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red dog 1

Profile Information

Gender: Male
Hometown: San Francisco, Ca.
Home country: U.S.A.
Member since: Tue Sep 14, 2010, 03:05 PM
Number of posts: 2,457

About Me

Second generation native San Franciscan; and third generation Democrat.

Journal Archives

What Chris Christie Didn't Say at His Campaign Kickoff

Pro Publica
June 30, 2015


Now that Chris Christie is officially running for president, his record as governor of New Jersey will be getting a lot more scrutiny.
As we reported with the Washington Post in April, there's plenty to look at.

Our reporting focused on Republican Christie's fiscal record, an area where he's claimed some of his biggest achievements -- and committed some of the "Budget Sins" he attacked his predecessors for.

Kicking off his campaign today, Christie used familiar rhetoric to champion his record in New jersey.
"We rolled up our sleeves and we went to work and we balanced six budgets in a row," he said.
"We've refused to raise taxes on the people of this state for six years."

But as our earlier reporting showed, Christie's fiscal record doesn't always line up with his campaign's "Telling It Like It Is" tagline.
Take public employee pensions, a chronic problem in New Jersey.

When Christie signed his sixth budget on Friday, he reiterated his claim that his contributions to the state's pensions have far outpaced those of his predecessors.
As we pointed out in April, that's only true if you exclude a $2.75 billion pension contribution by former Republican Gov. Christine Todd Whitman.

Christie doesn't count Whitman's payment because it was made with borrowed money, allowing him to assert that pension contributions under his administration are "more than twice as much as any other governor in New Jersey history."

Read more:

What song best describes the 14 Republican presidential candidates?

I'll start it off with:
"Send in the Clowns"

Your Favorite Baseball Movie?

Some movie critics think that "Field Of Dreams" is the best baseball movie ever.
Others cite "Bull Durham", "Major League", "A League of Their Own", "The Sandlot",
"The Bad News Bears", or the 1942 classic "The Pride of the Yankees"

I haven't seen "42", the film about Jackie Robinson, but I hear it's pretty good.
Harrison Ford plays Branch Rickey and Chadwick Boseman plays Jackie Robinson

Of the ones I've seen, I like "61" and "Moneyball" the best.

In "61",(which was directed by Billy Crystal), Barry Pepper was outstanding as Roger Maris,
as was Thomas Jane as Mickey Mantle.
Anthony Michael Hall was very good as Whitey Ford

"Moneyball" starred Brad Pitt, Jonah Hill, Robin Wright and Philip Seymour Hoffman.

If your favorite baseball movie isn't listed as one of the options below, please remember that there are only 10 poll choices, so I can't list every single baseball movie ever made.

Your favorite alien movie?

I loved Alien, Close Encounters, The Day The Earth Stood Still (Original), Contact, and a few others,

but my favorite is Fire in the Sky, which is based on a real incident.
James Garner is the only known "Hollywood" actor in it,
but all the other actors do a superb job.
A great film, IMO.

Best Steve Martin Movie?

He was great in Carl Reiner's "The Jerk" (Martin co-wrote The Jerk)

He was great with Charles Grodin in "The Lonely Guy"

He was great with Martin Short and Chevy Chase in "Three Amigos"
(He wrote and co-produced Three Amigos)

He was great in the Carl Reiner directed spoof of 1940s private eye thrillers:
"Dead men Don't Wear Plaid" (Martin co-wrote it)

He was great with Kathleen Turner in "The Man With two Brains" (Martin co-wrote it)

He was absolutely brilliant in "The Jerk" (Martin co-wrote it)

He was great with John Candy in "Planes, Trains and Automobiles"

He was great with Michael Caine in "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels"

He was great with Rick Moranis in "My Blue Heaven"

He was outstanding, (IMO) in "Leap of Faith", with Debra Winger, Liam Neesan & Lolita Davidovich.

Other great Steve Martin films include:
Pennies From Heaven, All of Me, Little Shop of Horrors, Roxanne, Parenthood, L.A. Story, Father of the Bride, Sgt. Bilko, Cheaper by the Dozen, (the 2006 version of) The Pink Panther, and The Out of Towners.

I have three favorites:
The Jerk
My Blue Heaven
Leap of Faith

How the hell can you pick just one?

I'll go with "Leap of Faith", because it shows what a talented actor he really is.

Tell President Obama: "Time for Mary Jo White to Go!"

CREDO Action Petition
June 10, 2015

The Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC), the federal agency responsible for enforcing securities law and regulating Wall Street, is broken.

President Obama's Chair, Mary Jo White, is a big part of the problem.
It's long past time for her to go.

Just this week, the Project On Government Oversight (POGO), a respected government watchdog group, sent a letter to President Obama requesting that he ask Mary Jo White to step down as Chair of the SEC, and that he designate a new head of the agency.

This follows closely on the heels of a scathing 13-page letter Senator Elizabeth Warren sent directly to White.
Sen. Warren called out the SEC chair for refusing to move forward crucial rules, letting corporate criminal activity go unpunished and even lying to the senator about the status of pending regulatory matters.

We agree with POGO and Senator Warren.
Mary Jo White has been a disaster as head of the SEC.
President Obama must take action immediately.
The evidence is clear!

Tell President Obama: Time for Mary Jo White To Go.

Sign the Petition;

"Elizabeth Warren Blasts Mary Jo White's SEC Leadership"

Ex-Intel Officials: Pentagon Report Proves US Complicity in ISIS

Bafeez Ahmed
June 8, 2015

According to leading American and British intelligence agents, a declassified Pentagon report confirms that the West accelerated support to extremist rebels in Syria, despite knowing full well the strategy would pave the way for the emergence of the Islamic State (ISIS).

The experts who have spoken out include renowned government whistle-blowers such as the Pentagon's Daniel Ellsberg, the NSA's Thomas Drake, and the FBI's Coleen Rowley, among others.
Their remarks demonstrate the fraudulent nature of claims by two other officials, the CIA's Michael Morell and the NSA's John Schindler, both of whom attempt to absolve the Obama administration of responsibility for the policy failures exposed by the DIA documents.

As I reported on May 22, the US defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) document obtained by Judicial Watch under Freedom of Information confirms that the US intelligence community foresaw the rise of ISIS three years ago, as a direct consequence of the support to the extremist rebels in Syria.

The August 2012 "Information Intelligence Report" (IIR) reveals that the overwhelming core of the Syrian insurgency at that time was dominated by a range of Islamic militant groups, including al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI).
It warned that the "supporting powers to the insurgency" - identified in the document as the West, Gulf States, and Turkey - wanted to see the emergence of a "Salafist Principality" in Eastern Syria, to "isolate" the Assad regime.

The document also provided an extraordinarily prescient prediction that such an Islamic
quasi-statelet, backed the the region's Sunni states, would amplify the risk of the declaration of an "Islamic State" across Iraq and Syria.

The DIA report even anticipated the fall of Mosul and Ramadi.

Read more:

Best Will Smith Movie?

I loved him especially in Men In Black, Enemy of the State and Independence Day.

It's hard to pick one that I think is "his best".
He and Tommy Lee Jones were both great in Men In Black.
He and Gene Hackman were both great in Enemy of the State.
And he and Jeff Goldblum were great in Independence Day

I guess I'll go with...Men In Black

What An NYPD Spy Copter Reveals About The FBI's Spy Planes

Wired Magazine
June 5, 2015

It should have surprised no one that the FBI has a secret fleet of spy planes it uses domestically to watch us, as the Associated Press reported earlier this week.
WIRED published a story about surveillance aircraft spotted flying in unusual patterns in California and Virginia back in 2008.
And the Wall Street Journal reported last year that the U.S. Marshall's Service has surveillance planes that use so-called "dirtboxes' to track mobile phone users on the ground.

But long before this, the New York Police Department had a high-tech surveillance helicopter that it obtained in 2003 through a government grant and exposed publicly to the media that year when it gave journalists a tour of the $10 million toy.

WIRED began investigating the chopper in 2008, and uncovered, but hasn't published until now information about the precise surveillance components installed on it and the methods the NYPD used to conceal it's ownership and operation.
Like the FBI, the NYPD used a shell company to register the aircraft.
But the NYPD also requested special "undercover" registration handling from the FAA to thwart tracking by aviation enthusiasts who might spot it in the air and attempt to investigate the registration number associated with it.
The NYPD also asked the FAA to notify it's aviation unit if anyone contacted the agency inquiring about the aircraft.

Last month, the issue of secret law enforcement aircraft began getting attention after plane spotters around the country began reporting suspicious aircraft registered to shell companies that were flying unusual routes over numerous cities.
The Associated Press caught on to the stories and this week published it's own piece identifying some fifty surveillance craft that were registered to more than a dozen shell companies and were being used by FBI field offices around the country.

Read more:

FBI Confirms Wide-Scale Use Of Surveillance Flights Over US Cities

Mysterious Low-Flying Plane Over Twin Cities Raises Questions-Of -Surveillance

Join the spreading rebellion against the Big Money political game -- by Jim Hightower

Jim Hightower
June 5, 2015

I think we can all agree that news stories about the ever-rising flood of big money in politics do not tend to have a lot of laughs in them.

But a recent item from the New York Times unintentionally got a guffaw from me.
It was a seriously serious piece about how Karl Rove's Super-PAC of corporate political cash has been surpassed both in cash and clout by the billion-dollar electioneering network of the Koch brothers.
The reporter stated that the Kochs have "leapfrogged" Rove.
There's nothing factually funny in that, but the image of the multi-billionaire brothers, Charles and David, laughing and leaping over a bent-over Karl Rove is the delightfully-ridiculous stuff of slapstick.

In fact, today's whole political game, run by an absurdist's nightmare of moneyed elites,
is ridiculous -- a game in which corporations are people and money is magically empowered to speak; candidates trek to the corporate suites and secret retreats of the rich, shamelessly selling their political souls; super-wealthy interests clandestinely pump unlimited sums of money into disgustingly-negative campaign ads that turn off most voters; candidates "win" with only a small minority of the electorate choosing them; winners then claim to have a democratic mandate to enact the plutocratic agenda.

This could be hilarious in a slapstick routine, but it's tragic in a country with democratic aspirations.
But don't despair; for a backlash is building all across the country among voters who're fed up with the money-rigged game that excludes them.

One group called the New Hampshire Rebellion is bird-dogging presidential candidates in that state to demand action to get Big Money out of politics.
To help start your own rebellion, you can get a free, on-line toolkit from these modern-day Paul Revere's by going to:
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