Going After Meg Whitman With An Attitude

October 21, 2010

Hey, Dan Onorato for PA Governor Campaign – watch and learn (almost too late, but not quite).

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Friday Mashup Part One (9/24/10)

September 24, 2010

  • 1) It seems that “Governor Bully” is going to be appearing on “Oprah” shortly today (probably has already by now); as noted here…

    The Oprah Show, which flashes on Garden State screens in just a few hours, features the Oprah-adulation of (Newark Mayor Cory) Booker you expect (she’s given millions herself to…Newark), but also features a warm hug from herself to the Governor. Makes me wonder if her people prepped her to understand that while we’re talking $100 million, he just pulled a $400 million dollar rug out from the rest of New Jersey’s kids.

    Also, I thought this post (cross-posted from Blue Jersey) had some interesting thoughts on that state’s public employee pension crisis, particularly the following…

    …I say we call his bluff.

    If Christie’s “reforms” go through, the NJEA (that state’s most influential teacher’s union…not sure if there are any other such organizations – ed.) ought to turn to him and say: “OK, in that case, we’re out. You are on the hook for all current obligations – but our members are no longer going to contribute. Everyone not vested gets their money back with interest; no one contributes anything more into the system.

    “Instead, WE”LL run the whole thing. We’ll move to defined contribution if we have to, but it will be better than the raw deal you’re proposing. We’ll take over all retirement benefits from now on, and we’ll be overseen by members, a public board, and federal regulators – certainly better than what we have now. So you don’t get to touch our money any more – you’re out.

    “And we’ll negotiate employer contributions with the districts. Try to stop that and we’ll see you in the Supreme Court.”

    In many ways, it would be his worst nightmare. ALL obligations would have to be met by the state’s contributions and investment returns. I’d love to see him weasel out of that one.

    Well, I can dream…

    No word on whether or not Christie would be amenable to this; as noted here, he’s been busy confronting hecklers at GOP campaign events, among other non-NJ-related events (and just what on earth is he doing traveling across the country campaigning for other GOP pols anyway?).

  • 2) Also, I’ve noticed our corporate media suddenly paying attention to American Crossroads, the Karl Rove/Ed Gillespie-fronted GOP fundraising outfit relying on a few well-off donors and corporations (as this tells us, they raised $2.6 million in August).

    That’s not bad, I’ll admit, but as noted here, Act Blue raised about $6.7 million in July and August; split the difference at about $3.35 mil apiece, and that still beats what American Crossroads did over the same period.

    Yes, I know I shouldn’t get preoccupied with the “horserace” political stuff either, but all I’m asking is that you remember this the next time you find yourself hearing more than you’ll ever want to know about Republican party activism (particularly those zany characters with their funny hats and racist/violent signs – more on them in a minute) and next to nothing about what is going on with the other side.

  • 3) Finally, if you’re like me, I’ll bet you’re just chomping at the bit, as it were, when it comes to finding out whether or not the core constituency (or so they think) of the Republican Party supports “Contract on America II” unveiled this week (and I’m talking about those “values voter” “fundies” – here)…

    Family Research Council President Tony Perkins released a statement Thursday morning on the House Republican leadership’s “Pledge to America.”

    “While I have some disappointment that the pledge to honor the values issues such as traditional marriage were not more clearly defined within the document, this is a significant improvement over the 94 Contact with America which was silent on the moral issues. The Pledge is not exceptional, but it is satisfactory, as it does lay a foundation to build upon, and it moves Congressional Republicans to a place of public acknowledgment that values issues are to be a part of the conservative way forward.”

    And I guess it should be thoroughly unsurprising to note that Perkins has said that gays should be allowed to serve “if you want a military that just does parades” (here).

    Despite that somewhat tepid endorsement, Ralph Reed of the Faith and Freedom Coalition stated as follows (here)…

    The agenda embraces time-honored values like traditional marriage and ending taxpayer-funded abortion as well as lower taxes and reduced spending. The message was unmistakable: we will not be divided by a false choice between fiscal responsibility and strong families. We will fight for both, and indeed we must do both if we are to restore America’s promise.

    And I thought this was particularly funny from Reed…

    Pro-family candidates are the most likely to be fiscal conservatives, and Tea Party candidates are the most likely to be pro-life.


    No word on whether or not their “pro-life” bona fides extend to those with whom they disagree of course.

    In a related note, some of our lower life forms are gathering at Shady Brook Farm in Lower Makefield, PA apparently to re-enact “Lord of the Flies,” which should begin any moment (here) – my kingdom for the EPA dome over Springfield from “The Simpsons’ Movie.”


  • Sorry Meg, The Price Isn’t Right

    August 28, 2010

    Sounds like “Gubernatorial Campaign Fail, Clean Up Aisle 7″…


    Meg Whitman’s Notion Of Civic Duty

    August 25, 2010

    Fortunately, it isn’t shared by everyone.


    Tuesday Mashup (8/3/10)

    August 3, 2010

  • 1) Even the animals are feeling the effects of the wars (here)…

    Gina was a playful 2-year-old German shepherd when she went to Iraq as a highly trained bomb-sniffing dog with the military, conducting door-to-door searches and witnessing all sorts of noisy explosions.

    She returned home to Colorado cowering and fearful. When her handlers tried to take her into a building, she would stiffen her legs and resist. Once inside, she would tuck her tail beneath her body and slink along the floor. She would hide under furniture or in a corner to avoid people.

    A military veterinarian diagnosed her with post-traumatic stress disorder _ a condition that some experts say can afflict dogs just like it does humans.

    “She showed all the symptoms and she had all the signs,” said Master Sgt. Eric Haynes, the kennel master at Peterson Air Force Base. “She was terrified of everybody and it was obviously a condition that led her down that road.”

    A year later, Gina is on the mend. Frequent walks among friendly people and a gradual reintroduction to the noises of military life have begun to overcome her fears, Haynes said.

    Haynes describes her progress as “outstanding.”

    I came across this after reading another spot-on column by Bob Herbert today on Iraq and Afghanistan (describing the effects on humans who are serving and those non-serving who are sick of the wars and want to end them, bring our people home, do our best to try and heal their wounds and fix our country as well).

    And by the way, the VA recently finalized regulations on processing PTSD claims as of July 13th; to learn more about the regs and obtain related information, click here.

  • 2) And in news of the California gubernatorial contest, Repug Meg Whitman is outspending Dem Jerry Brown 86-1 (here).

    And she still trails (here).

  • 3) Also, Joke Line is at it again (here, on the matter of the upcoming congressional elections)…

    The total damage assessment will have to wait until election day. As I wrote a few weeks ago, the Democrats’ losses may fall short of the 1994 wipeout–the loss of the Senate is still a prohibitive longshot. But the House is in jeopardy, especially–as always–its most moderate members. It will be interesting to see if a House composed entirely of radical Republicans and safe-seat liberal troglodytes is any more successful than the current disaster. I suspect not.

    I’d like to introduce Joke to a concept called “reporting,” and by that I mean that he should bother to read the information from this link listing the accomplishments of the 110th Congress, which he, being a scion of villager punditry, considers a “disaster.”

    Has this congress had its share of pratfalls? Yes. However, let’s consider them in light of the good that has been done, outpacing the wretched, Repug-run 109th, shall we?

    Do I actually think Klein will bother to take me up on this, though?

    I suspect not.

  • 4) Finally, this tells us the following…

    Angry relatives of 9/11 victims last night clashed with supporters of a planned mosque near Ground Zero at a raucous community-board hearing in Manhattan.

    After four hours of public debate, members of Community Board 1 finally voted 29-1 in support of the project. Nine members abstained, arguing that they wanted to table the issue and vote at a later date.

    The board has no official say over whether the estimated $100 million mosque and community center gets built. But the panel’s support, or lack of it, is considered important in influencing public opinion.

    Holding up photos of loved ones killed in the Twin Towers and carrying signs such as, “Honor 3,000, 9/11 — No mosque!” opponents of the proposed Cordoba House on Park Place called the plan an insult to the terror-attack victims.

    “That is a burial ground,” said retired FDNY Deputy Chief Al Santora, referring to the fact that victims’ remains were scattered for blocks.

    Santora’s 23-year-old son, Christopher, was the youngest firefighter to die that day.

    “I do have a problem with having a mosque on top of the site where [terrorists] can gloat about what they did,” said Santora, with his wife, Maureen, by his side.

    I’m not taking sides on this one way or the other, but I just wanted to note the following in response.

    This tells us about the Second Schweinfurt Memorial Association, Inc. (SSMA); here is how the group came to be formed as a result of a horrific WWII battle…

    At dawn, on October 14, 1943, in foul weather, the 8th Army Air Force, also known as the Mighty 8th, dispatched 291 B-17 bombers to the town of Schweinfurt Germany, a flight of some 800 miles. Since this city was vital to the ball bearing industry, it was at the top of the list of strategic targets for the allied forces and had already received a first attack on August 17, 1943.

    The bombers were initially protected by friendly fighter escort, which were forced to turn back about half way to the targets. Arriving at the target, the bombers were attacked by an estimated 1,100 enemy fighters firing cannon and large caliber rockets manned by the German Lufwaffenhelfer (LWH) or flak-helpers. The vicious attacks were continued and repulsed until the bombers reached the English Channel on the return flight to England.

    The battle brought great loss to both sided. Sixty heavy bombers and 600 airmen perished. Many lost their lives in the burning, badly damaged, crashed planes. Many became prisoners of war. Fifteen additional aircraft were so damaged they could never fly again. On the ground, 276 people died and countless more were injured. Businesses and homes were razed. Valuable and treasured possessions perished. Consequently, October 14, 1943 – Mission 115, became known as “Black Thursday” in American military history and one of the greatest air battles of World War II.

    Thirty years later some of the survivors from the Mighty 8th, including Colonel Budd Peaslee, S/Sgt. Phillip Taylor and 1st Lt. William Allen, decided to form an organization to commemorate their fallen comrades-in-arms. They called it the Second Schweinfurt Memorial Association, Inc. (SSMA), giving it direct connection to the second air raid on Schweinfurt.

    The story also tells us that…

    “(on) the 50th Anniversary, two Germans, Dr. Helmut Katzenberger and Vomar Wilckens came to the reunion in New Orleans to present to the group information they had on that fateful day. Then in 1996, the SSMA members invited more of their former enemies, including Georg Schaefer, whose grandfather founded one of the “targeted” ball bearing factories, to attend their reunion in Las Vegas, Nevada. Mr. Schaefer, now retired from the Board of Directors of FAG Kuglefischer, had served, along with his classmates, in one of the 8.8 cm Flakbatteries around Schweinfurt. He brought many artifacts from “Black Thursday”. Many of these artifacts are permanently included in the Second Schweinfurt display at the Mighty 8th Air Force Museum in Savannah, Georgia.

    It was at this reunion that the Americans suggested erecting a joint memorial remembering this mission. Mr. Schaefer presented this idea to his fellow Luftwafferhelfers, who embraced the idea and June 16, 1998 a German American Memorial was dedicated on a former air raid bunker site in Schweinfurt.”

    It should be noted that, concerning the proposed mosque near the WTC site, a memorial to the victims of the attacks has been proposed, as noted here.

    I’m not saying that the mosque is a good idea at this point. I’m also not saying that the wishes of the friends and families shouldn’t be paramount here (they should).

    All I’m saying is that an earlier generation of combatants was able to put aside its differences to the point where they could construct a memorial honoring the sacrifices made by both sides.

    I’m just saying that it’s possible to do that. That’s all.


  • “Accountability” For All But Herself

    July 14, 2010

    Step right up and see the greatest show on earth, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls – otherwise known as the Meg Whitman gubernatorial campaign in California.


    Male Bashing At The Inky? “Y” Not?

    April 15, 2009

    42-15717455
    Yes, this actually appeared on the pages of Philadelphia’s newspaper conservative house organ of record today (from here)…

    Guys, if you are between 18 and 50 and work in finance, do your country a favor: Get a handle on the potential economy-killer that’s running through your veins, and have yourself tested.

    We need to know if you’re a carrier of toxic testosterone.

    Not all of you are financial accidents waiting to happen. But some of you are operating at levels that require serious adult supervision.

    We know how you hate pain, so let me assure you that it won’t hurt. Just a simple saliva test, and we can tell if you are high-risk. I can even recommend a doctor.

    See, the author is arguing here that “toxic testosterone” is behind the near-ruin of our financial markets.

    Gee, silly me; I thought it was due to lax-to-non-existent government oversight, continued inflation of the housing bubble long beyond the point where any life form with more than a single cell of brain matter knew it would burst (advocated notably by our supposed financial geniuses including former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan), and buyers either obtaining home mortgages without even the slightest qualifications or borrowing relentlessly against the ever-shrinking equity of their property.

    But it’s all the fault of males only because of that dreaded testosterone! A-HA!

    Given that supposed revelation, I hate to break the news to Susan Antilla of Bloomberg, but here it is; women are guilty of financial indiscretions also.

    As noted here, former John McCain campaign adviser (and retired eBay Executive) Meg Whitman “received a ‘package’ worth $10 million in 2007, including $787,936 for personal air travel, and still draws $1.2 million a year as a ‘special adviser’.”

    OK, I’ll grant you that that doesn’t exactly qualify as a financial “indiscretion.” However, does anyone think Whitman rates a package like that given the fact that, while with eBay, she bought the Internet calling service Skype for $2.6 billion, and Skype has only made back $551 million as a result (noted here)?

    The link above to the prior post concerning Whitman also tells us the tale of Carly Fiorina, another former McCain adviser and former CEO of Hewlett-Packard, whose compensation was slashed from $10 million in 2002 to $6 million in 2003 due to “poor performance,” though she still walked away with a $42 million severance package in 2005.

    And this tells us of former New Jersey Governor Christine Todd Whitman, who was elected in 1992 with the help of “voter suppression tactics” admitted by Ed Rollins, her campaign manager at the time. She also cut the workforce of the state’s Department of Environmental Protection, resulting in Whitman earning a grade of “c minus” from “a coalition of environmental and public-policy groups” for her handling of environmental issues.

    Also, upon completion of her term as governor, she formed the Whitman Strategy Group and took the chemical company FMC as her first client, which was responsible for cleaning up arsenic-contaminated soil (FMC was responsible for 136 Superfund sites across the country … and had been subject to 47 EPA enforcement actions, according to Source Watch).

    (Yes, I know we’re here to talk about financial indiscretions, and these don’t directly qualify. However, I think it shows that high-profile women know how to use and abuse power at least as well as men.)

    And last but certainly least, this tells us how former Bushco Interior Secretary Gale Norton bailed as soon as her financial exposure to a certain Jack Abramoff was revealed in the cold light of day.

    Oh, and did I mention that, in the article, Antilla appears to endorse the idea of men taking female hormones “to tone down…aggression”?

    Perhaps a bit of “toxic testosterone” was at work in some of the money market machinations Antilla is talking about. But only a bit.

    Besides, toxic punditry beats that by a mile.


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