Never pass up a chance to sit down or relieve yourself. -old Apache saying

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Beware of the Doghouse!

Click it!

Tuesday deadline for Big 3

Do they have their homework assignment done? Will they forego private jets this time when getting to Washington? Will our lawmakers act like petty little fools and deny them loans to help them through this crisis? Will the Big 3 be allowed to run out of money and throw hundreds of thousands more employees out of work, just in time for Christmas?

I predict an amicable agreement. Congress may be ignorant, but they aren't stupid.

GM board reviews new turnaround plan for bailout

DETROIT (Reuters) – The board of General Motors Corp met on Sunday to review a restructuring plan intended to cut costs and win support for up to $12 billion in emergency funding from the government, a person familiar with the deliberations said.

Along with rivals Ford Motor Co and Chrysler LLC, GM is rushing to complete the business plans demanded by Congress as a condition of considering a $25-billion rescue package for the embattled industry.

A GM spokesman said the automaker does not comment on board meetings as a matter of policy. "We are moving ahead toward delivering the plan," GM spokesman Tom Wilkinson said.

Privately held Chrysler, which is owned by Cerberus Capital Management, said on Sunday its board would also convene to review its revised turnaround plan ahead of Tuesday's deadline for submission to lawmakers.

"Chrysler is fine-tuning its original plan to meet the recent request from congressional leadership," Chrysler spokeswoman Lori McTavish said. "The company's board will be part of the final review process leading up to Tuesday's submission."

The GM board meeting came on the same day that United Auto Workers president Ron Gettelfinger signaled his union was prepared to offer further concessions in order to win support for the bailout provided management shared in the sacrifice.

"They need to establish that executive compensation is something that they're willing to curtail," Gettelfinger said in an interview on CNN. "They can also give the government an equity stake in the business."

The automakers met with skepticism from key lawmakers at hearings earlier in November and were widely criticized for flying to Washington in corporate jets.

House and Senate Democratic leaders, in a letter to GM, Ford and Chrysler executives, said the companies demanded that each submit a "credible restructuring plan" by Tuesday.

That is the same day that major automakers are expected to report bleak November sales results that show an only limited bounce from October when the consumer uncertainty and tight credit combined to send sales to 25-year lows.

November sales are expected to show the auto industry running at a U.S. sales rate of about 11 million vehicles on an annual basis, down by almost a third from 2007's tally.

Analysts see a chance for GM to stop burning cash if the industry recovers back above a sales rate of about 13 million vehicles and it succeeds with a stepped-up restructuring backed by federal funding in a deal that would involve steep concessions from creditors, executives and the UAW.

The union is under pressure to surrender protections that allow laid-off factory workers at the Detroit automakers to collect over 90 percent of their pay by shifting to a jobs bank. The union agreed to restrictions on the program.

A potentially more important concession would be winning new terms for payments by GM and other automakers into a $48 billion trust fund scheduled to take over funding health care benefits for retired autoworkers from 2010.

The revised plan GM is set to submit to Congress is also expected to show cuts to executive pay. The automaker paid its top executives more than $40 million in 2007, even as its stock dropped 19 percent and it posted a loss of $39 billion.

In addition, the GM plan is expected to indicate that the company will ask some bond holders to accept equity and a limited cash payout to redeem the debt they hold.

That proposed debt swap is seen as crucial because GM has more than $44 billion in debt on its balance sheet, analysts have said.

The automaker burned through $6.9 billion in the past quarter and ended September with $16.2 billion. It needs a minimum of between $11 billion and $14 billion to operate and pay suppliers and has warned it could fall short of cash early next year without government help.

The revised plans from all three Detroit automakers are expected to focus on their investment in fuel-saving technology and alternatives like GM's battery-powered Chevrolet Volt.

Analysts expect the automakers to detail confidential product plans that show they have a game plan for meeting federal requirements for a 40-percent improvement in fleet-wide average fuel economy to 35 miles per gallon by 2020.

Ford is in a stronger financial position than its rivals and has suggested it would prefer to have a line of credit from the government. That would allow Ford to sidestep the issue of control of the No. 2 U.S. automaker for now.

The Ford family holds just under 3 percent of the automaker's shares but controls 40 percent of the voting power under a separate class of shares that could be endangered by a government equity stake in the automaker.

For its part, Chrysler's owner Cerberus has indicated that it needs both an alliance with GM and Ford or other automakers in addition to federal funding to survive the downturn.

Original story is here.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Another body found

Body in Ike debris ID'd; another woman's body found

Houston Chronicle

Nov. 25, 2008, 10:41PM


Jennifer Mclemore had been missing since she tried to ride out Hurricane Ike. Her body was found two weeks ago.

A woman's body that had been pulled from a hurricane debris pile in Chambers County on Nov. 12 was identified Tuesday through dental records.

At the same time, forensic anthropologists were examining yet another woman's body found six days ago in debris left by Hurricane Ike on an island off the Bolivar Peninsula.

The Chambers County victim was identified as 50-year-old Jennifer Mclemore of Gilchrist, who had been missing since Ike made landfall Sept. 13 on the Bolivar Peninsula, said Chambers County Sheriff Joe LaRive.

Her 16-year-old grandson, Jerrith Baird, had begged Mclemore to evacuate with him, but she chose to ride out the storm with her dog, HooDoo, her grandson said in an interview in September.

Mclemore had remodeled her house after it was damaged by Hurricane Rita in 2005 and believed it was sturdy enough to withstand a Category 2 storm, Baird said.

He talked to his grandmother at her house until her cell phone's battery died, and he also tried to have the U.S. Coast Guard rescue her. But by that time, the wind was too strong, and the planes had to stop flying rescue missions, he said.

After the storm passed, Baird paddled over to Bolivar in a kayak. He said he could find no trace of her, her home or any familiar landmarks.

Search dogs later discovered Mclemore's body 12 1/2 miles across the bay from her residence in a debris pile in a wooded field near Smith Point.

Meanwhile, the forensic anthropologist determined the unidentified woman being examined Tuesday had drowned, said John Florence, a Galveston County medical examiner's official.

She would be the 20th Galveston County person to die from Hurricane Ike and the 42nd on the Texas coast.

The body was found Thursday by boaters who came ashore at Goat Island and discovered it amid piles of debris, he said.

Precinct 9 Deputy Constable Rodney Kahla, who works part-time for the Medical Examiner's Office, retrieved the body on Friday, Florence said.

Information from the bone examination, along with a dentist's findings from examining the teeth, will help in estimating the woman's age.

Fingerprints could not be taken from the remains, Florence said.

The office has identified four bodies discovered after the storm, Florence said, and four, including this one, remain unidentified.

"It's going to take time, but we're going to do our best to identify all of them," Florence said.

The original story is here. Three months after Hurricane Ike, and there are still huge piles of debris here and there, some revealing bodies.

The Truth About Drugs

Couldn't post the video here, but you've spent five minutes in worse ways before, I'm sure.

See the video here.  

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Alice Paul and Lucy Burns

I recently got around to watching the HBO production of "Iron Jawed Angels." The movie focused on the woman's suffrage movement from 1913 to the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution in 1920 finally giving women the right to vote.

Two women highlighted in the movie were Alice Paul and Lucy Burns, true American heroes that most Americans have probably never even heard of. Both of these women, along with 216 other women suffragists, were thrown in jail in 1917 for "obstruction of traffic" and brutalized - some force-fed - while in jail.

What was that idiot Sara Palin saying on the campaign trail? Something to the effect that there has never been even ONE moment that she (and her supporters) has not been proud of America. If there truly is not even one moment that they have not been proud, and she isn't just LYING for political gain (ha!) then she is either ignorant or a sadist.

You can certainly be proud of individuals like Alice Paul and Lucy Burns, but anyone who looks at the period will not be proud of the way that they were treated, and why it took so long for women to get the right to vote.

We have come so far America. We have seen so much. But we still have a long, long way to go.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Patrick O'Hearn - 87 Dreams of a Lifetime

The Encyclopedia Of Life

The Encyclopedia of Life (EOL) is an ambitious project to organize and make available via the Internet virtually all information about life present on Earth. At its heart lies a series of Web sites—one for each of the approximately 1.8 million known species. Each site is constantly evolving and features dynamically synthesized content ranging from historical literature and biological descriptions to stunning images, videos and distribution maps. Join us as we explore the richness of Earth’s biodiversity!

Here we have yet another way in which the Internet is changing our life on Earth. Thanks, Al. Like life itself, this Encyclopedia of Life is an awesome thing. Naturalist and Harvard professor E. O. Wilson is the "father" of the EOL. As for the mother? Yeah, it is one. David Pogue, who writes about technology for the New York Times, contributed a segment about the EOL on CBS Sunday Morning back in October. It can be seen here, and there is an extended, old-school (as in "the written word") interview with E.O. Wilson here.

Show me the money

Please forgive the following ramble...

The amount of money being thrown at financial institutions by the U.S. treasury is so vast, it even has a name - the Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP, for short.

$700 billion has been allocated to the TARP. Around $250 billion has been disbursed so far. But, disbursed to who, exactly? American International Group (AIG) got an $85 billion loan before TARP existed. Then $37 billion more. $40 billion in TARP funds were used to purchase AIG STOCK. Another $52 billion to purchase mortgage securities owned or backed by AIG. Some estimate AIG's draw on the U.S. taxpayer at $173 billion, so far. And the "terms" keep changing. How many really understand what's going on here?

I must admit that I am curious as to who exactly is on the receiving end of these TARP and non-TARP billions.
We know they are coming from the U.S. government, billions to AIG, but then they're going THRU AIG to....who, exactly? Who bought those billions in Credit Default Swaps (CDS) that AIG sold? Besides the stock and securities purchases, why don't we know who is actually on the receiving end of all of these other billions?

All this money going to the financial industry, and Congress can't scrape up a relatively paltry $25 billion for loans to the three primary U.S. automobile makers? Those companies - Ford, GM and Chrysler - directly employ hundreds of thousands of people, and then there is the web of companies that supply parts and services to the carmakers.

How many employees are on the line with AIG? How many employees are affected by the monies we've been giving to AIG? We have no idea, because we really don't know where that money is even going. And Congress doesn't seem all that interested in finding out.

Our Big 3 carmakers have been largely asleep at the wheel, granted. Poor management, poor products, bloated unions (which have been giving back large amounts in wage concessions, by the way), resistance to increasing mileage, these are only some of the problems that beset the Big 3. I think they basically suck, but to borrow a phrase common these days, they are too big to fail.

Some people consider the Big 3's behavior so heinous that they would LIKE to see the companies fail, taking who knows how many employees with them. This grudge they carry could hurt not a small number of innocent people.

unemployment rate is already getting high. Jobless claims are rising fast. At least Congress just extended unemployment insurance coverage, and Bush signed it (what a humanitarian he is), but why they - Congress AND Bush - seem intent on doing nothing or demanding all sorts of strings while hundreds of thousands could lose jobs if they refuse to try and help the carmakers, I do not understand.

I agree that strings need to be attached to the money for the carmakers. We have a chance to insist on electric cars, hybrid cars, smaller cars, flex-fuel vehicles, increased mileage, etc.

Why didn't they insist on some tighter strings when they hurled billions at the financials? Why be so picky now?

And where's Barack in all this?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

What an embarrassment

It cannot come soon enough. Maybe we should shorten the period between election and inauguration. George W. Bush will go down in history as one of the absolute worst Presidents ever, unless perhaps you're filthy rich, then you probably love the guy.

Dear Fellow Constituent:

The George W Bush Presidential Library is now in the planning stages and accepting donations. The Library will include:

The Hurricane Katrina Room, which is still under construction.

The Alberto Gonzales Room, where you won't be able to remember anything.

The Texas Air National Guard Room, where you don't even have to show up.

The Walter Reed Hospital Room, where they don't let you in.

The Guantanamo Bay Room, where they don't let you out.

The Weapons of Mass Destruction Room, which no one has been able to find.

The National Debt Room, which is huge and has no ceiling.

The Tax Cut Room, with entry only to the wealthy.

The Economy Room, which is in the toilet.

The Iraq War Room. (After you complete your first visit, they make you to go back for a second, third, fourth, and sometimes fifth visit.)

The Dick Cheney Room, in the famous undisclosed location, complete with shotgun gallery.

The Environmental Conservation Room, still empty.

The Supreme Gift Shop, where you can buy an election.

The Airport Men's Room, where you can meet some of your favorite Republican Senators.

The Decider Room, complete with dart board, magic 8-ball, Ouija board, dice, coins, and straws.

Note: The library will feature an electron microscope to help you locate and view the President's accomplishments.

The library will also include many famous Quotes by George W. Bush:

'The vast majority of our imports come from outside the country.'

'If we don't succeed, we run the risk of failure.'

'Republicans understand the importance of bondage between a mother and child.'

'No senior citizen should ever have to choose between prescription drugs and medicine.'

'I believe we are on an irreversible trend toward more freedom and democracy - but that could change.'

'One word sums up probably the responsibility of any Governor, and that one word is 'to be prepared'.'

'Verbosity leads to unclear, inarticulate things.'

'I have made good judgments in the past. I have made good judgments in the future.'

'The future will be better tomorrow.'

'We're going to have the best educated American people in the world.'

'One of the great things about books is sometimes there are some fantastic pictures.' (during an education photo-op)

'Illegitimacy is something we should talk about in terms of not having it.'

'We are ready for any unforeseen event that may or may not occur.'

'It isn't pollution that's harming the environment. It's the impurities in our air and water that are doing it.'

'I stand by all the misstatements that I've made.'...George W. Bush to Sam Donaldson

Rush Limbaugh is the worst kind of American

I suppose this country has always had demogogues, those who wish to stir people up to their advantage, whether or not their cause is just or fair. Rush Limbaugh has, for years now, epitomized the worst of America, abusing the right of free speech to curry favor, to stir people to anger and hatred, always looking for some way to divide people and foment antagonism.

There is no such thing as loyal opposition to some of these thugs on the right, like Rush or Michael Savage, or several others. Their cause is hate, and unfortunately too many buy into it.
One might have hoped that with Obama's election, there could have been at least a short pause in the opposition, but no. The fact that Rush makes $80 million per year to spread his filth says a lot about America, none of it very good.

Bill Ayers and the Demons to Come
Tuesday 18 November 2008
by: Steve Weissman, t r u t h o u t Perspective

President-Elect Barack Obama has been targeted by right-wing pundits who continue to make accusations and ramp up negative rhetoric. (Photo: Newsweek)

Leave it to Rush Limbaugh. We have just elected as our president an African-American, who would not have been able to vote in large parts of our country less than 50 years ago, and we have proved to ourselves and to the world that we remain a land of enormous opportunity. Yet, the country's best-known radio talk-show host wasted no time using our airwaves to attack the president-elect for preaching "racism" and "socialism," and for creating our current economic collapse by scaring off potential investors who fear higher taxes. "The Obama recession is in full swing, ladies and gentlemen," Limbaugh proclaimed only two days after the election. "Stocks are dying, which is a precursor of things to come. This is an Obama recession. Might turn into a depression."

Limbaugh went on to call Obama "a Chicago thug," and suggested that the incoming president would take advice, or even direction, from the 1960s radical Bill Ayers, a founder of the Weather Underground and the "terrorist" bogeyman that John McCain and Sarah Palin accused Obama of "palling around" with. "Bill Ayers is a silent adviser," warned Limbaugh. "Don't think he's not."

Many Democrats will dismiss Limbaugh as a voice of the past, who is simply trying to boost his audience ratings. But that's just the point. For all his noxious rhetoric, the motor mouth from Missouri knows precisely the kind of red meat his listeners crave, and he's happy to serve it up - just as right-wing broadcasters did against John F. Kennedy and the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., with results we know too well. Pray for an era of Kumbaya, if you will. My bet is that Limbaugh is only an opening wedge for the anti-Obama war still to come. To paraphrase an earlier column, welcome to the counterrevolution.

As for my friend from the 1960s, Bill Ayers has been anything but "a silent adviser." Many of you read his fascinating essay here at Truthout or saw his appearance on "Good Morning America," where he talked up a new edition of his political memoir, "Fugitive Days," and tried to set the record straight on just how minimal a relationship he had with our new president. "I knew Barack Obama, absolutely," said Ayers. "And I knew him probably as well as thousands of other Chicagoans, and like millions and millions of other people worldwide, I wish I knew him better right now."

Ayers explained that he had hosted one of maybe 20 meet-the-candidate gatherings when Obama first ran for the Illinois state Senate in 1996, but he did so at the request of a sitting senator and had not met Obama before. Bill characterized their subsequent association as "professional," having served together on a foundation board and school reform group. And why not? Bill is, after all, a distinguished professor of education at the Chicago campus of the University of Illinois and was named the city's "Citizen of the Year" in 1996 for his efforts to improve Chicago schools.

But wasn't Ayers being evasive, asked "Good Morning America's" host Chris Cuomo, echoing John McCain. "You have to come clean," Cuomo insisted. "You have to say ... either Barack Obama sought me out or I sought him out to discuss my ideas, my radical ideas."

"It's not at all true that he sought me out to listen to my radical ideas, or that I sought him out," Ayers replied. "The truth is, we came together in Chicago in a civic community around issues of school improvement, around issues of fighting for the rights of poor neighborhoods to have jobs and housing and so on.... So this idea that we need to know more, like there's some dark hidden secret, some secret link, is just a myth, and it's a myth thrown up by people that wanted to exploit the politics of fear."

Bill told a simple truth, that he and Obama had never palled around and never discussed anything very radical at all. But truth alone will never derail the fear-mongering that the right wing in America has always used to divide people. Read any good history of the labor movement, the inter-racial alliance of poor black and white farmers in the South in the 1880s, the Red Scare following World War I, the campaign for universal health care in the 1940s or the movements for civil rights and against the war in Vietnam in the 1960s. In all of these, the difference between success and failure for reform movements was often how well they learned to combat the race-baiting, red-baiting or other smear tactics used against them, often from within their own ranks.

Nor are right-wing bigots the only ones who have stooped to demonize their opponents. Long before John McCain tried to smear Obama with Bill Ayers, no less than Hillary Clinton cast the first stone, helped mightily in one of the primary debates by ABC's George Stephanopoulos and Charley Gibson. Happily, the voters saw the smear tactics for what they were. But, as Rush Limbaugh and the stone-throwing Sarah Palin remind us, we are a long way from putting such divisive nonsense behind us.
original story is here.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Mark Morford: Permagrins for Obama

Oh, what a feeling. On the one hand, electing a Democrat seemed like an inevitability this time around. Still, with the fraudulent electronic voting machines covering America like a smallpox-infected blanket, you can't take anything for granted.

It looks like they tried to steal it for Ted Stevens in Alaska and Saxby Chambliss in Georgia. One can hope that Al Franken makes it to the Senate in Minnesota, but I have no glaring reason to suspect fraud in that close race. Wait. It's close. That's enough proof. When Norm Coleman said a few years ago that he was a vast improvement over Paul Wellstone, well, that should have sealed his fate.

We have a rare opportunity to make some real progress on the serious issues that have been flagging of recent, such as health care, alternative energy, and taming the military-industrial-Congressional beast. The bar is set very high for Obama, but he's a pretty athletic kind of guy. And smart too. Oh, how wonderful to have someone with real intelligence back in the White House!

Permagrins For Obama
The country's still a disaster. Why is everyone smiling?
By Mark Morford, SF Gate Columnist
Wednesday, November 12, 2008

It happened in a taxicab. It happened in a bank. It's happened multiple times in yoga class (of course) and I've heard it happen in cafes and supermarkets and restaurants and even out in the rough 'n' ragged city streets where you normally expect only a sidelong glance and a suspicious frown or maybe a slight nod of hello-now-please-get-out-of-my-way.

The best part: Each and every time, it's been almost wholly spontaneous, an outbreak, a burst, the unexpected thing that you haven't felt in years and which, in many ways, can't really believe you're experiencing at all.

It's smiling, laughing, actual cheering among the normally jaded and the wary whenever Obama's voice is heard, or when his name comes up on the radio, in print, in a song, on the sidewalk -- anywhere at all. It's a relatively surreal sense of Can This Really Be True? Is that young, calm, rock-solid, intellectual black guy really our new president? Are they really expecting more than a million people to attend his inauguration, the most in American history? What do you make of that?

You simply gotta acknowledge. Because it's no longer just fluffy hope. It's not really just joy. It's not even giddy anticipation. That was before the election. Now it's all those and a few dozen more, wrapped in a great big ball of shimmering disbelief.

No doubt, Obama is a historic figure. But I think it's what surrounds him that feels even more historic, the astounding rush of exhilaration and gratification that flooded the nation -- and the world -- after he swept the election, a tidal wave of gratitude and relief borne in large part from the recognition that America is not, in fact, the nation Bush so violently tried to make us into, that dumbed-down, divided, rancorous brat, the irresponsible and dangerous thug of the world. Who knew?

Here's one remarkable sidebar, just one of a thousand. I noticed a particular trend right around Election Day, a pattern, a sentiment expressed among the multitudes of emotions flooding the national bloodstream.

It took the form of a simple phrase I heard repeated over and over again, from the most jaded newspaper editor to burned-out political wonks to those who've been doing this sort of work -- activism, elections, polling, reportage, hardcore beltway Sturm und Drang -- for 20 or 30 years, who say they've seen it all, every possible angle and slimy political trick, to the point where absolutely nothing surprises them anymore.

This is what they said: I've never seen anything like it.

It's everywhere. I read it when dozens of major newspapers, by sheer overwhelming demand, actually had to restart their printing presses the day after the election to publish hundreds of thousands of additional commemorative editions for delirious collectors, instant history buffs, regular Americans who wanted to connect more tangibly to the pulse of the zeitgeist.

The Chicago Trib printed an extra 200,000 copies. USA Today printed 380,000 extra copies, and still sold out. The Washington Post printed 350,000 extra as people lined up around the block to buy their editions straight from the press itself -- and then a day later they printed 250,000 more. "I've never seen anything like it," said just about everyone anywhere near the building.

Here at home, the Chronicle was no different. By mid-morning on November 5, our initial print run of 40,000 extra copies was long gone. In fact, so heavy was demand that we ended up restarting the presses twice, first to crank our more copies of the regular paper (another 38K), then again for the special edition (another 60K on top of the initial 50K). All told, the Chron has moved upwards of 230,000 extra papers ... and still counting. And the marketing department went: We've never seen anything like it.

Translation: This is not just a big, warm, fuzzy liberal hug. This is light years from mere short-lived gloating over a long-overdue Democratic victory, or just a handful of overexcited libs taking home a souvenir. This is something else, something electric and enthralling, a preternatural vibe journalists from all over the globe have been struggling to capture since the Obama rocket began its phenomenal rise.

The best part: This feeling has roots, is anchored in the hard concrete of reality and fact. It's already getting ready to pay off.

Like this: One of Obama's transition teams has already targeted roughly 200 Bush-era horrors to be immediately reversed, reinstated, undone, repaired, restored, cleaned up and brought back to respectability the moment Obama takes office. Stem-cell research, gag orders regarding abortion, Guantanamo, even California's EPA debacle regarding waivers on fuel economy standards, all significant, long-standing Bush abuses and all things Obama is expected to immediately correct by executive order.

I know what you're thinking: 200 is a mere drop. Two hundred doesn't even begin to think about the dream of the possibility of making a dent in the list of savage damages the Bush era has dumped on the country like a bucket of nails on a flowerbed. But it's a start. A running start. And it will only grow from there.

Can you imagine it yet? No more pandering to the puling religious right (or the extreme left), no decisions aimed at turning America even more rogue and belligerent and globally disrespected, no moves carefully calculated to bolster the president's own ego or image, nothing designed solely to mollify corporate cronies in Big Energy, Big Oil, the military.

And finally, nothing carefully calculated in some dank basement merely to serve some sort of nefarious, extremist, long-term plot for violent world domination, a la Karl Rove's now-laughable "permanent Republican majority." What a thing.

Let's keep it a little bit in check. I certainly don't expect to agree with everything Obama does, every appointment he makes or policy he issues. I already don't. As he himself said, he will not be a perfect president.

But right now, there is every reason to believe that whatever he does, it will have been thoughtfully considered, balanced, worked through with the same levelheadedness and intellectual integrity he demonstrated during what is now recognized as the most assured, successful and extraordinary presidential campaign in history. We have zero reason to doubt it.

To which there is really only one thing you can add: I've never seen anything like it.

Original is here.

Mark Morford
Detroit must die American cars are still uniformly god-awful. Why save them? 11.14.08
Permagrins For Obama The country's still a disaster. Why is everyone smiling? 11.12.08
It's God's fault The cruel success of Prop. 8? Not Newsom, not gays. Blame... 11.07.08
Yes We Did Party like it's 2009, 'cuz baby, now the real work begins 11.05.08
More Mark Morford »

Monday, November 10, 2008

Now it's my turn

It took my wife a full 10 days to recover from her recent bout with the flu. Since she also suffers from asthma, getting the flu is actually very dangerous for her. The doc put her on one of those five-day antibiotic regimens and, amazingly, on the last day of taking the pills, she got markedly better. Good thing, because I was getting worn out as a caregiver.

All during that, I had a persistent cough and would get worse and better, worse and better. This past weekend, my throat became really scratchy and I didn't sleep at all one night, tossing and turning and coughing. So today I go to the doc because the cough is still there, and I've got that phlegm-y taste in my mouth and so it's now my turn to take the five-day antibiotic doses. Also took a chest X-ray today as a precaution. Will have the results in a couple of days.

So....while I am ecstatic over Obama winning the Presidency, I'm kinda.....worn out.....and will be out of commission for awhile....

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Only 3 Mobile Homes?!

Here we are almost two full months after Hurricane Ike plowed through Galveston and Houston, and FEMA has moved only three mobile homes onto Galveston Island. Three-quarters of the buildings on Galveston Island are still uninhabitable. Other areas are in even worse shape. 90% of Oak Island's 350 homes are uninhabitable. There are still 15 people listed as missing from Bolivar Peninsula, and there are still mountains of debris, some most likely containing bodies.

Unless you are directly affected by a hurricane, your attention quickly turns to other things. We got our power back on within three days and had all our major repairs done within a month. We are among the really lucky ones. Stuff like this makes me seriously consider moving inland.

FEMA: Housing For Ike Victims 'Top Priority'

Those still without a home nearly two months after Hurricane Ike are a top priority for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, officials told KPRC Local 2 Friday.
Video: FEMA Says Housing Is Top Priority For Ike Victims: Phil Archer Reports
FEMA and state lawmakers gave a progress report in Galveston and said those displaced by Ike are at the top of their list.

For the past 45 days, Galveston resident J.J. Rashid and his family have been sharing a single hotel room. It will be months before their apartment is rebuilt. They're waiting for help from FEMA.

"A trailer would be good. It's better than the hotel, I believe," he said.

To date, FEMA has moved only three mobile homes onto the island to serve as temporary housing. But with three-fourths of the city's buildings still uninhabitable, many more are needed, perhaps as many as 5,000 in Galveston and surrounding counties.

"I'm just stunned that people still don't have temporary housing," said Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison. The chorus of complaints brought FEMA Administrator David Paulison to Galveston to meet gulf coast mayors and the state's two senators. He said FEMA has sent about 1,000 mobile homes to Texas and more are coming, but it's taking time to set them up.

"The problem is finding places to put them. Its not a matter of having enough. We have enough mobile homes and park models to satisfy the mission, it's finding places to put them," said Paulison. Paulison said the agency will try to streamline the process to deploy more trailers faster, but he did not set a time frame.

"Our top three priorities are housing, housing and housing, and that's what we're going to do is stick with it until it's done," he said.

And they've moved three mobile homes onto the island. Some people are wondering if Galveston will recover from the storm. There is some talk of simply abandoning the island.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Stolen Election In Alaska?

Stolen Election from Alaska?

Something stinks. Not just an ordinary low tide smell. Not like something you'd blame on the dog. It smells like an infection. For me to plug my nose, I'd have to overlook some curious facts.

In Alaska, more people voted for George W. Bush in 2004 than for Sarah Palin on Tuesday despite an identical 61-36 margin of victory. Yes. Only four years ago 54,304 Alaskans got off their sofas and voted for Bush, but decided to sit home and not vote for Palin in 2008. In turn, I have to ignore the 30,520 Alaskans who felt progressive enough in 2004 to vote for John Kerry, but weren't inspired to vote for Barack Obama. I would have to glance past the 1,700% increase in the Democratic caucus in February, the 20,991 newly registered voters, and the three largest political rallies in Alaska's history. I would also have to forget the people I stood in a long line with to early vote. It would be helpful not to know every other presidential election since Alaska began keeping records has had a larger turn out than the one we just had with our own Governor on the ticket. Try not to remember 12.4% more Alaskans showed up for the August primary as compared to four years ago, before the Palin nomination. Don't think about the Lower 49's record voter turn out this year either. Try to delete the memory file, though difficult, that 80% of us approved of Sarah Palin just two months ago.

Something stinks. You don't care? Obama won. Yes. He. Did! Free at Last! Wait. Democracy demands all of the votes be counted...if you can find them.

In the balance hangs the fate of Alaska's Senate and House seats. We still don't know if we have elected the now convicted felon Ted Stevens, or Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich. We still don't know if Don Young and his million dollar legal problems will defeat former State Representative Ethan Berkowitz and his dreams of Washington DC. Alaska hasn't had Democrat representation in Congress since Mike Gravel lost his senate seat in 1980.

Four years ago, 313,592 out of 474,740 registered voters in Alaska participated in the election-a 66% turnout. Taking into account 49,000 outstanding ballots, on Tuesday 272,633 out of 495,731 registered Alaskans showed up at the polls; a turnout of 54.9%. That's a decrease of more than 11% in voter turnout even though passions ran high for and against Barack Obama, as well as for and against Sarah Palin! This year, early voters set a new record. As of last Thursday, with 4 days left to vote early, 15,000 Alaskans showed up-shattering the old record set in 2004 by 28%! Consider the most popular governor in history-and now the most polarizing-was on the Republican ticket. Consider the historic nature of this race; the first African American presidential candidate EVER! The second woman to ever make a presidential ticket; and she's one of our own. Despite that, we're supposed to believe that overall participation DECREASED by 11%. Not only that, but this historic election both nationally and for Alaska HAD THE LOWEST ALASKA TURNOUT FOR A PRESIDENTIAL RACE EVER!!! That makes sense. REALLY??? Something stinks.

But wait, there's more...

Pre election polls had both Mark Begich-D and Ethan Berkowitz-D solidly beating incumbents Senator Ted Stevens and Congressman Don Young by at least 6-10 points. Stevens is currently ahead by 3,353 votes with 49,000 ballots left to count. Berkowitz, however, is behind by 16,887 votes; a 51-43 margin.

Are we to believe Don Young came from an 8 point average polling deficit to win by 8 points-a whopping 16 point turnaround??? Remember how historic the pundits thought Hillary Clinton's come from behind New Hampshire Primary victory was? She trailed Barack Obama by 9% in the pre primary polls and ended up winning by 2 points. It was called the most "stunning comeback in political history." On Election Night, Don Young topped Hillary Clinton's startling and unprecedented comeback.

Furthermore, there were nearly three thousand Alaskans, (2,783) that voted yet left the hotly contested congressional race blank. In the highly publicized senate race, complete with a nationally covered trial that ended with seven felony convictions for the incumbent, 1,392 Alaskans submitted a ballot and failed to register a vote in the senate race. I'm not sure statistically what that means, but it strikes me as odd that well over a thousand Alaskans would wait in long lines and not cast a vote in either the senate race or the congressional race-especially since there was only one ballot measure. In addition, this particular election had an extra high degree of local interest with Governor Palin on the national stage.

McCain-Palin was ahead in Alaska pre election polling by as much as 55-40. The Haysresearch Poll that came out Sunday indicated that gap had closed to 2.7 points! That poll was certainly consistent with Palin's reverse meteoric fall in popularity within the state of Alaska. In that same Haysresearch Poll released on November 2, Question 2 addressed Governor Palin's positive-negative rating. 11% of Alaskans surveyed said their opinion of Palin had become more positive while 37% indicated they were more negative towards Palin. Yesterday's vote contradicts those polls. McCain-Palin won Alaska 61-36! A 25 POINT SPREAD!!! An identical point spread as the 2004 Election.

Alaska has certainly had our share of election hanky panky. Check out this link to our 2004 election results. There are 40 districts in Alaska. The Anchorage area districts run from District 17-District 32. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and pick any district from 17-32. Pay particular attention to the 3rd column labeled % turnout. Hit the back arrow and select another district. There are more precincts with voter turnout over 100% than under 100%. In other words, many more people voted in Anchorage area precincts than there were registered voters. Clearly, this is not possible.

In 2006, the Democrats filed a lawsuit against the Alaska Division of Elections to release public records needed to verify the 2004 election results. The Democrats also sought to have the Alaska Division of Elections release the raw data for the 2006 election. The State requested several deadline extensions and eventually refused to release the "central tabulator data file" taken from the Diebold-supplied computer used to run the "GEMS" (Global Election Management Software) application. A lawsuit was filed in Superior Court seeking release of the records. The Court eventually forced the State to release the 2004 database. The software was found to contain hundreds of edits after the 2004 election, including as late as July of 2006, prior to the release of the data.

With all that history, and the bizarre anomalies in polling and voting and reports from the field of ballots not being scanned on-site due to broken machines, could this election have been stolen?

The world is watching Alaska's US Senate race. When President-Elect Barack Obama is sworn in on January 20, he will be greeted by a Senate with at least 57 Democrats-three shy of a filibuster-proof majority. And, there are still three hotly contested US Senate races that are too close to call; Georgia, Minnesota and Alaska. Just when we thought we were out of the national spotlight...

I've always said if Democracy was a religion, voting would be the sacrament. I'm wondering if someone stole the body and blood of this election. I'm wondering if the wine isn't poisoned. Take a few whiffs. Breathe deeply. See if you don't come to the same conclusion. Where are the votes? Something stinks at the Alaska Division of Elections.

Original story is here.

Michigan Says "Yes" To Medical Pot

Ok, make that 37 to go.

Michigan joins 12 other states in the USA who have passed legislation approving the use of medical marijuana.

About 2.5 million voters voted for Proposal 1 while only about 1.5 million voted against, according to figures reported by the Detroit Free Press on 5th November.

Proposal 1 goes into effect later this month, after which state law will allow patients suffering from cancer, hepatitis C, HIV/AIDS, glaucoma and other illnesses to grow, possess and use marijuana.

When this happens, it will mean that 25 per cent of Americans will be living in a state where marijuana for medical use is legal. Patients will be allowed to grow up to 12 marijuana plants and possess 2.5 ounces at any one time.
The rest of that story is here.

And Evo Morales is kicking our DEA out of Bolivia, charging that DEA agents have been protecting narco-traffickers, have been spying on and conspiring to overthrow him, have killed Bolivians with impunity and destroyed Bolivian infrastructure. Looks like the War on Drugs is raging, and we're losing (yea!!)

Although pretty radical, I agree with this take on our current "trouble" with Bolivia.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

FOX on Palin

I don't often believe much of what comes out of the "FOX" News network, but I believe's just too funny....and what does it say about John McCain's judgement? And what does it say about the Republican Party?

Important Message


Well, dang !
Now I forgot what I was gonna tell ya!

Massachusetts decriminalizes pot

Another one bites the dust. 38 to go.

Marijuana initiative has Mass. officials scrambling
By STEVE LeBLANC Associated Press

BOSTON — After Massachusetts voted to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana, top law enforcement officials are scrambling to figure out what they need to do to put the law into effect — despite their efforts to defeat it at the polls.

Attorney General Martha Coakley, who joined all 11 of the state's district attorneys in opposing the ballot question, said Wednesday she was working to determine exactly what it will require the legal system to do.

"Question 2's passage not only authorizes the decriminalization of small amounts of marijuana, but also establishes a parallel civil regulatory structure that does not currently exist," Coakley said in a written statement. "At this time, we are reviewing all of the implications of the new law and whether further clarification or guidance is needed."

Massachusetts becomes the 12th state in the country to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana. The measure passed Tuesday with 65 percent of voters supporting it and 35 percent opposed.

Under the state constitution, a ballot question approved by voters becomes law 30 days after an election.

The courts have defined the end of an election as the date on which the Governor's Council certifies voting results. That typically happens during the last week of November or the first week of December.

Until the new law takes effect, marijuana possession will still be considered a crime, Coakley warned.

Possession of small amounts of marijuana in the state is now punishable by up to 6 months in jail and a $500 fine.

Once the new law takes effect, those caught with an ounce or less of pot will face a civil offense punishable by a $100 fine. They will also have to forfeit the marijuana. Anyone under 18 will also have to give up the drug, but will face a stiffer, $1,000 fine unless they complete a drug awareness program.

Hampden District Attorney William Bennett said Wednesday that he'll drop all pending charges of possessing an ounce or less of marijuana and won't prosecute new ones in order to focus instead on drug dealers.

"I'm going to act as if the law were in effect now," he told The Republican of Springfield newspaper. He said he doesn't know how many charges would be dismissed, but it's not a significant number.

Thomas Kiley, a lawyer representing the Committee for Sensible Marijuana Policy, which pushed the ballot question, said the two months will give the state time to make the adjustments needed to conform to the new law, including the creation of new drug awareness programs by the Department of Youth Services.

"Once the people have spoken and expressed their desire for a specific kind of law there must be full implementation by the state," Kiley said.

Supporters of the ballot question said the new law will spare thousands from having a criminal record, which can make it harder to get a job, student loan or gain access to public housing. They also argued that taxpayers would save $30 million in costs associated with marijuana arrests.

But opponents, led by the district attorneys, had warned the measure could lead to more drug abuse among young people. They said marijuana is a gateway to harder drugs and said the marijuana available on the streets today is more potent than pot three decades ago.

They also argued that existing state law requires judges to dismiss charges and seal records for first-time offenders.

Original story here.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Map of election results

Good map here with a ton of data. Play with it. Thanks to Pandora, and Google.


101 Reasons to Reject McCain

While I have to say that John McCain's concession speech was welcome, appropriate, and moving, he and Sarah Palin unleashed some monsters on the campaign trail that will be difficult to put back in the bottle. I am willing to look to the future and not snipe too much about the past, but he and Sarah still have a ways to go to tamp down the hatred and insanity they stoked during the campaign.

Time to retire this list of 101 Reasons to vote against McCain. The hyperlinks do not work on a post like this, so to see detail of any of the items below, click the link, or go here.

Since Obama took 52% of the vote, I'd say the list was effective enough. The Republican Party is in disarray, and it couldn't happen to a better group of traitors, bigots, religious wackos and greedheads. Oh, yeah, look forward.....

Forward, to the future....

101 Reasons to vote against John McCain
Bill Press listed 101 reasons to vote against John McCain. He started this about 101 days ago. Here's the link:

#1: Voting against John McCain means you get to vote for Barack Obama. Visit his website for more information!

#2: John McCain won't release records of a possibly serious car crash. The senator is covering up for a possibly deadly car crash. We don't know any facts about it, because there are no released records. How honest is that?

#3: John McCain is a grumpy old man. He whines, complains and groans like an old man on a porch, just a little too much for us.

#4: John McCain has let his campaign spiral out of control. With Sarah Palin going rogue, and several Republicans preparing to meet on how to save the Republican you want someone running the country who can't even run their own campaign?

#5: John McCain believes there is a vast 'left wing conspiracy.' He warns against a Obama/Reid/Pelosi agenda...when it is CLEAR AS DAY that America is hungry for Change!

#6: John McCain has flipped flopped 44 times. The old 'he was for it before he was against it' and vice much back and forth.

#7: John McCain is delusional when it comes to the latest polls. He is down in so many polls in different states, but he says the polls are not accurate. Is this a type of analyzer you'd want as President?

#8: John McCain wants it both ways. While he voted with George Bush 95% of the time, he then came out slamming Bush's policies as a campaign tactic - policies he used to agree with.

#9: John McCain allowed the RNC to spend $150,000 on Sarah Palin's wardrobe. Millions of Americans are in danger of losing their homes, and many spend less than that on a shows they're elitists, and shows bad judgement.

#10: John McCain’s reputation is built on opposing torture, but he voted against a bill to ban waterboarding. He also applauded President Bush for vetoing that ban. Just another flip flop.

#11: John McCain is distorting Barack Obama's tax plan. It's another smear: He's calling Obama a socialist. Obama's tax plan actually gives tax cuts to Americans earning less than $250,000 a year.

#12: John McCain is using robo-calls with lies to scare swing state voters - the same types of calls he condemned back in 2000. He said the calls in 2000 were 'dramatically different.'

#13: John McCain is not an advocate for children.The Children’s Defense Fund rated McCain as the worst Senator in Congress for children. He voted against the Children’s health care bill last year, and defended Bush’s veto of the bill.

#14: John McCain hired someone who lobbied for Saddam Hussein. Especially when he says he doesn't like lobbyists, AND accuses Obama of palling around with terrorists, he puts Bill Timmons so high up in his campaign, as his Transition Manager?

#15: John McCain is injecting a bogus issue into the campaign: ACORN. Barack Obama once worked with the Department of Justice and ACORN, but McCain's accusations of Barack Obama attempting to commit voter fraud are baseless.

#16: John McCain opposes having women register for Selective Service. Barack Obama believes in equality and thinks women should be afforded all the opportunities and responsibilities that men do.

#17: John McCain refuses to repudiate and condemn the Chairman of the Virginia Republican Party. Jeff Frederick compared Barack Obama to Osama Bin Laden. McCain said he 'didn't know the context' of the comments.

#18: John McCain has a bad temper that is not acceptable for a President. It's known around the Senate as the "McCain Rage."

#19: John McCain is trying to paint Barack Obama as a terrorist. He said nothing at a rally when his supporters called Obama a terrorist, and said "kill him." In fact, in February, he said he would not allow these negative attacks to come from his surrogates, when Bill Cunningham viciously attacked Obama.

#20: John McCain called Barack Obama "that one." It was during the 2nd debate that he made this condescending remark.

#21: John McCain will raise your taxes for his health care plan. He will raise your income taxes on the $5000 health care tax credit he's offering, which in turn, will also cause your employer to stop offering coverage.

#22: John McCain accused Barack Obama of lying. That's just about as low as you can get in politics, especially when it's not true.

#23: John McCain wants to destroy health insurance for non-elderly Americans. He plans to eliminate tax breaks for employer-provided health insurance, which would cause 20 million Americans to lose their coverage.

#24: John McCain originally voted against supporting the Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday. It wasn't until he had presidential ambitions that he supported it.

#25: John McCain's tax plan helps the rich. He is only looking out for himself because he and wife Cindy would save $373,429 if his tax plan were enacted.

#26: John McCain has a gambling problem. He freely throws around chips at the table and has done it for years...he'll probably do some gambling in the government if he were to be elected!

#27: John McCain tried to blame Barack Obama for the financial crisis and the bailout failure. Actually, plenty of his own GOP friends voted to can the bill!

#28: John McCain showed a poor performance in the first one-on-one debate. He was mean and never looked Barack Obama in the eye, not to mention having poor answers to questions.

#29: John McCain grandstanded during the financial crisis. He played the card going into Washington like "Arizona Jones" to save everything...yet he's got nothing to do with the crisis, which may be a major part of the reason why the bailout fell apart.

#30: John McCain can't the handle the pressure. He suspended his own campaign when he fell behind in the polls and the going got tough - will he just suspend the presidency if he gets in a tough spot?

#31: John McCain is two-faced when it comes to lobbyists. He attacks Barack Obama for having ties to lobbyists. McCain's own campaign manager, Rick Davis, is a lobbyist - he was paid by Freddie Mac through August of this year!!!

#32: John McCain wants to deregulate the health insurance industry like they deregulated Wall Street. He is against universal health care, which would give health insurance companies much more power than they already have.

#33: John McCain thinks he has oversight over the SEC. He said he would fire the SEC Chair...but he can't constitutionally do that.

#34: John McCain Knows Nothing About Spain. In an interview, McCain clearly didn't recognize the name of Zapatero, the Prime Minister of Spain. He also said Spain is in our hemisphere, and referred to "our friends in Central America."

#35: John McCain Flip Flopped on AIG. John McCain was AGAINST the bailout of AIG BEFORE he was against it. After publicly saying that he didn't think AIG should be bailed out, less than 24 hours later, he called it a good decision.

#36: John McCain helped create the economic mess we're in. By backing de-regulation for so many years and fighting for big corporations, John McCain helped destroy the American economy.

#37: John McCain claims to be an agent of change. Barack Obama has been running as the "Change" candidate for almost 2 years. McCain has been in Washington politics for 26 years. How can McCain claim to be a change agent??

#38: John McCain voted against raising the minimum wage 19 times. While this last time around he did vote yes, why did he make the mistake of not helping working families 19 times?

#39: John McCain is calling a remark offensive - a remark which he once used himself. McCain used the "Lipstick" line - which has been used for years, Obama said nothing new - against Hillary Clinton during the primary race.

#40: John McCain's running mate ripped off her taxpayers for personal gain. Sarah Palin billed the state of Alaska for 312 nights spent in her own home, for travel and meals.

#41: John McCain showed poor judgement in his running mate choice. Sarah Palin does not have the qualifications to be Vice President of the United States.

#42: John McCain doesn't know how many houses he owns. He is so out of it, he can't count how many houses he owns...does he belong in the White House?

#43: John McCain is an elitist with 10 homes. He is out of touch with the American people because of his wealth, yet he attacks Obama for being elitist?

#44: John McCain cheats in church! He KNEW the questions going into the Saddleback forum with Pastor Rick Warren - and was not in a cone of silence. If he cheats on that...would you want him as President?

#45: John McCain would gut Social Security as President. His plan includes a higher retirement age, and he would cut benefits to moderate and higher income earners, plus, he would like to privatize Social Security as well.

#46: John McCain is in bed with Ralph Reed. McCain is scheduled to attend a fundraiser with the Abramoff-scandal-involved man, and is ignoring calls to cancel his appearance.

#47: John McCain supported an extra tax on Tobacco before he opposed it. He is now against a $1.10 tax that is aimed at cutting down on smoking.

#48: John McCain continues to lie to slam Barack Obama. In a new ad out on August 8, he says Obama would raise taxes on anyone making over $42,000 a year - not true.

#49: John McCain is against giving proper health care to our nation's veterans. In 2006, he voted against a bill that would give $20 million to the VA for health care facilities. He also voted against a bill that would increase Veterans medical services funding by $1.5 billion.

#50: John McCain mocks energy conservation. Barack Obama worked hard highlighting little things like properly inflating tires to help conserve energy, and McCain made fun of it.

#51: John McCain thinks we are better off now than we were eight years ago. Yes, his latest ad contradicts that, but in the Republican debate in January 2008, he said we were better off now than we were eight years ago. Fact is, inflation and unemployment rates are up.

#52: John McCain is in the pocket of big oil. He has accepted over $2 million in contributions from big oil companies, and has offered tax breaks to them as well. Barack Obama highlights these bad ideas in a TV ad.

#53: John McCain opposes the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA). This plan would make it easier for American workers to decide if they wanted to unionize at their workplace, and McCain doesn't support giving them that right.

#54 John McCain played the race card. His ad featuring Paris Hilton and Britney Spears injected race into the campaign.

#55: John McCain promised a clean campaign, based on the issues - but has not stayed that course. He has started running negative attack ads, after saying he had respect for Barack Obama.

#56: John McCain flip-flopped on taxes. He once said he'd never raise taxes. Now - he's open to raising Social Security taxes.

#57: John McCain flip-flopped on affirmative action. He used support he changed into the wrong direction and supports a measure on the ballot in AZ to end the policy.

#58: John McCain is two-faced on lobbyists. He has constantly said he wants nothing to do with 'big-moneyed special interests'...but he has taken in $181,000 in donations from lobbyists.

#59: John McCain's priorities for health insurance companies are flawed. He is all for them covering Viagra, but not birth control.

#60: John McCain is still fixated on the 'surge.' He doesn't get that the surge is over - he believes it's still going on.

#61: John McCain isn't fit to be commander in chief. He lost five Navy aircraft during his flying career.

#62: John McCain needs a geography lesson. He brags he's been to Iraq so many times, but he said Iraq borders Pakistan. Look at a map, John....there's a little country called Iran in between.

#63: John McCain supports the "Don't Ask Don't Tell" policy in the military. He believes the anti-gay policy is working.

#64: John McCain has slammed Obama for only attending one Afghanistan hearing...but McCain's even more guilty! The Arizona Senator has not attended any committee hearings on Afghanistan.

#65: John McCain says the war in Iraq is not related to the war in Afghanistan. Barack Obama pointed out that the Senator from Arizona is dead wrong.

#66: John McCain's top economic advisor thinks the poor economy is just a 'mental recession.' Phil Gramm called America a 'nation of whiners.'

#67: John McCain's Gas Tax Holiday is a joke. Virtually every economist has shot down McCain's idea of a gas tax holiday. It just won't work!

#68: John McCain flip-flops on immigration. First he applauded a clear route to citizenship, now he's changed to a "fences-first" stance.

#69: John McCain gives us double-talk on Iraq. He says on the one hand, we gotta keep it going with no timetable. Then, more recently, he says we'll balance the budget by winning the war in Iraq and getting the troops home.

#70: John McCain represents the third term of Karl Rove. Steve Schmidt is the latest person to be at the top of the campaign - another name involved with McCain who worked closely with Karl Rove.

#71: John McCain is taking money from Swift Boat veterans. In 2004, he called them dishonest and dishonorable.

#72: John McCain flip-flopped on swiftboat veterans. In 2004, he condemned the swiftboat veterans, now, he endorses them, with Bud Day back on the scene.

#73: John McCain is a tax cheater. Cindy McCain failed to pay property taxes on time - that is not the type of responsibility that we want in the White House.

#74: John McCain is an opponent of helping rail transit. When he chaired the Senate Commerce Committee, he opposed public financing of Amtrak - a service very important in this day of high fuel prices.

#75: John McCain's healthcare plan would not help Americans. It would tax your healthcare benefits and leave working families at the mercy of big insurance companies.

#76: John McCain is a fear monger. Adviser Charlie Black suggested another terrorist attack would help McCain and the Republicans win.

#77: John McCain is more of a game show host than a candidate, offering up gimmick after gimmick. First it was the gas tax holiday, but now - he wants taxpayers to give $300 million to whoever develops the next new electric battery. Too bad the Japanese are already five years ahead of the US in developing the next generation battery.

#78: John McCain does not have a good environmental record. The League of Conservation Voters gave him a zero rating when it comes to pro-environment votes.

#79: Cindy McCain criticizes Michelle Obama for not "always" being proud of her country. Guess what - John McCain said the same thing.

#80: John McCain graduated fifth from the bottom of his class at the Naval Academy. Out of 899 graduates, he was ranked 894.

#81: John McCain uses scare tactics. John McCain accuses Barack Obama of having a "September 10" mentality. We've heard this before from George W. Bush. Republicans have NO problem using September 11 for political gain.

#82: John McCain is in favor of offshore drilling for oil. Of course, this is AFTER he was opposed to it. Drilling for oil off the shores of the United States WON'T ease the gas burden.

#83: John McCain was part of the Keating Five. John McCain was part of the five Senators who were tied to dirty deal with Charles Keating.

#84: John McCain doesn't support prisoner's rights. The Supreme Court has ruled in favor of Gitmo detainees. John McCain says that the ruling "concerns" him.

#85: John McCain doesn't care about women's interests. He wants to overturn Roe v. Wade (among other things) - Planned Parenthood gives him a zero lifetime voting record on women's issues.

#86: John McCain won't repeal George Bush's tax cuts. This is another issue that he has flip-flopped on, and his plan will continue to put this country into a deeper budget deficit.

#87: John McCain agrees with Bush's illegal wiretapping policy outside of FISA. At one point he did disagree with Bush on the subject, but he flip-flopped and now supports the President.

#88: John McCain doesn't know anything about the economy. He himself said he doesn't know as much about it as he should.

#89: John McCain voted with George Bush 89% of the time through his administration. Just more proof that if he's elected, it's more of the same.

#90: John McCain is a fake campaign finance reformer. Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) presented this reason during his in-studio visit, and believes McCains back-room dealings need to be exposed.

#91: The Supreme Court. John McCain himself has said he wants to appoint clones of Alito and Roberts to the high court. With that, Roe v. Wade and other important decisions will go right out the window.

#92: His bad "comb-over," that he won't admit to. He won't just be honest and admit he's balding - what else won't he be honest about?

#93: John McCain supports the war in Iraq. He stated he would stay in Iraq for 100 years.

#94: John McCain will be nothing but a third term of George Bush. He wants to continue the same policies that have failed for the last eight years, as Barack Obama pointed out.

#95: John McCain is too old to run the country. He'll be 72 this year. Back in 2000, he admitted to PBS's Jim Lehrer he's too old to be President!

#96: John McCain does not support the GI Bill. He's against giving our veterans full scholarships to college upon returning from service.

#97: John McCain has bad judgment related to the people he cozies up to. He was endorsed by, and was good friends with John Hagee - it took him three months to reject the endorsement! What other type of people might he get close to when he's president?

#98: John McCain doesn't know Shiite from Shinola. Even Joe Lieberman corrected him when he mixed up Shiites and Sunnis.

#99: John McCain doesn't want to change anything about our relationship with Cuba. He is attacking Barack Obama's willingness to meet with Raul Castro.

#100: John McCain will try to stir up war with Iran. We've seen this with his recent exchange with Barack Obama, saying we shouldn't talk - we should just bomb, bomb, bomb Iran.

#101: John McCain's connection with Lobbyists. Special Interests, Special Interests. Ouch. The prime connection is Thomas Loeffler - who resigned from McCain's campaign because of his lobbyist connections.