Happy Halloween from NPI!
Above: Barack O'Lanterns created by Northwest Progressive Institute staff
Read a Pacific Northwest, liberal perspective on world, national, and local politics. From majestic Redmond, Washington - the Northwest Progressive Institute Advocate.
Obama’s senior aides are intrigued by several late polls that show a narrowing of the presidential contest in Arizona. Most recently, on Tuesday a Cronkite-Eight poll (named for Arizona State University's journalism school and the local PBS channel) showed the state a statistical tie, with the Arizona senator just 2 points ahead of Obama. That poll suggests Arizona is too close to call, with Obama making significant gains among women and independents.How bad is it in Arizona for John McCain? So bad he's having to spend money. Money equals resources and there's no way a Presidential candidate should have to defend his home state this late in the game.
The campaign is now seriously examining a late surge into the state. That may include ramping up TV advertising, on-the-ground staff or even deploying the candidate to stop there. Obama is scheduled to make a Western swing late this week, making an Arizona visit possible.
John McCain and the Republican National Committee are now running robocalls attacking Obama as weak on terrorism -- in McCain's home state of Arizona, according to multiple readers from the state.If Obama puts more resources into Arizona, he's likely to sweep Bob Lord into Arizona's 3rd Congressional District, costing conservative John Shadegg his seat (ironically, it's McCain's old seat).This election continues to demonstrate what a transformational figure Barack Obama is, uniting the people in a common cause for the common good, and will likely result in the biggest landslide in a presidential election since Ronald Reagan nearly shut out Walter Mondale in 1984.
The call signals genuine worry about McCain's home state at a time when several polls show the race to be much closer than expected there.
You don't have to stare at me in disdain. This is a process and we've already got a bad name, lawyers do, and lawsuits like this and your conduct during this deposition where you are staring at me in disdain...doesn't do anything with regard to the decorum of our profession.Rossi's attorney was more than happy to fill sheets of transcript with gems like this instead of allowing Withey to ask and receive answers to his questions. Rossi could have left the room for all the two warring lawyers would have noticed.
This order, as with the prior orders of Judge Kallas, upholds a central purpose of the campaign finance laws that were passed many years ago by the people of this State: that the voters should have the right to know who is financing campaigns and what the sources of millions in campaign funding is. It's a day of reckoning for Dino Rossi.We commend the Court for refusing to allow Dino Rossi to obfuscate and delay this investigation. Buildergate is a very serious matter. The people of Washington State deserve nothing less than a complete and truthful account of Dino Rossi's involvement in this scandal.
October 27, 2008, Washington, D.C. – The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) announced today that it reached a tentative agreement with the Boeing Company on a contract that will provide job security for its members and limit the amount of work outside vendors can perform in the workplace.Congratulations are in order to IAM leadership for this breakthrough. The contract still has to be approved by the Machinists themselves, but it sounds like a deal has been struck that both sides can accept. Let's hope so.
The agreement was hammered out over a five-day period with assistance from federal mediators and participation at the bargaining table by IAM International President Tom Buffenbarger and IAM General Vice President Rich Michalski. Additional resources and technical support was provided by various departments at IAM headquarters.
Job security and the use of suppliers were key issues in the strike that began on Sept. 6, 2008. Among the other issues resolved in the latest round of bargaining were wage rates, health care benefits for current and future employees, pension improvements and work rule changes designed to improve productivity.
Full details of the 4-year accord will be withheld until they can be compiled and distributed to IAM members in all Boeing locations.
The tentative agreement has the unanimous endorsement of the IAM negotiating committee and will be presented to members for a ratification vote, which will take place in 3-5 days. A simple majority is required to ratify the tentative agreement.
"After 52 days of striking, we have gained important and substantial improvements over the Company's last, best and final offer that was rejected on September 3rd. Your solidarity brought Boeing back to the table and made this Company address your issues," stated District 751 President Tom Wroblewski. "Each of you stood up and did your part to win this battle, which was a fight against more than just Boeing, but against corporate America. Boeing is profitable because of our members' hard work and by standing together our members ensured they receive a bigger share of those profits."
"This tentative agreement is the result of hard work and great sacrifice by many people," said IAM Aerospace Coordinator Mark Blondin. "But no one deserves more credit than the workers at Boeing, who conducted themselves with dignity and determination throughout this ordeal. On behalf of the entire negotiating committee, I want to say it has been our honor to serve as their representatives."
The IAM represents nearly 27,000 employees at Boeing facilities in Kansas, Oregon and Washington and California.
"This is an outstanding offer that rewards employees for their contributions to our success while preserving our ability to compete," said Scott Carson, president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes. "I thank both negotiating teams and the federal mediator for their hard work and commitment in reaching this agreement. We recognize the hardship a strike creates for everyone - our customers, suppliers, employees, community and our company - and we look forward to having our entire team back."Even if striking Machinists vote to approve this revised offer, Boeing will still have to return to the negotiating table in the next few days, because the company's agreement with the members of Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace is due to expire soon.
By mutual agreement, details of the agreement will be released first by the union. If employees vote to approve the offer, it will end the strike by approximately 27,000 employees in Washington, Oregon and Kansas.
Judge Paris Kallas ruled in favor of the voters' right to know today, setting the stage for a Rossi deposition on Wednesday at 10:00 am. Rossi will be forced to testify under oath about his personal involvement in an illegal fundraising campaign orchestrated by the Building and Industry Association of Washington. Funds raised from the campaign were directed to a multi-million dollar BIAW war chest to support Rossi's bid for Governor. The Attorney General is now prosecuting the BIAW's fundraising as illegal.Rossi's deposition (if he gives it) should be released to the public and the news media later in the day on Wednesday.
"Dino Rossi will have to tell the whole story about his role in the BIAW's illegal fundraising campaign – before the election," said Knoll Lowney, counsel for the retired Supreme Court Justices who filed suit against the BIAW and Rossi. "There's no denying that this ruling is a big win for voters," Lowney added.
Rossi attempted to quash the subpoena by arguing that the Court doesn't have jurisdiction and that the case has political implications. His lawyers argued that a deposition about his role in Buildergate would be an "undue burden" on his candidacy.
Early discovery allows the parties to confirm - or dispel - the allegations before the election," she [Kallas] hand-wrote in the order. And such prompt investigation furthers the purposes of the Fair Campaign Practices Act ... which include 'complete disclosure of all information respecting the financing of political campaigns,' as well as 'full access to public records so as to assure continuing public confidence of fairness of elections.In other news, a new poll conducted on behalf of the University of Washington today has Gregoire up over Dino Rosis, 51 to 45 with 4 percent undecided.
The new data suggest that Gregoire is benefiting tremendously from Obama's popularity in Washington: Her decision to endorse Obama back in February is now paying dividends with many Obama supporters also supporting Gregoire.Good news, but we can't take anything for granted at this point.
A jury has found U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens guilty of all seven counts of lying on his financial disclosure forms.The verdict almost feels like the end to an episode of Law & Order.
It is the highest-profile felony conviction in a sweeping four-year federal investigation into corruption in Alaska politics, and a rare conviction by a jury of a sitting U.S. senator.
As the verdict on the first count was read, Stevens slumped slightly. When the second count was read, his lawyer, Brendan Sullivan, reached over and put his arm around Stevens' shoulders.
The corruption trial, which began Sept. 22, featured 24 government witnesses and 28 defense witnesses. Stevens himself took the stand in his own defense, a tactic that appeared to hurt him after he was painted by prosecutors as a disagreeable and mean-spirited man who considered himself above the law.Stevens could appeal the verdict, but the conviction is already likely to cost him his Senate seat - and cause irreparable damage to his reputation. His Democratic challenger, Mark Begich, has not (at least to our knowledge) issued a statement, but when and if he does, I'll update this post.
This past year has been a difficult time for Alaskans, but our people are strong and resilient and I believe that we will be able to move forward together to address the critical challenges that face Alaska.Stevens had gambled on being acquitted, declaring that he expected his innocence to be recognized after having his day in court.
It was basically a back‑room trade that was worked out between the developer and Sutherland or his employees, and it converted forest over the objection, I might point out, of sixty or more school children and a number of individuals.He added that the developer on the other end of the deal is one of Sutherland's special interest donors - and that such donations have resulted in lax oversight of timber and mining interests.
I will make the creation of a new industry around clean, green renewable fuels a centerpiece of my administration as Commissioner of Public Lands.Goldmark added that we should be using waste biomass from forest products to power our electric grid.
After careful consideration, this is a race in which we're going to call for new blood and direction. The lands commissioner heads up the important state Department of Natural Resources and we'll back Goldmark, who we would like to see take the agency into a new era.We agree. It's time for new leadership at the Department of Natural Resources and it's time for a fresh approach from the eastern side of the mountains.
Gregoire established the Rainy Day Fund and everyone knows that in the state of Washington, that fund must be of considerable size...
I feel I know the state and have many close friends here as I look around the room...but I am surprised that this race has been so close for so long as it has been.Gore linked the Rossi/BIAW philosophy to the failed Bush administration policies: dismantling government, ignoring the enviroment and taking advantage of workers.
We have seen this at the national level and we have seen the final verdict. Look at the result.Dick Cheney's attachment to foreign oil precipitated the Iraq War. $700 billion goes overseas each year to pay for this national attachment. Gore says that a "thread" connects this oil dependency to our economic crisis and to our planet's climate crisis.
We are positioned to be a leader. This shift to renewable energy will pick up steam. (Jokingly) Steam is probably the wrong word to use here.Around the world we are seeing investments made in alternative energy and countries are forming emission cutting treaties.
Remember, the Stone Age didn't end due to a shortage of stones and the oil age will not end when we run out of oil. We must build a new energy infrastructure that is free forever and runs on sun and wind...When we do that we are laying the foundation for generations...
When the demand for oil and coal goes up, the price skyrockets. When the demand for solar and wind go up, the price goes down. I think I like those economics better!Gore is concerned about the future. We are on a path to an average 11 degree Fahrenheit increase in global temperatures in this century, which is far beyond any worst case scenario.
What the state of Washington needs is real, bold leadership on climate change and...I am there to provide that leadership.
I have issued over two dozens emergency declarations [caused by climate change.] We are at risk.
We will lead again in the Western states [on climate change.]
We have already met 40% of our goal to reduce carbon emissions. It is an economic issue...This is a chance for a new, green economy...We will have an economy that will pull us out of the economic crisis we are facing.
We are now the fifth largest producer of wind power in America...We have put in place renewable fuel standards.Our state is even looking at algae, drawing overseas investors who are interested in creating renewable energy from the gooey, sea plants.
The uninstaller Sony initially provided removed the rootkit, but in turn installed a dial-home program that posed an even greater security risk.Sony soon found itself slammed with multiple lawsuits, including a class action suit filed by the Electronic Frontier Foundation and another suit filed by Attorney General Greg Abbott on behalf of the people of Texas.
Sony eventually provided an actual uninstaller that removed all of Sony's DRM program from the user's computer.
Security specialists are warning that Sony's MicroVault USB, which is a biometric USB storage device, cloaks driver software in a Windows directory that could be used by malware to avoid detection from security applications.Because Sony has a long and disturbing history of duping, spying on, and even suing their own customers neither it nor EA can be trusted when they say SecuROM is harmless - as an EA spokesperson tried to tell the Washington Post:
We would never put any spyware on anyone's computers. That's not going to happen.Wanna bet? Does EA think their customers are stupid?
This is actually a RENTAL, not a bought game because it only lets you install 3 times. If you install over 3 times then you must call EA customer support and beg them to let you play the game you bought. Did I mention the call is not free? If you live outside the U.S. it will be a very expensive call.Digital restrictions management is pointless because there is always somebody somewhere who is bright enough to crack or disable whatever copy prevention scheme the industry can come up with.
DO NOT BUY THIS, and if you do buy it keep in mind that you are renting it. Not buying it. Whats really ironic about this is the DRM hasn't even stopped the pirates as it was pirated a few weeks ago. And the pirated version doesn't have Securom or install limits which makes it a better version. EA shouldn't treat its consumers like trash if they want my money.
What purchasers are not told is that, included in the purchase, installation, and operation of Spore is a second, undisclosed program.You can read the complete text of the lawsuit at Courthouse News.
The name of the second program is SecuROM, which is a form of Digital Rights Management (DRM) for computer games. Although consumers are told that the game uses access control and copy protection technology, consumers are not told that this technology is actually an entirely separate, stand-alone program which will download, install, and operate on their computers, along with the Spore download.
Consumers are given no control, rights, or options over SecuROM. The program is uninstallable. Once installed, it becomes a permanent part of the consumer’s software portfolio. Even if the consumer uninstall Spore, and entirely deletes it from their computer, SecuROM remains a fixture in their computer unless and until the consumer completely wipes their hard drive through reformating or replacement of the drive.
Prop 1 is more Sound Transit promises, but can you name one promise they have kept?That's a false rhetorical question we can easily debunk... with visual proof:
"Al-Qaeda will have to support McCain in the coming election," said a commentary posted Monday on the extremist Web site al-Hesbah, which is closely linked to the terrorist group. It said the Arizona Republican would continue the "failing march of his predecessor," President Bush.The irony here, is that despite its disingenuous attempts to portray Barack Obama as being sympathetic to terrorists, McCain actually ended up getting the endorsement of terrorists. Scoreboard shows McCain 1, Obama 0. Now, I'm not going to cast aspersions on the McCain campaign the way they've done to Barack Obama, but this further underscores the damage that John McCain and George W. Bush have done with this debacle they call a foreign policy. Terrorists are laughing at the United States and hoping that McCain gets elected so he can continue Bush's folly. As Governor Bill Richardson said in the primaries, "Being stubborn isn't a foreign policy."
The complaint alleges that McKenna violated the Ethics in Public Service Act, and was filed with State Auditor Brian Sonntag as provided for under State law. Fuse also filed a public disclosure request seeking additional information about McKenna's actions, as well as an ethics complaint with the Washington State Bar Association.If you're not familiar with what McKenna did, here's a quick explanation of what happened. A few weeks ago, retired justices Faith Ireland and Robert Utter sued the Building Industry Association of Washington and announced their intent to sue Dino Rossi over his involvement in the Buildergate fundraising scandal.
"It's difficult to explain the Attorney General's actions in this matter as anything other than an effort to provide Dino Rossi's campaign with legal arguments to support his attempts to dodge a subpoena," said Aaron Ostrom, Executive Director of Fuse. "His involvement in this case is highly inappropriate and very unusual. In fact, we have been unable to identify any other instances where the Attorney General weighed in with legal analysis on a citizen suit that he was not a party to without being asked by the court or appropriate official."
The AGO issued the letter and its analysis without any request from the King County Superior Court or any other appropriate official.. The Attorney General's Office refused to retract the letter despite a formal request accompanied by evidence of how it was being misused by Dino Rossi's lawyers.The Northwest Progressive Institute strongly denounces Rob McKenna's unwelcome interference in the Buildergate investigation. McKenna is obstructing justice by inappropriately using his office to influence the Court on Dino Rossi's behalf. This is an outrageous misuse of power and it must end.
That's putting it lightly. From an earlier NPI story:
Its agenda is simple, says Tom McCabe, who in the past two decades has led the group from one room and two employees to a renovated Olympia mansion with 45 staffers.
The group, which represents 13,000 home-building contractors, wants lower taxes and fewer regulations, particularly environmental ones, McCabe says.
They despise regulation - everything from environmental laws to ergonomics rules. The BIAW has used the initiative process repeatedly to get voters to repeal worker and environmental protection legislation it opposes....Obviously the BIAW feels thwarted by Governor Gregoire's strong leadership on environmental protection, leadership strong enough to win her legions of unpaid volunteers, ready to spread the word without asking for cash.
[In 2006 they sued] to prevent Puget Sound orcas from being listed as endangered under the federal Endangered Species Act.
Not only is it good for Barack Obama if John McCain is pulling out of New Mexico and Colorado, but it helps the campaigns of Democrats Tom Udall and Mark Udall, both running for U.S. Senate, because their Republican opponents are on their own. And with both Udalls sporting nice leads in the polls, these two seats are looking like Democratic pickups. That's two more on the road to 60.
Most people top in the McCain campaign now believe New Mexico and Iowa are gone, that Barack Obama will win New Mexico and Iowa. They are now off the dream list of the McCain campaign. More interestingly, most top people inside the McCain campaign think Colorado is gone.
So they are now finishing with a very risky strategy. Win Florida. Win Nevada ... And here is the biggest risk of all -- yes they have to win North Carolina, yes they have to win Ohio, yes they have to win Virginia, trailing or dead-even in all those states right now. But they are betting Wolf on coming back and taking the state of Pennsylvania. It has become the critical state now in the McCain electoral scenario. And they are down 10, 12, and even 14 points in some polls there. But they say as Colorado, Iowa and other states drift away, they think they have to take a big state. 21 electoral votes in Pennsylvania, Wolf, watch that state over the next few weeks.
Powell said a major part of his decision to turn his back on his own party was his conclusion that Obama was the better option to repair frayed U.S. relations with allies overseas.
“This is the time for outreach,” Powell said, saying the next president would have to “reach out and show the world there is a new administration that is willing to reach
In particular, he said, he welcomed Obama’s president to “talk to people we haven’t talked to,” a reference to Obama’s controversial statement that he would be open to direct diplomacy with Iranian leaders.
“I think that [Obama] has a definite way of doing business that will serve us well,” Powell said.
From the Olympian:
So even if Rossi can erase the deficit, what next? What is his vision for Washington?
Gregoire said in the 2004 campaign that she wouldn't raise taxes, but she says her argument was that it was wrong to raise general taxes during an economic downturn.
"I am committed — was and am — that in economic tough times, you don't raise taxes like property tax, sales tax and B&O (business-and-occupations) tax. And I didn't," she said.
On the Obama side, I watched Mr. Obama and I watched him during this seven-week period. And he displayed a steadiness, an intellectual curiosity, a depth of knowledge and an approach to looking at problems like this and picking a vice president that, I think, is ready to be president on day one. And also, in not just jumping in and changing every day, but showing intellectual vigor. I think that he has a, a definitive way of doing business that would serve us well.But Powell didn't just endorse Barack Obama. He issued scathing remarks about the type of party the Republican Party has become, with its policies of scorch and burn.
So, when I look at all of this and I think back to my Army career, we've got two individuals, either one of them could be a good president. But which is the president that we need now? Which is the individual that serves the needs of the nation for the next period of time? And I come to the conclusion that because of his ability to inspire, because of the inclusive nature of his campaign, because he is reaching out all across America, because of who he is and his rhetorical abilities--and we have to take that into account--as well as his substance--he has both style and substance--he has met the standard of being a successful president, being an exceptional president. I think he is a transformational figure. He is a new generation coming into the world--onto the world stage, onto the American stage, and for that reason I'll be voting for Senator Barack Obama.
Gwen Alexander, the president of the African-American Historical Society of Alaska, told me that Palin stated defiantly that she had no intention to hire any minority staffers. And according to Bishop Dave Thomas, senior pastor of Anchorage-based African-American church Jesus Holy Temple, the Palin administration excluded black business owners from the Alaskan oil and gas pipeline board. "We wasn't even able or allowed to go into the meetings" to seek contracts for the pipeline, Thomas told me.
Palin further alienated Alaska's black community by becoming the first Alaskan governor in recent memory to not recognize the Juneteenth celebration of the emancipation proclamation. "She doesn't hire any black people, she doesn't have any on her staff, so it's not a surprise that she doesn't support our Juneenth celebration," Alexander said. [emphasis mine]
But not hiring minorities isn't enough for Sarah Palin. Apparently, Governor Palin used a racial epithet to demean Barack Obama in public, and frequently uses them with regard to native Alaskans. And if you thought George Allen calling S.R. Sidarth "macaca" was bad, Sarah Palin looks like David Duke by comparison.
Regardless of what political party she represents (Republican, Alaskan Independence or otherwise), the racist venom spewed forth by Sarah Palin is unbecoming of a potential leader of the free world, and it's time for her to go back to Alaska and retreat from the national political scene.
“So Sambo beat the bitch!”
This is how Republican Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin described Barack Obama’s win over Hillary Clinton to political colleagues in a restaurant a few days after Obama locked up the Democratic Party presidential nomination.
According to Lucille, the waitress serving her table at the time and who asked that her last name not be used, Gov. Palin was eating lunch with five or six people when the subject of the Democrat’s primary battle came up. The governor, seemingly not caring that people at nearby tables would likely hear her, uttered the slur and then laughed loudly as her meal mates joined in appreciatively.
Besides insulting Obama with a Step-N’-Fetch-It, “darkie musical” swipe, people who know her say she refers regularly to Alaska’s Aboriginal people as “Arctic Arabs” – how efficient, lumping two apparently undesirable groups into one ugly description – as well as the more colourful “mukluks” along with the totally unimaginative “f**king Eskimo’s,” according to a number of Alaskans and Wasillians interviewed for this article. [emphasis mine]
Palin also made a point of mentioning that she loved to visit the "pro-America" areas of the country, of which North Carolina is one. No word on which states she views as unpatriotic.I'd like to challenge Senator Palin to tell us where the anti-American parts of our nation are. My guess, though, is that Palin is generalizing, marginalizing and denigrating highly populous urban areas that tend to vote overwhelmingly Democratic.
She is not as thoughtful or persuasive as Joe the Plumber, who in an extended cable interview Thursday made a better case for the Republican ticket than the Republican ticket has made. In the past two weeks she has spent her time throwing out tinny lines to crowds she doesn't, really, understand. This is not a leader, this is a follower, and she follows what she imagines is the base, which is in fact a vast and broken-hearted thing whose pain she cannot, actually, imagine.Well said, Peggy. Well said, indeed. Questioning the patriotism of good and decent Americans who have a different opinion than you is a vulgarization of political discourse.
In the end the Palin candidacy is a symptom and expression of a new vulgarization in American politics. It's no good, not for conservatism and not for the country. And yes, it is a mark against John McCain, against his judgment and idealism.
The Washington Bus [a youth-oriented, traveling advocacy group] is…..teaming up with grassroots groups across the country to present Trick or Vote, America’s largest non-partisan get-out-the-vote canvass... in costume!In the Seattle area, The Bus will take 250 costumed volunteers canvassing with a goal of knocking on 8,000 doors. When they're done, the group will celebrate the night and their success with a party on Capitol Hill. What better way to spend the holiday than getting out the vote and partying with progressives?
A day after making Joseph Wurzelbacher famous, referencing him in the debate almost two dozen times as someone who would pay higher taxes under Barack Obama, McCain learned the fine print Thursday on the plumber’s not-so-tidy personal story: He owes back taxes. He is not a licensed plumber. And it turns out that Wurzelbacher makes less than $250,000 a year, which means he would receive a tax cut if Obama were elected president. [emphasis mine]In other words, the Joe the Plumber story that John McCain would have the American people believe is a fraud. But the problem here is yet another instance when McCain failed to vet, in this case, the Joe the Plumber myth.
Gregoire is a known, trustworthy performer. She led state agencies well for years, and has done the same for the whole state. Gregoire has made improvements and smart choices in perhaps every area of major responsibility, many long neglected.Here's The Oregonian:
Gregoire has brought Washington to within sight of becoming the first state with health coverage for all its children, persuaded voters to increase the gas tax to help take on the state's sclerotic transportation system, and begun a major effort -- with a long way to go -- to clean up Puget Sound.And The Columbian, which endorsed Dino Rossi in 2004:
Washington voters closer to the Columbia should also appreciate her energetic efforts to prod the feds to speed the cleanup of Hanford.
Gregoire knows how to help Southwest Washington. Last November, within two weeks of extensive reporting in The Columbian about foot-dragging by the state Department of Ecology in cleaning up the old Alcoa waterfront site — plus a stern “Help us out, Chris” editorial — Gregoire ordered the DOE officials to get cracking, and they did.And the News Tribune of Tacoma, which has also switched to Team Gregoire:
Last month, within one hour of the Community Economic Revitalization Board abruptly withdrawing a $12.5 million grant it had mistakenly awarded Vancouver’s waterfront redevelopment project, Gregoire promised capital-budget funding for the project and vowed to expand the program to include Vancouver’s efforts.
There’s a reason Rossi was able to fight Gregoire to a statistical tie in 2004 – one ultimately decided by an infinitesimal and fiercely disputed 133 votes.The Olympian says:
Yet we’re endorsing Gregoire this time around. Although we’ve had disagreements with her, we’ve been impressed by her overall performance as governor. Some examples:
Gregoire “gets” early childhood education. She has worked to turn the state into a leader in this field.
She’s been a champion of higher education. In Pierce County, for instance, she secured funding to expand both the campus and the enrollment of the University of Washington Tacoma.
When revenues began to slide, Gregoire, like any good manager, took immediate steps. She imposed a state hiring freeze, limited consulting contracts and discontinued unnecessary travel. Coupled with 1 percent across-the-board spending cuts, Gregoire says she has already taken steps to trim the projected $3.2 billion deficit by $1.5 billion. And let's not forget Gregoire balanced a budget with a $2.2 billion deficit when she took office after beating Rossi by 133 votes in 2004. She created the rainy-day fund and has been a solid steward of state resources.Gregoire also has the support of two weekly newspapers, The Stranger of Seattle and the Inlander Northwest of Spokane:
By all indicators, we're entering a tough stretch here, and Washington state will feel it. In times like these, we need to choose the kind of competence and experience that Gregoire offers, not the false promises of a man who, until very recently, was proud to be a chip off the old Bush block.What does Rossi have?
- Inlander Northwest
Want some reasons to get fired up about Gregoire? Here are a few: She pushed through climate-change legislation, added tens of thousands of kids to the state's children's health-insurance program, increased the state housing trust fund by $50 million, and has consistently signed Democratic-agenda legislation that her opponent would have vetoed.
- The Stranger
Here’s McCain’s: “I have a record of reform, and taking on my party, the other party, the special interests…” And Obama’s: “You know, over the last 20 months, you've invited me into your homes. You've shared your stories with me. And you've confirmed once again the fundamental decency and generosity of the American people. And that's why I'm sure that our brighter days are still ahead.”Should a presidential campaign be all about the person running, or should it be about all of us as a nation?
For the record, Senator McCain, Justice Breyer was nominated by President Clinton and seated on the Court on August 3, 1994. As Barack Obama's official Senate biography notes he was:
I voted for Justice Breyer and Justice Ginsburg. Not because I agreed with their ideology, but because I thought they were qualified and that elections have consequences when presidents are nominated. This is a very important issue we're talking about.Senator Obama voted against Justice Breyer and Justice Roberts on the grounds that they didn't meet his ideological standards. [emphasis mine]
Sworn into office on January 4, 2005, Senator Obama has focused on tackling the challenges of a globalized, 21st-century world with fresh thinking and judgment that no longer settles for the lowest common denominator. [emphasis mine]So tell me Senator McCain, how does an Illinois State Senator vote in the United States Senate to confirm a Supreme Court Justice? Are you alleging voter fraud?
Obama: Those are all things that we put in the Democratic platform for the first time this year, and I think that's where we can find some common ground, because nobody's pro-abortion. I think it's always a tragic situation.John McCain is a callous, heartless bastard who would rather let a pregnant mother die than give her the option of terminating her pregnancy in which the end result might be her own death. John McCain has said some idiotic things, but mocking a mother's health in order to force her to have a child is pretty low. Memo to pregnant women: never mind if your health and safety dictates that an abortion is the best course of action as determined by you in consultation with qualified medical professionals, John McCain would rather let you die.
McCain: Just again, the example of the eloquence of Senator Obama. He's health for the mother. You know, that's been stretched by the pro-abortion movement in America to mean almost anything.That's the extreme pro-abortion position, quote, "health."
MCCAIN: We need to encourage programs such as Teach for America and Troops to Teachers where people, after having served in the military, can go right to teaching and not have to take these examinations which -- or have the certification that some are required in some states.Certification? We don't need no stinking certification? Apparently John McCain thinks we need standards of excellence for our students, but not our teachers. And he wants to put these uncertified teachers in the classroom with the hard-working good teachers who got their degrees and certifications. Undoubtedly McCain would want to pay these uncertified teachers the same wages as their certified counterparts.
I've found you can do pretty much anything you want if you do it with a smile on your face. It's amazing what you can get away with if you do it with a smile on your face.Just what is it that Rossi would like to get away with? Limiting women’s access to birth control? Reversing recent gains made in gay rights? Or maybe taking away the access to health care that Governor Gregoire worked so hard to give to thousands of low-income Washington kids?
William Timmons, the Washington lobbyist who John McCain has named to head his presidential transition team, aided an influence effort on behalf of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein to ease international sanctions against his regime.
The two lobbyists who Timmons worked closely with over a five year period on the lobbying campaign later either pleaded guilty to or were convicted of federal criminal charges that they had acted as unregistered agents of Saddam Hussein's government.
During the same period beginning in 1992, Timmons worked closely with the two lobbyists, Samir Vincent and Tongsun Park, on a previously unreported prospective deal with the Iraqis in which they hoped to be awarded a contract to purchase and resell Iraqi oil. Timmons, Vincent, and Park stood to share at least $45 million if the business deal went through.
Timmons' activities occurred in the years following the first Gulf War, when Washington considered Iraq to be a rogue enemy state and a sponsor of terrorism. His dealings on behalf of the deceased Iraqi leader stand in stark contrast to the views his current employer held at the time.
So while John McCain and Sarah Palin keep inciting their crowds over a loose association that Barack Obama has with Bill Ayers, it turns out that John McCain has his own questionable connections.
If a man is measured by the company he keeps, then we know what we can expect from John McCain. More of the same. More authoritarianism, more Constitution thrown by the wayside, more flagrant disrespect for international law, more warmongering, more torture, and more questionable judgment from the White House.
That McCain has lobbyists on the payroll who have represented some of the most brutal regimes (or the worst in corporate malfeasance) on the planet has to make you question his leadership. Lobbyists get paid by clients to influence lawmakers to achieve a specific outcome supported by and beneficial to the client.
So exactly where do John McCain's loyalties lie? With Burma? With Saddam's loyalists? Has McCain's campaign been compromised? Is it an act of treason to have agents of foreign governments so involved in a potential McCain Administration? And how does John McCain reconcile his past statements about Saddam Hussein with keeping one of Saddam's agents on the payroll?
You can wear a flag pin, stand up and salute the flag in the morning, cloak yourself in the mantle of the red, white and blue and tell old war stories all you want, but when your campaign is rife with lobbyists who have represented brutal dictators, the emperor has no clothes.
Conducted October 8-9, the poll surveyed 400 likely voters and has a 4.9 percent margin of error.A side note: There's that ugly right wing phrase again - tax relief. When are Democrats going to stop using counterproductive conservative frames? Taxes are not an affliction or even a "necessary evil", either. They're just necessary.
Voters believe Reichert has not gotten much done in Congress and has sided time and again with President George Bush. More voters believe Burner rather than Reichert shares their values and will try to bring change to Washington.
"Darcy Burner's campaign for change is resonating with families who have had enough of Congressman Dave Reichert's support for George Bush's failed economic policies," said Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee spokesman Yoni Cohen. "Reichert was a good sheriff but is ineffective in Congress, rubber stamping Bush's war in Iraq and Bush's effort to privatize Social Security and risk seniors' retirement benefits in the stock market. Burner is running to change Washington and provide tax relief to Washington State's middle class families."
Social Security has proved to be one of our nation's most successful programs ever established. Social Security has lifted millions of elderly and disabled Americans out of poverty. My mentor and former boss, Senator Frank Church, chaired the Senate Committee on Aging, where he worked to support and expand Social Security benefits. As Senator, I will work hard to follow his example to guarantee benefits for future generations. I will also oppose privatization plans that would divert Social Security taxes to private accounts. I will work to enact a long-term plan to protect Social Security.Retirement funds and investments have taken a huge hit in the past couple of weeks, and there is a lot of pain being shared by the middle class and those of lesser means. Given that Jim Risch didn't learn anything from George W. Bush's failed attempts to privatize Social Security, and still wants to give your money away there's only one question all Idahoans need to ask themselves: Can you afford to have Jim Risch as your Senator?
The postcards show a mug shot of a middle-age man with slicked-back hair. His eyes and his name are blacked out to shield his identity. The cards, shown in photocopies provided by Democrats, carry a bold headline that reads, "This violent predator lives in your community."
They also describe sex crimes supposedly committed by the person, then mention the name of a Democratic lawmaker and claim the legislator "refused to impose life sentences for violent sex predators."
The charges by the mailer were bogus, and voters summarily rejected the Republicans' claims by expanding the Democratic majority in both houses of the Legislature.
Fast forward to 2008, and the Republicans are back at it with the sex offenders. This time Governor Chris Gregoire is the victim of a scurrilous mailer by the Republican Governors' Association.
Year after year, the Republican party, particularly as seen in this mailer and the McCain-Palin campaign, plays to the lowest common denominator. It plays on hate and fear at every opportunity. In the 1980's Ronald Reagan warned us of nuclear armageddon, welfare queens and the commies. In 1988, a criminal named Willie Horton was the undoing of Massachusetts Governor Mike Dukakis' campaign. Congress under Newt Gingrich was all about family values and demonizing those that weren't like them (despite the irony that they didn't seem to have any family values). George W. Bush's administration has played on the fear of terrorism since September 11, 2001.
More locally, its a common feature of Republican legislative campaigns to introduce sex offenders and the most violent, gruesome crime into the mix, and to blame the Democrat in the race for doing nothing to stop the crime or, more disgustingly, for enabling the perpetrators.
The truth is that since becoming Governor, Chris Gregoire has strengthened laws that keep our communities safe and given more resources to law enforcement and prosecutors to keep sex offenders out of our neighborhoods. But don't take my word for it, read this letter from some prominent members of the law enforcement community.
Fear and lies. It's all the Republicans have to run on.
During the first round of questions, each panelist will ask the candidates two questions. For their second question, each panelist will have the option of asking a follow-up question to their first question or asking a different question. For the second round, the format will be the same, but each panelist will ask 4 questions instead of two. Each candidate will have 1 minute to answer each question. There are no formal rebuttals. The first round will comprise of questions related to the Office of the Attorney General – scope, approach, experience, etc.The questions so far have been very good, ranging from office diversity to identifying state Supreme Court decisions that the candidates disagree with.
The second round will focus on issues, topics of interest, and special cases. Between the rounds will be a lightning round where the moderator will pose a series of yes/no questions in which candidates will only be allowed to answer by holding up a card indicating their answer as yes, no, or waffle. Diane will then open up the debate to questions from the audience for 10 minutes. At the end, the candidates will have 1 minute to make closing remarks.
On September 29, 2008, Wachovia announced its intention to sell its banking operations to Citigroup for $2.2 billion in an open bank transaction facilitated by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation; according to the FDIC, Wachovia "did not fail." Wachovia would have continued to operate as a separate, publicly traded company as the owner of Wachovia Securities, AG Edwards and Evergreen Investments. The sale was agreed to be completed by December 31, 2008.I blogged on this development when it was announced.
However, on October 3, 2008, Wells Fargo and Wachovia announced they had agreed to merge in an all-stock transaction requiring no FDIC involvement, apparently nullifying the Citigroup deal. Wells Fargo announced it had agreed to acquire Wachovia for $15.1 billion in stock.The combined company, which is expected to keep the Wells Fargo name, will hold $1.42 trillion in assets. The deal nearly doubles Wells Fargo's stores and ATM network, greatly strengthing its footprint across the eastern United States.
Wachovia prefers the Wells Fargo deal, as it is a much higher valuation than the Citigroup deal, it keeps the banking and brokerage businesses together, and has less of an overlapping territory between the banks, as Wells Fargo is dominant in the West and Midwest compared to the redundant footprint of Wachovia and Citibank along the Atlantic Seaboard and in the South.
Citigroup is exploring their legal options, demanding that Wachovia and Wells Fargo cease discussions, citing an exclusivity agreement between Citigroup and Wachovia. The deal still requires shareholder and regulatory approval.
On October 4, 2008 a New York judge issued a temporary injunction blocking the transaction from going forward while the situation is sorted out. However, this ruling was overturned.
On October 9, 2008, Citigroup abandoned their attempt to purchase Wachovia, allowing Wells Fargo to proceed with a transaction instead. However, Citigroup is still pursuing its $60 billion claims against Wachovia and Wells Fargo for alleged violations of the exclusivity agreement.
Wachovia’s agreement to a transaction with Wells Fargo is in clear breach of an Exclusivity Agreement between Citi and Wachovia. In addition, Wells Fargo’s conduct constitutes tortious interference with the Exclusivity Agreement.Citigroup initially went to court to block the deal, but apparently also began rethinking the wisdom of acquiring Wachovia, which has a mountain of bad assets.
The Exclusivity Agreement provides, among other things, that Wachovia will not enter into any transaction with any party other than Citi, and will not participate in any discussions or negotiations with any third party. The Exclusivity Agreement also provides that the parties would be irreparably harmed by any breach of the agreement and that the remedy of specific performance of the agreement is appropriate.
Citi said: "Without our willingness to engage in this transaction, hundreds of billions of dollars of value would have been seriously threatened. We stood by while others walked away. Now, our shareholders have been unjustly and illegally deprived of the opportunity the transaction created."Isn't it great that Citigroup gets to have its day in court?
Citi believes that it has strong legal claims against Wachovia, Wells Fargo and their officers, directors, advisors and others for breach of contract and for tortious interference with contract. Citigroup plans to pursue these damage claims vigorously on behalf of its shareholders. However, Citigroup has decided not to ask that the Wells Fargo-Wachovia merger be enjoined.
"Governor Palin knowingly permitted a situation to continue where impermissible pressure was placed on several subordinates in order to advance a personal agenda ... to get Trooper Michael Wooten fired," Branchflower's report says.
"Compliance with the code of ethics is not optional. It is an individual responsibility imposed by law, and any effort to benefit a personal interest through official action is a violation of that trust. ... The term 'benefit' is very broadly defined, and includes anything that is to the person's advantage or personal self-interest."
One more time, with apologies to Senator Joe Biden, "That's not change. That's more of the same."
To make matters worse today, the McCain-Palin campaign released their own report on Troopergate earlier in the day and prior to the release of the Branchflower report. That's like Dick Cheney inviting the oil companies into the White House to write energy policy. Of course, their conclusions were predictable.
Without a doubt, the next time John McCain and Sarah Palin talk about reform or being "mavericks" (and I hate using their term), they will be lying. Sarah Palin is no different from former Congressman Tom DeLay, incarcerated former Congressman Randy "Duke" Cunningham, and formerly incarcerated former Congressman Bob Ney, just to name a few of the ethically-challenged Republicans who have inhabited Washington, D.C. in the past few years.
Ms. Palin has denied that anyone told Mr. Monegan to dismiss Mr. Wooten, or that the commissioner’s ouster had anything to do with the trooper. But an examination of the case, based on interviews with Mr. Monegan and several top aides, indicates that, to a far greater degree than was previously known, the governor, her husband and her administration pressed the commissioner and his staff to get Mr. Wooten off the force, though without directly ordering it.
In all, the commissioner and his aides were contacted about Mr. Wooten three dozen times over 19 months by the governor, her husband and seven administration officials, interviews and documents show.
“To all of us, it was a campaign to get rid of him as a trooper and, at the very least, to smear the guy and give him a desk job somewhere,” said Kim Peterson, Mr. Monegan’s special assistant, who like several other aides spoke publicly about the matter for the first time. [emphasis mine]
Further adding to Palin's woes, today the Alaska Supreme Court threw out an attempt by Republican legislators to shut down the Troopergate investigation, upholding a lower court ruling, meaning that investigator Steve Branchflower's report on the matter will be issued tomorrow. A full copy of the Court's order can be found here. An opinion is expected to follow, but has not yet been posted on the Court's website.
"It's frustrating and infuriating that someone who claims to speak for the American people would repeatedly show such little respect for creativity and intellectual property," the band says in a statement. "The saddest thing about this is that 'My Hero' was written as a celebration of the common man and his extraordinary potential. To have it appropriated without our knowledge and used in a manner that perverts the original sentiment of the lyric just tarnishes the song."A man with 7 houses and 13 vehicles using a song celebrating the common man shows incredible chutzpah.
Democratic challenger Peter Goldmark is the clear choice for state Commissioner of Public Lands. Goldmark, an Eastern Washington farmer, offers a good bet for more careful environmental stewardship, especially on timber lands, a willingness to spur clean-energy production and a good sense for the fiduciary responsibility to earn money from timber, leasing aquatic lands and other activities...I think Goldmark's own words from his website can tell you where his priorities lie better than I can.
Neither Goldmark or Sutherland, who is heavily supported by the timber industry, is likely to try to make a big shift from logging. But we think Goldmark would be much more open to stricter conservation practices, extensive marketing of timber as green-certified to the highest standard and moving rapidly in new directions. His enthusiasm for clean energy, for instance, suggests he is also likely to spur conservation groups, businesses and others into partnerships that will make for a healthier environment and economy.
We need to take a more thoughtful approach focused on long-term sustainability--for trust revenues, jobs, recreation, fish and wildlife habitat, and ecological protection rather than sell off our future for short term profits.
McCain and Marylin Shannon — a 2008 McCain delegate and former vice chair of the Oregon Republican Party — both appeared at an August, 1993 fundraiser for the far right Oregon Citizens Alliance. McCain appeared against the advice of Mark Hatfield, a GOP senator from Oregon, who feared that the group’s extremist views would taint McCain.What's that they say about glass houses and stones?
Shannon, who attended this year’s Republican National Convention as a McCain delegate, spoke immediately before McCain and “praised the Grants Pass woman accused of shooting an abortion doctor in Wichita” earlier in the month, referring to her as a “fine lady.” When McCain spoke next, he said nothing about Shannon’s vile comments and delivered his speech as prepared.
Just a few months later, the Senate voted overwhelmingly to approve a crucial anti-domestic terrorism bill, the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act. McCain opposed the bill.
The Federal Reserve Board said Wednesday that it would provide up to $37.8 billion to the embattled insurer the American International Group to help it deal with a rapidly dwindling supply of cash. [emphasis mine]Dwindling supply of cash? Perhaps spending over $440,000 on lavish accommodations, spa treatments and food wasn't such a brilliant move. But then again, these guys aren't brilliant or we wouldn't be bailing them out.
Applicant must ensure Smith shows up for publicized appearances. Applicant must also disclose proof of Smith’s travel throughout the state better than Democratic Party of Oregon.You see Gordon Smith has a problem with not showing up for appearances at events where he's scheduled to be, which has contributed to not being in all 36 Oregon counties each year, despite his professions to the contrary.
Just yesterday we learned Smith won’t speak at Cascade AIDS Project’s annual AIDS Walk Portland.
“It's busy back in D.C. right now with the budget crisis and all, and there was a miscommunication out of Smith's office. Although it was CAP's intention to have Smith speak, his schedulers had never actually put it on his calendar. Oops. So Smith is going to be a no-show.”
(Willamette Week Online, 10-7-08)
Today, Smith reached all the way to his hometown to brush off a publicized appearance.
“Sen. Gordon Smith not to appear”
(East Oregonian Headline, 10-8-08)
“Sen. Gordon Smith was mistakenly listed among the attendees at this evening's Day of Culture celebration at Pendleton Center for the Arts due to a miscommunication.”
(East Oregonian, 10-8-08)
Good help is hard to find. Thankfully, the Democratic Party of Oregon has the people's best interests in mind and is lending a helping hand to Gordon Smith, so that he can actually do the job the taxpayers in Oregon pay him to do and interact with his constituents once in a while.
If this bipartisan employment endeavor is successful, perhaps the Democratic Party of Oregon can also help Smith Frozen Foods find someone to help it comply with environmental laws and federal immigration laws. That would take two more people off the unemployment line.
Darcy Burner: I feel pretty strongly about this particular issue. I don't think government has any right to make personal decisions like that for people. When I was pregnant with my son Henry - a much-wanted pregnancy - I had complication after complication where my doctor sat down with me and said, "If you continue this pregnancy, you might not survive it." And every single time, my husband and I sat down and talked through it, and decided to continue.Adding a new amendment to the Constitution explicitly guaranteeing a right to privacy is a bold idea. But bold ideas are what we've come to expect from Darcy Burner, who is unafraid to be honest with the people she seeks to represent.
But that decision belongs to us, and there is no politician on the planet who has the right to make it for me.
The idea that there are politicians who think they have the right to tell people fundamental choices about what happens with their bodies is absurd. And I would support not only codifying Roe v. Wade into law, but ensuring that the Constitutional right to basic decisions about one's self and one's privacy is... [added as] a Constitutional amendment if Roe v. Wade were ever to be overturned.
At around the 10:08 mark, John McCain calls General David Petraeus the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs. He actually heads up U.S. Central Command.McCain's campaign will likely dismiss his remark and do a kabuki dance about his war hero status. But this isn't the first time McCain has promoted General Petraeus. He did it back on July 27 too.
MCCAIN: I believe that, when he said that we had to leave Iraq, and we had to be out by last March, and we had to have a date certain, that was in contravention to -- and still is -- the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General David Petraeus.Are McCain's mental faculties not all there? Does McCain fail to learn from his mistakes? Either way, the man who touts his military record at every turn and acts as if he's the fountain of all knowledge with regard to the armed forces, should know that the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is Admiral Mike Mullen. A Navy man ought to know that.
The second questioner of the night, a young African-American man, was named Oliver Clark. Toward the end of his response to Oliver’s question, however, McCain forgot his name and called him “Alan.” McCain also told Oliver that he was probably ignorant of the housing market, saying, “I bet you may have never heard of them before this crisis.”Does McCain think he'll get points for insulting audience members?
A week after the insurance giant, American International Group, received an $85 billion federal bailout, its life insurance subsidiary, AIG General, held a weeklong retreat for its top sales agents at the exclusive St. Regis Resort in Monarch Beach, Calif. Expenses for the week, lawmakers were told, totaled $442,000, including $200,000 for hotel rooms, $150,000 for food and $23,000 in spa charges.AIG got an $85 billion taxpayer bailout from the federal government and went on a spending orgy. And you didn't even get a facial or massage, a nice fuzzy bathrobe and slippers, filet mignon and a glass of $100/bottle wine, or even a mint on your pillow for your investment. You got nothing. Wanna see what your tax dollars bought? Don't worry, there's no surcharge for looking (yet).
Governor Gregoire worked to pass the Rainy Day Fund, held the line on spending in the last legislative session and responded to the changing national economy and state revenue shortfalls by finding savings in the current budget. Those savings and the Rainy Day Fund will give our state a surplus of around $800 million at the end of the budget cycle. The current cuts are estimated to save an additional $500 million from the next biennial budget.Rossi's budget plan would add $1.27 billion to the projected budget deficit and hurt schools. How is stunting our kids' education by giving the rich a tax break and making bad transportation decisions good for our state? Our schools and our kids (Washington's future workforce) are already behind.
The Bush administration has abruptly halted a government program that tests the levels of pesticides in fruits, vegetables and field crops, arguing that the $8 million-a-year program is too expensive — a decision critics say could make it harder to protect consumers from chemicals in their food.That's right, the Bush Administration believes that we the taxpayers can afford a $700 billion blank check for the corporate welfare, but it's unwilling to spend a measly $8 million (by comparison) to safeguard our health against known carcinogens, because it's "too expensive".
The two best indicators of which states the campaigns are serious about – time and money – tell the story.Virginia has 13 votes in the Electoral College. It's been a reliable Republican stronghold in the past, but that certainly isn't an indicator of future performance, especially given the recent elections of Mark Warner and, subsequently, Tim Kaine as governor. That Virginia is in play is a testament to the Obama ground game and the resources the campaign has available to put traditional red states into play. Obama's gains in Virginia are also a function of John McCain blowing the state off. You can't expect voters to vote for you if you don't put in the effort. But John McCain thinks he can mail it in, because he's still taking weekends off.
Since wrapping up the Democratic nomination in June, Obama, his wife, Michelle, and his running mate Joe Biden have visited the commonwealth a combined 12 times. The candidate himself was in the Tidewater city of Newport News Saturday.
Obama is also plowing millions into Virginia, blanketing the airwaves with TV and radio ads, filling up mailboxes with leaflets and, along with the state party, operating 49 campaign offices.
Together, McCain and his running mate, Sarah Palin, have held just one campaign event in Virginia. And the campaign has taken its ads off the pricey Washington, D.C. network affiliates that reach into the entire swath of the Northern Virginia, the commonwealth’s most populous region. [emphasis mine]
John McCain would pay for his health plan with major reductions to Medicare and Medicaid, a top aide said, in a move that independent analysts estimate could result in cuts of $1.3 trillion over 10 years to the government programs.This comes after McCain called Social Security a disgrace.
"It's a dangerous road, but we have no choice," a top McCain strategist told the Daily News. "If we keep talking about the economic crisis, we're going to lose."One of the greatest allies a candidate can have in the final month of a campaign is known as the Big Mo. That's momentum. Having the appearance of the Big Mo can help a campaign ride the crest of a big wave to victory. Of course, the opposite is true too. If your opponent has the Big Mo, your campaign is likely to crash and burn in the final weeks of the campaign.
"I am disappointed that after months of calling on McKenna to take action against Countrywide (see June press release from Ladenburg's website) that he stood on the sidelines only to come in at the 11th hour right before an election and announce a settlement based on the law suits of other states."The deceptive ploy of taking credit for the work of others at the last minute seems to be a big Republican trend, from John McCain's campaign on down.
"What you didn't hear from Rob McKenna today is that he never filed a lawsuit against Countrywide. You never heard if he would lobby Congress to prevent this from happening again—the story of Countrywide will become just the prelude for the next great rip-off of consumers without an Attorney General willing to call for increased regulation."
The advertising, running on cable channels throughout Washington, focus on two of the issues highlighted by Goldmark throughout the campaign: DNR's [The Department of Natural Resources] failure to enforce rules that could have limited the devastating landslides that impacted Lewis County last December, and a well publicized land deal where 320 acres of state forest were traded to a longtime developer ally of Sutherland in exchange for a parking lot in Des Moines.Watch the ads on YouTube:
The common link, says Goldmark, is that both ads highlight how Republican Sutherland rewards large contributors to his campaigns and a political action committee that operates on his behalf.
"Follow the money, and you can see where Doug Sutherland's priorities lie," said Goldmark. "He turned the other way while his largest corporate contributor clear cut miles of steep slopes-in Lewis County and elsewhere - and when wealthy developers come looking for sweetheart land deals, he is willing to bypass public input to assure a good deal for his friends."
The ads, while similar in theme, differ in style. One ad features stark images of the clear cut hillsides with Washington residents describing the scene. The ad ends with Goldmark surrounded by people describing his philosophy for land management.So why shoot in that parking lot?
The second ad was shot in the actual drug store parking lot now owned by the people of Washington. In a humorous take on a serious subject, volunteers are posed as traditional users of the land: a logger, a family of hikers, and a father and son fly fishing-clearly out of place in a parking lot.
"We wanted to show the ridiculousness of Sutherland's actions," said Goldmark. "The Lands Commissioner first and foremost must be a steward of the public trust, and that means protecting lands for use now-and into the future. It's not a Commissioner of Public Parking Lots."The contest for Lands Commissioner is emerging as one of the closest races of the 2008 election cycle. Goldmark is within striking distance of Sutherland - if some polls are to be believed, he's even slightly ahead. Unfortunately, Sutherland's longtime buddies are coming to his aid:
Goldmark has outraised his opponent in direct funds, but in keeping with the themes of the advertising, the timber industry and other interests have placed nearly $600,000 into a political action committee for the benefit of Sutherland's campaign.We'll be keeping a close eye on this race in the days and weeks ahead.
Weyerhaeuser, the company allowed to clearcut the Lewis County lands, put another $100,000 into the fund just last month.
The suit seeks discovery authority to determine Rossi’s precise role in the BIAW fundraising, and seeks to have these answers before the election. The lawsuit seeks to enjoin further illegal expenditures between now and the election.And what of Rossi's "I wasn't a candidate then" defense?
The Justices claim that Rossi’s participation in the BIAW’s fundraising efforts resulted in several serious violations of the State Fair Campaign Practices Act (RCW 42.17). Under this Act, a candidate cannot coordinate with a political committee to raise funds in support of his or her campaign. By doing so, the committee becomes ineligible to make “independent expenditures” and is limited to spending $2,800 on the candidate’s race.
Rossi has argued that he had not publicly declared his candidacy when he assisted the BIAW in raising money for the association’s elections war chest. But the law stipulates that a person becomes a candidate when he helps a political committee to amass funds to support his candidacy.In Dino Rossi's world, he might not be a candidate until the moment he decides he is, but state law says otherwise, as the justices have explained. The minute a prospective candidate starts raising money, they instantly become a candidate in the eyes of the public disclosure law whether they like it or not.
The evidence in the case suggests Rossi knew funds were being raised to support his bid for governor and that he helped raise the money by making phone calls and other personal contacts to potential donors while solicitations were pending.
...That record reveals Gregoire to be a tough, no-nonsense, hard-working advocate, especially in the areas of public education and health care...The Seattle metro area with its large, Democratic population propelled Gregoire into office, so the Seattle P-I's endorsement comes as no surprise. The difference is that now she has "proven performance" to recommend her. They tout her "improvements and smart choices" in education, health care, the environment and state finance.
Rossi and other critics assail Gregoire most often in an area — the economy — where she actually shows strength and versatility. She helped turn an inherited $2.2 billion deficit into a balanced budget. And as the national economy erodes, Gregoire has hunkered down in the face of the state’s projected $3.2 billion deficit. In June, according to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, she halted a three-building project at the capital after costs increased from $260 million to $370 million. A new data center, space for the Department of Information Services and State Patrol offices will have to wait.
I have had the good fortune to have seen Governor Gregoire speak at least five times in the last couple of years without even trying, but that is not too surprising considering that she is constantly engaged with the public whether it's a campaign year or not.
In Chris Gregoire, Washington has a governor who has served the state well during relatively good times. She is a good bet for a future likely to be less rosy economically.
Washington voters should re-elect Gregoire based on proven performance, capability and drive. Especially for uncertain times, she's a much more proven leader than her Republican rival, former state Sen. Dino Rossi...
At the end of the day, we believe she is cable of tightening [the budget] while retaining a solid, moral, well-grounded vision of wider opportunities, better health and improved transportation.
Make no mistake: This is assisted suicide. It is a grim decision, and many may think it is a wrong one, but we believe it should be the right of the terminally ill to decide for themselves.Several paragraphs later, the Times described the measure's built-in safeguards:
I-1000 aims to protect the patient by making him or her ask for the lethal dose several times, once with witnesses and in writing. It requires two doctors to certify the patient has an untreatable disease likely to be fatal within six months.Finally, the Times concluded:
But for the voters to reject I-1000 is to deny the patient the right to make the decision at all. On the grounds of compassion for the suffering, and recognition of the individual as a moral agent, death with dignity is a right that should be allowed.Agreed.
I-985 is a poorly packaged jumble of different proposals that will - please listen carefully - worsen traffic in certain areas. It makes no sense to design a functioning, complicated traffic system by initiative.Exactly. The Times nails the consequences, too:
Within a few weeks of this measure's effective date, fewer commuters will ride the bus because they lose the time advantage. The result will be more cars on the road and more congestion by mid-December. Happy Holidays to you.This is part of the reason why we call I-985 the More Traffic Measure. Instead of providing attractive alternatives to driving, I-985 encourages people who are already using transit to get back into their cars. That's a stupid and irresponsible idea. Air pollution and sprawl are already bad enough.
Consider westbound Highway 520 approaching the bridge across Lake Washington. The three-occupant HOV lane is narrow shoulder not design to handle a crowded lane of traffic. It works today because fewer cars and buses use it. Put more cars in the skinny lane and it becomes dangerous and backs traffic up to Interstate 405 as cars jostle to fit three lanes into two.There's also an excellent paragraph debunking Eyman's nonsensical provision that takes away red light camera money from cities.
Our credit challenge is real, but this plan was both inadequate and inequitable. It protected neither the taxpayer nor the need to address the underlying reason for this credit crisis - the collapse of the housing market.And here is Representative Baird:
We are now reaping the bitter wind of the great irresponsibility of Wall Street. It’s not enough to have a provision asking for some unidentified President to present some unidentified plan to take back taxpayer money from Wall Street.
It was an illusion of protection. We also must do more to help people stay in their homes by addressing the root of this financial crisis, the collapse in the housing markets. We should work for a plan to require that taxpayers get what Warren Buffet gets - equity.
I repeat that I am willing to stay here and keep working for a bill that works for taxpayers and addresses the real problem. The fundamental problem is the housing crisis and the effect is it having on American families and homeowners.
I realize the need to find consensus and I hope this plan works to firm up credit, but this plan is far short of what the American people need.
In the past week, I have received thousands of emails and hundreds of calls from folks in Southwest Washington. People are understandably concerned and angry about this situation. I share their concern, and their anger.So there are your two perspectives - one from Camp Nuh-uh and one from Camp Hafta, as Daily Kos has characterized it. Maybe Camp Nuh-uh should be called Camp We Need Better Plan, because many who voted against this bill - like Jay Inslee - are for taking proactive action that addresses the causes of this crisis instead of just attempting to throw money we don't even have at the symptoms.
However, when the Secretary of the Treasury and the Chairman of the Federal Reserve both said we could soon face conditions worse than the Great Depression, doing nothing was not an option.
If do not act millions of people will lose their jobs, their retirement savings, their businesses and farms will disappear and a financial catastrophe will ensue. We’ve been put in a terrible situation. While this bill is far from perfect, it will help prevent the current economic crisis from getting worse.
The other day I said I voted in favor of the House bailout bill because I trusted Democratic leaders who worked tirelessly to represent Main Street. I still do, but Senate Republicans changed all that.Gotta watch out for those "sweeteners"...
When Republicans force a bill that ignores the plight of Americans, but includes so-called sweeteners, that is not worthy of support. When Republicans force a bill that slips in more earmark spending, that is not worthy of support.
When Republicans force a bill through that includes an accounting gimmick, that is not worthy of support. The Senate dug an enormous ditch alongside Main Street, and they want the House to drive into it.
John McCain is pulling out of Michigan, according to two Republicans, a stunning move a month away from Election Day that indicates the difficulty Republicans are having in finding blue states to put in play.Of course, Republican allied interest groups will still run independent expenditures against Barack Obama in Michigan, but this is a good sign for the Obama campaign.
McCain will go off TV in Michigan, stop dropping mail there and send most of his staff to more competitive states, including Wisconsin, Ohio and Florida. Wisconsin went for Kerry in 2004, Ohio and Florida for Bush.
A McCain aide confirmed the move and chalked it up to the state's Democratic tilt and the resources Obama had put in place there.
Mr. President, I don't think 5 minutes would possibly be enough time for me to explain all the things I would like to say. I am sure I could spend an hour talking about credit default swaps. I am sure I could spend 2 days talking about the lack of transparency in the financial markets.We at at the Northwest Progressive Institute strongly applaud Senator Maria Cantwell for her courageous vote.
I am sure I could spend a lot of time explaining what I think is the right thing we should do to put as much liquidity into the markets as possible. So I will try to be succinct.
I came to the Senate knowing what it is like to take a tough vote. To make the decision that is right for the American public. It’s most important to do the right thing. I also know what it is like to see millions of dollars in the stock market go away and watch a stock bubble burst.
I also know what it is like to stand on the Senate floor, as I did 3 years ago, when someone tried to cram legislation in the Defense authorization bill to open up drilling in the Arctic Wildlife Refuge, and I said then that is was the equivalent to legislative blackmail.
I am not going to vote for this legislation tonight based on whether someone crams in tax credits, for which I actually have fought so hard. I am going to render my decision based on what I think is important for the American people.
I think there is something that is missing in our discussion. I applaud Chairman Dodd who has worked hard on the Banking Committee. I applaud my colleague who just spoke, who spoke eloquently about the need to do something.
But the problem with the legislation before us is that it is choosing winners and losers in corporate America. It is inserting the Federal Government in a role in which they decide, along with the private sector, exactly how funds should be allocated.
I am for the full faith and credit of the U.S. Government backing these institutions. What I am not for is turning the keys to the Treasury over to the private sector.
There is much we could agree on tonight. We could agree on the new changes to the FDIC rule. We could agree on mark to market accounting changes and to bringing better marketing and accountability to the system.
We could agree on the up-tick rule and other predictability measures that help the market understand that there is a broad commitment by this institution to do something to help stabilize the markets.
But I am very concerned about the "pick here, pick there" approach that has transpired in the last several weeks.
I ask you to just think of one institution, in my State, Washington Mutual - which I would not necessarily applaud for its subprime lending rates or for its use and backing of credit default swaps, but I would ask you to consider the fact that as that institution was forced into sale by this Government.
Who were the winners and losers in that?
JPMorgan got the assets of that institution and benefited from that. In fact, JPMorgan predicted to me on a conference call the night they acquired Washington Mutual that after one year with their investment, they would have an over $500 million on that investment. That is a 27 percent returned in one year.
The FDIC got some money out of that, too. And then to say nothing about the over 60,000 shareholders who were wiped out.
My complaint is: where is JPMorgan - who should be standing up for the retirement plans, the deferred compensation plans, and other packages that the employees at that company were due?
It is very convenient for us to now choose that we are going to add to JPMorgan's bottom line. In fact, if we would instead do what I am suggesting, we could have an equity proposal instead of having TARP, the Troubled Asset Relief Program, as the roof over America.
Instead, we could have an equity program where the United States would leverage our capital and spur ten to twelve times the private sector investment at the same time, our Nation would be better funded, better prepared, for the onslaught of trouble that is still going to remain after we pass this legislation.
I could not even get my amendment to be considered.
So, so much for the transparency of the Senate.
I am going to continue to work for this idea, for equity, for a more leveraged position, and that we do the traditional role that Government has done time and time again: to use our equity to leverage the private sector to secure our economy.
Thank you Mr. President, and I yield the floor.
“Today communities across America, and far from Wall Street, are hurting. Families are struggling to fill up the tank, to afford health care and to send their kids to college. And even if they’ve played by the rules, paid their bills on time and have good credit, they are now at risk because of the Bush Administration’s failure to rein in Wall Street greed.
“People want to know if this crisis is real. I have asked the same question of Secretary Paulson and Chairman Bernanke. I have spoken with economic experts and Washington state business leaders. Companies like Weyerhaeuser, Microsoft and Avista have made it clear that something must be done. Homebuilders and farmers have contacted me asking Congress to act. But, most compelling to me are the conversations I’ve had with Washington residents who want to buy a home or get student loans and are worried. They are having a hard time getting credit and they don’t know what to do.
“Across the board there is deep and genuine concern about market collapse and the potential impact on jobs, credit and retirement accounts.
“But what makes taxpayers across the country so rightfully angry is that this situation was preventable. I have heard from thousands of Washington residents who say, ‘don’t bail them out.’
“I understand the anger of those who want to let Wall Street shoulder the consequences of their own misdeeds. I am angry too. But the reality is that those who created the problem won’t be those who are hurt most. The hardest hits will be taken by average Americans.
“We have already experienced a slowdown in home sales and construction. Our hometown bank, Washington Mutual, has faltered and failed. It’s becoming more difficult to get a loan or to refinance a home. But if this crisis worsens, credit could dry up completely – both for consumers and for companies seeking to make their payrolls. The bottom line is that without a steady stream of credit, American businesses can’t pay their workers and Americans will lose their jobs. That’s why a rescue plan is urgently needed.
“This is not the legislation I would have written. It’s not legislation I wanted to support. But this is not the time to tell America’s families, ‘Sorry, you’re on your own’ and hope for the best. And that’s why I support the bill we’ll vote on today.
“The President’s plan was a non-starter. We said no to his blank check. No to free rein with billions of taxpayer dollars. No to golden parachutes. What we hope to pass today is a more prudent agreement to anchor rescue dollars to strict Congressional oversight and review by independent economic experts. We added taxpayer protections including help for families hit by the foreclosure crisis and plans to recoup money from any institutions that see a profit. And in the end, we hope that most, if not all of the taxpayer money we’re investing will be returned once this crisis comes to a close.
“Congress has to be vigilant in our oversight of how this law is implemented. Every transaction that takes place regarding this funding will be on the Internet for all Americans to see. And I strongly support the FBI’s investigation into the current crisis on Wall Street. If fraud and criminal activity are uncovered, the individuals responsible must be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
“We also have to take a hard look at the factors that brought us to this point and seriously address them. Congress must hold hearings on the causes of this crisis and the regulation reform that is desperately needed. The next administration has to work with Congress to pass and implement new regulatory measures so that taxpayers are never put in this terrible position again.
“This package is not a cure-all. It’s an attempt to keep an already bad situation from getting much worse.
“Americans who are hurting today will still be hurting tomorrow and it will take both investment and honesty to get our economy back on track. We’ve seen where a ‘you-can-have-it-all’ attitude has left us. The next administration will inherit this economic crisis along with many other serious challenges. I hope our new President is honest with the American people about where we stand and what it will take to move America forward.
“We know what it will take to move forward and get back on our feet. We have to invest in the infrastructure and education that creates economic growth and jobs. We have to value our workforce and find a way to make health care affordable and accessible. We have to invest in research and development and reward innovation. We have to implement a smart, forward-looking energy policy that ends our addiction to foreign oil once and for all. It’s time to put America’s families first and restore their faith that government works for, not against, them.
“I grew up with a country at my back – one that when my own father got sick and could no longer work was there with Pell grants and student loans and even food stamps when we needed them. I will always remember that. I will support this rescue package because the American dream of owning a home or going to college is simply too important to take a back seat to politics or to be put at risk by the misdeeds of Wall Street.”
"This bill does not effectively address the issue of what the taxpayers of our country will actually own after they invest hundreds of billions of dollars in toxic assets. This bill does not effectively address the issue of oversight because the oversight board members have all been hand picked by the Bush administration. This bill does not effectively deal with the issue of foreclosures and addressing that very serious issue, which is impacting millions of low- and moderate-income Americans in the aggressive, effective way that we should be. This bill does not effectively deal with the issue of executive compensation and golden parachutes. Under this bill, the CEOs and the Wall Street insiders will still, with a little bit of imagination, continue to make out like bandits.Senator Max Baucus (D-MT) who voted yes on the bill:
"This bill does not deal at all with how we got into this crisis in the first place and the need to undo the deregulatory fervor which created trillions of dollars in complicated and unregulated financial instruments such as credit default swaps and hedge funds. This bill does not address the issue that has taken us to where we are today, the concept of too big to fail. In fact, within the last several weeks we have sat idly by and watched gigantic financial institutions like the Bank of America swallow up other gigantic financial institutions like Countrywide and Merrill Lynch. Well, who is going to bail out the Bank of America if it begins to fail? There is not one word about the issue of too big to fail in this legislation at a time when that problem is in fact becoming even more serious.
"This bill does not deal with the absurdity of having the fox guarding the hen house. Maybe I'm the only person in America who thinks so, but I have a hard time understanding why we are giving $700 billion to the Secretary of the Treasury, the former CEO of Goldman Sachs, who along with other financial institutions, actually got us into this problem. Now, maybe I'm the only person in America who thinks that's a little bit weird, but that is what I think.
Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) who voted no:Failure to act would make today’s economic cloud even bigger, and more dangerous.
Failure to act could unleash the lightning bolts of recession and a downpour of unemployment.Failure to act could turn this cloud into a storm that tears through our entire economy.The plan in front of us is not perfect. I wish that we did not need it. I know that many Americans do not want it.But this is the best way to quickly disperse this economic cloud and guard against a bigger storm. Like it or not, we must have a plan big enough to counter our economic woes in a systematic, comprehensive way.I will vote for this legislation because America is under a cloud — and we cannot linger here. Congress must make sure that this crisis does not get worse.
“In 2004, Congress rushed through the process of authorizing the Iraq war, failed to verify the answers to the questions it received from the Bush administration, and five years later we have spent over $600 billion on the war in Iraq.Senator Joe Lieberman (Party of One) who "voted for and strongly supported" the bailout:
“Now, in 2008, we have been rushed into voting on a package that would spend $700 billion in a far shorter period of time to address the credit crisis that threatens our markets. In my judgment, the bill we are considering tonight leaves far too many questions unanswered, and misses the mark in addressing both the causes and potential cures for the current crisis.
“First, the bailout package provides help to large institutional investors who took foolish risks. Rather than extending assistance to get credit flowing at appropriate levels again to shore up confidence in our markets, it is likely that much of this money will go to those who don’t deserve a taxpayer bailout for their miscalculations. Wealthy investors, who ought to know better, shouldn’t be allowed to gamble with taxpayer money.
“Second, the Senate in this package is still failing to address any of the regulatory lapses that created an environment ripe for greed-driven abuses. There should, at a minimum, be a commitment to votes on reigning in the worst abuses that led to this crisis.
“And third, there is not one bit of assistance in this package for homeowners struggling to make ends meet. My constituents don’t understand that, and neither do I.
“This evening, the Senate took a meaningful step toward reversing the current economic crisis while protecting the interests of American taxpayers,” said Lieberman. “Restoring confidence in our financial system is critical to all Americans. Workers rely on the markets for their retirement security, and for the financing of their homes, their cars, and their children’s college tuition. Small and large businesses rely on the credit markets to keep their companies running and their employees paid. The Senate’s bipartisan vote sends a clear signal that the time has come to set aside partisanship and act in the nation’s interest by sending this critical legislation to the President as soon as possible.”And finally, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton who seemed to be waving the white flag as she voted yes on the bailout:
“Tonight we will vote on legislation none of us wish we were considering and none of us can afford to see fail. The costs of inaction are far too great. We are already seeing the consequences of a freezing credit market that will only worsen,” Senator Clinton said. “We failed to tackle a home mortgage crisis, and now we are facing a market crisis. If we fail to tackle the market crisis, we risk an even deeper economic crisis. I don’t think any of us want to see irresponsibility on Wall Street compounded by ineffectiveness in Washington. That’s why we must act, even as we do so with regret and reservations, because we have little choice.”
WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senator Barack Obama today made the following statement on the Senate floor on the Emergency Economic Stabilization legislation (H.R. 1424), which is being voted on in the Senate later this evening:
As prepared for delivery:
"The fact that we are even here voting on a plan to rescue our economy from the greed and irresponsibility of Wall Street and Washington is an outrage. It is an outrage to every American who works hard and pays their taxes and is doing their best every day to make a better life for themselves and their families. They are angry that Wall Street's mistakes have put their tax dollars at risk, and they should be. I am too.
But while there is plenty of blame to go around and many in Washington and on Wall Street who deserve it, all of us - all of us - have a responsibility to solve this crisis because it affects the financial well-being of every single American. There will be time to punish those who set this fire, but now is the moment for us to come together and put the fire out.
When the House of Representatives failed to act on Monday, we saw the single largest decline of the stock market in two decades. Over one trillion dollars of wealth was lost by the time the markets closed. And it wasn't just the wealth of a few CEOs or Wall Street executives. The 401Ks and retirement accounts that millions count on for their family's future became smaller. The state pension funds of teachers and government employees lost billions upon billions of dollars. Hardworking Americans who invested their nest egg to watch it grow saw it disappear.
But while that decline was devastating, the consequences of the credit crisis that caused it will be even worse if we do not act now.
We are in a very dangerous situation where financial institutions across this country are afraid to lend money. And if all that meant was the failure of a few big banks on Wall Street, it would be one thing.
But that's not what it means. What it means is that if we do not act, it will be harder for Americans to get a mortgage for their home or the loans they need to buy a car or send their children to college. What it means is that businesses won't be able to get the loans they need to open new factories or make payroll for their workers. And if they can't make payroll on Friday, then workers are laid-off on Monday. And then those workers can't pay their bills or pay back their loans to someone else. And it will go and on and on and on, rippling through the entire economy. Thousands of businesses could close. Millions of jobs could be lost. A long and painful recession could follow.
This is not just a Wall Street crisis - it's an American crisis, and it's the American economy that needs this rescue plan. I understand why people would be skeptical when this President asked for a blank check to solve this problem. I was too, and that's why over a week ago, I demanded that this plan include specific proposals to protect the American taxpayer - protections that the Administration eventually agreed to, as well as Democrats and Republicans here in the Senate and over in the House.
First, I said we needed an independent board to provide oversight and accountability for how and where this money is spent at every step of the way.
Second, I said that we cannot help banks on Wall Street without helping the millions of innocent homeowners who are struggling to stay in their homes. They deserve a plan too.
Third, I said that I would not allow this plan to become a welfare program for the Wall Street executives whose greed and irresponsibility got us into this mess.
And finally, I said that if American taxpayers are financing this solution, then they should be treated like investors - they should get every penny of their tax dollars back once this economy recovers.
This last part is important, because it's been the most misunderstood and poorly communicated part of this plan. This is not a plan to just hand over $700 billion of taxpayer money to a few banks. If this is managed correctly, we will hopefully get most or all of our money back, or possibly even turn a profit on the government's investment - every penny of which will go directly back to the American people. And if we fall short, we will levy a fee on financial institutions so that they can repay us for the losses they caused.
Even with all these taxpayer protections, this plan is not perfect. Democrats and Republicans in Congress have legitimate concerns about it. I know many Americans share those concerns. But it is clear that this is what we must do right now to prevent a crisis from turning into a catastrophe. And to the Democrats and Republicans who have opposed this plan, I say - step up to the plate and do what's right for the country, because the time to act is now.
I know many Americans are wondering what happens next. Passing this bill cannot be the end of our work to strengthen our economy - it must be the beginning.
As soon as we pass this rescue plan, we need to move with the same sense of urgency to rescue families on Main Street who are struggling to pay their bills and keep their jobs. I've said it before and I'll say it again: we need to pass an economic stimulus plan that will help folks cope with rising food and gas prices, save one million jobs by rebuilding our schools and roads, and help states and cities avoid budget cuts and tax increases. A plan that would extend expiring unemployment benefits for those Americans who've lost their jobs and cannot find new ones.
We also must do more than this rescue package does to help homeowners stay in their homes. I will continue to advocate bankruptcy reforms to help families stay in their homes and encourage Treasury to study the option of buying individual mortgages like we did successfully in the 1930s. Finally, while we will all hope that this rescue package succeeds, we should be prepared to take more vigorous actions in the months ahead to rebuild capital if necessary.
Just as families are planning for their future in tough times, Washington will have to do the same. Run-away spending and record deficits are not how families run their budgets, and it can't be how Washington handles people's tax dollars. It's time to return to the fiscal responsibility we had in the 1990s. We need to go through the budget, get rid of programs that don't work and make the ones we do need work better and cost less. With less money flowing into the Treasury, some useful programs or policies might need to be delayed in the years ahead.
But there are certain investments in our future that we cannot delay precisely because our economy is in turmoil. We cannot wait to help Americans keep up with rising costs and shrinking paychecks by giving our workers a middle-class tax cut. We cannot wait to relieve the burden of crushing health care costs. We cannot wait to create millions of new jobs by rebuilding our roads and our bridges and investing in the renewable sources of energy that will stop us from sending $700 billion a year to tyrants and dictators for their oil. And we cannot wait to educate the next generation of Americans with the skills and knowledge they need to compete with any workers, anywhere in the world. Those are the priorities we cannot delay.
I won't pretend this will be easy or come without cost. We will all need to sacrifice and we will all need to pull our weight because now more than ever, we are all in this together. What this crisis has taught us is that at the end of the day, there is no real separation between Main Street and Wall Street. There is only the road we're traveling on as Americans - and we will rise or fall on that journey as one nation; as one people.
I know that many Americans are feeling anxiety right now - about their jobs, about their homes, about their life savings. But I also know this - I know that we can steer ourselves out of this crisis. We always have.
During the great financial crisis of the last century, in his first fireside chat, Franklin Roosevelt told his fellow Americans that "..there is an element in the readjustment of our financial system more important than currency, more important than gold, and that is the confidence of the people themselves. Confidence and courage are the essentials of success in carrying out our plan. Let us unite in banishing fear. Together, we cannot fail."
We cannot fail. Not now. This is a nation that has faced down war and depression; great challenges and great threats. And at each and every moment, we have risen to meet these challenges - not as Democrats, not as Republicans, but as Americans. With resolve. With confidence. With that fundamental belief that here in America, our destiny is not written for us, but by us. That's who we are, and that's the country I know we can be right now.
I want to thank the extraordinary leadership of Chairman Dodd and the Banking Committee as well as Chairman Baucus and Majority Leader Reid. I also want to thank the leadership in the House of Representatives.
I urge my colleagues to join me in supporting this important legislation."
It's clear from the context in the MBA meeting minutes that Rossi's calls addressed campaign funding and his so-called mediation was so insignificant that it was not even worth mentioning at that same board meeting. I think that future evidence will catch Rossi in this rather obvious lie.
...Rossi said the calls had nothing to do with a campaign because he was not running for office at that time.
Asked if he had solicited money, he said: "No."
Instead, Rossi said he had called on behalf of the BIAW to mediate in a dispute between the two organizations.
"They are not always on the same page," he said. "Before I decided to run for governor, they asked me to come in and talk to them and see if they could put the relationship back together again. In the end it didn't work. They both ended up going their separate ways because they have different realities."
It is with deep regret, anger, and a sense of betrayal that I learned today of your Aye vote on HR 4167, the National Uniformity for Food Act.
And I ended with a request for an explanation:
Yesterday you voted to make my family less safe, despite my plea to you to do otherwise. You owe me an explanation of how your vote for national, lowest-common-denominator standards is better for my family than the rigorous state laws HR 4167 will overturn. It had better be a good one.
I never got a response. None. Dead silence. Crickets chirping. I think that speaks volumes, don't you?
My family's particular challenge is food allergies. What's yours? Do you think for one minute you can trust Dave Reichert to vote in your interests? Or will he vote interests of corporations who fill the RNC's campaign coffers? Here's a hint: the RNC is set to send $1.1 million dollars of that money to Reichert's campaign.
You bet this is personal for me. Sure, Reichert was in law enforcement. But if he does know how to keep our families safe, he sure doesn't vote like it. Dave Reichert has squandered his public trust, and has squandered his precious time in office. He does not deserve another two years on the public's dime. Vote Burner for Congress this November.