no where to be found. I understand it’s not his election, but he still should have gotten more motivation out there to help out his party. We barely heard from him.

Leadership: D.
Like I said, he needs to stop giving into the Republicans. Where’s the leader I thought he’d be? This trait is where he needs to be more like Clinton and get it his way or no way. He starts with a compromise on everything. That’s no way to get what you want.

Attributes and Values: A.
I know what they are, I know what he wants to fight for, I just don’t see him putting up much of a fight. I would trust Obama if it was only him, but it’s not. He has to deal with people who want everything opposite of what he wants and stands in the way of everything; and that is killing his presidency.

Organization: B.
He needs to get ready to get in there again. Let’s hope he hasn’t lost so much of his base he can get them back. He needs to start to get the youth out there again and motivate them. They took him to his victory in 2008.

Position Relative To His Opposition: A.
If he took the time and explain to people what he’s for and what he wants, no doubt more people would agree with him. Like most things I debate with my colleges and friends about. Once I explain to them what should be, they agree (a lot of the time). I believe most people would see what Obama wants if he better explains it to them. Instead he lets the right twist things then we get “death panels” and “Obama raised taxes” lies.

Domestic Issues: D.
He still hasn’t done anything meaningful to get this economy back on track. He needs to concentrate more on infrastructure and America’s foundation. Health Care Reform was great. He also needs to fight back more on the budget cutting the Republicans want to do that will only hurt the poor and the middle class which will further sink the economy. Starting with cuts on the poor and the middle class are not the way to earn trust. Start at the bloat, at the top.

Foreign Issues: C.
He hasn’t closed Gitmo, he started us in another war, we’re still in Iraq and Afghanistan, our defense budget is still bloated. However he has drew back most the troops from Iraq, Libya was a success, and the world’s opinion of us has risen. If the Republicans want cuts in the budget, Obama should first suggest the Pentagon, of which if they were to audit would find billions worth of waste. Get completely out of Iraq and Afghanistan and we’d be amazed at how much more money we’d have for the real problems of this country.

Relations With Party Base: D.
I feel a little alienated by Obama. I think he has a lot of work to do in order to stimulate his base again. We’re definitely not going to go out and vote Republican, but I can see a lot of us sit it out.

Good The Dems Have Done, Get Out And Vote! Nov 2 2010

As promised, my list of achievements the 111th Congress and Barack Obama have accomplished:

  • American Recovery & Reinvestment Act of 2009 (the stimulus) – tax credits for home buyers, making work pay, etc
  • Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act (health care reform) – ends lifetime caps, no denial for pre-existing conditions, etc
  • Student loan overhaul – cuts out the banks or the middle men saving over $63B
  • Increased fuel efficiency standards – 35 MPG by 2016 when it was originally by 2020
  • Overturned the EPA (Bush) ruling that California couldn’t set it’s own MPG regulations
  • Allowed federal funding for stem cell research
  • Expanded the federal hate crimes bill to sexual orientation or gender identity
  • Dismantling of nuclear weapons and limiting when they can be used
  • Withdrew troops from Iraq – did so three months before the planned timeline
  • Equal pay for women
  • Two Supreme Court Justices – two women
  • Car Allowance Rebate System (cash for clunkers) – statistics say increased fuel efficiency an average of 9.6 MPG or 61% for cars turned in
  • Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform & Consumer Protection Act
  • Increased federal regulation of tobacco
  • Set fuel efficiency standards on trucks and vans for the first time
  • Tax incentives to hire the unemployed

In these times we’re living with a global recession of this magnitude, of which experts have claimed would take generations to clean up, you have to admit they’ve done a lot of good with the bad hand they were dealt.

I’ve felt that extreme dislike for the Democrats; extreme dislike for Obama. But I realize, this list, this blog post, I could go into so much detail of each item and it would seem endless; and I’m sure I’ve missed some. These are just highlights. If you go into specifics about these, you really do see a great picture of the grand things Obama and the Democrats have accomplished in just two years time.

If I may ask, give them two more years. If after two years, things are still hellish, then vote them out. Putting the Republicans back in office would spell disaster for this country (as we’ve seen), and this time, it’s worse. There are so many extreme candidates in this race like Sharron Angle, Ken Buck, and Rand Paul. Lord knows what our country would look like if they get power.

Regardless, I plead with you, like I have before, go out and vote tomorrow, November 2, 2010. Even if you’re 100% discouraged by anything and everything, just go. Every vote matters and every vote counts. This nation is too hurt to sit this one out. Get your say. No one can stop you. There’s nothing to fear.

Quote From Bill Maher III

I probably have better things to blog about like the email I just got and had to reply and debunk, but Bill Maher had a rant which I felt needs to be said more (though not verbatim). He was talking about Virginia Thomas and that whole message thing, but it morphed into talking about Citizens United.

Because of the Supreme Court decision last year, which her husband ruled on, which basically negated McCain Feingold, in all this secret money in checks they say up to twenty million dollars from hedge fund managers, from fat cats; and people don’t know where it’s coming from. It’s coming into this election. This is a giant scandal which of course people don’t care about anymore than they care about Darfur because it’s not on Dancing With The Stars.

The Tea Party likes to coin the phrase “Wake Up America”, I think it’s true. But America needs to actually wake up to the corruption and propaganda and anything else they actually believe from an email, Fox News, or from a 30 second commercial. They need to stop watching their reality TV and get back to their actual reality and fact check and do research into their candidates before blindly voting. There’s so much unchecked money going into this election, and it’s not going to stop. Republican candidates don’t even care who’s putting up propaganda to attack their opponent, just so long as they win.

To try to encourage more turn out at the polls next week, I’ll be blogging my long list of achievements Obama and this Democratic controlled Congress has had over the past two years. They have been the most productive Congress since the 1960’s.

Mosques Near Ground Zero

It’s getting old hearing all these people complain about the Mosque they’re building TWO BLOCKS AWAY from where the WTC used to be.

The fact is that it’s protected under the first amendment. However, that won’t get through these people’s minds. It’s protected, there’s no debating it, no matter what people say or do.

The closest thing people tried to stop it was to get the building declared a landmark. The landmark commission voted 9-0 that the building is NOT a landmark even though debris from the WTC touched it. Most the buildings in NYC would then have to be declared landmarks if that was so.

It’s on private property, it will be private church, how can government try to stop it? It’s protected under the first amendment, there’s no debate. Also, there’s separation of church and state which some people seem to forget.

It baffles my mind, it’s so hypocritical to rant and rave “PATRIOTS, PROTECT OUR COUNTRY, FREEDOM ISN’T FREE, THE TERRORISTS WANT TO TAKE AWAY OUR FREEDOMS… yada yada yada.” Yet, they’re protesting to take away the freedoms of other people? I don’t get it. They need to listen to themselves. What freedoms will we have if we keep taking them away, one by one, in the name of terrorism?

And some people forget that some Muslims died on 9/11, too. To cave on this would hand the terrorists a victory. They would have disrupted those people’s freedom to speech and religion. Are we supposed to treat Muslims different than everyone else? I don’t think so. That’s NOT what this country is about.

Sick

I really don’t know how I contain myself now. Why I’m not screaming at the top of my lungs. I just fucking blogged about the need for government regulation and for government to step in and do something less than two weeks ago.

Since then two more people died because of another mine collapse and eleven people have lost their lives due to BP’s oil explosion. And not to mention the countless thousands of fish and wildlife that will die because of this oil rig explosion which could be worse than the Exxon Valdez.

Hypocrites. All those tea partiers preaching their “Drill Baby, Drill”… where are they now to help clean up this mess? Where are the Republicans who touted “Drill Baby, Drill”? Why aren’t they protesting in Arizona over the recent immigration law which allows government to get in your face if you “look illegal”? Or in Oklahoma where Republicans passed legislation to make a sonogram mandatory for getting an abortion which is clear government intervention? Or what about the entire Bush presidency?

The oil spill, the mining “accidents”, the hypocrites all make me sick.

I boycott Exxon because of Valdez and now looks like I’ll be boycotting BP.

This shit shouldn’t happen.

The Need For Government Regulation

As I stated in my previous blog post, the need for government regulation has become increasingly more important. After previous administrations, so much government regulation has been taken away or not enforced. The deregulation of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, toys from China, the coal mine incidents, the economic collapse, ENRON, deregulation of our finance, energy, communications, transportation, etc. Many times after the fact have we realized maybe there should have been something put in place or enforced so bad things don’t happen, like with the current recession.

What comes to mind most recently (besides the coal mine explosion) is what’s going on with Toyota. Just the other day Consumer Reports came out and said the Lexus GX is unsafe and should not be bought. Now Toyota has stopped sales of its Lexus. It takes an independent magazine by a union to do enough safety tests to realize that a vehicle is unsafe for the road? The NHTSA didn’t find it? Even the Prius gas pedal wasn’t found by our “government regulations”. WTF?

Everyone thinks government regulation is a bad thing, but they are put in place for a reason; to make our cars safe, to make where we work safe, to make our food and water safe, to make our buildings safe, etc. To ensure that we won’t get hurt physically or financially by companies, to protect us.

We need government regulation because without it, we will get hurt. It happens time and time again when regulation is taken away or not enforced. We need a go between of companies and people and the government is the only thing to do it right. To look out for the people because that’s who the government represents. Contrary to what the SCOTUS says, corporations are NOT people.

It can’t just be a “states rights” thing either. Prime example, look at all the influence the coal industry has in West Virginia. Massey kicked the unions out. The unions couldn’t even help with the rescue effort. Massey got away with operating an unsafe mine and 29 people lost their lives because of it.

I know all these “don’t tread on me” people claim differently but the government is supposed to have the best intentions for the American people. That’s its job.

Recent Mine Explosions

If the recent deaths in the West Virginia and China mines isn’t enough to make us switch to alternative energy, I don’t know what is.

China said by the end of the year 8,000 less efficient and less safe coal mines will be closed. Their mines are less safe because they don’t have the OSHA requirements that we do. However, the United States does face disasters in mines still as shown in recent and past events.

Alternative energy like wind and solar don’t nearly have the dangers that mining coal does (and oil drilling for that matter). Alternatives saves more lives and reduces climate change, which saves our planet.

If we do keep using coal (signs point to yes), we should most definately enact more restrictions on companies who mine. Massey Energy got fined $382,000 last year, according to the Washington Post, for safety violations, allowing coal dust to pile up, and not having sufficient fire gear. That shouldn’t happen in this country.

Back in 2007, I said the same thing with the collapse of the Crandall Canyon mine. There should have been more harsher regulations in place. I even blamed Bush for easing safety enforcements which could have prevented deaths in that incident (and, perhaps, the recent incident).

Debunking The Right About Higher Taxes In Maryland

I usually have some pretty good debates with my fathers lawyer who is a Republican. He always likes to blame Democrats for the problems we face in our state and in our country (like all good Republicans, right).

Anyway, so he recently said how one third of the rich people in this state have since moved or changed their permanent residences due to O’Malley hiking up their taxes. So, what the Right likes to think is that it drove out rich people and increased taxes on the working. They’re correct, but let’s take a look at the numbers:

The increase on the rich of they “grinned and bared it” would be another $106,000,000 revenue to the state.

In reality it put us in the hole -$100,000,000. (Figures from the Wall Street Journal.)

So that’s a -$206,000,000 swing that we have to make up to (baring that the tax increase on the rich would balance the budget) keep the budget balanced for the year. In other words, Maryland needs to make up $206,000,000 MORE than last year.

According to Wikipedia, the population of Maryland is 5,633,600 people. Assuming that only half pay taxes, which is more than fair in my opionion, that leaves us with 2,816,800 tax payers.

Doing our math on this:

$206,000,000/2,816,800 = $73.13 per tax payer

So, the Right (and some Democrats no doubt) lead you to believe that increasing taxes on the rich will drive them away leaving only the middle and lower classes to make up the difference. Sorry but I’m a lot happier paying barely $100 more A YEAR than other alternatives… look what California is facing. Also keep in mind that inflation is a little more than 4% a year so an extra $100 per tax payer may not be so bad.

Of course this blog is assuming the rich were driven out because of higher taxes. One article from the Baltimore Sun actually suggests it’s due to the estate tax being so high in Maryland.

Thoughts On In Vetro & Abortion

With all the discussion about in vetro going on because of the octuplets debate, I had an interesting thought. This woman knew that all of the six embryos the clinic implanted were successful and developing, and she chose not to get any of them aborted… the whole pro life argument… “It’s God’s will”.

My thought is that if it’s God’s will to have a life be created, it’s also Gods will to have life NOT be created. Let’s face it, Nadya Suleman should have never been a mother because she’s infertile. Thanks to technology and in vetro, she is… It’s choice.

How can anyone claim it’s God’s will when they can control the situation? Was it God’s will to have Ms Suleman have in vetro? No. She chose it. If God makes someone infertile, it’s not meant to be, if you following the whole pro life argument that it’s God’s will to have a life be born. You can’t have it both ways.

It draws the conclusion that people who are pro life should NOT be pro in vetro, following God’s will.