Tuesday, October 17, 2006

kbdog

The female sheriff is being challenged again by the former sheriff of Clay County, Ralph Toland. Ralph has challenged her in every possible way for this office. First, he ran against her in the Democratic 2002 primary as the incumbant and lost. In the fall election he ran against her as a write in candidate, and lost. Now in 2006, he is running against her as a Republican and will lose again. But this story has gotten much more interesting because the sore loser now has criminal and civil charges of rape and kidnapping hanging over his head. From two different incidences and two different women, he has been charged for using his office to humiliate these women . The local press is apparently sitting on the story until after the election, but if the paper wasn't Republican leaning and/or these charges were on the current sheriff or her staff this story would be front page headlines. The public deserves to hear this story not only to be informed voters, but because they will likely have to pay for a former employee's crimes against women while in office. The Republican scandals are multiplying, two sexual scandals in Alabama alone. God's party apparently lost its way. Which always happens to arrogant people who try to speak for God. "Reaping what you sow" or bad karma. kbdog

Monday, June 05, 2006

kbdog

Bush answering a question from a German reporter concerning his most memorable event as president with "I caught a 7.5 pound fish in my pond," sums up this president better than anybody else could. (Carter's was the historical Camp David agreement and Clinton's end the war in Kosovo) I caught a fish is so symbolic of this president. The shallowness of this president referring to terrorist with, "bring'em on" "they can run, but they can't hide". Of the difficulties of the war in Iraq and falling ratings, "wars hard work" And now with stock market in free fall, chairman of Federal Reserve hinting toward a slowing down in economic growth, record debt and deficits, stuck in unwinnable war leaving terrorist where there were none, creating civil war, killing innocent women and children, immigration, alternative energy--Bush proposes a constitutional amendment defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman. Irrelevant--rearranging the furniture on the Titanic--orchestra playing while Titanic sinks!!

Sunday, June 04, 2006

kbdog

The Republican Congress will attempt to end the estate tax by using their clever word game again this month. They are calling this tax, the "death tax." They rail on and on about how 'the government taxes you when you are alive and taxes you when you die.' The estate tax is levying a tax on the transfer of assets from an estate when a millionaire dies. This tax has been a part of the progressive income tax system based on the notion that the rich who have most benefitted from our economic system should bear a larger burden for financing government spending. Thus, the higher one's income the higher the tax rate, or when the rich gain income from capital investments or dividends from the stock market they are taxed. The estate tax is a part of this tax system asking people benefitting from large estates, over $1.5 million, to pay taxes on that transfer of assets. The Republicans have always been known as the party of the rich, but they have hidden that preference behind the Bible, gaining many working class conservative christians the last 20 years. But their preference cannot always be hidden and knowing they can't win the political fight by a direct debate about taxes, environment, or education they play word games. So with taxes they reduce the income tax rate and emphasize how we all gain from it. But 1% of $10,000 is $100 rebate and 1% of $1,000,000 is $10,000 rebate. So the rich gain the most and the government has to borrow more money from China and Japan to pay for its military and other basic services. A reduction in capital gains tax helps the rich because they own industries and have capital investments and the working class does not so Republicans talk about it "spurring the economy and adding jobs." Who has the big money in the stock market? The rich not working class. Or who has million dollar estates transferred at death? The rich! So Republicans hide the truth by calling the estate tax, "the death tax." When one hears the word estate you think of money and assets--really with estates you think of the rich. But, when you hear "death tax" you think it applies to everybody and that is how they will attempt to gain popular support to do away with the estate tax. The rich will get richer and the government will get poorer and borrow more money from China to pay for the war in Iraq. They have mastered this word game and have lifted it to an art form--"No child left behind" means more testing of children without any more resources for teaching. Ask a teacher about "No child left behind." It is an expensive, time consuming, paper shuffling joke. "Cleaner water and skies act" sounds good, right? Well, it reduces the requirements on industries regarding pollution laws--more pollution, not less. So this month when your Congressman complains about the "death tax" remember it hasn't and won't ever affect you, but it does affect him and the other millionaires in this country!

kbdog

This election year the Democratic slogan should be, as believe or not Newt Gingrich advised, "HAD ENOUGH?"kbdog

Monday, May 29, 2006

kbdog

kbdog Now, Kabul, Afghanistan has erupted with rioting in the streets. Not, terrorists, not an insurgency, not Baathist or Taliban loyalist, but citizens of Kabal have filled Memorial Day with riots. After an accident involving the US military killing and hurting other car passengers, a crowd gathered and began threatening the soldiers. After shooting and colliding with more vehicles the convoy escaped leaving several Afghanistans dead and dozens injured. This triggered rioting throughout the city with shops and offices destroyed and Americans in lock down because of the danger in the streets. It is obvious, pent up anger over military occupation has been triggered by this accident. The people want us gone. They see the establishment of permanent military bases in both Iraq and Afghanistan and know that this occupation will linger, there is no end to this. The smoke and mirrors can fool people for so long and then the truth becomes apparent--we are continuing occupation indefinitely. You can't say you are freeing someone and continue with a military presence. Freedom is overthrowing a government and then leaving. Permanent military bases are not signals to the population that we are leaving any time soon. Over 75% Iraqs view this presence as occupation and want us out. Naming it "operation freedom" does not make it so. The neo-conservatives in power have learned the magic of words.and have been winning the word game. "No child left behind" with no funding. Clean water and air act while reducing EPA requirements on industry. It works here with naive and distracted Americans with their short attention spans, but in a country with less distraction actions are observed and words can't hide actions. The photo shoots don't work in real life. These feelings will be ready to erupt again and again because the citizens of these nations feel like they are under siege and they are.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

kbdog

Place the military in a Vietnam like setting where one cannot distinguish the enemy from friend. Give the soldier police duties with no clear exit strategy. Let the soldier live with feelings of helplessness and hopelessness while daily seeing fellow soldiers killed and maimed you eventually get My Lai--you get Haditha. You place traditional military in urban warfare sooner or later you will charge some of those same soldiers with murder. The blame is with Bush and the other chickenhawks! When they could have been soldiers they hid behind daddy's skirt, but will send your son and daughter without hesitation. Watch as he will self righteously rebuke the murderer/soldier and call for justice. If he was a man he would take responsibility for placing
them in a no win situation which will lead otherwise honorable men and women into war crimes. A war that is unwinnable, in a place that places our soldiers at a disadvantage. When will we learn, fighting on the streets is a street fight not a war. You put kids in a crazy world and you'll get insane actions. It is obvious we'll have more criminal actions from our troops because of our president. This country should rise up and oppose this war. Martin Luther King said to keep silent against an immoral war is betrayal. Betrayal to our values, betrayal to our soldiers, and betrayal to ourselves. Let's really support our troops and bring them home!

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

kbdog

The House of Representatives are planning another vote to open the Alaskan Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) for oil exploration and drilling. It has been defeated in the past because critics have argued the amount of estimated oil production would be miniscule in comparison to US needs and to the damage done to the reserve. Although, I usually identify with environmental concerns and feel we owe the earth and its inhabitants some respect when deciding to further destroy the beauty of our national resources for further human comfort, in this case, I want to add to the discussion with my counseling background. If the elephant in the room is our addiction to oil as rightfully the president and others conclude, then finding a cheaper bar in the neighborhood or building a moonshine still in the backyard to decrease our need for buying oil from Arab nations is certainly not an answer. This kind of logic does not address our addiction and over dependence on oil but only addresses our over dependence on the Arab world for oil. This only attacks the problem of the supply of oil rather than our demand. If this is beginning to sound familiar it does because we have heard this logic for years in the incredibly unsuccessful war on drugs. We fight and throw money at reducing the supply of illegal drugs coming onto our country; guarding borders( ha!), confiscation and interdiction, and by paying nations not to allow the planting of poppy/coca. By reducing the supply of illegal drugs coming into the country the theory contends illegal drug use will decline in the United States. If it is more difficult to find and more expensive to buy then less people will use, they say. But obviously, this approach is an absolute failure and one could argue the growth of the cheap and deadlier drug, crystal meth, is a direct result of the supply side war on drugs. Instead, let's try attacking the demand side.
Many remember when the design of many cars changed into an aerodynamic shuttle- like design, late 70's early 80's. It seemed overnight cars became hard to distinguish from one another. This occured because the federal government required improved miles/gallon on manufactorers and gas consumption decreased, the demand for oil declined, gas prices were low. So what happened? The roaring 90's came and big gas guzzlers returned and now everybody owns a SUV. Demand increased, miles/gallon requirements on manufactorers eased, the Hummer lives, and gas prices go up. So if we are addicts, drilling for more oil won't help our addiction. Doing the same thing and expecting different results, "Alcoholics Anonymous"calls insanity! A more appropriate response would be, "we admitted we were powerless over oil--that our lives had become unmanageable." For oiliholics, this will decrease our demand and begin addressing our oil problem. So, Rep. Rogers, when the vote for more oil drilling comes up for Alaska or the Gulf of Mexico please, please, just say no! kbdog

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

kbdog: Primary season is here! Senate District 13

kbdog: Primary season is here! The district 13 Senate race is starting to look like a horse race. The incumbent, Gerald Dial, has looked so strong in the past that no one dared to challenge him, Democratic or Republican. The conservative "independent" Senator from Lineville, knows how to be at the center of power. Whether the governor is Republican or Democratic, Dial has to be reckoned with and usually maneuvers himself to be at the center of the agenda. This independence has ruffled feathers in Montgomery and now key leaders in the party, Lowell Barron, and a powerful wing of the party and primary funding source, trial lawyers, have decided enough is enough. They have brought the recently retired "to spend more time with family," Circuit Clerk of Randolph County, to challenge one of the kingpins in Montgomery. The challenger has closed the gap with Dial with a deadly combination of vicious negative mailouts and positive television commercials. The female challenger, Kim Bennefield, has the Dial camp scrambling to answer the charges, which plays into the hands of Bennefield. She is controlling the message and with the strange mix of RileyRepublican cross-over voters and Conservative Democrats that has kept Dial in power may become his undoing. A strange primary is developing and the Republican vote, especially Governor Riley voters, will likely vote in the Republican primary. As discussed earlier this month regarding the Sheriff's race in Clay County, this may be the year for challengers to score stunning upsets in June. Both incumbents, Senator and Sheriff, would win in a landslide in November, but may not get a chance because of the unrest of Democrats and the unavailabilty of Republicans. We'll have to wait and see.

Primary season is here!

The hotly contested sheriff's race in the Democratic primary for Clay County pits an incumbent female sheriff, a rarity in Alabama, against a county commissioner. The contest may hinge on how many Ashland citizens choose to vote for their hometown boy done good, Gov. Bob Riley, in the Republican Primary, prohibiting them from voting for Sheriff Jean Dot Alexander in the Democratic Primary. I think that will determine the election. In the last primary 2002, the Sheriff finished second to the incumbent Sheriff Toland by 138 votes or 38% to 31%. But with two other candidates in the race, a run off was necessary. Here is where it gets interesting. There were 587 votes, likely 365 African American votes among the losing two candidates thus out the 587 she would need 363 or 62% assuming the same numbers came back to polls, which usually they don't. I don't have the figures in front of me from the run off but the general election reveals alot. She appears to have won because many of the people who voted in the Republican Primary came and voted for her in the run off, controversial, but legal. I call them the Ashland Republicans. Sheriff Toland complained about that very thing and entered the fall race as a write-in candidate basically in protest of the Republican cross over vote. A Republican well financed Chief of Police and Jean Dot, Democrat, set the stage for a stunning election. Stunning not just because a very conservative rural town was about to have the second female sheriff in state history but the size and timing of the victory. With hometown boy, Gov. Riley, at the top of the ticket many thought the Republicans would continue to cut into the Democratic dominance in county politics. Earlier losses of a seat on the Board of Education and the Superintendent office, the Democratic party was beginning to look vunerable. Now, hometown Governor at the top of the Republican ticket historic changes were in the air and whispered on the street. Governor Riley's entry into politics in the last several years coincided with and further influenced this movement reflecting the momentum of the Republican Party in national and state politics. This movement was causing office holders to jump on the Republican band wagon right and left. Even the very powerful Democratc State Senator and strong State Representative of this district were polling to see if it was time for them to change labels or switch seats from a donkey to an elephant. A side note to be developed further, the polling and voting with the Republicans much of the time has created animosity between major Democratic players and the Senator where now they have made a concerted effort at beating the Senator this year and forcing him off the donkey. So with that said and momentum going against Jean Dot here's the stunning numbers from the general election: Jean Dot 2841, the Republican 1365 and write in Incumbent received 827 votes. She won every precinct in the county, unlike the primary, where she won about a third. She went from 556 votes--31% in the primary to 2841 representing 57% of the vote similar to the Governor's 59%. The 317 people voting in the Governor's race and not in the sheriff's is about what seperated her and the Governor's totals. (335) So here is the picture that certainly needs further inquiry and 2006 results to clarify where her support comes from. She didn't get Toland's 700 primary voters that usually a nominee enjoys, in fact he received more write-in votes than when his name appeared on the ballot in the primary, unusual to say the least. Toland had a solid base. She did enjoy the support from straight ticket voters (500 more Democratic straight ticket voters than Republican) But, wherever it came from she picked up 2300 votes between June and November. Her and the two losing Democrats in 2002 had about 1000 votes but would likely include many of the straight party voters.
There will be no run off this time with two candidates in the primary. Here are the questions to be answered; what portion of the 69% of Democrats who voted for someone else in the last primary do? How many of Toland's supporters will vote for her because he has entered the Republican Party and has no primary opposition. And lastly and I think the answer to this question will determine the Democratic nominee; how many of Gov Riley's voters, Ashland Republicans, will vote in the Democratic Primary?
kbdog

Rep. Rogers, Who will you listen to now?

Rep. Mike Rogers voted with Republican Majority leader Tom DeLay, 95% of the time, according to opensecrets.com. It probably makes it easier for research and discussions among staffers, I mean why hassle with tough issues when you can ask the Leader, " how do I vote today?" It is also easier to agree with the leader when you've been given $10,000 from one of Tom DeLay's fraudalent PACS. I called his staff last year to encourage Rep. Rogers to follow suit as some of his peers were returning the tainted money. The response from a staffer was one of indignation, "in this country someone is innocent until proven guilty." I appreciated her comments since the war on terror has included illegal wiretapping, warrantless searches, torture, jailing people without being charged or legal representation had caused me to wonder if we were sacrificing our values concerning human rights to fight this so called "war on terror." So, now, that Tom DeLay is gone and being tried for fraud, will Rep. Rogers return the money? I'm sure he won't miss it Exxon, Conaco, and other big oil companies give him plenty of money! The other question is since Tom Delay is gone who will he listen to now? The next leader or his district?

Internet neutrality

Be warned! AT&T, Verizon, etc. are coming after the free and open expression of using the internet. They want to charge customers a usage fee and you know where that will lead into more control and increasing fees. A sight on my web page or MoveOn.org will provide an opportunity to sign petitions protesting bills that are being developed in Congress. This is one time Big Business joins one of my causes, I hope they're not too late. Act Now!