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Gender: Female
Current location: Oklahoma
Member since: Sun Mar 9, 2008, 11:02 AM
Number of posts: 8,571

About Me

I live in deep red country, and like to see myself as a bright shining blue star in a sky full of red hues. It\'s not easy living in an area surrounded by Republicans, but I truly believe in my role of changing a heart and mind one person at a time. DU for me has became a safe haven, where I can come in gather knowledge and fellowship with Democrats, and be refueled to go out and fight yet another day.

Journal Archives

Romney, Damon Corporation and a $119 Million Medicare Fraud Settlement

According to a cited Forbes report, in 1989, Bain Capital purchased controlling interest in Damon Clinical Laboratories Corporation, a medical testing company located in Needham, Massachusetts.

In 1996, Damon admitted that from 1988 to 1993 it had shored up its earnings by submitting false claims to Medicare and other federal programs, and had agreed to pay , after being found guilty, a $35.3 million criminal fine — one of the largest corporate fines in U.S. history — and an additional $83.7 million to settle the lawsuits..


In 1993, Romney claimed he was unaware of any investigation — quoted in the Boston Globe on Oct. 10, 1993. When the Globe revisited the case during Romney’s run for governor in 2002, his story was different. Romney’s story changed about his knowledge of the investigation.

The Globe, disclosing that Romney had earned $473,000 from the sale, reported on Oct. 10, 2002


Romney Was On Damon’s Board Of Directors While The Fraud Took Place – He Initially Claimed He WasUnaware Of Any Criminal Investigation.
“Mitt Romney, former Republican challenger to US Sen. Edward M.Kennedy, who was a member of Damon’s board, said he was unaware of any investigation. … Romney said that[Damon’s then-CEO Robert] Rosen told the board in about 1992 ‘that all current practices at the company werenow in conformity with government regulations and that in the past there may have been practices which wouldnot be deemed appropriate.’”
(Kimberly Blanton, “Needham Lab Fined $ 119m For Fraud,”
The Boston Globe
, 10/10/96)

“Made Large Profits … From A Criminal Scheme To Fraudulently Bill The Federal Medicare System…”
“[Romney] and his venture capital firm made large profits from the 1993 sale of a Needham medical testingcompany whose robust revenues were generated in part from a criminal scheme to fraudulently bill thefederal Medicare system for unnecessary blood tests.”
(Frank Phillips, “Romney Profited On Firm Later Tied To Fraud,”
The Boston Globe
, 10/10/02)

“Pure And Simple … Corporate Greed Run Amok.”
“Damon Corp. pleaded guilty in 1996 to a federalconspiracy charge of defrauding the government of $25 million between 1988 and 1993. It paid a record $119million fine and penalty for a scheme that then-US Attorney Donald Stern labeled ‘a case, pure and simple, ofcorporate greed run amok.’”
(Frank Phillips, “Romney Profited On Firm Later Tied To Fraud,”
The Boston Globe
, 10/10/02

1993: Immediately Following Acquisition By Corning, Damon Closed Plant In Needham Heights, Laid Off115 Massachusetts Workers.
“Republican businessman Mitt Romney … helped direct a Massachusetts medicaldiagnostics company toward a merger that resulted in the permanent closure of a Needham Heights plant andlayoffs of about 115 Massachusetts workers. Damon Corp. was headquartered in Massachusetts for more than30 years until it was purchased by Corning Inc. in 1993 and the Needham facility was closed. … The day after themerger with Corning was completed, the new company notified the Massachusetts Department of Employmentand Training that it was permanently closing the Needham plant and laying off about 115 people.”
(Meg Vaillancourt,“Romney-Aided Deal Closed Damon Plant,”
The Boston Globe
, 10/9/94)

Romney “Feared” The Massachusetts Layoffs Would Come, But Voted To Approve Deal Anyway

McCain Opposition file on Romney (Pg 140)

Ok let me get this straight Romney

Before Damon admitted to wrongdoing, in 1993 you claimed you were unaware of any investigation. Then in your run for Governor in 2002, your story changed to not only being aware of it but helping to stop the fraud, which facts show didn't stop until Damon was sold to another company. Then when that claim is proven to be false according to court records...you then change your story yet again to saying that you just didn't report your findings to federal authorities. What a load of pants on fire bullshit Romney.

Does this lying all sound familiar?

REPORT: Biggest Donor To Romney And GOP Did Business With Chinese Mob

Things are getting awkward for Sheldon Adelson, the casino magnate who pledged to spend a “limitless” amount of money to get Mitt Romney elected. Adelson’s latest woes stem from business practices surrounding his lucrative casino in Macau, the only Chinese city with legalized gambling.

The Macau operation has long been under scrutiny but a new in-depth investigation from ProPublica and PBS focused on allegations of improper, and perhaps in some cases illegal, business dealings by Adelson’s Las Vegas Sands company in China. While focusing on the possibility that Sands violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act with a $700,000 payment to a Chinese associate, PBS also released documents that bolstered accusations of business ties between Adelson’s shop and Chinese organized crime figures.


Because Nevada gambling authorities forbid doing any business with organized crime, Sands’s Las Vegas gambling licenses could hang in the balance. (Adelson and his company refused to comment for the PBS story.) But Adelson has other issues with his China operations.


Part of Adelson’s Chinese dealings, which came under federal scrutiny in 2011, went through a non-profit called the Adelson Center for U.S.-China Enterprise. According to a WikiLeaks cable flagged by Salon, the association, which was meant to facilitate business between the U.S. and China, was shut down by China after some “missteps” with “funds transfer mechanisms” used by Sands. Unlike competitors, the cable said, Sands lobbied Beijing directly instead of going through Macau authorities. Adelson and Sands deny any wrongdoing related to the federal investigation.


Romney's Bain aligned with the Chinese mob of sorts in the form of a Chinese corporation trying to mob an American one
In 2005, Chinese Appliance Maker Haier Group, Working In Tandem With Bain Capital, Attempted – AndUltimately Failed – To Take Over Newton, IA-Based Maytag Corp.Haier Embarked On $1.3 Billion Takeover Bid For Iowa-Based Appliance Manufacturer Maytag.

“For years,American workers have worried about losing their jobs to low-cost workers in China. Now a new trend is emergingthat could be nearly as big: Wealthy Chinese companies are coming to the U.S. looking to swallow Americancompanies whole. Maytag Corp., the maker of such quintessentially American products as Maytag refrigerators,Amana microwaves and Hoover vacuum cleaners, disclosed Monday night a $1.28 billion takeover bid from agroup led by Haier America Trading, a unit of China’s Haier Group.”
(David Greising, “Chinese Firm Wants Maytag,”
Chicago Tribune
, 6/22/05)

Haier Is A Mammoth, State-Controlled Company With Opaque Financial Structures, UndisclosedOwnership Interests, Ties To Communist Party Elites And Manufacturing Facilities In Iran

pg 143 of the McCain opposition file on Romney

Obama Has Sold Out

Wall Street thought they could buy Obama, he proved them wrong. Now they are taking their money to a candidate who has proven time and time again he will do anything for the almighty dollar.

"Obama was the Main Street candidate in 2008, and he's the Main Street candidate today"

Let me repeat again...
If you add up the Wall Street contributions to the Obama campaign in 2008...it totals 3.6 million dollars. But ordinary people donated a total of 656.3 million dollars to the Obama campaign in 2008. So Obama got 182 times as much support from Main Street, as he did from Wall Street.

Obama has sold out alright, but he sold out to Main Street NOT Wallstreet.

ACA Mandate Myths & How the Affordable Care Law Affects You

Mandate myths

Myth 1: Everyone is required to buy insurance.

That’s not true. Over 80%* of Americans have insurance through their employers or receive insurance because they are in the military or are veterans or are poor or old. No one in these categories is required to buy individual insurance.

(Actually no one at all has to buy health insurance because, if they fall under that provision and don’t buy it, they can pay the penalty instead. The penalty is far cheaper than the cost of insurance.)

*81% of Americans under 65 have insurance. People over 65 have single-payer coverage; i.e., Medicare (with some holding additional private insurance).

Myth 2: People who don’t have insurance will be forced to buy insurance they can’t afford.

This is also untrue.

People with the lowest incomes are covered under Medicaid, which was expanded by the ACA for those with incomes up to 133% of the poverty level.

For those with incomes between 133% and 400% of the poverty level, subsidies are available so they can afford to buy health coverage in the new health care exchange.

There is a hardship exemption for those who don’t have insurance and say they can’t afford it.

And, as noted under myth 1, no one actually must buy health insurance, since they can pay the penalty instead.

(Please Go To Pollways Link For Other Myths, very informative)


ACA Provisions

How does the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) change health coverage in the U.S.?

The ACA makes dramatic changes to the way millions of Americans access health care. This comprehensive reform of health insurance attempts to make insurance more affordable, higher in quality and more accessible for people. It also expands Medicaid, imposes new responsibilities on individuals to purchase insurance and provides new incentives for employers to provide insurance for their employees. Together, these changes are estimated to expand coverage to 32 million people who were previously uninsured.

Insurance reforms

Beginning in 2014, the ACA requires health insurers to accept all applicants for insurance, regardless of their health status. In addition, insurers will no longer be allowed to charge higher premiums or exclude benefits because someone has a pre-existing condition. Most insurers will also be required to provide coverage that meets federal standards for benefits and cost-sharing.

As of September 23, 2010, a number of insurance reforms went into effect, including requiring insurers to:

Cover certain preventive services without deductibles or cost-sharing
Allow parents to keep adult children up to age 26 on their insurance
Cover all children under the age of 19, regardless of health status
Create an internal and external appeals process to handle consumer complaints and denials
Eliminate lifetime limits on benefits and significantly raise the annual limits for benefits (eventually it will also eliminate annual limits)
Spend a minimum of 80 percent of premiums on medical services and quality improvement
Justify unreasonable premium increases
Eliminate the practice of rescissions (when a health plan retroactively cancels coverage after the enrollee gets sick)
Allow patients to choose their health care professional as a primary care provide

Much more on ACA Provisions at community catalyst here



For those that are uninsured
Without question, uninsured Americans will be most affected by health care reform. If you don’t have health insurance because you’re unemployed or don’t make enough to afford it, you’re going to get a subsidy to help cover the cost of coverage. The subsidy will be based on your income, but the result will be that at least 30 million people who couldn’t afford insurance will now theoretically be able to.

And if you have lingering doubts that this group of people really needed the government’s help, check out a couple of news stories we recently did about how the uninsured suffer:

This one is called Killer Hospital Bills: it’s about an uninsured woman went to the emergency room with stomach pains and emerged hours later with a $12,000 bill.
And here’s one about a senior citizen who had to file bankruptcy because of health costs.

So the news is good for uninsured Americans who needed and wanted coverage, but there’s another group of uninsured who may not be so happy: those that can afford insurance but choose to forgo the expense by going without. In an effort to encourage all Americans to have health insurance, beginning in 2014 these people will face fines for that kind of risk-taking. The proposed fine is 2.5% of income, up to $2,085, so the incentive to have insurance will be powerful.

More at MoneyTalksNewshere


This DHS site has some great information as well
Affordable Care Act: Opportunities for the Aging Network


Link to the Affordable Care Act (Full Law) here
Link to Affordable Care Act (Amendments) here


Here is a nifty tool from WaPo that you can use to determine how your family might be affected by ACA.
What does the Supreme Court's health-care ruling mean for me?
The court's decision to uphold all but one component of the health-care law means new rules for insurers that have already taken effect will remain in place. Beginning in 2014, virtually all Americans will have to obtain health insurance or pay a penalty. There also will be new opportunities to get coverage, including state-based marketplaces known as exchanges* (through which individuals will be able to purchase private plans that meet strict benchmarks for quality) and federal subsidies to help low-income people buy plans on the exchanges. The law will also expand the eligibility rules for Medicaid, but the Court found that states can not be penalized if they decline to comply with the expansion, raising questions as to how effectively the federal government will be able to implement it.

Take the quiz at the link and find out


http://www.healthcare.gov/ is an excellent source of info and policy plans available to you.

Thank you Honeycombe8 for pointing out this one.


The Affordable Care Act is a step in the right direction. With it in place I believe it will be easier to progress to single payer in the future. The purpose of this OP is for anyone who might not know what all is in the ACA and how it might affect them.

TAKE ACTION!!! Let's not let them bury Democracy. Let's FIGHT!

Right-wing media are arguing that Wisconsin governor Scott Walker's victory in the Wisconsin recall election was a victory for the grassroots over unions and progressives. But, due to Citizens United and a loophole in Wisconsin campaign finance laws, the progressive message was swamped by conservative special interest money.

In Fact, Walker Had A Massive Fundraising Advantage

Wisconsin Campaign Finance Watchdog Group: "Pro-Walker Forces Have Spent About $48 Million Compared To $19 Million For Anti-Walker Forces." A June 4 Chicago Sun-Times article quoted campaign finance watchdog group Wisconsin Democracy Campaign who estimated that campaign spending benefitting Walker totaled about $48 million compared to $19 million for Barett.

Two-Thirds Of Walker's Direct Donations Came From Out-Of-State. The Chicago Sun-Times article further noted that the majority of Walker's direct contributions came from out-of-state donors.


Corporations, GOP Interest Groups, And Conservative Activists Spent Big Money On Behalf Of Walker.

NRA Spent $646,000 To Defeat Barrett. [Wisconsin Democracy Alliance, accessed 6/6/12]
Caterpillar Gave $40,000 To Walker. [Wisconsin Democracy Alliance, 2/28/12]
Tea Party Group FreedomWorks For America - Wisconsin Spent $46,445 On Behalf Of Walker. [Wisconsin Democracy Alliance, 5/9/12]
Conservative Activist And Rick Santorum Donor Foster Friess Donated $100,000 To Walker. [Wisconsin Democracy Alliance, 11/16/11]
Conservative Activist And Newt Gingrich Donor Sheldon Adelson Gave $250,000 To Walker. [Wisconsin Democracy Alliance, 3/30/12]
Texas Conservative Activist Bob Perry Gave More Than $500,000 To Walker. [Wisconsin Democracy Alliance, 11/16/11, 1/17/12]


(Let's not forget the Koch Brothers helped buy this election too)

Wisconsin Recall Breaks Record Thanks To Outside Cash
Citizens United came down, it didn’t just nullify Wisconsin’s 1905 ban on corporate campaign cash, it also plunged much of the state’s campaign finance reporting into darkness.

“Because corporate and labor expenditures were previously illegal, there were no disclosure laws to regulate their spending,” said McCabe. “There’s been a precipitous drop off in transparency.”

Since Citizens United, Wisconsin’s Government Accountability Board requires independent expenditure groups to register as so-called “1.91 groups,” named for the state rule that created them. Of the more than $63 million spent in the race, $22 million has come from these groups — $16.3 million of it from Walker supporters — according to the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign.

Similar to federal super PACs, 1.91 groups can raise and spend unlimited corporate or union dollars and urge voters to support or oppose a candidate. Also, like federal super PACs, they must report their donors — except when they can avoid it.


Total spending on the race exceeded $65 million, and the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign’s Mike McCabe said once all the numbers are totaled that figure could exceed $75 million, doubling the maximum ever spent on any political campaign in the state.

That number was buttressed by a loophole in Wisconsin law that allowed Walker to raise unlimited donations from individuals for months, while Barrett had hard caps on his donations and could only begin fundraising two months ago when the recall became official. That allowed Walker to raise nearly $30 million and outspend Barrett by nearly 10-to-1. Walker and his allies more than doubled the amount Barrett and his backers spent on the race.


In the Badger State, Democratic gubernatorial challenger Tom Barrett is the one primarily relying on third-party efforts. Since he entered the fray in late March, the Milwaukee mayor has raised a mere $4 million for his campaign and is depending on outside groups backed by the labor movement to carry him to victory. By contrast, Scott Walker, the incumbent governor, has taken advantage of an arcane loophole in Wisconsin campaign-finance law, which has allowed him to take in contributions of more than $500,000 apiece from well-heeled supporters and build up a massive war chest of more than $30 million since he took office last year.

One reason for this switch: the loophole allowing unlimited donations benefits only candidates facing possible recall efforts, in this case, Walker. The law was passed in 1987 (and supported by then-state representative Barrett) to level the playing field for incumbents facing recall challenges, who would be otherwise handicapped by Wisconsin’s strict campaign-finance laws. Walker took this small loophole, designed to even the odds when state and local candidates faced an unexpected election, and used it to rake in tens of millions of dollars. Yet this loophole hasn’t necessarily increased the amount of money Walker has received to beat back the recall effort; rather it seems that large donations from millionaires and billionaires such as Sheldon Adelson and Foster Friess, which normally would have been directed to super PACs and third-party groups, have instead gone directly into the campaign’s coffers.


Democracy dies when you can buy elections. Democracy dies when the will of the people are drowned and outnumbered by Corporations and Powerful Interest who can freely buy elections and favors thanks to a Conservative Supreme Court who will gladly do their bidding. Democracy dies when one party sends out robocalls telling citizens they need not show up to vote, that their vote was already counted when they signed a petition...LIES.

Let's not let them stick the last nail in Democracy's Coffin. Let's not let them bury Democracy. Let's FIGHT!!! Let's Occupy the Damn Supreme Court!! Start writing letters to your Senator's, hell write to all Democratic Senators and House Members. Let's take back this country. Write to the DOJ. Tell them you expect action to be taken in all the voter purging NOW! Take to twitter, facebook, tumblr, social media websites...etc Get up and do something! It will be a hard fight but the History of this nation, shows the American People do not give up!!!

Tell the GOP and all their Cronies NO!!!!

U.S Congress http://usgovinfo.about.com/gi/o.htm?zi=1/XJ&zTi=1&sdn=usgovinfo&cdn=newsissues&tm=13&f=00&su=p284.13.342.ip_&tt=2&bt=1&bts=0&zu=https%3A//writerep.house.gov/writerep/welcome.shtml

Directory here http://usgovinfo.about.com/gi/o.htm?zi=1/XJ&zTi=1&sdn=usgovinfo&cdn=newsissues&tm=13&f=00&su=p284.13.342.ip_&tt=2&bt=1&bts=0&zu=https%3A//writerep.house.gov/writerep/welcome.shtml

U.S. Senator's Websites and Mailing Addresses http://usgovinfo.about.com/gi/o.htm?zi=1/XJ&zTi=1&sdn=usgovinfo&cdn=newsissues&tm=22&f=00&su=p284.13.342.ip_&tt=2&bt=0&bts=0&zu=https%3A//www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm

U.S. Supreme Court Addresses http://usgovinfo.about.com/blsupct.htm

Posted by SunsetDreams | Wed Jun 6, 2012, 11:15 AM (3 replies)

Mitt Romney's Skeleton Closet: Scandals, Quotes, and Character

Medicare Fraud That Made Him Rich

In 1989, Romney led Bain Capital's purchase of Damon Corp., a medical testing company, and took a seat on the Board of Directors to better manage it. During Romney's four years, Bain tripled its investment, and Romney personally made $473,000 -- while Damon plumped its profits with Medicare fraud (running thousands of medical tests doctors didn't want, and billing Medicare for them). The company pled guilty to crimes committed during his tenure and paid a record fine of $119 million. Company President Joseph Isola pleaded no contest to fraud, and a vice president was also convicted.

Romney claims he "uncovered" the fraudulent claims and "took corrective action," but court records show that he did not notify prosecutors or stop the fraudulent billing. He just asked company lawyers what changes they could make to avoid prosecution, after the feds' LABSCAM prosecution targeted a different medical testing firm. The cheating continued, prosecutors say, until the day Bain sold the company to Corning. Furthermore, Damon Corp. was required to list in various SEC filings any significant legal risks it faced. Romney made no mention of the fraud he "uncovered," even though it led to a $119 million fine, the largest in history. Damon Corp. is another Bain acquisition that later went bankrupt, killing over a thousand jobs -- but not before Bain made $7.4 million in profit. By amazing coincidence, Rick Santorum also made a lot of money off of a company involved in Medicare fraud: Universal Health Care.

Top Aide Illegally Impersonating Police Officers

Well, it gets worse. According to three different anonymous sources, one who works for the Romney campaign, Garrity made up fake police badges -- bright silver plates with the seal of Massachusetts on them -- and gave them to several other staffers, who used them to order reporters and other people out of events, get past security guards, and avoid paying highway tolls. In fact, Garrity has been handing out badges since Romney was governor of Massachusetts.

So this was not just one staffer's personal fetish. Sources named at least two other Romney staffers who used the badges -- Mark Glanville and William Ritter. "They knew the badges were fake and probably illegal," the campaign source said. In fact, Garrity was Romney's right-hand man and rarely left his side. It's hard to believe that Mitt Romney himself did not notice the fact that Garrity was constantly flashing a police badge as they blew through security into various events. The Romney campaign has not commented on whether Mitt Romney knew about the badges.


"I saw my father march with Martin Luther King." (Romney's campaign later admitted that they didn't march on the same day, or in the same city)

"PETA is not happy that my dog likes fresh air." --on strapping his dog to the top of the car

"Hugo Chavez has tried to steal an inspiring phrase 'Patria o muerte, venceremos.' It does not belong to him. It belongs to a free Cuba." --invoking a phrase that translates to "Fatherland or death, we shall overcome," which Fidel Castro has used to close his speeches for years, and which is associated with Cuban oppression

"We should double Guantanamo!"


Dumb Mitt Romney Quotes
Top 10 Dumbest Mitt Romney Quotes (So Far)

1. "Corporations are people, my friend… of course they are. Everything corporations earn ultimately goes to the people. Where do you think it goes? Whose pockets? Whose pockets? People's pockets. Human beings, my friend." —Mitt Romney to a heckler at the Iowa State Fair who suggested that taxes should be raised on corporations as part of balancing the budget (August 2011)

2. "I like being able to fire people who provide services to me." –Mitt Romney, using an unfortunate choice of words while advocating for consumer choice in health insurance plans (January 2012)


5. "I should tell my story. I'm also unemployed." —Mitt Romney, speaking in 2011 to unemployed people in Florida. Romney's net worth is over $200 million.

6. "There were a couple of times I wondered whether I was going to get a pink slip" –Mitt Romney, attempting to identify with the problems of average folk (January 2012)


Mitt Romney - Maine GOP Caucus Fraud here

Mitt Romney, bully with Rachel Maddow

Very long article but well worth the read.
Mitt Romney’s prep school classmates recall pranks, but also troubling incidents


Failed as Governor
Romney economics didn’t work then, and it won’t work now:

Ten years ago, Mitt Romney told the people of Massachusetts that his experience in business uniquely qualified him to strengthen the state’s economy. Foreshadowing the message of his current campaign, Romney presented himself as a “job creator,” whose experience as a corporate buyout specialist had given him special insight into how to grow the economy.

It was a false representation. For, as even his colleagues have acknowledged, Romney’s goal in business was never job creation. It was to maximize quick profits for himself and his investors, and those profits often came at the expense of the long-term growth of the companies they took over and the well-being of the men and women who worked there. Whether companies succeeded or failed, Romney Economics netted huge profits for him and his investors, but sometimes proved devastating for the middle-class workers whose jobs, benefits and pensions were put at risk.

So what did that experience mean for Massachusetts?

Romney campaigned for Governor on the promises of more jobs, decreased debt and smaller government. He served during a nationwide economic expansion, and when he entered office Massachusetts’ unemployment rate was still below the national average – where it had been for nearly a decade. Republicans and Democrats across the state were hopeful that he would deliver on his promises. When he left office, however, state debt had increased, the size of government had grown, and over his four years, Massachusetts’ record of job creation was among the worst in the nation.

Now Romney’s back, making the same pitch to America that he did to the people of Massachusetts. “I’ve had a real job,” he says. “I think it helps to have a real job, to be able to create real jobs.”


Romney Economics Failures
IN DETAIL: Massachusetts And Bain Capital
Almost 18 minutes long


Feel free to add your own. Keep Romney's greedy little hands off our White House!

DNC Chair and Congressmen urge Gov. Scott to stop voter purge now

Using an American war veteran as the face of their cause, two South Florida congressmen called on the governor Tuesday to immediately stop the state's purge of the voter rolls.

And in a separate move, Florida Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson sent a letter to the governor expressing his own concerns about the voter purging.

U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch, D-Boca Raton, and U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings, D-Miramar, accused the Republican governor of using the roll cleanup as a ruse to disenfranchise voters just months before a presidential election.


"Voting is a fundamental, constitutionally guaranteed right," the coalition wrote. "As such it cannot be lightly withdrawn on the basis of a highly flawed and suspect process."


Members of Congress ask state to stop voter purge

TALLAHASSEE — Six Democratic members of Congress are asking Florida Gov. Rick Scott to suspend a push to remove voters from the rolls.

Democrats sent a letter today to Scott questioning the timing and the accuracy of the effort to purge voters identified as non U.S. citizens.

The state has already put out an initial list of more than 2,600 people identified as non-U.S. citizens. But local election officials charged with checking the list have discovered errors.

State election officials have compared driver's licenses with voter registration data and found that as many as 182,000 registered voters are eligible to be in the country but ineligible to vote.

Those who signed the letter were: U.S. Reps. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Corrine Brown, Kathy Castor, Ted Deutch, Alcee Hastings and Frederica Wilson.


Florida Voting Laws Challenged By Justice Department

DOJ: Florida Voting Restrictions May Discriminate Intentionally

Virtual Blackout From National Media On Voter Suppression In Florida

Florida Governor Rick Scott (R) has directed his administration to purge the state’s voting rolls of thousands of registered voters prior to the November election. But his list, which purports to include only “non-citizens,” targets mostly Democrats and Hispanics and, as ThinkProgress has documented, may disenfranchise hundreds of citizens who are eligible to vote.

The story of a sitting governor of a state with a history of presidential election shenanigans knowingly purging his own, eligible constituents from the voter rolls is the definition of major news, and yet remarkably, in the first five months of the year, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal and USA Today have published a total of zero articles about Scott’s actions. The New York Times did slightly better, printing one story on page 16 of the Friday, May 18th edition. The article ran under the credulous headline: “Florida Steps Up Effort Against Illegal Voters.”


DNC launches website opposing new voter laws in Fla and other states
December 1st, 2011

Democrats continued Thursday to blast new voter laws in Florida and 13 other states which they say have been crafted by Republican leaders to blunt turnout and damage President Obama’s re-election bid next year.

Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a member of Congress from Davie, said the party has launched a new website www.protectingthevote.org aimed at informing voters of the new standards — and rallying support for having them overturned. Florida’s law is already the subject of a lawsuit filed by the ACLU and voting rights organizations.

A U.S. Senate subcommittee also plans to hold a hearing in Florida in coming weeks on the new law, following a request by Florida Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson, who said the state’s new standard violates “basic rights.”


“By now, it’s well known they’re determined to roll back the right to vote and skew the 2012 presidential election,” Wasserman Schultz said.


DNC Chair: GOP Attacking Americans' Right to Vote
Republican ID push and attacks on early voting especially harm minority voters

By Debbie Wasserman Schultz

The national effort to restrict the right to vote has nothing to do with common sense; it is a callous political calculation designed to advantage Republicans in 2012. Rather than artificially slanting the electorate, it is time for Republicans to join the efforts of the president and the Democratic Party to create jobs, invest in our future, and address the challenges our nation faces. Maybe then the GOP wouldn't have to work so hard to stop Americans from voting.



It looks like the DOJ, DNC and other coalitions are on top of it..we just need to be diligent and help them raise their voices louder. The Media is largely ignoring it. Thanks Bigtree for the added links

White House Release: Procedures Implementing Section 1022 of the NDAA (Full Text of Release)

Directive apply only when (1) an individual is arrested or otherwise taken into custody by the Federal Bureau of
Investigation (FBI) or another Federal law enforcement agency on or after the date of this Directive; and (2) officials of the agency detaining the individual have probable cause to believe that the individual is a "Covered Person" under section 1022 of the NDAA.

B. Covered Persons. For purposes of this Directive, the phrase "Covered Person" applies only to a person who is not a citizen of the United States and:

1. whose detention is authorized under the 2001 AUMF, as informed by the laws of war, and affirmed in section 1021 of the NDAA; and
2. (a) who is a member of, or part of, al-Qa'ida or an associated force that acts in coordination with or pursuant to the direction of al-Qa'ida; and (b) who participated in the course of planning or carrying out an attack or attempted attack against the United States or its coalition partners.


Any determination that there is not clear and convincing evidence that an individual is a Covered Person shall be without prejudice to the question of whether the individual may be subject to detention under the 2001 AUMF, as informed by the laws of war, and affirmed by section 1021 of the NDAA. Nothing in this Directive is intended to affect or alter the jurisdiction of Federal courts to determine the legality of detention or the substantive or procedural standards that apply to such determinations.


From the White House Website: Here


Barack Obama Waives Rule Allowing Indefinite Military Detention Of Americans
WASHINGTON -- The White House released rules Tuesday evening waiving the most controversial piece of the new military detention law, and exempting U.S. citizens, as well as other broad categories of suspected terrorists.

Indefinite military detention of Americans and others was granted in the defense authorization bill President Barack Obama signed just before Christmas, sparking a storm of anger from civil libertarians on the left and right.

The new rules -- which deal with Section 1022 of the law -- are aimed at soothing many of their gravest concerns, an administration official said. Those concerns are led by the possibility that a law that grants the president authority to jail Americans without trial in Guantanamo Bay based on secret evidence could easily be abused.

"It is important to recognize that the scope of the new law is limited," says a fact sheet released by the White House, focusing on that worry. "Section 1022 does not apply to U.S. citizens, and the President has decided to waive its application to lawful permanent residents arrested in the United States."


Will Congress Finally Start to Clean Up the Mess It Made With the NDAA?

On Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. EST, the Senate Judiciary Committee will hold the first hearing ever on the indefinite military detention provisions in the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which Congress passed in December. This hearing will be Congress' first opportunity to own up to its mistakes and start to fix them. But the only way the NDAA will be fixed is if senators and House members hear from you and your family and friends that indefinite military detention authority is wrong, dangerous, and needs to be repealed.


Wednesday's hearing is a start to the NDAA clean-up, and will be chaired by one of the biggest heroes in the fight against the NDAA—Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California. Sen. Feinstein is holding the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing in public, in contrast to the Senate Armed Services Committee, which wrote the NDAA last year in secret sessions without even a single hearing.


In the months ahead, we expect to see more congressional hearings on the NDAA detention provisions (we especially hope that the House Republican leadership will follow through on its promise to have hearings very soon in the House Judiciary and Armed Services Committees). By mid-May, the House and Senate Armed Services Committees will start writing the NDAA for this year (yes, there is an NDAA every year) and members of those committees will have chances to fix last year's NDAA. But like last year, the Senate Armed Services Committee may very well shut its doors and come up with its new NDAA in secret. Regardless, by late May, the full House will vote on the NDAA for next year and the full Senate will vote on its version this summer. In other words, if Congress doesn't fix the 2012 NDAA soon, it can use the 2013 NDAA to clean up its mess.


GOP Rolls Out New Slogan & Campaign Song For 2012 Election

Campaign Slogan

Campaign Song










USPS Board of Governors Appointed Postmaster General Patrick R. Donahoe(MORE)UPDATE

The Board of Governors of the United States Postal Service is an eleven-member board comparable to a board of directors of a private corporation, except in service of the American postal system. Nine members are appointed by the President of the United States, subject to confirmation by the Senate. The nine presidentially appointed Governors choose the Postmaster General, who also serves as a member of the Board. These 10, in turn, choose a Deputy Postmaster General, who becomes the 11th member of the Board. The Postmaster General and Deputy Postmaster General serve at the pleasure of the Governors.

Each Governor is appointed to a nine-year term or to the remainder of an unexpired term created by the death or resignation of a sitting Governor. Terms of the Governors are staggered to expire each year on December 8. A Governor whose term has expired may continue to sit on the Board for up to one year until a successor has been appointed. No more than five of the nine Governors may be of the same political party. On December 20, 2006, President George W. Bush signed the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act, P.L. 109-435, which changed the terms of subsequently appointed Governors from nine to seven years.


In 1970, when the Board was established by the Postal Reorganization Act, the governors of the Postal Service were appointed for terms of nine years. The first nine appointments were for staggered terms of one to nine years. Subsequent appointments were made for the full nine years. On December 20, 2006, President George W. Bush signed the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act, P.L. 109-435, which changed the terms of subsequently appointed governors from nine to seven years. The Act also added some professional qualifications for the governors. The governors are chosen to represent the public interest generally and cannot be representatives of special interests. Not more than five of the nine may belong to the same political party. They shall be chosen solely on the basis of their experience in the field of public service, law or accounting or on their demonstrated ability in managing organizations or corporations (in either the public or private sector) of substantial size, except that at least four of the governors shall be chosen solely on the basis of their demonstrated ability in managing organizations or corporations (in either the public or private sector) that employ at least 50,000 employees.

Appointments are made when vacancies occur or for the remainder of unexpired terms. Each governor’s term expires on December 8 of a given year. Governors may continue to serve following expiration of their term or until a successor is appointed but not for more than one year. No person may serve more than two terms as a governor.

The Board directs the exercise of the powers of the Postal Service, directs and controls its expenditures, reviews its practices, conducts long-range planning and sets policies on all postal matters. The Board takes up matters such as service standards, capital investments and facilities projects exceeding $25 million. It also approves officer compensation.


Now for the really eye-opening part: Which President appointed most of the Governors?

Thurgood Marshall Jr. Chairman appointed by George W. Bush
Mickey D. Barnett, Vice-Chairman, appointed by George W. Bush
Louis J. Giuliano, Member, appointed by George W. Bush
James H. Bilbray, Member, appointed by George W. Bush
Ellen C. Williams, Member, appointed by George W. Bush
Dennis J. Toner, Member, appointed by Barack Obama
Patrick R. Donahoe, Postmaster General and CEO, appointed by Board Of Governors
Ronald A. Stroman, Deputy Postmaster General, appointed by Board Of Governors

James C. Miller III, Member, appointed by George W. Bush
Note: I'm not sure if James C. Miller III is still on the Board of Governors, Wiki list him, but USPS site
Members of the Board of Governors does not.

More on Patrick R. Donahoe here

Is there something wrong with that picture? Patrick R. Donahoe, was appointed by the Board of Governors whom all except one were GWB appointees?? YIKES!!! I'm seeing an ugly picture here which may be the bigger picture of what is currently happening with USPS.

At the behest of the Republican-controlled Congress of the Bush-Cheney era, the USPS has been forced since 2006 to pre-fund future retiree health benefits. As the American Postal Workers Union notes, “This mandate is the primary cause of the agency’s financial crisis. No other government agency or private company bears this burden, which costs the USPS approximately $5.5 billion annually.”

Now, however, we learn that the pre-funding requirements have taken so much money from the USPS that—according to the postal service’s own inspector general—it has “significantly exceeded” the level of reserved money that the federal government or private corporations divert to meet future pension and retiree healthcare demands. “Using ratepayer funds, it has built a war chest of over $326 billion to address its future liabilities,” acknowledges Postal Service Inspector General David C. Williams.

USPS Area Mail Processing study decision 2/23/12
In a move to help ensure the future of the nation’s mail system, while adapting to America’s changing mailing trends, the U.S. Postal Service today announced that the Area Mail Processing consolidation studies that began more than five months ago have been completed.

These changes are a necessary part of a larger comprehensive plan developed by the Postal Service to reduce operating costs by $20 billion by 2015 and return the organization to profitability.

The Postal Service is in the midst of a financial crisis due to the combined effects of the economic recession, increased use of electronic communications, and an obligation to prefund retiree health benefits. First-Class Mail volume has deteriorated, leading to significant revenue declines, and the obligation to prefund these retiree health benefits on an accelerated basis remains unresolved. To date, legislative proposals to address the financial crisis remain pending, leaving the Postal Service and the mailing industry it supports in an increasingly precarious position.

Since 2006, First-Class Mail volume has rapidly declined, leaving a mail mix that generates far less revenue than it costs to sustain postal operations. The dramatic decline in mail volume has resulted in an enormous amount of excess capacity within the network, creating significant opportunity for consolidation.

Previous USPS announcement on July 26, 2011 regarding Expanded Access Study
WASHINGTON — As more customers choose to conduct their postal business online, on their smart phones and at their favorite shopping destinations, the need for the U.S. Postal Service to maintain its nearly 32,000 retail offices — the largest retail network in the country — diminishes. To that end, the U.S. Postal Service announced today that it will be taking the next step in right-sizing its expansive retail network by conducting studies of approximately 3,700 retail offices to determine customer needs. As part of this effort, the Postal Service also introduced a retail-replacement option for affected communities around the nation.

“Today, more than 35 percent of the Postal Service’s retail revenue comes from expanded access locations such as grocery stores, drug stores, office supply stores, retail chains, self-service kiosks, ATMs and usps.com, open 24/7,” said Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe. “Our customer’s habits have made it clear that they no longer require a physical post office to conduct most of their postal business.”

For communities currently without a postal retail office and for communities affected by these retail optimization efforts, the Postal Service introduced the Village Post Office as a potential replacement option. Village Post Offices would be operated by local businesses, such as pharmacies, grocery stores and other appropriate retailers, and would offer popular postal products and services such as stamps and flat-rate packaging.

“By working with third-party retailers, we’re creating easier, more convenient access to our products and services when and where our customers want them,” Donahoe said. “The Village Post Office will offer another way for us to meet our customers’ needs.”

Here: http://about.usps.com/news/national-releases/2011/pr11_089.htm

On Edit: Thank you ProSense for your further research on this matter. I'm going to include this information here, because there seems to be a misconception that President Obama can just fire Patrick Donahoe if he wanted to.

House Dem calls for firing postmaster general; blames Obama, GOP Congress
Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) on Monday afternoon called on the the Obama administration to fire Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe in light of Donahoe's announced plan for drastic service reductions at the U.S. Postal Service (USPS).

Just one problem with that The President Cannot Fire The Postmaster General
In 1971, the Post Office Department was re-organized into the United States Postal Service, a special agency independent of the executive branch. Thus, the Postmaster General is no longer a member of the Cabinet and is no longer in Presidential succession.

The Postal Reorganization Act of 1970 abolished the United States Post Office Department, a part of the cabinet, and created the United States Postal Service, a corporation-like independent agency with an official monopoly on the delivery of mail in the United States. Pub.L. 91-375 was signed by President Richard Nixon on August 12, 1970.

The legislation was a direct outcome of the U.S. postal strike of 1970.

The first paragraph of the Act reads:

“The United States Postal Service shall be operated as a basic and fundamental service provided to the people by the Government of the United States, authorized by the Constitution, created by Act of Congress, and supported by the people. The Postal Service shall have as its basic function the obligation to provide postal services to bind the Nation together through the personal, educational, literary, and business correspondence of the people. It shall provide prompt, reliable, and efficient services to patrons in all areas and shall render postal services to all communities. The costs of establishing and maintaining the Postal Service shall not be apportioned to impair the overall value of such service to the people.

WOW check this out, thanks to suffragette.
Shock Doctrine at U.S. Postal Service: Is a Manufactured Crisis Behind Push Toward Privatization?
But many postal workers say the much-touted crisis facing the U.S. Postal Service is not what it seems. They argue the greatest volume of mail handled in the 236-year history of the postal service was 2006. They also point to a 2006 law that forced the USPS to become the only agency required to fund 75 years of retiree health benefits over just a 10-year span, and say the law’s requirements account for 100 percent of the service’s $20 billion in losses over the previous four years, without which the service would have turned a profit. Last week, Republicans introduced legislation to overhaul the USPS in response to a bill proposed by Democrats that would refund a reported $6.9 billion in over-payments to the USPS retirement plan, offer early retirement and voluntary separation incentives, adjust retiree benefits prepayment requirements, and preserve employee protections set out in collective bargaining agreements.

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