Saturday, October 30, 2010

All I Want This Election Day Nov. 2 2010

I want everyone who's a registered voter to get up and vote.  I despair that the overall voter turnout is always so meager.  We're supposed to be a vibrant democracy but barely half the nation even bothers to register to vote...

I want my fellow Floridians to Vote FOR Charlie Crist for the U.S. Senate.  Of the three major choices, Crist is the one who's had the better, more honorable career.  Yes, he's changed his position on certain votes, but that was because a vast majority of Floridians begged him to do so.  Changing one's mind when it becomes clear that a political stance is wrong-headed DOES NOT make one a flip-flopper.  And getting driven out by the party with all those outside Far Right deep pockets is NOT being a traitor either.  A vote for Crist is a vote FOR Florida.  I seriously believe that.

I want my fellow Floridians to Vote AGAINST Rick Scott.  Scott is a goddamn crook with a history of Medicare Fraud.  There's now more evidence that his more recent health care endeavor, Solantic, has the same problem of Medicare overbilling that they had when Scott was CEO of Columbia/HCA.  The crook hasn't even stopped his bad habits!  What the hell do you think someone like that is gonna do in the Governor's office?  Here's a clue: he's gonna take all the money he can grift and make the rest of us suffer for it!  For the LOVE OF GOD, FLORIDA, DO NOT VOTE FOR HIM!  If you don't want to vote for Sink, fine, there's two other choices on the ballot.  Just... NO SCOTT.

I want my fellow Floridians to Vote FOR Amendments 5 and 6The Fair Districts ballots.  Of all the amendments on the ballot, these two are of major import to me: a serious and genuine attempt to stop the political gerrymandering that has favored one party over the rights of the voters, and has allowed incumbents to carve out safe districts to the detriment of honest representation.

I want my fellow Floridians... I want my fellow Americans across this nation to Vote FOR Democrats across the board.  All the Republicans will offer between now and 2012 are questionable impeachment investigations, a refusal to be serious with deficit reduction, and an upfront desire to shut down the federal government first chance and every chance they get.  I mean, the Republicans are the ones who blocked and obstructed and refused to compromise for the last two years... and THEY'RE the ones the voters want back in power?  Don't the voters have kids: any time their kids throw a tantrum and hold their breath and all, do these voters give their unruly kids more toys and candy?  Or do they send them to a corner for well-deserved Time Outs?  The collective GOP has acted like a spoiled 5-year-old brat... AND THEY ARE GETTING REWARDED FOR THEIR BAD BEHAVIOR.  What.  The.  Hell?!

I want to be able to go to bed Tuesday night in a good mood.  I want to be able to post here Wednesday morning that we're going to have responsible, sensible leadership in elected office between now and 2012 that might actually do something about our unemployment and our weak economy.

I want... I want... I want to... Put on my Sunday clothes...
There's lots of world out there
Get out the Brillantine and dime cigars
We're gonna find adventure in the evening air
Girls in white in a perfumed night
Where the lights are bright as the stars!
Put on your Sunday clothes, we're gonna ride through town
In one of those new horsedrawn open cars

We'll see the shows
At Delmonico's
And we'll close the town in a whirl
And we won't come home until we've kissed a girl!


Oh, right.




Monday, October 25, 2010

One Last Week To Try And Convince Florida That Rick Scott As Governor Is a REALLY BAD IDEA

Seriously, people.  43 to 46 percent of likely voters WANT to vote for Rick "1.7 BILLION IN MEDICARE FRAUD" Scott?  Do you WANT me to go to each and every one of your homes to SLAP SOME GODDAMN SENSE INTO YOU?!


Okay.  Okay.  Calming down a bit.  Let's try a little bit of logic here:

Experience as a CEO of a company DOES NOT automatically mean a person will have experience running an elected office.  In Rick Scott's case, his experience as a CEO isn't even good: he mismanaged a major Health Care firm - Columbia/HCA - into such a sorry state that the board of directors FORCED HIM OUT and left the health care firm to pay off $1.7 BILLION in fines, court costs, and settlements related to the massive amount of Medicare Fraud the company performed during Scott's tenure.
Let's take a moment to review his work history here: Scott as CEO did massive damage to his own corporation.  This happened either because A) the Medicare fraud happened outside of his knowledge (Scott's excuse), which means that Scott was incompetent and incapable of keeping track of his own business, or B) the Medicare fraud happened with Scott's knowledge (the whistleblowers' contention, with some evidence backing that claim), which means that Scott was (and very well IS) a corrupt and greedy bastard.  There is no third explanation here.  Either way, Scott is an inept manager or a corrupt bastard.  This is who you want for our state's Governorship?
Add to this Scott's experiences running businesses after his getting the boot from Columbia/HCA haven't been all sunshine either.  Mostly bouncing around as a venture capitalist starting a series of health-related businesses including a planned Health Network that didn't seem to go anywhere after Discovery Channel bought up the rights by 2001.  Scott tried another health care business called Solantic, a chain of "urgent care" clinics... and THAT is a source of headaches involving lawsuits covering discriminatory hiring practices among other questions of mismanagement.  If Scott's had any success post-HCA, it's been running a lobbyist firm opposed to Obama's Health Care Reform laws: successful in that he's raised tons of cash and getting his name out there for, guess what, running for Governor.

The scary thing for me is how blind the voters seem to be of Scott's actual track record.  The voters seem only interested in one thing: that Scott has the Republican(tm) Seal of Approval having won the August primary over McCollum.  Pity there is, given the voter turnout (1 million) for the Primary compared to the actual number of registered Republicans (over 3 million) in the state, Scott didn't even really win a majority of the Party.  He just won with the more obsessed (Teabagger) and dedicated (Wingnuts) elements of the Party that even tried to show up and vote.  Which on its own is a sad state of affairs: did a majority of Republicans just not even care in the end who represents the Party for the Governor's seat?

What is worse is the overall voter turnout: compared to Presidential election cycles, the so-called Midterm elections have fewer voters.  Basically, only Teh Crazies come out to vote.  Which ought not to be the case here: in Florida at least there is the VERY REAL DANGER that a corrupt bastard like Rick Scott could end up in control of:
  • Our state's budget: he can veto and line-item veto things at his pleasure.  And while the Legislature legally has control of passing the budgets, the Governor would have a lot of influence in pushing which programs to fund or defund.  And this is a guy with a history of FRAUD on his resume...  Seriously?
  • How the state's legislative districts and Congressional districts are drawn based on this decade's 2010 Census numbers.  While Amendments 5 and 6 to the State Constitution can pass and could well assure that partisanship won't gerrymander everything to hell and back, there's any number of political maneuvers that could delay that effort of fair redistricting... and Rick Scott as Governor will influence the redistricting to his benefit.
  • Our public and social services.  For all the bullshit Scott is saying about "Let's Get To Work," like he has the solutions for curbing the unemployment crisis our state is suffering (12-14 percent Unemployment!), Scott is openly threatening to cut state-employed jobs.  And someone like him isn't going to stop at 6,000 jobs... or 60,000 jobs.  Any cuts he can find to justify massive tax breaks for his business and corporate buddies will do.  Even if it means closing every library, every child care service, every poverty-fighting program that is staving off the disaster this state is currently suffering.  Someone like Scott will slash first and never question the consequences: let the poor people worry about that...

Just on those three points alone, the whole of the state's registered Democratic population (over 4 million) ought to be rising up out of their seats to rush to the local early voting polls and putting their vote in AGAINST SCOTT.  Alex Sink is a goddamn SAINT compared to Scott... and you Democrats aren't showing up in droves yet?



For the LOVE OF GOD, ANYONE BUT RICK SCOTT!  Just.  DON'T.  VOTE.  For that crook!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

They Took That Sign Down! NOOooooooo

I mentioned last post that I saw a Rick Scott sign at the West Pasco Government Center that had a "He's a Crook!" anti-fan sign taped to it.  After posting, I figured on making an excuse to swing back by with my camera to get a snapshot in case it was still there.

As you can tell by my SPOILER-doomed entry title, someone took that sign down.  Sniff whimper.

Anyway, pics of how it looks along the driveway of the WPGC:

I mentioned how half of all those signs are mostly two people fighting for the Mosquito Control position?  Take a look at the lower right corner of the second picture: the red sign and the pink sign.  Yeah, those two.  Just repeat both signs by infinity and you'll get an idea how cluttered that driveway is with their signs.

People!  Seriously!  All that signage for MOSQUITO CONTROL?  And all clumped together in one spot?!  Just how much money are you all spending on the MOSQUITO CONTROL Job?  What IS the big deal with that job, a springboard to the governorship?

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Thing That Made Me Smile

I went out to the West Pasco Government Center to wave a Vote For Crist sign alongside Little Rd. this morning.  There's early voting for the next two weeks so gotta Get Out The Vote.

The whole driveway up to the government building is lined with yard signs.  Hundreds of them.  And more than half of the signs are for two people running for Mosquito Control.  That's right, not for the Senate or the Governorship or County Commissioners... Mosquito Control.  That's the big campaign in Pasco County...?  Hmm, now that I think about it, we do have a bit of a bug problem in Florida, don't we...

But the thing that made me smile this morning was this:

Seeing a sign for Rick Scott (BOO HISS), but with a hand-made sign taped to it reading "He's A Crook!  What the Hell Are You Voting Him For?"

When I head back there next time, ought to take a camera with me... also ought to take a lawn chair, my back is killing me after two hours of sign-waving!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Midterm crunchtime

We've got basically two weeks to slap sense into a majority of voters to stop them from voting Republican this 2010 Midterms.

Dear America:
The Republicans have nominated psychotics, ill-informed zombies, outright crooks, and stone-cold liars for high office across the land.

The Republicans carried out a massive and unprecedented program of obstruction and blocking at the federal level that has effectively shut down government at one of the worst times in our nation's economy.

The Republicans are bought and backed by deep-pocketed financial institutions and billionaires who have profited from our economic collapse of the last 3 years, and look to continue the same greedy economic policies that nearly wrecked the entire planet's economy in 2008.

For the LOVE OF GOD, AMERICA.  Don't.  Vote.  Republican!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Fool me Thirty-Seven Times, It's Still SHAME ON YOU, You Crooked Bastards

Pretty much link to Digby about the Foreclosure Crisis (Part Thirty-Seven, Or Didn't We Just Have a Problem With Banks Just Two Years Ago?):

...So I'm listening to Andrea Mitchell and Jim Cramer explain the Foreclosure Fraud Crisis as they wail and rend their garments about how terrible it will be for just everyone if these poor banks are held responsible for this problem because the whole economy will implode.

That's nonsense. People should go to directly jail at this point, do not pass go. The real estate market is still officially fucked and while everyone wants it to "find its bottom" coddling the big financial institutions and their crooked subsidiaries and contractors has not worked all that well for average Americans at any point in this ongoing crisis (or for Democrats for that matter.) The only people who are benefiting from the capitulation to the Big Money Boyz's threats and hoary predictions on this one are the Big Money Boyz and the GOP. The economy still sucks and will continue to suck until the incentives for this criminal behavior and self-destructive malfeasance are stopped...

Even those with good motives among the powers-that-be (and there's reason to be suspicious about many of them) continue to believe they can finesse this problem with band-aids or superficial remedies to keep the rubes quiet until the invisible hand fixes everything. They are petrified in the meantime that unless they give the oligarchs what they want, they will pull the plug and then where will we be?

This is magical thinking. There is not going to be any easy way out of this. The invisible hand may be working but it often works on a very, very long timeline and many bad things can happen to a society while it does its thing. Meanwhile, every incantation and folk medicine they've applied to this problem has resulted in another round of infection. It's time to open up the wound and completely clean it out. The patient will heal much faster and it's far less likely to die in the meantime...

...As I wrote yesterday, these banks are once again holding the country hostage with their threats that if anything should be done about their criminality they'll blow up the whole damned place. Well, they already are ---- in slow motion. If we want to find a "bottom" to this market, they need to institute a serious cram-down program to help real people work out these messed up mortgages instead of allowing the banks fix their balance sheets through fraud and the market to stabilize by throwing people into the streets. It's not working.

And everybody needs to stop worrying about the moral hazard of letting average people off the hook for their mortgages and worry a little bit more about the moral hazard of continually allowing these huge financial institutions to get away with murder...

This is the result of decades of failing to hold people accountable for their actions... the slow, inexorable end to oversight... the unwillingness by those in a position to stop the reckless and criminal all because of the glorified concept of "Free-market"... the foolishness of those who pursued their greed and ambitions without recognizing the damage done the last time we let this happen, and their open disdain of the New Deal policies put in place to make sure those damaging acts never happened again.

That saying "Fool me once, shame on you.  Fool me twice, shame on me" is only partially correct.  We've been fooled, again and again by The Geniuses Of Capitalism, the CEOs and Financial "Wizards" of Wall Street, into thinking that they held all the answers and had all the skills to make everyone and everything better by their guiding hands.  But we're not the ones who committed the crimes and fooled the people day in and day out: that's still THEIR fault and those CEOs and banking "wizards" need to answer for their crimes.  We're only to blame if we let them go.  AGAIN.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Burning Down The Housing Industry

For awhile there, I was thinking about making some comments on the horrifying story about how privatizing the fire departments might not be that good an idea.

But this week, something bigger and nastier that can affect everyone's homes has popped up in the news:

...But oddly, when it's revealed that financial institutions have behaved irresponsibly (and in some cases criminally) casting their own industry into disrepute, ruining countless lives and (further) destroying the economy, we are told that they cannot be held responsible, or even be required to stop their irresponsible and criminal behavior, because it will slow the recovery and the poor average worker will be hurt. We've been told for two years now, as wave after wave of financial wrongdoing and malfeasance has been revealed, that it is in our best interest and the best interest of the country that we allow the big banks and their various affiliates to continue on unmolested lest something even worse happens...

...You have to love the idea that average Americans should stand pat while the mortgage industry continues to defraud them so they can protect their alleged investments in mortgage securities. I guess there's a sucker born every minute.

At some point one would hope that this racket would become obvious to the American people: they are being held hostage by financial elites who insist that they be allowed to get away with murder or they'll blow the whole place up and take everyone down with them...

It seems that over the past two years, the banks had been speeding through the foreclosure paperwork for hundreds of thousands of properties that there has been mass confusion over which properties belong to whom, and even if certain mortgaged homes are even foreclosed.  There are reports of people's homes being auctioned off by banks while those same banks are telling the homeowners that they still own their properties.  Reports of fraudulent signatures and false papers are rampant.  Attorneys General of 40 states are starting investigations and the banks have had to freeze their entire foreclosure processes.

As someone who's unemployed, struggling with the help of his parents to pay off a mortgage while I search for work, the possibility that I may have to sell my townhouse/condo is a primary concern.  Problem is, I can't sell in this housing market from Hell.  And this foreclosure crisis is making it worse.  Freezing the foreclosures makes the market more uncertain.  The whole mortgage lending process may be under investigation before too long.  And in this environment people are not going to be interested in buying homes.

It'd be nice to think that someone can come along and fix this all: establish some serious oversight, ensure that the paperwork has been resolved, provide stability to the home-selling and mortgage-lending markets.  But the banks can't be trusted.  The government is tied up right now with partisan bullshit by a Republican Party obsessed with deregulating everything and demonizing any effort to fix our economy (unless it involved cutting more taxes... again... and again.  AND FUCKING AGAIN).

The Latin phrase for "We're screwed"?  Anyone?  The Google Translate isn't all that effective...

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Slightly Off-Topic, but Google Translate has English to Latin

Which, if it has any similarity to other language translators I've found online over the years, will get a good amount of the translation wrong.  It's the grammar.  Tense (Past, Future, Pluperfect) use.  Even word incompatability (what's Latin for "iPod"?).

That said, I've been plugging in a few personal quotes I love to see what the Latin would be:

Es fatear hypocritae honestissimis potestis facere.

Vivimus in gentem sunt iaceat numismate.

Okay... I tried plugging in "Buy my book!" and it's definitely having translator issues.  Go figure.  :( 

Monday, October 04, 2010

For All I Know About How the March For Jobs Turned Out

It would have been nice if I had gone so I could report in person what the crowds were like, how the scene was set, the mood of others worried for their jobs...

There's not much online I'm finding at the moment other than this article from The Atlantic Wire, which mostly just focuses on the debates on what the turnout meant and what turnout they actually had (and if the turnout was bigger than Beck's).

The problem is that "official" numbers from the National Park Service aren't given out anymore, so it's left to the rally leaders to proclaim GREAT VICTORY in the millions of people who turn out for their shows.  For Beck, he was gloating he had 500,000 at his rally (CBS did their evaluation and got it at 87,000.  Other observers did their own math and considered numbers between 100,000 to 150,000).  The One Nation crew is pushing that they got better numbers than Beck, but on-the-ground reports are suggesting they got a smaller turnout (like 80,000 to Beck 87,000 kind of comparisons).

The one thing that does seem worthy to note: the largest amount of representation - and what was the stronger effort at the local level to organize buses - came from the unions.  This pretty much got to be a March for Unions than a March for Jobs by the sound of it.  Which makes sense when you think about it. Unions are all about jobs: keeping the union jobs they've got and wanting more jobs created for workers to join unions later on.

The phrase "enthusiasm gap" is going to get played up nowadays: comparing the eagerness of the Far Right to the lackluster responses of the whole Left toward the current political mood and potential results this November.  All I want to say on this matter is WAKE THE HELL UP AMERICA.  You don't want the Republicans to reclaim control of Congress and drive us back to the economic horrors they created from the 1990s and through the Bush the Lesser years.  Okay?  Do I need to re-hash what I've said about the damage the Republicans have caused with their insane obsession with tax cuts and deregulation?

One month to go.  Please DON'T VOTE REPUBLICAN.