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Democrat Controlled Board of Elections Sticks it to “Whitey”?

Picture of Rich Whitney, Green Party candidate...
Illinois Green Party Candidate for Governor Rich Whitney, aka: Rich Whitey
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In Illinois, Rich Whitney is running for Governor as the Green Party candidate.

Now by any standard, running only on the Green Party line makes getting elected hard enough….no offense…..but it’s true. There ain’t a whole hell of a lot elected Green Party members holding office.

But thanks to the Illinois Board of Elections, underdog Whitney’s uphill battle has been twice as tough.

An error, or at least what officials are calling an error, has placed the name Rich Whitey on the electronic voting machines of 23 wards. To make matters worse, most of these 23 wards are predominantly African-American districts.

Officials say that there is no way to fix the error but now claim that 90% of the voters effected by this error will receive paper ballots with Rich Whitney’s name spelled correctly.

Human error is most likely the culprit here. Stupidity does run rampant among government agencies packed with politically appointed patronage positions. But it is really ironic that this particular mistake occurred in a very tight race for Governor, where a few hundred votes could easily make the difference . And having the Green Party candidate, a candidate that could attract liberal votes away from the Democrats line, described as a “Rich Whitey”, sure helps to insure that some black voters avoid voting for the Green Party and cast their ballot for the Democrat candidate.

No matter what though, the Democrat Board of Election of Illinois sure as hell stuck it to “Whitey” …err…Whitney.

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TAXPAYERS TO CONGRESS “DON’T EVEN CONSIDER ACCEPTING A RAISE!”

The new year will give us a new President and a newly elected Congress.  Only 61 individuals are truly newly elected to it though.  The remaining 474 are simply returning to continue their work (two are moving from the house to the senate).  But in this session, all of them are expected to bring about that much “touted change” that many of them promised along with President-Elect Obama.

How much “change” they will actually bring and what kind of change they will be responsible for has yet to be seen but early on, there exists one change that they will effect right away.

While the nation and the world have entered into economic troubles, the 535 collective members of the House of Representatives and Senate will have the opportunity to see their salaries change with an increased of as much as $4,700 a year.

The pay raise is automatic and turns out to be about a 2.8% increase and although it may not sound like much, when one considers the circumstances of the times that we are in, accepting such pay raise would be criminal.

I say criminal because there do not exist many American institutions that can determine their own salary at their own whim. And there are even fewer institutions that would dare to accept more money when they have less money to spend. 

On top of that, given the fact that elected federal office holders already make a touch more than $169,000, most Americans feel that that is quite suitable. In fact many Americans might consider it to be a great deal more than suitable. Seeing as how Congress currently has an approval rating of 18.4% and a disapproval rating of 73.4%, I would say that most Americans think that $170,000 for the bad job they are doing is totally inappropriate and way too much.

So why should they get almost $5,000. More for their poor approval?

Even more disturbing,  how can they look voters in the eye and claim to understand that the economic climate is rough but that it is necessary for them to shoulder additional costs that Congress had a hand in creating in the first place.

While Congress approves bailing out almost every faction of the private sector that requests help, how can they also accept more money too? Is that the type of change that the elections of ’08 meant,……… more spending and higher Congressional salaries?

The amount of money we are talking about in regards to the pending pay raise may be minuscule when compared to a 7 or 8 hundred billion dollar bailout but it is still more money being spent. It is still more money being paid by taxpayers and it is still more money than each member of Congress requires. But more than that , accepting a pay raise during the time we are in is a horrific symbolic gesture that essentially tells the American taxpayer “screw you, were in charge and we are going to do what we want, when we want and how we want”. Never mind the out of work salesman who has no conglomerate that can’t slip congressmen or senators a hefty campaign donation and then request federal assistance for himself. Never mind the additional taxes that Democrats will be requesting taxpayers to pay or the out of work taxpayer who can’t afford to pay their property taxes this year.

By accepting a pay raise, Congress will be making it clear that they have absolutely no concern for the people whose money they spend.

With Democrats in total control of government, if the 2.8% pay raise goes through, than their hold on power will be short lived. If Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi do not put a stop to increasing their salaries than folks, they are not just greedy, they are downright stupid and should not be in office in the first place.

Having control of government makes Democrats responsible for what happens in government.  It makes them totally responsible. Accepting a pay raise at a time like this is something that they will have to be held accountable for and they will.

But there is still a chance for them to save face. If they act responsibly and derail any efforts to increase their salaries, they can spare themselves the blame and avoid the certain repercussions of their greed and irresponsibility.

That is one reason why President-Elect Obama should publicly urge the House of Representatives and the Senate to show the American people that they have their priorities in order and that they are aware of the tough times we may be in and demand that they forgo any raise and repeal the 2.8% increase that they will receive.

It is also why POLITICS 24/7 has issued a national petition.

It is a “Declaration of Rejection of a Congressional Pay Raise

As a free society, we cannot simply wait for our representatives to act. We must make our desires known before they act.

In the case of irresponsible government action we cannot wait for irresponsibility to be enacted, we must avoid it from happening . So we have initiated a petition to Congress. It is a petition that calls upon them to reject any increases in theirsalaries, staffs and office budgets, as well as personal expense limits, and currently allocated per diem expenses. If such a vote or votes are passed at any point during the sessions between January 2009 and January 2011 we demand that a new vote repealing such increases be brought to the floor of both the House of Representatives and the Senate”.

Simply click here for the “DECLARATION of REJECTION of CONGRESSIONAL PAY RAISE” Online petition and make it clear that will tolerate spending more on Congress than they are worth and that you certainly do not intend to tolerate their greed.

After signing it you must still do two things.  Pass this petition on to others.  Just cut and past the following link into an email

http://www.gopetition.com/online/24301.html

Then send it to friends, family and business associates and urge them to do the same. 

Once you’ve done that, the second thing you must do is contact the two U.S. Senators representing you in your state and your congressman.  Do so either by phone, snail mail or email.  No matter how you want to do it, just do it!

If you are really ticked off over this potential pay raise, write your local newspapers too.   Send letters to the editors voicing your disapproval of any hint of raising congressional salaries at a time like this.

BE SURE TO SIGN THE PETITION

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9 SYMPTOMS OF CONSERVAPHOBIA

conservaphobia: noun. The fear of the American conservative political movement, often based on unfounded   stereotypes and distortions.

You might be conservaphobic if:

  • You’ve never really listened to Rush Limbaugh because you’re already sure that you disagree with practically everything he’s ever said.
  • You refer to liberal Catholics, Protestants and Jews as “people of faith” but conservative Catholics, Protestants and Jews as the “religious right” or “radical religious right”. (Maybe you have a thing for alliteration too.)
  • You think all white Republicans are racists and all black Republicans are sellouts.
  • You are a champion of first amendment rights except in public school classrooms and in front of abortion clinics.
  • You’re glad you’re not a Republican because after all, they want to starve school children and senior citizens.
  • You actually think that “liberal” and “progressive” are synonymous.
  • In your opinion, a government donation to the poor is somehow more effective than yours would be.
  • You only listen to and respect the views of “open-minded” people who think like you do.
  • You blame society’s problems on “religious fanatics” and “corporate greed”, never on the irresponsible behavior of individuals.

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WITH LOTS OF HOMEWORK, REPUBLICANS LOOK TO REBUILD IN 2009

With the new year here, 2008 is a memory that many hope to learn from. For Republicans there were plenty of lessons taught. The loss of the White House as well as increased losses in the United States Senate and House of Representatives provided some extra tutoring and all those lessons leave us with a great deal of homework to complete during 2009.

In 2009 most honest political observers and participants will tell you that for Republicans, 2009 is a year for rebuilding. But how do we do that? How do we not only compete in future elections, but how do we win in future elections?

Part of the solution to our problem is not entirely up to us. Some of the Republican parties fortunes depend on Democrats. Part of the solution….not most of it.

If with total control of the federal government, Democrats begin lurching to the left, they will be opening up a window of opportunity for the G.O.P.. They will make themselves vulnerable to an attack that could easily make most Americans feel that Democrats are extreme and out of touch with the people and their needs.

I already know that Democrats are out of touch. I already know that most Democrats are no longer Democrats….they are liberals. And now, with a so-called Democrat in the White House, the blatantly liberal leadership of sad, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and extreme liberal loon Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, I believe their extremism will present itself so glaringly that most Americans will soon begin to remember just how liberal and incapable of leadership that today’s liberal party really is.

I am convinced that today’s Democrats will be unable to live up to the hopes of most and they will certainly not bring the kind of “change” that most people really want. Their failures to do so will give Republicans the type of opportunity that we could use.

However we won’t be much of a party if we simply count on the failure of Democrats in order to achieve a Republican victory. In my view, although there are many things we need to do, one of the most basic and important projects we must undertake is reconciliation. A reconciliation between the grassroots of the Republican party and the leadership of the party.

This reconciliation would go a long way in re-establishing Republican political preeminence.

The grassroots of the party has been quite disaffected by both Republican party leaders and Republican elected officials.

Over the past 5 years, many Republican elected officials avoided taking the lead in fights where ideological leadership was needed. Many of these elected Republicans also lost the antiestablishment sentiments that helped lead to the Republican revolution of ‘94. It was the sentiment that had congress sacrifice privilege and perks. The type of sentiments that allowed people to believe that congress was there for them, not for taking advantage of the people they represent.  Some Republican party leaders as well as some Republican elected members of congress may have lost their fervor for these sentiments but their supporters have not.   that is one reason why many of those Republicans did not return to congress. 

As for Republican party leaders, many of them, particularly those leading the national committee, lost organizational and communication superiority with their grassroots. Not only were many voters in the Republican base becoming increasingly disappointed by those in congress and less interested in what they had to say, but party leaders lagged behind Democrats in the area of technology. Republican leaders missed the opportunities that internet technology provided. As a result, grass root Republicans were further removed from the process and the G.O.P. lost the chance to energize itself with instantaneous feedback from the grassroots. Feedback that could have provided the party with the concerns and priorities of the Republican grassroots in real time. It also would have made more Republican voters feel more directly involved in the process.

There are many other major and minor issues and tactics that must be addressed but doing so will be a process that we need to undergo over time. 2009 will give us that time. As an off year, there will be no major elections except in New Jersey and Virginia where voters will be electing Governors along with members of their state legislatures. Illinois may have a special election to fill the vacancy that Barack Obama’s election to President has created but that whole issue has yet to play out. So while time is of the essence in New Jersey and Virginia there is still some room for breathing in most other states, but not much. Which is why I am glad that 2009 has kicked off with several efforts that can help to boost Republican fortunes.

These efforts have begun in of all places, the internet and by of all people, Republican grass root supporters.

One of the most promising sites and to date, most effective sites involves young, Republican internet guru Patrick Rufini.

CLICK HERE

CLICK HERE

Appropriately called ““REBUILD the PARTY”” the site helps provide the proper direction and leadership for the party not only with good advice but by example as well.

In the weeks following the election of 2008, “REBUILD the PARTY” conducted an open forum where Republicans submitted ideas and votes were cast on which suggested ideas were best. A long the way a ten point plan of Republican action was developed. It is a ten point strategy that, so far, has been endorsed by 5 of the six people running for RNC chairman.

In addition to official strategy development “REBUILD the PARTY” offers itself as a central headquarters for Republican to communicate and debate on. Through the social network “NING”, participants can even create their own homepage and blog. In it‘s totality, “REBUILD the PARTY” is a perfect example of how a rebuilt Republican party should proceed in 2009.

Another promising new site is “Flip4”.

CLICK HERE

CLICK HERE

“Flip4” is striving to “flip four seats in every statehouse where doing so will give Republicans the majority”. The sites creators understand that the state legislatures are where Republican fortunes lie. They know that after 2010, the state legislatures will be drawing the congressional district lines that will make up the house in Washington, D.C..

So Flip4 focuses on state legislatures by trying to find and elect “talented, principled, forward-thinking Republican candidates” and by implementing the following strategy:

  1. Identify four talented, principled, forward-thinking Republican candidates in every statehouse where their victories will give Republicans the majority.
  2. Collect and distribute information about these candidates, their issues and their races.
  3. Direct resources to these candidates, both financial and otherwise, to enable their victory.
CLICK HERE

CLICK HERE

Another new forum is another platform developed by Patrick Rufini. This one is called “THE NEXT RIGHT”.

The “The Next Right” highlights the current thinking of several of the sites politically experienced Republican operators. Here they detail and debate the weaknesses and strengths of the party and also present rich, thought provoking proposals for the party to undertake.

It also involves input from grass root Republicans, who can post their own blog entries and allow for debate through ongoing comment sections.

If one takes a moment to review these three sites, they will find themselves increasingly optimistic. They will see that hope is not lost and that Republican losses at the polls did not occur because the Republican principles we stand for are outdated or wrong but that they were not applied by many Republicans serving in office. A look at these sites demonstrates that the Republican base is strong and that they ready, willing and able to do what is necessary to help provide America with the leadership that true republicans can offer the nation.

So as 2009 unfolds, be a part of the rebuilding process. Get involved in the sites mentioned here.

They are helping to turn things around and upside down. To date, their activity is responsible for getting the attention of our leaders and instead of the people joining the proposed efforts of our party leaders, party leaders are getting involved in the efforts of the people. It is a redrawing of the political blueprint where the actions that the G.O.P. takes comes from the direction that the people want to go in as opposed to the people going in the direction that a party boss wants the people to go in. It is the type of blueprint that Republicans could have used a few years before we lost control of congress when they lost touch with the grassroots that elected them in the first place.

In 2009, for Republicans, these sites are trains  leaving the station and if you are not onboard, you’ll be left behind.

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Your Urgent Help Needed

Dear American;

I need to ask you to support an urgent secret business relationship with a transfer of funds of great magnitude.

I am Ministry of the Treasury of the Republic of America. My country has had crisis that has caused the need for large transfer of funds of 800 billion dollars US. If you would assist me in this transfer, it would be most profitable to you.

I am working with Mr. Phil Gram, lobbyist for UBS, who will be my replacement as Ministry of the Treasury in January. As a Senator, you may know him as the leader of the American banking deregulation movement in the 1990s. This transactin is 100% safe.

This is a matter of great urgency. We need a blank check. We need the funds as quickly as possible. We cannot directly transfer these funds in the names of our close friends because we are constantly under surveillance. My family lawyer advised me that I should look for a reliable and trustworthy person who will act as a next of kin so the funds can be transferred.

Please reply with all of your bank account, IRA and college fund account numbers and those of your children and grandchildren to wallstreetbailout@treasury.gov so that we may transfer your commission for this transaction. After I receive that information, I will respond with detailed information about safeguards that will be used to protect the funds.

Yours Faithfully Minister of Treasury Paulson

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THE TOP 10 POLITICAL HAPPENINGS OF 2008

With the new year here, we have the opportunity to reflect on the year gone by and to thank the passage of time for resolving some situations. While some happenings in 2008 came and went, other events of 2008 still require time, time that will absorb much of 2009 and even beyond.

So today, before we forge ahead with the rest of this new year, we reflect on the events that shaped politics and the politics that shaped events, by presenting to you the 10 most significant political stories of the year that helped to get us where we are today.

TONY SNOW

TONY SNOW

10. – THE DEATHS OF TIM RUSSERT and TONY SNOW

TIM RUSSERT

TIM RUSSERT

Both of these men loved politics. For a time they were both involved in politics on different sides of the aisle and at a different times they covered politics. Tony Snow started in print and broadcast journalism delivering political news and commentary and ended his career in politics as the Press Secretary for President Bush. Tim Russert began in politics working for a political legend, Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan of New York and ended covering politics on NBC. As host of Meet The Press, Tim became a part of every American household and despite his personal left leaning tendencies Tim Russert was respected for probing questions that were leveled at liberals and conservatives alike. Tony Snow was also a partisan. For decades he was a favorite in conservative circles, yet when delivering a news story people of every party carefully listened to the insightful delivery of facts that he presented. His last major endeavor was one that helped provide the White House with the ability to properly convey the right messages. Tony served as Press Secretary for 17 months. Probably the most understandable 17 months of the Presidents two terms in office. Tim Russert died after suffering a massive heart attack on Jun 13th at the age of 58 and Tony Snow died after battling colon cancer on July 12th at the age of 53. In life they shaped politics and political opinion. In death, they left us a legacy of lessons and examples to follow.

9 . – IS  THAT CAMPAIGN MONEY IN YOUR POCKET OR ARE YOU JUST GLAD TO SEE ME

FORMER NY GOVERNOR ELLIOT SPITZER

FORMER NY GOVERNOR ELLIOT SPITZER

The Empire State helped to set a tone for 2008 when early in the year, New York’s Governor, Elliot Spitzer got caught up in scandal. After serving only 14 months in office the rising Democrat star found himself standing next to his wife announcing his resignation. Suspicious transfers of money in and out of Spitzer’s bank account led federal investigators to believe that he might be taking bribes. However their probe discovered that for over several years Spitzer wasn’t taking bribes, he was paying out at least $80,000 for prostitutes. The period covered his tenure as New York’s Attorney General as well as his brief time as Governor. The happiest people of all in this episode were David Paterson and New Jersey. As Spitzer’s Lieutenant Governor, Paterson, became New York’s first African American Governor, and the nation’s first legally blind one. New Jersey was just happy to know that they were no longer the only state in the region to lose a governor because of sexual scandals and illegal conduct.

8. – WEEKEND AT KIM’S

NOT WANTED but is he dead or alive?

NOT WANTED but is he dead or alive?

Around August rumors began to circulate that North Korea’s obscure and, to put it kindly, eccentric leader, Kim Jong-Il, was dead. Since then no reputable sources have either seen him or heard from him. Not that that is unusual, few people have ever heard or seen Kim Jong-Il, but what is unusual are recent decisions that Kim Jong-Il supposedly made to eliminate efforts to develop nuclear power. Did Kim make that decision? Is North Korea really abandoning nuclear ambitions? Or is North Korea propping up Kim Jong-Il, like a bad, out of sync, Korean version of “Weekend At Bernie’s” while a different, unknown, brain dead ruler is pulling the strings and, at the same time, trying to pull the wool over our eyes? All jokes aside, the sensitivity of the situation is a dire one. Chaos on the Korean Peninsula could create a ripple effect that no one can afford. Dramatic events could alter sensitive relations with South Korea and negotiations with the United States. All of which could result in tensions throughout the world including those involving hard feelings between North Korea and Japan. And let us not forget North Korea’s greatest ally, China. With their booming economy, the Chinese are ambitious. Knowing who is in charge of things could be helpful in 2009.

7. – BID WELL FIDEL?

BID WELL TO FIDEL?

BID WELL TO FIDEL?

In 1959 Cuba took on the face of Fidel Castro. Just 90 miles off of our shores, Cuban communism and Castro were too close for comfort. As much as we didn’t like it, invasions, coups and even assassination attempts did not eliminate Castro’s hold on power. However, time did reduce Castro’s influence. As time changed most of the world, Castro and Cuba didn’t but the logistics which helped to make him a thorn in our side did change. The, once feared communist Soviet-Cuban relationship lost it’s potency as the Soviet Union lost it’s hammer and sickle. As time went by, our concerns with Cuba focused more on human rights for Cubans than defense from Cuba. So it was still welcome news when, in February, we discovered that an ailing Fidel Castro was resigning from office. Not that it mattered much. Before stepping down, Fidel told the Cuban Communist Party that they were too elect his brother Raul to be the new Commander in Chief. The event did not change things very much but after almost 50 years in power, and events such as the Bay of Pigs, the Cuban Missile Crisis, Elian Gonzales and other disconcerting situations, as minor as the effects of this change may be, Fidel’s painstakingly slow departure from the world stage is welcomed and ranks as the seventh most dramatic political occurrence of 2008.

6. – THE GEOGIAN-RUSSIAN WARant1georgis1a2

It was not a battle that reshaped Europe again but the surprising developments that caused the Russian Army to invade a neighboring, breakaway Republic with internationally recognized sovereignty, gave us all a glimpse of reality. It may not be the Soviet Union anymore but a bear by any other name is still a bear and the vulnerabilities of newly formed and reformed European nations and those with relatively new freedoms still offer some new Russian leaders the same old reasons for wanting control. The incident helped to demonstrate that freedom in parts of Europe is still a fragile concept.

ROD "How much do 'ya want" BLAGOJEVICH

ROD "How much do 'ya want" BLAGOJEVICH

5. – THE EBAY APPOINTMENT

2008 ended with a story that will carry well into the first months of 2009. As President-Elect Obama vacated his seat in the U.S. Senate, Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich began a private auction process to determine who will fill the vacancy. As investigators, under the direction of federal prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald, investigated Blagojevich for numerous improprieties, they discovered that he was basing his appointment to the senate seat on who could give him the most for it. Blago wanted either a “cushy union” job, a high paying cabinet position or at the very least an enormous financial campaign contribution. After being arrested the Illinois state legislature began impeachment proceedings against Blagojevich and he began digging in his heals refusing to resign. The events have the potential for drawing in some big name co-conspirators and participants. From Rep. Jesse Jackson, jr. to President -Elect Obama’s incoming Chief of Staff, Illinois Rep. Rahm Emanuelle, many reputations may yet be questioned in this scandal. And to make things even more interesting, Blagojevich took the opportunity to raise the stakes and named Roland Burris, a long time, old line, liberal Chicago Democrat party machine hack to replace Barack Obama. Not at all concerned with peoples faith in government, or the integrity of the process, Burriss accepted the tainted appointment and in doing so, puts the United States and it’s Democrat leader, Harry Reid in the position of denying to seat someone that would be the only African American in the United States Senate. So coming in as the fifth top political occurrence in 2008 is the story that will keep on bleeding and keep us reading…..the process to replace a Barack Obama in the senate. 

4. – BRINGING OUTSIDERS IN

GOVERNOR SARAH PALIN

GOVERNOR SARAH PALIN

One of the most important political decisions made in 2008 was John McCain’s selection of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin for Vice President on the Republican ticket. It was a controversial choice for some and one of the only right decisions made in the opinions of others. No matter how you see it, it remains one of the most spoken about political stories of the year. Beyond the newsworthiness are the implications. For many it was a sign of the fact that government needs thinking that is as far removed from the Washington D.C. mentality as Alaska is from Washington D.C itself. Many Americans are tired of Washington politics and want common sense as opposed to the one hand washes the other, old boys bureaucracy that we perceive as screwing us more than helping us. Sarah Palin embodied, and still does embody, that thinking. She is a political outsider who became a Governor by opposing the political class while representing the working class. Without abandoning conservative Republican principles, Sarah Palin fought against corrupt Republican and liberal politicians. Although picking Sarah Palin for Vice President may have been the right decision for John McCain, trying to restrict and control her wasn’t. By trying to script Sarah Palin, the McCain campaign lost out on the greatest advantageous quality Palin brought to the ticket…….her anti-establishment, outsider qualities. As McCain lost the election for President, Sarh Palin won exposure. Exposure that has made her a person who conservatives look forward to advancing the cause and for Americans to have to consider for national leadership in the future. So at number four in 2008 is the selection of Sarah Palin for Vice President. Thank you senator McCain!

ant1oil23. – “OILS WELL” IN THE ECONOMY?

The price of oil ranks third on our list of top stories. As prices for a barrel of oil soared to heights in excess of 150 dollars a barrel , gas prices flew up to over 4 dollars a gallon and the ripple effects raise the cost of everything from milk, eggs and bread to lumber, air fares, and life in general. The high cost of energy generated heated debates over domestic oil drilling, and pushed issues like immigration and terrorism off of the front burners in the race for President. Based upon the duration of the immediate negative effects of the price of oil combined with its ripple effects on the economy, its control of the political agenda and the long term policy initiatives that it created, oil prices is number 3 in ‘08. It is also likely to become a top story again, at least around August of ‘09, when the now delightfully low prices we see rise back up. 

2. – THE ELECTION OF BARACK OBAMA 

PRESIDENT-ELECT BARACK OBAMA

PRESIDENT-ELECT BARACK OBAMA

Putting all political opinion aside. Barack Obama ran a long hard campaign, that Republican strategists are dissecting in order to reproduce in elections of their own. The Obama campaign not only effectively tapped into voter dissatisfaction they organized it and organized it well. Their utilization of the internet was exemplary and their ability win favor through eloquence and style over substance and fact was political perfection. Despite some pitfalls such as Bill Ayers, ACORN, Rev. Wright, admitting a desire akin to socialism by stating that he wanted to spread the wealth , Barack Obama won big. To do so his campaign raised historic amounts of money and more than just raising that money, they spent it right and put it to good use. A use that mobilized the forces well enough to produce his substantial victory. The election of President-Elect Barack Obama comes in second on out not only because of how he won but because he did win. His victory marked the election of America’s first African American President. Like ant other first, it is notable and in this case it is profoundly notable. It demonstrates an undeniable ability for our nation to overcome racial differences and the evidence of decency overcoming prejudice is promising. The effects of President-Elect Obama’s leadership are yet to be seen but the lessons learned and points made by his election are unquestionable.

ant1bailout21 . – BAIL OUT MANIA

POLITICS 24/7 considers the 700 billion dollar bailout that the federal government approved to be the most profound and important story of 2009. Not only was the suggested need for this bailout indicative of our wrong ways of the past, it signaled a continuation of wrong ways in the future. Our promotion of spending as the answer to all of our problems has created generations ands a government that spend beyond our means. The 700 billion dollar bailout meant to solve our problems didn’t solve our anything, it just provided a quick fix. It did however, create more problems. It has called upon more people and more industries to put their own hands out. The bailout set in motion a sense of government control that has taken freedom, with all of it’s risks and promises, out of the free market and it has helped to move America closer to the socialism that we have fought against in the past. Many major events come and go in politics. What we once saw as earth shattering developments often become something that we later laugh about but we fear that bailout trend established in 2008 is no laughing matter for any time.

2008 was an intense year. There were many events and some of the most dramatic ones did not involve politics. Human nature played a role in all of them though and hopefully our better instincts will drive the events and politics of 2009.

With that in mind we wish everyone a happy new year and hope that our better instincts help to make each and every day better than the last.

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HAPPY NEW YEAR !

Our Happy New Year wish for you
Is for your best year yet,
A year where life is peaceful,
And what you want, you get.

A year in which you cherish
The past year’s memories,
And live your life each new day
Full of bright expectancies.

We wish for you a holiday
With happiness galore;
And when it’s done, we wish you
Happy New Year, and many more.

By Joanna Fuchs

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From your friends at

POLITICS 24/7

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HAPPY NEW YEAR AMERICA!

With the newness of the year, comes the freshness for rebuilding, reinvigorating and reaching……Reaching for a future as bright as the sun itself.

With that goal in mind,
POLITICS 24/7
wishes you and yours all the best
in the days to come.

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EBAY NOTICE: BIDDING FOR THIS SENATE SEAT HAS ENDED BY SELLER

I wish 2008 could end on a good note in politics and on political issues. As it currently stands the only god news that seems to exist is that the price of oil and gas is at one of the lowest prices in recent years. Seeing as how that oil fuels our economy and controls the cost of almost everything else, that is quite important. However, the low prices, like good news, are also going to be short lived.

With war breaking out between Palestinians and Israelis, warnings of the collapse of the auto industry, and the promise to of more and more federal bailouts arrived at by the borrowing of more and more money, most of the news is bleak. But it is recent events in Illinois that monopolize the current events which closes 2008 and it does so on an unfortunately pessimistic note.

ILLINOIS GOVERNOR ROD BLAGOJEVICH

ILLINOIS GOVERNOR ROD BLAGOJEVICH

The gall of Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich has reached a deafening crescendo.

Accepting for a moment the undeniable innocence before guilt precedence, it still takes an incredible amount of gall to try to appoint someone to a United States Senate seat while federal prosecutors are building a case and the state legislature is holding impeachments hearing against you for trying to sell the very same seat your are filling. You would think that given the circumstances, Blogojevich might just be concerned with peoples faith in government. You would think that maybe, just maybe Blago could understand that the atmosphere surrounding him holds so much doubt about the ability of his selcetion and the reasons behind his selection to fill President-Elect Obama’s vacated senate seat, are so questionable that he should hold off.

Instead, Blogaojevich tries to convince people that he is the only one truly concerned with the business of the people. Only he wants the business of government to go on , unhindered by politics and uninterrupted by unimportant distractions.

In trying to name a replacement for Obama in the U.S. Senate under the existing circumstances, Blagojevich is promulgating a perception into 2009 that is regretful.

He is picking up the final straw that will break the camels back and really help Americans to move closer to believing that our elected officials are worthless.

That is a shame because I do know that there are many truly sincere individuals serving in elected office. I know that there are many men and women who could be making substantially more money in the private sector than in the public sector but forgo that money for service.

I also know that many of those elected officials really work hard and give much more than they get. A sincere politicians, puts people before profit. They sacrifice time with friends and family and they listen to the problems of thousands of people each week or month while their own struggles are put on hold.

Believe it or not a sincere politician does work quite hard. If they want to continue in their job, they are doing a lot more than sitting on Capitol Hill and delivering a speech. A good politician is attending the events in their districts that their constituents are attending. The special events, the monthly meetings, whatever it is, they are there. And believe me, there is a lot of happenings that they must be a part of. Happenings that are not arranged around their schedules. Which means their own  family barbecue,  child’s after school event or even the moment they may want to simply gather their own thoughts are all secondary to that of the needs of their constituents.

Those people are serving because they want to make a difference. They want to make life better for us through a government that is suppose to serve us. They are the people who do not grab the headlines due to the “if it bleeds, it reads” thinking of the media. They’re just doing their jobs, so it does not really create any interest.

But the Blagojeviches of the world do grab the headlines.

Those who are doing their jobs wrong and those using their jobs for wrongdoing get our attention, at least when they are caught.

Unfortunately, there are many who are involved in wrongdoing and we hear about them all the time. The constant flow of stories involving, elected officials engaging in corrupt activity helps to cement the perception that government and government officials are corrupt.

In New Jersey, Governor Jim McGreevey took the damaging tradition of political patronage to an all time height of disgust when he put the care of Homeland Security for New Jersey up to a lover who he was having a clandestine affair with. The rationale for giving his lover the job was based on the fact that McGreevey liked the sexual positions that they shared together, not that his lover was qualified for the position of Homeland Security. There were also some shady financial arrangements that the Governor was involved in. The investigation of those financial activities discovered the affair and the reasons behind the appointment of an unqualified person to an important job involving the safety and security of New Jerseyans.

To take attention off of the actual wrongdoing and criminal activities, McGreevey came out and announced that he would resign because he was a “gay American”. The tactic worked. A shocked nation, talked more about McGreevey being gay than they did about the criminal conduct which forced him out of out office.

Not only did McGreevey’s political insincerity help to promote negative opinions about public servants, his resignation did too.  His resignation actually tried to exploit homosexuality.  He used it to try to play victim rather victimizer.

Caught, instead of making a sincere apology for his financial shenanigans and risking the lives of New Jersey residents by using patronage to fill the Homeland Security position with an unqualified director, McGreevey used homosexuality to take the sting out of it all. Some even called McGreevey brave and courageous. The man was cheating on his wife, cheating tax payers, jeopardizing lives and covering it all up, yet he was brave and courageous!?

The whole incident was an example of what Americans have come to believe about politicians……they’re in it for themselves and to save their own skin. McGreevey’s resignation and apology helped further advance that impression.

Not to be outdone, New York tried to keep up with Joneses. Their former Attorney General, Elliot Spitzer became Governor and about 14 months into his first term as the Governor, it was discovered that he spent over $80,000.00 on high priced call girls that he was illegally soliciting.

From former Congressman William Jefferson of Louisiana and former President William Jefferson Clinton, Americans have heard and continue hearing about more and more political corruption each day.

William Jefferson was found with hundreds of thousands of dollars in his freezer that he wrongfully obtained and claimed he did nothing wrong. President Bill Clinton lied before a grand jury and came before the American and swore that he didn’twhen in fact, he did.   He even claimed that your interpretation of whether he lied or not came down to how you define the word “is”.

U.S. SENATE DESIGNATE ROLAND BURRISS

U.S. SENATE DESIGNATE ROLAND BURRISS

The constant chorus of corruption that gains our attention has been depressing and discouraging and it has simply been accentuated but Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich. His naming Roland Burris to fill the U.S. Senate seat that he is accused of trying to sell only adds an exclamation mark to the existing  perception of rampant public corruption. Just having the nerve to move ahead with the appointment is a slap in our face. It does not even begin to deal with Burriss’ qualifications or issues positions.

Roland Burrss is an old line, liberal Democrat party machine hack. By accepting Rod Blagojevich’s tainted, highly questionable appointment to the U.S. Senate, Burris is also showing us that he lacks any of the basic good judgment that a representative leader should have. His acceptance of such a tainted nominarion from such a tainted Governor demonstrates that Burriss is more interested in elevating himself than he is in elevating the quality of life of the people he would represent.

It is heartening to know that there are measures which can still rectify any wrongdoing in this case. Ultimately, a clause in the U.S. constitution allows the Congress final say in seating members.

But their too politics has been corrupted. In the 70’s a Democrat led U.S. Senate denied seating a Republican who won election in New Hampshire.

In the 80’s the Democrat led House of Representatives refused to seat a Republican who won election to congress from Indiana.

In both cases, the elections were close, the state’s Secretary’s of State certified the elections, but politics and personal power prevailed. Democrats trumped democracy and appointed their partisan preferences over the will of the people.

So with 2009 ahead of us we are looking towards a year with a new President who has promised change but based on how 2008 ended, can we believe in that change? Can we believe in anything that comes out of any government anymore.

Here in New Jersey, I hold out hope.

Here in New Jersey Republicans have been offering reforms that take steps to open up the process of government and allow concerned citizens to see facts.

State Senator Joe Pennachio recently presented a bill that would put the states budget, in all of its detail, on the internet for the public to see.

State Senator Jennifer Beck has presented bills to reform ethics and other measures that would eliminate some of the benefits that corrupt New Jersey politicians could enjoy even after found guilty of their dastardly deeds.

Of course politics being politics, Democrats in control of the process oppose these measures but thankfully there is an election in 2009. An election in New Jersey that can offer us the opportunity to help change the negative perceptions of public service and to eliminate corruption from government.

By electing reformers and rejecting those who are roadblocks to reform, we may begin to eliminate the corruption that has led us to lose faith in government. Maybe. That is up to us, the voters. So although corruption surrounding the replacement of a senator for the vacancy left by our incoming President grabs the headline as 2008 ends, the elections of 2009 hold out hope for bringing about the the type of change that we really need.

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CONGRESS GIVES THEMSELVES A RAISE ALMOST AS HIGH AS THEIR APPROVAL RATING

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Congrees Is Raising Their Pay

As we enter a new a year it would be nice to know that our leaders are looking forward to a new direction for the nation. A direction that avoids a continuation of the policies and thinking which have helped to bring about some of the problems that we wish we didn’t have. 

 It would be nice but such is not the case.

In the new year, the new Congress will be giving themselves a new pay raise. It is only a three percent raise but a raise nonetheless.

You might be asking, “what’s the big deal about a three percent raise.”?

The big deal is more than the three percent more for the 435 representatives that we, the taxpayers have to spend. It is a cumulative sum that increases government spending at a time when most people claim that we are spending too much already. The sum total of the pay raise may be insignificant when compared to other expenses in government but the gesture is astoundingly arrogant.  The big big deal is the symbolism in thre raise.

At a time when the nation is fearful of tough economic times and even more afraid that things might get worse, how the heck do our representative leaders have the right to increase the cost of operating government.? Are they suggesting that with a little more money in their own pockets, they will be more motivated and work harder to solve our own economic problems?

Can anyone really say that the job performance of congress is so great that we have to reward them with more money?

Currently, congress is at its lowest approval rating in history. If our bosses gave us a rating similar to congress, a rating approaching or in the teens, I don’t think they would be offering us a raise. If that were they case, most of us nonunion workers would be worrying about getting fired. But member of the U.S. Senate or House of Representatives have no fear.

They also have no decency or common sense.antdollar-signs

If they did have any decency they would say, “you know………now is not the time to raise our own salaries”. They would say “during these difficult times when so many Americans are struggling and working harder to make ends meet, not only should we, their representatives, oppose increases in the wealth of our own pockets, we should be making some financial sacrifices of our own”.

If they had any decency expenses would be reduced and staffs would at least be temporarily reduced ,but not only does the collective assembly of congress lack decency, they lack common sense.

If they had any common sense they would not borrow money to solve a problem that was caused by borrowing money. If they had common sense they might at least try to spend less.

There is very little coming out of congress to indicate that they possess decency or common sense. Their approval ratings prove this. But who are the real fools here? Is it congress or is it the people who elect the members of congress?

There were a large number of new people elected this past November but many of them were elected to fill the seats of individuals who retired. Only a few dozen replaced someone running for reelection. As a nation, we sent most incumbents back to Washington to continue their work for us.

So why shouldn’t they approve a pay raise for themselves? We, the people, don’t do much about it.

In the end we get what we deserve and those representing us take what they can get.

Is it an example of leading by example? If so, things are going to get a lot tougher in America because if we all lived by the example that congress sets it’s everyman, woman and child for themselves. If theirs is the example that we should live by we are screwed.

It is too bad that the new year will not be ushering in a new way of thinking. However; hope springs eternal and maybe, just maybe, this year, the American voter will start holding our elected officials accountable. Maybe this year voters will keep track of what our leaders say and do and maybe they will say “you know what?……yer outta here”.

Maybe, but not likely.

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Despite enormous fluctuations in the Dow Jones average , billionaire investor Warren Buffett announced that he will continue to invest in the stock market during the current financial crisis. So remember, everyone, this is no time to panic, as long as you’re the richest man on earth.

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AFTER 7 YEARS OF DELIVERING JUSTICE TO JERSEY, CHRISTIE MOVES ON

Today marks the end of a era.
It marks the end of the seven year reign of one the most effective and influential figures in New Jersey.
U.S. Attorney Chris Christie officially leaves office today

U.S. Attorney Chris Christie officially leaves office today

Today, U.S. Attorney Chris Christie officially resigns from office.

During his time as U.S. Attorney, Christie created an atmosphere that chilled those on the dark side of justice and brightened the hopes of those of us on the right side of justice.

With 132 convictions and zero acquittals, Chris Christie not only rooted out wrongdoing, he successfully prosecuted it wherever he found it.

Given the propensity for political corruption in a state that breeds wrongdoing through it’s proliferation of local governments and government arranged deals, Chris Christie had a lot of ground to cover.

And cover it, he did.

Whether the target was a Republican or Democrat, if they were breaking the law, Chris Christie was ending their careers and cleaning up the messes they were making.

More than just racking up white collar convictions, Chris Christie spared New Jerseyans from the violence that hardcore criminals would be free to carry out were it not for his successful prosecution of them. But it is in the area of white collar crime that Christie had the greatest impact. His efforts fighting government corruption gave citizens a sense of confidence. The confidence of knowing that those in government whom were not acting in the best interest of the people, would soon pay a hefty price and their wrongs would be rectified.

Christie restored a sense of balance. The type of balance that assured us that while government might be watching us, someone was watching them.

As Chris Christie closes the door on his own efforts fighting crime through the u.S. Attorney’s office, he may just open another door that could usher in the opportunity to continue doing some good for New Jersey. That door could be the one to the Governor’s office.

Many Republicans are waiting with bated breath, for Christie to announce that he is running for Governor. The hope is that with all of his name identification and his high positive polling numbers, he will run for the Republican nomination.

I will admit that Chris Christie has all the right qualities and advantages for a successful candidacy but I am not willing to grant him the nomination because of that alone.

I want to know where Chris Christie stands on the issues.

If I find myself agreeing with him than I will be ecstatic over his potential candidacy, but that remains to be seen .

That’s why we go through the primary process……..to find out where those interested in the job, stand on the issues. So I want the process to play itself out. I want Chris Christie to have to fight for the nomination and earn it. Let him show me why his positions on the state’s economy or pension negotiations and taxes are better than other candidates like Steve Lonegan or Assemblyman Richard Merkt.

Hopefully others besides them will also enter the race for the nomination.

People like the compelling John Crowley.

Crowley’s story is an inspiring one that demonstrates his ingenuity, sense of commitment, dedication and effectiveness. It is a story so inspirational that books have been written about it and a movie, starring Harrison Ford as John Crowley himself, is to be made about it.

If people like him enter the race, we are assured of a contest for the nomination that will produce one of the strongest candidates that New Jersey Republicans have fielded for statewide office since Tom Kean Sr. ran for reelection as Governor.

So I look forward to the primary process that will allow us to choose our nominee and I hope that Chris Christie will be a part of that process. If he has a conservative approach to the solutions that New Jersey needs and can demonstrate that his political leadership is anywhere near as good as his crime busting efforts then he just might get my support.

But today, regardless of Chris Christie’s political future, we take a moment to pay tribute to him and to thank him for all that he has done to combat the corruption that cheats all of us in New Jersey.

His departure from the U.S. Attorney’s office leaves us hoping that justice in Jersey will continue to be served as efficiently and as effectively as it was under his direction for the past seven years.

So thank you Chris. 

Thank you for serving us with distiction and for doing your part in insuring that those working in government were making government work for us.

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TRUE POLITICAL STORY

Supposedly G.B. Shaw once sent Winston Churchill some tickets for the first night of one of his plays.

Churchill then sent Shaw a telegram to the effect: “Cannot come first night. Will come second night if you have one.”

Shaw promptly replied: “Here are two tickets for the second night. Bring a friend if you have one.”

 

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THE NEXT 2 YEARS COULD BE CRITICAL FOR REPUBLICANS

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The GOP is literally at a make or break point that could a establish a fait accompli   

As we enter into the closing year of the new millennium’s first decade, the approaching official national census process is where some, if not a large portion of the battle for our political future will take place.

After the census has been taken in 2010, every legislative district from which we elect council members in local and city governments to state legislators and members of congress will be redrawn based upon the population shifts determined by the census.

This means that once those figures have been established, during 2010, state legislatures will spend the following year redrawing new legislative districts.

Despite laws that try to regulate how legislative maps can be drawn and try to eliminate gerrymandering, redistricting is primarily a political process that is left up to the political party or parties with majority control at the time that redistricting occurs. That said, the powers that be use their majority status to creatively draw new legislative districts that favor their party. A handful of states have separatecommissions that draw the district lines.  Some of those grant veto to the states governors and some don’t.  But regardless, even those commissions, involved in those 6 or states, contain a degree of politcal leanings.

In either event, by using a range of election results from over the last 8 years or so, party leaders establish where their favorable votes come from. Using that as their basis, they draw districts that contain a plurality of population centers that favor their party.

This allows the majority political party to substantially consolidate power by creating new election districts that are likely to send more of their kind to their county seats and state capitols as well as those who we send to congress.

Regardless of the laws that are designed to take political influence out of the redistricting process and despite the various state redistricting commissions that are set up to oversee the process, it is an entirely political process. You must understand that the politicians create the new districts maps themselves or appoint the redistricting commissions regulating the process. Even when the courts have to step in, it remains a political process…….Who appoints the judges that make the rulings on this type of stuff?…..The politicians. So no matter what, it is a fact that the redistricting process is a political process. To pretend it isn’t, is a demonstration of naiveté that should prohibit one from even discussing politics. The only arguable point may be the varying degree of politicization that the process holds for one state or another.

Keeping that in mind, in one sense the census will, or could benefit, Republicans on the national level.  Having the majority in various state legislatures is key though. 

Areas such as the Northeast will see a decreased sizes in population. That will result in several Northeastern states losing congressional seats. The region has practically no congressional Republicans left. Connecticut’s Chris Shays was one of the last few holdouts and his overreaching attempts to appeal to  Democrat by essentially voting like a Democrat didn’t hack it. Republicans did not like his trying to be a liberal and liberals did not find him liberal enough so he’s out.

But the loss of seats through redistricting in the Northeast, where Republicans don’t have many seats, will favor Republicans where they are still strong….the South and West.

The census will show a strong increase in Southern population and so will the West. That means the representation lost in places like New Jersey and New York will be added to places like Florida and California, where the increased population will get increased representation. Except for California that bodes well for Republicans, but not in and of itself.

The party in power of each individual state legislature will ultimately determine the final redistricting maps. The party in charge at the time will create new districts that favor themselves and increases their own pluralities in their state capitol. They will do the same with their own states congressional delegation to washington, DC, as they draw congressional districts that favor their party as well.

So that means, if, for example, New Jersey has A Democrat Governor and a Democrat majority in the state senate and the state assembly, which they do now, Democrats will make their existing state legislative districts more favorable to electing Democrats. They will also draw congressional districts that are inclined to do the same. In fact, with the possible loss of one seat due to relatively decreased population growth, the Democrat dominated state legislature would probably emaciate one of the rare congressional districts that Republicans have held, forever, in Northern New Jersey. In the recent 2008 election, incumbent Republican Congressman Mike Fergusson retired and his seat was won by a Republican state senator named Leonard Lance. After redistricting, he and his seat will probably be gerrymandered out of existence.

This all points to the following .

  • The GOP Must Act Quickly

We need to select a Republican National Chairman who has a vision of inclusiveness and a passionate command of the issues and ideological fervor that is rooted in the conservative foundation that has always been the basis of our most productive legislative sessions and our most successful election cycles. That person must also have the capacity for exceptional organizational development and cutting edge thinking that can exploit the internet and the grassroots. The new chairman must also be willing to act quickly and accept the fact that we need to prepare for the redistricting process that begins in 2010.  Any loss of time leading up to 2010 will wreak havoc on our prospects for the decade to follow. (Newt…..are you reading this?)

  • A Bottom Up Strategy

The new Republican National Committee Chairman must immediately focus on and direct all resources to local and state legislative elections. This may sound out of place for the “national” committee, however, by the time the end of 2010 rolls around, it is the state level which will strongly effect our national prospects in the redistricting process that occurs at the start of the next decade.  By electing more officials on the bottom of the ballot, in stste elections, we will be better able to effect races further up the ballot.

By spending the next two years establishing strong candidates to run strong campaigns for state senate and assembly seats, we will increase control of the state legislative bodies that are ultimately responsible for the redistricting that they will undertake after the 2010 census results. With that power and opportunity we will be able to draw new congressional districts that are favorable for increasing Republican pluralities in the newly drawn seats that will be up for grabs in 2012.

Without control of the redistricting process Democrats will have the opportunity to gerrymander more Republicans out of office and make it even harder to get elected into office . That will only make the decade to come more difficult for us to increase our state legislative and congressional prospects.

The new chairman of the RNC, whoever it may be, better be willing to utilize the little time we have between now and then wisely. The once every decade redistricting process that the new chairman should prepare us for could have more of an effect on GOP prospects and our regaining majority status in congress than any of the elections that will follow

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GOOD ANSWERS

I guess I would have voted with the majority if it was a close vote. But I agree with the arguments the minority made.
–President Bill Clinton, on the 1991 Gulf War resolution

“I’m not going to have some reporters pawing through our papers. We are the president.”
–Hillary Clinton commenting on the release of subpoenaed documents

I haven’t committed a crime. What I did was fail to comply with the law.
–David Dinkins, New York City Mayor, answering accusations that he failed to pay his taxes.

Things are more like they are now than they ever were before.
–Former U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower

The streets are safe in Philadelphia. It’s only the people who make them unsafe.
–Frank Rizzo, ex-police chief and mayor of Philadelphia

I have lied in good faith.
— Bernard Tapie, French politician accused of fixing a soccar match involving the team he owned, when his sworn alibi fell apart in court.

I don’t need bodyguards.
–Jimmy Hoffa, labor leader

Outside of the killings, Washington has one of the lowest crime rates in the country.
–Mayor Marion Barry, Washington, DC

The police are not here to create disorder. They’re here to preserve disorder.”
–Former Chicago mayor Daley during the infamous 1968 Democratic Party convention

China is a big country, inhabited by many Chinese.
–Former French President Charles de Gaulle

 

 

 

 

 

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