Wednesday, April 01, 2015

I am looking forward to the fight.

April 1, 2005
By Arlette Saenz

Sen. Bob Menendez (click here) said he's "outraged" by federal corruption charges he's facing stemming from his interactions with a Florida eye doctor.
"For nearly three years, I’ve lived under a Justice Department cloud, and today, I’m outraged that this cloud has not been lifted," Menendez said at a news conference in Newark, New Jersey, Wednesday night. "I am confident at the end of the day I will be vindicated." 

"This is not how my career is going to end," Menendez said. "I"....

I can't help but believe the long standing friendship trumps any advocacy for Dr. Melgen. I wish him well. I hope this is as ludicrous as it seems.

The question is would Senator Menendez carry out the same advocacy for any dentist with large numbers of patients. I am sure the answer would be, yes.

These men have been friends for a very long time and they have been simultaneously successful over the years. That is not illegal as far as I am concerned. I know it looks terrible and obviously indictable, but, I think when the defense attorneys get in front of a jury the entire case will come alive to illustrate what Senator Menendez has been saying all along.

Sorry to hear about the tragedy in the Sea of Okhotsk.

Sixty three people have been lost. There were 130 crew members from five different countries. They perished in zero temperature waters. A large recovery operation is underway.

April 2, 2015

A rescue operation (click here for video) is underway to save the multinational crew of the Russian freezer trawler “Dalniy Vostok” which has sunk in the Sea of Okhotsk off the Kamchatka Peninsula. At least 43 have been confirmed dead while 63 have survived the catastrophe.

“A total of 106 people were lifted from the water, 63 of them are alive,” a representative of the Kamchatka division of the Russian Emergencies Ministry told RIA. The survivors who were seriously injured in the shipwreck or who suffered from hypothermia in the freezing waters will be delivered to the clinics of Magadan by helicopter, TASS reports.
Forty-three people have been confirmed dead after their bodies were pulled out of the water, according to the latest data, while more than 20 are still considered to be missing.

Twenty-six vessels are working at the site to rescue the remaining crew members. An MI-8 rescue helicopter with four rescuers and medics on board was also deployed, according to local authorities, to search for survivors....

Hillary Clinton has a history.

She is probably one of the most consistently moral persons in recent within the political sphere.

She has already weighed in on the climate crisis. At one point she and her Maverick friend stood with an understanding of the climate and were very much opposed to risking the world to greenhouse gases. 

Has she changed? Not really. She was Secretary of State when the pipeline from Canada was evaluated and there was conflict of interest found from the environmental community. She didn't fight against that understanding. I think that occurred near the end of term as Secretary of State. It was really going to be up to the next Secretary to decide. I don't think she was going to preempt her successor.  

Senator Sanders is also one of those consistently moral Senators of his time. 

The real question with Hillary Clinton is; has she changed her views in the 21st century? I think we can look back at her views all the way back to being the First Lady of Arkansas to understand her core principles. In some ways she really doesn't have to begin again a conversation with the American people. That is her strength. 

If the Democratic Party finds it important to hold debates, there is still plenty of time. I am sure Democratic leadership is discussing this on a regular basis. They also need to realize there are very strong candidates in Vice President Biden, Senator Sanders and Governor O'Malley. What are the obligations the DNC holds to these members of it's party? 

The Chairwoman, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz saw huge amounts of money spent to elect Democrats in 2014. I am sure she has ideas about 2016. What was very striking at the end of 2014 was an encounter with, what's his name?, Prebius. Prebius was tearing apart the words of Democratic candidates and blatantly lying to the public. The more he lied the more money went on the door at the DNC. 

The task of running campaigns in 2016 for the DNC is more complicated by monies raised and the chronic inflaming lies from the RNC. Senator Kay Hagan was a magnificent Senator for the people of North Carolina, but, with all the lies coming out of the DNC the people became saturated with words and ideas. The result was a win for the Republicans. That man no more belongs in the Senate than the devil himself. 

I tell you what. I think Rep. Wasserman-Schultz needs to meet with all the prospective candidates and find a path agreeable to all of them. Then carry it out. 

The political environment in the USA is full of hate. Just look at the laws the Republicans are passing both at the state and federal level. They aren't moral laws, they are partisan laws that victimize people. The budget the federal Republicans are drawing up is one of the most immoral documents I have ever witnessed. 

It is time to look at the USA political environment and decide how best to bring the Democrats moral message of a very viable economy without sacrificing services through the ACA, Medicare, Medicaid and SSI. And don't forget the children's health laws. There is still the working poor. It has been persistent. We need to address that and the impact of the big banks on our citizens and our students who are the promise of the USA.

There is a lot to debate, the Republicans want to destroy the federal government exclusive of the military. One of the reasons the Republicans coming out of Texas want to destroy the Department of Education at the federal level is because the Texas government can't afford educational expenditures. Take a look at the state levels of spending in the Red States, they are pitiful. So, because their state government can't afford spending on students, the correct political position in Texas is to destroy any and all agencies affiliated with that spending.

There is no big secret the Republicans want to eliminate the US Department of Energy. They state the free market system should be determining energy in the USA. With the Climate Crisis it is wrong to promote alternative energies? Is okay to have drastic and dangerous changes in weather? Last week were the first of the tornadoes and guess where it landed? How about Moore, Oklahoma? 

The campaigns of the Republicans are based in political reasons and not valid economic or quality of life reasons. If the Republicans were actually viable candidates, then why manipulate the electorate and oppress the vote? That is something Americans have to come to appreciate; the drastic methods the Republicans seek to oppress the vote to take office, right or wrong.

With that, Chairwoman Debbie needs to start to plan the best path forward for the Democrats and conduct the fund raising to carry it out. This is an important election, but, I think she knows that. The potential candidates are important and have to be given a voice to decide where this is all going. For me? I am in no hurry. I am enjoying my sanity. It gets pretty strange when dealing with Republicans.

Wasn't it the Associated Press that received a phone call from someone on the jet?

I recall one of the major news outlets that stated they received a phone call from someone inside the jet. The statement made to the AP was about two sounds made and he/she didn't know where it was coming from?

I remember thinking it was most probably a structural sound. I take it the caller didn't report three sounds, because, that is where the passengers lost control of their environment.

April 1, 2015
BERLIN — A video apparently (click here) showing the chaotic final seconds on board the Germanwings flight that crashed last week has been discovered near the site, France's Paris Match and German tabloid Bild reported Wednesday.
The video was said to have been found on a cellphone belonging to one of the victims killed on the flight when German pilot Andreas Lubitz is believed to have deliberately flown into a mountain in the French Alps, according to the paper. Bild said it had viewed the footage....

There are legal issues that surround the video. The investigative agencies are most likely still working with any and all information regarding the flight.

When I think about families that have lost people to violent acts I think of a special status regarding the findings of the investigators. I recall the families of 911 victims meeting with government officials to share the information about the deaths of their relatives. There was somewhat a different status to those families though as they received financial considerations directly from the USA government.

I have no doubt there are currently lawyers involved with the families at this point and rightfully so. There are going to be children and spouses without incomes and support for their lives. They never bargained for the deaths of people in their lives. This evidence of the video might be part of an investigation the company will maintain as classified to their own interests. The company has a right to do that. It would be up to the lawyers to request the video to determine the horrible circumstances surrounding these deaths. 

When attorneys receive a copy of the video they might want to consider the emotional impact on the families. They think they can handle it, but, the reality can be very different.

From "Haaretz."

April 1, 2015

Officials from Iran and the P5+1 world powers on the final day of talks in Lausanne, March 31, 2015. Photo by AFP

1:05 P.M. The head of the Iranian negotiating team,(click here) Abbas Araqchi, said that most issues have been solved, but two or three contested issues are currently under debate. According to him, there is a good chance of reaching a resolution by Wednesday evening, but that no deal would be made until these issues are resolved. 

Araqchi added that no deal would be presented by day's end, only a joint statement by Iran and the world powers that will stress that progress has been made, and that the sides will continue negotiating to phrase the different solutions. The Iranian team would leave Lausanne after the statement is made and will return to Tehran....

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has no right to inflame the dialogue surrounding these agreements in an attempt to scuttle them. I didn't notice an Iranian General at the table.

How would Netanyahu know what an Iranian General stated? News article or what? Who was it? The current Presidential administration in Iran is more interested in peace than confrontation.

It is very easy for a political figure to make all kinds of statements as if there is going to be war breaking out as soon as a permanent agreement is signed. It is ridiculous.

If the agreement was perfect today and tomorrow Iran decided to invade Israel the agreement is off. In no way does any aggression preclude a defense or otherwise for Israel. It's a ridiculous statement and proves nothing; absolutely nothing. 

All one has to do is realize who is sitting at the table. There are very powerful countries at that table. Iran wouldn't have a chance if they decided to do anything dangerous to Israel. The entire idea of Netanyahu is ridiculous. It has no basis in fact or even theory. I don't care what general he talks to. 

There is not one country at the negotiating table that doesn't share treaties and otherwise with Israel. Every one  of those countries have Jewish populations. The idea negotiations would open danger to Israel is nonsense. 

Why it is called "The P5 plus one?" I've mentioned this before. The P5 represents the five permanent members of the NPT. They have a responsibility to other countries to contain any dangers. They are all allies to other countries. The idea Iran is going to have the ability to destroy anyone is a lie. It is why the same countries are involved with North Korea. 

When it came to Pakistan, Admiral Mullens stepped out of his military status to speak to the leadership in that country regarding the Haqqani network. There is not a UN Permanent country that does not seek assessment of all powers with nuclear capacity. They have a responsibility. To say Iran has special status and is going to be allowed to grow dangers to the region is simply outrageous. These countries are not going to allow it. They don't want to create instability and the opportunity to war. 

China sent an envoy to North Korea when tensions in the region were on the rise. It is the responsibility of the five permanent nations to consider the stability of any region in the world that poses a threat to others.

If any one of these countries decided to act against Iran it could take control in a very short period of time. Iraq fell nearly as the USA crossed into it's borders. Israel doesn't have the resources or the defense forces the USA has. Israel is only vulnerable when it acts stupidly against the Palestinian Nation. It never fails that when Israel rolls out it's bulldozers or otherwise the global community is demanding action to contain Israel and protect the Palestinians. Every time. 

So, for anyone in the US Congress to think there is weakness in the resolve with Iran is not only a lie, but, out of sync with the diplomatic efforts that are having success.

I assume the members of Congress want a peaceful and safe world. Maybe that is a wrong assumption.
Governor Hutchinson states, "The bill under ordinary times would not be an issue, but, these are not ordinary times." What kind of times are they because they feel petty ordinary to me.

I suppose these are times hostile to religious conscience. Is that what kind of times they are? 

No is saying the federal law is correct either. And if this is a federal law, why do the states believe they have to create something different than a federal law that supersedes anything the states do? 

Let's get something straight, any federal law does not grandfather in any new state laws different from itself. The reason for that is because the federal law provides for the correct language used in these particular circumstances. When the federal law passed it was applied to all states. There is no state allowed to rewrite the law because they are going to be grandfathered in. That is incorrect. The federal law sets the tone and any state has to comply.  

This is nothing but politics and it compromises the equality of other people inside or outside of marriage. 

Are these Governors flunkies of the federal government? Hutchinson and Pence were in the US Congress before their election at the state level. It is becoming very obvious why they are no longer in federal office. They carry biases not tolerated at the federal level.

I took a look at the pause Pence practices before he ever addresses the public. It is a "moment of silence." He is supposedly praying before the 'public session' begins with the press or otherwise. Don't tell me he isn't biased. 

The Fundamentalist Christians claims the USA is a Christian nation. They state that as proof they can find in the art work and other nuances in the federal government. The strangest expression of that was when former Attorney General John Ashcroft draped statues in the Great Hall of the Department of Justice. Bizarre. They are just bizarre and they covet the USA government as if it is supposed to be a theocracy. 

This federal bill needs to be reviewed and litigated. This is not a healthy path for the USA. Any law that attacks 'the being' of a person; an aspect they cannot change; it is very dangerous. There is no official anything in the USA when it comes to cultural differences. Religion is part of a culture. It is a bad law no matter where it appears and it needs to be removed as another failure of lawmakers to act appropriately to benefit the American people.

Thank you, Nascar.

It is an assault against the person, isn't it? Nascar knows the value of the individual. It is easy for many people to look around the family and friends and see the people this law effects. 

It is a very dangerous law. Our LGBT community could be victimized rather than elevated to the rights we all enjoy in the USA. It was very important Nascar's voice was added to the concerns of so many. 

The law could cause people to feel differently about themselves in a harmful way. It could cause others to see certain people differently, especially when they are applying for jobs or participating socially. Some people will see this as permission to concentrate hate on others. 

The USA includes everyone in this democracy on an equal footing with everyone else and that is the source of our strength as a country and a people. What gets me is the legislation is not necessary. Why even go there? It makes no sense.

Another person cannot be an insult. Not in their being. They can do insulting things and society won't stand for it. But, for one person to consider another person an insult is harmful to our country. We don't need these laws.

NASCAR (click here) has issued a statement expressing its disappointment with Indiana Governor Mike Pence’s decision to signing the "Religious Freedom Rights Act" into law, an act which could give Indiana businesses the right to refuse service to LGBT customers.

Here is the statement from NASCAR:

NASCAR is disappointed by the recent legislation passed in Indiana. We will not embrace nor participate in exclusion or intolerance. We are committed to diversity and inclusion within our sport and therefore will continue to welcome all competitors and fans at our events in the state of Indiana and anywhere else we race.

NASCAR joins the NCAA, NBA, and WNBA in publicly denouncing the new law. Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay has also come out against the law, although the NFL has remained silent....