Thursday, August 30, 2012

The Cayman Island Liar's Club.


1 Liars Way, East India Tea Resort, Grand Cayman

Neocons will feel right at home at the Neo-Renaissance French Baroque mansion.

David Koch is the Executive Director of the Liars Club and of its charitable arm the Liars Foundation.

Sheldon Adelson is the current Dean, and Paul Ryan is the Abbot.

"Mitt Romney's campaign said on Tuesday that its ads attacking President Obama's waiver policy on welfare have been its most effective to date. And while the spots have been roundly criticized as lacking any factual basis, the campaign said it didn't really care. 'We're not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact-checkers,' Romney pollster Neil Newhouse said at a panel organized by ABC News." (Stein 2012)
"Former Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain finally admitted on Wednesday night that Mitt Romney’s welfare attack ad is false. But even for Comedy Central host Jon Stewart, that admission took some wrangling."    (Webster 2012)

R-money and his command group have created a Division of Misinformation that has remained largely hidden from  public view for the preceding eight years that he has been "The Running Man" for the presidency. Well, Fox Noise can now legally lie about what and how it reports, why can't a blogger ? I mean R-money would prefer that all good Americans follow his lead and avoid taxes, the draft, and above all the truth. Truthtelling has been delegated to the SCOTUS by the previous ancient Republican administration, and now the Teapublicans are to pick up the mantle of deception along with with R-money the empty suit with the rubber stamp. 

The anointment of R-money as the Rommulus and his exec VP as the one to Reamus with the Ryan budget will indicate who are to be the expected successors to the throne in the White House. Well, that is how they apparently see it, as a supplication. After all, they spent enough of their power elite backers' currency of the realm to deserve this, no ? 

"On Friday night’s edition of “The Young Turks,” host Cenk Uygur highlighted a report by controversial Republican political operative Roger Stone. The report alleges that vice presidential nominee Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) arrived at his place on the ticket through the machinations of David Koch, half of the powerful billionaire Koch brothers." (Ferguson 2012)

 (Ferguson 2012) "Stone claims to have heard from sources inside the presidential campaign of former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney that the governor was approached at a fundraiser in the Hamptons (the notorious “We are V.I.P.!” bash) by David Koch and his wife"

 (Ferguson 2012) "Koch, who has worked cheek by jowl with the Wisconsin Republican cabal that launched the career of Gov. Scott Walker and famously stalled out that state’s government for months in 2011, reportedly offered Romney an additional $100 million in campaign donations to C-4 and super PAC organizations dedicated to Romney’s election on the condition that Romney take Ryan as his running mate." 

Heck, I wouldn't be surprised, because that's been R-money's style during his Bain years. "Romney Relies On Employees At Bain Capital And Bain & Co. For Sizeable Campaign ContributionsEmployees At Bain Capital And Bain & Co. Donated Over $171,000 To Romney’s Campaign In The FirstThree Months Of 2007. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, persons affiliated with Bain Capitaldonated at least $99,800 to Romney’s campaign in the first quarter of 2007 and he received another $71,250 fromemployees of Bain & Co. (Center For Responsive Politics Website,, Accessed 6/15/07)" (McCain 2008 Opposition File) 

(McCain 2008 Opposition File) “Republican Mitt Romney Received Almost $100,000 From Staff At Bain Capital, The Private Equity GroupThat The Former Governor Of Massachusetts Founded. (Alex Barker, “New Tycoons Are Taking A Not Entirely AltruisticInterest,”Financial Times , 5/30/07)"

(McCain 2008 Opposition File)  "Bain Executives Also Donated Tens Of Thousands Of Dollars To Support Romney’s Pre-PresidentialCampaign Activities. ' [R]ecords of Mr. Romney’s political action committees indicate that he also accumulated avaluable Rolodex during his years at Bain. Executives of Bain Capital and its sister firm, Bain Consulting,contributed more than $64,000 over the last two years to Mr. Romney’s federal political action committee,Commonwealth PAC, and in 2002 they gave more than $14,000 to his campaign for governor. (David D. Kirkpatrick,“Romney Reaps $20 Million To Top G.O.P. Rivals,”The New York Times , 4/3/07)"

"Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney insists that he didn’t shut down his tax shelters in the Cayman Islands, Bermuda and Switzerland because it would “avoid the truth” and he wasn’t going to “manipulate my life” just to become president. (Edwards 2012)

This fella just seems to be having fun at our expense, with a patrician attitude that harks back to the robber barons of the late 19th century, but those magnates avoided the presidency like the plague. They'd rather have one of those, a few of these from Congress, etc., in their pocket than actually make like a politician. Just like today. 

"Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s campaign on Wednesday partied with wealthy donors on a 150-foot yacht that flies the flag of the Cayman Islands, according to an ABC News report. Members of the Romney Victory Council, who have each raised more than $1 million for the candidate, mingled with Romney’s brother, Scott, and other relatives in Tampa aboard the luxury yacht 'Cracker Bay.” (Edwards 2012)

The "Cracker Bay". In Tampa. You can just not make this stuff up. Not as well as reality does.

(McCain 2008 Opposition File) "The real problem for Bain & Co., though, may be the firm’stendency to alienate and weaken lower-level managers at the companies where it works. … Notes the chairman of another management consulting firm: ‘Their product is brilliant. It’s the package that has been a problem. Five million Bainies saying, ‘Stand aside, asshole. Here we come.' (Nancy Perry, “A Consulting Firm TooHot To Handle?”Fortune, 4/27/87)" 

"The so-called offshore account in the Cayman Islands, for instance, is an account established by a U.S. firm to allow foreign investors to invest in U.S. enterprises and not be subject to taxes outside of their own jurisdiction," Romney said. 'So in many instances, the investments in something of that nature are brought back into the United States. The world of finance is not as simple as some would have you believe. Sometimes a foreign entity is formed to allow foreign investors to invest in the United States, which may well be the case with the entities that Democrats are describing as foreign accounts.' By taxes 'outside of their own jurisdiction,' Romney is referring to taxes imposed by the U.S. government." (Carter 2012)

(Carter 2012) "He's basically admitting here that the Bain funds are set up in the Cayman Islands to help people avoid tax,' said Rebecca Wilkins, senior counsel for federal tax policy at Citizens for Tax Justice, a nonprofit tax reform group. 'If you want to cheat on your taxes, boy, they're making it really easy."

Mitt Romney On The "Blind Trust" Then And Now:

"Under real-world rules, Dan Senor should not be anywhere near Mitt Romney‘s foreign policy inner circle. This is the man who, as spokesman for the disastrous Bush Administration reconstruction effort in Iraq, told a group of reporters, according to Imperial Life in the Emerald City by the Washington Post‘s Rajiv Chandrasekaran, “Off the record, Paris is burning. On the record, security and stability are returning to Iraq.” If there is a foreign policy moment in the past 20 years with which an adviser should not be prominently associated, it is the 2003 Paul Bremer era in Iraq, during which Rumsfeldian incompetence and willful ignorance produced an era-defining foreign policy failure" (Calabresi 2012).

To this little group I'd add the former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, the "yes woman" of the neocon bumbler assemblage in the Bushie group cabinet who fell into the slot after Gen. Colin Powell had a falling out with the neocons and resigned. She was one of the administrators who as National Security Advisor and later Secretary worked with the "enhanced interrogation techniques" that Sen. McCain was so adamantly against. But there's more neocons in the wings, including the former Representative to the United Nations John Bolton, who Gen Powell was highly concerned about serving in that position even after he left the Bushie bumbler administration, some of which allegedly stemmed from British complaints about this madman. (Wikipedia 2012)

"Matthew Scully is considered to be one of the preeminent Republican speechwriters of the past decade, from his work for George W. Bush and Dick Cheney during the 2000 presidential campaign to his speeches for Sarah Palin four years ago. {John} McConnell, who works with Scully, is a Yale Law grad. He rose to prominence during the Bush years, where he served as one of Bush 43’s top writers. He also penned many speeches for Vice President Cheney, with whom he remains close" (Costa 2012).

Then there's always the specter of the Cheney man in the background of the R-money campaign, helping raise the war chest, literally, and even sponsoring fundraisers to which the very rich and powerful flock. Cheney has become sort of a neocon combination of Frankenstein & Igor wrapped up in one, and just as deadly.

Bush the Junior left a stinkin' pile on our doorstep as a going away present, and it’s called a severe recession, with it's resounding effects still with us to remember him by. The Bumbling Bushies started 2 wars, bumbling through one of them on the cheap, fumbled the ball on the 2nd (firing one fall guy, the alleged war criminal Rummy), pushed a prescription plan for a drug company windfall all unpaid for. Then he let the LIBOR scandal develop and the toxic housing derivative bundles bust the housing bubble worldwide. He let them sell that phony bill of goods to the Europeans not caring that their economies would fail while our CEOs got drunk on pay raises and the Wall Street crowd sniffing bonuses up their noses. 

When Obama took office, the national debt was about $10.5 trillion.(Klein 2011) The current president implemented that TARP bailout plan that passed under Bush for those too big to fail buffoon “bankers” which has been repaid, but then had to do the auto bailout (which worked extremely well, subject for another post), and another “stimulus” of $800 billion to prevent us from repeating the Great Depression. It worked, so everyone stop whining. We’re now in a slow recovery, but not a flatline like the Japanese economy was for years and years, and in much better shape than most of Europe. 

Now the 38% of the Teapublican electorate wants to repeat the voodoo economics of the Reagan through the Bushie bumbler years that they pushed on us knowing full well that it was based on quicksand economic theory. They discovered that they could feed us that crap while claiming that their deep tax cuts would stimulate the economy when all they wanted was to match the tax cuts for the wealthy and very rich to the then rate of inflation. Looks like you can fool all of the people from time to time now, in retrospect. And you’re in severe danger of being fooled again.

"We of the sinking middle class may sink without further struggles into the working class where we belong, and probably when we get there it will not be so dreadful as we feared, for, after all, we have nothing to lose." ~ George Orwell

List of George Bush Corruption Scandals, some of the most in presidential history, for your reading pleasure:

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Issac Flash Update

Google is not allowing video/photo posts since last night, so I can only provide links:
Hurricane Isaac as Seen From the International Space Station - Aug. 28, 2012:

Tropical Storm #Isaac Intermediate advisory 34B issued. Isaac weakens to a tropical storm
Tropical Storm Isaac: 2 PM CT, 70 mph winds, 974 mb, moving NW at 6 mph.
has been "downgraded" to a tropical storm. However, high wind, lingering rainfall flooding, and surge flooding threats continue.

9.26" of rain has fallen in New Orleans so far, 5.21" in Mobile, and 3.42" in Gulfport, all as of 10am CDT.

iReporter finds two homes collapsed in New Orleans
PIC: Tombs, caskets floating in flood water from above ground cemetery near Braithwaite, LA. #Isaac #wfaaisaac

Storm could cause $1.5 billion in insured losses, More than 725,000 without power across five states (CNN)
Power could be out in some areas of Louisiana for as much as a week, Bill Mole, CEO of Entergy Louisiana, tells CNN affiliate WWL.

At least 673,039 customers are without power in Arkansas, Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas because of Hurricane Isaac, according to the latest numbers from power providers.

21 nursing home sheltered in place. 18 have HVAC capability, 1 evacuated; other three have other cooling solutions. 22 hospitals are on generator power. All hospitals have adequate fuel.More than 8,200 National Guard personnel are available for relief operations in Louisiana, Gov. Bobby Jindal says. As of this morning, 4,130 people are in shelters across Louisiana, the governor added.

Private levee in Plaquemines Parish (largest Parish affected) over topped, was slated to have Army Corps of  Engineers levee project begun; new development was started before this new levee was built, according to retired Army Lt. Gen. Russel Honoré on CNN. President of the parish reports that even the winds of this Cat 1/2 hurricane were far beyond the estimates previously believed. (CNN) NWS NOLA: We have gotten a report relayed to us via HAM Radio that the Belle Chasse Ferry Landing had a wind gust of 113 mph at around 1:40AM CDT.

75 people were evacuated from Braithwaite, part of the new development noted above, with 150 more requesting same.

People are reminded not to attempt and become "independent contractors" or even first responders who wish to "self dispatch" themselves to an emergency scene desiring to participate in the rescues.
Presently the best course is to directly contribute to the American Red Cross Disaster services:

SERIOUS CONTINUOUS FLOODING AND FLASH FLOODS ARE EXPECTED, so it is imperative not to clog the roadways with unnecessary travel during this emergency. Emergency vehicles need to have the highways and byways clear to be able to conduct rescue operations and deliver supplies.

FLOOD CAUSE THE MOST DEATHS DURING ANY NATURAL DISASTER. If you ARE on the road and come upon a deep body of water, or where the depth can not be determined, FIND AN ALTERNATE ROUTE. YOUR LIFE MAY DEPEND ON IT.

Unexpected flash tornadic activity is still forecast and remains a possibility even when no such forecast is made.

Isaac v. Rommulus Part II

Isaac Update 0400 (EST) August 29, 2012

Isaac the Powerful has made the second landfall at this time, marking the beginning of its tortuous trek across land, but that trek will be delayed as Isaac will be remaining in place as a hurricane swirling around its primary victim, the City of New Orleans (NO) on the very anniversary of Katrina's reign 7 years earlier. Fully 7 inches of what is expected be 20 inches of rainfall has already fallen in NO.

Which Category that will be determined to have been in effect at the time of the first landfall is actually insignificant in view of the dangerous amount of this combined wind and rainfall event, which is rated at 4x the amount of the Katrina rainfall in 2005. Winds measured as strong as 105 MPH were not constant across the coast, but this storm is just sitting like Jabba the Hut ravishing the very same area and more than in 2005. That means severe flooding has already been in effect, and floods are what kill. People regularly drive into flooded underpasses and the like, never to drive out, and some to their death.

Even after having made it's second landfall, Isaac will continue to pummel his target with heavy rains for at least the next 24 hours, with over 12 hours of hurricane force to continue from this time. Tornado watches are in effect as well, and one of the Plaquemines Parish unimproved levees has already been over topped. (

NO has been darkened, with aprx 350,000 households without power. Roads will be impassable in the suburban and rural areas throughout the entire region at this time. In Mississippi, Highway 90 has been cut and has been shut down in the vicinity of Gulfport Reserve Base and Biloxi USAF base, although the heaviest rain attack has been reserved for Mobile and as far east as Panama City. This brings up the issue of only military truck transport being the most capable type of vehicle (especially the 5 ton load capacity), and how few of those are actually still available in the inventory after Iraq and the continuing operations in Afghanistan.

You can reliably estimate that whatever vehicles are left have been pooled by the National Guard to be concentrated as a "strike force" near the afflicted area, but in greatly reduced numbers. FEMA vehicles are most likely the main transport asset to be utilized, and are already marshaled in assembly areas ready to roll in supplies. Aprx 35,000 National Guardsmen have already been mobilized.

This may be accurately described as the "Siege of 2012" for NO and the surrounding region. Because of the surrounding transportation and energy infrastructure taking hits, food and water supplies will become critical by the weekend, with utility crews unable to even venture out to assess the damage, much less repair it for at least 24 hours. (

Rommulus Camp Notes

I attempted to watch the Teapublican party gathering coverage around or about 5 PM. The most interesting parts were the Hardball show with Chris Matthews who had Gingrich on playing the Rommulus partisan and so forth, and the various pundits such as the Charlie Rose show and others excluding Fox, which I'm allergic to. When the actual convention began, I was so irritated by Gov. Haley's nasal intonations that I switched to the Weather Channel, whose droning on while performing marionette moves outside in the beginning hurricane force wind and rain bands put me to sleep.

I didn't mind missing the tearjerker speech by Ann Rmoney, which may have something to do with my aversion to "chick flicks", and after waking up and observing the afflicted tweets running on the bottom of the screen on MSNBC, apparently by swooning Teapublican women confirmed my choice. I see she made such remarks as "This man will not fail. This man will not let us down". Well, he's been failing for six years, already. And, "You can trust Mitt. He loves America." No, I think he loves his cash much, much more. Its still his avocation. Running for prez is just his hobby apparently, since he also claims that he's unemployed while on the stump.

I had to switch to CSPAN to watch the much heralded Gov Christie speech. That was torture. His speech was a big flop. He barely mentioned Rmoney until the very end. He just bellowed Teapublican talking points and looked pissed off. What a blowhard. Christie reads the teleprompter like he's summarizing a prosecution to a jury. And I got pretty queasy watching his wide track frame against the moving blue background.

I was mercifully spared Santorum's speech somehow, only catching the convention floor interview with   Andrea Mitchell, where she pressed him on the lie about the claim that the President has cut out the work requirement for welfare. He just bobbed and weaved his way out of the question, so I can only imagine how much he lied during the speech. Ugh.

I watched some more coverage during which Rmoney got nominated. Ho-hum. Back to disaster coverage, and least you know it's more riveting than the Teapublicans, who are just "all wet". Sorry about that, just couldn't resist.

Some home owners on coastal Louisiana who weathered Katrina are already reporting more damage to their property than during that disaster in 2005. The weather channel's Al Roker is already reporting some people were unable to be evacuated from danger areas, and USCG rescue operations are already in progress.

Part of the problem is that outlying wetlands that have been washed away by previous erosion is no longer able to slow down the advance of storm surge systems that regularly lash the coast and further inland. "Presently, Louisiana's wetlands are in a state of rapid degradation.  80% of the nation’s coastal land loss occurs in Louisiana.  The state loses 25-35 square miles, or 25,000 acres, per year, the equivalent of one football field every 15 minutes.  These losses are not only environmental and aesthetic, but commercial.  Projected losses to the fishing industry by the year 2050 as a result of coastal land loss are a staggering $37 billion." (Davis-Wheeler 2000)

"Land Area Changes in Coastal Louisiana After the 2005 Hurricanes." (USGS 2006)

" Storm Protection - Every 2.7 miles of wetlands may absorb an average of one foot of storm surge (USACE, 1963).  Louisiana’s wetlands thus create a natural buffer zone on which all of the infrastructure and communities located in the coastal zone depend.  Using one estimate, the coast’s 2.5 million acres of wetlands have annual storm protection values of between $520 million and $2.2 billion (Costanza, Farber, and Maxwell, 1989)." ( 2012)

 ( 2012) "Louisiana's Vanishing Wetlands. The wetlands of Louisiana are disappearing at a high rate. Every 38 minutes, a football field sized parcel of Louisiana's wetlands is taken over by water. The U.S. Geological Survey estimates that if present trends continue, the state will have lost 2,400 square miles of land between 1932 and 2050 (USGS, 2003). That’s an area about 25 times the size of Washington, D.C. Across the region, communities are being threatened, jobs are being lost, and habitats are vanishing."

( 2012) "The loss of Louisiana’s coastal wetlands is one of the most serious environmental problems facing the country today. Louisiana boasts more than 4 million acres of wetlands, representing 40% of the nation’s total.  These wetlands are among the world’s most diverse and productive ecosystems.80% of the nation’s coastal land loss occurs right here in Sportsman's Paradise. This state loses 16.6 square miles annually, the equivalent of one football field every hour."

And now this deadly storm after the BP oil spill. At 0600 time of publication of this post, gusts are being measured at 80 to 90 MPH. The Hurricane is just sitting there, one leg on land, and on leg still in the Gulf, and creating tornadoes all over that are short lived and moving too fast for anyone to react. Expect more injuries of all types including life threatening ones as people come out to see the damage and become swept up in this deadly environment. Say a prayer for the people in the region. This will not be easy, breezy.

Make sure you make a contribution to the American Red Cross disaster relief at:

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

6 Factors Causing Romney Reign Delay

Party Crashers to the Coronation

Several limiting factors have been dogging Rmoney for the last six years he's been running for the presidency, longer than his present formidable opponent, an incumbent president. Not that he is battle shy, politically anyway, having camouflaged his Vietnam draft avoidance that neatly dovetailed with his Mormon pseudo missionary cover. He tried to take on Senator Kennedy in 1994 at a time that perhaps did some good for the Senator himself in his personal and political development. And Rmoney was able to apply the lessons of that campaign in his rather predatory takeover of the 2002 Republican Massachusetts Governor primary mess taking it to a successful finish.

But that governorship by all accounts became just a stepping stone to be consumed by his own nearly blind ambition. This ambition may work out just fine in the boardroom especially when you own the corporation lock, stock, and barrel, but after his Olympic reorganization, one of his sub-specialties, it has not been sufficient to sustain his hunger for power. In that executive position, if the Teapublicans are the "party of no", then Rmoney was the "no governor" because he vetoed so much legislation that was simply overridden by the Massachusetts legislature. That's not how you govern. Now the one thing that he accomplished in that office, the compromise to set up and pass the "Romneycare" bill, is the one success he consistently won't talk about or build on.

One could say that when one can be true to one's self, than you can easily be faithful to the standard of truth in all things. Rmoney's decision to take on the chains of an ideologue by embracing the far right and denying his own religious core values sculpted him so that he was no longer a moral leader, only an individual driven by the cultisim of being a CEO. Its as if that Mormon side of him is suppressed, and must be most likely why the former Mormon Bishop  rarely, if ever speaks about it.

But the decision to only use the skills he developed as a CEO is also at the bottom of why he's been losing for 6 years, and will continue to fail in these endeavors. Few pure businessmen have been successful at running for the presidency, which requires a different, more blended set of political skills than the corporate executive brings to bear. (Adler 2012)

He can't stop denying to himself and others who he really is, but if threw out all this irrelevant radical right hogwash, no one will accuse him of going "Jimmy Carter", who was also a deeply religious man. Not anyone rational, anyway. And who cares about the naysayers, because then "it t'ain't nobody's business if you do".

"In the typical American company, budgetary control rests with the CEO. But in America’s system of separated powers, Congress, not the president, controls the purse strings. The president’s budgetary power is limited to recommendations." (Lind 2012)

 (LInd 2012) "Finally, business executives may be blinkered by narrow perspectives that are actually harmful to the system in which they flourish. That is because what benefits each particular business in the short run may be bad for the capitalist economy as a whole in the long run. Many business executives would prefer to pay less in wages and taxes. But if every business pays as little to its workers as possible, consumer demand in the economy as a whole may collapse, bringing down businesses which require mass markets with it. And without adequate taxes crime, corruption and poor infrastructure will impose rising costs on the private sector."

So besides his wrongful emphasis on his business "record" and justifying his CEO skills as having an exaggerated value, along with his misplaced ambition, here are some other factors that are currently keeping him down: (Perdum 2012)

1. The "sign". "In Rome, Jupiter also sent signs to the leaders of the state in the form of auspices in addition to thunder. The art of augury was considered prestigious by ancient Romans; by sending his signs, Jupiter (the sovereign of heaven) communicates his advice to his terrestrial colleague: the king (rex) or his successor magistrates." (Wikipedia 2012)

Hopefully, this sign is just for wannabe magistrates, like the current challenger. But just the same, perhaps he might consider that this natural event has some significance for his quest for the holy grail of higher office. Well, we can dream, can't we ? It is stealing some of his thunder, no doubt.

2. The "last stand" mentality. There is no "open hand" offered to minority voters, instead a backhand across the face by numerous Red state attempts at voter suppression even when it's been recently revealed that voter fraud is a myth, with legal challenges to the Civil Rights Act of 1965 section 5. This is the Grand Obstructionist Party's last chance to be inclusive, and it has rejected this approach, preferring instead to rally its base and only its base, with some transparent attempts to sucker in a few more working class stiffs. This is the first time in history that a candidate has achieved a zero percentage of African Americans polling that support him.

3. The constant propagandizing of party talking points and untruths. The talking points are a familiar technique by both major parties, but lying is apparently reserved to the Teapublicans, and attempts to achieve success by constant repetition, ala Joseph Goebbles. One of the two latest examples are the false claims that the savings that the Affordable Care Act extracts from Medicare Advantage HMOs that spend too much on other than patient care and top heavy hospitals  are actually deducted from patients care accounts instead. The same number that the Congressional Budget Office (CBO)  Second is that the President has personally taken out the work requirement for welfare, when in reality he had responded to requests by governors, many from Red states in fact, for more flexibility in that section of the law by exploring what additional methods to have people return to work may be employed, such as job training and the like. Liars are not thought of very highly by the electorate in general.

4. The wooden elitist image that Rmoney never seems to be able to shape or shake. NBC & CNN both ran this weekend what were supposed to be in-depth interviews and the life stories of Rmoney and his family, but the similarities between the two programs were so great to be anything but coordinated versions of what he chose to reveal. And that was pretty much the same rehash of past interviews, stories, and talking points that we've been privy to since his six year campaign began. Nobody knows much about his Mormon beliefs, or any of his own personal philosophy. Is he really that shallow ? People still seem to like the President even though they hold him responsible for the economy, when all he really has is the bully pulpit while the do-nothing Congress holds the purse strings and refuses all his initiatives. And they don't like Rmoney much.

5. The tax returns. I'd call them income tax returns, but how he gets his allowance is nothing like what most Americans get as paychecks. No one knows why Rmoney keeps them under wraps, only released one, wants to release one more just before the election, or what he keeps in those overseas strongboxes or how he got as much as a hundred million dollars into an IRA. We'd all like to learn how to do that, but he won't tell us, and theories abound, none of them favorable to his candidacy. Some Teapublicans actually seem to admire him for his evasiveness, and I suppose those are the very same who don't seem to mind that we had our credit rating downgraded over conservative fiscal hijinks. Tax avoidance, although legal, is not patriotic and this is reportedly the only candidate to ever have a Swiss bank account, much less more in Bermuda and the Caymans, and lord knows where else.

6. And last, but not least, the so-called "War on Women", which the Teapublicans have been striving to fight ever since the 112th Congress began it's do-nothing session. Except the only bills besides a few make it or break it budgetary items to pass have been primarily anti-abortion legislation and naming some post offices. And Rmoney decided to not only pick as his VP the self appointed destroyer of Medicare, Paul Ryan who is a cosponsor with Todd Akin, Steven King et al on HR 212, "Sanctity of Human Life Act". This bill states its intent is "To provide that human life shall be deemed to begin with fertilization."

 It's a sorry state of affairs when they want to return us to the 12th century, which I picked because it marked the beginning of English Common Law when women had absolutely no say in their own reproductive rights to choose, among many other inequalities. I also picked the Middle Ages because they were also named the Dark Ages, the science of which many Teapublicans seem to embrace, such as women having defensive physiologic processes that prevent pregnancy if a sexual assault is "true", or "legitimate".

"In very few words, Akin managed to make three points. One was that rape victims can’t get pregnant. This theory goes back to our forefathers, who believed that in order for our foremothers to conceive, 'the womb must be in a state of delight.''They never asked the women,” said Margaret Marsh, the co-author of 'The Empty Cradle,' a history of infertility in America." (Collins 2012)

 (Collins 2012) "Maybe Akin’s real sin is that he exposed the phoniness of the rape-and-incest exception, which is just an attempt to make radical extremism look moderate. That and the theory of the delighted womb."

Monday, August 27, 2012

Jumping Jupiter Elicius ! Isaac v. Rommulus

Millions Await Isaac with Bated Breath

A storm is literally brewing in the Gulf of Mexico over the next 24 hours, predicted to become at least a Category 2 storm before landfall, with the potential of the very warm Gulf waters to easily turn it into a Cat 3 or even more powerful storm. It's another large area storm already looking to possibly form an "eye" as I write this overnight, something that we've seen before wreak havoc on the Gulf coast. And even more chilling is specifically where it is presently on course to hit, New Orleans, seven years to the day of the anniversary of the Katrina disaster. Katrina was a Cat 5 storm that WEAKENED to a Cat 3 just as it came ashore. The floodwaters did not abate for two months after the event, and reportedly the newly rebuilt levees in their present condition can only sustain a Cat 3 attack max. NOAA reports that if Isaac does shift to the left as currently predicted and head for New Orleans (NO), then it will make landfall early Wednesday morning.

Katrina killed 1,836, some people are still missing, and caused $110 billion damages, with 275,000 homes lost, which is reportedly 10x the amount of any natural disaster in the U.S. ( 2005-2012) This might give you an idea of the magnitude of seriousness now surrounding the present situation, and although I poke fun at Teapublican conduct in and out of government, once this is about to hit, I'm afraid all attention will need to be put on aiding the stricken.

I really wish nothing at all would happen to anyone or anything living or inanimate. And I wish that the storm would now just slowly disappear, lingering long enough to take the RNC off the headlines long enough to take away its "bump" in the afterglow of the convention. But this seems to be a long wishlist and I'm being a bit of an idealist, aren't I ? Anyway, I do believe that all this is already happening at the moment. Can we just savor the moment a little longer ?

Right now, though, we've been lucky to lose the boring intonations of Red state voter suppressors and/or oppressors of women from governing Florida, Louisiana (LA), Mississippi, and Alabama. Yaay ! Thumbs up !

We'll see what kind of zig zag path this one takes, part of which is what confused officials the last time, in addition to civil engineering on the cheap (the replacement walls failed in NO, not the actual levees themselves and some of the floodgates were left open), and conflicting orders with piss poor planning on the part of officials at all levels of government in LA. Although locally they did slowly evacuate reportedly 80% of the metro NO area, nearly all of the deaths were also from LA.

Lax evacuations of private facilities such as nursing homes, hospitals, and other care giving institutions, bumbling by the then Governor Blanco, and failure by the then Bumbler-in-Chief to declare Federal disaster areas to include the coastal parishes (counties) of LA all contributed to worsening the crisis, instead of alleviating it. Then after the disaster, the rapid influx of organized gangs conducting looting operations (including local police on numerous videos, without any shame !), didn't help matters. They allegedly had even brought their own private watercraft, but for booty, not for rescue operations.

"More than 90 percent of the population is back in the New Orleans area, and there is still much ahead of us. (...) When Obama took office, 40,000 families remained in Federal Emergency Management Agency trailers or were using emergency housing vouchers, 'and literally tens of thousands of them were at risk of losing their homes within weeks of us coming in,' Donovan said. 'Today {2 years later}, 98 percent of the families are in permanent housing." (CNN Wire Staff 2010)

(CNN Wire Staff 2010) "Despite the attention focused on New Orleans, it was Waveland, Mississippi that was the hardest hit. Ninety-five percent of the town's homes were destroyed, along with 100 percent of its businesses. Nearly every road was broken up or left under piles of debris."

(CNN Wire Staff 2010) 'Asked how FEMA can combat its still-suffering reputation in the region, agency chief Craig Fugate told CNN Saturday he believes responding quickly is the key.
'Speed is going to be critical,' said Fugate, who distinguished himself as the head of the Florida Emergency Management Agency before being appointed to the federal post. 'We cannot wait for a full assessment. We have to respond as if it's bad, bring the things together, and focus on the most immediate [goal] of keeping it safe, getting to the injured, trapped, and recovering the lost lives, getting supplies in here."

We'll see. “We are just on high alert. I know the anxiety level is high,' said New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu as Tropical Storm Isaac barreled toward the region last night, set to gain strength in the Gulf of Mexico before hitting land as a possible hurricane as early as tomorrow night. The storm is somewhat uncertain. Out of an abundance of caution, we will begin to take these precautions as quickly as we can,' Landrieu said." (Sheehy 2012)

(Sheehy 2012) "Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal declared a state of emergency — as did the governors of Florida, Mississippi and Alabama — and asked for voluntary evacuations in 15 of 64 counties. The storm was expected to make landfall, possibly as a Category 2 or 3 hurricane, with winds up to 129 mph, tomorrow night or Wednesday morning."

Already there appears that there is no place for a mass sheltering of urbanites in NO set aside. 
Which makes me wonder if there's also no mass casualty collection point or a logistics system set up and/or available for potential evacuees. "The mayor of New Orleans, Mitch Landrieu, said on Sunday that if an evacuation were ordered in the city, the Superdome, the convention center and the airport would not be available for emergency shelter. 'We've walked through this many, many, many times,' he said. 'You have to be prepared to evacuate in the event that an evacuation is called." (Press Services of Memphis Commercial Appeal 2012). Let's hope so. 

"A hurricane warning was in effect from Morgan City, Louisiana to Destin, Florida. Tropical storm force winds extend 206 miles from the center, mainly to the northeast of the center. West Palm Beach, Florida reported a 61 mph gust. (...) Forecasters asked the public to remember that hurricanes don’t affect single points – hurricane winds can extend for hundreds of miles from the center. The northern Gulf Coast was expecting those winds later Monday." (   Reporter 2012)

A recent local report:
"Starting to look like a the beginnings of a Science-Fiction movie down here in New Orleans. I keep thinking of "Independence Day" for some reason...The populace here are very calm and collected, everyone is busy updating each others contact points. In the stores bottled water is now gone from the shelves (I went to two stores), canned food is running low. Lines around the block at gas stations." (Itto 2012)

Of course some political flack was just bound to utter something unscientific and uncaring for the people about to go through hell again: "Indeed, the rough weather itself became a metaphor as the Republicans warmed up for their convention. 'You know, tidal waves often follow hurricanes. And in November, a tidal wave is coming,' thundered tea party favorite and U.S. Senate candidate from Texas Ted Cruz, at a pre-convention gathering sponsored by the Faith and Freedom Coalition, an organization that seeks to mobilize evangelical voters." (Tumulty, Henderson 2012) Booo, thumbs down !

Sorry to disappoint you Mr. Cruz, but it appears that you'll be swimming against that tide in November. And tidal waves don't follow hurricanes:

"Storm Surge vs. Storm Tide:
Storm surge is an abnormal rise of water generated by a storm, over and above the predicted astronomical tides. Storm surge should not be confused with storm tide, which is defined as the water level rise due to the combination of storm surge and the astronomical tide. This rise in water level can cause extreme flooding in coastal areas particularly when storm surge coincides with normal high tide, resulting in storm tides reaching up to 20 feet or more in some cases." (NOAA 2012) 

"The term 'tidal wave' is used in several different ways inside and outside the oceanographic community. Technically, tidal waves are the crests of the tides which move across the surface of the Earth, and this is the usage of the term which is preferred by oceanographers and other people who study water and the movement of the ocean. However, many laypeople refer to other types of waves, such as storm surge and tsunamis, as tidal waves. In the case of the tidal crest, tidal waves are constantly moving across the surface of the Earth as the Earth's water rises and falls, creating the tides. The size of a tidal crest can vary, depending on the relationship between the Earth and the moon and the area." ( 2012)

And to further allay any fears for those who don't know the differences between certain storm terminology, also know that besides the term hurricane is only used for violent storms in the Atlantic, and Tyhpoon is only used to describe the very same event in the Pacific: 

"A tsunami (pronounced soo-nahm-ee) is a series of giant waves that happen after underwater movement due to a variety of natural events such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, landslides and meteorites. (...) Tsunamis generally appear in the Pacific Ocean." ( 2012)

"Tsunami is a series of waves, which is caused by displacement of large volume of body of water. Hurricane on the other hand is a powerful storm. When talking of the origin of Tusanami and hurricane, they are formed because of different forces. Hurricanes are normally formed over warm ocean waters during warm months." ( 2012)

( 2012) "Hurricanes are considered to have a diameter of about 400 to 500 miles and the ‘eye’ or centre of it can be about 20 miles. It is very calm at the eye part with very low winds and clear skies. Tsunami waves normally have low wave height and very long wavelength (sometimes hundreds of kilometres) offshore. This is the reason why tsunami waves are unnoticed in the sea. As they approach the shallow waters, their height increases and when they reach the shore, it grows tremendously. Tsunami can occur at any tidal state. Tsunamis generally occur in the Pacific Ocean (about 80 per cent)."

"In Rome, Jupiter also sent signs to the leaders of the state in the form of auspices in addition to thunder. The art of augury was considered prestigious by ancient Romans; by sending his signs, Jupiter (the sovereign of heaven) communicates his advice to his terrestrial colleague: the king (rex) or his successor magistrates." (Wikipedia 2012) In this case, we hope that this is a sign for the only hopeful successor ! And that he takes heed to Isaac, the implications thereof, but not of the false sign of Jim Crow's recent travels north.

"As I write this today, there is a tropical storm brewing in the Gulf of Mexico and it is headed in the our direction. The Governor of Florida has declared a State of Emergency and sounded the alarm for all residents to be on high alert. Warnings of heavy rain, strong winds and flooding might be ahead so citizens are to be prepared. There is a list of items to have on hand including: water, non-perishable food, flashlights (and batteries), first aid kit and radio. These are the top five items needed to get through the storm until help can arrive if one needs assistance." (Thomason 2012)  Very good advice, and to that I might add a GO-BAG of items for evacuation, and to keep your vehicle, if you have one fueled and ready to go. "Shelter-in-place" is NOT an option in a strong hurricane, and never has been. You're more of a liability to others doing that than an asset.

I honestly don't know why I'm awash with all these references to religiosity at the moment, which is rather odd for me, perhaps I've taken the recent turn of events as a sign as well ? No matter, for now I appeal to those who I charge with violating the traditions of chivalry and concern for the poor and less well off than themselves in the Teapublican party gathering and at the top of the ticket. Guess what I'm using to remind them of their secular humanistic duties in a way perhaps even fundamentalists can understand ? I found a passage on the Mormons own website that matches up exactly with most versions of the Bible, so they should understand and I can justify it's use:

Matthew 9:12-13 {The Gospel According to St Matthew, New Testament, Chapter Nine}
10 ¶And it came to pass, as Jesus sat at meat in the house, behold, many publicans {tax collectors} and sinners came and sat down with him and his disciples.
 11 And when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto his disciples, Why eateth your Master with publicans and sinners?
 12 But when Jesus heard that, he said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick.
 13 But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints 2012)

They will know what I mean. Well, a former Bishop would. Especially one who is so concerned with his own image, and that of how his own church views him. I ask him to cast off the chains of an ideologue and return to his core values. So that he may become a moral leader, not simply one driven solely by ambition. Stop denying to yourself and others who you really are, and no one will accuse you of going "Jimmy Carter". Not anyone rational, anyway. There is no other path to share our freedom now. 

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Gone With The Wind

Or Grope and Change

"With enough courage, you can do without a reputation." ~ Rhett Butler, in Gone With the Wind

Now hurricane Isaac has given mankind the gift of canceling the Teapublican Party's first day tomorrow. (dakinikat 2012)  This gives the convention's revelers another day of debauchery as did another man born with a silver spoon in his mouth, St Augustine who had a similar good time while a student in Carthage in 4 B.C. before his conversion to Christianity. (Outler 1994)

"Jerry Lathan, 56, a delegate and contractor from Mobile, Ala., said he's not concerned with the storm. He said he brought rain gear with him and he'll enjoy having Monday off. 'There's plenty to do here. We'll have fun,' Lathan said. He admitted he would be worried if Isaac took aim for Alabama." (Thalji, Bill Varian and Steve Bousquet 2012)

And it turns out that the former RNC chair Michael Steele who was wrapped up in scandal in 2010 (justly or unjustly) is the one who picked Tampa for the 2012 convention (Daily Beast Cheat Sheet 2010) (Linkins 2010) (Martin 2012)

"The GOP search committee that unanimously selected Tampa in 2010 was led by one of Mr. Steele’s chief allies. 'Tampa stepped up big,' Mr. Steele said at the time, saying the city made the best sense for Republicans from a business standpoint." (Dinan 2012)

Romulus and Reamus

The duo to be deified by the party faithful will have to wait until at least Tuesday for the actual nomination by the would-be Senate of Rome. Of course that dream of an actual Teapublican controlled U.S. Senate is now only a wistful fantasy due to the sacrifice of Akin the Revealer on the  altar of their body politic. With the recent confirmation of the SCOTUS as our national Truthtellers and their holy House of Misrepresentation in danger of being repopulated by common lawmakers, the situation is indeed serious for the "all or nothing" do-nothing party.

"In the 5th Century B.C. the legend of two twins, Romulus and Remus captured in narrative form the “moral” values of Rome. The city is widely believed to be the namesake of Romulus.   The myth was apparently intended trace the chronology of the Late Republican and early Imperial era, dating the city's foundation to between 758 and 728 BC, and the age of Plutarch." (Davis 2012)

(Davis 2012) "The term 'plutocracy' is commonly defined as 'government by the wealthy.'  In one version of the myth Romulus was given the direct ancestor of Rome's first Imperial dynasty. Together, these twins became icons of an empire on the hill similar to today’s pair of Republicans standing in front of the battleship, proclaiming the moral virtues of freedom and liberty to our better angels."

"You show a proud look, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plots, feet that are swift to run into mischief, a deceitful witness that uttereth lies, you soweth discord among brethren." No, this is not a direct indictment of the R & R ticket surrounded by their neocon handling and advisor team, these are the Seven Deadly Sins, as advocated by the Catholic Church. Very familiar though, to a summarized description of the R-money campaign value system. I'd add the Buddhist Defilements of "unskilful factors" such as greed, hate, delusion, opinionatedness and lack of moral concern. These are characteristics quite apparent of the power elites coming to town this week in this city in the land of Jim Crow.

I indict the Grand Obstructionist Party, or what's left of it with violation of the rules of chivalry:
"classified into three basic but overlapping areas:
1. Duties to countrymen and fellow Christians: this contains virtues such as mercy, courage, valor, fairness, protection of the weak and the poor, and in the servant-hood of the knight to his lord. This also brings with it the idea of being willing to give one’s life for another’s; whether he would be giving his life for a poor man or his lord.
2. Duties to God: this would contain being faithful to God, protecting the innocent, being faithful to the church, being the champion of good against evil, being generous and obeying God above the feudal lord.
3. Duties to women: this is probably the most familiar aspect of chivalry. This would contain what is often called courtly love, the idea that the knight is to serve a lady, and after her all other ladies. Most especially in this category is a general gentleness and graciousness to all women."
(Wikipedia et al 2012)

Above are such well known examples of recent flagrant violations I first highlight as "protection of the weak and the poor", "and in the servant-hood of the knight to his lord", and the deemed honor of sacrifice for either a poor man or his lord.

Second, "protecting the innocent" easily overlaps the other two axioms and is most blatant in the maltreatment of immigrants. And third, the so-called Teapublican "War on Women" is exemplified in the denial of "a general gentleness and graciousness to all women", especially by the "ultrasound Governor of Virginia" (who ran the party plank conference that wishes to outlaw all abortion and produce a Constitutional Amendment to facilitate same), and the "ultrasound Congressmen" such as  Akin, Ryan, Bachmann, and the lot who wish to institute these travesties at the federal level.

“Recent advertisements and statements from the campaign of Governor Romney demonize families in poverty and reflect woeful ignorance about the challenges faced by tens of millions of American families in these tough economic times,' stated Sister Simone Campbell. 'We are all God’s children and equal in God’s eyes. Efforts to divide us by class or score political points at the expense of the most vulnerable of our brothers and sisters reveal the worst side of our country’s politics.” (Waldron 2012)

"A week after House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan claimed his Catholic faith inspired the Republicans' cost-cutting budget plan, the nation's Catholic bishops reiterated their demand that the federal budget protect the poor, and said the GOP measure 'fails to meet these moral criteria." (Gibson 2012) (USCCB 2012)

"The Franciscan Action Network (FAN), a Catholic faith-based advocacy and civic engagement organization, is strongly criticizing Mitt Romney's recent ads and rhetoric regarding welfare programs and welfare recipients, urging him to spend some time in low-income communities." (Becker 2012)

(Becker 2012) "Our Christian tradition teaches that we are to treat the poor with dignity and to prioritize the poor in our policies as a society,' the organization said in a press release on Thursday. 'At a time when millions are struggling financially, it is degrading to talk about the 'dependency' of people hurting in this economy, as Gov. Romney did recently."

(Becker 2012) "While faith-based anti-poverty and charity organizations have often criticized candidates and lawmakers for a perceived unwillingness to highlight and tackle issues affecting the very poor, FAN claims Romney's rhetoric goes a step further, unfairly using welfare recipients as political props."

"The Qur'an mentions Isaac as prophet and a righteous man of God. Isaac and Jacob are mentioned as being bestowed upon Abraham as gifts of God. When angels came to Abraham to tell him of the future punishment to be imposed on Sodom and Gomorrah, his wife, Sarah, 'laughed, and We gave her good tidings of Isaac, and after Isaac of (a grandson) Jacob' (XI: 71-74); and it is further explained that this event will take place despite Abraham and Sarah's old age. Several verses speak of Isaac as a 'gift' to Abraham." (Wikipedia 2012)

(Wikipedia 2012) "The anglicized name Isaac is a transliteration of the Hebrew term Yiṣḥāq which literally means 'He laughs/will laugh'. The Bible, in Genesis  states that 'Abraham fell on his face and laughed when Elohim imparted the news of their son's eventual birth. He laughed because Sarah was past the age of childbearing; both she and Abraham were advanced in age. Later, when Sarah overheard three messengers of the Lord renew the promise, she laughed inwardly for the same reason."

(Wikipedia 2012) "It was prophesied to the patriarch Abraham that he would have a son and that his name should be called Isaac. When Abraham became one hundred years old, this son was born to him by his first wife Sarah. Though this was Abraham's second son it was Sarah’s first and only child."

What's the relevance of all this "scripture", you ask ? Well, the parable of Abraham and Sarah can be directly applied to HR 212 and the Teapublican Party Platform as it now stands, in that their advanced age compares with the plight of many couples struggling to produce offspring that have benefited from the advanced technology of in vitro fertilization (IVF). And Issac is now delivering right on time.

"The Sanctity of Human Life Act, which Ryan co-sponsored, would have enshrined the notion that life begins at fertilization in federal law, thus criminalizing in vitro fertilization—the process of creating an embryo outside of a woman's womb. In IVF, doctors typically create multiple embryos and then only implant the healthiest ones in the woman. Some of them stick and become babies, and some don't. The embryos that don't make it to the womb are either frozen for later use or destroyed. The Sanctity of Human Life Act, if passed, would make all those embryos "people" in the legal sense, so if they aren't used or don't become babies after being implanted, they would essentially become murder victims under the law." (Mencimer 2012)

(Mencimer 2012) "In the more than 30 years since the world's first "test-tube baby," IVF has become a fairly common procedure and a lifeline to many infertile couples, Democrat and Republican, despite some of the thorny moral issues involved in the process. Some 60,000 babies every year are born thanks to IVF. Infertility is thought to affect some 10 to 15 percent of all couples in the US—especially those upper-class professionals who delay childbearing until their late 30s and early 40s. Infertility, in fact, is such a bipartisan problem that no fewer than three of Mitt Romney's own children have relied on the procedure to produce some of his 18 grandchildren."

Ryan has made attempts this week to trivialize women's issues concerning abortion: "Paul Ryan gave his first interview in Pennsylvania to CBS Pittsburgh, in which he alleged that women won’t fall for the President’s attempt to distract the voters with “side issues” regarding Ryan’s positions on rape, which align closely with Republican Representative Todd Akin’s views." (Jones 2012) (Marcotte 2012)

The GOP Platform conference, as seen on CSPAN now includes a ban on all abortions that makes no exceptions for cases of rape, incest or to save a mother’s life. Combined with "The Sanctity of Human Life Act" sponsored by Ryan (which is in total agreement with the platform stance), this truly shows their intent. And it's not just Akin or Ryan. (Granderson 2012)

"GOP leaders adopted a party platform on Tuesday that calls for a constitutional amendment protecting 'human life' but does not say whether exceptions should be allowed in cases of rape and incest. According to a plank adopted by a 112-member Republican committee meeting here, an 'unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life that cannot be infringed.' The platform also calls for legislation recognizing the rights of unborn children under the 14th Amendment." (Helderman 2012)

"Belief trumps fact not only among the Tea Party faithful but a large portion of the population. Belief is simpler, easier, faster. When believers try to find facts to stabilize their beliefs, they have started down a road that leads ultimately nowhere. The best we can do is make fun of them the way Gail Collins does so beautifully. There is no arguing with a believer who scorns science as a source of truth. Faith is blind and always will be. Faith always turns to the past for wisdom, never to the hard work of real research, which is generally pointed in the direction of the unknown, of the future. It deifies ancestors like Founding Fathers and chisels wisdom in stone. Faith is the opposite of thought. "God Bless America" and" In God We Trust" are expressions that America uses to shield itself from truth, that it wraps itself in for warmth and ends up suffocating the very freedom it so cherishes." (Collins 2012)

Romney, for his part, has begged off and on at once defending, then standing on his business experience when the political conversation finally gives him some breathing room to speak about the economy, but not to his liking:

"Acedia, a precusor to sloth. has also been defined as a failure to do things that one should do in terms of spiritual laziness. By this definition, evil exists when good men fail to act. It is this slothful inability to make decisions that leads baroque tragic heroes to passively accept their fate, rather than resisting. apathy was considered a refusal to help others in time of need." (Wikipedia 2012)

"And so there’s a local millionaire who is a I guess a strip club and like sex toy mogul [Joe Redner]. He’s very well known for being a political firebrand in the area, and he just actually kind of approached people in Occupy Tampa and said, "You know, I want you guys to keep doing what you’re doing but you know I don’t want you guys to get beat up anymore, so I own a private park in this West Tampa neighborhood and I want you to stay there with my permission." It’s privately owned but it’s open to the public, and he said that people could stay there and continue doing what we’re doing, and that’s been what’s happening the last few months. And I think he really – I haven’t – I saw him recently at a city council. I haven’t talked to him too much, but he had seemed to have expressed a lot interest in specifically having this park available during the RNC. I think that’s kind of something he maybe had in mind all along with this." (Strether  2012)
Perhaps he's wishing to perform atonement, an also central concept of Mormonism.

"The only thing that could get us to call things off is if the Republicans leave town,' said Jared Hamil, spokesman for Monday's Coalition to March on the RNC. The Coalition March, the largest permitted protest, promised to draw more than 5,000 people for a march through downtown. 'People are already here and they're still arriving,' Hamil said. 'The march will go on, rain or shine.' Tara Colon, a protester at the "Romneyville" encampment of pink tents behind the Army Navy Surplus Market on N Tampa Street, said people there will see how bad it gets before deciding to stage protests. But other members of the camp seemed emboldened. 'That leaves the convention center open for us,' John Penley said. 'That's where we plan to go."  (Thalji, Bill Varian and Steve Bousquet 2012)

"That’s why it always baffles me when I hear Christians say, 'We aren’t to be involved in the things of this world.'  That’s just not right." (Toy 2012) I couldn't have said it better myself. Well, maybe, but not with as much conviction. Perhaps.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Getting The Kinks Out

The Teapublicans are already partying like it's 1999 in Tampa, going to the poles that make them feel good, as opposed to er, those other polls. Women's disapproval polls will have no effect on their antics at this pre-hurricane party.

"This week, as we all well know, the Republican National Convention comes to Tampa, bringing people from all over the country -- and the people who cover those people -- to an unfamiliar city filled with people unfamiliar with hosting such an event (well, if you don’t count Gasparilla). Let’s meet each other, shall we? " (Linkins 2012)

The strippers' opinion that Republicans in general spend 2/3 more than that of Democrats is partially explained by some statistics from the 2008 conventions (Bryan 2012):

"A CBS/New York Times poll of convention delegates revealed that males constituted 51% of DNC delegates, compared with 67% of RNC delegates – a difference in sex ratio between parties attributable to the Democratic Party’s charter requiring gender parity.  Surveys conducted on-site at each convention found the average age of delegates was 54 and 80% of all delegates were college-educated. Furthermore, 34% of RNC and 22% of DNC delegates reported a net worth of at least $1 million." (Cunningham & Kendall 2011)

This of course, nearly matches the percentage of Republican Congressmen who are themselves millionaires, well, not quite:

“About 47 percent of Congress, or 249 current members are millionaires. … In 2010, the estimated median net worth of a current U.S. senator stood at an average of $2.56 million,” according to the Center’s research." (Shine 2011)
(Shine 2011)  “Despite the global  economic meltdown  in 2008 and the sluggish recovery that followed, that’s up about 7.6 percent  from an estimated median net worth of $2.38 million  in 2009 … and up 13 percent from a median net worth of $2.27 million in 2008. … Fully 36 Senate Democrats, and 30 Senate Republicans reported an average net worth in excess of $1 million  in 2010.  The same was true for 110 House Republicans and 73 House Democrats".

"The number of Americans who are millionaires is pretty low — about 1 percent of the population. Members of Congress who are millionaires? Nearly 50 percent" (Seabrook 2011). However, this convention is bringing some of the richest men in America to special "bundlers" VIP receptions, which brings up the average wealth of the entire contingent to levels that the Democrats can only dream about.

"Tampa, Florida is the place to be if you are an Israel-first warmonger who dreams of sending US soldiers to fight more wars in the Middle East. The Neo-conservatives who dominate the leadership of the Republican Party are gathering there and they will honour the wife of one of their richest benefactors, Sheldon Adelson." (Michael 2012)

"Now, a conservative group with ties to Republican House Majority Leader Eric Cantor is putting the spotlight on Adelson's wife by naming a women's issues-themed pavilion on the sidelines of the party's Tampa convention after Dr Miriam Adelson." (Knox 2012) This too little, too late gesture in an effort to appear inclusive of women's issues regardless of the draconian 12th century Party Platform Plank to deny all women any choice by anti-abortion factions of the so-called "family values party" is meaningless because of the daylight shown on their true agenda by forsaken Akin.

 "It's a mega-fundraising, lobbying extravaganza. Everybody is in one place at one time,' says Jack Abramoff, the onetime kingpin lobbyist whose 2006 conviction for corruption led to reforms aimed at cracking down on lobbyist influence peddling." (Isikoff 2012)

(Isikoff 2012) "Abramoff, who was released from prison last year and will be attending this year's GOP convention as a commentator for 'Inside Edition,' said that, as far as he can see, lobbyists and their lawyers have  merely figured out creative new ways to skirt the rules --  a point underscored by the dizzying array of parties all week in Tampa. 'Nothing has really changed,' he said."

(Isikoff 2012) "A 'salute' to oil baron David Koch. A fete bankrolled by casino magnate Sheldon Adelson.  And gala  bashes for GOP super PAC donors and bundlers featuring rock stars like Kid Rock and ex-Eagles guitarist Don Felder."

(Isikoff 2012) "Craig Holman, a lawyer  for Public Citizen, a campaign watchdog group that plans to 'bird dog' the parties , says that this year's convention is showcasing new ways that lobbyists are bypassing  ethics rules. Those rules -- enacted in 2007 after the Abramoff scandal -- barred lobbyists from throwing parties honoring 'a member of Congress.' So this year's parties don't honor individual members; they honor groups of members such as 'A Salute to the House and Senate Energy and Commerce Committees' being thrown by a new consulting firm called GOP Convention Strategies at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg."

"The Tampa City Council voted to ask Gov. Rick Scott to issue an executive order banning guns within the convention perimeter. But Scott, a Republican who was, er, gunning for a speaking role at the convention, shot down the idea. The only type of gun that will be banned from the perimeter is the dreaded Super Soaker – because that's the only type of gun the City Council was allowed to ban." (Sacbee 2012)

(Sacbee 2012) "The council did take the precaution of banning hatchets; there's always a lot of backstabbing at conventions, and that's one category of weapons the NRA isn't much worried about protecting. Where's the party?"

(Sacbee 2012) "The presence of so many guns at the convention might worry the Secret Service. Fortunately for them, Tampa has something that will keep the agents otherwise occupied: strip clubs. The area has 50, making flesh one of the most visible industries." And one of the only cities with an all-nude variance nationwide, I might add, speaking of visible.

Strip club owners are even following the lead of the current Republican campaign in laying down fables like a Playmate on a bear rug, claiming to have invested in recent improvements such as the 2001 Odyessy club (Bryan 2012) which built that "flying saucer" VIP addition many years ago. I stayed at the family style Howard Johnson's down the block from that club once. When I popped my head in to survey the place, 2 dancers immediately offered "companionship" for $400 up in the saucer. And I in no way, shape, or form resemble the shape that Paul Ryan is in, although I was born in Wisconsin and cheese and bratwurst also run in my clogged arteries. Needless to say, I had one beer and returned to watch CNN at the motel, since I neither worked for the Congress or Bain capital at the time.

"Another adults-only perk for conventioneers are scheduled appearances at clubs by well-known female adult film stars. Agent Brian Gross, who represents actresses Joanna Angel, Ryan Keely and Alexis Ford told HuffPost that "large events … give big name adult stars who dance on the circuit a great opportunity to get in front of a large crowd for their on-stage performances." (Wilkie & Alff 2012)

It now looks like this will be a three-day weekend of party hardy for the party faithful because the RNC has shuffled their party star line-up to make Monday their nominating day (zzzzz), shifting Ryan's appearance to Wednesday, and Mrs. Romney to Tuesday, I believe. This will diminish the effect of the Ron Paul fanatics because there's a blackout for broadcast TV on Monday, and only cable will be covering it." (March 2012) (Maddow 2012)

"In what looked like an effort to offer symbolic consolation to Paul's supporters, the Romney campaign announced that a short video paying tribute to the retiring Texas congressman would be shown Tuesday night. Paul's son and presumed heir, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, has been granted a convention speaking slot, but Rep. Paul himself has not." (West & Mehta 2012)

"Also: enough about what a brainy wunderkind he is. Ryan is an intellectual in the same way that people well-versed in specious vaccination theories are 'intellectuals." (Sorensen 2012)

While the Family Research Council & Tony Perkins are gearing up for a fight with Log Cabin Republicans and GOProud members over the party platform (Johnson 2012), local gay commercial establishments are no slouches in catering to the Republican crowd either, with one Spa offering free admission for RNC delegates and someone has been recruited as a Paul Ryan "look alike":

"For those unaware, Ybor City is a homo-heavy entertainment district famed for its riotous nightclub scene, which is often described as Tampa's version of Bourbon Street,' Jervis notes." (Jervis 2012) While I believe this is wholly unrepresentative of Ybor City, a historic Cuban community with a wide variety of restaurants and entertainment including family movie theaters, it's an interesting aside. I'm certain there must be gay bars somewhere that are likewise gearing up (no pun intended) for the festivities. (Periscope post 2012)

And last, but not least by any intonation, protest groups organized by a Coalition To March On The RNC are beginning to arrive, and have not been deterred by weather reports either at this time. (Lush 2012)

"As of now, we are a Coalition uniting groups from around the country to say NO to this political system that only works for the 1% and therefore are marching at the Republican National Convention to let our voices be heard. Together we stand to march for good jobs, healthcare, affordable education, equality and peace. (...) Together, we are planning a 5000 strong march at the first day of the convention on Aug 27th. We have hundreds of national and local organizations such as Code Pink, Veterans for Peace, Get EQUAL, Dream defenders, United National Antiwar Coalition, Occupy Tampa, Occupy USF, Occupy Pensacola, Occupy Tallahassee and more (See here for full list) endorsing us and we would love for all Occupy Assemblies to come down to Tampa to join and/or endorse our coalition. Only through unity is there strength.We will be encouraging people to sleep at Occupy Tampa's Voice of Freedom park or at these parks that allow camping for a nominal fee." (OccupyWallSt 2012)