Tuesday, February 17, 2009

News of the Day

It's been awhile since I just wrote about interesting articles in the newspapers I read every week. And sadly the state of newspapers is quickly diminishing. Seattle is about to lose one in about a month or so and may lose the other this year. The first was up for sale and had no takers, yet anyway, and the other is bleeding money almost as fast and is reportedly secretly up for sale.

Tacoma's only papers is treading water, but barely. All three raised prices recently and shrunk the size in pages every day. This is sad as I love sitting down with papers and lunch. I only wish others were available locally the same day - not subsriiption to be 1-2 days later. I would love to read the Washington Post alongside the Wall Street Journal - although I'm quickly tiring of Rupert Murdoch's revamping and editorial views, New York Times, and USA Today. That's the three others we get here in print.

But that said, what did I see of merit to me today?

Well for one, Senator Roland Burris. It's clear he should resign. While he didn't lie to the Illinois Senate, he just didn't tell the whole or complete truth. He didn't misspeak, he just didn't speak, and now we're hearing from him he did have numerous conversations with the former Illinois Governor's staff and talked about raising campaign funds for the Governor.

He wanted to be a Senator so much he thought ethics weren't required. And forget the law. Right now he's a walking, talking joke for the Senate after they capitulated and accepted him. If Senator Reid had stood his ground, this wouldn't have happened, but Reid also capitulated to the Black Caucus' political pressure (not my words but the NY Times).

Hopefully someone will get through to Mr. Burris to resign and let the real process of selecting a Senator from Illinois happen. He's tainted by a disgraced Governor and his own reputation lacking any worth or merit, along with the fact he's not a good example for any group.

Ok, onward. The Justice Department has announced it's keeping the Bush rules on secrecy for wiretaps, interrogations and information about "terrorists. " Like we thought they would undo those? The point still remains that we don't know who determines who's a terrorist and what review proceedures they have to ensure it's only terrorists and not ordinary people and especially citizens.

In short, it's business as usual, "Trust us.", except we don't. Your record speaks for itself and the Obama Justice Department has chosen to follow the same Bush Justice Department mentality, don't trust anyone, especially the American people. That's not a good record to stand on and not a good one for the future.

Now we still don't trust you. And you promised changes. Except those changes weren't transparent or good, just new signatures on old administration policy memos.

This one I like a lot. Should Congress or an independent commission investigate Bush and his administration? USA has a good editorial on it. I think the Senate should to the full extent possible, for the future of this country and nation. Put all the information on the table for all to see and judge. And then subpenoa everyone of the Bush's administration, including Cheney and Bush to open, public sessions under oath.

In short, make them plead or tell. The American people deserve answers, not poltiical rhetoric we've heard for the last 8 years. We want a hearings like the Nixon impeachment hearings, in full view of the press and media. Let the American people decide Bush's legacy for themselves than hearing it from elected officials, lawyers, and pundits, all of whom have personal agendas and views we've already heard.

Let the sun shine on Bush and his decisions. Let's look in the shadows of their thoughts. Let's hear their words of admission. Nothing less is more important. No clouding the truth, facts or reality, like the 9/11 Commission, but put it out there. For all of us to see and hear. And if they sweat and plead, let us see it.

And there was good news too. But only if you're not a fan of motobikes, ATV's, etc. for children. The new lead-free toys rules applies to all toys which includes any motorized vehicle specially built for children under 12/13 years. These vehicles have lead in many parts and components, and consequently banned. Granted these are really toys but vehicles, but the rules don't distinguish between the two since it applies to anything targetting children.

This to me is great, really, really great. I've been against giving anyone under the age of 16 anything motorized. They're brains have not fully developed for caution and understanding consequences - which doesn't fully develop until 18-20 years old anyway, so giving something without regard for them learning safety - like they're going to really mind their parents and not to the tricks they see on TV and in videos?

I think this is cool, and now the trick will see how the companies reshape their sales pitch for these "toys", like they can build a lead-free motobike or ATV?

That's my view from here.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Escaping blame

This seems to be the history of this country, people consistently, and sometimes frequently, escaping blame by either faining ignorance, mistruth, self-deception, and on and on. The list of excuses and reasons is endless, only limited by people imagination to believe they weren't to blame despite the reality.

We've seen this for the last 8 years under Bush and Cheney. Bush pleaded his belief that things were right and good, and Cheney simply was arrogant to people and ignorant of the facts, truth and reality. Both were self-deluded and dellusional about themselves. But the announcement of the American Peanut Co. announcing chapter 7 bankruptcy protection in the light of an obviously bad company operation and practice and the deaths and injuries is above belief.

The evidence is showing the senior leadership and management knew the company was making and marketing peanut products at a factory with know salmonella problems, for at least three years, and continued not only sell the tainted stuff but not fix the problems. And the reports of the factory conditions describe a totally unsanitary plant and working conditions. They knew it and let it happen.

So what happens now? I don't know but I hope the Justice Department prosecutes them for every crime possible and the judge overseeing the bankruptcy sets aside company assets to cover all the lawsuits they will face over the deaths and injuries. This is an outragous act to be profitable one minute and bankrupt the next simply because the truth was exposed.

This situation is not the worst food contamination incident, but it's one of the most obviously flagrant by company leaders who knowingly sold the product. And now seeking the protection of the courts and law to avoid criminal charges and civil lawsuits only show they are themselves contanimated with arrogance and indifference to people. The should be brought to justice and face the family of the victims.

This is a time and place government needs to set an example they work for the people. And the American people are waiting. We don't expect immediate answers but we do expect justice.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Dear Republicans

Would you please stop acting like babies and even worse assholes? You're being whiners now that you've lost control of Congress and the White House. All you seem to do is whine and be a road block. You refuse to be bipartisan, on the other side of the issue you long complained about Democrats when you controlled Congress.

Let's not forget you passed a $850 Billion bailout for banks and financial corporations and didn't blink and eye is wasn't a bad idea, all because then President Bush said it was good. You gave then Treasury Secretary Paulsen complete latitude to spend the money as he wanted without accountability and oversight.

And you didn't blink when Secretary Paulsen lied why he wanted the money and then ignored the rules you passed and used the money for other things. And you didn't whine when the companies took the money and ran, and never did what they promised. You gave the banks and financial companies a $850 Billion blank check.

You created this whole mess under President Bush and let Wall Street and the financial services companies get away with fraud and robbery. And you not only did not do anything about it, even ask questions, you promoted and benefitted by it. You got rich at our expense.

And now when the President has to cleanup and fix your mess, you're whining and saying you're not going to be bipartisan or vote for any of the Democrats bills. The $789 Billlion will go to states, people and companies for the real needs of this country, and you're whining about it? All the reasons you give are political rhetoric and not valid or have merit on their face except as noise.

Are you aware that when the stimulus and other programs work and the economy turns around, you'll be left holding the dufus award? You're making it very easy for any Democrat challenger in the 2010 elections to just point at your voting record against all those bills which help people keep and get jobs, keep their homes, pay for children's healthcare and educations, supported the middle class with tax cuts and credits, and help banks and the finanical companies get working, just to name a few things.

You'll be standing trying to explain exactly what you did to help and why you voted against all those bills and expressed disdain for all those programs. Whatever principles you say you're following, it surely isn't for people, you know the ones who elected you and the ones you now represent. It surely isn't for this country and nation, to rebuild it into a vibrant, strong economy again. It surely isn't for the security of the people and the nation against globalism of terrorism, human rights violations, and everything else that threatens us.

I don't know what your principles are, but they're going to be only yours sitting home having been seen as really dumb and stupid and the Democrat who beat you in 2010 will make that very clear. When we get this country turned around from your and President Bush's failures, we'll remind you what your contribution was, the word "No." And I'll be one making sure you don't try to claim what isn't yours.

So, you can either stop whining and bitching or you can swallow some pride and get on with the show of helping the people of this country. Your choice, be good or be an asshole as you're showing you want to be.