CNN California Democratic Debate live-blogging..

Tonight on CNN at 5PM Pacific Time.

Well, here we are again, and finally down to two choices…

Next Tuesday is the BIG one.. The super-duper SUPER TUESDAY primary event!

Super Tuesday (2008), Super Duper Tuesday, Giga Tuesday, Tsunami Tuesday, and The Tuesday of Destiny are names for February 5, 2008, the day on which the largest-ever simultaneous number of state U.S. presidential primary elections will be held. Twenty-four states (including American Samoa) are scheduled to hold either caucuses or primary elections for one or both parties on this date.

Its all on the line (supposedly). The problem with that, is the best candidates for the job are no longer in the race. I wonder how people feel about being denied the opportunity to vote for their candidate of choice. I am frankly feeling totally cheated. We have had these final two candidates shoved down our throats my the MSM for a year now. No surprises.. I guess this was inevitable.

(By the way, this debate is sponsored by the Coal industry. Don’t expect much discussion about fighting global warming or cleaning up the air..)

Continue reading

After Mining Deal, Financier Donated to Clinton Charity

via: CommonDreams
from The NY Times

Late on Sept. 6, 2005, a private plane carrying the Canadian mining financier Frank Giustra touched down in Almaty, a ruggedly picturesque city in southeast Kazakhstan. Several hundred miles to the west a fortune awaited: highly coveted deposits of uranium that could fuel nuclear reactors around the world. And Mr. Giustra was in hot pursuit of an exclusive deal to tap them.

Unlike more established competitors, Mr. Giustra was a newcomer to uranium mining in Kazakhstan, a former Soviet republic. But what his fledgling company lacked in experience, it made up for in connections. Accompanying Mr. Giustra on his luxuriously appointed MD-87 jet that day was a former president of the United States, Bill Clinton.

Upon landing on the first stop of a three-country philanthropic tour, the two men were whisked off to share a sumptuous midnight banquet with Kazakhstan’s president, Nursultan A. Nazarbayev, whose 19-year stranglehold on the country has all but quashed political dissent.

Mr. Nazarbayev walked away from the table with a propaganda coup, after Mr. Clinton expressed enthusiastic support for the Kazakh leader’s bid to head an international organization that monitors elections and supports democracy. Mr. Clinton’s public declaration undercut both American foreign policy and sharp criticism of Kazakhstan’s poor human rights record by, among others, Mr. Clinton’s wife, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York.

Within two days, corporate records show that Mr. Giustra also came up a winner when his company signed preliminary agreements giving it the right to buy into three uranium projects controlled by Kazakhstan’s state-owned uranium agency, Kazatomprom.

The monster deal stunned the mining industry, turning an unknown shell company into one of the world’s largest uranium producers in a transaction ultimately worth tens of millions of dollars to Mr. Giustra, analysts said.

Just months after the Kazakh pact was finalized, Mr. Clinton’s charitable foundation received its own windfall: a $31.3 million donation from Mr. Giustra that had remained a secret until he acknowledged it last month. The gift, combined with Mr. Giustra’s more recent and public pledge to give the William J. Clinton Foundation an additional $100 million, secured Mr. Giustra a place in Mr. Clinton’s inner circle, an exclusive club of wealthy entrepreneurs in which friendship with the former president has its privileges.

Read entire article…

This is the kind of stuff that makes me hate and absolutely distrust politicians. They can wave around their right hand saying look at the good things I am doing!, while their left hand is behind their back or under the table doing something completely different, that totally benefits themselves personally. It is usually sleazy and out of sight. They only want you looking at their right hand.. And in their minds, they can justify it. (Hope that made sense..)

Is this just the way things work in Washington with all politicians? Somehow I don’t think so.., at least not with all of them.
Do we honestly want the Clintons back in the White House..?

Australia finally to apologize to Aborigines

For 60 years, mixed-blood children were forcibly removed from their Aborigine parents and fostered with white families. Mari Melito Russell was torn from her adolescent mother and raised by an abusive white “mother” and “father”, and didn’t realize she was adopted until thrown out of the family after her adoptive mother died. In her late 60s, she finally met her real mother–in Pennsylvania.

From 1910 until 1970, some 100,000 mostly mixed-blood Aboriginal children were taken from their parents under state and federal laws that argued the race was doomed and that integrating the children was a humane alternative.

An inquiry by the national Human Rights and Equal Opportunities Commission concluded in 1997 that many stolen generation children suffered long-term psychological effects stemming from their loss of family and culture. It recommended that state and federal authorities apologize and pay compensation to those who were removed. All state governments have apologized, but the question of compensation was left to the federal government.

Then-Prime Minister John Howard steadfastly refused to apologize or pay compensation, saying his government should not be held responsible for past policies.

Although the last laws granting authorities the power to take Aboriginal children from their families were abolished in 1970, many Aborigines say statistics show the government is still far more likely to take Aboriginal children into foster care than white children.

Australia’s new government has announced the an apology for this tremendous injustice will be their first order of business when Parliament convenes in two weeks.

Or will they?

The Australian government’s plan to apologise to Aborigines for past injustices ran into trouble Thursday when the opposition indicated it might not support the move.

The failure of white Australia to speak with a united voice on the sensitive issue would weaken the attempt to heal the nation’s racial rift, Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin warned.

. . .
The leader of the opposition Liberal Party, Brendan Nelson, has questioned whether Australians living now can take responsibility for injustices perpetrated in the past.

“The question for me is, can our generation be responsible for that?” Nelson said in a radio interview.

The removals were carried out “in most cases with good intentions, but certainly not in all,” he added, arguing that many children were removed from neglect and abuse.

Nelson said he also wanted to see the precise wording of the apology, which has long been sought by Aboriginal groups and their supporters, before agreeing to back it.

Reluctant even to apologize? Sounds like the Republicans.

Follow the money!

Now that the field is down to two Democratic frontrunners and another two Republicans (someone please tell Huckabee and Paul) it’s time to look at who is trying to buy themselves favours with a new President, if not the whole. You can find extensive information on campaign financing for every candidate if you click on the links provided.

All information is published by opensecrets.org, who are doing a fine job of tracking the money and it’s sources. They share their data to be freely distributed and thus provide an invaluable tool to learn about the background of campaign financing. Please go there and check upon the candidates you are interested in, and if you can spare a dime, donate for their great work.

So, let’s have a look at the money trail and to keep it neutral we start with the pauper in the field:

John McCain is still way behind in financial contributions with a total of $32,124,785. His main contributors are:

Blank Rome LLP $141,100
Citigroup Inc $137,050
Greenberg Traurig LLP $124,987
Merrill Lynch $113,575
Goldman Sachs $88,700
Univision Communications $82,000
IDT Corp $77,150
Bank of New York Mellon $74,000
MGM Mirage $70,400
Irvine Co Apartment Community $68,400
Pinnacle West Capital $64,000
JP Morgan Chase & Co $59,850
Credit Suisse Group $58,950
Bridgewater Assoc $58,300
Cisco Systems $56,600
Lehman Brothers $53,250
Morgan Stanley $50,950
Wachovia Corp $50,850
Blackstone Group $47,950
Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu $41,601

Mitt Romney comes in second with contributions amounting to $62,829,069 and the following contributors list:

Goldman Sachs $181,425
Merrill Lynch $147,200
Marriott International $115,000
Bain Capital $112,200
Morgan Stanley $110,050
Bain & Co $103,175
The Villages $96,400
Citigroup Inc $94,150
Compuware Corp $93,800
Huron Consulting Group $91,250
Kirkland & Ellis $89,600
Affiliated Managers Group $77,462
American Financial Group $75,350
PricewaterhouseCoopers $74,200
HIG Capital $71,175
Liberty Mutual Insurance $68,800
JP Morgan Chase & Co $67,450
Credit Suisse Group $66,850
UBS Americas $63,800
Lehman Brothers $60,750

Barack Obama has collected the considerable amount of $80,256,427 and all the well known names appear here, too.

Goldman Sachs $369,078
Lehman Brothers $229,090
National Amusements Inc $220,950
JP Morgan Chase & Co $216,759
Sidley Austin LLP $203,325
Exelon Corp $194,750
Citigroup Inc $180,650
Citadel Investment Group $166,600
Jones Day $158,400
Skadden, Arps et al $150,900
UBS AG $146,150
Time Warner $142,718
Harvard University $141,700
University of California $126,972
Jenner & Block $122,419
Kirkland & Ellis $111,951
UBS Americas $106,680
Morgan Stanley $104,425
WilmerHale $102,360
Credit Suisse Group $92,300

And the winner is: Hillary Clinton with a war chest of $90,935,788 unsurprisingly her donor list matches the who’s who, we have seen above:

DLA Piper $356,100
Goldman Sachs $350,050
Morgan Stanley $323,550
Citigroup Inc $307,350
EMILY’s List $211,642
National Amusements Inc $193,850
JP Morgan Chase & Co $173,350
Kirkland & Ellis $172,000
Skadden, Arps et al $151,460
Greenberg Traurig LLP $150,900
Cablevision Systems $135,113
Merrill Lynch $125,550
Time Warner $124,150
Lehman Brothers $123,450
Bear Stearns $120,580
Patton Boggs $118,400
Ernst & Young $110,650
Blank Rome LLP $105,100
Latham & Watkins $100,950
News Corp $99,350

This is, of course a rough overview and, honestly, I have not yet looked up all the info about all the candidates, there are interests that hide behind the donor’s list. It is an adventure in itself to find out. I’m sending you on the quest to knowledge, the one weapon against populism and lies. And I don’t pretend this makes decision making any easier for you.