Monday, September 27, 2010

Integration Discrimination

New look at school integration

LOUISVILLE - Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. made it sound so simple that day in 2007, when he and four other members of the Supreme Court declared that this city's efforts to desegregate its schools violated the Constitution.

"The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race," Roberts wrote, "is to stop discriminating on the basis of race."

But life has been anything but simple for school officials here. They have steadfastly - or stubbornly, depending on the point of view - tried to maintain integrated classrooms despite the court's command that officials not consider race when assigning children to schools.

Justice Clarence Thomas, the court's only African American, agreed. He denounced government's "racial paternalism" even if for worthy motives. "If our history has taught us anything, it has taught us to beware of elites bearing racial theories."

I rarely make comments on this blog, but this is one of those times: Dave Chappelle<, please come back to the world of entertainment. 

You see, when I read this article, I had visions of a Chappelle skit.  He is how it went:

Reparations had just been passed into law.  Anyone who was black was eligible to receive tax credits. For sake of the story, let's say $1 million.

Everyone in the United States applied and claimed eligibility under the "one drop" rule. 

Who would not claim to be black to get a million dollars. Overnight, the program would collapse because everyone in the country applied.  (The same thing happened to a Brazilian black program.  Everyone claimed black heritage and applied.  The program went belly up.)


Friday, September 24, 2010

"Chaste" Christine O'Donnell Said She'd Stop Entire Country From Having Sex

Did Christine O'Donnell TV Ad Rip Off Sharron Angle's Nevada Senate Ad?

Christine O'Donnell, running for U.S. Senate in Delaware, has a new TV ad bashing her Republican primary opponent, Rep. Mike Castle.

But O'Donnell's ad looks eerily similar to one recently produced by Intrepid Media for Americans for New Leadership, in support of Nevada candidate Sharron Angle, who is running against Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. Intrepid media did not produce the O'Donnell ad.

It's like a Chinese copy of an iPod: it steals the form, shape and packaging, but doesn't really work the same way," says one Republican source familiar with ad production. Both ads are attack ads, attempting to tie their opponents to President Obama. Stylistically, both ads use similar red graphics and both use this red tint to cover pictures of the opponent. But it is the similarity of the words that is most noticeable.

For example, the ad for Angle ends with, "On the issues that count, Harry Reid is just wrong. Wrong on his votes. Wrong in his record. Wrong for Nevada."

Similarly, O'Donnell's ad ends with: "On real issues -- issues that count, Castle is just plain wrong. Wrong on his votes. Wrong on his record. Wrong for Delaware."

O'Donnell's office did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Judge for yourself. Here's the O'Donnell ad:

And here's the ad attacking Harry Reid:

Republican Contract, Pledge and Promise to America

First there was the Contract With America...


As Republican Members of the House of Representatives and as citizens seeking to join that body we propose not just to change its policies, but even more important, to restore the bonds of trust between the people and their elected representatives.That is why, in this era of official evasion and posturing, we offer instead a detailed agenda for national renewal, a written commitment with no fine print.
This year's election offers the chance, after four decades of one-party control, to bring to the House a new majority that will transform the way Congress works. That historic change would be the end of government that is too big, too intrusive, and too easy with the public's money. It can be the beginning of a Congress that respects the values and shares the faith of the American family.
Like Lincoln, our first Republican president, we intend to act "with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right." To restore accountability to Congress. To end its cycle of scandal and disgrace. To make us all proud again of the way free people govern themselves.
On the first day of the 104th Congress, the new Republican majority will immediately pass the following major reforms, aimed at restoring the faith and trust of the American people in their government:

  • FIRST, require all laws that apply to the rest of the country also apply equally to the Congress;
  • SECOND, select a major, independent auditing firm to conduct a comprehensive audit of Congress for waste, fraud or abuse;
  • THIRD, cut the number of House committees, and cut committee staff by one-third;
  • FOURTH, limit the terms of all committee chairs;
  • FIFTH, ban the casting of proxy votes in committee;
  • SIXTH, require committee meetings to be open to the public;
  • SEVENTH, require a three-fifths majority vote to pass a tax increase;
  • EIGHTH, guarantee an honest accounting of our Federal Budget by implementing zero base-line budgeting.
Thereafter, within the first 100 days of the 104th Congress, we shall bring to the House Floor the following bills, each to be given full and open debate, each to be given a clear and fair vote and each to be immediately available this day for public inspection and scrutiny.
1. THE FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY ACT: A balanced budget/tax limitation amendment and a legislative line-item veto to restore fiscal responsibility to an out- of-control Congress, requiring them to live under the same budget constraints as families and businesses. (Bill Text) (Description)
2. THE TAKING BACK OUR STREETS ACT: An anti-crime package including stronger truth-in- sentencing, "good faith" exclusionary rule exemptions, effective death penalty provisions, and cuts in social spending from this summer's "crime" bill to fund prison construction and additional law enforcement to keep people secure in their neighborhoods and kids safe in their schools. (Bill Text) (Description)
3. THE PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY ACT: Discourage illegitimacy and teen pregnancy by prohibiting welfare to minor mothers and denying increased AFDC for additional children while on welfare, cut spending for welfare programs, and enact a tough two-years-and-out provision with work requirements to promote individual responsibility. (Bill Text) (Description)
4. THE FAMILY REINFORCEMENT ACT: Child support enforcement, tax incentives for adoption, strengthening rights of parents in their children's education, stronger child pornography laws, and an elderly dependent care tax credit to reinforce the central role of families in American society. (Bill Text)(Description)
5. THE AMERICAN DREAM RESTORATION ACT: A S500 per child tax credit, begin repeal of the marriage tax penalty, and creation of American Dream Savings Accounts to provide middle class tax relief. (Bill Text) (Description)
6. THE NATIONAL SECURITY RESTORATION ACT: No U.S. troops under U.N. command and restoration of the essential parts of our national security funding to strengthen our national defense and maintain our credibility around the world. (Bill Text) (Description)
7. THE SENIOR CITIZENS FAIRNESS ACT: Raise the Social Security earnings limit which currently forces seniors out of the work force, repeal the 1993 tax hikes on Social Security benefits and provide tax incentives for private long-term care insurance to let Older Americans keep more of what they have earned over the years. (Bill Text) (Description)
8. THE JOB CREATION AND WAGE ENHANCEMENT ACT: Small business incentives, capital gains cut and indexation, neutral cost recovery, risk assessment/cost-benefit analysis, strengthening the Regulatory Flexibility Act and unfunded mandate reform to create jobs and raise worker wages. (Bill Text)(Description)
9. THE COMMON SENSE LEGAL REFORM ACT: "Loser pays" laws, reasonable limits on punitive damages and reform of product liability laws to stem the endless tide of litigation. (Bill Text) (Description)
10. THE CITIZEN LEGISLATURE ACT: A first-ever vote on term limits to replace career politicians with citizen legislators. (Description)
Further, we will instruct the House Budget Committee to report to the floor and we will work to enact additional budget savings, beyond the budget cuts specifically included in the legislation described above, to ensure that the Federal budget deficit will be less than it would have been without the enactment of these bills.
Respecting the judgment of our fellow citizens as we seek their mandate for reform, we hereby pledge our names to this Contract with America.

Then there was the Pledge to America...

A Pledge to America

What's next, the Promise to America?

Because we have the internet, now.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Donor Names Remain Secret as Rules Shift

Donor Names Remain Secret as Rules Shift

Crossroads Grassroots Policy Strategies would certainly seem to the casual observer to be a political organization: Karl Rove, a political adviser to President George W. Bush, helped raise money for it; the group is run by a cadre of experienced political hands; it has spent millions of dollars on television commercials attacking Democrats in key Senate races across the country.
2010 Midterm Elections


The Caucus

The latest on President Obama, his administration and other news from Washington and around the nation. Join the discussion.

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Readers shared their thoughts on this article.
Yet the Republican operatives who created the group earlier this year set it up as a 501(c)(4) nonprofit corporation, so its primary purpose, by law, is not supposed to be political.
The rule of thumb, in fact, is that more than 50 percent of a 501(c)(4)’s activities cannot be political. But that has not stopped Crossroads and a raft of other nonprofit advocacy groups like it — mostly on the Republican side, so far — from becoming some of the biggest players in this year’s midterm elections, in part because of the anonymity they afford donors, prompting outcries from campaign finance watchdogs.
The chances, however, that the flotilla of groups will draw much legal scrutiny for their campaign activities seem slim, because the organizations, which have been growing in popularity as conduits for large, unrestricted donations among both Republicans and Democrats since the 2006 election, fall into something of a regulatory netherworld.
Neither the Internal Revenue Service, which has jurisdiction over nonprofits, nor the Federal Election Commission, which regulates the financing of federal races, appears likely to examine them closely, according to campaign finance watchdogs, lawyers who specialize in the field and current and former federal officials.
A revamped regulatory landscape this year has elevated the attractiveness to political operatives of groups like Crossroads and others, organized under the auspices of Section 501(c) of the tax code. Unlike so-called 527 political organizations, which can also accept donations of unlimited size, 501(c) groups have the advantage of usually not having to disclose their donors’ identity.
This is arguably more important than ever after the Supreme Court decision in the Citizens United case earlier this year that eased restrictions on corporate spending on campaigns.
Interviews with a half-dozen campaign finance lawyers yielded an anecdotal portrait of corporate political spending since the Citizens United decision. They agreed that most prominent, publicly traded companies are staying on the sidelines.
But other companies, mostly privately held, and often small to medium size, are jumping in, mainly on the Republican side. Almost all of them are doing so through 501(c) organizations, as opposed to directly sponsoring advertisements themselves, the lawyers said.
“I can tell you from personal experience, the money’s flowing,” said Michael E. Toner, a former Republican F.E.C. commissioner, now in private practice at the firm Bryan Cave.
The growing popularity of the groups is making the gaps in oversight of them increasingly worrisome among those mindful of the influence of money on politics.
“The Supreme Court has completely lifted restrictions on corporate spending on elections,” said Taylor Lincoln, research director of Public Citizen’s Congress Watch, a watchdog group. “And 501(c) serves as a haven for these front groups to run electioneering ads and keep their donors completely secret.”
Almost all of the biggest players among third-party groups, in terms of buying television time in House and Senate races since August, have been 501(c) organizations, and their purchases have heavily favored Republicans, according to data from Campaign Media Analysis Group, which tracks political advertising.
They include 501(c)(4) “social welfare” organizations, like Crossroads, which has been the top spender on Senate races, and Americans for Prosperity, another pro-Republican group that has been the leader on the House side; 501(c)(5) labor unions, which have been supporting Democrats; and 501(c)(6) trade associations, like the United States Chamber of Commerce, which has been spending heavily in support of Republicans.
Charities organized under Section 501(c)(3) are largely prohibited from political activity because they offer their donors tax deductibility.
Campaign finance watchdogs have raised the most questions about the political activities of the “social welfare” organizations. The burden of monitoring such groups falls in large part on the I.R.S. But lawyers, campaign finance watchdogs and former I.R.S. officials say the agency has had little incentive to police the groups because the revenue-collecting potential is small, and because its main function is not to oversee the integrity of elections...more

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Officials Arrested in California City

Officials Arrested in California City

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- The mayor and ex-city manager of the Los Angeles suburb of Bell were among eight current and former city officials arrested Tuesday in a corruption scandal that authorities said cost the city more than $5 million in excessive salaries and illegal personal loans.
The district attorney's office said several former and current City Council members were taken into custody along with ex-city manager Robert Rizzo and Mayor Oscar Hernandez.
''This, needless to say, is corruption on steroids,'' District Attorney Steve Cooley said at a news conference, standing next to a display of pictures of the suspects.
The district attorney, state attorney general and others have been investigating officials in the small working-class city since it was disclosed this summer that they were paying themselves huge salaries.
Rizzo, who was making nearly $800,000 a year, was booked on 53 counts of misappropriation of public funds and conflict of interest.
The investigations involve allegations of corruption, misuse of public funds and voter fraud in the city where one in six of the 40,000 residents live in poverty.
A message left at Rizzo's Huntington Beach home was not immediately returned.
Others arrested were former assistant city manager Angela Spaccia, Vice Mayor Teresa Jacobo, council members George Mirabal and Luis Artiga, and former council members George Cole and Victor Bello.
Former Police Chief Randy Adams, who was also scrutinized in the salary scandal, was not taken into custody.
Cooley, who knew Adams when he was the police chief in Glendale, said there was no evidence he committed any crimes.
''Being paid excessive salaries is not a crime,'' Cooley said. ''Illegally obtaining those salaries is a crime.''
Prosecutors allege the suspects misappropriated more than $5.5 million, including making illegal personal loans.
The complaint also said Rizzo made $4.3 million by paying himself through different employment contracts that were not approved by the City Council, and that council members paid themselves a combined $1.25 million for what Cooley called ''phantom meetings'' of various city boards and agencies.
Rizzo also was accused of giving $1.9 million in loans to himself, Spaccia, Hernandez, Artiga and dozens of others, authorities said.
Most of the arrests went smoothly, though police used a battering ram at the home of Hernandez before he opened the door.
The suspects were booked into county facilities and will be kept away from other inmates for their protection, sheriff's spokesman Steve Whitmore said.
The arrests were the latest twist in a scandal that emerged in July with the disclosure that Rizzo was paid almost twice the salary of President Barack Obama.
It also was revealed that Adams was making $457,000 a year, and Spaccia was paid $376,288. Four of the five City Council members paid themselves nearly $100,000 a year for their part-time service.
Rizzo, Adams and Spaccia resigned and the council members reduced their salaries to about $8,000 following the disclosures and angry public reaction.
The four council members are currently the target of a recall.
Last week, Attorney General Jerry Brown sued eight current and former officials of Bell, accusing them of defrauding taxpayers by granting themselves salaries he said were far higher than warranted for the jobs they were doing.
Cooley said the investigation was not over and more charges could be filed.
''They used the taxes of the hardworking citizens of Bell as their own piggy bank, which they looted,'' he said.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Bill Clinton hurts Michele Bachmann's feelings, and money makes her feel better

Bill Clinton hurts Michele Bachmann's feelings, and money makes her feel better

Congresswoman Michele Bachmann may put on a brave face everyday, but underneath it all she is a delicate flower. So don't call her stupid. It hurts her feelings.

While former President Bill Clinton was in town stumping for Bachmann's Democratic opponent Tarryl Clark, he was quoted saying that Bachmann is the "ultimate example of putting ideology over evidence," and that "it's pretty stupid."

Bachmann pouted today in an e-mail to supporters, saying, "Bill Clinton took the opportunity to attack me personally by calling me and other Tea Party acitivists 'stupid.'"

Is there anything that can kiss that boo-boo better?

As a matter of fact there is.

Bachmann says she'd feel a whole lot better if her supporters will just "make an emergency contribution of $25 or more."

Apparently, being called stupid now rates as an emergency. "I must have the resources to defend myself," she writes.

And that wasn't enough. She had to plead for even more cash because the first $42,000 she raised in 24 hours wasn't nearly enough. Another $40,000 by midnight might be in order to really help her feel whole again.

Which makes us wonder, if $82,000 makes up for calling somebody "stupid," how much should Barack Obama have banked after Bachmann accused him of "infantilism"?

Keep Fear Alive DC Rally: 10.30.2010

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
March to Keep Fear Alive
Colbert Report Full Episodes2010 ElectionFox News

America, the Greatest Country God ever gave Man, was built on three bedrock principles: Freedom. Liberty. And Fear -- that someone might take our Freedom and Liberty. But now, there are dark, optimistic forces trying to take away our Fear -- forces with salt and pepper hair and way more Emmys than they need. They want to replace our Fear with reason. But never forget -- "Reason" is just one letter away from "Treason." Coincidence? Reasonable people would say it is, but America can't afford to take that chance.

Keep Fear Alive Rally

So join The Rev. Sir Dr. Stephen T. Colbert, D.F.A. on October 30th for the "March to Keep Fear Alive"™ in Washington DC. Pack an overnight bag with five extra sets of underwear -- you're going to need them. Because, to Restore Truthiness we must always... Shh!!! What's that sound?! I think there's someone behind you! Run!

$20 Billion BP Oil Shake down by Obama Whitehouse?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Palidino Platform to Support Poor Prisions

Dangerous Propaganda Merchants

It may be possible that the current propaganda merchants are unaware of the dangers posed by hate speech and fear mongering. Or it may otherwise be the case that they don’t care what dangerous forces they release in their quest for power.

One of the more disturbing calls to a recent Washington Journal was from a defender of the Tea Party movement who said he’d rather vote for a mentally unstable candidate who occasionally said nutty things than for your run-of-the-mill establishment candidate. Well he certainly has a wide range of choices and, unfortunately, there are probably other voters who feel the same way. What a novel way of dealing with the complexities of the modern world - - elect a bunch of unstable people to take over the reins of government.

That point of view helps to explain some of the positions the far right espouses and exemplifies the inability of many current candidates to contend with the intricacies of governing in a multi-national, multi-ethnic domestic and international environment - - a geopolitical landscape fraught with high-stakes decision-making moments that defy rigidly-held concepts of American exceptionalism. Throw in narrow exclusionary religious values and we face the prospect of becoming the kind of society we so earnestly oppose in other places.

And what are we to make of Sharron Angle’s definition of “enemies” in Congress as those who pass legislation that threatens “free markets”, whatever that means to someone of such limited intellect? There are levels of incomprehensible thought processes that rational people find hard to follow. And attempts by Republican Party advisors to mitigate some of her more inflammatory statements have only been partially effective. It is difficult to put a happy face on Angle’s statement that sometimes second-amendment solutions are needed to counter unacceptable electoral outcomes. Presumably if one thinks of elected government officials as enemies any course of action is warranted, but such thoughts should make reasonable people exceedingly nervous.

But for the simple-minded approach there’s always Sarah Palin who explained, during her stint as John McCain’s running mate, that her experience in Alaska’s government was especially significant in terms of national security. Clearly if the Russians were to strike us they’d hit Alaska first, it being so close and all. Apparently that fanciful analysis would inform whatever foreign policy she might formulate if given an opportunity. She and others seem blissfully unaware of the danger their super-silly rhetoric poses. Still Palin and the rest of the extremist fringe have captured the imagination of gullible voters despite a tumult of meaningless blather totally lacking in substance.

Now as a pastor in Florida threatens to commemorate 9/11 by having his congregation burn copies of the Koran, most political and religious leaders here have condemned his plan and asked him to refrain from such an action though some are strangely silent. Minority Leader Boehner, never one to pass up an opportunity to use events for partisan purposes, found a way to conflate the proposed Koran burning with what he claims as an inappropriate plan to build a Muslim cultural center two blocks from Ground Zero. Other conservatives have made much the same connection, proving once again that they are shameless in pursuit of their political goals.

It has become a habit among some conservatives and many in the Tea Party movement to toss around Nazi images and accuse the current administration of fascist behavior. But as Hitler’s regime in took hold in Germany one of its early propaganda iterations was the practice of burning “un-German” texts, among them writings by Thomas Mann, Ernest Hemingway, Jack London, Erich Maria Remarque, Helen Keller and of course critics of the government and numerous Jewish writers. In a frightening forecast of things to come German Jewish poet Heinrich Heine wrote “Where they burn books, they will also ultimately burn people.” (, on book burning)

Things have not progressed to that level in this country, but profound ignorance, fear and hatred have surfaced to an alarming degree. And people, who should know better, have stood on the sidelines and made excuses for the worst kind of defamatory language and behavior in the name of free speech. These are times, however, when abusive speech is very much like the act of yelling “fire” in a crowded theater and politicians should be wary of thinking they can ride a wave of demagogic rhetoric to victory.

Please respond to Ann Davidow's commentary by leaving comments below and sharing them with the BuzzFlash community.
FINDING A VOICE by Ann Davidow

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Will GOP leaders share a stage with one of the most anti-Muslim, anti-gay men in America?

Will GOP leaders share a stage with one of the most anti-Muslim, anti-gay men in America?

PFAW Calls on Values Voter Summit Speakers to Denounce Fischer’s Extremism

This weekend (Sept. 17-19), conservative luminaries including Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachman, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, and 2012 presidential hopefuls Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee, Newt Gingrich, and Mike Pence, will be speaking at the Family Research Council’s Values Voter Summit. Sharing the stage with them will be the American Family Association’s Director of Issue Analysis Bryan Fischer. Fischer has an AFA-sponsored radio program, which he uses to spout anti-gay and anti-Muslim propaganda. (The AFA is also a sponsor of the Summit).
“Reasonable people can, and do, have reasonable differences of opinion. Bryan Fischer is not a reasonable person,” said Michael B. Keegan, President of People For the American Way.
“By sharing a stage with Fischer, public figures like Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee, Mike Pence, Bob McDonnell, and Michele Bachmann don’t necessarily endorse Fischer’s shameless anti-Muslim and anti-gay propaganda—but they do acknowledge its credibility. Any candidate thinking seriously of running for president in 2012 should think twice about standing alongside a man who has called for the deportation of all Muslims in America; insulted Muslim servicemembers; claimed that brave Americans died in vain because Iraq was not converted to Christianity; and called gay people deviants, felons, pedophiles, and terrorists. Bryan Fischer is no mainstream conservative. And neither is any person who shares a platform with him while refusing to denounce his hate-filled propaganda.”
People For’s blog has tracked Fischer’s career over the past several years. His long and prolific record of hate speech and extremism includes the following recent statements:
On American Muslims:
On Gays and Lesbians:
On Hispanic Americans:
On President Obama:
On the Animal Kingdom:

The New Racism

In Case You Missed It. . .

In Case You Missed It. . .

"Snyder Invites Bernero To Town Hall" - From MIRS

Sept. 13, 2010

(WESTLAND) -- Democratic gubernatorial nominee Virg BERNERO showed up at the Hawthorne Country Club this evening to crash Republican Rick SNYDER's 59th town hall meeting to personally urge him to meet one-on-one to renegotiate a debate schedule.

Instead, Snyder invited Bernero into his town hall meeting and the two engaged in a congenial, 30-minute debate on Proposal A, seniors and other questions posed by an excited audience of a couple hundred spectators.

Without handlers and on the fly, Snyder gave his 18-minute stump speech, followed by Bernero who talked for about another 10. During the Q&A, neither hogged the microphone. They each took turns. They each complimented each other.

Neither attacked the other. They worked out a two-minute closing statement in about five seconds. By the time the exchange was over, the audience was thrilled, talking amongst themselves about how well behaved the candidates were.

After the debate, Snyder committed to reading Bernero's debate letter, but that was about it.

"The Mayor gave me a letter and I'll read the letter, but now is not the time to get in all of the debate stuff. There's been enough debate on debates for the day," he said.

Asked specifically if he wanted to debate Bernero, he said, "We made that offer -- to do three televised debates."

Bernero said he thinks today's forum shows that he "doesn't bite."

"I hope he sees that this wasn't that painful. It was kind of fun, so let's hope we can do three televised debates so more people can be a part of it," Bernero said. "It was great for the people who were here, but so many people are excluded from the process."

Bernero showed up at the 5:30 p.m. event with a letter in hand that suggested "neutral Michigan television stations" set up the debates or that the two sit down without negotiators, political consultants and attorneys and figure out a debate schedule over coffee.

Here's how the impromptu happened.

As the Bernero fielded questions from the media in the Hawthorne County Club lobby about how he wanted to debate Snyder, the Republican, running mate Brian CALLEY and some consultants in tow, cut through the crowd. The exchange was as followed:

Bernero: I appreciate you coming out. I didn't want to disrupt your meeting . . .

Snyder: No, no, come on in.

Bernero: I want you to do your thing . . .

Snyder: No, you can come in. We can take some turns doing questions.

Bernero: I appreciate it.

Snyder: (walking toward the town hall room): Come on in . . .

Bernero: I'd love to do that. But I wanted to give you this letter. I'm hoping we can agree to some debates. I basically wanted to ask you if we could sit down for 20 minutes or so over coffee . . .

Snyder: Virg, you said any place, any time and you turned me down. So let's go do this.

Bernero: Let's do it.

Bernero sat in the front row and listened to Snyder give 18 minutes of stump speech.

Snyder stressed the need to "reinvent Michigan" by setting measurable outcomes for state government as opposed to using such prestigious events as the State of State as "cheerleading sessions" filled with "happy talk." He said he has the vision and the 10-point plan to fix the broken culture in Michigan.

"We've been beaten down for so many years, we've got our heads down too much, we've become too negative and we've lost that fire to believe in doing extraordinary thing," Snyder said. "The key to our success is to reignite that fire."

Bernero took the microphone and started with, "Well thank you for coming to Rick and Virg for Michigan."

Bernero reiterated that he wanted to rekindle debate talks and presented Snyder one more time with to sit down to coffee with him, to which Snyder said, "I'm happy to have coffee and we can talk about a lot of things."

Bernero held his own against an initially chilly crowd. At one point in his statement, one heckler burst out with a, "We came to see Rick!" But Snyder stood up and said Bernero could have the floor until it was time for the audience to ask questions.

At times, the response for Bernero's applause lines and attempts at jokes resembled crickets at the beginning, but near the end, the crowd of mostly Republicans cracked a laugh and gave him a courtesy clap.

The two did not engage in any attacks. Bernero never mentioned "Gateway" or outsourcing, instead focusing on his accomplishments as Mayor and the need to focus on bringing back advanced manufacturing and "Main Street" as opposed to letting "Wall Street" make it's money overseas at the expense of working men and women.

He said that Michigan has some of the most productive workers in the country and that's something that should be invested in.

"Manufacturing is not passé. It's not antiquated. It's not a thing of thing of the past," he said, adding that Lansing is in the running for a new $200 million GM plant.

The two each had some notable one-liners. In closing up his opening statement, Bernero gave his web address so members of the audience could check out his web page. Then he quipped, "I know you're all going to rush home and check that out."

In giving the closing statements Snyder asked Bernero if he'd like to go first and then said, "You go so fast, you could probably do three times as much as I can."

I Want Your Money Trailer (2010) HD

Monday, September 13, 2010

Burning of Quran disappoints many in East Lansing community (w/ video)

Burning of Quran disappoints many in East Lansing community (w/ video)
Nearby residents bring Muslim holy book's pages to mosque

Melissa Domsic and Matthew Miller •, • September 13, 2010

EAST LANSING - There was a carnival Sunday afternoon at the Islamic Center of East Lansing, part of the celebration of Eid al-Fitr, the three-day holiday that marks the end of Ramadan.

Children dressed in rainbow-striped Velcro suits waited in line for a chance to fling themselves at an inflatable velcro wall. Tables in the lobby were loaded with cupcakes and nachos and Little Caesars pizza. Outside, a group of young men played a game of touch football.

This was not the picture of a community shaken. Early Saturday morning, a burned copy of the Quran was found at the entrance of the mosque. Pages were shredded, some of them smeared with feces.

"The goal that these guys intended to achieve, which was to incite anger or to incite controversy, they were not successful," said Abdalmajid Katranji, a spokesman for the center.

The Quran was found at 1:30 a.m. Saturday by a group of young men who had just finished a basketball game, Katranji said. Members of the community walked the streets that night, retrieving shredded pages scattered by the perpetrators in the surrounding neighborhood.

But mosque leaders waited to make the incident public.

"We felt (Saturday) had its own purpose, its own need for reflection," Katranji said, "and so we wanted to make sure that the focus stayed on the issue of 9/11. We did not want the messages to be mixed."

They did file a police report, and, on Saturday, East Lansing Police left an unattended police vehicle in the center's parking lot as a show of support and means of protection, Katranji said.

They have not identified any witnesses or suspects, East Lansing police Lt. Kevin Daley said.
FBI contacted

The Council for American-Islamic Relations in Michigan also asked the FBI to investigate the act as a possible hate crime.

"We are aware of the situation and we're working with mosque leaders at this time," said Sandra Berchtold, spokeswoman for the FBI in Detroit.

CAIR-MI Executive Director Dawud Walid did not mince words when it came to the significance of what had happened.
(2 of 3)

"To have the Quran burned at a mosque is equivalent to having a cross burned at a black church," he said.

'We stand with you'

Saturday morning, Karen Hoene's husband sent her a text message about the torn pages of the Quran he'd seen scattered around their neighborhood.

She did the only thing that felt right. She took her 9-year-old son, Elijah, and went out to pick them up.

A few hours later, she decided to return them to the mosque.

"I got real emotional at that point, because it was shameful to me," she said.

"I don't know if I felt shame as a white person, or as a resident of this town, or just a general disgust with anyone who would do something like that," she added.

"I naively thought higher of people. I didn't think that in this community something like that would happen."

She wasn't the only neighbor to bring back pages - some were found as far away as Michigan Avenue - nor was she the only member of the community to express her regret and disgust at what had happened.

A Quran reading was held Saturday night at All Saints Episcopal Church in East Lansing, an event designed to counter Florida pastor Terry Jones' plan, which he didn't carry out, to publicly burn the Quran that day.

When the Rev. Kit Carlson, rector of All Saints, heard Sunday morning about the incident, "I was sick, because we left last night on such a great note," she said.

A card was taped to the door Sunday that read: "We stand with you. In solidarity, All Saints Episcopal Canterbury MSU." Flowers were taped there as well.

East Lansing Mayor Victor Loomis met with members of the center Sunday afternoon.

"It's a very deplorable act, and we condemn the actions of whoever did this," Loomis said. "I suspect, along with members of the Islamic Center, that it was someone from outside our community."
'A copycat attempt'

In recent weeks, there has been "a perceptible increase in Islamophobic rhetoric in the country," said Mohammed Ayoob, a professor of international relations and coordinator of Michigan State University's Muslim Studies program.
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He chalks it up to the upcoming elections "and the attempt by the right to capitalize on this issue in the context of 9/11 and the controversy surrounding the establishment of an Islamic center close to ground zero."

He also chalks it up to media coverage, "or overcoverage" of Jones' Quran burning plans.

The East Lansing incident strikes him as "a copycat attempt."

But it's not an isolated incident. In the past week, there have been incidents of vandalism at mosques in Hudson, N.Y., and Phoenix.

The portion of the Quran that was burned has been handed over to police. But in the office of the Islamic Center, there are plastic bags filled with pages returned by neighbors.

"You may tear the book, but you're not going to tear the beauty that is the Quran," Katranji said.

"Ultimately, you have the freedom to express what you want," he said. "You have the freedom of speech. In fact, you have the right to burn the Quran. What we're asking is don't burn it here on our property, coming here and trying to intimidate our community."...more

The Makings Of Michigan's Dark Secrect: Medicaid Fraud In Child Welfare

Actually, it is not a secret; it's the mission of my site.

In Michigan, Medicaid fraud is a free-for-all multi-billion dollar racket.

With a strawman Medicaid Fraud Control Unit doing absolutely nothing but paying 90% of its salaries from federal dollars to look the other way, and FOIA exemptions and exclusions keeping the records secret, universities publishing false research paid by pharmaceuticals, you have the makings of Michigan's dark secret.  

Michigan Lawsuit Uncovers Psychiatry’s Dark Secret:
Psychiatric Drug-Induced Movement Disorders in Young Children

by Ben Hansen – From the Spring 2007 newsletter of the International Center for the Study of Psychiatry and Psychology (

Last month the New York Times exposed yet another example of unethical marketing practices by pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly. The front page story, In Some States, Maker Oversees Use of Its Drug, focused on Lilly’s efforts to coerce Medicaid officials into placing Zyprexa on preferred drug lists in at least 25 states. Eli Lilly was caught in broad daylight with its hands in the “Medicaid cookie jar,” yet the story behind the scenes is deeper than that.

For over a year I’ve been investigating Eli Lilly’s subversion of Michigan’s Medicaid program, and through a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit I obtained nearly a thousand pages of documents showing how Medicaid is being milked like a huge cash cow by the pharmaceutical industry. In July 2006 I alerted the New York Times to Lilly’s antics in Michigan. I provided several key documents and solid leads to the reporter covering the story, Stephanie Saul. Overall I was pleased by the way Ms. Saul reported the Lilly/Medicaid scandal, but there’s another part of the story the Times didn’t mention.

The purpose of my FOIA lawsuit in Michigan is not simply to embarrass one pharmaceutical manufacturer — my aim is to gain access to data that will blow the lid off the entire psychiatric drug industry. This may be why the State of Michigan has fought me every step of the way, beginning with my first FOIA request in November 2005. Instead of joining my attempt to shed light on Michigan’s corrupt Medicaid system, the state attorney general’s office has tried to block the release of the documents I’ve requested, even filing a motion to have my lawsuit thrown out of court.

Thankfully, a respected attorney has taken my case pro bono, and we’re mapping a strategy to outmaneuver our opponents. The lawsuit, “Ben Hansen vs. State of Michigan Department of Community Health,” boils down to a fight over the release of records that show a list of each patient’s psychotropic drugs by drug NAME, not just by drug CLASS. For example, we know at least one Michigan Medicaid patient is currently on a total of 17 different psychiatric drugs, but the State of Michigan doesn’t want us to know the names of the drugs in the 17-drug cocktail!

By the time the next ICSPP newsletter is published, I hope to report a successful outcome to this ongoing legal battle. For now I wish to share a sampling of the psychiatric prescribing data I’ve obtained so far. The numbers speak for themselves.

During a 10-month period from January 2006 to October 2006, Michigan Medicaid statistics show:
  • 100% increase in children under age 18 on 3 or more “mood stabilizers”.
  • 100% increase in children age 6-17 on 4 or more psychiatric drugs.
  • 79% increase in adults on 5 or more psychiatric drugs.
  • 67% increase in adults on 3 or more psychiatric drugs.
  • 49% increase in adults on 2 or more insomnia agents.
  • 45% increase in children under age 18 on a benzodiazepine for at least 60 days.
  • 45% increase in children under age 18 on 2 or more antipsychotics.
According to Michigan Medicaid records from 2005, the top 5 psychiatric drug classes prescribed to children under 5 years old were:
  1. Anxiolytics/Sedative Hypnotics (1,265 patients under age 5). 
  2. Antidyskinetics (972 patients under age 5). 
  3. Anticonvulsants/Mood Stabilizers (933 patients under age 5). 
  4. Sympathomimetics/Stimulants (408 patients under age 5). 
  5. Atypical Antipsychotics (322 patients under age 5).
The most recent data on children under age 5, from February to December 2005, shows a 100% increase in children under 5 prescribed antidyskinetics (also called antiparkinsonians) for movement disorders such as dystonia, dyskinesia, tics, and tremors. This is perhaps the most disturbing statistic I’ve uncovered so far. If the same trend continued through 2006, it would mean the prescribing of antidyskinetics to children under 5 years old has quadrupled in the last two years! 

If the increased prescribing of antidyskinetics is the direct result of an increase in the diagnosis and treatment of “mental disorders” in American toddlers, then we could be witnessing a public health disaster of monumental proportions. Drug-induced movement disorders in very young children are increasing at an astonishing rate, yet little if any mention of this is reported in the news. Certainly this is not something the pharmaceutical industry and its servant, the American Psychiatric Association, wishes to see publicized. It is the urgent task of organizations like ICSPP to uncover this dark secret and shine a light on it for the world to see. Ben Hansen is a psychiatric survivor and activist who serves on the Michigan Department of Community Health Recipient Rights Advisory Committee. A member of ICSPP and co-founder of MindFreedom Michigan, Ben is also founder and president of the wickedly satirical Bonkers Institute for Nearly Genuine Research. Visit his brilliant web site:

Dr. Bruce Perry, makes the prediction that unless this nation addresses the exponential growth in the problems of at risk children and their families, within this generation we will approach twenty five percent of our entire population qualifying as “special needs”.

Here is a video explaining how and why kids are "diagnosed" special needs:

Baby LK Report: September 12, 2010

Baby LK recaps the week in news for the child protection industry.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

GOP congress Joe wilson SNL keith Olberman Eric Cantor Michele Bachmann

Tarryl Clark Interview Opponent For Michele Bachmann's Seat In Congress

Bachmann's Jim Versus Clark's Jims: A Campaign Video Battle Royal

Bachmann's Jim Versus Clark's Jims: A Campaign Video Battle Royal

posted by: Robin Marty 9 days ago
Bachmann's Jim Versus Clark's Jims: A Campaign Video Battle Royal
Campaigning is supposed to be a debating of ideas between two candidates.  But in Minnesota, incumbent Congresswoman Michele Bachmann and her challenger, state Sen. Tarryl Clark, have other people debating for them. 

And they're all named Jim.

The first volly started with "Jim the Election Guy," a Bachmann-created spokeman who introduced us to Bachmann's challenger, whom he dubbed "Taxin' Tarryl."

"I'm just getting started, but one thing's obvious.  Tarryl Clark LOVES taxes!" Jim quips.

Clark responded with her own Jim.  Actually, with three of them, all voters within the district.

"What would Michele Bachmann know about balancing budgets anyway?" asked one of the Jims.  "She spends 100,000's of taxpayer dollars promoting herself and her agenda!" they all explain.

Bachmann's campaign then fired back with a new ad, this time using one of Minnesota's most beloved traditions -- the Minnesota State Fair:

"It's state fair time, and you don't want to hear about politics.  But while you're at the fair you should know that Tarryl Clark voted to raise taxes on your corndog, and your deep fried bacon, and your beer," Jim claims.

Bachmann's second video not only got tongues wagging and the media reporting (although sadly they were reporting more about her misuse of the State Fair logo, a copyright infringement), it also provided an opening for the other Jims to return.

"While you are at the state fair, you should know that Michele Bachmann released another attack ad this week against Tarryl Clark," state the Jims.  "I guess when you've got no record of accomplishment to run on, nothing, zip, nada, after being in congress for four years, the only thing you can do is go negative."

On the one hand, "Jims the Actual Voters" make a sort of fun counterpoint to "Jim the Election Guy," rebutting him at every turn.  But on the other side is a larger problem for the Clark campaign -- Bachmann's Jim is on the airwaves, and Clark's Jims are simply talking on her website and youtube.  It doesn't matter how clever her spokespeople are or what points they might make if, to the average 6th district voter, there isn't an actual debate, but just one side talking.

Should Clark manage to raise the money to buy the air time, it's unlike that the Jims would work anyway, due to the length of their video, which frankly, are only good at this point for a debate in social media land.  But with Bachmann's missteps with her own Jim, from unauthorized logo use, to honestly, a man in a blazer who misidentifies a pronto pup as a corndog, two things which paint him as a total Minnesota outsider, her own Jim may not be doing her much good, either.