Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Political Brawl

I guess they just decided to blow off the decorum in the Ukraine Parliament yesterday. Fists were flying, strangleholds, bloody noses, smoke bombs & throwing of eggs. Many in theUkraine did not want to allow Russian Naval ships to use their ports for another 25 years.

The contempt that goes on in the US Congress feels similar, they just don't express it in this way. Imagine if egg throwing was acceptable in the Bush 2 era!

Let's not give the party of no any ideas!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Bailing out of the bailout with bailout money?

Huh? Maybe you've seen the new GM ads-- the new CEO Ed Whitacre touting that they have repaid their $6.7 billion dollar government loan with interest 5 years ahead of schedule. They show new GM cars rolling on the production line in the background.

"But lawmakers, and even the inspector general for the bailout fund GM borrowed from, point out that General Motors only repaid the bailout money by dipping into a separate pot of bailout money. They say the company did not actually use its own earnings to make the early payment and are questioning why executives are making such a big deal out of it. The TARP inspector general, Neil Barofsky, bluntly told the Senate Finance Committee during a hearing last week that the repayment "is just other TARP money".

"It sounds like they're kind of like taking money out of one pocket and putting it in the other to do that," Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., said at the hearing. 
Yes it does.

The GM ad could potentially land the company in trouble with the Federal Trade Commission over its truth-in-advertising laws, which prohibit ads that are "likely to mislead consumers." 
The $6.7 billion is also just a fraction of the $52 billion General Motors received in government aid. Lawmakers are being told government losses on GM are expected to exceed $30 billion. *
It's complicated~ GM took bailout money, but then so did GMAC the lending wing (which does both car and home loans). They declared the lending wing a bank & took additional bailout money. 
$45 billion is still owed to the US by GM & we the people, own 61% of the company. 
$8 billion is owed to Canada, & they own 12% of the company. 
Chrysler owes $12.2 billion. 
Of the nine major banks that took loans, all have repaid them but Citi, which still owes $25 billion. 
Insurance giant AIG took a $70 billion dollar bailout & has not repaid one dime of it. 

* OMG! Did I just quote FOX news? I'll be damned. 

Sunday, April 25, 2010

$75,000 worth of wisdom

I don't usually give trainwreck Palin too much air time here on my blog-- but she came to town, so I have to vent my frustration with her, and expose the brand of crazy she's peddling.
I'm not making this stuff up-

Eugene, Oregon was dubbed a "granola eating liberal town"

“I eat granola. I eat a lot of organic food. I have to shoot and catch a lot of my organic food before I eat it.”
"When the other party's wrong, we stiffen our spines."
"Why not be the party of not just no, but hell no.”

"If you remember only one thing, please remember this," she said. "America does need your voice now more than ever, especially in a place like this.* Don't get discouraged."

* A place like this= Blue State, Liberal college town,  Democrats outnumber repugs 2 to 1. 

"You guys are so gullible bold to have invited us."
"We are of the same ilk."
"Many of us are saying we've had enough, and it's time to take it back and put government back on the side of the people."
"To borrow their slogan, 'Yes, we can.' That's no way to lead a country. Just because you can doesn't mean you should. We say, 'Oh no you don't.' We're going to take it back."

Apparently there is such a thing as Sarah Palin (Michelle Bachmann & G. W. Bush) toilet paper. 

What more can I say???

Saturday, April 24, 2010

The Palin Aftermath

Yes, libral' Eugene Oregon survived the Palin visit. About 100 protesters gathered outside the Hilton & watched the GOP attendees roll in. All gussied up for their $250 dinner engagement. 
Palin's handlers did not allow any interviews as she is not up for answering questions. No pictures. No recording devices. No media-- the media cold only watch her on tv, from another room, IF they paid $100 bucks. 

Ahhhhh freedom was in the air the bullshit was mighty thick. 

So here is what the repugs paid $75,000 (that's $1875 per minute for a 40 minute speech) for Sarah to drone on about~

 Palin rallied for what she called “everyday hard-working Americans."
 Really Sarah because most hard working Americans don't make $1,875 per minute. 

“Trying to keep up with what they’re up to and to keep them and the press accountable has really become a full-time job,” she said.
Umm hmm ~ Raking in $100,000 to $75,000 for speeches is what she's keeping up with. 
If they are payin' she's talkin'. You betcha!!!

She highlighted two issues specifically for conservatives to rally behind: repealing health-care reform and reforming energy policy.

“We have to make sure this ‘Obamacare’ is short-lived,” she said. “It felt so forced upon us. It was so forced upon us.”

Whatever happened to "you have an advocate in me", for special needs children? 
Now it's get your own millions suckers! 

Speaking about energy policy, she called for opening up all of America’s continental shelves to drilling.

Ok~ She's shilling for drilling. 

“Production of our resources means security for Americans and jobs for American workers,” she said.
She also called for drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and addressed head-on environmentalists against her plan. She argued America has more stringent environmental restrictions than many of the foreign governments we currently rely on for oil.

Seriously? A frigging oil rig just exploded, then sank into the ocean as crude oil is gushing in to the ocean to the tune of 336,000 gallons spilling per day & 11 people died. 
That is her "reasoning"?
“So environmentalists are kind of hypocritical on this one,” she said. “I don’t know how environmentalists can sleep at night.”
Well, I can answer that-- not very well with the likes of a resource whore like you Sarah Palin. 

I have to admit, as the uppity GOP'ers streamed into their lavish event, I found myself saying Keep your Polar Bears Alive! Clean Air, Clean Water

I did not get a photo-- but there was one attendee after another wearing a similar rhinestone American Flag pin that Palin wears, but one lady I saw had a pin that was 4 inches bigger! Well! She's showing us who is more patriotic!!!!!

Criticism of the “lame-stream” media

Palin accused the media of being inextricably linked to the political left.

“Sometimes they are kind of one in the same,” she said. “We call them the 'lame-stream' media lately.”

They are sooo lame because they are always asking gotcha questions. It's lame to have to answer different questions. So it's so much less lame for her to just say 
"I don't do any interviews".  Furthermore.... in order to only have pictures Palin likes, only photos that have been pre approved are allowed. That way she can be photogenic, and no unflattering photos will be distributed, such as these:


Instead, we get ONE officially distributed picture. Wow! Wearing that signature rhinestone flag pin, flanked by multiple flags behind her. She's so damned patriotic, she almost makes sense, while chatting about making Polar Bears extinct, and destroying the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

She said the media has been unfair to the tea party movement, going so far as to say they make up lies about tea party supporters.

“The left, well, they had to grab hold of something to discredit,” she said. “The press then just started making things up. I’ve had to deal with that for quite some time now.”

Well, maybe those $100,000 speaking fees will make her feel better?

During a question and answer session, Eugene City Councilwoman Jennifer Solomon read a pre-screened question from the audience about her role at Fox News. Palin said she was proud to be a part of Fox News for being “fair and balanced.”

She also praised Fox host Glenn Beck and said with “his chalkboard technique he’s changing our country."

See! There they go again with grabbing a hold of something to discredit!
Journalists who covered Friday’s speech were subject to strict restrictions from the Palin camp. No cameras or recording devices of any kind were allowed and reporters were only allowed to watch the speech on a video feed in an adjacent room.
Speech organizers provided one photo of the event taken by a hired photographer.

“The media restrictions of this event are due to contractual obligations dictated by the booking agency,” said Paul Riess, who is handling public relations for the Eugene event.
A group of about two dozen protesters gathered outside the Eugene Hilton before Palin spoke. She addressed their presence and said it was nice to see she had “greeters” outside.
She also said her daughter, Bristol, perhaps being a little too naïve, went down and chatted with them before sending Palin a cell phone picture of them on the sidewalk.

Attendees paid $250 each to see Palin speak. The banquet hall at the Hilton seats about 800 people and was sold out. On top of that, many people paid $100 a head to watch a live video feed of Palin from a nearby room.

Seventy people paid $1,000 each for a meet and greet photo op with the former Alaska governor. That price also included a signed copy of Palin’s book, "Going Rogue".

In closing, Palin has developed an "ask no questions, make no mistakes" game plan. Right now she hovers in political limbo, She may be the GOP's best "Pay Pal", but they are not putting her on any ballot. The Tea Party will have her, but they are a rogue bunch of losers with too many Bozos on the bus. 
I'll post pictures later..... I'm going to sleep & hope the nightmare ends. 

For now I'm sure Palin is more than happy to collect big money to deliver a little pre fabbed speech. 
Her message is undo Obama's work, Drill Baby Drill, and that she is a victim of the media. 
Hardly worth $75,000 bucks.  You betcha!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

So much for safe & clean--


Call me cynical or a realist- whatever- I don't care how many "feel good" commercials they run about safe clean coal, and the Drill Baby Drill mantra of the GOP, even President Obama, giving an OK on offshore oil drilling- it is dirty and dangerous.
29 coal miners were killed, and now 11 oil rig workers are "missing". Of the 17 injured, 4 are in  "critical" condition.
The rig is still burning & the company itself calls it a "catastrophic explosion." The platform itself is listing, but the company expects it to not topple over. They probably did not expect it would have a catastrophic explosion either. Crude oil is spilling in to the ocean, as well.

The platform did sink on Thurdsay. The good news is that put out the fire. The bad news is:
The well could be spilling up to 336,000 gallons of crude oil a day, the Coast Guard said, and the rig carried 700,000 gallons of diesel fuel. What's not clear is if the crude is still spewing below the surface. Coast Guard Rear Adm. Mary Landry said crews saw a one mile by five mile sheen of what appeared to be a crude oil mix on the surface of the water.

Between "safe & clean coal & offshore oil drilling", it appears that 40 people lost their lives recently, not to mention the environmental damage done.

The following photo is also a part of the aftermath of the explosion. Sludge samples are taken from a nearby waterway. Drink anyone?

Just to include something more positive re Earth Day, I am enclosing this video...


Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Another day in Palin's "Paradise"

KVAL (Local CBS Affiliate) received this press release Friday from Paradise Media:
What: Former vice-presidential candidate and Alaska Governor Sarah Palin addresses Lane County Republicans at the Lincoln Day Dinner in Eugene.
Where: Eugene Hilton, main hall, 66 E 6th, Eugene, OR
When: Friday, April 23, Governor Palin is expected to begin speaking at 7:50 PM.
Media Access: Media representatives will be allowed to view Governor Palin’s speech via a live video feed at the Hilton.
Restrictions:  One media representative from each news organization will be allowed to attend.  No cameras or recording devices will be allowed.  Still photography pictures will be available of the event which may be downloaded following the speech. 
The media restrictions of this event are due to contractual obligations dictated by the booking agency.  Governor Palin will not be available for any pre or post-media interviews.

Another local station posted this comment from a viewer:
"I just think that she really doesn't know what she's talking about, and I think she says things to get people riled up," argues Cari Stubbs, who is anti-Palin. 
The one element though in the mix that some are questioning is that the media will not be able to photograph or record the event. They'll be limited to taking notes and viewing the speech from a separate room. No interviews before or after the event are allowed either.

"She probably wants to be able to control whatever is edited," speculates Stubbs, "so that, if she says something and looks like an idiot, they'll be able to edit it."

Speech organizers say they are worried about the backlash from the media being shut out, but they say the situation is up to Palin's tour manager.
At this point, if you do not have a ticket to the event and want to go, you'll have to watch Palin from the same separate TV viewing room as the media. Tickets are $100 and include dinner."

So the former half-term governor who quit is carrying on with her COUNTRY FIRST $12 million dollar money tour/campaign, taking in hefty speaking fees, and what is more fun, because she is no longer a public official, she is not obliged to disclose her Public servant salary money grab. Palin can play this "contractual obligations dictated by the booking agency" game for so long. My bullshit-o-meter is in the red zone. Palin is not doing interviews because she can't handle questions without someone giving her the answers.
Sure she can deliver the rhetoric.... but even then she needed crib notes.

Will I be paying $100 bucks to listen to the Shrillah' from Wasilla deliver her schtick?
There's not enough Tums in the world to quell that kind of indigestion!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

How about this load of crap?

My poor friend Lisa had this piece of work e mailed to her by a nutcase relative.
Worse it had this thrown in:

This video just came out. True Americans will love it. America haters will not!!

If this goes around the country we stand a chance,  NOT a CHANGE

So gather round all you America haters, and check this out.

Now, if you can stand to, watch it again & substitute the name George W. Bush, or "President Bush" instead of "President Obama" and then it would be appropriate.
Think about it~ Bush really did all this stuff:

Subvert our Constitution & undermine our liberty
Patriot Act
Warrantless phone wire tapping
People being held w/o charges or due process in Gitmo prison

Freedom- absence of restraints on our ability to think and act
Riot police bashing heads at the RNC conference
Police raiding homes of individuals panning the protest marches at the RNC conference
seizing computers, and holding people at gunpoint

* Expanded Government- Homeland Security, color coded fear charts, daily threat levels announced throughout airports
The first (stolen) election w ominous electronic voting machines & a process that was rigged.

* Violated our Constitution- The list is long, but a war of choice is at the top of the list

* Confounded laws- The Patriot act is about as confounded as it gets. We must remove your freedom in order to protect 

* Seized private industry- Perhaps no bid Halliburton contracts fall under this category. Or creating and allowing a Militia
for hire-- Blackwater, or now Xe Services LLC, limited liability indeed.

* Destroyed jobs & Perverted our economy- The big economic meltdown did in fact happen under Bush's watch.
Letting Wall Street run amuck had a domino effect on the economic big picture. Cash availability dried up, the economy 
tanked, people lost jobs & homes in record levels. Bush ignored the economy & it went away. He had a few 
business bankruptcies on his resume before he was ever president.

* Curtailed Free speech- The term "freedom cage" was coined in the Bush era. People gathering to protest were allowed
to gather in makeshift fenced areas, many blocks away from the venue they were protesting. Wiretapping is a definite free 
speech infringement.

* Corrupted our Currency- Borrowing money from China to fund a war of choice. Also Bush insisted the most wealthy get huge tax cuts- tax cuts for the rich- the rich got richer, and the poor got poorer.

* Weakened our National Security- Ignoring that memo Al Queda planning attack on America probably not a good idea in retrospect. Plus when two people taking flight lessons said they really did not need to learn how to land the planes , did
not raise an eyebrow after it was reported?? Collateral damage- killing people in mass bombing efforts created hostility
and a desire for revenge.

* Endangered our Sovereignty- Having China loan money for war & letting jobs leave the States did not strengthen 
our country. The war of choice, torture, and violation of Geneva conventions & International laws did not help our international standing either.

* Our children- No child left behind meant teacher witch hunts, and people not in teaching professions dictating teachers
not engage students in real learning, but teaching to the tests. The military swarm our children like vultures, trying to recruit them for military service, starting at age 15.

* Generational theft- this one really irks me. Where were all these rabid fiscally responsible people when Bush wracked up a $12 trillion dollar National Debt??? Suddenly now this is an issue, but it was not for the last 8 years?
Bush took office w a budget surplus - he ran it into the ground in an unprecedented failure. Furthermore, the GOP 
politicians who now spout this "generational theft" term, have never seen a war budget they did not approve. Somehow, 
they fail to see they are a part of the problem and these issues are the elephant in the room of budget debt issues.

* "We did not become a strong nation through hope"- coupled w film footage of Martin Luther King jr. ?????
That bit is so wrong I can't even begin to express my disgust at the hypocrisy. If King & the people who fought for civil rights did not have hope that things could/would/should change why would they have endured all that they did.
Hope has been & always will be an essential element. If you don't have hope, then what you have is hopeless.

* Vowing to resist coercive government in America- What can I say? The Bush presidency was torture, rendition, 
crimes against humanity, and violation of domestic and international laws. It does not get much more corrupt and coercive than that. We will not accept tyranny under any guise, sorry , but that ship has already sailed.

I just noticed around 4:18 in this video, 2 kids have a sign that says:
"I'm to young to be in Dept"

I'm sure they meant to say "I'm too young to be in Debt", but these patriots are too busy giving President Obama shit for all
the things Bush actually did, they forget how to spell.

At first I found this video highly annoying, but once I substituted the "Bush" name, suddenly the list of grievances rang true.

Oh and a Glory Hallelujah to everyone as well!

Sunday, April 18, 2010


 Eyjafjallajökull is the name of that pesky Volcano that is mucking up the airspace in much of Europe. Jimmy Fallon joked that the name looks like something his cat would have typed as it walked across his keyboard!

I work in the travel industry, so I have some up front encounters of travelers stuck, stranded, or just can't get a flight from the U.S. to Europe or vise versa.  The hope was that things would settle down & the air would clear, for normal air travel to resume, but instead, the Volcanic eruption seems to be getting stronger. 
Eyjafjallajökull was now releasing ash in "pulses" and periods of steady plumes, but scientists say it is too early to predict how long the eruption will last. The volcano's last major eruption in 1821 lasted for two years.

18,000 flights per day were canceled each of the last few days.  

Eyjafjallajokull's eruption had a major impact on the world, as its 7-mile-high plume of volcanic gases and silicate ash has spread across much of Europe, bringing air travel across the continent to a near standstill. Britain's airspace is still closed, and authorities don't expect to loosen restrictions until sometime Monday at the earliest. On Friday, two-thirds of European flights were canceled, as were 180 transatlantic flights. Delays and cancellations hit airports from Toronto to Tokyo, and the problems have cost the global air-travel industry an estimated $200 million a day. ~ Time reports

Winds have changed shift, and now some residents & their animals are having to evacuate.
Apparently they have done some test flights, and think it is safe to resume some flights. I have enough angst about flying, I'd have a hard time being one of the first up in the skies to see if Volcanic ash will effect the planes engines. Then again people stranded in airports for many days are probably willing to give it a go. It was interesting how different airports handled the issue.
some shut down entirely-

Others brought out the cots

while others let the chaos flow

Meanwhile, Scientists get as close as they can to the Volcano to get more info

Mother Nature continues to unveil her awesome power~

Nighttime lava flow~

Katla is the sleeping sister to Eyjafjallajökull, and previous Eyjafjallajökull eruptions seem
to have triggered Katla to blow. Suggesting perhaps we ain't seen nothing yet!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Not my cup of tea or Palin needs a realistic title.

The Tea Party Express came to a halt this week , as they ranted about taxes, and the Government. Sales were brisk, for vendors selling "Don't tread on me" flags, and the rhetoric raged on.  There is nothing new & exciting about all this. Republicans have always made political speeches about keeping taxes low (Read my lips), but historically have always raised taxes, and have been the biggest spenders, putting us in the deepest debt. Yet the masses like to hear the promise of lower taxes. How is it they are able to make & break the same old promises again & again?

 Meanwhile the Obama administration actually did make tax law changes that has provided relief to much of the middle class.  The Tea Party can't be bothered with facts!  Nobody likes paying taxes, but for the greater good, that is how things work. Dare I mention Socialist programs like the Fire & Police departments, Public Library, Education,  Running Water, Roads, taxes pay to fund these items. Yes, even the Tea Party folks can partake in these Socialist offerings if their house is on fire, or they need an ambulance.

Anyway, the Tea Party can have Palin, the snarky quitter who is introduced as the "Governor of Alaska", just that intro alone gives me the heebie jeebies because she quit the job. "Failed Governor of Alaska" would be more honest, or "Lady who could not handle the job of Governor", or "The Mayor of Wasilla who tried to be Governor, but quit mid term". It just seems wrong to announce her a "Governor Palin" since that organiz-ey, accountability thing did not work out for her.

I don't get the appeal. Palin in her red leather jacket & rhinestone U.S. flag pin are here to change the country? Palin is the best they have to offer? A proven loser, who is hungry for power and political popularity. We don't even see Todd on these tours anymore. Maybe he is staging his own personal, "Don't Tread on Me" campaign against Sarah? I don't know who is taking care of Palin's special needs baby, but clearly, it's not her.

At least they changed the battle charge from "Don't retreat, reload", to "Just Vote them out".
Better yet, don't vote them in! (the Tea Party & Palin).

Friday, April 16, 2010

Whole lotta shakin' going on

Wow! What do Spain, Baja California, Indonesia, Brazil, Solomon Islands, New Guinea, India, & The Philippine Islands, all have in common? They have had 6.0 or greater earthquakes within the last 30 days.
Check out this seismic chart showing worldwide quakes 4.0 and above in the last 30 days. Big Quakes seem to be coming in rapid succession, starting with the big quake in Haiti. I live within the so called "Ring of Fire", in the Pacific Northwest, and we are in a larger quake zone.

If all that were not enough to make us humble to the power of Mother Nature, she whips up a huge Volcano eruption in Iceland, big enough to shut down many airports in Europe. As in the 2nd busiest airport in the world, Heathrow, is entirely shut down. Apparently the thick ash from the volcano can actually cause airplane engines to seize up & stop working, not to mention the lack of visibility.
Check out these NASA photos.

Ok Mother Nature! We respect your power, we really do!

 Oregon's quakes mostly take place out in the Pacific Ocean where plates are stacked or pushed up by the other plate. That means our earthquake action would be a vertical drop, as opposed to the side by side fault lines/action we see happen in California. Seismic experts say a vertical drop is more damaging. So far we've had lots of small pressure release earthquakes that are not felt, or do damage to the land. Theoretically a big quake here could obliterate the coastline, and inlanders could have ocean front property, but that would have to be some enormous quake to see that much land mass change. Of course, big quakes reek havoc, and cause instant chaos. The basics go away right away-- power, running water, sewage, communication systems.
Aftershocks prevent people from being able to go back inside if there is still a structure to go to.
For over a decade, we carried earthquake insurance coverage through Allstate, and out of the blue, they sent a letter stating they no longer offer earthquake insurance. Apparently they just want to take your money, but if you really need help, the "You're in good hands" people, will drop you like a rock.
I know it could happen here, and I see how much power is unleashed in these occurrences of nature.

For about a week the media covers the quake aftermath, then they move on to another story.
 Here are some photos of Haiti, more than 2 months after their quake. Haiti is one of the most impoverished countries in the world, so it was in bad shape before the quake hit. The United Nations has made several pleas to keep the contributions coming, and to not forget Haiti.

These photos speak for themselves. 70+ days after the earthquake, a glimpse of Haiti.

Waiting in line for water