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332 Landslide

August 2, 2011

How Important is Your Health?

Which state has the highest level of air pollution? Unemployment? Which is the most active? The healthiest? See how the states stack up on fifty-one health measures by state, specific categories and time periods. Take a crack at the polls below then click HERE to view the stats, state by state. I think the information may surprise you, are you ready to move?

July 25, 2011

Breaking News!

Reality Hits at Least 1009 Americans!

How the 2004 Ohio Presidential Election was Hacked

by Bob Fitrakis - Co-counsel in the King Lincoln case.

A new filing in the King Lincoln Bronzeville v. Blackwell case includes a copy of the Ohio Secretary of State election production system configuration that was in use in Ohio's 2004 presidential election when there was a sudden and unexpected shift in votes for George W. Bush. The filing also includes the revealing deposition of the late Michael Connell. Connell served as the IT guru for the Bush family and Karl Rove. Connell ran the private IT firm GovTech that created the controversial system that transferred Ohio's vote count late on election night 2004 to a partisan Republican server site in Chattanooga, Tennessee owned by SmarTech. That is when the vote shift happened, not predicted by the exit polls, that led to Bush's unexpected victory. Connell died a month and a half after giving this deposition in a suspicious small plane crash. Read the rest of the story...

Time To Face The Reality Of Election Rigging
by Jonathan Simon

...There's a chilling reality taking shape here and we might as well fill out the picture. There is something known as the "red shift." It occurs when votecounts are more Republican (or more in favor of whatever candidate or ballot issue the Right supports) than the baselines--including exit polls, tracking polls, noncompetitive elections, and handcounts. Read on Here...

Did Mitt Romney Commit Voter Fraud?
By Stephanie Mencimer

...Romney and his wife, Ann, bought a $12.5 million home in La Jolla, California, in May 2008.... April 2009, the Romneys sold their home in Belmont, Massachusetts, for $3.5 million, and registered to vote from an address in the basement of an 8,000 square-foot Belmont manse owned by their son Tagg... May 2009 that the Romneys had made their primary residence a $10 million estate in New Hampshire... yet voted for Scott Brown in the 2010 Massachusetts special election. Read on Here...

Sylvestro and the New Hampshire Election

One man's private, sole source company programs 81% of the election in New Hampshire, 100% in Connecticut, almost all of Massachusetts and most of Vermont. Never before seen video of the under-the-radar elections contractor John Silvestro as he tangles with master security expert Harri Hursti. Watch the video Here...

April 17, 2011

The Billionaire's Tea Party

"In Summer 2009, something stirred in America. After Barack Obama and a Democratic congress swept to power promising a new era of hope and change, out of nowhere the emergence of a citizens protest movement called the Tea Party threatened to derail their agenda. Was this uprising the epitome of grassroots democracy? Or was it, as some said, an example of “astroturfing” - the creation of fake grassroots groups, designed to put corporate messages in the mouths of seemingly independent citizens?"

Note that despite the Tea Party Mission Statement citing fiscal responsibility as being at the top of their list of core values, the above chart from shows the 2010 Tea Party USA PAC spending well exceeds funds raised.

The Texas Tea Party had quite a larger income, but not a dime is noted as going to a single actual candidate.

March 30, 2011

The Best Government Money Can Buy? LinkTV

The cost of election campaigns has spiraled out of control-- on average, U.S. representatives spend more than 25% of their time fund-raising. This documentary asks who provides the money? What effect does it have? And is it in the public interest?

March 26, 2011

GE's Strategies Let It Avoid Taxes Altogether

Thursday 24 March 2011 by: David Kocieniewski, The New York Times News Service Report

General Electric, the nation’s largest corporation, had a very good year in 2010.

The company reported worldwide profits of $14.2 billion, and said $5.1 billion of the total came from its operations in the United States.

Its American tax bill? None. In fact, G.E. claimed a tax benefit of $3.2 billion.

That may be hard to fathom for the millions of American business owners and households now preparing their own returns, but low taxes are nothing new for G.E. The company has been cutting the percentage of its American profits paid to the Internal Revenue Service for years, resulting in a far lower rate than at most multinational companies.
Read the whole article at Truthout

And if you think they're alone;

How Offshore Tax Havens Save Companies Billions - NPR March 2011
- On today's Fresh Air, Bloomberg News reporter Jesse Drucker, who has written extensively about corporate tax-dodging, explains how companies like Google, Pfizer, Lilly, Oracle, Facebook and Microsoft have managed to reduce their tax rates by hundreds of millions — and in some cases, billions — of dollars by taking advantage of offshore tax havens.

Bailed-Out Firms Have Tax Havens, GAO Finds - Washington Post January 2009
- American International Group, Bank of America, Citigroup and Morgan Stanley are among the companies that are getting bailed out by U.S. taxpayers while having subsidiaries in locations where they can avoid paying U.S. taxes, according to the Government Accountability Office.

Most U.S. Companies Avoid Federal Income Taxes - USATODAY (AP) August 2008
- Two-thirds of U.S. corporations paid no federal income taxes between 1998 and 2005, according to a new report from Congress. The study by the Government Accountability Office released Tuesday said about 68% of foreign companies doing business in the U.S. avoided corporate taxes over the same period.
Collectively, the companies reported trillions of dollars in sales, according to GAO's estimate.

Top Iraq Contractor Skirts US Taxes Offshore - Boston Globe March 2008
- Shell companies in Cayman Islands allow KBR to avoid Medicare, Social Security deductions. More than 21,000 people working for KBR in Iraq - including about 10,500 Americans - are listed as employees of two companies that exist in a computer file on the fourth floor of a building on a palm-studded boulevard here in the Caribbean. Neither company has an office or phone number in the Cayman Islands.

Are you voting republican because you think they're fiscally responsible?

February 23, 2011

Kitsap Weather 2/23/11 4

Snow beats sun...

Kitsap Weather 2/23/11 3

Sun wins out over snow in Silverdale.

Kitsap Weather 2/23/11 2

Snowing in Silverdale.. but the sun still shines.

Kitsap Weather 2/23/11

Sunny and cold in Silverdale @ 9am. Some dark clouds lurking around the edges but no snow yet.

February 2, 2011

US Storm an Opportunity for Research

With more than 6300 (some estimates say 10000+) flights cancelled due to the massive storm covering two thirds of the US, this could prove to be a twice in a lifetime opportunity for scientists to study our low atmosphere with significantly reduced airplane emissions.

The last time was Sept. 11th 2001.

"The national airspace was shut down for three days, something that had not yet occurred since the jet age began in the 1960s and is not likely to occur ever again. Scientists took advantage of this unique three day period in history that lacked contrails. What they learned was shocking and is enough evidence to effectively silence any counterargument to their case. One measure of climate is the average daily temperature range (DTR). For thirty years this had been recorded and extra cirrus clouds in the atmosphere would reduce this range by trapping heat. “September 11 – 14, 2001 had the biggest diurnal temperature range of any three-day period in the past 30 years,” said Andrew M. Carleton1. Not in three decades had there been such a large temperature spread between the daytime highs and the nighttime lows. Furthermore, the increase in DTR during those three days was more than double the national average for regions of the United States where contrail coverage was previously known to be most abundant, such as the Midwest, northeast, and northwest regions. The specific increase in the range was 2°F, which in three days was twice the amount the average temperature had increased by over thirty years time1." (1. Carleton, Andrew M. “Climatology: Contrails Reduce Daily Temperature Range.” Nature. 8 August 2002.) By Nick Onkow

"Contrails form a layer of high clouds that seem to cool things off during the day. However, that effect is deceptive. It turns out that the clouds also reduce the temperature difference between night and day by trapping "long-wave radiation" -- which means heat -- and not letting it escape into outer space. "They tend to heat the upper troposphere more than they warm the surface," explained Patrick Minnis of NASA's Langley Research Center. "The debate now is whether the warming is larger than the albedo."" Larry O'Hanlon, Discovery News

"I remember walking to and from my office (during that time) and thinking how incredibly clear the skies were," recalled Carleton. He mentioned this to a colleague and former doctoral-degree student of his, David Travis of the University of Wisconsin, who had noticed the same thing. "Then we started thinking that we should look at the temperature conditions" during those days in September and compare them to years past, Carleton said." Physorg

Of course, considering the condition of the skies, the research will probably need to be accomplished via satellite. Infrared, radar etc. I can't wait to see what new information comes to put the silver lining on this very dark cloud. (well, dark from below, quite bright from above)

And the Survey Says: Americans Say "No" to Attacks on Pollution Safeguards, Gingrich Plan to Dismantle EPA

NRDC - 2/2/11 - Press contact: Elizabeth Heyd, 202-289-2424, eheyd at

"Americans Pick Health of Families Over More Pollution From Corporations: 77 Percent of Americans -- Including 61 Percent of Republicans -- Say: "Congress Should Let the EPA Do Its Job."

"WASHINGTON (February 2, 2011) -- More than three out of four Americans (77 percent) -- including a clear majority of Republicans (61 percent) -- oppose efforts in Congress to block Clean Air Act updates for carbon, smog and other pollution, according to a national opinion survey by Opinion Research Corporation (ORC) International for the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). The new poll is being released today as a major House/Senate bill is introduced in Congress to kill the authority of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to continue its work on updating key anti-pollution safeguards."

Read the rest of this press release at

Bush's Schrodinger's Email: - NY Times 1/25/08

"The White House in December refused to accept the Environmental Protection Agency’s conclusion that greenhouse gases are pollutants that must be controlled, telling agency officials that an e-mail message containing the document would not be opened, senior E.P.A. officials said last week."

Controversial Bush-Era EPA E-mail Released: - CBSNews 10/13/09

"(AP) A controversial e-mail message buried by the Bush administration because of its conclusions on global warming surfaced Tuesday, nearly two years after it was first sent to the White House and never opened.The e-mail and the 28-page document attached to it, released Tuesday by the Environmental Protection Agency, show that back in December of 2007 the agency concluded that six gases linked to global warming pose dangers to public welfare, and wanted to take steps to regulate their release from automobiles and the burning of gasoline."

Hooking Your Toilet to the Kitchen Tap: -Sierra Club 6/11/09

"Atlanta, GA -- In most states, it's illegal to connect your toilet so that it drains through your tap. But on a larger scale, the Bush EPA is prepared to declare that this is, in effect, allowed under the Clean Water Act. At least that's what the agency told a conference of water managers here will be permitted by a new agency rule."

EPA Plans to Loosen Air-quality Rules near National Parks: - 5/16/08

"Call us crazy, but rewriting the Clean Air Act to ease the way for new coal plants near national parks seems to fly in the face of that whole 'clean air' thing. But sure enough, the U.S. EPA plans to make a change allowing the government to calculate the average annual emissions of power plants near parks and wilderness areas, instead of tracking (and potentially punishing) the spikes in pollution spewed during peak energy times. 'It's like if you're pulled over by a cop for going 75 miles per hour in a 55 miles-per-hour zone, and you say, 'If you look at how I've driven all year, I've averaged 55 miles per hour,'' explains Mark Wenzler of the National Parks Conservation Association."

Click on the label 'EPA' below to view all my posts on the subject.

February 1, 2011

The House GOP's Plan to Redefine Rape

EDIT: MSNBC coverage of the subject. Note that at 2:10 the speaker says that if your employer provided medical insurance includes full reproductive services, your employer won't be able to receive federal tax credits. Those credits are just about the only thing keeping small employers from ending the medical insurance as a benefit. Could YOU afford your medical insurance without your employers contribution? 2/3/11

— By Nick Baumann
Newsletter 943 Comments Post Comment

Drugged, raped, and pregnant? Too bad. Republicans are pushing to limit rape and incest cases eligible for government abortion funding.

Rape is only really rape if it involves force. So says the new House Republican majority as it now moves to change abortion law.

"This bill takes us back to a time when just saying 'no' wasn't enough to qualify as rape," says Steph Sterling, a lawyer and senior adviser to the National Women's Law Center. Laurie Levenson, a former assistant US attorney and expert on criminal law at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles, notes that the new bill's authors are "using language that's not particularly clear, and some people are going to lose protection." Other types of rapes that would no longer be covered by the exemption include rapes in which the woman was drugged or given excessive amounts of alcohol, rapes of women with limited mental capacity, and many date rapes. "There are a lot of aspects of rape that are not included," Levenson says"

Read the rest of this article at Mother Jones

January 30, 2011

Why don’t the free marketeers of education believe in, you know, the free market?

"To be clear, I don’t buy the assumptions or the vocabulary of the “free marketers” one bit and they don’t, either. If they did, you’d hear more about compensation for teachers, a consideration that is as Econ 101 as it gets. Their real goal is to bust the unions, which they see as dangerous bastions of liberal thinking, and to transform the education system into a training system that will produce reliable worker bees for the engines of commerce. Quiet worker bees who don’t rock the boat."

"Here’s the problem. Take any senior leader in any successful company in America. Ask him (let’s assume it’s a him for obvious reasons) if he believes he deserves his very high salary, and if so, why. My guess is that he’ll think he does important work and that the more valuable you are, the more compensation you will and should command. Ask him if the company could get somebody to do his job for half as much money and he’ll probably say sure, but you get what you pay for. Ask if he believes that these principles hold for others in his organization and he’ll likely talk about the importance of attracting and retaining top talent (odds are he’ll use those exact words, in fact) and he will probably allow that if his top competitor pays better that his company will be at a disadvantage.

This is Economics 101, first day of class."

Read the rest of this article at Scholars & Rogues.

Where we Stand - Education in America - PBS

Waiting on Superman - Variety

The Story of American Public Education - PBS

US Education Dashboard - ED.GOV

January 25, 2011

Resolution Banning Corporate Personhood Introduced in Vermont

AlterNet / By Christopher Ketcham

On the anniversary of the Citizens United decision, Vermont politicians are moving to deny corporations the rights that humans enjoy.

"Corporations have no consciences, no beliefs, no feelings, no thoughts, no desires," wrote Stevens. "Corporations help structure and facilitate the activities of human beings, to be sure, and their 'personhood' often serves as a useful legal fiction. But they are not themselves members of 'We the People' by whom and for whom our Constitution was established."

Read the rest of the story at AlterNet.

Pause the TV and take a little time to learn about the history, and original purpose, of the American Corporation:

Click here to view all 23 parts.

January 22, 2011

Republicans Seek Cuts to Energy Star, Weatherization, Advanced Energy Research, Puppies..

Start with the obvious: There are no cuts to America's bloated military budget, which was somewhere north of $660 billion in 2010, more than the rest of the world's defense spending combined. And there are no cuts to the sprawling, opaque Department of Homeland Security, which costs more than $50 billion a year. In maintaining global empire and expanding the security state, every dollar is sacred.

There are also no cuts to fossil-fuel or corn-ethanol subsidies. No corporate contributor to the Republican Party will find anything to fear. The bill might as well be called the Thumbing Liberals In the Eye Act of 2011. It's a laundry list of targets conservatives have been after for decades, most of which will make no appreciable difference to the nation's fiscal health.

Here are a few proposed cuts that might be of particular interest to Grist readers:

Energy Star Program: $52 million a year.

Intercity and High Speed Rail Grants: $2.5 billion a year.

DOE Weatherization Grants to States: $530 million a year.

Amtrak Subsidies: $1.565 billion a year. (There are no cuts to highway subsidies, of course.)

Technology Innovation Program: $70 million a year. (Wait, I thought support for innovation was "post-partisan"!)

Applied Research at Department of Energy: $1.27 billion a year.New Starts Transit: $2 billion a year.

Subsidies to the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change: $12.5 million a year.

Title X Family Planning: $318 million a year.
Appalachian Regional Commission: $76 million a year. (Why do we need this? They already have coal mines there!)

FreedomCAR and Fuel Partnership: $200 million a year.

Subsidy for Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority: $150 million a year.

National Organic Certification Cost-Share Program: $56.2 million a year.

Read the whole story HERE.

January 17, 2011

Wal-Mart Is Not a Person

"We the People are the first three words of the Preamble to the Constitution; and from its adoption until the Robber Baron Era in the late nineteenth century, people meant human beings. In the 1886 Santa Clara case, however, the court reporter of the Supreme Court proclaimed in a “headnote”—a summary or statement added at the top of the court decision, which is separate from the decision and has no legal force whatsoever—that the word person in law and, particularly, in the Constitution, meant both humans and corporations.

Thus began in a big way (it actually started a half century earlier in a much smaller way with a case involving Dartmouth University) the corruption of American democracy and the shift, over the 125 years since then, to our modern corporate oligarchy."

"McCain-Feingold was a good bipartisan achievement by conservative senator John McCain and liberal senator Russ Feingold to limit the ability of corporations to interfere around the edges of campaigns."

"But the law offended the members of the economic elite in this country who call themselves “conservatives” and believe that they should be able to spend vast amounts of money to influence electoral and legislative outcomes."

"By having free-speech rights equal with people, Stevens argued, corporations will actually harm the “competition among ideas” that the Framers envisioned when they wrote the First Amendment:

“[A] corporation...should have as its objective the conduct of business activities with a view to enhancing corporate profit and shareholder gain.” In a state election...the interests of nonresident corporations may be fundamentally adverse to the interests of local voters. Consequently, when corporations grab up the prime broadcasting slots on the eve of an election, they can flood the market with advocacy that bears little or no correlation to the ideas of natural persons or to any broader notion of the public good. The opinions of real people may be marginalized."

Read the rest of this '1st in a series' HERE.

The original version of this post included a banner from wakeupwallmart .com. The links used for that banner now point to a UFCW union webpage where they are promising to make things better. I'm not sure if wakeupwallmart was always a part of this union website, but I do know they have removed all of the pages from the wakeup site. Perhaps under pressure from the giant one? wakeupwalmart com banners ticker ticker150x200 html

January 10, 2011

Congress Calls for More Science Before Arctic Ocean Drilling

WASHINGTON (December 21, 2010) - Thirty-four members of the U.S. House of Representatives joined an effort spearheaded by Rep. Jay Inslee (D-WA), Rep. James Moran (D-VA), Rep. Maurice Hinchey (D-NY) and Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN) to ask Interior Secretary Ken Salazar to stick to his commitment to make science-based decisions on oil and gas development in the Arctic Ocean. In a letter sent to Sec. Salazar on Friday, the 38 members asked him to ensure that “we have the basic science and necessary spill response capacity before proceeding with any drilling in the Beaufort Sea and the rest of the Arctic.”

Despite a continued lack information about the Arctic’s fragile marine environment, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) is currently processing Shell Oil’s application to drill in the Arctic's Beaufort Sea, 12 miles off the coast of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in an area designated as critical habitat for the threatened polar bear that also serves as vital feeding and migration grounds for the endangered bowhead whale.
Read the rest HERE.

Arctic Refuge Coastal Plain Terrestrial Wildlife Research Summaries

Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, The Wildlife:

Beck, Boehner: Arctic Refuge Is A ‘Wasteland,’ Wildlife ‘Couldn't Care Less’ About Drilling

US Energy Admin: ANWR Can Only Produce 780,000 of 21,000,000 Barrels Needed

Potential ANWR Oil is Simply Not Enough

Offshore Drilling: A Few Useful Facts

January 9, 2011

Wolfing Down Fossil Fuels

The Annual Energy Outlook from the U.S. Energy Information Administration sums up the government’s best estimates of energy trends through 2035. Buried in the projections is a seismic change in energy policy, and it’s about coal. The EIA is projecting that utilities won’t build any new coal-fired electricity plants in the United States, aside from the projects already under construction or built as “clean coal” experiments. The projections say that all our new electricity plants are expected to be either renewables like wind and solar, or natural gas (which releases about half the carbon emissions of coal).


But if you look at the long-term projections, the amazing thing is how little the energy mix will change in 25 years. Right now, we get 84 percent of our energy from fossil fuels. In 2035, we’ll still be getting 78 percent of our energy from fossil fuels. Read the rest Here.

The Center for Public Integrity

The 380,000-plus-word database presented here allows, for the first time, the Iraq-related public pronouncements of top Bush administration officials to be tracked on a day-by-day basis against their private assessments and the actual “ground truth” as it is now known. Throughout the database, passages containing false statements by the top Bush administration officials are highlighted in yellow. The 935 false statements in the database may also be accessed by selecting the “False Statements” option from the “Subject” pull-down menu and may be displayed within selected date ranges using the selection tool below. Searches may also be limited by person or subject, or both, by using the appropriate selections from the pull-down menus.