Don’t Fire Me for Not Knowing Romney’s Position on Global Warming

I don’t mean to sound like a whiner, but Mitt Romney is making it hard for me to do my job.

You see, as the primary editor of and contributor to the Markup blog for the NRDC Action Fund, one of my responsibilities is to keep our readers informed about politicians and the environment. In the middle of a heated presidential campaign, you’d think I would be able to tell you where the two major party candidates stand on our issues.

However, I’d be lying if I said I could. For the record, I blame Mitt Romney. He has changed his position so frequently that I never know what the man is thinking on any given day.

You might recall that last June Romney told a New Hampshire town hall that:

“I believe the world is getting warmer, and I believe that humans have contributed to that. It’s important for us to reduce our emissions of pollutants and greenhouse gases that may be significant contributors.”

Just five months later, Romney officially earned his Tea Party merit badge in denial when he said:

“My view is that we don’t know what’s causing climate change on this planet. And the idea of spending trillions and trillions of dollars to try to reduce CO2 emissions is not the right course for us.”

And now it appears Romney may be trying to get back in the good graces of the 70 percent of Americans who do think the climate is changing. Last week, a Romney campaign surrogate, Linda Stuntz, stated that Romney is “certainly not a denier” of global warming. Is this a new (or perhaps I should say “revitalized”?) position or did Stuntz just stop reading her briefing book before she got to the most recent position?

If I can’t learn his position soon, I will just have to hope that my bosses don’t share his love of firing people.




The Fluff Factor: Today’s Journalism





Will someone please buy gags for Hoda Kotb and Kathie Lee Gifford?

It makes no difference what the color is.

Plain or polka-dotted.

Painted or sequined.

Scented silk, Egyptian cotton, or an auto mechanic’s oil-soaked rag. Just as long as it can be stuffed into their mouths.

When their mouths are open, the personality-drenched hosts of NBC’s fourth hour of “Today” are swilling cocktails, blathering about themselves, or interrupting their guests.

It makes no difference who the guest is. Cookbook or romance author. Relationships or nutrition expert. A-list actors. No one gets more than a couple of seconds without cross-talk with one or both of the hosts. They may think it’s funny. Or, maybe, like authors who are sometimes paid by word, or doctors who are given bonuses for scheduling myriad lab tests, these babblers have to justify their seven-figure annual incomes by the jabber rate of words per minute. It may be time for NBC to move all four hours of the “Today” show from the news division into the entertainment division.

Almost as bad as the GabFest at 10 a.m. is what has happened to news shows. At one time, news anchors, assisted by newswriters and producers, went into the field, got the news, wrote it, edited it, and then broadcast it. They sat in anchor chairs because they were excellent journalists. But broadcast journalism—and those two words should seldom be put next to each other in the same sentence—with a few network and regional exemptions devolved into yet another mess of Reality TV.

The co-hosts, known as anchors, are usually a tandem of a wise middle-aged older man and his pretend trophy wife, both of whom spend more time in Make-up and Hair Dressing than they ever spent in journalism classes. Their reporters and correspondents may have studied journalism in college, but their interests were undoubtedly more focused upon voice quality, delivery, and personality than source building, probing, and fact checking.

On air, the anchors open with something serious. A fire. A mugging. A supermarket opening, reported by freshly-scrubbed 20-ish field reporters and recorded by videographers with digital cameras and almost no knowledge of what video is. In all fairness, it’s hard to know what videotape is when your best friend is an iPad.

If a story doesn’t have a “visual,” it probably won’t air. That’s one of the reasons why stories about the foolishness of state legislatures aren’t broadcast. The other reason may be that Public Affairs Journalism isn’t usually a required course for college students majoring in Broadcast Journalism. By the end of the first news block, the co-hosts lighten up. Coming back from commercials—there are eight minutes of them in a 30-minute news cast—the co-hosts may have more news or a script that directs them to “throw it to Weather.”

For four or five minutes, a college-educated meteorologist or a “weather girl”—on some stations it makes no difference—using the latest visual technology tells us the highs, lows, barometric pressure, storm fronts, and the history of weather.

One of the responsibilities of the weather people is to make sure they get names into the broadcast, probably because some overpriced media consultant told them to do so. A simple sentence like, “It was in the mid-80s throughout our region” is replaced by telling us it was 84 degrees in Snowshoe Falls, 85 degrees in Dry Gulf Junction, and 84 in East Swamphole. To make sure our bodies can tolerate the whimsies of Mother Nature, weathercasters predict what will happen a week away, usually with about the same success as a drunk with the Racing Form.

Time for more commercials.

At least twice, the anchors “tease” the viewers with some celebrity scandal they will tell us all about if we just keep watching until the end of the show.

Next up is about four or five minutes of Sports. The latest fad in sports reporting is to be a part of the story. So, we see sportscasters doing push-ups with the football team, learning how to shoot an arrow, or reporting from inside a race car. Apparently, they believe that gives them credibility, something they probably learned from anchors’ ride-along on fire trucks and Blue Angels flights.

By the end of the newscast, the co-hosts, weather people, sportscasters, and field reporters have turned the news into the Happy Time Half-Hour Aren’t We Wonderful Show. They wasted our time chatting informally among themselves, tossing one-liners they think are cute and might get them work in a Comedy Club—as a cook. Take away the Happy Talk, tighten up their reporting—how many times do we need to hear that a “community is in shock” about a fire, death, or that the fireman’s carnival had to be cancelled—and the 22 minute news show might be only 15.

At the National Conference for Media Reform four years ago, Dan Rather—who for more than a half-century has been everything a news journalist should be—explains what has contributed to the decline not just TV news but all journalism as well: “Media consolidation, the corporate news environment, ‘message discipline,’ media cowardice, news-for-profit, celebrity fluff, ‘so-called human interest stories,’ sensational trials, gossip, ‘news you can use,’ [and] partisan shouting matches.”  

There are a few journalistic highlights, like “60 Minutes” and Jon Stewart’s “Daily Show,” which he modestly calls fake news, but which makes far more sense than anything else permeating the airwaves. Nevertheless, most news operations—local, regional, broadcast or cable—have been compromised by exactly what Dan Rather said. Maybe it’s time for all of us to join Hoda and Kathie Lee and drink our way through what passes as the news.

[Walter Brasch proudly calls himself a journalist, and has been for more than 40 years, in radio, TV, newspapers, and magazines. He was recently honored with a lifetime achievement award from the Pennsylvania Press Club. His latest book is the critically-acclaimed Before the First Snow, which looks at the establishment and alternative media, as well as the public relations industry.]




Could Mike Huckabee Have Beat Mitt Romney?

By: inoljt,

The Republican Primary race is essentially over. Rick Santorum, having finally hit the end of his rope, has announced a suspension of his campaign. It’s going to be Romney versus Obama in November.

Rick Santorum was never a really strong candidate. For the longest time he polled at 1% in Iowa. Only when all the other non-Romney options were exhausted did Santorum begin to rise. But Santorum’s strength was always more anti-Romney than pro-Santorum. People voted against Romney, not for Santorum.

There was, however, another candidate who didn’t enter the field in 2012. This was Mike Huckabee. Mike Huckabee is a much stronger politician than Rick Santorum. Huckabee would have built the same coalition that Santorum built. And unlike Santorum, the people in Huckabee’s coalition would actually be voting for Huckabee rather than merely against Romney.

This leaves us a very interesting question: Could Huckabee have beaten Romney?

In many ways Huckabee would have been a super-charged version of Santorum. He would have done several considerably better amongst Santorum’s voters. On the other hand, he would have had many of the same weaknesses that eventually doomed Santorum. Given that Santorum never really came close to winning the nomination, that’s not good for Huckabee.

On the positive side, Huckabee would almost certainly have won conservative, evangelical Iowa – and probably by a lot. More likely than not he would have taken the state by double-digits. Huckabee would then have probably lost New Hampshire. But next would be South Carolina. Newt Gingrich, not exactly the strongest politician, won South Carolina with 40% of the vote. Huckabee probably would have broken 50%.

Here things get tricky. After South Carolina would have been Florida. This would have been one of those “must-win” states for Huckabee. At the same time, demographically Florida would have pretty unfriendly territory. Could Huckabee have developed momentum after two big victories in Iowa and South Carolina? Perhaps; Florida did give Gingrich some very good numbers before Romney started spending money.

After Florida the most symbolically important states would have been the Midwestern consortium of Michigan, Ohio, Illinois and Wisconsin. Rick Santorum lost all of these states, which is why he’s not the nominee.

There’s a decent chance that Huckabee would have won Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin. Add 10% or 20% to Santorum’s score in the rural counties, along with higher turn-out by voters excited to vote for Huckabee rather than merely against Romney, and things start looking pretty bleak for Romney.

So it looks like Huckabee would have won quite a bit more than Santorum.

But that doesn’t mean that he would have won the nomination.

In 2008 Huckabee was quite weak in urban and suburban areas. There’s no reason to think that he would have done much better in 2012. It’s hard to imagine Huckabee winning in big-city states like California, New York, and Illinois. Losing those three states is pretty devastating for a campaign. To this you have to add Romney give-mes like Arizona, Massachusetts, and Utah.

Huckabee would have had to rely on winning the big states Florida and Texas. Both of these are quasi-Southern states, but they’re also home to a lot of non-Southern voters. Winning these states would not have been a cake-in-the-walk for Huckabee.

But more important than this are two structural weaknesses which doomed Santorum – and which Huckabee would also have had.

Firstly, Huckabee would have been heavily outspent. This was a big reason why Romney won: he outspent Santorum by outrageous margins. Unfortunately for Huckabee, the same thing would have happened with him. In 2008 Huckabee’s campaign was consistently on the brink of going bankrupt. There’s no reason to think that anything would have changed in 2012.

Secondly, the Republican establishment would have backed Romney. The establishment went heavily against Huckabee in 2008 (for reasons that are mysterious to me). It would have been firmly in the camp of Romney in 2012. By the end of the campaign, Fox News was pretending that Rick Santorum didn’t exist. Something similar might have happened with Huckabee.

All in all, it’s a roll of the dice whether Huckabee could have won. The best case scenario: Huckabee pounds Romney in Iowa, runs a close second in New Hampshire, breaks 50% in South Carolina, and then Mitt Romney says that he doesn’t care about poor people. It’s an open question whether momentum for Huckabee would have started setting in at this point, but let’s say it does and Huckabee takes a double-digit national lead. Huckabee wins Florida and then Michigan at the end of February. On Super Tuesday, Romney’s final stand, Huckabee breaks 65% in the South and wins Ohio by double-digits. Romney drops out and endorses Huckabee.

All in all, it’s fun to guess what would have happened in this alternate scenario. I personally would have preferred the Republican nominee to be Mike Huckabee rather than Mitt Romney. In the end, Huckabee stayed out because he thought that Barack Obama would win. That was probably the right reasoning.


Isn't Obama being a Hypocrite on Job Outsourcing?

If Romney's team were to do their homework there are plenty of reasons to fire back at Obama's record on sending jobs overseas. The list is long on Obama either failing to insure jobs stay here or actually authorizing the export of jobs to other countries:

1. Obama's record on trade and trade agreements is terrible: First off take his much touted trade deal with Korea last fall. This thing is pathetic--it ensures that jobs will be exported to Asia. Liberal Democrat Dennis Kucinich noted recently that this agreement was written by the business interests in Korean and will cost over 200,000 jobs. What kind of agreement has no benchmarks for enforcement. The agreement evidently is so one-sided that it allowed Korea recently to stop importing US beef and beef products. The reason was silly--one alleged case of cow disease out of our 100 million sized herds of beef cattle. Obama or his agents allowed language in the agreement which specifies that Korea can increase shipments to the USA but no such wording improves our exports.

Don't even think about China. Under Obama's reign, China's trade deficit with the USA has grown by 20% in just 4 years.

2. Obama's labor record is awful. Right after he took office the White House opened up the US highway system with Mexican truckers. Even George Bush had held up that part of the NAFTA agreement which allows Mexican drivers to freely operate in the USA. This came on the heals of the Teamster Union working to get Obama elected. He really knows how to thank people who have helped him.

3. Democrats in The House of Representatives in 2010 went into the November election with a big Democrat majority. So many Democrats lost their seats that come 2013 if the GOP gets in control of both House and Senate we may see a reprise of the Clinton years from 1996 to 2000 where the GOP was hell bent to impeach him. Boehner has stated that he has no interest in impeachment. So, what then if the TEA PARTY partisans get control of things and toss out Boehner then send in their own Speaker with the assigned task to bring back Ken Starr and the Impeachment hearings. These people are ruthless and they hate Obama with a fury. If I were a Democrat in Congress would I care if the GOP goes after Obama. Think about this. Many of the Democratic guy / lady who came into the House in the sweep of 2006 (before Obama got his hands on things) are now gone. Obama didn't lift a finger to help them out in 2010--no money, no party building, etc. just oh well thats life.  Now he's telling all those Democrats "Hey, I'm not spending as much money in 2012 on my campaign as the GOP is against me so I guess you are again on your own like in 2010".  If I were a Democrat in Congress I would not give him the time of day. The gridlock isn't all about the GOP. Obama doesn't do much either except make platitudes and fly about in AF One.

4. The announcement that the Afghan army will be outfitted by a Russian arms dealer--ARE YOU FRICKING KIDDING ME?  What manner of logic has a US President conceding to buy arms from a foreign government and giving them to another foreign government. Next time we have to go into Afghanistan our guys will be killed with even better Russian ammo.  This is just nuts. We have been told for 50 years that the M-16 is the best infantry weapon. Its made here.

So in summary let me say this: Obama loves workers he just loves foreign workers best. The only reason that I can see that Romney hasn't blasted him for some of this is that a. Bain Capital is behind the Afghan / Russian arms deal b. He is too busy getting the drapes ordered for the White House in 2013.....




I like to win.                    

I don’t think that makes me very different from most people.  But, it’s not often that I get to declare a win-win-win though. Which is why today’s announcement in Michigan is so exciting!

Michigan Energy, Michigan Jobs collected more than 500,000 signatures to ensure a proposal will be on the November 6, 2012 ballot which will require that 25 percent of Michigan’s energy come from renewable sources such as wind, solar and biomass by 2025.

Win #1-Job Creation

Currently, Michigan imports its energy from other states and countries. This means jobs and billions of dollars being sent outside of the state. This ballot proposal will help Michigan build a clean energy industry within the state, allowing residents to stop exporting their money and jobs. The proposal would also establish incentives to hire Michigan workers.

Win #2-Reduced Energy Prices

Studies by independent economists predict that it would only cost the average Michigan household an average of $1.25 a month, but in the long run could reduce their energy bills. Think about the possibilities of expanding Michigan’s clean energy production without increasing energy prices. The proposal would also limit consumer rate increases related to the generation or purchase of renewable energy to no more than 1 per cent per year.

Win #3-Public Health

Renewable energy sources such as wind, solar and biomass are clean energy sources which will reduce pollution and further protect the health of all Michigan families. This proposal will give Michigan cleaner and healthier air and water. It will protect the Great Lakes, reduce asthma and lung disease and ultimately save lives.

Scores of Michigan businesses, organizations, individuals and public officials are supporting the ballot proposal and the NRDC Action Fund is proud to stand with them today as we march towards a win for all of Michigan this November.




Pennsylvania Politics Continues to Trump Health and the Environment





Politics continues to threaten the health and welfare of Pennsylvanians.

The latest is how the Republican-dominated legislature and Gov. Tom Corbett separated one of the wealthiest and more high-tech/industrial areas of the state from the rural areas.

Less than a week before the 2011–2012 fiscal year budget was scheduled to expire, June 30, the majority party slipped an amendment into the 2012–2013 proposed budget, (SB1263), to ban natural gas drilling in a portion of southeastern Pennsylvania for up to six years. The South Newark Basin includes portions of Bucks, Montgomery, and Berks counties, and could provide at least 360 billion cubic feet of natural gas, according to estimates by the United States Geologic Survey.

Only an e-mail blast by anti-fracking activist Iris Marie Bloom and a short AP story the day before the budget was passed alerted Pennsylvanians to the amendment that gives special consideration to the suburban areas of Philadelphia.

High volume horizontal hydraulic fracturing, commonly known as fracking, is a process that injects under heavy pressure as much as 10 million gallons of water, sand, gases, and chemicals, many of them known carcinogens, into a rock formation as much as 10,000 feet below the earth’s surface to open channels and force out natural gas and fossil fuels. However, numerous studies have concluded that the process of fracking to extract natural gas poses significant problems to the health of citizens and their environment.

In his first budget address, Corbett declared he wanted to “make Pennsylvania the hub of this [drilling] boom. Just as the oil com­pa­nies decided to headquarter in one of a dozen states with oil, let’s make Penn­syl­va­nia the Texas of the nat­ural gas boom.”

The push by Corbett and the Republicans in the Legislature that led to the enactment of the highly-controversial Act 13 to open gas drilling was possibly not only because they favor corporate development but because it was also payback for extensive campaign contributions by the natural gas industry. Corbett had taken more than $1.6 million in contributions from persons and PACs associated with the natural gas industry, according to data compiled by Common Cause.

Rep. Brian L. Ellis (R-Butler County, Pa.), sponsor of the House bill, received $23,300. Sen. Joseph B. Scarnati (R- Warren, Pa.), the senate president pro-tempore who sponsored the companion Senate bill (SB 1100), received $293,334, according to Marcellus Money. Rep. Dave Reed (R-Indiana, Pa.), chair of the majority policy committee, received $105,732; Rep. Mike Turzai (R-McCandless, Pa.), majority floor leader, received $79,100. Of the 20 Pennsylvania legislators who received the most money from the industry in the past decade, 16 are Republicans, according to Common Cause.

The Republican legislators who enthusiastically supported Act 13 but then created an amendment to exempt a part of the state, claim the amendment was needed to give time to better study the effects of fracking. “We basically said we didn’t know [the South Newark Basin] was there before when we did Act 13,” said State Sen. Charles T. McIhnnerey (R- Doylestown), sponsor of the amendment. However, the presence of natural gas in southeastern Pennsylvania wasn’t exactly a secret; energy companies had been active for several years in the region. McIhnnerey told, “We need to slow this down until we can do a study on it—see what’s there, see where it is, see how deep it is, study the impact, get the local supervisor’s [sic] thoughts on it.”

“Where was our study?” demanded State Rep. Jesse White (D-Washington County), who actively opposes Act 13 and has been trying to get responsibility on the part of the Industry and the state Legislature regarding drilling in the Marcellus and Utica shales. “We were here four months ago [when Act 13 was passed] under the guise of, we had to have uniformity, we had to have consistency, we needed to be fair,” said Rep. White, “and now, four months later, we’re saying, ‘Maybe, for whatever reason, we’re going to give a few people a pass.’”

Karen Feridun, founder of Berks Gas Truth, and one of the state’s more active opponents of fracking, says, “Studies are not being conducted before drilling begins anywhere else in the state . . . nor are studies being conducted on the potential impacts of the pipeline operations already coming here [to Berks County].”

 David Meiser, chair of the Bucks County Sierra Club, said the Legislature “should either exempt all counties from Act 13 and not just try to get special treatment from Sen. McIlhinney’s core area, or repeal the law entirely.”

Sen. McIhnnerey proudly noted the last-minute legislation “makes good on my promise that Act 13 was not intended to apply to Bucks County.”

By his own words, it is time for the Republican majority, so willing to expose rural Pennsylvania to the effects of fracking, to now honestly answer two significant questions.

The first question to the Republicans is, “Why do you support a state law that discriminates against the rural counties, while you support a special exemption that protects the health and welfare of the urban and suburban counties that have many of the state’s most powerful and wealthiest constituents, including the head of the Department of Environmental Protection and the lieutenant governor?”

The second question is, simply, “How much more money will it take to continue to buy your loyalty to corporations, the powerful, and the affluent?”

[Walter Brasch, recipient of the Pennsylvania Press Club’s lifetime achievement award, is a syndicated columnist, author of 17 books, former newspaper and magazine reporter and editor, and professor emeritus of mass communications. His current book is the critically-acclaimed novel Before the First Snow, which discusses health and welfare issues in energy exploration. His next book is about health, environment, and political corruption associated with the natural gas industry.]



The Real Future of Healthcare

At the end of June, the Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act (ACA), known to some as Obamacare, and confirmed that the most controversial component, the individual healthcare mandate, was constitutional via a 5-4 decision, with Republican-appointed Chief Justice John Roberts in the majority. The political implications of the ruling are interesting, but it’s important to explore the health implications. Corporate media’s coverage of the ruling was also fascinating and disturbing.

There's more...

What’s Behind Romney’s Sincerity Problem


In a previous post, I wrote about a very revealing video of Mitt Romney. This video was filmed without Romney’s knowledge during an off-the-air conversation. In it, Romney talks sincerely and frankly in a way which we do not normally see him.

Here’s the video.

The first half of the video has the combative radio host asking Romney a series of tough questions. The second half has Romney speaking off-the-air, mostly about his church. My previous post talks a lot about this.

Aside from the religious discussion, there is another particular and very revealing thing that Romney says. It’s at the point 17:04 of the video. Here’s the transcript:

Jan Mickelson: …I take this stuff really seriously.

Mitt Romney: Oh I don’t though. For me it, this is all frivolous. *laughter* Oh come on, come on, I’m running for president…

This is a very interesting thing that Romney says, and it’s especially interesting given the way he laughs when he says it and his body language.

What Romney’s implying is that all “this stuff” – all the campaigning, all the television and radio interviews – is “frivolous.” It’s just a bunch of stupid stuff that he has to do in order to become president. It doesn’t really matter.

Now, Mitt Romney has a very big image problem. His critics accuse him of being willing to say and do whatever it takes to become president. Democrats say that Romney will flip-flop on any issue as long as it benefits him. This problem has deeply hurt Romney; it is a big reason why he lost the 2008 Republican primaries and why he’s taking so long to shake off the opposition right now.

There are a number of reasons why Romney has this problem. But one of the big reasons, and one of the most subtle of them, is illustrated in the quote above. That is, Romney’s attitude towards campaigning is a big reason why people don’t think he’s sincere. To Romney, campaigning is just a bunch of bullshit that he has to endure in order to win election. When you get down to it, that’s what means when he says “this is all frivolous.”

And it’s not the first time Romney has said this. Remember when Romney was accused of hiring undocumented immigrants? Here’s what he said in defense of himself:

So we went to the company and we said, look, you can’t have any illegals working on our property. I’m running for office, for Pete’s sake, I can’t have illegals. It turns out that once question, they hired someone who had falsified their documents, had documents, and therefore we fired them.

Of course, this is a terrible attitude to have. Voters are not stupid. They can tell things like that very quickly. People are very good at intuiting what a person feels. If a candidate thinks that campaigning is dumb, they notice. Romney has that attitude. Unsurprisingly, he’s now developed a reputation of being insincere and a flip-flopper.



More Jokes From the Penn State Trustees




Whenever I need a couple of laughs, I turn to the bumbling self-aggrandizing antics of the Republican wing of Congress.

However, in the past few months, the Penn State Board of Trustees has done the near-impossible; they have provided more laughs than the menagerie in the Capitol.

To call either the Legislators or the Trustees “clowns” would demean the hard work of the circus performers who spend significant time to develop and execute comedy routines. There is no evidence the Trustees even have a thought process before they make outrageous and just plain silly statements.

The latest Trustee joke is that the reason they really fired Joe Paterno abruptly on Nov. 9, 2011, is because of “a failure of leadership.” The Board released what it called a “report,” but which is nothing but a press release of rehashed statements. This “report” claims the Trustees fired Paterno after they read the Grand Jury report that outlined a series of allegations against former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky, whose name is now known among more Americans than anyone who ever won a Nobel Prize.

Marianne Alexander, one of the trustees, told the media the Board’s intention “was to clarify, because everyone’s been asking for clarification.” This, of course, is the same Board of Trustees that, mouthing the prattling of the ethically-challenged Gov. Tom Corbett, had condemned Paterno for being “morally corrupt,” or “not doing enough,” or whatever phrase they could quickly find in a Thesaurus of Blame.

Even children barely able to read a newspaper know the basics of the issue. A graduate assistant had seen or heard (it’s still not completely clear) Jerry Sandusky, who was no longer employed by Penn State but who used the university fields and showers, possibly molested a child. The assistant told his supervisor, Joe Paterno. The legendary coach whose ethics and morals were never questioned in six decades as a coach and member of the faculty, followed university policy and procedure and told his superiors, one of whom oversaw the university police force. (Sandusky, of course, was later convicted on 45 counts that should keep him in prison for life.)

Some claim that Paterno was “morally wrong” not to “do more” and use his power at Penn State to have Sandusky immediately arrested. These Monday Morning Know-Nothings fail to understand that to “do more” would have been nothing less than interfering with a police investigation.

Corbett, attorney general at the time, could have conducted a thorough investigation, but allowed the latest accusations to simmer for more than two years while he campaigned for the governorship and take more than $200,000 in campaign funds from current and former board members of Sandusky’s Second Mile charity; he only stopped a $3 million grant to Second Mile after Centre County, the conduit for the funds, refused to continue to be a part of the funding.

The Trustees, clueless as most college trustees are, could have learned about the allegations and taken action to protect the university and children. They did not do so. They did not do so even after a Grand Jury was convened and reported about in the local newspaper. They apparently didn’t even have a crisis communications plan should anything happen about anything.


And so, when the festering sore of university ineptness became infected, they tried covering it up with band-aids. And then everything blew open, catching the Trustees by surprise—or at least that’s what they seemed to want us to believe.

In quick order, they continued to violate the state’s Sunshine Law—they never really obeyed it to begin with—had secret meetings, and violated their own policies and state requirements on personnel actions. When all the hand-wringing was completed, they decided the best way to deal with a child predator was to fire the best-known football coach in America—who was never under any suspicion of having committed any crime—and to do it during the middle of a football season after Paterno announced his retirement.

While the media, always hungry for salacious news content, and a few hundred thousand sanctimonious pretend-fans were yelling, “Joe Must Go!” millions supported Paterno. This, of course, caused more problems for the Board That Couldn’t Think Straight.

As individuals and blogs began condemning the Board for its actions—and especially for what it didn’t do—the Board (composed primarily of high-level business executives, farmers, and assorted professionals who should have known better) continued to come up with lame and mostly laughable excuses of why it did what it did. Several trustees even stupidly told the media that people should withhold judgment on the Board’s actions until all the evidence was available. The irony was lost on the Board but not upon millions who were rightfully indignant about why the Trustees could take abrupt and unexplained action against Paterno, but wanted everyone else to withhold judgment about its own reasons.

In an effort to placate the alumni and several million Americans still outraged at the Board’s incompetence, the Board (or whoever writes the Board’s public statements) issued its “report,” beginning with a trickle of crocodile tears about sharing “the grief of the entire Penn State family at the passing of Coach Paterno,” and then praising both his and former President Graham Spanier’s “lasting contributions.” The Board declared it “has always been” its intention to “to fulfill [Paterno’s] employment contract and to name him head coach emeritus.” Considering that the Trustees had fired Paterno illegally, they had no choice but to honor the contract. The title of “head coach emeritus” is window dressing. A more fitting title, although it would never assuage the pain the Board caused Joe Paterno and his family, would have been to name him “professor emeritus,” which does carry privileges and would recognize that Paterno, a member of the faculty, was far more than a coach. Almost as an after-thought, the Trustees in the latest statement casually tossed a one-liner that “other options” to honor Paterno “are also under consideration.”

Trustee Marianne Alexander said the latest “report” was made because “We’re trying to be responsible to our constituents.”

If the Board of Trustees really wants “to be responsible,” it would stop violating the state’s Sunshine Law, would agree to be included in the state’s Right-to-Know Law, would stop issuing silly statements to justify their own incompetence, reverse the firing of Joe Paterno (and possibly that of Dr. Spanier), and then resign.

[Walter Brasch was recently named the Pennsylvania Press Club’s Communicator of Achievement, a lifetime honor for excellence in journalism and community service; it was the first time in 10 years the Club issued the CoA honor. Dr. Brasch’s latest book is the critically-acclaimed novel, Before the First Snow, which looks at the 1960s counterculture as being relevant to today’s American culture.]


Celebrating "Eating Planet-Nutrition Today: A Challenge for Mankind and for the Planet"

Crossposted from the Worldwatch Institute's Nourishing the Planet.

Today, the Barilla Center for Food & Nutrition (BCFN) and the Worldwatch Institute’s Nourishing the Planet were proud to host “How do we feed (and also Nourish) a planet of 7 billion?” The event featured notable speakers such as food waste activist and author of American WastelandJonathan Bloom; founder of The 30 Project and new member of the BCFN Advisory Board, Ellen Gustafson; publisher of “Edible Manhattan” and author of Eat HereBrian HalweilStephanie Hanson, Director of Policy and Outreach for the One Acre FundKelly Hauser, Agriculture Policy Director for the One Campaign; and founder and director of Citizen EffectDan Morrison, among others, and marked the official launch of Eating Planet–Nutrition Today: A Challenge for Mankind and for the Planet.

During the event, Samuel Fromartz, editor-in-chief of the Food & Environment Reporting Network, moderated a discussion where speakers debated some of the issues the addressed in the book: the paradoxes of the global food system, the cultural value of food, production and consumption trends, and the effects of individual eating habits on health and on the environment. “More than one-third of the food produced today does not even reach people plates—about 1.3 billion tons per year—placing unnecessary pressure on land, water, and soil resources,” said Bloom. “All of us; producers, consumers, policy makers, and those in the food industry need to make an effort to reduce the amount of food that is wasted and its environmental impact.”

Although agriculture is more productive and efficient than ever before, more than 1 billion people worldwide remain chronically hungry, and another 1 billion people are overweight or obese. “The fundamental problem continuing to cause both hunger and obesity is that it is difficult, almost everywhere in the world to access nutritious foods,” said Gustafson. “In the developed world, food is abundant, but the most abundant is usually the least nutritious and most calorie dense. In the developing world, you can often still access soft drinks or packaged processed foods, but not the diversity of healthy foods that are needed for good nutrition.”

Nourishing the Planet and BCFN hope for Eating Planet to contribute to sustainable food and agriculture development in many ways. “The study’s conclusions represent a major step toward ensuring that agriculture contributes to health, environmental sustainability, income generation, and food security,” said Paolo Barilla, Vice President of the Barilla Group. “The ingredients will vary by country and region, but there are some key components that will lead to healthier food systems everywhere.”

Did you attend the book launch, or watch the livestream? Tell us about your experience below!

Click here to purchase a copy of Eating Planet.

A Review of “The Clash of Civilizations”


By: inoljt,

In 1996 scholar Samuel P. Huntington wrote a famous book titled “The Clash of Civilizations.” Huntington postulated that after the Cold War:

In this new world, local politics is the politics of ethnicity; global politics is the politics of civilizations. The rivalry of the superpowers is replaced by the clash of civilizations. In this new world the most pervasive, important, and dangerous conflicts will not be between social classes, rich and poor, or other economically defined groups, but between peoples belonging to different cultural entities. Tribal wars and ethnic conflicts will occur within civilizations.

I recently had the pleasure of reading through much of Huntington’s book. Huntington posits that the West will be challenged by two civilizations: the “Islamic civilization” and the “Sinic civilization.”

The book was written more than a decade ago (and the Foreign Affairs article which led to the book almost two decades ago). Despite this, the book has withstood extremely well the test of time. Much of Huntington said in 1996 could be duplicated without changing a single word today.

This is especially true with regards to what Huntington writes with regards to the “Islamic civilization”. Huntington wrote his book before the September 11 attacks. His thoughts about the Islamic-Western conflict are thus very prophetic. Many have criticized the “Islamic civilization” in similar ways that Huntington does in his book. However, most of these criticisms were written after 9/11. Huntington wrote that the West would clash with Islam before 9/11. He got it absolutely right.

(One minor critique: the West does work with Islamists. See: Libya, Syria.)

Huntington’s words with regards to the “Sinic civilization” have also withstood the test of time. Indeed, one could make the exact same analysis today as Huntington did more than a decade ago with regards to relations between the West and the “Sinic civilization.” It’s amazing how the East Asian situation today is exactly the same as the East Asian situation circa 1996.

There is one thing which Huntington gets badly wrong, however. And he gets it wrong in two distinct ways. This is Japan.

Firstly, Huntington classifies Japan as a separate civilization from the rest of East Asia. But there is just as much difference between China and South Korea as there is between China and Japan. Why, then, isn’t there a “Korean civilization” according to Huntington’s scheme? Or why not a “Vietnamese civilization” or “Xinjiang civilization”? There really is no good reason for this. The only difference, in fact, between Japan and the other parts of the “Sinic civilization” is that Japan successfully adapted to the West a century before the rest of East Asia the world.

In reality Japan is part of the “Sinic civilization.” See this graphic if you don’t believe me.

Of course, putting Japan and the rest of East Asia in one civilization really screws up Huntington’s analysis.

Secondly, Huntington spends a lot of time describing the economic tensions between Japan and the United States during the early 1990s. He does this because it fits well with his theory of clashing civilizations. Japan and the United States are doomed to clash because they belong to different civilizations.

Unfortunately, this is one part of the book that failed to withstand the test of time. Today relations between Japan and the United States are better than ever. After the collapse of the Japanese bubble, economic conflict (indeed, any conflict at all) between the two “civilizations” has essentially disappeared.

All in all, reading Huntington definitely makes you think. While I’m not particularly a fan of Huntington’s tone, he definitely is an articulate and intelligent writer.



American Patriotism in Hyper-Drive




It’s midway between Flag Day and Independence Day.

That means several million copies of full-page flags printed on cheap newsprint, June 14, have been burned, shredded, thrown away, or perhaps recycled. It’s an American tradition.

Flag Day was created by President Wilson in 1916 on the eve of the American entry into World War I. It has since been a day to allow Americans to show how patriotic we have become, and give a running start to celebrating the Revolution by buying banners, fireworks, and charcoal briquettes for the upcoming picnic.

 Within American society is a large class of people who fly flags on 30-foot poles in front of their houses and adorn their cars with flag decals and what they believe are patriotic bumper stickers. They are also quick to let everyone know how patriotic they are, and how much less patriotic the rest of us are. But patriotism is far more than flying flags and shouting about liberty in Tea Party rallies.

Find someone wearing socks, T-shirt, bandana, and even a jacket that looks like replicas of the American flag, and you might find a hyper-patriot. Of course, just a few decades ago, they would have spat out their disgust to anti-war protestors or hippies who had so much of a flag patch on their jeans.

Most of these hyper-patriots wrap themselves in the flag and Constitution, but are quick to try to shut off dissent, believe the only true religion is the one they espouse, demand that the police frisk citizens who aren’t White, and declare the Supreme Court is un-American when it doesn’t rule the way they think it should.

Many of the hyper-patriots waved those flags high whenever the U.S. has gone to war, even if that war was created by lies. In Iraq, almost 4,500 Americans have been killed; more than 32,000 were wounded, many of them with lifetime injuries.

Many of the hyper-patriots are insensitive to the problems of the 700,000 Americans, about 70,000 of them veterans, who are homeless on any given day.

They are oblivious to the 46 million Americans, about 16 million of them children, who live in poverty.

They oppose universal health care that would help all Americans, including the 50 million who are currently uninsured.

Many of these hyper-patriots believe unions are un-American, and workers who demand good work conditions and benefits are whiners.

These hyper-patriots are also the ones who believe Social Security should be privatized, oppose Medicare, and go ballistic when they think government is infringing upon rights of the individual. But they believe government should impose standards of what are or are not proper sexual positions for consenting adults.

 Although the unemployment rate has fallen significantly in the past year, 12.7 million Americans are still trying to find work. The response of hyper-patriots has been to block all attempts by President Obama to pass a jobs creation bill. They readily accept corporate welfare and special tax benefits for the wealthy, but look away when corporations send work and their profits out of the country. The Wall Street Journal reports the 11 top American corporations cut 2.9 million jobs in the U.S. and hired 2.4 million overseas.

Since 2000, more than six million manufacturing jobs have been lost, and 50,000 factories closed. Among jobs now being outsourced are customer complaint specialists, medical records transcribers, phone operators, telemarketers, and even newspaper copyeditors.

More than 500,000 call center jobs have been outsourced. This past week, hyper-patriots in the U.S. House of Representatives, voting largely along party lines, blocked a bill that would have barred American companies that outsourced call center jobs from receiving federal grants and loans and would have given further protection to Americans from identity theft by overseas companies.

These hyper-patriots readily buy products made outside the United States, proudly proclaim the great bargains they just scored, and somehow believe they are still patriots.

But here are two statistics hyper-patriots might wish to reflect upon during the three weeks between Flag Day and Independence Day. About 99 percent of legal fireworks used during July 4th celebrations are made in China. The second statistic is that during the past decade, Americans paid more than $93 million for U.S. flags made overseas, most of them from China. Many of those flags are proudly waved by hyper-patriots.

[Walter Brasch was recently honored by the Pennsylvania Press Club with its lifetime Communicator of Achievement award for journalistic excellence and community service. His latest book is the critically-acclaimed novel, Before the First Snow, a look at the American counterculture, including the media.]




Rep. Richard Neal (D-MA 02) indicates he might side with Republicans on extending 'Bush tax cuts' in exchange for a longterm defict plan

Given his support of Wall Street deregulation, restricting a woman’s right to choose, and tepid support of universal health care, it is well known Rep. Richard Neal (D-MA, 02) is a reluctant Democrat. Still, recent comments he made to The Hill newspaper about possibly supporting an extension of all the Bush tax cuts for another year, are as shocking as they are bad economic policy.

‘Rep. Richard Neal (Mass), the top Democrat on a House Ways and Means Subcommittee that deals with taxes, said he would listen to a proposal for some “breathing room” if he thought a substantial deficit deal could be achieved.’

Instead of worrying about 'breathing room’ for a deficit reduction deal that as last year's pursuit of a ‘grand bargain’ showed congressional Republicans are not interested in forging, Neal should remember, the Bush tax cuts laid the groundwork for the trillions in debt we are now facing and exacerbate the problem of wealth inequality.

As usual, Neal defended his comments with a spokesperson, saying his record ‘speaks for itself’, but the people he is vying to represent in the newly drawn First Massachusetts Congressional District as well as those he currently represents, need someone to speak for them.

 Andrea Nuciforo, the Berkshire Middle District Register of Deeds and former State Senator from Berkshire County, who is mounting a primary challenge against Neal, is calling on him to vote against extending the Bush tax cuts on the top 2%, instead of bending over backwards to please the tea party types in congress, whether they are Republicans or Democrats. 




Is Obama like Jerry Ford, Jimmie Carter, and George HW Bush--OUT OF TOUCH AND HEADED OUT THE DOOR

Here is the story on Obama getting defeated in 2012. It sounds bad to us Progressives but then maybe him getting hammered in the election has a silver lining. My view is that we will start by knowing that the GOP is trying to push us all into poverty and stop thinking Obama is ever going to help us. His record so far is pretty dismal as to providing any assistance to the Democrats in Congress districts, local judgeships, State Governorships, etc.
1. He totally squandered the Congress majority that we Democrats had in 2008 when he was elected.
As I said many times he does little or no Dem Party building for locals or Congress. For example in 2008 he had a huge organization in place which it was hoped he would put into action in thousands of precinct level elections. It didn't happen and  by 2010 in just 2 years HIS VAULTED ORGANIZATION OF 2008 COULDN'T ELECT A LOCAL DOGCATCHER. Obama's neglect of local politics lost the Kennedy senate seat in Massachuetts, then in 2010 lost the big majority in Senate and he lost control of the House, and finally (and worst of all) he lost large numbers of governorships. Does anyone ever remember him leaving the White House to help out a local Democrat in a tough election--I cannot. The governorship losses are particularly galling to me. It WAS/IS most important that Democrats and Progressives control the governor jobs in the states especially during elections. One only has to go back to 2000 to see why. Governors (Democratic) insure that elections are open, prevent voter intimidation, etc. When the GOP controls the Governorships it seems that we have a whole bunch of tainted elections, and voter registration irregularities because the governors in each state control the essential fairness of the elections. Its not in the interest of the GOP for large numbers of poor and minority (and Seniors too) to come to vote. You can bet that what Obama did in 2010 was to insure that we now have many more GOP governors who don't give a snit for voter fairness nor large turnouts as we did when the Dems ruled the statehouses in 2008. What an irony. Obama got the benefit of big turnout, fair election processes in the state and yet he turned around and now his own ineptitude will insure his own defeat in many swing states.
MY VIEW IS THAT WHEN HE AND THE GOP ARE DONE WITH THE COUNTRY JUST AS THEY DID UNDER BUSH, THEN THE DEMOCRATS WILL REORGANIZE AND WILL BE MUCH STRONGER. So we might as well go back to work and stop hoping that Obama will give us any grassroots help. He will be out of our way and we can push to take back America at the local, state and Congress level like we did in 2006.
2. He continually as I have often pointed out acts like a closet Republican.  Just yesterday, he gave a $1 Billion dollar research grant to a Texas A & M business cabal connected to Tea Party darling Governor Rick Perry. All the profits from this will definitely go to rich Texas business interests who HATE DEMOCRATS AND ARE REPUBLICAN TO THE CORE. You can bet that huge amounts of this money will find its way over the next serveral years into SUPER PACS set up to beat Democrats in Congress and in state races.
3. He rarely gets any traction at the local level. I work in the voting polling precincts and I can tell you, the Democrats are not going to turn out for him. And I am not sure that he has any idea that he is toast with local black and Democrat voters. They don't dislike him, they just don't see that he cares anything about them. Just listen to him. He rarely talks of anything other than European Banking issues, Korean Trade Deals, China, etc. He's always focused on the problems of a. Europe b. large banks c. esoteric Non-voting people i.e. hispanic immigrants (they can't vote for him because they aren't citizens so why should he waste his fu*king time on them).
4. What has he done for Organized Labor Unions? NOTHING---he signed the Korean deal which will put 200,000 US workers out of a job. He opened up the US Highway system to thousands of Mexican truckers at the expense of the Teamsters. AND WORST OF ALL HE HAS IGNORED THEIR NEED FOR WHITE HOUSE SUPPORT as in the situation in Wisconsin. HE NEVER once even brought it up. You would have thought that he would have gone to Wisconsin many times to support Labors Issues there. But no, he was staging summits in Cabo or Europe or winging over for photo ops with Putin and others bigwig international A-Listers.

Now we hear that Obama's campaigners plan to spend LESS than Romney over the next six months of the election.  He has neglected those hopeful people who sent him millions of small contributions in 2007 & 2008 so now they seem to be closing their checkbooks and moving on to find a real General who will lead us in the next few years as we battle the forces of the 1%, the Super PAC's, and corporate global enterprises.


It's almost like he is having some kind of meltdown over the situation of our economy so he takes on the role of sympathizer for Europe and Asian economies. Over the last six months Obama has made dozens of speeches whose central theme is the European problems and then suddenly he makes the biggest blunder of his career when Obama pulled the Gerald Ford Polish mistake (Ford famously uttered: "There is no Soviet domination of Eastern Europe.")

and told the reporters that "the private sector is FINE". Are you sh*tting me. Twenty million people out of work and "its fine". The only thing doing fine are Wall Street Banks and CEO's but then maybe he is so far out of touch that he is beginning to believe his own fantacies.  My view is that Obama is now out of touch and headed down the same pathway to one term as Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, and George HW Bush.



What the HELL was the Obama White House Thinking?

June 19 2012

The headline today in the Houston Chronicle touted the news that the Obama administration had awarded a ONE BILLION Dollar contract for research to TEXAS A&M. The cortsortium that got this huge contract is headed by a cabal of rich Texans who are hard right Republicans and supporters of GOP Texas Governor and Tea Party darling Rick Perry. As you know Rick Perry and the Texas Republicans hate the Obama administration with a vengence rarely seen even in Texas politics. Yet here we are in mid-2012 with Obama and Kathleen Sebelius crowing about the benefits this contract will bring in research. Aren't there swing states where this money could be placed. You can bet that profits from this huge grant will find its way over the years into the hands of anti-progressive, anti-union, anti-enviromental control PAC's of the far right wing. I am amazed at this president. Why would he allow his subordinates to even allow Texas based business operations to get into bidding on large contracts. He should know full well that the monies/profits from this huge contract will go to further destruction of the campaigns for Democrats both in Texas and in other districts of the US Congress. Democrats from California, New York, etc. should be screaming about how this project was awarded and the protocols used to fund over $1 billion of our tax dollars into the hands of Rick Perry and his GOP business people who continually rant about "big government" spending. Governor Perry felt so strongly about it that he based his entire presidential primaries by appealing to the Tea Parties and was heavily supported by big contributions from RICH GOP backers in Texas.

It is so frustrating to see how inept the president's campaign has become that he may really turn out to be the Black Jimmy Carter.



Portrait of a Flip Flopper: Mitt Flips on Mercury

Yesterday, Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney waded into the “current” Congressional battle to clean up power plants, taking the side of industry over public health.

It is a sad day on a number of levels.  Not only is a Presidential candidate turning his back on millions of children in favor of his dirty air backers, but he is also turning his back on his legacy as an environmental leader during his tenure as Massachusetts’s governor from 2003 to 2007.  

In 2003, then-Governor Mitt Romney stood in the shadow of a power plant and chastised the industry for their toxic emissions that were killing people.  He stated in 2003, “Massachusetts has been a national leader in the effort to clean up our oldest and dirtiest power plants. The implementation of these new mercury standards, coupled with major reductions in other air pollutants now underway, will ensure that the citizens of the Commonwealth will breathe the cleanest air possible.”

His campaign’s statement shows that candidate Romney is willing to say anything, do anything, and promise anything to please his dirty air backers.



Rush Limbaugh never heard of the McDonald brothers.

May 01, 11:34 a.m. - R.L. referred to Ray Kroc as the founder of McDonald’s

Error, Factual - hey, don’t tell that last surviving McDonald brother that! It’ll put him in his grave. The reading of McDonald’s: Behind the Golden Arches is duly commended to Rush Limbaugh so that he may know what he is talking about.



Rush Limbaugh does not know the great Henry Ford

Apr. 30, 12:18 p.m. CT R.L. saidnobody/ no industry goes in to a town to create jobs.

Error, factual. Rush Limbaugh apparently has not heard of Henry Ford nor of his satellite factory scheme which was to employ farmers during the “off” season. It’s only been around since 1902 or so, yes, since the very founding of the present-day Ford Motor Car Company. And we are disappointed that R.L. did not know that Kansas City was one of those satelillite plants so mentioned, in deed the first one not only outside of the metro Detroit area but also outside of Michigan. The reading of Recasting of the Machine Age is commended to R.L. so that he may repair this deficiency in his knowledge.



Rush Limbaugh does not know the history of Democrats

May 31st, 1:08 p.m. - R.L. asked when was the last time you heard Democrats blamed for something in the last 100 years?

Error, factual, gross error, to wit:

 Democratic presidents and what they were blamed for:


  • the Dust Bowl granted with 20/20 hindsight.
  • Mexico, meddling with, assuming a parental oversight role in shaping their government.


F.D.R. -

  • The destruction of Democratic candidate for governor of California Upton Sinclair.
  • Pearl Harbor
  • Setting the term of “Unconditional surrender.” This shocked Churchill and others, and may have kept Italy and Germany in the war longer as opposed to a negotiated peace based on conditional agreements.
  • running for a 3rd term. F.D.R. was the first, and only, president to run for a continuous 3rd term. His relative, the Great Roosevelt (Theodore), ran for a 3rd term in 1916 and 1920 after leaving office but had left office after 2 terms.
  • Running for an unprecedented 4th term in office.
  • Running for an unprecedented 4th term in office knowing that he wouldn’t live long enough to complete the term, granted with 20/20 hindsight.
  • Having pro-Communist Henry Wallace as his V.P. when he knew that he would not live long enough to complete his 4th term in office.
  • The Jalta/Yalta sell-out of Eastern Europe


Truman -

  • China, losing to communism. J.F.K. made an issue out of that.
  • secretaries in fur coats. When the Mormon Muckraker (Jack Anderson) wrote the book Confessions of a Muckracker wherein he confessed the sins of his predecessor Drew Pearson  except the gleeful crucifixion of Preston Tucker and his attempt to set up a car company, he pointed out that towards the end of the Truman Administration it was common to see White House secretaries wearing lovely fur coats which either had become very affordable or someone had been very generous with.
  • We believe that this fur coat episode was why Richard Nixon mentioned Pat Nixon’s “respectable Republican cloth coat” in his “Checkers Speech.”
  • Korea, making a mess out of so that it had degenerated into World War One era trench warfare. No lie, we had to get trench binoculars from the French Army for our troops. (That’s optical magnifiers on a frame that can see over a trench without exposing the viewer, binoculars turned into periscopes if you will.) C. Estes Kefauver clobbered Truman in the New Hampshire primary and Truman withdrew from the race two weeks later at the Jefferson-Jackson Day Dinner (that’s right, this was the first N.H. primary and it was held in MARCH).

 J.f.K. -

  • Bay of Pigs cowardice. Note one of the picket signs during the Cuban Missile Crisis - “don’t chicken out, Jack!,” a reference to his performance during the previous crisis.
  • Allowing the Berlin Wall to be built. Even Truman had enough common sense to say that he would bulldozed it down immediately, and we know now that the Soviet guards would have fled had we done so.
  • Alleged pledge not to invade Cuba in order to get missiles removed from Cuba.
  • skyjacking reduced from being a capital offense. This came up just as skyjacking became popular in the late 1960’s.

 Johnson -

  • Bobby Baker. The “Dixiecrat” author of A Texan Looks at Lynden says that the Kennedy’s wanted to drop Johnson in 1964 because Bobby Baker’s antics had made him a major embarrassment.
  • Cross Florida Barge Canal project - destroying the environmentally-sensitive Everglades in order to bolster non-existence barge traffic.
  • Vietnam War, incompetent handling of. That’s why Senator Eugene McCarthy made a strong showing in the 1968 New Hampshire Primary.
  • Pueblo misadventure.
  • We commend the reading of the Making of the President, 1968 for details on social protest against L.B.J. as form of criticism.


Carter -

  • Energy situation “moral equivalence of war”
  • Botched rescue of American hostages
  • Three Mile Island, incompetent handling of, especially in areas downwind of that plant
  • Giving the Crown of St. Stephen back to the Hungarians - but to the Hungarian Communists from whom we were supposed to protect it.
  • Panama Canal giveaway


Governors, Democrat, blamed in the media.

Florida, Lawton Chiles. Florida is heavily dependent on th state sales tax for revenue and was almost bankrupt in the early 1990’s. the rebuilding after Hurricane Andrew saved the state and his butt.

Illinois - “Blago,” but probably only because he got caught.

Louisiana governor after Hurricane Andrew

Michigan, Jennifer Granholm, the “Barbie Doll Governor” who couldn't get anything right as governor

N.J. “One-Term Byrne.”

N.J. Jim Florio - for his tax on toilet paper, for his “runny egg” banning, and for going into a monolog on Superman while doing a photo-op with the Batmobile.

N.Y. Eliot Spitzer. We would expect Rush Limbaugh to be conversant with this one. Misusing his office as prosecutor to protect whorehouses (mobile whorehouses called "escort services") that he liked while shutting down those he did not. Love Potion Number 9.


Democrat Mayors of large cities, blamed in the media.

New York City - anyone know of a mayor of any party that has not been criticized publically at least once?

Camden, N.J. - ANY mayor since the 1960’s

Cleveland - Dennis Kocinich

Detroit - the mayor during the 1960’s riot who couldn’t admit that the situation was “out of control,” a prerequisite for the National Guard to come in and restore order.

Detroit - mayor for life the Krugerrand Man (Coleman A. Young, Sr.). Much of the media was intimidated into silence except for the Detroit News.

Detroit - “I’m the first Hip-Hop Mayor of this city” Kwame Kilpatrick now a paroled convict

Wayne County (metro Detroit) County Manager Edward McNamara, the alleged boss of the last big city Irish political machine - for gross corruption

Prairie Purgatory “Kansas City, Mo.” - Funkhouser was crucified almost daily for anything and everything, most recently the major snow that caught the city unprepared just before the mayoral primary.

Philadelphia - Frank Rizzo, almost daily for anything and everything

Philadelphia - Wilson B. Goodfornuthin for the “bombing” of west Philadelphia that destroyed some 43 city blocks during the second “MOVE” shootout.

 we guess Rush Limbaugh just doesn't pay attention to the DETAILS of the news


Lisa Epstein Qualifies for August 14 Election


For Immediate Release

June 15, 2012

Lisa Epstein Qualifies for August 14 Election for Palm Beach County Clerk of the Circuit Court (despite best efforts of local Democratic Party)

Well-known activist, foreclosure fraud, land record and mortgage-backed securities fraud investigator Lisa Epstein submitted her fee and final paperwork to officially qualify to be on the ballot against two-term incumbent Sharon Bock.  Lisa recognizes that this campaign is a David vs. Goliath battle against a well entrenched and funded opponent, however, it is her intention to campaign on a platform seeking to make the Clerk’s office more responsive, proactive and protective of the rights of the citizens of Palm Beach County.

It would be an understatement to say that there is room for improvement. The following letter was submitted to the local newspaper, though the campaign is not expecting to see it published. The letter provides background on the recent efforts by local officials, including the Clerk, to keep Lisa out of the race and allow the Clerk to be awarded a third four year term, unopposed.   Voter suppression is fresh in the minds of Floridians during this news cycle, and one could easily agree when Lisa Epstein labels this as “Candidate Suppression”:

The Palm Beach Post story this past Friday regarding the “final bit of drama” leading up to my qualification to run in the August 14 election for Palm Beach County Clerk of the Circuit Court touched on the culmination of a weeks-long effort by the local Democratic Party, its current Chairman and the current Clerk of the Circuit Courts to get me out of this race.  Though I am not a politician, I am alarmed at the tactics the party employs to clear the field of political opposition to the favored sons and daughters.  I do find it interesting that certain elements of the Party will promote primary battles against incumbents who are perceived as vulnerable at the same time that they are dissuading candidates like myself and other recent high profile candidates from offering our skills, talent and knowledge to the voters as an alternative to the status quo and business as usual in Palm Beach County.

In another attempt to discourage voters from paying attention to my campaign, the Clerk was quoted recently as saying that “only 2%” of the cases filed at the Courthouse concern foreclosures,  (perhaps if you are counting traffic citations that might be true) while ignoring two consecutive months of 60% plus increases in foreclosure filings over same months in 2011.  The economic impact and upheaval of families contained in the “only 2%”, which the Clerk so minimally categorizes and intentionally trivializes, is staggering to anyone paying attention.  From 2008 to 2011, 81,627 foreclosure cases were filed.  Another Palm Beach Post article this week highlighted the historic losses in net worth that most of us have been subject to, primarily due to home values.  As we are slowly learning, the foreclosure crisis is the complex result of boom-time, bailed out Wall Street mortgage-backed securities fraud.  The Palm Beach County Courthouse has been likened by some to be Ground Zero for foreclosure fraud and mortgage fraud in our country, and business as usual is not working.

To her credit, Clerk Bock most recently seemed genuine and open in regard to listening to our suggestions seeking to stem the damage of bailed-out banks’ securities and real estate fraud being inflicted daily on our citizens, both the vulnerable and the more well off, not to mention the negative effects on community stability, property values, crime, pensions, savings, employment statistics, and the fiscal impact on local governments due to free-fall of property tax revenue.  Finally focusing a laser beam on these issues now might ameliorate the increasing private and public financial hardship that occurs when 45% of Florida residents are already deeply underwater and citizens bear the unblunted brunt of financial services industry fraud.   Many real estate analysts proclaim that the market has reached bottom and will recover, despite evidence of vast holdings of shadow inventory.  When mortgage servicers hold insurance claim payments hostage for up to 37% of damaged homes (vacant properties and delinquent mortgages) what will happen to our communities when potential victims of natural disasters, including likely tropical storms and hurricanes, find it impossible to pay (and put to work) contractors to make homes safe and habitable again? 

Eleventh hour promises for a collaborative anti-fraud initiative, an effort profoundly in the interest of Palm Beach County residents, should not be contingent on the termination of my candidacy.  I am also quite troubled by many unilateral decisions by the current Clerk, from the less important changing of the name of the Constitutional Office to the more important withholding of funds to allow the Inspector General to do her job, now the subject of an expensive taxpayer-funded lawsuit.   Since my primary election on August 14 is now a universal primary, an election open to any Palm Beach County registered voter regardless of party affiliation, I intend to keep educating all the citizens of this county as to why I am running for this office and why we must elect public officials who are responsive to the people whom they represent.

Some will say that I have no chance to win this election and that I should have worked with the Party and Clerk instead of continuing my campaign.  Others question whether my extensive experience exposing the ongoing fraud in mortgage backed securities, recorded real estate documents, and foreclosures along with my championing for open courts, is enough to show voters I am capable of running a large government entity.  I grant you that I never expected my career as a trained oncology RN to lead me into the national spotlight as a citizen financial fraud sleuth, much less in a political race for public office.  This would not be the first time that a regular citizen became an elected official.  Our system of government insures that there are in place numerous resources to help replacements transition ineffective incumbents out of office.  The voters are the first step in that process, assuming candidates can successfully run the gauntlet to qualification.

(s) Lisa Epstein, Candidate for Palm Beach County Clerk of the Circuit Court

It is clear to Lisa and her team that little change will occur on the Federal and State level due to the enormity of the Cash funding of our elected officials and lobbyists from the Too Big To Fail banks and Wall Street.  If change is to occur, it will because of local efforts to effect change.  Lisa Epstein recognizes that putting regular citizens who care into elected offices where that change can begin is just the start, and she has put her life on hold to try to do just that.


Lisa and her colleagues have helped thousands of homeowners and countless foreclosure defense teams with their mortgage servicer research and document unearthing.  We are hopeful that many of supporters and well-wishers nationwide will help and support Lisa in some small way.  If you are willing and able to send a donation it will be graciously accepted at the link below. If you are an active online advocate and/or blogger, please consider starting a money-bomb from your audience.   If you are in the business of foreclosure defense, the maximum individual or company donation is $500. If you are a victim of the fraud or in foreclosure, help Lisa continue to help your fight and send what you can. Even $5.00 donations multiplied will allow us to further Lisa’s message.

Palm Beach County is a battleground for mortgage and foreclosure fraud, it even has the nickname “Corruption County”.  Help Lisa Epstein in her effort to make the Clerk’s office part of the solution, not part of the problem.  Thank you in advance for your support

Lisa Epstein Campaign Account

PO Box 2783

West Palm Beach, FL 33402


Political Advertisement paid for and approved by Lisa Epstein, Democrat for Clerk of the Circuit Court






« Prev | Next »


Advertise Blogads