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November 4, 2010

Beware of Career Politicians!

Washington seems to be irrevocably broken. We no longer have politicians who leave their communities from Alabama to Wisconsin and go to work in Washington on issues that will benefit their constituents. Once elected by their home town and state, politicians go to Washington armed with personal agendas and to do lists. That’s why D.C. is currently filled with Republicrats and the Class of 2010 will introduce Teapublicrats into Washington’s political structure. If a politician goes to Washington and dares to try to change the corrupt, crooked, fraudulent practices s/he will be labeled as ‘Public Enemy Number One’ and everything they try to work on — no matter how good for America — will be blocked. Saying that our government is a social order of elite cliques is an understatement.

Washington is FILLED with career politicians who are only interested in getting rich and re-elected. I am not being scornful nor am I mocking people who are civic minded. It is just difficult to explain why anyone would spend $150 MILLION dollars on a campaign to get a job that pays $180,000 a year. What could cause such a reckless financial decision? Could it be the personal benefits: the kickbacks, salary for life, unbelievable insurance and the ability to vote for a raise for yourself?

Washington is damaged and only American voters can change it. We have to put a stop to this madness that works against us. The only people who seem to benefit from the Washington political system are the corrupt Washington fat cats. We need term limits: two 2 year terms. Politicians should campaign the way they intend to govern and govern like they campaigned. Politicians should go to Washington, focus on what they campaigned to do to benefit their community and then leave D.C. when they’ve done their job. We need to stop politicians’ ‘special benefits’. Politicians should receive Social Security and Medicare just like everyone else. There should be a five dollar limit on campaign contributions and only from individual American citizens. We need our elected officials to be civic minded public servants instead of special interest directed career politicians.

We also need to be independent thinkers. That’s the only way Americans are going to benefit from our political system. Do not let either political party control your mind. Do not hate a candidate only because he is a Democrat. Do not hate a candidate only because she is a Republican. Do not trust a candidate just because she is a Democrat. Do not trust a candidate just because he is a Republican. If you do, you will forever be their puppet without benefits.

Yesterday Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said that he will not work with President Obama on Programs that will benefit Democrats and Republicans alike. He said that his goal is to get a Republican in as President in 2012. Excuse me, but how does this help Americans get jobs, and loans, and homes and cars? He doesn’t care about how his decision will create consequences for you and me. Plotting the next election only benefits his personal agenda. McConnell is the Senate minority leader with an obligation to govern for Americans in a manner that transcends his own partisan goals.

It seems that given the choice of supporting something that was good for the country, but would also benefit Barack Obama politically, McConnell would screw over Americans. He is willing to do what’s beneficial for his personal political agenda; and not necessarily good for us Americans.

Our Teapublicrats MUST work together in the next two years so that America can get out of the ditch she’s in. If these politicians do not work together we will all suffer tremendously.

If the economy does not improve soon, more businesses will lay off more employees. Those of us with jobs could lose our jobs. If we lose our jobs we can’t buy anything or support our local businesses. If we don’t support our local businesses they will go out of business. If they go out of business there will be less taxes coming into our communities. If there are less taxes flowing into our community our Mayors will have to cut services in our communities and the downward spiral will continue until we are ALL affected. This can turn into a living nightmare for all of us. We have to work together as Americans and make it clear to individual politicians we elected that they must work for us, that getting America back on its financial feet is goal number one.

Our politicians are living THEIR American dream. We have to convince them to work for us: for you and me so that we can live our American dream.

We have to let them know that we will not tolerate 2 years of dysfunction that leads to more suffering for us while they sit on their behinds and get paid. We have to remind them that we the voters have the power to stop their dreams. We have to demand that they work together to create jobs and do what’s best for ALL of us.

Empower yourself. Force politicians to do the work you sent them to do in Washington. Contact your elected officials: tweet, email, call or write your Senator, U.S. Representative, Governor and Legislators and insist that they work together and do what’s right for America.

Contact your elected officials: http://www.usa.gov/Contact/Elected.shtml

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November 1, 2009

VOTE!!! IMPORTANT Elections on Tuesday, November 3rd, 2009

Do you have an election in your community this week?  If you do, go out and VOTE and take a friend with you.

Folks, there are elections all across the country on Tuesday, November 3 and THEY MATTER. 

We’ll see important elections for Governor in New Jersey and Virginia and important Mayoral elections in Atlanta, Houston, New York and other cities and we should be focused on them.  Plus races for City Council, State Legislature and other positions are also up for grabs.  These elections might not receive as much publicity and hype and may not seem to be as ‘sexy’ as the Presidential elections but they are more important in many ways.

These elections will affect our daily lives: The raising of fees, property taxes, making our schools more effective, fighting disparities in our criminal justice system are all determined by the City Council, Commissioner’s Court, Sherriff’s office and by local and state judges yet we ignore these elections.  We should gladly spend time in lines to make sure our votes are counted in our local elections.

Even though President Obama is the leader of our country and the leader of the Democratic Party, once he authorizes monies to go to our communities our local elected officials are the ones who decide HOW to spend the monies. 

Our President is VERY important but our local elected officials are the people who allocate these funds in a meaningful way or waste it to serve their own personal agendas.

In order for President Obama’s policies to be effective, we need local politicians in office who have a similar vision.

Know which local politician(s) in your community will do the most for you and your family.  Share this information with your neighbors and friends and please make sure everyone in your household go out and vote and make sure each person takes a friend with them to the polls.

Keep your eyes on the prize — vote on Tuesday!!!

September 29, 2009

Bill Maher On Jay Leno: Emails — Mark Foley vs Gov Mark Sanford

In June 2009 Governor Mark Sanford, Republican from South Carolina, admitted that he had conducted an extramarital affair with a woman in Argentina who he had gone to visit in Argentina three times during the past year.  “I have been unfaithful to my wife . . . I developed a relationship with what started as a dear dear friend,” said Sanford.

He said that he had met Maria Belen Shapur roughly eight years ago and that it had become romantic within the last year.

In September 2006 Mark Foley, Republican Congressman from Florida, sent sexually explicit email and instant messages to a 16 year old male congressional page from Monroe, Louisiana as well as to other congressional pages.

This is sad but funny.  Watch Bill and Jay read some of the emails.

January 26, 2009

Towns Are Sad to See Their Prisons Leaving the Scene of the Grime

CHARLESTON, Maine  – One morning recently at the town hall here, Selectwoman Terri-Lynn Hall set out some fresh coffee, crackers and dip for the cleaning crew. “I also make ’em turkeys, bake ’em hams, and serve spaghetti,” she said — “with homemade sauce.”

One of the crew, Rex Call, put down his mop and helped himself to a piping hot mug of joe. “I’d rather be working here than sitting in the cell all day,” said Mr. Call, who — when he’s not out on work-release — is serving two years in state prison for car theft.

Although many people fight fiercely to block prisons from coming to town, Charleston and other communities are feeling an opposite impulse these days. They are fighting to keep their prisons from going away.

Many states, including Maine, Ohio, Washington and New York, want to close or consolidate prisons to save money. Here in Maine, Gov. John Baldacci wants to mothball part of Charleston Correctional Facility and relocate nearly 40% of the inmates, which would cut work-release crews.

But this farming town of 1,500 wants its criminal element to stick around. Town leaders say they don’t know what they will do without the free or ultra-cheap labor the jailbirds provide. “Oh my goodness, gracious, they are such an asset — they are our public-works department,” said Ms. Hall.

Last year, Charleston’s prisoners did 39,337 hours of community work, prison officials say, roughly the equivalent of 19 full-timers. Inmates maintain the five local cemeteries, set up election booths and hang Veteran’s Day flags. They built the log-cabin “snack shack” at a local park, and helped bust up beaver dams in a stream that runs along Bacon Road.

When a minimum-security prison was built in downtown Wooster, Ohio, a decade ago, “we took a lot of heat” from people who didn’t want it, says Capt. Charlie Hardman of the sheriff’s department there. But now that budget cuts could close the facility, he says, “People are concerned. Who is going to pick up the litter?”

Originally, Sandra Hull was antiprison. She heads Main Street Wooster, a downtown-revitalization group — and a building full of criminals wasn’t her idea of an improvement. “I didn’t really want them there,” she says.

‘Wonderful Neighbors’

Today, she wants them to stay. They turned out to be “wonderful neighbors,” Ms. Hull says. Among other things, prisoners shovel snow in front of local shops.

Closure is also being fought by city officials and the local Habitat for Humanity. Habitat’s truck driver, Jesse Smith, has a bad back, so he uses convicts to help him lug around fridges and other heavy items. Sometimes, he says, the inmates gripe about prison life. “I tell these boys, ‘Don’t get an attitude, you’re the one who done it,’ ” Mr. Smith says.

County Commissioner Jim Carmichael says closure is being considered because the prison isn’t profitable, and it’s not fair for cities and towns to get “free labor at a cost to the county.”

In the small city of Medical Lake in eastern Washington, Mayor John Higgins pleaded with his state representative to help keep the nearby Pine Lodge Corrections Center for Women from shuttering. The state is thinking about closing the 350-inmate prison by 2010.

“We use the inmates to run our recycling center — four women five days a week, seven hours a day,” saving the city at least $150,000 a year in labor costs, says Doug Ross, the city administrator. “I don’t exactly know how we’re going to run it without the crew.” Female felons from Pine Lodge also split and stack wood for senior citizens.

Emily Echols, who is 35 and serving time for burglary, shovels snow at a center for disabled adults and doesn’t want to leave Medical Lake. “I’m not too happy,” she says. “I feel like I’m part of this little community,” referring to the town. In addition, moving means “more upheaval and trying to start over again in another prison.”

Inmates typically get little or no pay for their work, but they can earn reduced sentences. Depending on their job, they can also learn a trade, such as construction work or forklift-driving, “rather than just sitting and rotting in a jail,” said Jim Zecca, director of solid waste for Madison County, N.Y. His county is home to a minimum-security state prison that Gov. David Paterson is looking at shuttering to help close a $15.4 billion budget gap.

Mr. Zecca said inmates generate $200,000 in annual revenue for the county by rummaging through its landfill for copper and other valuable scrap. “I just hate to see it go,” said Mr. Zecca of the prison.

There’s a long history of putting prisoners to work. Inmates make license places in Colorado, mattresses in Louisiana and orange safety vests for highway crews in North Carolina. Typically, only prisoners from minimum-security facilities qualify for jobs outside prison walls.

In most instances, work-release inmates are nonviolent offenders who are already near the end of their sentences, giving them very little incentive to stray from the rules. Typically, work crews are supervised by at least one prison official.

Occasionally there is trouble. After all, “You are dealing with an inmate population,” Mr. Zecca says. Once, inmates clearing brush at a local park wandered away, but were eventually found because they got lost in the woods.

At Charleston’s prison, escape attempts in general are rare, officials say, partly because of the nearby wilderness. “If you escape, it’s almost like walking into ‘Deliverance’ out there,” says prison supervisor George Peterson, referring to the movie in which four friends get stalked in the woods by a toothless mountain man.

Once, Mr. Peterson says, an inmate fled and hid in a swamp, but was munched on by so many insects that when the guards found him, he was “screaming to go back to prison.” Mr. Peterson also says work-release inmates sometimes manage to persuade people in town to toss beers over the prison fence.

Some inmates use work-release to try to right previous wrongs. Andrew Sargent, 25 years old, landed in the clink in 2006 after breaking into a convenience store in Dexter, near Charleston. When Dexter’s tiny police department needed its station repainted, Chief Art Roy called for a prison work crew — but specified that he didn’t want to see Mr. Sargent on it, because he had caused trouble in town.

Determined to show he’d changed, Mr. Sargent wrote the chief a letter apologizing for his convenience-store break-in, which involved the theft of cigarettes.

“He had a new attitude,” says Chief Roy.

Mr. Sargent ended up being such a good worker that the chief says he now plans to give him a job reference when Mr. Sargent goes free this month.

Original article by Jennifer Levitz of the WSJ

December 21, 2008

2008 – An Unforgettable Year!

michael-phelps-8-medals Recently our 2008 eight-medal winning Olympic swimming champion smoked pot for the first time at a Michigan hotel.  His reaction was a bit boisterous – the stoned Phelps broke all the televisions in his room, but later bought exact replicas so he could replace them before anybody at the hotel was the wiser.  But we have to forgive Mr. Phelps since he’s been in training for most of his 23 years and this is the first time he has let loose.

Not too long ago we learned that Martha Stewart used a hand model for close-up shots in her latest book since she deemed her own hands too wrinkled. 

susan-sarandon-and-daughter Last week the still very, very sexy Susan Sarandon had her first face-lift. Susan is the mother of the statuesque and stunning 23 year old Eva Amurri.

We can’t speak of 2008 without talking politics, politics and more politics.  This year was filled with characters, clichés and catchphrases!

governor-eliot-spitzer-and-prostitute-kristen It started early when Governor Spitzer of New York was identified as ‘Client # 9’ and ended in November when Jesse Jackson Jr. was identified as ‘Candidate # 5’ in the Governor Blagojevich investigation – you can’t make this stuff up!

rahm-emanuel-fist The year also started with a no drama Obama campaign and came full circle with an all drama Rahm Emanuel for Obama’s White House Chief-of-Staff.  Rahm gets the job done and that’s huge. It will be good to have a little ‘safe’ drama in the White House.  It’s only fair since Obama doesn’t give the late shows and comedians food for fodder – Rahm will.

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December 14, 2008

Governors Gone Wild!

 governors-20081 

So what’s really up with some of our Governors? I’m making a list and checking it twice and have realized that in the past five years we’ve had an overabundance of distractions in Governor Mansions throughout the U.S.

Of course we have some really great Governors as well.

First and foremost we have Gangster Governor Rod Blagojevich – Chicago’s own Al Capone would be proud.  I don’t know what to say that hasn’t been said about Blagojevich this past week.  Gangster Blagojevich’s antics are way too rich and splendiferous to be called typical.  My personal belief is that he is egotistical to the point of stupid.  All eyes have been on President-elect Obama and Chicago these past several weeks so Blagoidiot made a decision to sell Obama’s vacant seat while he himself is being investigated by the FBI?  Insanity. Ludicrous. Stupid.

Today for the first time we hear from former Illinois Governor George Ryan, 74, who is seeking early release from a 6 ½ year prison sentence from President Bush. Ryan wrote a three page apologia where he tells the people of Illinois that “I want to make things right in my heart, with God, with my family and with those that I have hurt.”  Ryan, a Republican, was convicted of corruption in 2006 for a racketeering fraud scheme and is serving a 6½-year sentence.

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