Bad Deeds for 7-7-2010

 

Rick Perry Campaign Consultant Named in Ballot Scandal – A document surrendered under court order identifies Rick Perry campaign consultant, Anthony Holm, as a key person working with Green Party leaders to use Republican money to fund a signature gathering campaign to qualify Green Party of Texas candidates for the 2010 ballot.

Holm is a principal of the Patriot Group , which is a well- known GOP political consulting firm that lists Republican Governor Rick Perry as its client. During the current election cycle, the Rick Perry Campaign has paid the Patriot Group at least $90,000 (Source: Texas Ethics Commission). Holm also worked as an aide to Rick Perry calling himself, “Special Projects Director for Texas Governor Rick Perry” (Source: Patriot Group Website ).

Anthony Holm is the spokesperson for millionaire Texas homebuilder and Republican financier, Bob Perry (Source: Dallas Morning News, March 5, 2009). Bob Perry has long been one of the nation’s largest contributors to Republican candidates and causes, particularly those in Texas. Bob Perry helped pay for the infamous Swift Boat attack ads in 2004 (Source: Dallas Morning News, March 3, 2010). He has contributed millions of dollars to the Republican Governors Association, various Rick Perry campaigns and to current Republican members of the Texas Supreme Court (Source: FEC, Texas Ethics Commission).

Green Party of Texas Statewide Coordinator Kat Swift reports via e-mail to the party’s executive committee that she can finally identify an individual who can help provide signature gathering funds. In her email, swift says, “So I just got a call that a republican in texas [sic] wants to give us 40% of the cost of petitioning…I got his name! Anthony Holm.” A copy of the document can be seen here.

Ultimately, more than $500,000 was received from a secret donor and then funneled through a nonprofit corporation to pay for the Green Party signature gathering effort.

 

Republicans Are Trying to Mislead You About the Deficit – Republicans are saying we shouldn’t spend money on infrastructure, clean energy, jobs, or unemployment insurance. But all those things are investments in our country that will pay back many times more than what they cost. Yesterday, one of the Bad Deeds showed how the Bush tax cuts for the rich is the largest contributor to the future deficit. Well, here’s another: the “Defense” budget.

The Pentagon‘s budget for 2010 is 693 billion dollars, more than all the government‘s other discretionary spending combined. If you subtract the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, it still accounts for more than 42 percent of total discretionary spending.

The U.S. spends more now on military spending than it did during the Cold War. We spend more on military spending than Russia, China, all the Middle East, all of NATO and all the rest of Europe combined.

We are operating 11 large nuclear powered carriers—no other country even has one—a navy that can carry twice as many aircraft at sea as everyone else in the world combined, 57 nuclear submarines, more than the rest of the world combined, according to the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation, with 460 military installations around the globe in 38 countries, not including Iraq and Afghanistan. We still have 15,000 Marines on Okinawa.

If you ask the American people what‘s unpopular in the budget, foreign aid always comes up high. The most expensive form of foreign aid is the aid we give England, Denmark, Italy and Japan by allowing them to have a military budget that‘s very small, because they count on us for their defense.

 

Republicans Are Trying to Mislead You About the Climate Bill – Republicans are talking a lot about the cost of the proposed climate bill. But, they don’t mention that the savings are greater than the cost.

Congressional budget experts say the climate and energy bill now stalled in the Senate would reduce the federal deficit by about $19 billion over the next decade, a key selling point for advocates who are struggling to move the bill through a divided Congress.

The Congressional Budget Office said Wednesday that the bill would increase federal revenues by about $751 billion from 2011 to 2020, mostly though the sale of carbon credits in so-called a cap-and-trade plan applied to utilities and other sectors of the economy. The measure would increase spending by about nearly $732 billion.

 

Republicans Have Been Trying to Mislead You About “Climate-Gate” – An independent report into the leak of hundreds of e-mails from one of the world’s leading climate research centers largely vindicated the scientists involved, saying they acted honestly and that their research was reliable.

“We find that their rigor and honesty as scientists are not in doubt,” former U.K. civil servant Muir Russell said. “But we do find that there has been a consistent pattern of failing to display the proper degree of openness.”

Russell’s inquiry is the third major U.K. investigation into the theft and dissemination of more than 1,000 e-mails taken from a back-up server at the university. All three investigations have cleared the climate scientists of any scientific wrongdoing.

 

Louisiana’s Republican Governor Signs Bill Allowing Guns in Church – If you’re like most Americans, there’s probably been a time in your life when you’ve been sitting in church, listening to a particularly ennui-inducing homily or enduring another warbly version of “Holy Holy Holy” and thought, “Man! I could really reach for some steel right now, squeeze off a few rounds, and let these fools know what the score is!” Well, in Louisiana, Governor Bobby Jindal has recently signed into law a measure that would allow you to at least feel comforted by the presence of your gun in the house of the Lord. “Go ahead, Pastor, make my day!”

 

Republicans Yell About Needing Resources for the Oil Spill, But Don’t Use What They Have – All along the Gulf coast, local officials (especially Republicans) have been demanding more help from the federal government to fight the spill, yet the Gulf states have deployed just a fraction of the National Guard troops the Pentagon has made available.

That’s a particular problem for the state of Louisiana, where the Republican governor has been the most vocal about using all resources. Gov. Bobby Jindal’s message has been loud and clear, using language such as “We will only be winning this war when we’re actually deploying every resource,” “They (the federal government) can provide more resources” and “It’s clear the resources needed to protect our coast are still not here.”

But nearly two months after the governor requested – and the Department of Defense approved the use of 6,000 Louisiana National Guard troops – only a fraction – 1,053 – have actually been deployed by Jindal to fight the spill.

“If you ask any Louisianan, if you said ‘If you had those troops, do you think they could be put to good use? Is there anything they can do in your parish?’ I think they’d all tell you ‘Absolutely,'” Louisiana state Sen. Karen Carter Peterson, D-New Orleans, said.

As of June 24, 2010, the federal government had authorized a total of 17,500 National Guard troops across four Gulf states, all to be paid for by BP. But CBS News has learned that in addition to Louisiana’s 1,053 troops of 6,000, Alabama has deployed 432 troops of 3,000 available. Even fewer have been deployed in Florida – 97 troops out of 2,500 – and Mississippi – 58 troops out of 6,000.

 

Gulf of Mexico Has 27,000 Abandoned Oil And Gas Wells That Could be Leaking – More than 27,000 abandoned oil and gas wells lurk in the hard rock beneath the Gulf of Mexico, an environmental minefield that has been ignored for decades. No one – not industry, not government – is checking to see if they are leaking, an Associated Press investigation shows.

The oldest of these wells were abandoned in the late 1940s, raising the prospect that many deteriorating sealing jobs are already failing. The AP investigation uncovered particular concern with 3,500 of the neglected wells – those characterized in federal government records as “temporarily abandoned.”

Regulations for temporarily abandoned wells require oil companies to present plans to reuse or permanently plug such wells within a year, but the AP found that the rule is routinely circumvented, and that more than 1,000 wells have lingered in that unfinished condition for more than a decade. About three-quarters of temporarily abandoned wells have been left in that status for more than a year, and many since the 1950s and 1960s – even though sealing procedures for temporary abandonment are not as stringent as those for permanent closures.

As a forceful reminder of the potential harm, the well beneath BP’s Deepwater Horizon rig was being sealed with cement for temporary abandonment when it blew April 20, leading to one of the worst environmental disasters in the nation’s history. BP alone has abandoned about 600 wells in the Gulf, according to government data.

According to experts, the BP oil spill is now the second-worst leak in U.S. history, after Michael Steele’s mouth.

 

Conservative Terry Savage Attacks Little Girls for Giving Away ‘Free’ Lemonade – The Tea Party/conservatives really are losing their minds. Here’s Terry Savage:

Last week, I was in a car with my brother and his fiancée, driving through their upscale neighborhood on a hot summer day. At the corner, we all noticed three little girls sitting at a homemade lemonade stand. …

The three young girls — under the watchful eye of a nanny, sitting on the grass with them — explained that they had regular lemonade, raspberry lemonade, and small chocolate candy bars. Then my brother asked how much each item cost.

“Oh, no,” they replied in unison, “they’re all free!”

I sat in the back seat in shock. Free? My brother questioned them again: “But you have to charge something? What should I pay for a lemonade? I’m really thirsty!”

His fiancée smiled and commented, “Isn’t that cute. They have the spirit of giving.” That really set me off, as my regular readers can imagine.

“No!” I exclaimed from the back seat. “That’s not the spirit of giving. You can only really give when you give something you own. They’re giving away their parents’ things — the lemonade, cups, candy. It’s not theirs to give.”

I pushed the button to roll down the window and stuck my head out to set them straight.

“You must charge something for the lemonade,” I explained. “That’s the whole point of a lemonade stand. You figure out your costs — how much the lemonade costs, and the cups — and then you charge a little more than what it costs you, so you can make money. Then you can buy more stuff, and make more lemonade, and sell it and make more money.”

Savage goes on to explain how he thinks this illustrates what’s wrong with America today. I think his comments illustrate what’s wrong with Conservatives [without Conscience] today.

Regards,

Jim

 

 

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About Jim Vogas

Texas A&M Aggie, Retired aerospace engineer, former union member, Vietnam vet, Demcratic Party organizer, husband and father.

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