Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
Friday, October 22, 2010
Fear and Loathing in Nevada - NYTimes.com
Monday, October 4, 2010
Very good analysis of Whitman's "housekeeper issue." Take a look.
Thursday, August 26, 2010
In an extraordinary political flip, GOP political activist John D. Villarreal is declaring Berryhill's campaign a lost cause less than a month after being hired as a top Berryhill campaign operator.
"I'm not trying to sink his campaign. I don't need to," Villarreal said in an interview Wednesday. "It's already sunk."
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Republican Mike Berryhill has a lot of opinions, but he hasn't found his voice as he tries to unseat Rep. Dennis Cardoza, D-Merced.
That was evident Friday as the two debated for an endorsement from the Latino Community Roundtable in Modesto. Berryhill seemed to campaign against President Barack Obama instead of against the Merced Demo crat, but was on his heels while Cardoza stood up for his votes.
Thursday, August 19, 2010
When: Today, 6 p.m., August 19th
Where: Fuddruckers, 3848 McHenry Ave.
Info: The Central Valley Democratic Club's monthly meeting will be a roundtable discussion on "The Future of California: A Democratic Administration in California and Why It Is So Important." Rep. Dennis Cardoza's Campaign Team will answer questions and coordinate campaign volunteers. For more information, call Patty Hughes at 869-5609.
Saturday, August 14, 2010
Level two - Letters to newspapers and comments online, phone banking, and precinct walking. This is one person (you) taking real world action that can affect other voters.
Level three - perhaps the most important of all because this has the multiplier effect. Invite others to also achieve at these three levels as well. Ask one new person to help each day. Then you have not only cast your one vote and taken your action but have brought others along, each of whom will reach out and bring along still more.
Level three is how waves are created, elections won and newer worlds built.
Monday, August 2, 2010
The White House Today President Obama spoke at the national convention of Disabled American Veterans. As the end of combat operations in Iraq draws near, it is a time to salute those who have sacrificed their lives, and to honor those who have come back -- both through words and through a renewed commitment to ensure they are given all the benefits they are due.http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2010/08/02/honoring-our-troops-coming-home-iraq-words-deeds
Friday, July 23, 2010
|Berryhill's Bloopers - Funny Money Shuffle|
Berryhill has not fared well in raising money from others, newly filed campaign statements show. The former Turlock Irrigation District and Ceres school board member reported raising only $11,555 from May 20 to June 30...
Although Berryhill has failed to connect with outside donors, he has been aggressive in shifting around his own money. His timing appears to be tactical, pegged to campaign reporting deadlines.
On March 30, records show, Berryhill loaned his campaign $225,000. The loan came on the second-to-last day of a reporting period and enabled his campaign to report having cash on hand. Five days later, after the reporting deadline passed, the campaign repaid Berryhill.
On May 19, the last day of the next reporting period, records show Berryhill again loaned his campaign $225,000. Again, the loan enabled his campaign to report having cash on hand. Two days later, after the reporting deadline passed, the campaign paid back Berryhill.
One June 28, two days before the conclusion of the most recent reporting period, Berryhill loaned his campaign $125,000. The stated due date was June 28, the same day as the loan itself, although no payment had been made by the time the reporting period ended June 30."
-Published Sunday, July 18, 2010 - The Modesto Bee
Official Federal Election Commission Reports show Mike Berryhill recently lent his campaign an additional $140,000.00, and paid himself back an additional $225,000.00. Berryhill continues his bizarre campaign financing patterns of loaning his campaign hundreds of thousands of dollars, and then paying himself back in the next reporting period. In the last 12 months, Berryhill has loaned his committee $710,000.00 and has paid himself back $470,000.00. He still owes himself $240,000.00
What does this mean? Berryhill has raised a total of $49,667.00 from sources other than his personal loans.
Here is a breakdown:
$710,000.00 Income (Berryhill personal loans)
$49,667.00 Income (donations)
$470,000.00 Berryhill loan repayments
$240,000.00 Still owed to Berryhill
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
One of these two made millions from Wall Street insider deals and the other went to India to wash the poor with Mother Theresa... is it really all that difficult to figure out which is which?
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
What are the possibilities for Turlock?
Imagine each of our city parking lots with shade covers that protect our cars from summer sun and winter rain. And each of these protective covers also generates electricity that we sell, thus providing an income stream for our community.
What other possibilities?
We could work together so that future parking lots of new businesses and even existing businesses use these “Solar Trees” for shade as well. Can you imagine the parking lots of the Big Box Stores on Country Side Drive as shaded Solar money makers shared by the businesses and the city?
Now imagine most the cities of the Valley doing the same thing. That’s a lot of solar panels. Part of the whole project should be the recruitment or outright creation of a solar panel manufacturing plant in Turlock. We the people of Turlock will benefit from the shaded parking lots, and from the sale of the electricity, and from the sales tax from the sale of the panels, and most of all from the creation of jobs in the solar panel manufacturing plant. Also the reputation of Turlock as a forward looking, and creative city could bring even more jobs in other industries as companies look for new locations for future expansion.
With local advancements like High Speed Rail and Alternative Energy industries the future is waiting for the firm grasp of leadership in Turlock. While some people look backwards and want only to cut services and fire workers we could instead have leaders who look forward and take action.
Friday, July 9, 2010
The Republicans under Bush/Cheney set America's economic house on fire.
Then when the fire fighters arrived the Republicans voted NO on helping in any way.
Then as the fire was being fought they complained the fire fighters were too slow.
And finally, now the Republicans blame the fire fighters for starting the fire.
Come November don't vote to put the arsonists in charge of your house again!
Remember the newspaper wants it brief and to the point so just cover one or two points about why you favor your candidate or oppose your candidate's opponent.
For some ideas on Fiorina and Boxer click here.
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Berryhill had the WORST attendance record (calculated as combined absences and tardies from the official minutes of Turlock Irrigation District Board meetings) in 14 of his 26 years. That's 54% of his years on the board.
In all but four years, Berryhill had the worst or second worst attendance record, or 84.6%.
Many boards and commissions pay members a stipend for attending meetings. The Turlock Irrigation District doesn't do this. TID gives its directors a flat monthly salary. It doesn't matter if they go to the meetings, show up late, or miss them entirely - THEY STILL GET PAID! Berryhill showed up and voted for the latest director salary increase (up 67% to $1,000.00 per month - TID Ordinance 99-1, March 2, 1999). That was one meeting he didn't miss!
Berryhill had a lousy attendance record, however, he still voted to give himself a raise!
NOTE: Before his service on the Turlock Irrigation District, Berryhill served as an elected trustee on the Ceres Unified School District. For comparison purposes, we would like to give you Berryhill's official attendance record for that time as well, but we can't. The school district's records for the years Berryhill served were destroyed in a fire. So we don't know if his participation in these elective offices improved, or worsened.
Saturday, June 26, 2010
Lots of news stories about event itself inside and out, and brief descriptions of what she said with quotes from the lighthearted quips in her introductory remarks. But insufficient reporting on the serious main portion of her speech. That was what she was paid so much for wasn't it? Seventy five thousand dollars for her wisdom and instruction. What was the meaning of her rambling disjointed series of quotations and commentary? A news organization should have the courage to run an analysis of the quality of her arguments and the skill of her presentation in a boxed editorial next to the straight news story. It's not enough to present a video replay. You are the "gatekeeper" of public information. Present your analysis.
I think you are afraid to say "the Empress has no sense."
"We encourage her and the CSUS Foundation to donate her speaking fee and all proceeds of the event to directly aid the students of CSUS by the way of scholarships or the like rather than to reward a polarizing figure in American politics and to hoard profits for an administration with questionable political motives."
Friday, June 25, 2010
Saturday, June 19, 2010
We are now 60 days into the fiasco in the Gulf of Mexico. Two full months have passed, and oil is still gushing from a mile beneath the sea. I am bewildered by the fact that BP doesn’t (never did?) have realistic, researched and practiced methods to stop what they started. And the techniques they’ve tried, to date, seem so rudimentary in comparison to the high technology needed to initially drill.
I ascertain that BP executives formulated their ideas to stop the gusher, by consulting with kindergartners, with names like Top Hat and Top Kill (Dr. Seuss, for sure). From this dog’s perspective, that scenario plays out more truly than the visual of a boardroom, full of stuffed shirt stiffs, headed by Hayward.
I can hear it now: “Mr. Hayward, the handful of untested schemes we’ve tried, have not been successful in quelling our tiny spill.” And, in complete earnest, Tony the Tiger responds; “I am shocked that the top hat and cane didn’t work. Or the cut and paste. Or the assassin in a beret. When I played with those concepts on my etch-a-sketch, they seemed flawless. New idea’s anyone?”
A bloated (possibly gout-ridden), BP executive chimes in with, “I have a brilliant hypothesis! I think, if we stuff the pipe with garbage and concrete, and maybe even some golfballs, we can plug the leak. It’s a sure thing, I tell you!”. Dear readers, this is where everyone in the room should howl with laughter, right? I mean, that is pretty darned funny and outrageous, and humor is a good way of diffusing a tense moment. But, no! This was one of the real solutions provided by the experts running BP.
Yes, friends, my fantasy scenario happened last month, when we were weeks into the “spill”. We are now at the two month mark, and no better solutions have come from the corporation(s) that caused this travesty.
I was titillated watching the BP executives yesterday, most notably Mr. Hayward, squirming under Congress’s interrogation. There is some comfort in knowing they will pay for their crimes against the U.S. and the environment, but that does little to rectify the damage already done, not to mention the oil flood has not ceased.
As the hearings progressed, I was really feeling fed-up with Mr. Hayward’s blanket answer of “I don’t recall”. It appeared that most of Congress was feeling as I was, until the tedium was broken by one Rep. Joe Barton (R-Tx). God bless his greedy, heartless little soul! Rep. Barton sure perked up the room when, with complete resolve and confidence, he apologized to the offender! Un-freaking-believable, even to this savvy pup!
Mr. Barton was voted into office by the people of Texas, not the executives at BP, Transocean, or Halliburton. Yet, his loyalties clearly lie with big oil, defending their big mistake and big profits, not with the people of the big state of Texas. What is the disconnect with Republicans from southern states?
Dear readers, this week we have heard; BP’s Chairman of the Board (that Swedish cat with the aristocratic name) identify the Gulf Coast residents as “small people”. Barton defend big oil, and in the same breath vilify our President and administration. CEO Hayward giving zero tangible answers. And, in the other news...the oil continues to erupt into the Gulf...
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
I am dumbfounded by the power that the NRA holds in our political system. Just today, the strong-armed arm of the NRA wielded it’s influence on Congress, once again. This time in relation to campaign finance reform, which, in this dogs’ eyes, has no connection to gun rights. The result being, that while almost all organizations and corporations need to clearly identify themselves when advocating for a candidate or position, the NRA will be exempt.
Special, kid-glove treatment of the NRA is nothing new, and they have their influence in the pockets of politicians from both sides of the house. Paul Helmke, of the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence had this to say: "It truly is amazing. We are not talking 2nd Amendment issues at all. We are not talking gun bans or background checks. We are talking campaign finance disclosure. I have never seen this before. I have seen people get earmarks for things. Here it seems like the NRA has tooth marks instead." Or, bullet holes.As a contemplative canine, I do not understand some humans’ fixation on their firearms. And, I certainly don’t comprehend the deference these folks are given by our elected officials. This legislation, for example, has no bearing on one’s right to bear arms, yet the NRA must demand an exemption. Why the secrecy regarding who/what the NRA wants to support? This canine cranium cannot comprehend the unwavering power of gun lovers.
I understand the second amendment, but is it really a dog’s place to remind you all that the amendment is almost 220 years old? Does it take a pooch to point out that in 1791, when our Constitution was amended to include the Bill of Rights, firearms mostly consisted of single-shot rifles and pistols? Today’s NRA distorts the brilliance of the Bill of Rights, by insisting that today’s sophisticated weaponry must be included in our “right to bear arms”. The only use for today’s high-caliber, automatic weaponry is to kill...people. Not for defense, or hunting, or sportsmanship.... for war.
Currently, in multiple states, including my own beloved California, arms enthusiasts are challenging open-carry laws. Apparently, gun worshipers enjoy a little amplification with their arms, as they have chosen Starbuck’s as one of their challenge venues. In response, Starbuck’s has decided to take a neutral position, and allow firearms to be openly carried, if it’s legal in that jurisdiction.
Mama likes milk in her coffee, not guns, so our response to Starbuck’s has been to boycott, and to frequent Peet’s Coffee. Peet’s has taken the correct stand, in my opinion. They have designated their establishments as “gun free”, and for that, they get our business.
I have to say, that as a dog, I find the open-carry devotees to be fuel for my funny bone. I’m certain that for many of these open-carry fanatics, the act of sporting heavy metal around their (usually rotund) mid-sections, gives them the sense of power, superiority and virility. I think, that if their man-parts were closer in size to my own, the need to openly display their “tool” would vanish. Just a thought... and it makes me giggle.
Dear readers, I trust that your fur is not in a bundle over my opinions. I’m just a dog and have no intention of taking your precious guns away from you. Peace out, friends.
Sunday, June 13, 2010
Thursday, June 10, 2010
Thank God the primary elections are over! If I heard one more negative Meg vs. Steve ad, I was going to start pulling my hair out! And, I have a lot of hair. And let's not talk about the "Demon Sheep" ad, run by Carly Fiorina. That gave me nightmares for weeks!
What a shock...money buys elections! Who would've thought? (yes, I'm being snarky). I'll refrain from riffing on Meg again, for her absenteeism from voting, for the past 20+ years. I said my piece on that subject in my post, "By the Numbers". But I am just dumbfounded with the gullibility of voters; don't they see that, by incessant propaganda (ie; 80$ million in negative advertising), they allowed themselves to be hypnotized into voting for the most familiar name? I guess, if one is repetitive enough, even with blatant fibs, people will join the bandwagon. That's what Fox "News" does daily. Say it enough, no matter how wrong or absurd, and people will buy it...eventually. It's called propaganda, folks. Little sheep being led to slaughter...
I love the ladies. You know my devotion to my mama, grandma and sister, Bella. But the ladies who won the California primaries baffle me. I am all for women gaining political power, but what does it say about the electorate, that women like Meg and Carly won the primaries?
I believe, the reason they prevailed, is the bourgeois's fixation on wealth; the wealth they don't have, but aspire to attain. Both of these women vow to cut state jobs, and have no appreciation of work that better's our community (and many state jobs are to serve that purpose). The only occupations that these females respect, are those that earn great profits, not those that better society. Sadly, in my opinion, some of the general public applaud this stance. It's the corporatocracy of the electorate. Profits over people.Carly holds great disdain for low-wage earners. She made that clear when CEO of HP and she outsourced close to 30,000, lower-level, U.S. -based jobs to India and South America. And she's pandering fear to the electorate, that illegal immigrants are taking our jobs? Carly doesn't care about jobs for American citizens, if her bottom line can profit by overseas outsourcing. Is this canine the only one who sees the disconnect here?
I'm not saying that someone with the background of a CEO would not make a good public officer, but the voters really need to take a closer look at their actions and attitudes as CEO. A respectable CEO, and now Senatorial candidate, would not cattily bad mouth an opponent's hairstyle while on camera with a mic on her lapel.
I implore you, voters, to use your God-given cranial synapses before casting your final votes in November. You are not sheep, nor is this canine. Now, on to more important things: dinner!
Ps: please check out my daily blog: http://atticusuncensored.wordpress.com
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
The influence of Big Money is everywhere. It's washing up on the shores of our Gulf Coast, creeping up on homeowners across the country and showing up in our schools and hospitals.
Our economy, our environment and our well-being are held hostage by lobbyists whose only care is retaining the power they hold. The need for reform is simple: we won't -- can't -- fix any of our country's problems until we end the dominance of money in politics.
Today, Californians have an opportunity to strike a blow against the entrenched system of money-dominated politics that puts lobbyists' interests above the public interest by voting yes on Proposition 15, the California Fair Elections Act.
Prop 15 will change the way we finance election campaigns, starting with a voluntary pilot project to provide limited public financing for Secretary of State candidates in 2014 and 2018. The Secretary of State referees our elections, so it's especially important that s/he has the best ideas and experience, not the most money.
And it pays for itself, primarily through a $350 per year registration fees on lobbyists, lobbying firms and lobbyist employers (right now, they only pay $12.50 per year in California, one of the lowest rates in the country and less than a daily fishing license).
And that's not all. From Calitics:
It also repeals a ban on public financing, so that local governments can create their own systems—and the system can be extended to other statewide offices with a vote of the legislature and the signature of the governor. Perhaps a Governor Jerry Brown might be inclined to sign a bill creating a public financing system for the 2014 governor's race, given the abhorrent spectacle of Meg Whitman spending $68 million and counting to buy the governor's office?
This isn't a full solution, but it starts us down the path of cleaning up our elections and returning power to the people. It is a great way to show the people of California that we can have democracy again, and not corporatocracy.
Prop 15 is tough:
- Candidates who agree to use public funds must prove they have substantial support by gathering signatures and $5 contributions from 7,500 registered voters.
- Participating candidates are banned from raising or spending money beyond the limited funds.
- Spending limits and reporting requirements are strictly enforced. Candidates can only spend on legitimate expenses. Violators would face fines, possible jail time, and prohibitions from running for office in the future.
This is not just important to Californians. People across the country are watching too, knowing that Prop 15 could open the door for similar reforms across the country. Hundreds of orgs and individuals (including Rep. Alan Grayson and Lawrence Lessig) support it. You should, too.
Monday, June 7, 2010
OFFICIAL California Democratic Party Slate and Polling Locator
McHenry & Briggsmore Noon
Sisk & Standiford (mall) 5:00 p.m.
Monte Vista & Countryside NOON
The Circle – Highway 33 and Las Palmas 5:00 p.m.
Claribel & Oakdale Road 4:30 p.m.
Crossroads Shopping Center
Bring your own candidate yard sign or we can provide them for you!
If you would like to host a rally in your area that is not listed please contact us!
Candidate Help on Election Day!
The Stanislaus County Democrats will be combining forces with the Stan Co CLC and will be phone banking from the Stanislaus Co. Central Labor Council office tomorrow from 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. Bring your cell phone if you have free minutes otherwise a phone will be provided. Refreshment donations for the volunteers will be appreciated.
Candidates and volunteers will be precinct walking and phone banking all day today and tomorrow to help get out the vote on Election Day! To find out how you can help the candidates please call the campaign phone numbers provided.
U.S. Congress - 18th District
Dennis Cardoza (D) - United States Congressman
Contact: Chip 489-7188
State Senate - 12th District
Anna Caballero (D) - Assembly member
Contact: AJ 510-502-4871, office number: 209-408-8636
Superior Court Judge Office No. 6
Martha Carlton-Magaña - Attorney
1012 11th St. Suite 103 Modesto 95354 209-529-4241 324-6347
Nancy Williamsen - Superior Court Commissioner
2813 Coffee Road #E-3 Modesto 95355 209-568-2389
Geoffrey C. Hutcheson - Attorney
416 N. 9th St. Suite B Modesto CA 95350 581-6261
Lauren Klein - Chief Deputy Auditor-Controller
PO Box 5373 Modesto 95352 209-549-6028
Lee Lundrigan - Stanislaus County Clerk Recorder
PO Box 1844 Modesto CA 95353 209-303-0011
Rob Jackson - Police Captain
PO Box 549 Oakdale CA 95361 209-988-5596 / 209-765-0648
Supervisor - District 3
Bill Lyons - Farmer/Businessman
PO Box 1212 Modesto 95353-1212 209-408-8436
Supervisor - District 4
Carmen Sabatino - Businessman
421 McHenry Avenue Modesto 95354 209-602-5634
Balvino Irizarry - Business Owner
400 12th Street Suite 8 Modesto 95354 209-606-3276
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
9:00am - 6:00pm
Stanislaus County- Modesto-Turlock-Patterson-
RSVP on FACEBOOK
Friday, June 4, 2010
Video: Congressman Dennis Cardoza talks about Valley economy
Thursday, June 3, 2010
It’s been 45 long days since the BP disaster began. That’s 64,800 minutes of this dog’s life with worry on my mind. I cannot use the term oil “spill”, as what happened in the Gulf is no spill… its a full fulmination of oil! A spill is something that is easily cleaned up—just look at this example of Wilbur and I erasing a milk spill.
The volume of oil has become so great, that, as Wyatt Cenac of The Daily Show observed , “they (BP) gave up on getting the oil out of the water a long time ago. Now the challenge is to get all the water and dead shrimp and stuff, out of the oil.”
I’m especially ruffled since the offending organization is British, as am I. This CEO chap, Tony Hayward, is giving us Brits a bad name, I tell you. We Brits are generally thoughtful, and always polite. So, why is this bloke, Hayward, spewing ridiculously crude words, in addition to all the crude oil? He actually, publicly, said this weekend that he “wants his life back”. Can we say greedy, careless, narcissistic bastard? I am embarrassed, and perturbed, to share my heritage with such a cold-hearted, avaricious, piggish and selfish man.
On May 30, Hayward had the brazenness to tell CNN that he thought the reason many of the cleanup response crews were falling ill, may have been “food poisoning or some other reason” than the oil and dispersants. You’d have to be an incredibly dense dog to believe that balderdash!
BP has hired a new spin doctor to try and clean up Hayward’s faux pas (since they can’t clean up the oil). I find it hysterically ironic (in a sick and demented way), that the new hire is, none other than Anne Kolton, (not to be confused with the similarly repugnant, Ann Coulter), the former press secretary to the master duck hunter, Mr. Energy himself, Dick Cheney.
I have no solid solutions, my friends, just more frustration. But since I am a naturally optimistic pup, I can always find an upside to any situation. I think the upside of this calamity, is the possibility that the collective We, Americans, may begin a paradigm shift in the way we view energy, and our dependance on oil. Note: The collective We, does not include Gov. Wunderkind Jindal (R-La) and Senator Vitter (R-La); they are ready to drill again, and soon. I guess that proves that some fools just can’t learn from past mistakes.
Fired up, and ready to go! (again…)
Please note: this post originally published in Atticus's daily blog:
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Wednesday, June 2, 2010
1 June 2010
Saying that "disrupting a private funeral with vicious personal attacks goes too far," California Attorney General Edmund G. Brown Jr. has signed a friend-of-the-court brief filed today in a Supreme Court case that will test whether families grieving at a funeral have a right to be free of hate-filled attacks from fanatical protesters.
Brown is one of 48 state attorneys general who gave their support to Albert Snyder in his lawsuit against Fred W. Phelps, Sr. and the Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kansas.
Near the 2006 Maryland funeral of Snyder's son, Marine Lance Cpl. Matthew Snyder, the vehemently anti-gay Phelps and his parishioners demonstrated and waved signs that said "Thank God for Dead Soldiers" and some that employed even more offensive language. Matthew Snyder, 20, was killed in a Humvee accident a month after he arrived in Iraq.
"Free speech is a cherished American right," Brown said, "but disrupting a private funeral with vicious personal attacks on the grieving family goes too far."
Phelps believes that U.S. military deaths represent God's judgment on the country's tolerance of homosexuality. He and his church members have staged their hate-filled protests at some 200 military funerals across the country.
Albert Snyder filed a civil suit against Phelps for invading his family's privacy and intentionally inflicting emotional distress on them. A U.S. district court awarded Snyder $10 million, but a federal appeals court overturned that verdict and ordered Snyder to pay Phelps' legal costs.
Forty states have enacted "funeral picketing" or "funeral protest" laws regulating the time, place and conduct of demonstrations near funeral services.
The amicus brief, submitted by Kansas Attorney General Steve Six, argues that such laws are necessary to protect the traditional "sanctity and privacy" of funerals and to prevent mourning families of veterans from being "attacked viciously and personally." The picketing, the brief says, "amounts to emotional terrorism" directed at a "captive audience."
Freedom of speech does not permit hate groups to espouse hate-filled vitriol at a private funeral service for the purpose of intentionally inflicting emotional distress on mourners.
"All we wanted," Albert Snyder told a reporter, "was a private funeral for my son. They turned it into a three-ring circus."
Sunday, May 30, 2010
I love numbers and statistics, and this weekend, it seems, there a lot of numerical milestones. Most importantly, it has been 50 years since To Kill a Mockingbird was originally published. This Harper Lee classic, is home to my namesake, the unforgettable, and incomparable, Atticus Finch. Mr. Finch was beautifully portrayed by Gregory Peck in the movie version, which I believe to be one of the finest films ever produced.
The character of Atticus Finch is honorable, respectful, loyal, daring and a true individual. I strive to be all of these things, which is not that difficult, because, I believe, these traits parallel my congenital canine attributes. If Atticus Finch had been an over-eater, and a dog, we’d be identical.
Another interesting numerical tidbit this weekend, is that as of tomorrow, Memorial Day, we, as a country, have spent over one trillion dollars on the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. That’s twelve zeros, friends! And this trillion only accounts for the “on the books” costs. There is no number, or monetary amount, that can be tallied for the loss of American’s lives (over 5,000, and counting), and the interminably long list of wounded. Not to mention, the cost of destroying, and then rebuilding, sovereign nations that are not our own.
Another measurable factoid: This month marks the 7th anniversary of our previous president’s declaration of “mission accomplished”. Yet one more indicator that the former president may have been less astute than most dogs I know. Can anyone mispronounce nuclear?
And, since we’re talking a little politics, this week is also the week that gubernatorial candidate, Meg Shitman, passed the 80 million dollar mark in personal campaign spending. Eighty million dollars would certainly cover the cost of... teachers, parole officers, firemen, medical and elder support services, dogpark maintenance, etc., etc., etc.... But no. These eighty million dollars were, primarily, spent on derogatory and negative advertising.
What does she hope to gain out of possibly buying the Governor’s office? I really don’t understand how voters would be able to seriously consider a candidate who hasn’t even executed her most basic electoral right. The right to vote. Yes, I’m a dog, but I yearn for the privilege of casting my ballot, and would never belittle that right.
On a more personal note, tomorrow marks the second anniversary of my grandpa’s passing. My grandpa Del was greatly loved and admired, and, now, greatly missed. Actually, he had many of the same qualities that distinguish Atticus Finch. Grandpa Del was unusually special in the eyes of all he knew. His warmth, intelligence, and goofy humor, was exemplified in his every smile, and twinkle in his eyes. He had an uncanny ability to make everyone he met, human and animal alike, feel special and important and loved.
As Memorial Day is upon us, I reflect upon not only the brave servicemen and women of our country, but also on the memory of my beloved grandpa. Wishing you, enchanting readers, a reverent and memorable holiday.
Monday, May 24, 2010
From: Mike Allen's Playbook
Saturday, May 22, 2010
I am delirious with the news that our friend, Patty Hughes, will be meeting Bo’s Papa (known to some as POTUS), this week! You know that six degrees of Kevin Bacon thing? Well, I’m only one degree of separation from The Bacon, The Big Cheese, The Top Dog, since Patty will be meeting our Commander in Chief!
Dear friends, Patty is not meeting the President at some big fundraiser or gala, with the masses. No. Our Ms. Hughes has been invited to meet personally with Bo’s Papa. I cannot say that I’m surprised, in that Patty has done more for OFA and the Democratic Party in our region than most anyone. I am in awe of her hard work, tireless dedication and loyalty to her candidates and causes. Hard work, dedication and loyalty are the hallmark traits of a canine, maybe that’s why I admire Patty so much...I think she may be part canine.
Here’s to you, Patty --- our OFA pack leader!
ps Any chance of getting a pawtograph of Bo for me?
Sunday, May 16, 2010
Being a canine politico, I enjoy the Sunday morning news shows. I was watching Meet the Press this morning, and, I must say, I was getting pretty angry when talk of the oil spill got going. As you know, dear readers, I have been very upset about this environmental travesty (in case you missed it, please refer to my “Shrill Baby Shrill” post).
As the law stands today, big oil companies are only liable for $75 million in damages, a cap put in place in the 1990 Oil Pollution Act. Considering the Exxon Valdez oil spill cost approximately $2.1 billion in clean up and damages, the cap seems a bit on the low side (that’s obvious even to this thoughtful canine). Sounds like an awfully sweet deal for Big Oil. You’d think the lawmakers that passed that bill were in the pockets of Big Oil, or something. Oh, I forgot...1990... Big Oil was running the White House.
Last week a group of Senators, led by Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), offered a bill that would push that cap from $75 million, to $10 billion. Big Oil reaps obscene profits quarter after quarter, regardless of the economy. They mess it up, they clean it up. Even a dog understands the importance of cleaning up what you dirty, so to me, it’s a no-brainer to up the cap. Those who make the mess need to take responsibility to clean it up... common sense, right?
Well, it’s not common sense to the GOP (Grand Obstructionist Party) side of the Senate. They effectively filibustered, and blocked the proposed legislation last week. As a canine, I’m dumbfounded by the plain old dumbness of some humans. I know that it’s their agenda to “just say no” to any and all proposals coming from the other side, but at the expense of taxpayers, their constituents? I simply don’t get it.
This morning on Meet the Press, Senator Jeff Sessions (R-Ala) said that raising the cap legislatively was unnecessary because “BP people have told me personally, they are going to be responsible for all legitimate claims made against them”. Well, gosh darn it, why hold BP lawfully accountable when they made the pinky-promise with Senator Sessions?
To me, this all stinks of graft and corruptionx. For a canine to say something stinks is quite a strong statement, because most anything humans find vile smelling, I adore. But this does stink. Even to one who loves the aroma of critter carcasses, spoiled cottage cheese, and cat feces...it stinks.
Friday, May 14, 2010
Next Meeting May 20th
3848 McHenry Ave. Modesto
6pm Dinner 7pm Meeting
Special Guest Speakers
“Get Out the Vote”
Thursday, May 13, 2010
I’ve been following the developments regarding the new anti-immigration law in Arizona. You know, the ones encouraging police to question anyone who they suspect to be illegally in this country. Well, from what I’ve learned, this means anyone (human or canine, I have to assume) is suspect just for looking different, or dressing a certain way. This concerns me greatly, as I am of British decent and born in Canada.
I have papers, but never carry them around with me (how would I carry them?). My distinctive look and jaunty style might scream “foreigner” to an Arizona lawman. Plus, being Canadian, I flaunt my love of hockey and Molson beer, am ridiculously friendly & courteous, and sometimes hum “O Canada” in my sleep (catchiest of national anthems, I think). I also enjoy wearing bandanas, and I hear that’s a surefire giveaway of not being native.
The design of this latest law will undoubtedly result in abuses by law enforcement. I was hoping to visit my mama’s brother and his pack in Tucson in the near future, but I just can’t risk possible incarceration, or worse. I figure if some of these nuts in Arizona don’t believe that our President’s birth certificate is valid, they will never believe mine is valid! “No! No! Arizona lawman! Please don’t take me away from my mama because of questionable papers!” Forgive me, I’m letting instinct take over. Better have my rational brain ponder this... Conclusion: Don’t travel to Arizona.
Note: Originally posted 4/29/10 on my daily blog:
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
I’m very concerned about the creatures in the Gulf Coast, and the humans who’s livelihoods are threatened because of the ruptured under-sea oil well. This is a tragedy on all levels. So many species are being be harmed -- shrimp & jellyfish, crawdads & catfish, birds & reptiles....canines and humans.
I vividly remember (anxiety-provoking flashbacks, actually) the shrill cries of “drill, baby, drill”. The “shrill”, being an avid hunter (don’t even get me started on that subject), who quit her job, lost her race, went to multiple colleges to get her undergrad degree in journalism (a profession she now reviles as “lame-stream media”) and has a litter larger than my birth-mother. Mama or I scramble for the mute button the moment she’s on the telly, but I’ve heard that rally cry enough times to haunt my subconscious forever.
I am completely dumbfounded by the fact (polls?) that some people lick up this dribble (yes, that was a play on words...I was an English major). Granted, I’m just a canine with political aspirations, but I think I may have stronger qualifications to hold public office than “the shrill”. Please note: In today’s photo I am wearing the doggie version of the obligatory flag pin that candidates must wear, in order to assure the masses of our patriotism.
I can’t, in all fairness, put everything on the ex-beauty princess from Way-silly. Bo’s papa (note: I have a huge man-crush on Bo!), approved more off-shore drilling exploration just a few weeks ago. Yes, I was shocked, disillusioned & saddened (and I intuit that my bud, Bo, was feeling the same). I have confidence, though, that Bo’s papa will re-evaluate the alternatives after reviewing the devastation of the gulf.
I understand that I’m a dog, and not part of the voting public. But I have to believe that I put more thought into many of these issues than some humans. Renewable, sustainable energy seems to be a much better place to focus our attention than finite resources that carry a great risk to our planet and our well being. Why would this make sense to a dog, but not to all humans?
On an upbeat note, in regards to the oil spill, I think I have helped with reigning in some of the oil. I just had a major haircut (the dreaded “summer-cut), and I’m pretty sure I contributed to helping the cleanup effort. This is really cool, dear readers; check out this link to learn about my contribution and how you can help too:
Sunday, May 9, 2010
All I am, or can be, I owe to my angel mother.
Saturday, May 1, 2010
Upcoming Events and Candidate Announcements
Organizing for America - Community Organizer and Data Training
Be a part of the President’s Field Team! Saturday!
Description: "Join the President’s field team and learn the VOTE 2010 Mid-Term Election Strategy and how you can help President Obama and the California state and local electoral. We are building teams in our area to help educate voters on important issues and to turn out 2008 first time voters to vote again in 2010.”
Time: Saturday, May 1 from 10:00 AM - 7:00 PM RSVP to: http://my.barackobama.com/page/event/detail/gp8y2j
Location: Stanislaus County Central Labor Council Office (Modesto, CA)
1125 Kansas Ave.
Modesto, CA 95351
Put on your walking shoes and join Balvino Irizarry for a walk of Modesto’s Supervisory District # 4 this Saturday, May 1, at 9:30 am. Canvassers will meet at Graceada Park located close to downtown on Sycamore Ave./Needham Ave. the meeting place will be in the picnic area near the tennis courts. Juice and doughnuts will be provided.
Saturday, May 1, 2010
March for Immigration Reform
Meet at 10am at 1337 Crowslanding Road, South Modesto, CA
Wear white t-shirts, good walking shoes and carry an American flag.
Marching as a parade entry in the Cinco de Mayo Parade
Maggie Mejia- Latino Community Roundtable (LCR) 303-2664
Join Martha Carlton-Magana candidate for Judge District for a “Picnic at the Red Rock” Sunday, May 2nd! Red Rock Media Center
915 14th St.
Food - music, good company; no ants. Everyone is welcome!
Media Advisory - National Drinking Water Week.
Virginia Madueno, Clean Water Action 209-968-7052
Jennifer Clary, Clean Water Action 707-483-6352
Who: Residents from unincorporated communities in the northern SJV will join with local leaders including Luis Molina, Board Member of El Concilio and President of the Stanislaus County Office of Education, Maggie Mejia with Latino Community Roundtable, Virginia Madueno and their representatives in Modesto to call for a solution to the local drinking water crisis and commemorate National Drinking Water Week.
What: Residents of many disadvantaged unincorporated communities, who for years have been living with contaminated drinking water, and their supporters, will meet in Modesto to hold a press conference to call for Clean, Safe Drinking water now!
This is one of two press conferences taking place across the San Joaquin Valley to call for a solution to the Valley’s drinking water crisis. For more information on the Seville press conference, contact Maria Herrera of Community Water Center at (559) 733-0219,
When: Tuesday, May 4th, 2010 from 10-10:30 AM
Where: El Concilio, 1314 H Street, Modesto, CA
Visuals: Community residents calling for safe drinking water now
Real samples of water bottles filled with contaminated water from local communities
Stories of communities struggling for safe drinking water
Why: Many local valley communities have, for years, lacked safe drinking water on a daily basis in their homes, schools, and workplaces. These communities are forced to find and pay for alternative water supplies while they wait to obtain funding for projects that would help upgrade old infrastructure or install new treatment systems. As people across the country celebrate clean, safe drinking water during National Drinking Water Week, Clean Water Action and its community partners and supporters are highlighting the many families and residents who still lack this basic human right. We are calling on local and San Joaquin Valley Congressional representatives to provide direct emergency funding to communities regularly drinking toxic tap water and work to create long-term solutions to the San Joaquin Valley drinking water crisis. It is time to ensure that no community goes another day without access to safe water!
Sponsoring Organizations: Clean Water Action, California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation, Communities for a New California, El Concilio and Latino Community Roundtable.
Please Join and Help Elect
Assemblyman & Former Majority Leader
Alberto Torrico for Attorney General
“Meet & Greet” for Central Valley Democratic Club Members
Harvest Moon Restaurant
1213 I Street, Modesto
$25.00 per person
5:00p.m. - 6:00p.m.
No host bar
RSVP to Patty Hughes (209) 869-5609
Alberto Torrico Reception
At a Wine and Heavy Hors D’oeuvres Reception
Wednesday, May 5, 2009
6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
1101 J Street – Modesto
$2500 Sponsor, $500 Host, $250 Individual Ticket
For questions, please contact Sandy Pohl at (209) 576-6355.
Checks payable to Alberto Torrico for Attorney General, FPPC ID# 1315641, Tax ID# 26-4304287
1818 L Street, Ste. 615, Sacramento, CA 95811
Or by credit card at www.AlbertoTorrico.com, click on “contribute”
Congressman Cardoza’s 7th Annual Linguica Fest “Boogie on the Bayou!”
Hosted by the Lyons Family.
Old Fisherman’s Club - 10800 Maze Blvd., 6:00 p.m. Social – 7:00, Dinner and Dancing.
For ticket information go to: www.denniscardoza.com
STATEWIDE Voter Registration Day-Organizing for America and the Central Valley Democratic Club
Sign up to help in your area!
Candidate Forum CSU Stanislaus Democratic Club presents: We are hosting an on campus event Tuesday May 11th, 2010. The event will be held in the event center at 2:00p.m. and will run until 4:00p.m. This forum will feature several speakers from both state and local races. I hope you all can make it. After the event the club will be voting to endorse candidates.
We will be holding a raffle with some awesome prizes and there will be food, SO COME CHECK IT OUT!
Contact Jackie Shirley: firstname.lastname@example.org
Linda Leu has invited you to "Budget Justice Rally" on Monday, May 17 at 1:00pm.
Event: Budget Justice Rally
Start Time: Monday, May 17 at 1:00pm
End Time: Monday, May 17 at 2:30pm
Where: Chase Bank
Street: 2900 Standiford Ave (at Sisk)
City/Town: Modesto, CA
To see more details and RSVP, follow the link below:
Congressman Cardoza, Blue Dogs Pass Bill to Rein in Wasteful and Fraudulent Spending
WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. House of Representatives passed significant bipartisan legislation today aimed at eliminating $98 billion lost to waste, fraud and abuse due to poor oversight on the part of federal agencies. The Improper Payments Elimination and Recovery Act was cosponsored by Congressman Cardoza and is a key component of the Blue Dog Blueprint for Fiscal Reform.
Les Marsden for Congress Sign & Sticker pick-up contact Frank Ploof: email@example.com
Modesto office for the Anna Caballero State Senate campaign!
We are located at:
The Pacific Center
1021 - 11 th Street (next door to Extreme Pizza)
Modesto, Ca 5354
You cannot miss the office, Caballero signs all around the windows and in a very visible location. We will have a grand opening office party in mid-May once we stage the office. Anna is very excited that she now has a local office to meet with supporters and volunteers alike. As Anna has stated so many times, she has an open door policy and looks forward to seeing you all in the very near future.
The campaign would appreciate any donations that you can offer. We need:
coffee machine (s)
folding tables (6 feet and smaller)
and much, much more.
We are also poised to begin phone banking and we will need folks to assist in this effort as well. These will be paid positions and very important to the overall campaign here in the City of Modesto. If you know folks that might be interested (college students, seniors, etc) have them contact me ASAP. We will begin training this weekend and kick-off the phone banking on Monday, May 3rd. Until our phones are installed I can be reached at 510-502-4871 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Saturday, April 3, 2010
— CSUS Professor Patrick Kelly,
organizer of a Facebook group opposing Palin speech
'Inviting (Palin) reinforced the false idea that the Central Valley is red California ... whereas I know there are countless supporters for President Obama'
— Patty Hughes,
Stanislaus County Democratic Central Committee
Read more: http://www.modbee.com/2010/04/02/1112848/smiles-and-frowns-from-the-headlines.html#ixzz0k3S4Hovx
Thursday, April 1, 2010
Friday, March 26, 2010
Read more: http://www.modbee.com/2010/03/26/1102845/palin-coming-to-speak-at-csus.html#ixzz0jJIlH5oh
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
I'm writing to you on a great day for America.
This morning, I gathered with members of Congress, my administration, and hardworking volunteers from every part of the country to sign comprehensive health care reform into law. Thanks to the immeasurable efforts of so many, the dream of reform is now a reality.
The bill I just signed puts Americans in charge of our own health care by enacting three key changes:
It establishes the toughest patient protections in history.
It guarantees all Americans affordable health insurance options, extending coverage to 32 million who are currently uninsured.
And it reduces the cost of care -- cutting over 1 trillion dollars from the federal deficit over the next two decades.
To ensure a successful, stable transition, many of these changes will phase into full effect over the next several years.
But for millions of Americans, many of the benefits of reform will begin this year -- some even taking effect this afternoon.
Here are just a few examples:
Small businesses will receive significant tax cuts, this year, to help them afford health coverage for all their employees.
Seniors will receive a rebate to reduce drug costs not yet covered under Medicare.
Young people will be allowed coverage under their parents' plan until the age of 26.
Early retirees will receive help to reduce premium costs.
Children will be protected against discrimination on the basis of medical history.
Uninsured Americans with pre-existing conditions can join a special high-risk pool to get the coverage they need, starting in just 90 days.
Insured Americans will be protected from seeing their insurance revoked when they get sick, or facing restrictive annual limits on the care they receive.
All Americans will benefit from significant new investments to train primary care doctors, nurses, and public health professionals, and the creation of state-level consumer assistance programs to help all patients understand and defend our new rights.
As I've said many times, and as I know to be true, this astounding victory could not have been achieved without your tireless efforts.
So as we celebrate this great day, I want to invite you to add your name where it belongs: alongside mine as a co-signer of this historic legislation. Organizing for America will record the names of co-signers as a permanent commemoration of those who came together to make this moment possible -- all of you who refused to give up until the dream of many generations for affordable, quality care for all Americans was finally fulfilled.
So, if you haven't yet, please add your name as a proud health care reform co-signer today:
Please accept my thanks for your voice, for your courage, and for your indispensable partnership in the great work of creating change.
History, and I, are in your debt.
President Barack Obama