Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Friday, December 26, 2008
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Monday, September 22, 2008
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Wednesday, September 03, 2008
Tuesday, September 02, 2008
Eight miles later, Big Marvine Lake, there's no road to this place, you get here on foot or horseback. Area outfitters have a nice business of bringing campers and fishermen up here on horses, dropping them off, then picking them up a week later.
I was struck by the image of these pines growing on the sides of this sheer cliff face, there can't be much room on those ledges. They appear to be good sized trees, 20 to 30 feet tall, I should think.
On the opposite side of the lake is another cliff at some distance, it's hard to judge the height of this feature, the scale of everything in the back country is a bit alien to a city dweller, but I have topographical maps that seem to indicate an elevation gain of 1000+ feet. I was too tired to climb it anyway.
Thursday, August 21, 2008
The city of Denver has prepared for the worst by converting a municipal warehouse into a makeshift prison in advance of next week's Democratic Convention. They were going to have razor wire on top of the pens but that idea was nixed, too reminiscent of the Gulag, I suppose.
Wednesday, August 06, 2008
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August 6, 2008
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No Crisis Is Immune
By HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON
August 6, 2008; Page A15
Tucked away on the Cayman Islands sits Ugland House, an unassuming, nondescript building of modest scale and size. However, according to a recent report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), this five-story office building is home to more than 18,000 corporate entities, nearly half of which have U.S. ties.
In the past few years, the number of corporations flocking to places like the Cayman Islands to evade U.S. taxes has exploded. One of these companies, former Halliburton subsidiary KBR, has used offshore tax havens to avoid paying hundreds of millions of dollars in federal taxes. To no one's surprise, instead of cracking down on KBR, the Bush administration has rewarded the company in April of this year with a 10-year, $150 billion contract in Iraq.
There appears to be no crisis, tragedy or disaster immune from exploitation under the Bush administration. The examples of the waste, fraud and abuse are legion -- from KBR performing shoddy electrical work in Iraq that has resulted in the electrocution of our military personnel according to Pentagon and Congressional investigators, to the firing of an Army official who dared to refuse a $1 billion payout for questionable charges to the same company. In another scam, the Pentagon awarded a $300 million contract to AEY, Inc., a company run by a 22-year-old who fulfilled an ammunition deal in Afghanistan by supplying rotting Chinese-made munitions to our allies.
But the fraud and waste are not limited to the war. In the weeks after Hurricane Katrina, for example, FEMA awarded a contract worth more than $500 million for trailers to serve as temporary housing. The contractor, Gulf Stream, collected all of its money even though they knew at the time that its trailers were contaminated with formaldehyde.
While touting fiscal responsibility, President Bush and his administration have lined the pockets of political cronies like Halliburton and Blackwater. While calling for earmark reform, the president has allowed no-bid and questionable contracting throughout the federal government to dwarf earmark spending by a 10-to-1 ratio.
If we're going to get serious about putting our nation's fiscal house in order, let's talk about putting an end to billions in no-bid contract awards to unaccountable contractors. Let's talk about the number of lucrative contracts and bonuses being paid for duties never performed, promises never fulfilled, and contracts falsely described as complete. And let's talk about reforming the federal contracting system so that we can take on the real waste, fraud and abuse in our federal government.
I've proposed a comprehensive overhaul to root out corruption in no-bid contracts and other shady deals. Reforms must include the following:
- Instead of rewarding companies that exploit tax shelters and incorporate in tax havens, let's ban the federal government from contracting with companies that hide profits offshore.
- We should put in place safeguards so that contracts are awarded to responsible companies that abide by the law and complete the work they're hired to do.
- Let's put a stop to the disgraceful practice of giving bonuses to contractors for work never performed, which has been allowed to happen in Iraq and throughout the federal government according to the GAO and inspectors general.
- We need to increase transparency and competition in the contracting system, and to stop the ideological privatization of critical governmental functions.
In 1941, as the U.S. mobilized and entered World War II, then Sen. Harry Truman proposed and chaired the Senate Special Committee to investigate the National Defense Program. Over the course of three years, Truman set about investigating a president of his own party in order to discover and eliminate wasteful and fraudulent spending. By some estimates, the "Truman Committee" saved the American people some $15 billion -- more than $165 billion in today's dollars.
Truman took on the war profiteers because he understood that when the lives of Americans hang in the balance, we cannot afford to misuse even a single dollar. In the Democratic Congress, we've proposed a new Truman Committee to address the waste, fraud and abuse in Iraq and Afghanistan that has already taken place, a proposal stymied by the president and his allies. And my proposal would prevent waste, fraud and abuse in future contracting.
Of course, we need far more than a Truman Committee. We need the Truman spirit in the White House, where the buck finally stops.
Thursday, July 31, 2008
Monday, July 14, 2008
Tuesday, July 08, 2008
Friday, July 04, 2008
Monday, June 23, 2008
You are Superman
|You are mild-mannered, good, |
strong and you love to help others.
Click here to take the "Which Superhero are you?" quiz...
Thursday, June 19, 2008
Monday, June 02, 2008
Monday, April 14, 2008
Wednesday, April 02, 2008
Sunday, March 30, 2008
Friday, March 14, 2008
Just think of the good that could be done in Iraq, where DU munitions and armor have been spread hither and yon. By providing inoculations to the Iraqis the survivors might be able to survive even longer.
And here in the U.S. those inoculations may prove to be just as beneficial, as the energy crunch sets in there's sure to be more nuclear power plants in our future. Eventually one or more of those will go Chernobyl on us, best to be ready.
Terrorism is still a considerable threat in this country, and experts agree, what the bad guys really would love to do is explode a suitcase nuke or dirty bomb somewhere on American soil. While immunity offers no protection against blast effects, those of us not blown to smithereens could rise up, dust ourselves off and proudly flip our middle fingers at those filthy jehadist bastards.
Sunday, February 10, 2008
Sunday, February 03, 2008
McAuliffe: I don’t know what to tell you. She’s never said a nice word about Hillary Clinton in her life. Listen, we’ll take every vote we can get, I guess is all I can say.
PoliticsWest: So, you’ll accept that endorsement?
McAuliffe: Listen, anyone who wants to help us, I’m all for it. Hillaryclinton.com, if she wants to send a check.
"Conservative gadfly Ann Coulter", now that's charity!
Sunday, January 27, 2008
The book was published in September of last year and now resides high on my must read list.
Her op-ed piece starts as a critique of some of the wackier rightwing ideas about "economic stimulus" that are floating around in the wake of the recognition (shock!) that the U.S. is deep in a recession. In describing these schemes she just happens to to present the thesis of her book.
A crisis hits, panic spreads and the ideologues fill the breach, rapidly reengineering societies in the interests of large corporate players. It's a maneuver I call "disaster capitalism."
That's the gist of it, a kind of opportunism that brings about changes which would otherwise be enormously unpopular. She cites several disasters that made such changes possible; 9-11, Iraq, Katrina.
Every crisis is an opportunity; someone will exploit it. The question we face is this: Will the current turmoil become an excuse to transfer yet more public wealth into private hands, to wipe out the last vestiges of the welfare state, all in the name of economic growth? Or will this latest failure of unfettered markets be the catalyst that is needed to revive a spirit of public interest, to get serious about the pressing crises of our time, from gaping inequality to global warming to failing infrastructure?
A good question, I recommend this article and if that proves interesting check out this video.
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
Also, and I can't believe I haven't added this yet, you'll find The Conscience of a Liberal, Paul Krugman's blog, hosted by the N.Y. Times. Professor Krugman writes a column for the Times that I read religiously but that wasn't really enough for me, so I was elated when he started his blog a few months back. Enjoy!
Monday, January 21, 2008
Sunday, January 20, 2008
I hope to do some blogging about politics in the coming months, the Democratic National Convention will be right here in Denver and that may give me the opportunity to log some fairly interesting posts. In addition I plan to continue with the usual fare that has made me a legend in my own mind, because I ain't tired of it yet.
So drop by anytime at all.