Tuesday, October 21, 2008

13 Days to E-Day

RAIN Minus 13

Item First – Let it RAIN: From now until the presidential Election Day we will begin each post with a review of the Remove All Incumbents Now (RAIN) campaign. A good rain washes clean all the road scum, dust and filth. We hope that a cleansing of Congress will result in the firing of the legislators who are part of the group that bailed out Wall Street with nearly a trillion dollars, at least 150 billion of which was blatant authorized pork by Democrats to appease Republicans who had previously rejected the bill then changed their vote allowing it to pass after being seduced by pork. We are not sure how much of the bailout, if any, was actually needed.

“You’re Trashing Palin” says a reader: We’ve received a few emails accusing us of trashing Veep candidate Sarah Palin. ORLANDO, Fla., Oct. 19 (UPI) -- Republican U.S. presidential nominee John McCain is being hammered by some within his own party and the conservative media for the way he has run his campaign. WASHINGTON, Sept. 28 (UPI) -- Some leading conservatives are being assailed by their peers for questioning Republican U.S. vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin's qualifications. A disjointed interview with CBS News last week and growing doubts about her grasp of important issues have led some conservative columnists, such as George Will and David Brooks, to criticize the judgment of GOP nominee Sen. John McCain of Arizona in tapping the Alaska governor as his running mate, The Los Angeles Times reported Sunday. Meanwhile, other conservative writers as such Kathleen Parker, a former Palin supporter, and Kathryn Jean Lopez, writing for the conservative National Review, are calling for Palin to step down as the GOP vice presidential nominee, Politico reported. Gov. Sarah Palin has billed Alaskan taxpayers for over 300 nights that she spent in her own home, charging her per diem allowance (put in place to cover certain expenses while she is traveling on state business). The Republican National Committee appears to have spent more than $150,000 to clothe and accessorize vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin and her family since her surprise pick by John McCain in late August. According to financial disclosure records, the accessorizing began in early September and included bills from Saks Fifth Avenue in St. Louis and New York for a combined $49,425.74. Palin brought daughter Bristol along on a trip to New York. Plane tickets for $1,385.11 were billed to the state, and a room for four nights at the $707.29-per-night at the Essex House hotel, which overlooks Central Park. “Trashing a person is the process of making up lies or twisting the truth about them. Which of the above statements falls into that category?

“Voter Fraud” cries the McCain camp: For a week or so the cries of “Voter fraud” have arisen from one side of the political aisle. The whipping boy in the charges has been ACORN, a company that has registered voters for decades. Some ACORN voter registration drives have had problems, mostly centering on registration forms filled out with phony names. In almost all instances election authorities were alerted by ACORN managers who caught the problem but are required by law to submit every document they received. So the managers flag the suspicious ones, separate them, and follow the law. ACORN's efforts have been the subject of intense, continuous scrutiny for years. Despite such scrutiny, and even with ACORN flagging suspicious applications as required by state election rules, a few reports of bogus registrations still pop up. That happens when part time people are hired. Some may sign up “Mickey Mouse” or the entire Dallas Cowboy roster. But those folks never show up to vote so there is no “voter fraud” as alleged.

So all potential voter fraud has been eliminated: Well, not exactly. The owner of a firm that the California Republican Party hired to register tens of thousands of voters this year was arrested in Ontario over the weekend on suspicion of voter registration fraud. It is alleged that Mark Jacoby fraudulently registered himself to vote at a childhood California address where he no longer lives so he would appear to meet the legal requirement that all signature gatherers be eligible to vote in California. His firm, Young Political Majors, or YPM, collects petition signatures and registers voters in California and other states. Dozens of voters said they were duped into registering as Republicans by people employed by YPM. The voters said YPM workers tricked them by saying they were signing a petition to toughen penalties against child molesters. One would think the Democrats would be all over this story to counter the Acorn story that has been kept alive although it appears to be much ado about nothing. But that has not happened. However since the YPM story broke the McCain camp and the right wing nuts have been surprisingly quiet about ACORN

Smile, you’re on candid canvas: An age-old Washington tradition kicks into high gear toward the end of any administration: the painting of official portraits. President and Mrs. Bush invited President and Sen. Clinton to the White House for the unveiling of the Clintons' official portraits. That was when they were pals and when the president’s approval ratings were at the opposite end of where they are now. However, this little portrait perk isn't reserved for presidents, kings and potentates. Underlings in the Cabinet are also eligible. So what? According to The Washington Post, the cost of these portraits ranges from$7,500 to nearly $50,000. Who would charge the American taxpayers for such vanity? Donald Rumsfeld had the Rolls Royce of portraits charging the Pentagon $46,790. I guess Rummy was a difficult subject and perhaps it took several erasures. Or maybe the numbers were mixed up on the canvas. The Commerce Department is spending $35,000 on a portrait of Secretary Carlos Gutierrez; $25,000 for the former NASA administrator, $29,500 for the outgoing head of the EPA. It looks like it is not only the Wall Street mavens who are neglecting to kiss us first. One more reason to make it RAIN November 4.

If you are sick about now, wash your eyes out with this: Dogs work for all branches of the military and the Transportation Safety Administration. They’re trained to find explosive devices, drugs and land mines, about 2,500 of them. Like any soldier, sailor or marine in combat, military dogs suffer from war wounds and routine health issues. Dogs injured in a war zone get emergency medical treatment on the battlefield and are flown to Germany for care. If necessary, they'll fly on to San Antonio for more advanced treatment. A new veterinary hospital for four-legged military personnel opened Tuesday at Lackland Air Force Base, offering a long overdue facility that gives advanced medical treatment to combat-wounded dogs. Hail to the heroes regardless of race, creed, or species!
A little blogging music Maestro…” The Dogs of War,” by The Red Hot Chili

Dr. Forgot

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