Archive for July, 2010
The GOP votes down a bill they co-sponsored to help small business.
We need many more like Weiner. The GOP Teabaggers cannot be treated politely – they are jerks – call them out.
POTUS Obama speaks out:
As we work to rebuild our economy, I can’t imagine anything more common-sense than giving additional tax breaks and badly-needed lending assistance to America’s small business owners so they can grow and hire. That’s what we’re trying to do with the Small Business Jobs Act – a bill that has been praised as being good for small businesses by groups like the Chamber of Commerce and the National Federation of Independent Business. It’s a bill that includes provision after provision authored by both Democrats and Republicans. But yesterday, the Republican leaders in the Senate once again used parliamentary procedures to block it. Understand, a majority of Senators support the plan. It’s just that the Republican leaders in the Senate won’t even allow it to come up for a vote.
That isn’t right. And I’m calling on the Republican leaders in the Senate to stop holding America’s small businesses hostage to politics, and allow an up-or-down vote on this small business jobs bill.
What does the president want?
An up-or-down vote.
When does he want it?
Thankfully, his solid political instincts guided him well as he closed with a righteous framing: Sure, times are tough. But not only are the Republicans obstructing any relief or progress, they don’t believe in the American people!
At a time when America is just starting to move forward again, we can’t afford the do-nothing policies and partisan maneuvering that will only take us backward. I won’t stand here and pretend everything’s wonderful. I know that times are tough. But what I also know is that we’ve made it through tough times before. And we’ll make it through again. The men and women hard at work in this plant make me absolutely confident of that.
So to all the naysayers out there, I say this: Don’t ever bet against the American people. Because we don’t take the easy way out. That’s not how we deal with challenge. That’s not how we build this country into the greatest economic power the world has ever known. We did it by summoning the courage to persevere, and adapt, and push this country forward, inch by inch. That’s the spirit I see in this plant today, and as long as I have the privilege of being your President, I will keep fighting alongside you until we reach a better day.
Good stuff. Let’s bring that small business relief bill back to the floor and let the Republicans stake their electoral chances on blocking it. Roll call vote!
Samuel and Charles Wyly, the billionaire brothers from Dallas who are large donors to conservative causes, were charged Thursday with conducting an extensive securities fraud that the Securities and Exchange Commission said reaped them $550 million in undisclosed gains.
The brothers, who founded Sterling Software, a business software and services company that was sold for $4 billion in stock to rival CA in March 2000, were also charged with insider trading violations that reaped more than $31 million in gains, the S.E.C. said.
Most of the activity in both the insider trading and the securities fraud cases were conducted in the stocks of companies where the Wyly bothers served as directors or executives, including Michaels Stores, Sterling Software, Sterling Commerce and Scottish Annuity and Life Holdings.
The ill-gotten gains, according to the S.E.C., were used to buy tens of millions of dollars of art, collectibles and jewelry; $100 million of real estate, including two ranches in Aspen, Colo., and a 100-acre horse farm near Dallas; and to make charitable contributions, including $10 million to the business school at Sam Wyly’s alma mater, the University of Michigan.
Samuel Wyly is also known for his political affiliations, including financing a group that paid for ads in 2000 praising the environmental record of George W. Bush during his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination.
And why did Oklahoma Democrats choose him to run against Tom Coburn for U.S. Senate?
I haven’t been able to learn very much about Jim Rogers. Newspaper summaries of candidates who filed for office this year refer to him as little more than a 75-year-old “perennial candidate” from Midwest City.
Rogers also ran for U.S. Senate against Jim Inhofe in 2008, but gained “only” 40% of the primary vote against state legislator Andrew Rice.
But in 2010, Rogers has come into his own. He received 65.4% of the Democratic vote against political newcomer Mark Myles.
I recall that over 30 years ago, a Tulsa attorney filed a court petition to change his name from Rabon Martin to Wilbur Jimbob Rogers so that he could be a candidate for the Corporation Commission. Martin was trying to make some sort of humorous point about famous-name candidates in Oklahoma. His petition was denied.
Successful “famous name” candidates in Oklahoma have included former Congressman Will Rogers (not the humorist), former Labor Commissioner Wilbur Wright (not the inventor of the airplane), and former State Auditor John Rogers (no relation to the humorist).
Jim Rogers had no campaign website and did no campaigning that anyone can discover. His qualifications? I have no idea. Besides his familiar and semi-famous name, does Jim Rogers have some political assets that we don’t know about?
Jim Rogers’ opponent was political newcomer Mark Myles, an Oklahoma City attorney with a long history of community service.
To me, the strong preference of Oklahoma Democrats for the zany Rogers over the solid Myles is inexplicable. It’s almost as strange as the choice of Alvin Green in the South Carolina senate Democratic primary. But SC has open primaries, and there were allegations of Republican mischief and even vote-counting irregularities there. Rogers seems to have won his nomination fair and square.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Oklahoma and Haskell County have reached a settlement in regards to the Ten Commandments monument, said state deputy director Chuck Thornton.
Haskell County must pay the ACLU of Oklahoma $199,000, covering all costs and attorney fees, Thornton said.
“We were pleased that we were able to reach an agreement with the Haskell County commissioners,” Thornton said. “The constitution has been vindicated. We believe the interest of our clients has been vindicated.”
Kevin Theriot of the Alliance Defense Fund, which is representing the Haskell County commissioners, confirmed that the settlement was reached last week, but said they had no comment in regard to the settlement.
Thornton said the terms of the settlement include:
•The settlement can be paid out over a 10-year period
•The plaintiff (ACLU of Okahoma) must forego the sale of the judgment to a third party for at least 60 days
•Haskell County has the first-refusal of sale of the judgment right
•Both parties agree to execute a release of all claims upon the entry of a judgment
In March, the U.S. Supreme Court let stand a federal appellate ruling that a government-sponsored Ten Commandments monument placed on Haskell County’s courthouse lawn is unconstitutional and must be removed.
By rejecting an appeal by the commissioners of Haskell County and declining to review the case, the Supreme Court left undisturbed a unanimous June 2009 decision by the U.S. Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals that the county commissioners advanced their personal religious beliefs by erecting the monument, according to an ACLU release.
The ACLU and the ACLU of Oklahoma filed a lawsuit challenging the display of the monument in October 2005, a little over a year after the Haskell County Board of Commissioners approved its placement on the county courthouse lawn.
How many teachers jobs did this cost? They said right up front that this was done to poke others in the eye.
How many copies of that monument do you see on church lawns? How many of those ten are even laws?
How much more of this will go on?
How many more ways can your money be wasted? How much has been spent already on that law which requires involuntary gynecological exams? How much is wasted every year in additional welfare costs because of incomplete sex education? How much is being spent on voting for unneeded state initiatives? Add your own to the list – there are many.