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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Bob and Maureen McDonnell, Family Value Christians, GOP

If you believe that crap you probably vote republican.
            Bob and Maureen, not too happy.

The long awaited trial has begun and dammed if the family values, ultra religious republican couple Bob and Maureen have turned out to be as fake as a three dollar bill.   Turns out Maureen had the hots for Jonnie Williams and the McDonnell's mariage was falling apart.   Bob and Maureen didn't spend any time together, they just faked it for the cameras.   That's the republican way, fake it for the cameras and pretend everything is on the up and up.  

         Jonnie and Maureen, so happy together.

I should not be shocked.   Most all family values republicans fall apart if you take a second look.   The family values bit is just politics for the religious right and church going public, just one more  GOP trick played on the all too willing to believe anything republican voter.

        Maureen did a job on old Bob for Jobs

By Larry O'Dell and Alan Suderman

The corruption trial for ex-Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and his wife plunged Tuesday into the sordid details of the couple's marriage and the former first's lady's "crush" on a businessman accused of lavishing them with gifts and cash in exchange for promoting his company.

The McDonnells are charged in a 14-count indictment with accepting more than $165,000 in loans, designer clothes, vacations and a Rolex watch from Jonnie Williams, the CEO of dietary supplements maker Star Scientific. If convicted, they could face decades in prison.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jessica Aber said during opening statements that McDonnell and his wife betrayed the public's trust by lining their pockets with "secret gifts and cash."   McDonnell, a once-rising star in the Republican party who left office in January, had a duty "not to sell the power and 
influence of his office to the highest bidder,"  Aber said.

"Mr. and Mrs. McDonnell knew what Mr. Williams wanted and gave it to him," she said.

Attorneys for the McDonnells told jurors the governor did what any of his predecessors would do for a Virginia-based company.   They questioned Williams' character and said the couple couldn't have been scheming together because their marriage was falling apart.

Maureen McDonnell's lawyer, William A. Burck, said the former first lady was "duped" by Williams into thinking he cared for her.   Williams filled a 
"void" in her life, and she and her husband were pretending to be a happy couple although their marriage had "broken down" long ago, Burck said.
"They were barely on speaking terms,"  Burck said.

A lawyer for the former governor said Bob McDonnell will testify on his own behalf and will read an email in which he begged his wife to work things out with him.

"It fell upon blind eyes and deaf ears because that evening, Maureen was distracted by other interests,"  defense attorney John Brownlee said.

Brownlee said the government went to great lengths looking for people to say bad things about his client, even sending investigators to interview former presidential candidate Mitt Romney and his wife, and "came up empty."    McDonnell was widely mentioned as a possible Romney running mate in 2012, but passed over for unknown reasons.

             Mitt said NO to all 3 of these cons.

Brownlee said the long hours Bob McDonnell spent at work fueled Maureen McDonnell's anger and resentment.

              Bob's buddy got away scott free.

"She hated him for not being around, for serving the public night and day and not having anything left for her,"  Brownlee said, adding that the void 
allowed an outsider to "invade and poison their marriage."

The McDonnells arrived separately at federal court over the past two days, a sharp contrast to the united front they showed when they were indicted 10 days after he left office in January.    Before the trial, they often held hands in the courthouse and pretended to be a loving couple.

The McDonnells' attorneys sought to have them tried separately, but the judge refused.   The former first lady's attorneys have suggested that she was not an elected or paid official and therefore not tied to the same scrutiny as her husband.

Burck said Williams and Maureen frequently exchanged text messages and phone calls, and that Williams often visited the Executive Mansion.

Burck said the pair had a relationship that "some people would consider inappropriate" and that one potential witness may describe Williams as Maureen McDonnell's "favorite playmate."   He did not indicate if their relationship was physical.

Joseph E. diGenova, a former federal prosecutor not affiliated with the case, said the defense team is airing details of the couple's troubled marriage as a way "to create some sympathy" and show that Bob McDonnell could have been unaware of the dealings between Maureen McDonnell and Jonnie Williams.

                                Jonnie will testify.

The strategy could backfire, he said.

"There's always a risk the jury will think it's a ploy," diGenova said.

Aber, the prosecutor, told the jury that the luxury gifts and frequent text messaging between Williams and Maureen McDonnell were "always just a 
business relationship and nothing more."

She showed the jury a photo of Bob McDonnell, smiling broadly and wearing sunglasses, driving Williams' Ferrari during a vacation at Williams' lake house.

Legal experts have said one of the key questions for the jury will be whether McDonnell believed it was criminal to accept the gifts while supporting 
Williams' efforts to grow a Virginia business.   The former governor is accused of setting up a meeting between Williams and a state health official, 
hosting a product launch reception at the Executive Mansion and attending a dinner and seminar aimed at persuading doctors to recommend a Star 
Scientific product.

Brownlee said McDonnell, whose campaign slogan was "Bob's for Jobs," spoke favorably of all Virginia businesses.

"Bob McDonnell eats Virginia ham, he drinks Virginia wine, and my guess is if he smoked he'd smoke Virginia cigarettes,"  Brownlee said.
Brownlee attacked Williams' credibility, calling him a "master manipulator" who deceived the McDonnells and the government to receive immunity. Williams may have illegally sold $10 million worth of Star Scientific shares to a friend in secret, according to Burck.

So it goes, Mitt may have passed on Bob due to the difficulty of concealing his run around wife and broken marriage.    Will this trial turn Bob and Maureen into federal prisoners for the next couple of decades?

Anyway republican voters are scouting candidates for their next family values christian candidate to throw their votes at.

Right Wing Conservative SCAM PACs

Faced with the horrors of Obamacare, the impending threat of a $10 minimum wage, and the chance to take back the Senate from Democrats, conservative donors may be feeling especially generous this election season.   And, thanks to the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United ruling, they have an abundance of options of how to best funnel money to their preferred candidates.   With eight months to go til Election Day, 942 super PACs have already popped up, raising more than $140 million thus far.

But as these political groups solicit millions of dollars from donors big and small, not all of them are using their donations for their purported purpose.

A ThinkProgress review of Federal Election Commission PAC data found that several large political action committees and super PACs are spending most of their donations on “overhead” expenditures, with miniscule percentages going to actual political candidates.

In 2009, Iraq War veteran and unsuccessful Congressional candidate Kieran Michael Lalor (R) registered a political action committee called Iraq Veterans for Congress.    Its stated aim: to “Recruit, Fund and Elect to Congress conservative Republican Iraq Veterans.”   But while the committee raised and spent more than $800,000 before the 2010 elections, just $48,000 (less than 6 percent) of its most went to donations to candidates, as most of its funds went to outside fundraisers and printing shops.   Now called the Afghanistan and Iraq Veterans for Congress PAC, the committee continues to be a prime example of a breed of PACs that spend a huge amount on political consultants and little on actually political action.

Though its website has been defunct since late last year, Afghanistan and Iraq Veterans for Congress PAC reported $469,967.46 in 2013 expenses — just $9,000 of that (under 2 percent) on candidate contributions.   While it is not unusual for political committees to make more of their campaign expenditures in even-numbered years, when most elections take place, the committee’s -$14,359.04 cash-on-hand total would hardly indicate the committee is saving up its funds.   Asked last year by the Poughkeepsie Journal about his PAC’s high overhead and low political activity, Lalor — now a New York State Assemblyman — said only that, “It’s expensive to raise money, but it’s more expensive not to.”

None of the committees or companies responded to a ThinkProgress request for comment on their activities, but the information included comes from public 

Base Connect

Afghanistan and Iraq Veterans for Congress PAC paid $64,485.31 (more than 13 percent of total spending) last year to a company called Base Connect, a controversial Republican fundraising firm that claims to use “proven, highly-effective direct mail strategies to raise the critical dollars required to make a conservative primary or general election challenge viable and winnable,”  but has been frequently criticized for its high fees and low return. 

Afghanistan and Iraq Veterans PAC’s treasurer told the paper that it  “donates more [to candidates] than the vast majority that rely on direct mail fundraising.”

And a ThinkProgress review of other current Base Connect clients found that for their clients, the PAC’s spending habits were indeed about par for the course.   The Conservative StrikeForce, a PAC chaired by former Reagan administration Deputy Labor Secretary Dennis Whitfield, asks donors for funds on the claim that it  “is dedicated to electing true conservatives to all levels of government.”   But in 2013, it spent about $2.2 million while using just about $27,000 on an independent expenditure and $7,000 on donations to a pair of state-level candidates.    Whitfield received $12,500 in consulting fees and Base Connect received more than $102,000 for direct mail — and the PAC ended the year with less than $64,000 left in the bank.    The PAC did send $5,000 last month to Florida Congressional special election candidate David Jolly (R).

Similarly, Freedom’s Defense Fund, which boasts that because it has “no office, overhead or staff,” it is uniquely positioned to “rebuild an American conservative majority” and back “conservative, pro-freedom candidates.”    The group’s $1,641,005 in 2013 spending included $50,000 in independent expenditures (which tried to tie then-New Jersey Senate candidate Cory Booker (D) to Elliot Spitzer and Anthony Weiner and slammed him for “liberal pandering” ), less than $75,000 to political candidates, and more than $1.2 million in fundraising.    $146,278 of that went to Base Connect, and the group ended the year with just $65,184.23 in the bank.


Another firm, InfoCision Management Corporation, has received even more money from conservative PACs for fundraising.   The company, which calls itself “the nation’s second-largest privately held teleservices company,” agreed to pay $75,000 and change its practices after Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine (R) accused it of illegal charitable solicitation practices (the firm admitted no wrongdoing).

Despite InfoCision’s questionable track record, numerous conservative political committees gave the first six- and seven-figure payments last year for fundraising, often giving more of their funds to the firm than all other expenditures combined.

In 2012, ThinkProgress reported that three InfoCision clients were running similar television ads. One, by a group called the Conservative Majority Fund PAC, featured a one-minute long laundry list of anti-Barack Obama conspiracy theories.   The ad asked viewers to call a toll-free number to sign a “demand to disqualify Obama” and suggested that with 10,000 signatures from every Congressional district, they could “boot this guy off the ballot.”   The PAC paid InfoCision Managment Corporation, an Akron, Ohio-based firm specializing in telemarketing, hundreds of thousands of dollars for telephone fundraising and voter contact calls opposing President Obama.

Ken Cuccinelli II and Former Gov McDonnell

In 2013, the Conservative Majority Fund spent just over $3 million, with $2.4 million of that going to InfoCision.   Though its donation page claims it is 
a “grassroots PAC dedicated to fighting liberalism, promoting the truth, and electing conservatives all across the country,” it spent only about $50,000 
on independent efforts in support of unsuccessful Virginia gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli II (R) over the year and had less than $130,000 left 
on hand at the end of December.

The American Legacy PAC, which raises money by highlighting honorary chairs former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA) and his wife Callista, as well as anti-Obamacare activist Ben Carson, says it aims to “identify and support only true conservative capitalist candidates for office.”    Yet of the roughly $2 million it spent in 2013, an astounding $1.8 million (almost 90 percent) went to InfoCision for fundraising costs.    Less than $50,000 went to 
political candidates and just $51,443.27 remained in the bank at the end of the year.    A spokesman for the PAC told Mother Jones that it was building up its fundraising list for 2014.

Finally, Patriot Voices PAC, founded by former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) and his wife Karen, still claims on its website that donations will be used to “defeat Barack Obama and elect conservatives in the House and Senate,” 16 months after the President won a second term, just over $10,000 of the more than $1 million it spent in 2013 and the first month of 2014 went to candidates (in “in-kind” contributions).    The PAC paid almost $590,000 to InfoCision (more than 58 percent of its total expenses over that time) and gave thousands of dollars to the former Santorum campaign staffers now working for his political committee.   At the end of January, Patriot Voices reported having only about $15,000 in the bank.

Rick Santorum's PAC is still raising money to “defeat Barack Obama and elect conservatives in the House and Senate,” 16 months after the President won a second term.
This PAC raised over a Million dollars and slightly more than $10,000 went to candidates.   The Sweater Vest Guy has big pockets.
Donor Beware

While these and numerous other InfoCision- and Base Camp-tied PACs are raising money without being clear about where the donors’ contributions really go, these practices are likely legal in the current anything-goes campaign finance climate.

Campaign finance expert Paul S. Ryan of the Campaign Legal Center frequently warns — when donating to PACs and super PACs, it is really “donor beware.”

In the Wild West campaign finance culture that the Supreme Court and broken Federal Election Commission have created, donors may find that their political donations are doing little other than enriching political consultants and vendors.

We should also include SarahPAC in this list. Last year Palin collected $1,177,802, and only gave 1 $5000 donation to Jason Smith of MO.   The rest of it was spent on grifting for SarahPac.

Republicans are into real income distribution.  Take from the stupid and give to the greedy.   

Amherst County Virginia Democratic News


Friday, July 18, 2014

John McCain is One Crazy Ass Republican


But McCain is just one among many crazy ass republicans.   There don't seem to be any sane people in the GOP, just sore losers trying to destroy the country and hoping that will put them back in power.   From shutting to government down to attacking women's health care to obstructing job creating bills to putting all the controls and power in the hands of big business who own the republican party to anything they can dream of to obstruct the recovery, that's the GOP Way.


I'm in my middle sixties and everybody I went to school with or hung out with in my teens and twenties went in service and gave Uncle Sam some of their young years, just like me.   I respect everybody who went and I respect John McCain for his service, but in McCain's case he has been double dipping and free riding for the past forty plus years and enough is enough.


This country has paid us all back in aces for our service and in my case the debt was repaid years ago.  Serving your country doesn't give you the right to bitch and moan forever.   Losing the presidency to Obama in a fair election doesn't give you the right to be a sour puss old prick forever either. 


If John McCain can't grow up then he needs to shut up and the people in his party need to convey to him that they have had enough of his childish behavior.


Every time something happens anywhere in the world here comes John McCain rushing to the mike and cameras like his ass is on fire to call the President a coward and whine about the foreign policy of our country.   Then he plays his one card, calling on the United States to send troops to that part part of the world to fight a life and death battle for the people living there, even if they won't fight for themselves.


If John McCain had his way there would be very few countries in the world that did not have American troops encamped.  We would need every child born in the USA to fight all the wars McCain dreams about in his mind.   John McCain dreams about war as he sleeps at his desk on the Senate floor.   McCain never met a war he didn't want to send our children to die in.


A civilian airliner gets shot down by Russian rebels and 290 European and Dutch citizens die.  This takes place just outside of the Russian border.   Crazy John McCain calls Obama a coward and demands we send Americas sons and daughters to the scene to fight and die for his twisted world view. 


 It is high time republicans started speaking up to the John McCains' in their party.  The John Boltons' and Shawn Hannitys' that  play this sick game all the time.   Fox spends 24 hours a day critizing any and everything the President does.  Fox and these right wing nuts are off of their rockers and sadly regular republicans are too dim to form a thought on their own follow these distorters' of truth without question.  


Fox compliments our enemies and then  credits them as smarter, more powerful and greater leaders than the President and his administration.    Fox and these republicans are sickening.

We have elections for president every 4 years and the last two elections Obama won.   That is why McCain and Romney are just constantly complaining pricks, they lost.   Republicans may very well lose again in 2016.   Does that mean they will keep up their silly obstructionist games for the entire four year first term of office of the next Democratic President?   If there are any sensible republicans left they need to re-take control of their party from the loons who are running it in the ground.


If you live in the United States of America and cast your vote for the republican party, May God Have Mercy on Your Soul, you are selling America Out and you are a sick piece of crap.     It is time someone said it straight.


Quotes from John McCain

"Make it a hundred...That would be fine with me." --to a questioner who asked if he supported President Bush's vision for keeping U.S. troops in Iraq for 50 years, Derry, New Hampshire, Jan. 3, 2008 

"At least I don't plaster on the makeup like a trollop, you cunt." --to his wife, Cindy, after she playfully twirled his hair and said "You're getting a 
little thin up there,"  as reported in the book  The Real McCain by Cliff Schecter.

"She needed the clothes." --explaining to reporters why the RNC spent $150,000 on clothes and accessories for Sarah Palin and her family, Florida, Oct. 23, 2008.

"I think she's most qualified of any that has run recently for vice president, tell you the truth." --on Sarah Palin, interview with Don Imus, Oct. 22, 

"The chairman of the SEC serves at the appointment of the president and, in my view, has betrayed the public's trust. If I were president today, I would fire him." --apparently unaware of the fact that the SEC chairman, as a commissioner of an independent regulatory commission, cannot be removed by the president, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Sept. 18, 2008.

"You know that old Beach Boys song, Bomb Iran? Bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb Iran." --breaking into song after being asked at a VFW meeting about whether it was time to send a message to Iran, Murrells Inlet, South Carolina, April 18, 2007.

"I also know, if I might remind you, that she is commander of the Alaska National Guard. In fact, you may know that on Sept. 11 a large contingent of the Alaska Guard deployed to Iraq and her son happened to be one of them. So I think she understands our national security challenges." --touting Sarah Palin's foreign policy credentials by confusing the Alaska National Guard with the U.S. Army, where Palin's son is currently serving, Grand Rapids, Michigan, Sept. 17, 2008.

 "[Sarah Palin] knows more about energy than probably anyone else in the United States of America. ... And, uh, she also happens to represent, be governor of a state that's right next to Russia." --after being asked about Sarah Palin's foreign policy experience, interview with WCSH-6, Portland, 
OR, Sept. 12, 2008.

Dumb McCain quotes could go on forever.    Truth is the staff is carrying this worn out old senator and most every time he opens his mouth he inserts his foot.


What Makes Republicans Do What They Do?

Why continue to support the Republican world-view given that their world-view is at odds with the best interests of all, but a select few?”   Why do seemingly sensible people vote for republicans and against their own interests?

The Republican Party and its billionaire CEO friends have a vision for our country, which is Plutocratic, a more sinister form of Oligarchy—a form of government designed to represents the values of corporate greed– a corollary of which is power.   Though Oligarchies may be benign,  Republicans advocate for a Plutocracy, a more dangerous Oligarchy– a  form of private hegemony, which is the desire to control the social, ideological, and economic influences of our society. The actual consequence of a Republican administration will be that wealth, power, and opportunity will get even more concentrated, and benefit fewer and fewer people.   Brainwashed republican voters support these values even though they are the losers.

Folks who support the elected Right have to believe that their representatives will adopt legislation and policy that best promotes their common values, which will make their lives better.  But, they fail to realize that the policies that these elected officials advocate,  disguised as protection of Freedom, are based upon greed and religion.   These people are no less than fools.

Greed and religion are disguised as a loss of Freedom challenged by principals of Social Justice. The idea of social justice is demagoguery.   Freedom is the most important value for the Right, best expressed as unfettered access to free markets and the accumulation of wealth. President Obama and the Democratic Party dare to suggest that a free society needs to juxtapose freedom with ideals of Justice, manifested in the form of social programs.

There are billionaire CEO’s, who envision themselves as needing control over the social, ideological, and economic influences of our society. They are bold and upfront, and challenge the president’s vision as an attack on their freedom.  They see social programs, not as safety nets for those with less opportunity, but as programs for a valueless segment of society. Their ideology is simple;  they have an obsession with acquiring a monopoly on resources and power, and they wish to be completely unregulated in their attempt to acquire it.

The values of freedom and justice conflict, but nobody lives in a vacuum, and nobody is completely self-sufficient, regardless of his or her wealth.   A society’s success is based upon balancing conflicting values that are held dear by its members, and there is expected cooperation in maximizing those values.    Democrats, unquestionably believe that a society should be structured so as to balance freedom and social justice– e.g., providing Medicare, universal healthcare, unemployment support, gender equality, pay equality, reproductive rights, and educational support.   Democrats argue that adopting these kinds of programs fosters cooperation among all members of society, which leads to greater fairness and opportunity, ultimately leading to a more ideal state.

This Democratic vision is challenged by religious zealots, which make up a large part of the Right’s constituency.   They are controlled by evangelical ideologues like Akin, Fisher, Perkins, Robertson, et al.    These evangelical leaders mobilize their audiences/legions into believing that God comes before Country–isolating, and turning evangelicals against more secular members of society. 

Consequently, the ideas that derive from secular folks are perceived as evil, because many of these ideas are not handed down by God—they are the ideas of men.   Religious leaders create a kind of destructive intra-national crusade, where their God sanctified ends, justify all means.   This uncontrolled and irrational piety favors those politicians who have strong religious views, regardless of the consequences of their policy. 

Despite the poorly veiled avarice of these religious leaders, politicians, and their Plutocratic puppeteers, they have mobilized legions of believers who have been brainwashed into voting against their own interests.

The demographics in our Nation are changing, and these plutocrats fear a multi-generational loss of power and influence.   Religious leaders fear we will not fulfill our God given Destiny.   Furthermore, the principles of justice that will be adopted will require regulation, some policies will be adopted based upon science and not religion, and both are seen as an affront to freedom.

The US population is increasingly more diverse, and the emerging minorities will soon be in the majority.   The Right and its Plutocratic leaders know that this new force in politics does not favor Republican policy.    Masquerading as freedom fighters, they encourage Americans to fight against the Administrations policies as a challenge to their freedom.   But, this misdirected outrage shows its ugly head in the form of tactics such as voter disenfranchisement by changing voting laws, which make voting for certain segments of the population more difficult.   It shows up in the appeals by Fundamentalist zealots to their minions– ‘the current administration’s policies are taking away their freedom of religion’.    In the end, these legions of God fearing believers vote against their own best interests by voting against principles of justice.   They fail to recognize that these principles of justice benefit them as well as the other Americans they blame for their plight.   They overlook the fact that they are members of Romney’s 47%.

History has taught us that no civilization has lasted more than a relatively short period of time, despite the sometimes arrogance of self-perception by humans.    I am sure the ancient Egyptians, the Greeks, Alexander, the Romans, the Ottomans, to name a few, sat around the table discussing the fact that their societies were the be-all and end-all of human civilization;  only to be wrong.   The question is:  Who are we?    Plato warns us that if citizens feel, or more importantly, are disenfranchised, politically, socially, and economically, then the next stop is Tyranny. Welcome to the history books U.S.A.

There is a bright spot and a hope for tomorrow and it rests in the hands of women.    Women now recognize that republicans are trying to force them into second and even third class citizenship and they are smart enough to take control of their right to vote.   The women's vote will control who wins elections well into the future even as men march in a long straight line and stare at the elephant's ass in front of them.  

We are twenty years from the time the white race becomes the minority and the melting pot swallows us up.

You can lead old, grumpy, right wing leaning white men to knowledge but you can't make them think!

If you miss the 1950's and the mindset that went with that time just flip the channel to Fox and you'll be right at home.

Amherst County Virginia Democratic News


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