Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Only public school teachers could get away with this

Why are they sending emails on school time, to school employees and activists, to go to a fundraising event for a POLITICAL GROUP?

Found via Victoria Taft

KOIN story - Buses Bring Thousands To Schools Rally.

Gingrich derides early entry into race by so many candidates

I whole heartedly agree with Newt on this. It already feels like "campiegn fatigue" and the primaries are still over a year away.
Republican Newt Gingrich has a message for all the presidential candidates: it's just plain stupid to start running this early.

The former House Speaker who might end up being a candidate derided the early entry into the presidential race by so many candidates.

"I think the current process of spending an entire year running in order to spend an entire year running in order to get sworn in January 2009 is stupid," Gingrich said at a National Press Club event with Democratic Sen. Charles Schumer of New York.
Article here.
Found via Ron's Bloviating.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Mummified body found in Hampton Bays home

This is fascinating for so many differant reasons.
Southampton police responding to burst water pipes in a Hampton Bays home found the mummified body of the owner -- dead for more than a year -- sitting in a chair in front of a television, officials said Friday.

The television was still on.

.....Vincenzo Riccardi, 70, appeared to have died of natural causes in his home on Wakeman Road, said Dr. Stuart Dawson, Suffolk deputy chief medical examiner.

"He was in his house, sitting in his chair, as if watching television, and the television was, in fact, still on," Dawson said.

Riccardi lived alone, his wife having died years ago, Dawson said. Mail had piled up, but then stopped being delivered.

"He hasn't been heard from in over a year. That's the part that baffles me," he said. "Nobody sounded the alarm."
The whole situation is summed up in the last paragraph.
At a neighborhood gathering last month, residents commented that they hadn't seen Riccardi in a while, neighbor Diane Devon said. "We never thought to check on him," she said.
There are so many things that could be said about this story, and the sad commentary it offers on todays society, but honestly, the first thing that crossed my mind when I heard it on the radio was "TV blaring for over a year, what brand of TV was that?"

Kinda sad isn't it.

Full story here.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Senator Gordon Smith did not vote with the Republicans on today's Iraq war vote.

It's official. Sen. Smith is now a member of the White Flag Caucus.

I know that he didn't actually vote for the resolution, but he voted to allow the resolution to move foward when he had the oppertunity to stand with conservatives, or "The Victory Caucus."

Mr. smith, this will not be forgotten. I took the pledge and I was serious, as I'm sure the other 33,232 people who also sighned it were. 814 Oregonians are on that list by the way.

Senate Republicans sustain their block on the Iraq resolution

Way to go!

From Yahoo News:
The 56-34 vote fell four short of the 60 needed to advance a nonbinding measure identical to one the House passed Friday. Seven GOP senators broke ranks, compared with only two during an earlier test on the issue.
What gets me is this paragraph.
Nine Republicans skipped the Senate session, calculating that because they support Bush's policies, their votes would not affect the outcome of the vote.

Rep. William Jefferson Gets Seat on Homeland Security

Yes, that Representitive Jefferson. I thought that "the culture of corruption" was over.

Rep. Jefferson Gets Seat on Homeland Security Committee

Rep. William Jefferson, the Louisiana Democrat who's facing an ongoing federal corruption probe, is being granted a spot on the Homeland Security Committee, according to Democratic aides.

found via Just Some Poor Schmuck.

Oregon Legislature trying to eliminate the double majority rule for tax measures

How come we haven't about this before? I was digging around the different news sites around Oregon and stumbled upon this.

Senate bill SB 80:
Deletes the constitutional requirement that at least 50 percent of registered voters turn out on tax measures. Voters must approve the change in a special May 2008 election. (At the request of Secretary of State Bill Bradbury)

Friday, February 16, 2007

Smith to vote for cloture on Iraq resolution

This at one of the Oregonian's Blogs -
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said he will attempt another cloture vote on Saturday.

Smith spokesman R.C. Hammond said Smith will vote both for cloture and the resolution.

"Senator Smith believes the Iraq debate should move forward, and as an opponent of the surge, he will support the resolution," Hammond said.
The Oregonian Politics Team February 15, 2007 17:35

I didn't really think he would last to long. We'll see tomarrow.

Chertoff urges safer Mexican border

Is the Bush administration starting to get border security?

Chertoff urges safer Mexican border
Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said Friday that immigration reform would let U.S. law enforcement focus on catching criminals instead of migrants seeking better economic prospects. But he said Americans were unlikely to back any such reform until added security along the Mexican border convinces them they're safe.
"Comprehensive immigration reform, he said, would allow U.S. law enforcement to focus more on the people that we don't want in the country under any circumstances, namely the criminals and the dangerous folks."

He did tip wich way the administration leans.
"Every time a Border Patrol officer is transporting a load of future housekeepers and landscapers to someplace to be returned, he's not looking for drug dealers or drug loads," Chertoff said.

So basically, we only care about the bad guys (crimanals) coming across the borders, "future housekeepers and landscapers are welcome, any way you can get here.

These 17 Republicans must be defeated.

A post over The Victory Caucus titled House Passes Defeatist Resolution: 17 Republicans Join the White Flag Caucus gives all of the contact info for the seventeen republicans that jumped ship.

Give 'em hell!

Everyone who believes that we need to win the war needs to register here and get involved.

N.Z has a good post titled The Vote is Over. Where Do We Go From Here? He lays out a plan that we need to follow in the coming elections.
This will be a long and serious effort, but it starts now. We have established a team within the site that will focus on identifying strong candidates -- veterans, ideally --- as well as teams devoted to identifying White Flag Republicans and their antimatter opposites, the Blue Dog Democrats. These three groups will be at the forefront of our efforts to identify the districts where we can do the most good: whether that is to replace a defeatist Democrat with a new Republican victory candidate --- or to help a Blue Dog Democrat who is strong on the war take down a White Flag Republican. Here, party comes second: victory --- and country --- come first.

And still no response from Gordon Smith

Still no response to my email or my messages to his Washington office or Oregon office voice mails.

The senate will hold a procedural vote tomarrow (Saturday) and the Democrats hope to break the fillibuster that the Republicans have successfully employed. Senator Smith voted with the party on that vote, but still says that he would vote for the resolution if given the chance.

Let's hope that he remains strong tomarrow.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

In an earlier blog post I gave my two cents about an online columnn by William M. Arkin at the Washington Post's National and Homeland Security blog called Early Warning. The title was The Troops Also Need to Support the American People Mr Arkin recieved 1500 comments before the post turned off comenting for that particular post.

He has responded with posts titled A Note to My Readers on Supporting the Troops and Demonization and Responsibility.

Neither response had a whole lot to say. He kinda put down the soldiers that were insulted, and the people who responded. He said that while we should and do support the troops, we should also question their actions, their leadership's policies, the policies of the polititians that sent them there, and weather or not we should have even sent them there in the first place.

He attempts to paint the people who criticize as right wing zealots and then goes on and on defending himself, his motives, and The Post. Oh yea, his editors have "recomended" that this be the last post that he adresses the issue.

To summarize, "I wrote something inflamatory about our troops. They over reacted, you over reacted, I was right. I'm paid by, but don't represent The Washington Post and am not told what to write about here, but I've been told not to write about this topic anymore."

Thursday, February 08, 2007

This Anna Nicole Smith story doesn't pass the smell test

Let's see. Former Stripper and Playboy bunny (age 26) marries an 89 year old oil tycoon. Old Man dies. Tawdry trial. Old man's son loses $474 million to Playboy bunny step-mom (who is younger than he is). Her 21 year old son dies of a drug overdose. Fatherhood of her 5 month old daughter (now sole heiress to $474 million) is being claimed by two men, with a paternity suit under way. Playboy bunny dies a death oddly similar to her son's in an American hotel room, while 5 month old daughter is at home in the Bahamas with her presumed father.

Does this smell right? Sounds like the beginning of a mystery murder story to me. It's also likely to be a very long drawn out story that we are only just beginning to hear about. Tragedy TV has it's OJ story of 2007.

Anna nicole Smith - Let the 24 hour coverage begin

All day, every talk show, every news break. It's like the death of Anna Nicole Smith is the only thing that happened today.

I know, she was a celebrity, but come on. Her biggest claim to fame is being a Playboy model. Oh, and a billionaire's (oil tycoon J. Howard Marshall II)widow. Oh, and won an inheritance dispute with Marshal's son for $474 million. Oh that's right, didn't she have a reality TV show? Oh that's right, her adult son died of a drug overdose last summer and her youngest son was being claimed by two men.

Accomplished life.

I don't mean to sound heartless, but is it really worth the coverage? I feel bad any time someone dies, especially when their spiritual life is in question, but I find it hard to even listen to the coverage today - she's really added no value to society as a whole.

Man, I feel guilty for even thinking like that.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Still no response from Gordon Smith

Still no response to my email or my messages to his Washington office or Oregon office voice mails.

Fro what I'm hearing from other Oregonians who have called in to the talk shows, including three differant national shows, they haven't recieved any kind of response either.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Woohoo! another sales tax proposal!

A new sales tax proposal doesn't surprise me, but this does.
"This version is sponsored by five House Republicans. It would drop the income tax from 9 percent to 6 percent. It also would reduce the capital gains tax and the number of people subject to Oregon's estate tax."
A couple of questions -

First - Has anybody in Salem stopped to consider that this would amount to a federal tax increase on Oregonians? If you pay 30% less state income taxes (deductible on your federal taxes) but replace it with the equivalent sales tax (not deductible on your federal taxes) then the result is net wash on the state level, but an increase on the federal level.

Second - while drawing money out of the underground economy does make sense, what if it increases the underground economy? when I lived in Texas (no income tax, just sales and property taxes), my brother-in-law and I would do painting bids and the perspective customer would almost always ask, "is that the price if I write a check, or if I give you cash?"

I have not had time to dig into this much, but one thing I know. It is not a revenue neutral proposal. Nothing coming out Salem is revenue neutral.

I know that this will be the topic of much debate and blogging.