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March 18, 2009

Chinese Made Dry Walls Making Houses Sick

My sister just called to tell me that she heard about this story on CNN.  This is another instance of how lack of regulation by the Bush administration has caused harm to the American public at large.  If these Chinese made dry-walls can decay and eat away air conditioning systems, what can they do to our lungs?  This is an outrage.  If your home is emitting any of these odors or you see any of these conditions in your home call one of these attorneys.  Read the story below:

Officials are looking into claims that Chinese-made drywall installed in some Florida homes is emitting smelly, corrosive gases and ruining household systems such as air conditioners, the Consumer Product Safety Commission says.

The Florida Health Department, which is investigating whether the drywall poses any health risks, said it has received more than 140 homeowner complaints. And class-action lawsuits allege defective drywall has caused problems in at least three states — Florida, Louisiana and Alabama — while some attorneys involved claim such drywall may have been used in tens of thousands of U.S. homes.

Homeowners’ lawsuits contend the drywall has caused them to suffer health problems such as headaches and sore throats and face huge repair expenses.

The drywall is alleged to have high levels of sulfur and, according to homeowners’ complaints, the sulfur-based gases smell like rotten eggs and corrode piping and wiring, causing electronics and appliances to fail.

“It’s economically devastating, and it’s emotionally devastating,” said Florida attorney Ervin A. Gonzalez, who filed one of the lawsuits. It would cost a third of an affected home’s value to fix the dwelling, Gonzalez said.

“The interior has to be gutted, the homeowners have to continue paying mortgages, and they have to pay for a [temporary] place to live,” Gonzalez said.

The CPSC has been investigating claims in Florida for more than a month, according to commission spokesman Joe Martyak. He would not confirm whether CPSC is checking other states or reveal how many cases it is probing.

The Florida complaints generally involve homes built or renovated in 2005 and 2006, when a building boom and post-hurricane reconstruction caused a U.S. drywall shortage that spurred builders to turn to imports, Martyak said.

The allegations come after a number of recent safety problems with other Chinese exports, ranging from toys to pet food.

Dick and Nancy Nelson, who say the Florida retirement home they bought new in 2006 has Chinese-manufactured drywall, contend all their appliances with copper are failing, according to CNN affiliate WFTS-TV.

“The washing machine, the dryer, the microwave, and a refrigerator — these are all brand new appliances, and they’re breaking down,” Nancy Nelson of Palmetto told the Tampa station. The Nelsons are among those who have complained to the state health department.

In a neighborhood in Homestead, Florida, owners of homes with Chinese-manufactured drywall say the dwellings smell like rotten eggs especially on humid days, according to CNN affiliate WPLG-TV.

Electronics and appliances with copper components stopped working in short order, and copper pipes and wiring turned black, homeowners told the Miami station.

“My dream has turned into a nightmare,” one of the homeowners, Felix Martinez, told WPLG-TV. He said he closed on the home in August 2006.

Michael Foreman, head of construction consulting firm Foreman & Associates in Sarasota, Florida, said he’s been investigating drywall complaints in that state since last year and is sharing information with at least one group of lawyers preparing lawsuits on the matter. Based on shipping records, Foreman estimates the United States in 2006 and the first two months of 2007 imported enough drywall from Chinese manufacturers named in lawsuits to produce at least 50,000 homes at a size of 2,000 square feet each.

Florida ports alone took in enough of that drywall during those 14 months to build 30,000 homes of that size, he estimated, citing records he obtained from the Port Import Export Reporting Service, a company that collects information on cargoes entering and leaving U.S. ports. Foreman said he has yet to see import records from 2004 and 2005, years covering what he said was a building boom with a high demand for drywall.

Two Florida attorneys involved in separate class-action lawsuits, Gonzalez and Jordan Chaikin, said they, too, believe shipping records indicate tens of thousands of residences in the United States, with a good chunk of them in Florida, may have drywall from the manufacturers.

“The breadth of this thing is a lot bigger than people think,” said Chaikin of the Parker Waichman Alonso law firm in Bonita Springs. Chaikin said the problem is perhaps more easily recognizable in Florida because humidity exacerbates it.

An Alabama-based homebuilder alleges that Chinese-manufactured drywall in 40 houses it built in 2005 and 2006 — 32 in Alabama and eight in Florida — caused corrosion or odor problems. The builder, Mitchell Co., has filed a class-action lawsuit in Florida against certain manufacturers, attorney Steve Nicholas said.

“We filed on behalf of builders because we believe … they’re going to be the ones with the initial loss” to fix the problems, said Nicholas, of Alabama law firm Cunningham Bounds.

The Miami suit seeks compensation and medical monitoring of the homeowners.

To read this story in full go to:

http://www.cnn.com/2009/US/03/18/chinese.drywall/index.html

 

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February 6, 2009

Is California On The Verge Of A Financial Collapse?

California is America’s most populous state and it might be on the verge of a financial collapse.  If this is happening in California, how long will it be before this same type of financial monsoon slams into your state?

More than 200,000 state government employees are expected to stay home without pay today as California began it’s first-ever furlough (involuntary unpaid leave of absence), a move intended to save money during the ongoing fiscal crisis.

State agencies scrambled in the days before the furloughs took effect to avoid confusion for the public, such as people trying to register vehicles, getting drivers license or trying obtain professional licenses or city permits.

Among the offices to be closed Friday are those of the Department of Motor Vehicles and Department of Consumer Affairs. The governor’s Office of Emergency Services also would be dark as part of a cash-saving move ordered by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Critical and revenue-generating agencies were scheduled to remain open, including police precincts, fire stations, parks and employment centers that process unemployment insurance claims. California’s unemployment rate is 9.3 percent — a 15-year high.

Schwarzenegger ordered the two-day-a-month furloughs, reducing the average state worker’s salary by 9.2 percent, as he and lawmakers try to solve the state’s $42 billion budget shortfall.

The governor had hoped his order would apply to some 238,000 state employees, but each of the seven other constitutional officers have said they will not comply. Employees of the Legislature are not under his authority.

Schwarzenegger’s legal affairs secretary, Andrea Hoch, said the administration was prepared to sue the state controller if he did not reduce paychecks for more than 15,000 workers in the other constitutional offices, which include the attorney general, secretary of state and insurance commissioner.

A judge who affirmed Schwarzenegger’s authority to order the furloughs said his ruling did not apply to statewide elected officials because they were not a party to the lawsuit. The administration has maintained that employees of constitutional offices are covered by the furlough order.

Doors to about 180 DMV offices were to be locked Friday. Some people said the state gave little notice to the public about the furloughs, which will continue on the first and third Fridays of each month through June 2010.

“They don’t have any signs telling us about Friday,” said Ingrid Dela Cruz of Sacramento, who was inside a Sacramento DMV office on Thursday.

In fact, there were plenty of signs, but they were posted in locations invisible to most customers because they were hidden behind sliding glass doors.

Schwarzenegger’s administration estimated that cutting worker hours would save the state $1.3 billion over the next year-and-a-half.

The state decided to keep some 250 career centers open after previously announcing they would be closed. The centers are where the unemployed get information about job training and benefits.

Dan Gurule, a police officer at the state mental hospital in Norwalk, said the state would have to pay overtime at 24-hour facilities to those workers who backfill the shifts of people on furlough. Five state mental hospitals and 33 adult prisons are required to provide constant care to patients and inmates.

“Somebody has to fill in my position,” Gurule said. “We still have to have a minimum staffing. That’s going to be someone on overtime, being paid time-and-a-half.”

California is not the only state on the brink of a financial disaster. The state of Florida still has a balanced budget — for the time being — but barely.  Governor Charlie Crist has acknowledged that “this economy is struggling greatly.”  He has co-signed a letter with Governor Jim Doyle of Wisconsin, a Democrat, supporting Obama’s stimulus package and encouraging all governors to do the same. “If President Obama sees a need for Republican assistance with his stimulus plan, I’m happy to do that,” said Crist.

He sees in Obama and his recovery plan “lifelines of hope to persevere.”  “There is a level of optimism that is not detached from reality. … I see the glass as half-full —and not without reason. … My optimism does relate to the stimulus plan.”

Many Governors and Mayors support President Obama’s Stimulus Plan since they are on the front lines and see the crises up close and personal on a daily basis. 

Governors and Mayors do not want to see police precincts and fire stations closed.  Nor do they want to see thousands upon thousands of teachers losing their jobs which will cause classroom sizes to increase or schools to close. 

Governors and Mayors do not want to see the millions of unemployed Americans lose their unemployment insurance and lose the ability to pay for food, utilities, rent/mortgage, taxes, car loans and the necessities of life.

I urge you to contact your Senators and Congresspersons from both Houses and encourage them to get together, make the necessary revisions and get this stimulus plan passed for the greater good of all Americans!

Contact Congress:      

http://www.visi.com/juan/congress/

Contact Senate:          

http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm

December 3, 2008

Is Jeb Bush Aiming For The White House?

bushes-george-and-jeb Can American afford another Bush in the White House?  I don’t think so. I know that the Bushes want to see Jeb Bush as President someday but had pushed that hope to the side since Dubya was an inept President at best.  Dubya invaded Iraq and started a war of choice with Iraq over WMD which never existed.  Dubya flew over as New Orleans sank and now Dubya is standing on the sidelines drinking Peruvian Piso Sours as America’s economy is flushed down the toilet.

Now Jeb wants to be a Senator from Florida. Undoubtedly he sees this as a stepping stone to the White House.

Two sources close to Jeb Bush, including one who has spoken to the former Florida governor within the past few hours, say he is seriously considering a run for Senate now that incumbent Republican Mel Martinez has retired.“He is receiving a lot of encouragement from both in and out of the state,” a longtime Bush adviser said tonight. “He is going to take his time and approach this very methodically.”  Bush will weigh, according to this adviser, how a run would impact his family, his business, and whether the Senate would be the best platform for the causes he’d advocate — education, immigration, GOP solutions to health care and energy.“the old white-guy party” and that it ought to modulate the way it handles the immigration issue. Bush, who speaks fluent Spanish and won the support of a majority of Hispanic voters during his 2002 re-election bid, favors a comprehensive approach to reform. But Bush said that Republicans can’t give up on conservatism, and, in what might be interpreted as a dig at Florida’s current governor, said that Republicans “can’t be Democrat-lite. We can’t just ‘get along.”  The words echo some Republican criticism of Crist, who they view as accodomationist in his politics and unwilling to push for real reforms.

 

Bush did not respond to an e-mail seeking comment.

If he decides to run, Republicans expect the field to clear for him.  Maybe. Governor Charlie Crist, with whom Bush has not had the warmest of relations, is said to be interested in moving to the Senate. Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum is weighing a bid, as is former state House Speaker Marco Rubio, Orange County executive Richard Crotty, and U.S. Rep. Connie Mack.

Bush, in an interview with Newsmax this week, said that the GOP risked becoming

happy-holidays-santa-florida

October 1, 2008

Vote America! One Voice Can Change The World, One Voice Becomes Many

Democrats measure progress by how many people can find a job that pays the mortgage; whether you can put a little extra money away at the end of each month so you can someday watch your child receive her college diploma. We measure progress in the 23 million new jobs that were created when Bill Clinton was President – when the average American family saw its income go up $7,500 instead of down $2,000 like it has under George Bush.

We measure the strength of our economy not by the number of billionaires we have or the profits of the Fortune 500, but by whether someone with a good idea can take a risk and start a new business, or whether the waitress who lives on tips can take a day off to look after a sick kid without losing her job – an economy that honors the dignity of work.

The fundamentals we use to measure economic strength are whether we are living up to that fundamental promise that has made this country great – a promise that is the only reason I am standing here tonight.

Because in the faces of those young veterans who come back from Iraq and Afghanistan, I see my grandfather, who signed up after Pearl Harbor, marched in Patton’s Army, and was rewarded by a grateful nation with the chance to go to college on the GI Bill.

In the face of that young student who sleeps just three hours before working the night shift, I think about my mom, who raised my sister and me on her own while she worked and earned her degree; who once turned to food stamps but was still able to send us to the best schools in the country with the help of student loans and scholarships.

When I listen to another worker tell me that his factory has shut down, I remember all those men and women on the South Side of Chicago who I stood by and fought for two decades ago after the local steel plant closed.

And when I hear a woman talk about the difficulties of starting her own business, I think about my grandmother, who worked her way up from the secretarial pool to middle-management, despite years of being passed over for promotions because she was a woman. She’s the one who taught me about hard work. She’s the one who put off buying a new car or a new dress for herself so that I could have a better life. She poured everything she had into me. And although she can no longer travel, I know that she’s watching tonight, and that tonight is her night as well.

I don’t know what kind of lives John McCain thinks that celebrities lead, but this has been mine. These are my heroes. Theirs are the stories that shaped me. And it is on their behalf that I intend to win this election and keep our promise alive as President of the United States.

What is that promise?

It’s a promise that says each of us has the freedom to make of our own lives what we will, but that we also have the obligation to treat each other with dignity and respect.

It’s a promise that says the market should reward drive and innovation and generate growth, but that businesses should live up to their responsibilities to create American jobs, look out for American workers, and play by the rules of the road.

Ours is a promise that says government cannot solve all our problems, but what it should do is that which we cannot do for ourselves – protect us from harm and provide every child a decent education; keep our water clean and our toys safe; invest in new schools and new roads and new science and technology.

Our government should work for us, not against us. It should help us, not hurt us. It should ensure opportunity not just for those with the most money and influence, but for every American who’s willing to work.

That’s the promise of America – the idea that we are responsible for ourselves, but that we also rise or fall as one nation; the fundamental belief that I am my brother’s keeper; I am my sister’s keeper.

That’s the promise we need to keep. That’s the change we need right now. So let me spell out exactly what that change would mean if I am President.

Change means a tax code that doesn’t reward the lobbyists who wrote it, but the American workers and small businesses who deserve it.

Unlike John McCain, I will stop giving tax breaks to corporations that ship jobs overseas, and I will start giving them to companies that create good jobs right here in America.

I will eliminate capital gains taxes for the small businesses and the start-ups that will create the high-wage, high-tech jobs of tomorrow.

I will cut taxes – cut taxes – for 95% of all working families. Because in an economy like this, the last thing we should do is raise taxes on the middle-class.

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June 21, 2008

Bloomberg to Jews: Obama Is Not A Muslim; Don’t Believe The Lies

  New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is urging Jewish voters to condemn the online rumor that Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama is secretly a Muslim with a hidden agenda.

Bloomberg was speaking to members of a Jewish group in Boca Raton, Florida on Friday, June 20.

The mayor says the rumor campaign is “cloaked in concern for Israel” but threatens to undo the strides that Jews and Muslims have made together.

Obama is Christian but has noted that some of the rumors about him have also been insulting to Muslims.

Political independent Bloomberg has not endorsed anyone yet in the presidential race. His defense of Obama could help the Illinois senator in Florida, which is home to many Jewish voters.

As mayor of New York City, Bloomberg declines to receive a city salary, accepting compensation of $1.00 annually for his services. He maintains a public listing in the New York City phone directory, residing not in Gracie Mansion, the official mayor’s mansion, but instead at his own home in Manhattan, he also takes the subway to work most days.

Bloomberg was born to a Jewish family of Russian and Polish descent and was raised in Brookline, Massachusetts.  Bloomberg is among the world’s richest people with a net worth estimated at $11.5 BILLION.

Paulette

June 6, 2008

John McCain: My Man On Mars, Wants To See A Man On Mars

  

While in Florida on Thursday John McCain said that he would like to see a manned mission to Mars as part of a “better set of priorities” for NASA that would better engage the public.

Mr. Cain, forget NASA and Mars for a minute.  I would like to know how you propose a “better set of priorities” for your campaign.  You’ve had a three month head start on the Democrats yet still today you seem ill-equipped to run a competent campaign.  Your campaign is disjointed, your campaign is all over the place and your campaign is extremely disorganized.  Is this the way you would run America if elected?

What were you thinking when you decided to make a stop at Florida’s Everglades Park to bolster your environmental credentials?  Did you forget that you ‘sold-out’ the Everglades? 

Everglades National Park is the largest subtropical wilderness in the United States. It is known for its stunning displays of wildlife. The area boasts rare and endangered species, such as the American crocodile, Florida panther, and West Indian manatee.  It has fabulously fun-filled airboat tours and it has been designated as an International Biosphere Reserve, a World Heritage Site, and a Wetland of International Importance, in recognition of its significance to all the people of the world.

Yet, Mr. McCain, in 2007 you voted with George W. Bush and opposed spending $2 billion dollars to recondition the Everglades but you didn’t stop there Mr. McCain, you URGED your colleagues to let President Bush’s veto of the preservation bill stand!!!  This is a bill that REAL environmentalists spent 7 years lobbying for.  Yet at the flick of a wrist the eco system of the Everglades SUFFERED BECAUSE OF YOU and George W. Bush!!!  Just one year ago Mr. McCain!

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June 1, 2008

White Female Clinton Supporters: Why So Angry?

Watch video of Harriet Christian:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KACQuZVAE3s

 

What did Clinton supporters expect the Democratic National Committee’s Rules and Bylaws Committee to do with the Florida and Michigan delegate allocation?

How can there be no penalties after rules were broken?  What would happen in 2012?

It has been revealed that Barack Obama had enough votes in Michigan’s write in ballots (write in ballots were not initially counted) to demand a 50/50 delegate allocation in Michigan but he left the allocation up to the RBC — the RBC split the delegates 69/59 in Clinton’s favor.  Barack Obama could have insisted on something other than half a vote for each Florida delegate but he didn’t — he left the allocation up to the RBC.  After the rulings Senator Clinton came out ahead with a net of 24 delegates more than Senator Obama.

How is this Barack Obama’s fault?

I don’t understand all the hate being projected onto Barack Obama.  How is Hillary losing his fault?  It’s a competition and he’s winning.  Are people angry just because he’s running and winning? What would they prefer?  That he did not run?  If anyone is to blame it’s Hillary for not running a better race.  Hillary was the ‘Presumptive Nominee’ when the race started.  It was her race to lose.

I am a HUGE sports fan.  I want the LA Lakers to win the NBA Championship but I won’t HATE the Boston Celtics if they win.  I would be disappointed that the Lakers lost, but I would have to respect the Celtics for winning.  If they win it’s only because they played a better game.

In sports there’s nothing more exciting than a highly competitive game; I love a game that goes into overtime.  The only difference in this nomination process is that it’s the fourth quarter and Barack Obama is winning and it doesn’t look like his opponent can score enough points to win.  It’s a competition, someone has to win.

Do you remember this years Super Bowl game between the New York Giants and the highly favored New England Patriots?  The game was one of the most significant upsets in Super Bowl history.  It was an exciting game!  The Giants (14-6) won 17–14 preventing the Patriots (18-1) from becoming the first undefeated team since the 1972 Miami Dolphins went 17–0.

The Giants became the first NFC wild card team to win a Super Bowl!

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