Friday, September 30, 2011

Congrats to the Obama Administration, the CIA and the military for whacking al-alwaki.

This is one of those times to put partisanship aside and give credit where due.

Right wing nut jobs and Paulistinains are engaging in their typically moronic whaling, gnashing of teeth and beating themselves with chains.

This scumbag "was an American citizen!" 

"He's entitled to Constitutional protections!"

"It was an assassination!"


This scuzbucket was an enemy combatant.  The accident of his birth inside our borders, as shaming an event as that was, provides neither him, nor any other slimeball born here any protections the moment THEY make the decision to meet the legal definition of an "enemy combatant."

This moron got blown to pieces because he was doing everything he could to destroy the country of his birth.

No one made him do that.

His death was fore-destined the moment he turned against us. I will sleep just a bit sounder tonight knowing this asswipe is assuming desert temperature as he in-processes into hell.

And for you whack jobs who believe this to be wrong...

Well, it's pretty clear you don't know what the hell is going on out there. 

Remember, the Constitution was never intended to be a death warrant.

Monthly ATM fees? Dumping my bank of 12 years.

I bank with a major, nation wide bank.  They are jacking up fees generally, and popping us $3 to $5 per month specifically, just for having an ATM card.


I'm closing my accounts, both business and personal, in a few days... and transferring my funds to a credit union, which will not be charging for merely having an ATM/Debit card.

That banks are going into competition with American Express by charging me to be able to access my own money is idiocy.  I'm not about to pay $60 a year for the privilege of banking with ___________ in addition to the monthly charges I already pay on 5 different accounts.

In an economy where direct competition between financial institutions should preclude this sort of thing, we're told it's because the Fed stepped in and slapped these people for the OTHER moronic fees they were charging and overdraft costs... and methods... that were spiraling out of control on the backs of the consumer.

I disagree.

Blaming the fed for an ATM card monthly charge is like blaming the fed for the airlines charging travelers for baggage, a practice these same airlines make hundreds of millions of dollars on every year.

Nope.  This one is on the banks.  This charge is moronic, and I, for one, am voting with my feet.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

This could sting: Feds seek to fine ILWU $293,000 for protests

Serves these slimeballs right.  Maybe $2.9 million would have been a better number, but this. at least, is a start.


Feds seek to fine ILWU $293,000 for protests

The federal government is seeking nearly $293,000 in damages and costs from the longshore union for protests and vandalism at the EGT grain terminal at the Port of Longview Sept. 7 and Sept. 8, according to a Monday court filing.

Attorneys for the National Labor Relations Board say the estimate includes damage to Burlington Northern Santa Fe rail cars and EGT property during a morning raid on Sept. 8, when hundreds of people broke into the terminal, spilled grain from the rail cars, broke windows at a security shack and harassed security guards. It also includes police overtime — for Sept. 7 protests and the Sept. 8 vandalism — and attorney fees.

The costs include:

• Nearly $140,000 in damage and compensation to EGT and $13,000 to BNSF. That includes $80,000 in lost grain for the 9,855 bushels spilled during the event. Damage to a railcar was just over $1,000 and damage to a security vehicle was $1,400. It also includes EGT overtime costs and lawyers fees.

• Just over $76,000 in police overtime costs, including the Cowlitz County sheriff's office, the Longview and Kelso police departments and the Washington State Patrol. (The Kelso estimates also include costs from Sept. 9-10; Cowlitz County included costs from protests in July and said more were forthcoming.)

• About $66,000 in NLRB attorney fees to compile the damage and compensation figures.

The Sept. 8 raid and damage occurred less than a week after U.S. District Court Judge Ronald B. Leighton barred the union from blocking trains or engaging in violent picketing. On Sept. 15, Leighton ruled that the longshore union violated that order and asked the NLRB and EGT to determine damage estimates. Leighton is expected to decide Friday how much to fine union.

Also Friday, he will rule on an NLRB request to impose a $25,000 fine if the International Longshore and Warehouse Union violates his restraining order again.

Union officials contend that all damage claims remain mere allegations because Leighton has not held a hearing to determine whether the evidence is true.

Biden has his second moment of clarity: Obama, not Bush, to blame for economy...

The last sober moment Joe Biden had was here:

Well, he just had another one:

Of COURSE it's Obama's economy.

When you know damned well that Obama would be taking the credit if this thing wasn't tanking.... that it IS tanking means he has to take the blame.

Nevertheless, this is a surprising admission of reality from the left... one of their few.

Too little... too late.

Yeah. I served.

Chain of Command photo from 1984 or so.  I had no idea my hair was that dark.

Long ago and far away in another galaxy...

The Seattle Times asks a good question: how would you plug the $2 billion state budget hole?

The Seattle Times asks the question:

How would you fill expected $2 billion state budget hole?

For me, it's easy:

Declaring an emergency, I would look at the total budget slice that goes to state personnel; pay, benefits, retirement.

I would remove $2 billion from that slice.

Simple, really.

Because if public employees don't like what we're paying them... they can always quit.

Just sayin'.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The kool-aid drinking Herrera supporter. Today: Anna Miller.

Anna Miller is the power in the Clark County GOP because she's proof of the adage that the world truly is run by those who show up.

It doesn't matter that she's not particularly competent in the realm of politics: her efforts as party chair resulting in, among other things, Keith Olbermann naming the Clark County GOP his "second worst person in the world"

What matters is that she's THERE.

Early on in Herrera's congressional campaign, Miller confronted me at Brent Boger's campaign kick off, claiming that my post pointing out the absurdity of Jaime's ability to munch her way through almost $500 in taxpayer money for food on a 3 day boondoggle trip as Cathy McMorris Roger's staffer was all wrong (never mind that I produced the actual document proving my assertions in the post) and I told her what I tell everyone that challenges what I write: provide the proof, and I'll post that I was wrong and show the proof to that effect.

I'm still waiting.

So far, Ridgefield Barbie has been everything I thought she'd be in Congress, and less.

Failing to hold town hall meetings... setting up carefully screened "coffees" with potential (and, no doubt, past) donors... bringing in John Boehner and charging $2500 a head while refusing to get in front of the "little people?"

Voting to raise the debt ceiling a paltry $900 billion.

Back in the day, we were horrified to learn of the mass-suicide of hundreds in Guyana at the behest of Rev. Jim Jones, forever enshrining the phrase "kool aid drinker" as a description of those who'll follow anyone if they believe they're going to get something out of it.

Like Ana Miller.  And today's case in point is this completely delusional effort from Miller as a part of the GOP's earnest effort to rehab the image of the increasingly tarnished empty suit representing us in Congress:
It’s about time we had a U.S. representative who was in touch with the people of Clark County. We’ve suffered some of the worst unemployment in the country, and we’re hurting. Rather than go for a pay raise, Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Camas, proposed a bill to cut her own pay and pay for all U.S. representatives by 10 percent. I want to know the person I sent to Congress to solve our problems understands our problems — and Herrera Beutler has shown me she does. She ran for this office on the promise to cut spending, and I commend her for keeping her word and cutting where it counts.
Anna Miller
Of course, Miller neglected to mention she's a GOP hack who is the power behind the scenes, and while holding the position of party treasurer, puts out crap like this.

And my response?
Been drinking the kool aid, again, Anna?

Herrera has done nothing and accomplished nothing except to vote for Obama's debt ceiling increase.

The bill (what's the bill number again?) she tossed out there was typical of the cheap publicity stunts she's known for... that gets the more ignorant to really think she's doing something... when, of course, she isn't.

Is something keeping her from setting the example? You know, VOLUNTARILY send 10% of her pay back in?

"She ran for this office on the promise to cut spending, and I commend her for keeping her word and cutting where it counts."

And then she votes to give Obama $900 billion in increased spending with the debt ceiling fiasco.

Yup. She's a genuine peach.
She has cut nothing.  And for people to wander around lying about her non-accomplishments... well, THAT'S worthy of a blog post, GOP or no.

Crossposted on Jaime Herrera Watch.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

CRC proponents better worry: Elway poll shows growing support for Eyman's tolling initiative

Looks like trouble in River City for the CRC proponents....
The Seattle Times

Elway poll shows growing support for Eyman's tolling initiative

Posted by Andrew Garber
A new Stuart Elway poll shows Tim Eyman's Initiative 1125 gaining ground, with 56 percent of voters surveyed saying they support the measure.

Eyman's initiative would require the state Legislature to approve tolls instead of the state Transportation Commission, which is appointed by the governor. It also would require any toll approved by lawmakers to be at a flat rate, and prohibit variable rates that increase during peak hour traffic. And it mandates that tolls only go toward work on the road being tolled, and that they expire when the work is paid for.

State officials argue the measure is too restrictive and would jeopardize funding needed to help pay for projects across the state, including the new Highway 520 floating bridge.

"Initiatives typically lose ground over the course of a campaign. Not so with Initiative 1125," Elway wrote on Tuesday. "The measure, which would add restrictions to road and bridge tolls, gained support over the past month. Some 56 percent of the 408 voters interviewed for The Elway Poll last week were inclined to vote for the measure, up from to 49 percent a month ago. The proportion who said they were "definitely" voting yes increased from 17 percent to 27 percent. Opposition declined from 29 percent to 25 percent."

Elways said I-1125 was leading in every part of the state except Seattle, where only 39 percent support it. Seattle also had the largest proportion of undecided voters: 26 percent.

The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 5 percent.

Monday, September 26, 2011

ILWU scum launch recall efforts against Cowlitz County Sheriff.

The pond scum infesting us in the guiise of the International Longshoreman's Worker's Union, who should all be tried for conspiracy and if found guilty, imprisoned for a few years (like 10) are throwing a snit and have filed a recall petition against the Cowlitz County Sheriff, Mark Nelson, who has arrested many of the slimeballs who have destrroyed private property, trespassed, vandalized and assaulted workers at the EGT grain plant in Longview.
ILWU launches recall effort against sheriff as national president turns himself in
ILWU launches recall effort against sheriff as national president turns himself in
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buy this photo John Markon / The Daily News ILWU President Robert McEllrath stands under a "Support Your Local Sheriff" sign while waiting to be processed at the Cowlitz County Hall of Justice on Monday.
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Union longshoremen on Monday filed a petition to recall Cowlitz County Sheriff Mark Nelson, ratcheting up their campaign against local law enforcement following recent protests against the EGT grain terminal at the Port of Longview.

The petition from the International Longshore and Warehouse Union alleges that Nelson's officers have been overly aggressive against union members in policing protests at the terminal over the past month.

The ILWU petition was filed with the County Elections office just hours after the union's San Francisco-based national president turned himself in for arrest at the sheriff's office for allegedly blocking a grain train bound for EGT Sept. 7.

At least 135 ILWU protesters and supporters have been arrested so far, including two who were pepper-sprayed repeatedly by Burlington Northern Santa Fe police last Wednesday during a protest on port rail tracks.

Under Nelson's direction, law enforcement officers flashed lights in union members' homes at night, followed them around to arrest them publicly and needlessly racked up about $30,000 in overtime costs to police the protests, union officials contend.

"Cowlitz County has become a battle zone, and Mark Nelson has some of the blame. Citizens depended on law enforcement to decelerate the situation, which Mark Nelson has failed to do. In fact, his officers have contributed to the turmoil and accelerating the atmosphere of violence in what would have been a peaceful protest," ILWU's Longview-based Local 21 President Dan Coffman and local treasurer Byron Jacobs argue in the recall complaint.

Monday's recall petition follows the union's filing last week of a civil rights lawsuit against Nelson and Longview Police Chief Jim Duscha, alleging excessive use of police force against protesters.

Nelson told The Daily News on Monday that voters know where he stands because of his long tenure in the community with the sheriff's office.

"I think most people know me to be a man of faith, fair-minded and even-tempered. I'm not offended by this process at all, or the people who brought it forth. With that, I look forward to addressing each and every one of the allegations, as well as serving as Cowlitz County's sheriff as long as people want me in office," Nelson said.

The recall petition must pass two legal hurdles before it can appear on the ballot.

A superior court judge must first rule whether the charges fit the legal definition of "malfeasance" or "misfeasance" or the violation of Nelson's oath of office. Otherwise, the recall would be invalid.

Second, the union would need to collect thousands of voter signatures to get the recall on the ballot. The exact number required was not available Monday.

The filing of the recall petition came on the same day that Robert McEllrath, president of the San Francisco-based ILWU, turned himself in to Cowlitz sheriff's deputies for his alleged involvement blocking grain train headed to EGT on Sept. 7.


Zogby poll: Cain now has a huge lead.

Having choked like the Washington State Cougars, Herman Cain now has amassed a huge lead among likely GOP primary voters:

IBOPE Zogby Poll: Perry Plummets to 18%; Trails Cain For Lead Among GOP Primary Voters

Obama's Overall Approval Steady at 42%

UTICA, NY--Rick Perry has tumbled by more than 20 percentage points over the past month among Republican presidential primary voters and is now second to Herman Cain, who leads the field with 28%.

Mitt Romney received little benefit from Perrys fall, garnering 17% of the vote for third place.

As for President Barack Obama, both his job approval (42%) and the percentage who believe he deserves re-election (37%) are little changed from recent polls, but he does seem to be winning back some supporters who have been disappointed in his job performance.

These results are from an IBOPE Zogby interactive poll conducted Sept. 23-26 of all likely voters and of likely Republican primary voters.

Announced GOP Candidates (GOP primary voters)

If the Republican primary for President were held today, for whom would you vote?

CandidateSept 26Sept 12Aug 29July 25July 11June 30June 21
Herman Cain28%12%8%18%16%15%15%
Rick Perry18%37%41%----
Mitt Romney17%14%12%17%15%14%15%
Ron Paul11%11%11%11%13%11%13%
Newt Gingrich6%2%3%1%4%2%2%
Jon Huntsman, Jr.5%3%3%3%4%4%2%
Michele Bachmann4%7%9%25%28%34%24%
Rick Santorum2%3%3%5%3%7%5%
Gary Johnson1%1%<1%<1%1%<1%2%
Fred Karger<1%1%<1%1%<1%0%0%
Not sure6%8%2%9%10%8%13%

Totals may not add up to 100% due to rounding

This poll was conducted after Perry's most recent subpar debate performance last Thursday, but the survey was still in the field when Cain won a Florida straw poll on Sunday. Cain was the top choice of only 8% a month ago.

Michele Bachmann continues her drop in our polling, falling from a first-place 34% on June 30 to just 4% now. While some other announced GOP candidates have had large fluctuations in their standing with party voters, since June 21 Romney has remained steadily between 12% and 17%.


Where Zandamela and Russell have something in common: fake degrees?

Readers here already know that failed congressional candidate/failed state representative candidate/Washougal City Councilman Jon Russell has had some problems with veracity, lying, repeatedly, about having a degree.  We also all know he's involved in Battle Ground City Councilman Paul Zandamela's campaign for re-election.

I recieved a fascinating document from one "Paulo Zandamela, CPFM, MBA, Ph.D." of American Parking

I had no idea that Mr. Zandamela was, in fact, DOCTOR Zandamela.

The letter was copied to, among others, Ellie Kassab, and dated 13 Jun 2002.

Where have we seen this kind of thing before?

The very definition of irony: Tim Geithner demanding that EUROPE get THEIR fiscal house in order.

I give him props for chutzpah, but if I were a European country I would tell Turbo Tax Timmy to take a hike.  OUR economy is a train wreck that he's personally made much, much, worse... and WE are telling THEM what to do and how to do it?

Just sayin'.

More lies from Tim "The Liar" Leavitt.

I've seen some political liars in my time, And Tim "The Liar" Leavitt is at the top of the list.

We all know the story about how this slimeball got elected; lying repeatedly, over and over and over about his position on tolling the bridge only to flip practically the second he got elected to now becoming one of the most rabid supporters of the practice... which will burden 65,000 commuters with a $1300 or so per year fee... to start... they must pay just to go to work in Oregon.

And now.... this:  Allegations of campaign finance... contributions... buying favors from the Vancouver City Government, including THIS whopper:
Just the month before, Stephanie Turlay, who is married to current city council candidate Bill Turlay, stood at the podium in City Hall, lambasting city council members, particularly Mayor Tim Leavitt, for failing to ban personal fireworks use. Leavitt, she noted, took $5,000 in his 2009 mayoral race from Dominic and Angela Rinck, owners of the Bomber Brothers fireworks stands.
In each case, residents said that the money officials got in their election bids was now influencing their policy decisions.
Candidates and elected officials, however, beg to differ.
“I have not had a conversation with Dominic Rinck since the election,” Leavitt said. “When Dominic calls, if he calls, I’ll answer his call just like anyone else.”
Why should he need to call Leavitt?

That Leavitt's an almost pathological liar doesn't mean he's a total idiot.

The 5 large was the only conversation this guy NEEDED to have with Leavitt, and dutifully, he's gotten his money's worth.

But the idea that such a huge contribution makes no difference in Leavitt's "for hire" thought process is almost as big a joke as he is.  The unions spent over $30,000 on him, so they outright own him.  But to suggest that $5,000 doesn't make any difference in Leavitt's thinking is o suggest that he's honorable... a comparison that just doesn't pass the straight-faced test.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

So, how can Russell fix this?

Readers of this blog know of my contempt for Washougal city councilman/failed congressional candidate/failed state representative candidate Jon Russell.  The question one might ask as a result is this: what can Russell do to fix this?

Based on my recent Facebook conversation with him, wherein he attacks me... kind of... but disputes none of my allegations, it's pretty clear he's confused.

We read about "God's will.":

  • Jon Russell · Top Commenter · Friends with Peter Van Nortwick
    God does as he pleases for the things he wants to accomplish in each of us. Everything is about a spiritual growth and lessons, not political gotcha.

  • And that's fascinating, because one of the things I learned in a philosophy class a long time ago was that one way we would know that God is talking to us (rhetorically) is by running out the string and challenging our own disbelief.

    Seems I've upset Mr. Russell.

    Jon needs to learn to have a thicker skin in the political realm.

    And if he'd learn to stick with the truth instead of making this crap up, perhaps he'd not run into these difficulties with such frequency.

    • So sue him. Been to Russell Watch lately?
    • Jon Russell · Top Commenter · Friends with Peter Van Nortwick
      Kelly Hinton (AKA Kaged McClued), your smear website is of no concern to me. You have filed Public Disclosure Commission complaints against me and you have tried to get the State Medical Assurance Board to conduct an investigation against my business. All of your efforts have been dismissed, found false and erroneous. So I do not need to file lawsuits against you or your liberal friends, God will always vindicate me.
    • Jon Russell "My liberal friends?" Name one. You can't file a suit against me, Jon, because the truth is always a defense. You lied about your campaign donations, lied about your education, lied about your wife being a physician, and even she has admitted you've lied about who you are when you're commenting on websites like the Post Record. You consulted on the biggest local tax increase (Port Levy) in local history and YOU accuse ME of having "liberal friends?"

      That "Gott mit uns" crap didn't work for Hitler, and it ain't gonna work for you, either.

    a GREAT Obama re-election video.

    Saturday, September 24, 2011

    Herb Cain takes the Florida Straw Poll, Smackdown for Perry and Romney.

    Good.  Don't like either Perry OR Romney.  Cain is someone I can get behind.

    Elections - POLITICS

    Herman Cain Wins Florida GOP Straw Poll

    Published September 24, 2011

    Businessman Herman Cain won the Florida straw poll Saturday, beating Texas Gov. Rick Perry, the GOP presidential frontrunner who just two days earlier delivered a debate performance that was widely panned.

    Cain finished with 37 percent of the vote, while Perry trailed with 15 percent. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney followed with 14 percent while former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum drew 11 percent. U.S. Rep. Ron Paul finished with 10.5 percent, while former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman finished with 2 percent.

    U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, who won the Iowa straw poll in August, finished with just 1 percent of the vote.
    "Thank you to the Republican voters for this incredible honor of being named the winner of the Presidency 5 straw poll in Florida today," Cain said in a statement after the results were in. 

    "This is a sign of our growing momentum and my candidacy that cannot be ignored. I will continue to share my message of 'common sense solutions' across this country and look forward to spending more time in Florida, a critical state for both the nomination and the general election," he said. 

    Perry, who was expected to finish strong had told the more than 3,000 GOP activists who came from across the state that his rivals made a mistake by skipping the straw poll..

    Romney and  Bachmann had both left Florida before the voting began and their campaigns discounted the straw poll's role in the campaign.

    Other first-tier candidates hadn't actively organized for the Florida vote, either. So the results probably won't shuffle the campaign's standings and were shaping up as little more than a popularity contest among the delegates selected by local party organizations.

    Ahead of the test vote, Perry's campaign bought breakfast for hundreds of the party faithful assembled for a three-day conference and debate. Perry said skipping the straw poll was a blunder.

    "I think that's a big mistake. I think it's very important," Perry said, citing its history.

    Previous straw polls have predicted the GOP nominee.

    Jon, the answer is "no."

    I get that you hate being stuck as a Washougal City Councilman and you want to dump your constituents there as soon as you possibly can.

    I get that you know that Rep. Ed Orcutt (R-Kalama) will likely be re-districted out... meaning there's an open seat to be had.

    I get that you're hanging out with Madore so you can access his checkbook.

    I get that you want to make nice with Rep. Ann Rivers (R-La Center) who beat you like a rented step child in the last election you were in.

    Now, I don't/can't speak for Rep. Rivers.  But my guess is, the answer is going to be "no."

    See, Rivers likely knows you helped out democrat Dennis Kampe after you were embarrassed in the last primary (Who Rivers destroyed in the general, in excess of a 60-40 vote, the equivalent of a political massacre) and that you definitely did help fellow slimeball Keath Huff with his sick effort to silence me because I insisted on beating the political hell out of his girl, Ridgefield Barbie.

    She likely knows of your incompetence and inability to accept responsibility... for anything... concerning the debacle of the missing $100,000 (gone on your watch) along with your eagerness to toss Sellers under a bus when YOU were in charge of the city finance committee... Along with the hiring of your buddy as finance director (Is he in jail yet?) while NONE of that was your responsibility, because if you ever made a mistake, you'd certainly never be man enough to admit it.

    Those kinds of things don't go away, and why would Rivers want a back-stabbing liar as her seatmate in the Legislature?

    See, Jon, the problem for you is this:  I told you to your face back in the Summer of '09 during that bizarre congressional run of yours that I didn't want you in my government, and nothing's changed, except you've lied more, cheated more and been more dishonest.  You even now, having been outed by your own wife, you CONTINUE to use fake names on newspaper sites to attack those who oppose you and support those you like... and yourself, of course.

    The moment you start campaigning for this, I'm gonna kick it into gear.  Every public event.  Every letter to the editor.  Every time you turn around, Jon Russell Watch is going to be there.

    The people will know everything they need to when it comes to you.

    Look forward to it.

    Cross posted at Jon Russell Watch.

    When government gets stupid: Settlement Reached in VA Discrimination Suit; use of "God" and "Jesus" again allowed at Houston VA Cemetary.

    No government can be any better then the people which populate it.  The clown who thought this idiocy up needs to be removed fronm our employment as the cancer he... or she... is.

    Settlement Reached in VA Discrimination Suit
    Updated: Thursday, 22 Sep 2011, 7:40 PM CDT
    Published : Thursday, 22 Sep 2011, 7:40 PM CDT
    JUAN A. LOZANO, Associated Press
    HOUSTON (AP) — Several veterans groups who had sued the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs over claims of religious discrimination by Houston VA officials have agreed to settle their lawsuit, according to court documents filed on Thursday.
    The lawsuit filed by the Veterans of Foreign Wars District 4, the American Legion Post 586 and the National Memorial Ladies said VA officials barred prayer and religious speech in burials at the Houston cemetery unless families submitted a specific prayer or message in writing to the cemetery's director. The lawsuit also accused VA officials of not allowing the groups to use religious words such as "God" or "Jesus" at the cemetery.
    VA officials had denied there was religious discrimination or limits on religious speech at soldiers' funerals in Houston or anywhere around the country.
    The veterans groups and the VA filed a consent decree in Houston federal court announcing "they have agreed to resolve all matters of dispute between them." The agreement was reached earlier this month through mediation.
    Hiram Sasser, director of litigation for the Liberty Institute, a Texas religious rights organization representing the veterans groups, as well as Josh Taylor, a spokesman for the Department of Veterans Affairs, declined to comment on the consent decree until the judge in the case approves the agreement.
    During a court hearing last month, U.S. District Judge Lynn Hughes had asked both sides to work toward settling the lawsuit. It was not immediately known when Hughes would review the decree.
    The settlement agreement lists 50 provisions that VA officials agree to adhere to. The VA said in the decree that certain of these provisions "are already the policy or practice of the department."
    Some of these actions include no banning or interfering with prayers or recitations at committal services; agreeing to not edit or control the content of private religious speech and expression by speakers at special ceremonies or events at the cemetery; and agreeing not to ban religious speech or words such as "God" or "Jesus" in condolence cards or similar documents given by some of the groups that filed the suit.
    The VA also agreed to pay the veterans groups' legal fees, which total $215,000.
    The consent decree will stay in place for 15 years.
    The allegations by the veterans groups followed ones made in May by a Houston pastor, Scott Rainey, who sued to be allowed to refer to Jesus Christ at a Memorial Day invocation at the Houston cemetery. Hughes issued a temporary restraining order forbidding VA officials from censoring the pastor's prayer.
    The lawsuit, originally filed by Rainey and later joined by the veterans groups, had prompted several members of Texas' congressional delegation to ask the VA to investigate the allegations.

    Thanks, Lew.

    More idiocy and lies from Tim "The Liar" Leavitt.

    It is to our misfortune that Vancouver voters were taken in by such a lying sleazebag.  And the story in yesterday's Oregonian helps to illustrate what a truly lowlife scumbag he is:
    He says his mission is to bring the issue to a vote in Clark County. "Let the people vote and decide," he said. "I think it's outrageous we're not allowed to vote on such an expensive project."

    To which Vancouver Mayor Tim Leavitt asks: Who exactly should vote?
    Can any one man be so disingenuously stupid?  Is it remotely possible?

    Here's one group who should vote: the commuters this slimeball wants to hit in the head with $1300 per year in tolls.

    Those 65,000 people and their wives/husbands Moms and Dads.  THEY should vote.

    Leavitt, who became mayor on a campaign of lies, a web of deception, dishonor and the very worst in politics, asks that moronic question repeatedly, a if he doesn't know the answer.
    "It's an interstate highway project that benefits the entire West Coast. Who votes? The residents of Washington, Oregon and California, or Canada and Mexico, because their trade partners benefit?" Leavitt said.
     Such idiocy from an adult not locked up in a state mental hospital, let alone, elected to something.

    "Who votes?"

    Leavitt said a de facto vote on light rail already has been done. "The candidates who are supportive of the project continue to get re-elected," Leavitt said.
     Just another of the whopper lies this slimeball keeps telling:

    Tom Mielke was "elected."  And what did he run on?

    Tim "The Liar" Leavitt was "elected."  What was his platform again?

    Steve "The Liar" Stuart was "elected."  What did he promise to get that done?
    And what are chances "The Liar" will ever be elected to anything around here, ever again?

    Authority to legislate is delegated.  But that delegation does not require the suspension of either disbelief or the ultimate authority of the people who DO vote.

    Bridgers/looter slime like Leavitt do not want a vote.  They don't want a vote because they know what the outcome of such a vote would be.
    Leavitt said it's impossible to throw a blanket over all light-rail foes. He has a good relationship with some.

    And others? In nearly nine years in public office, first as a city councilman and now as Vancouver mayor, Leavitt says some light-rail opponents "have been the most aggressive and some the most disrespectful and underhanded in what I have experienced during my political tenure."

    Leavitt believes light rail is beneficial to Clark County, because it ties into a multibillion-dollar investment already in place in the Portland area. Leavitt also believes the more people who take advantage of light rail, the more room it leaves on roadways for the transportation of goods.

    Because of his light-rail stance, Leavitt is a lightning rod for light-rail opponents. "I think he is a wishful thinker, and he doesn't want to face reality," Madore said.
    It's unfortunate the article doesn't revisit Leavitt's campaign of lies and deceit... which is, of course, the actual basis for "... the most aggressive and some the most disrespectful and underhanded[sic]" attitudes expressed towards Mayor Slimeball.

    Let's remember:  Had Leavitt kept his word about his opposition to tolls.... had he not started a legal process of censorship of his opponents.... had he kept his campaign promise of quarterly town hall meetings... then he wouldn't be vilified and upheld as a textbook example of everything wrong in politics today.

    But those are the choices HE made.  And if the whiny little bitch doesn't like the response to his lies, he can always resign, since he damned sure is going to BE resigned in his next election.

    Is it any wonder many people are disgusted by the government we have?

    Friday, September 23, 2011

    Today's irony: Facebook warns against clicking on a Columbian-ILWU link.

    Heh.  Confirms what I've often believed.


    We recommend not visiting this link as it could be harmful to your computer or Facebook account. If you choose to visit, do not download software or enter your Facebook password.To learn more about staying safe on the internet, visit Facebook's Security Page. Please also read the Wikipedia articles on malware and phishing.¬if_t=open_graph_commente

    Thursday, September 22, 2011

    Well, it's been 6 months now and thanks to Brancaccio and Chopp, Jacks looks like he's getting away with it.

    This blog broke the story that former Rep. Jim Jacks (Boozer-49) quit in the middle of the last legislative session as a result of misconduct he engaged in related to his alcoholism.

    The local paper, which I refer to as the democratian for reasons such as this one, did absolutely nothing to discover the nature of this misconduct, which involved female staffers working for the Legislature both in the democrat caucus and from the Office of Program Research.

    The only thing I didn't do is provide the names.

    The rag's excuse was there wasn't a "paper trail." and, therefore, they were helpless.

    Brancaccio did a powder puff interview with Jacks which accomplished absolutely nothing concerning either the true reasons for Jacks' departure or the names of his victims.  he had the opportunity to specifically ask Jacks... and refused to ask the questions that should have been asked.

    In short, because Jacks is a democrat, they did everything they could to cover for him.

    At some point, I look forward to reporting even more detail since the rag obviously won't.  Having been on the receiving end of Brancaccio's ire, not to mention his blinding bias, I can assure you that the lack of a "paper trail" is something he turns on and off like a switch.

    So, up went the counter.  And there it will stay until or unless they do the story that needs to be told... unlikely, given that they typically write like Chopp is sending them checks

    Speaking of democrat union slime, how about this? Democrat union gumbah works for the City of Chicago for one day. Result? $158,000 per year pension.

    From the city that spawned Obama:

    One-day rehiring nets former Chicago labor leader a $158,000 city pension

    Most city workers spend decades in public service to build up modest pensions. But for former labor leader Dennis Gannon, the keys to securing a public pension were one day on the city payroll and some help from the Daley administration.

    And his city pension is more than modest. It's the highest of any retired union leader: $158,000. That's roughly five times greater than what the typical retired city worker receives.

    In fact, his pension is so high that it exceeds federal limits and required the city pension fund to file special paperwork with the Internal Revenue Service to give it to him.

    Gannon's inflated pension is a prime example of how government officials and labor leaders have manipulated city pension funds at the expense of union workers and taxpayers. Like other labor leaders, he was able to take a long leave from a city job to work for a union and then receive a city pension based on a high union salary.

    But in a new twist, a Tribune/WGN-TV investigation has found that Gannon is eligible for the lucrative pension deal only because City Hall rehired the former Streets and Sanitation Department worker for a single day in 1994, then granted him an indefinite leave of absence.

    Gannon quickly rose to become one of the most powerful labor leaders in the city, speaking on behalf of more than 300 Chicago-area unions as president of the Chicago Federation of Labor.

    State law allowed Gannon to retire from the city in 2004, the year he turned 50; since then, he has received about $1 million from his city pension. He stands to collect approximately $5 million during his lifetime, according to an analysis based on the fund's actuarial assumptions.

    Until last year, that pension came on top of Gannon's union salary, which had grown to more than $240,000. He now draws the pension while working for a hedge fund, Grosvenor Capital Management, that does work with public pensions, including the Teachers Retirement System of Illinois. The firm also was one of Mayor Rahm Emanuel's largest campaign contributors.

    Gannon declined to be interviewed for this story but issued a statement through a spokesman for the Illinois Sports Facilities Authority, where he is a board member.

    "I am extremely proud of my many years of service to the city of Chicago and the working men and women of organized labor," Gannon wrote. "I have always followed the pension laws governed by the state of Illinois statute as well as the city of Chicago municipal pension plan."

    Terrance Stefanski, who oversees the city's municipal pension fund, confirmed that the city helped Gannon qualify for an inflated pension by hiring him for a day. But he said he has no control over city hiring and must follow the pension laws.

    "Once the city rehired him and he went on a leave of absence to work for the union, he was eligible under the law," Stefanski said.

    Streets and San officials provided a statement about Gannon's one-day hiring: "This was a personnel matter that happened more than 16 years ago, and at this time we don't have all of the details needed to determine exactly why these decisions were made."

    Gannon's inflated city pension is one of at least 23 handed out to union leaders who have retired from the city, records uncovered by the Tribune and WGN-TV show. The joint investigation revealed Wednesday how the legislation that created the pension perk for union leaders found its way in to the state statutes with no transparency or accountability.

    Gannon started his climb to the top of organized labor in 1973. He was 19 years old and made $6.95 an hour working for Streets and San as a steamroller engineer, compressing asphalt on city streets.

    During the next 17 years, he worked his way into the role of hoisting engineer foreman, overseeing the use of heavy cranes at road construction sites at a salary of about $56,000. He also gravitated toward union politics. By 1990, Gannon had been tapped to become a business agent with Local 150 of the International Union of Operating Engineers.

    "It is with mixed emotions that I am requesting a leave of absence from my position as general foreman of hoisting engineers," he wrote to his bosses at Streets and San in December 1990.

    Although he was leaving city service, Gannon moved to take advantage of the law that allowed him to stay in the municipal pension fund. In April 1991, records show, Gannon had Local 150's business manager write a letter on his behalf making that request.

    Only a few months earlier, on his last day in office, Gov. Jim Thompson had signed into law the pension code changes that would allow Gannon's city pension to be based on his salary as a union official.

    Gannon could have stayed on a leave of absence indefinitely because no one from Streets and San filled in an expiration date on the form. Then, on Oct. 12, 1993, he resigned from his city post and received a refund of the contributions he had made to the municipal pension fund, records show.

    With that action, Gannon lost his eligibility to land an inflated city pension.

    But on June 20, 1994, Streets and San rehired Gannon to his old job. It didn't last long. The very next day, he was granted a leave of absence to work for Local 150, even though records show that Gannon never left his union job in the first place.

    That shuffling of a few pages of bureaucratic forms by city officials made Gannon eligible to re-enter the city pension fund, according to records and interviews. And eventually he would.

    Six months later, Gannon became the assistant to Chicago Federation of Labor President Don Turner. A year after that, he was elected secretary-treasurer, the No. 2 spot, and his salary grew nearly 60 percent to $126,000.

    With his pay increasing at a steady clip, Gannon sought to get back into the municipal pension fund in 1998. To do so, he would need to restore the money he had previously taken out and start making regular contributions again as if he were a city employee. He would also have to cover the contributions that normally come from the city.

    Gannon applied to receive union service credits in January 1999. But in the months leading up to his application, questions arose over whether he could repurchase the pension credits he had given up earlier. Once again, he appears to have received help from city government.

    On March 6, 1998, Gannon wrote a letter to Mayor Richard Daley's chief financial officer, Walter Knorr, who is now vice president of the University of Illinois System.

    Knorr wasn't a trustee of the municipal pension fund. In fact, he played no official role in the fund's operations. Yet Gannon outlined his work history during the previous seven years so that Knorr could assist him in figuring how to get back into the fund.

    "Hopefully, these numbers will assist you in calculating the portion of the monies I owe to the pension fund," Gannon's letter says.

    Knorr said in an interview that he doesn't recall the episode and that he thinks he simply passed Gannon's request on to officials at the municipal pension fund.

    "I have no specific recollection of that particular event," he said. "This was 13 years ago. I probably received a number of requests from all different directions."

    The municipal fund's executive director at the time, Thomas Stack, wrote to Knorr in November 1998 to explain that Gannon could rejoin the pension fund "without returning to active city service." That's because Gannon had already been rehired for that one day in 1994.

    But even if he hadn't been rehired, there's evidence that lawmakers and City Hall would have helped Gannon anyway. Stack ended his letter to Knorr by writing: "Therefore, it is our opinion that the proposed new legislation is not necessary."

    The letter did not describe what that proposed legislation was about or who was backing it. Stack died in 2004. Knorr said he can't recall any such bill.

    Under a state law passed in 1997, Gannon was able to retire from the city at age 50 because he had accumulated 30 years of service. The city credited him with 33 years of service even though he spent more than a third of that time working for private labor unions.

    His pension was so big that the municipal fund had to ask permission from the IRS to pay it to him, according to Stefanski.

    The roughly $130,000 pension Gannon received that first year came on top of his union salary because he went right on working for the federation. Under state law, his pension will grow by 3 percent a year for as long as he lives.

    WGN producer Marsha Bartel and reporter Mark Suppelsa contributed.