Tuesday, January 31, 2012

I say if Romney want credit for the 2002 Olympics, he should have all the credit in the world for adding to the federal deficit, too!

The figure below from the GAO (Government Accounting Office) was BEFORE September 11, 2001.  Imagine what costs actually were.

Romney has an unjustifiable ego.

Mitt Romney, (click here) then the president of the 2002 Salt Lake Organizing Committee, greets attendees at the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics in Utah.

...Actually, tangible economic benefits are elusive. (click title to entry - thank you) The 1984 Los Angeles Olympics are often hailed for finishing with a $233 million surplus. But Barney says the calculation includes only direct costs of staging the games and not the indirect costs provided by city, state and federal governments. The same is true, he says, for the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary in Alberta, Canada, and the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City (click here). Organizers of both games claimed multimillion-dollar surpluses, but neither included massive federal spending when adding up costs....

And what an Olympics it was:

OLYMPICS; Settlements Issued In Bribery Scandal (click here)

Published: September 12, 2002

The two bid leaders at the center of the 2002 Winter Olympics bribery scandal received financial settlements more than three years after being forced off the Salt Lake Organizing Committee.
Tom Welch, president of the bid and organizing committees, was paid $1 million, Fraser Bullock, president of the Salt Lake Organizing Committee, said yesterday. Bullock would not say how much was given to Dave Johnson, who was forced from his $200,000-a-year job as senior vice president in January 1999 after the bid scandal broke.
The Salt Lake Tribune reported yesterday that Johnson received $200,000. Johnson and his lawyer would not confirm that.
In return, Welch and Johnson agreed not to sue the organizing committee and trustees who blamed the two men for the scandal....

02/13/2002 - Updated 03:12 PM ET
SALT LAKE CITY — I've been defending figure skating for years. Defending it against my numerous sportswriting colleagues who say it really isn't a sport. Defending its judges. Defending its arcane ways. Generally, defending everything.
I can't defend it anymore.
Not after what happened Monday night in the pairs competition at the Olympic Games. Not after the most flawed decision I have witnessed in 14 years of covering this sport. Not after what is looking like a decision that possibly was decided before Jamie Sale and David Pelletier skated one of the great performances in Olympic history, only to have the gold medal taken from them by five misguided people on the nine-person judging panel....

Ski touring with the Olympic Games of 2002 (click here)

The tests of ski touring of the Olympic Games of Salt Lake City are disturbed by doping. Indeed, three winners will be convinced of doping and will be relieved of their titles. It is about Spanish Johann Mühlegg, Russian Larissa Lazutina and Olga Danilova....

Speed Skater
Born: 22 May 1982
Birthplace: Seattle, Washington
Best known as: The gold-medal speedskater who won "Dancing With the Stars"
Apolo Anton Ohno is the short-track speedskater whose eight Winter Olympic medals are more than any other American in history. Ohno won his first gold medal in 1500-meter short track speedskating at the 2002 Winter Olympics. (The win was controversial; Ohno moved up to first after apparent winner South Korean Kim Dong-Sung was disqualified.)...
2002 Olympics to Cost US Taxpayers $1.3 Billion
Senator McCain on the GAO ReportOn Sept. 19, 2000, Sen. McCain, speaking in opposition to the Conference Report on the 2001 Legislative Branch Appropriations bill advised the Senate of details from the GAO's report. As recorded in the Congressional Record, Sen. McCain stated, 
"The GAO now determines that $1.3 billion--and some of those I will read: $974,000 for the Utah State Olympic Public Safety Command; $5 million for the Utah Communications Agency Network; $3 million to Olympic Regional Development Authority, upgrades at Mt. Van Hoevenberg Sports Complex; $2.5 million, Salt Lake City Olympics bus facilities; $2.5 million, Salt Lake City Olympics regional park-and-ride lots; $500,000, Salt Lake City Olympics transit bus loan, and on and on; $925,000 to allow the Utah State Olympic Public Safety Command to continue to develop and support a public safety program for the 2002 Winter Olympics; $1 million for the 2002 Winter Olympics security training; $2.2 million for the Charleston Water Conservancy District, UT, to meet sewer infrastructure needs associated with the 2002 Winter Olympic Games. What the Olympic games supposedly hosted and funded by Salt Lake City, which began in corruption and bribery, has now turned into is an incredible pork-barrel for Salt Lake City and its environs."  --  Sen. John McCain in the United States Senate, Sept. 19, 2000 - [Page 58731-58748 - Congressional Record.

Safety and Security Services

Department of Defense - $24.6 million
Health and Human Services - $9.5 million
Department of Justice - $47 million
Treasury Department - $58.7 million
FEMA - $6.1 million

Planning Services and Forest Improvements 

Forest Service - $16.2 million

Transportation, Transit Improvements - Planning and Construction

Transportation (DOT) - $83.3 million

The 2002 Olympics never made a profit.  It added considerably to the national debt.  Romney needs to 'drop it' and leave the accolades to the athletes where it always belongs.

52% of Florida Republicans voted Anti-Romney.

With polls closed in Florida, Fox News projects Mitt Romney takes all 50 of Florida's Republican delegates while Newt Gingrich is projected to finish a distant second.

It’s official.(click title to entry - thank you) Former Gov. Mitt Romney has edged out former House Speaker Newt Gingrich in a contest of who ran the most negative campaign in a record year for negativity in Florida.

“I spent much of my academic career telling reporters, ‘Relax, this is not the most negative campaign ever,’ ” said Ken Goldstein, president of the Campaign Media Analysis Group (CMAG), which monitors political ads in Florida, according to CNN. “Well, this is the most negative campaign ever.”

And Romney is the victor — at least when it comes to pure negativity, CMAG proclaims.

Data compiled by CMAG reveals that a total of 11,586 television spots were aired between Jan. 23-29 in Florida.

Of those, all but 953 of the 11,586 television ads that aired were deemed negative. The total of 10,633 negative spots translates into 92 percent of all ads airing in Florida during the week.

A whopping 99 percent of the 3,276 ads paid for by the Romney campaign were deemed negative, while 100 percent of the 4,969 spots sponsored by the pro-Romney Restore Our Future PAC were considered negative. 

The Affordable Care Act (click title to entry - thank you) does not cut Medicare by $500 million US. It doesn't and I am tired of the SPIN.

The Medicare Advantage Scam (click here)

Philip Rucker takes a good, hard look at the scam that is Medicare Advantage. Essentially, it works like this: Congress allowed private HMOs to compete for Medicare patients under the rationale that they could offer better service at lower cost than the government. They couldn't. So Republicans in Congress began boosting their payments, to the point that Medicare Advantage gets paid 114 percent what Medicare gets paid to care for a patient. That leads to some fun perks, like free gym memberships (click here) and complimentary aspirin and band-aids, which in turn leads seniors to defend the program because they like their perks. But it also means a lot of unnecessary expense for taxpayers....

The Affordable Care Act removes monies paid to Medicare Advantage.  It is a private health care coverage that is simply too expensive for the country.  Those monies will not be leaving the Medicare Program, it will be used more wisely to reduce the cost of care and support the longevity of the Medicare Program.

If Seniors are proven to benefit from the "The Silver Sneakers" idea, of which most don't use, legislators can encourage such a program through an incentive through Medicare.  The Private Insurance industry is not the place for Seniors.  The programs like Medicare Advantage is one step closer to the slippery slope of Ryan Medicare.  

The $500 million leaving the Medicare Advantage Program will be used by the federal government to care for seniors.  It is not going anywhere.  Medicare Advantage has proven the private insurance industry cannot do it better, so they resorted to bribery of the consumer.

The Federal Income Tax System has to be reformed before the nation should even look at the entitlements for any changes.  

The brutality within the USA's police departments could be higher than ever believed.

The number (click title to entry - thank you) of people who have died after being forcibly restrained in police custody is higher than officially stated, an investigation by The Bureau of Investigative Journalism and The Independent reveals today....

Rate of deaths in custody is higher than officials admit

Independent investigation shows cases are left off the list if the deceased was not formally arrested
The number of people who have died after being forcibly restrained in police custody is higher than officially stated, an investigation by The Bureau of Investigative Journalism and The Independent reveals today.

The investigation has identified a number of cases not included in the official tally of 16 "restraint-related" deaths in the decade to 2009 – including a landmark case that changed the way that officers carry out arrests. Some cases were omitted because the person had not been officially arrested or detained.

The omission raises questions about the statistics used by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) to inform the debate over the use of restraint by police in the sensitive area of deaths in custody, campaigners said yesterday.
The cases emerged after a series of applications made under Freedom of Information legislation requesting the names of the people in the 16 restraint-related deaths identified by the IPCC....

The Independant is an Australian paper.  This is a global focus, but, there are quite probably statistics about 'man handling of the citizen' that lies within the dynamics within the USA as well.  I am quite confident that is the case as cases of children hit by stun guns are known to cause epilepsy.  One has to wonder what the health of protesters are when apprehended but released even after official arrest.

Not all people apprehended at protests are taken to the hospital for a physical to establish if they have injuries.  I am sure there are injuries that go unreported in the USA. As the reporting is lessened there is more incentive to continue the brutality.  This is what is grossly unjust when one realizes "Right to Assembly" is guaranteed along with "Right to Free Speech."  There should be no confrontations.  I believe the Washington DC camp for #Occupy has it mostly right.  To insure the safety of the protesters there is little to no privacy by keeping the camp flaps open for 'walk by' inspection.  Sleeping bags are very often enough to protect from the cold, besides the country is far warmer than even last year.

Roger Sylvester
Mr Sylvester died in 1999 after being handcuffed and held down by police officers. The case led to a review of restraint training by the Metropolitan Police. The 30-year-old was detained after he was spotted naked outside his home. An inquest jury initially concluded his death was an "unlawful killing" caused by excessive force. After a challenge by officers, the ruling was quashed and replaced by an open verdict. The death was not included as one of the 16 restraint-related deaths in the IPCC report because of disputes over the evidence.

Being naked shouldn't cause anyone to die!  This is hideous.  If Secretary Clinton can laugh about a streaker the rest of us can.  Even children know that being naked can be fun while getting them attention.  They aren't usually arrested for it.

The detention of the Pakistan 'civilian' informant raises many questions.

Osama bin Laden's (click title to entry - thank you) compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. The al-Qaida leader was killed during a raid by US special forces last May. Photograph: Anjum Naveed/AP

The first question, "Is the good doctor safer in custody than in his own home?"  Given the history of the ISI that sincerely is a question.

The other mess is whether Pakistan is sincerely an ally of the USA.  I believe President Zadari considers himself our ally, but, the lassitude of the Pakistan government structure creates this 'messy' internal alliance dynamic.  I sincerely believe the Chinese influence is considerable.  It probably is somewhat better that way. China needs to believe it isn't national security, too.  If the USA and China could find a way to 'friend' each other to bring a more stable government structure to Pakistan it would be nice.  To that end Russia has a better expertise.  The USA extremist Republicans like war and encourage it at the peril of innocent civilians, but, Russia has this wonderful 'push back' status that actually tends to solidify the internal structure of a country, radicals be damned.  So, there needs to be some interesting summits among the G3 to ACTUALLY HELP nations in what can be coined as turmoil while having hideous amounts of WMD.  Weird and very dangerous.  Dangerous for the country and its citizens, not the G3.  The G3 tends to displace their disagreements offshore..

At any rate, the detention of the doctor that got tired of al Qaeda in his country, has a glimmer of hope.  Sort of.  Pakistan used to like assassination over civil rights.

Pakistan Top Court Allows Former Envoy to U.S. to Travel Abroad (click here)

January 30, 2012, 9:18 AM ESTBy Haris Anwar
Jan. 30 (Bloomberg) -- Pakistan’s Supreme Court allowed the country’s former ambassador to the U.S. to travel abroad, ending a curb it had imposed following allegations he wrote a memo seeking Washington’s help to stop a possible military coup.
Husain Haqqani, who had returned to Pakistan to brief the country’s elected leadership, was forced to resign over the claims and has been living in the home of Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani since, telling reporters that he feared for his security.
“I’m glad that the Supreme Court has restored my right to travel, which had been rescinded without any charges being filed against me,” Haqqani said in an e-mailed statement today. “I will join my family in the U.S. after discussions with the leaders of the Pakistan People’s Party.”...
I am glad, too.
But, if Pakistan can't find a way to CELEBRATE the death of 'Good Ole Bin' than they need to allow the doctor and his family to take refuge in the USA or another Western County of their choice.  Seriously.  This man was a civilian and basically wanted to have a clear conscience than allowing a known international criminal to knock down the new Freedom Tower.  He is a nice guy and did Pakistan a favor because if it happens again, there won't be a mire invasion to stabilize governments anymore.  There will be countries that lose their sovereignty and damned the civilian fallout.  Seriously.  It will be bad.  So, the good doctor is similar to the rebels in Iran that want the government to stop being radical on a global scale.

Why can't the good doctor be another Kahn, but, for the cause of PEACE.  Seriously.  Pakistan needs a good dose of peace right now, otherwise, I am very worried about the future of the people and their country.

Panetta Credits Pakistani Doctor in Bin Laden Raid (click here)

WASHINGTON — Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta has confirmed publicly for the first time that an imprisoned doctor in Pakistan was working with the C.I.A. to gain access to Osama bin Laden’s compound in the months before American troops killed Bin Laden last May.... 

There are a limited number of heroes here.  They start with President Obama who would not be deterred in his focus to remove Osama bin Laden from Earth, Leon Panetta that believed in his intelligence network and the then Defense Secretary Robert Gates who had a military to die for.  

If it weren't for three men in the Executive Branch of government that were well tempered in resolve there would not have been a raid.  If the Vice President advised the President of the USA to not engage the fate of the world at the hand of al Qaeda then he needs to come to understand the deep and abiding values of his President.  Thank you for your candor Joe.

The Navy Seals were magnificent, but, if they didn't have a Commander and Chief that believed in their abilities they would not have even been dispatched.

Above is a picture of Pakistani President Zadari.

The world is a far better place because of President Obama and President Zadari needs to have Pakistan understand that reality.

Go get 'em, Deb. Preibus is a very sad man. Desperate and very worried.

If all the GOP can do is 'spin' lies, they don't have a leader.  Maybe Preibus doesn't understand he does not have the political capital to make his lies work.  He is not a good authority, people know that and his precious Wisconsin Republicans that 'got him the RNC' job are being recalled.  At least five have been recalled already.

So, Preibus is not a happy man.

He has so little name recognition and political influence I spelled his name wrong.  "I before E except after C, or when it sounds like A in neighbor or weight."


Priebus is trying to be the man with 'balls.'  He has to be a ballsy guy to bond with the Tea Party and bring them onboard.  After all he really is a Milk toast. Like Romney. They were made for each other.

..."Unbelievable comparison,(click title to entry for a video loop of the Priebus finesse of the public- thank you) " Wasserman Schultz, who is also a Democratic congresswoman from Florida, said in an interview with Fox News. "The captain of the Costa Concordia has been charged with manslaughter and for the RNC chairman to compare the president of the United States to someone who has been charged with manslaughter shows a dramatic level of insensitivity to the families of those victims."...

Shame on Priebus.  He never had a good product to begin with for the GOP, just an unjust victory in Wisconsin.  Shame, shame.  His ambition was for himself and not THE PARTY.

Misleading Romney Ad Draws Criticism for Distorting Obama's Words

This is what happens when 'Republicans hold a majority in any house in DC.

Police (click title to entry - thank you) move in on Occupy Oakland protesters as tear gas gets blown back on them in Oakland, Calif. on Saturday. Competing narratives paint a picture of a violent clash of police and protestors in Oakland over the weekend.
Bay Area News Group/The Tribune/AP

They ignore the people and use brutality to control the backlash.

These are desperate times for the power brokers.  Wall Street has run out of natural resources to exploit as Earth heats and tragedy strikes costing lives and billions of damage to property.

While everyone cries "I am the real Reagan," no one is or can be. The future to domestic energy the Republicans would like to pursue as 'the easy and immediate fix for political victory' can't be obtained by deregulation anymore. The petroleum industry is reaching into the depths of despair to survive, drilling to hideous depths offshore, refining sand for oil and promoting a pipeline without customers.

The people of the 99% know what the future looks like and they are incensed to the 'propaganda crowd' for their inability to reach beyond their own limitations in governing due to their big money alliances.  The 99 percent is more correct than they ever have been and oddly enough it is where the brain trust of the future lives.


There seems to be a threshold to spending. At least Florida is bearing that out to some extent.

I wish people would read more newsprint.  They would get the facts and debate about the facts without 60 seconds of propaganda.
But that aside, it is amazing to watch the Former Speaker start to recover in the poll numbers while spending a little more than Romney in his ad campaigns. 
...“Peddling,(click title to entry - thank you) that would be what Vin Weber did,” said R.C. Hammond, Gingrich’s acerbic spokesman, referring to a Romney adviser who lobbied for the government-backed mortgage lender. Gingrich consulted for Freddie Mac but never registered as a lobbyist.
“You should answer the question. It might help the campaign,” Mack replied.
The problem for Gingrich is that those skirmishes have been more fiery than his own pair of debate performances this past week, a span that has seen him plummet from the high of his South Carolina triumph to trailing by 8 to 10 percentage points in polls leading up to Tuesday’s Florida primary. The dramatic swing was visible in Gingrich’s demeanor as he raced through Florida....

This is my take on the "fight for the heart of the Republican Party."  It is a fight for the heart of the party.  Today Romney flip-flopped again about Medicare because he doesn't like the closing gap a day before the Florida primary.

But, the money being spent is interesting.  Romney is spending wildly in Florida trying to get Gingrich to blow his war chest.  That is why the Former Speaker stated we are in the race to the convention "For the Heart of the Republican Party."  Which is what this election should be about quite frankly, but, instead the GOP is expecting a candidate that will beat the President.

Romney is spending about $7.5 to $8 million to buy Florida while the Former Speaker is spending about $2.5 or less.  Gingrick is effective with the monies he is spending and probably would be effective even without spending that quantity.  I sincerely believe the Former Speaker is dedicated to the fight to tone the outcome of the nomination process.  Gingrick has stated he concedes two states, one was Michigan because the former Governor of Massachusetts has a significant history there.

But, there seems to be a threshold to spending.  Coming out of the debates Romney was stronger than the Former Speaker, but, Gingrick is 'the gentlemen' and insisting on waging a positive campaign if he can.  

I have a theory about the Former Speaker.  He has waded into this territory before under Clinton.  He was controversial to the Republicans when elected, but, he got them elected.  He also worked with Clinton and even passed legislation regarding marriage that today is considered to be an assault on civil rights.  He allow the controversy to swirl around him and that is exactly what he is doing with the Freddie Mac issue.  He did answer that question.  He is not repeating the answer.  He stated the $1.6 million was received by his SMALL BUSINESS and he did not receive those monies directly.  I think the verbiage regarding Freddie Mac will return at some point on the way to the convention when the results of his campaign is beginning to be felt.  

See, controversy has an effect of frustrating the electorate.  They find themselves debating themselves over the issues.  Then when the fervor dies down the truth becomes more relevant and less ego driven. 

But, the Speaker wants to tone the "Heart of the Party" because he can get Republicans elected with a proven track record and if Romney leads the Presidential race there will be less Republicans elected into office throughout the country.  I am not sure that won't happen anyway, but, even if Gingrick loses the Executive Branch he may very well improve the Republican numbers elsewhere.

Just a few thoughts I haven't heard reflected elsewhere.  

It seems obvious the excessive monies spent on the campaigns have a threshold.  They do have an effect, especially immediately after the debates, but, their effect is somewhat limited as the run up to the primary closes.  Throwing tons of money into the campaign isn't working the way Romney supporters were hoping it would.