Daily Archives: December 7, 2010

The Tax Deal

NW Portland Graffiti

From the left:

The MoveOn.commies call the tax deal “An Absolute Disaster.” 

Dear MoveOn member, 
Last night, President Obama announced that he’s giving in to the GOP and extending the Bush tax breaks for the rich.1

The “deal” he’s proposing is an “absolute disaster,” as Senator Bernie Sanders said.2

But it’s not a done deal. Leading Democrat Chris Van Hollen said yesterday that “House Democrats have not signed off on any deal,” and last night Senator Sanders vowed to “do whatever I can to see that 60 votes are not acquired to pass this piece of legislation.”3

From the right:

Make no mistake about it, Obama’s announcement that he’ll keep all tax rates at the current levels is a huge victory for the GOP.  Here’s a man who banked his presidential run on rescinding “tax cuts for the rich.”  Far from a throwaway line on the campaign trail, it was Barack’s central talking point.

For him, spiking taxes on the “wealthy” wasn’t just political positioning. It was deeply ideological, part of his core philosophy.  Here’s a man who has lamented that the Supreme Court never codified “redistribution of wealth” in our legal code, and the same dude who made one Ohio plumber a household name by telling him how advantageous it was to “spread the wealth around.”

Barack, the most anti-capitalist President in modern time, was humiliated, both personally and publically, by being forced into backing a two-year extension of the tax cuts he loathes. Obama ate a capitalist sandwich, and you know he hated every bite of it. 

Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

Vancouver Pays Homage to the Memory of the Pearl Harbor Attack

It was 69 years ago today, December 7, 1941, young sailors and soldiers waking to another Sunday morning in Pearl Harbor Hawaii were suddenly and brutally thrust into the war that would become the bloodiest conflict the world has ever seen, World War Two.

For nearly two hours, waves of Japanese aircraft flew in, dropping bombs, torpedoes and strafing airfields and ships moored in the harbor in an effort to cripple the American Naval Pacific Fleet and prevent our Navy from influencing the war that the Japanese was planning to wage in Southeast Asia against Britain, the Netherlands and the U.S. in the Philippines.

“Four U.S. Navy battleships were sunk (two of which were raised and returned to service later in the war) and all of the four other battleships present were damaged. The Japanese also sank or damaged three cruisers, three destroyers, an anti-aircraft training ship and one minelayer. 188 U.S. aircraft were destroyed, 2,402 personnel were killed and 1,282 were wounded. The power station, shipyard, maintenance, and fuel and torpedo storage facilities, as well as the submarine piers and headquarters building (also home of the intelligence section) were not attacked. Japanese losses were light, with 29 aircraft and five midget submarines lost, and 65 servicemen killed or wounded. One Japanese sailor was captured.”

While the surprise attack was an initial success, it ultimately proved to be a deadly miscalculation for the Japanese that was reportedly noted immediately after the sneak attack by Japanese Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, “I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve.

While the quote itself is called into question, the ultimate outcome and somberness of the words are now a historical fact.

69 years later, the city of Vancouver once again gathered on this day to pay homage to those who are still entombed in the rusting hulks of ships still sitting beneath the waters of Pearl Harbor and give respects to the handful of men still living who endured the attack that day and who fought back against the tyranny of the then Japanese government and after defeating them, guide them back to being viable and welcome allies.

Even as a Veteran myself, I can only imagine the untold horror those men experienced that day. They were the same age I was when I served in the Viet Nam War, but I knew I was being sent into a War. They woke up to a massive wave of enemy aircraft attacking instead of the expected peaceful Sunday.

From the tearful admonition of Vancouver’s Pearl Harbor Survivors Association Vice-President Hal Lacey hoping such an attack never happens again to the emotional rendition of God Bless America, sang by Vancouver Police Officer Ray Reynolds, the hour and a half of ceremonies was in appreciation for what these aging men endured.

Retired Navy Commander Larry Commander served as Master of Ceremonies, introducing those survivors who were attendance and guest speakers who included Vancouver Mayor, Tim Leavitt, who although never served in the Military paid deep respects to those who died and those who survived to fight back.

Gene Cole, from Portland’s Chapter #1 of the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association gave a short speech, recalling his own actions that fateful morning and the actions of those he saw fall around him.

A young sailor currently serving as the U.S. Navy Recruiter in the Vancouver area, whose name escapes me, paid his respects and recited the sailor’s creed,

“I am a United States Sailor. I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States of America and I will obey the orders of those appointed over me. I represent the fighting spirit of the Navy and all who have gone before me to defend freedom and democracy around the world. I proudly serve my country’s Navy combat team with Honor, Courage and Commitment. I am committed to excellence and the fair treatment of all.”

Who better in our history has shown that than those men who endured that fateful day?

Earlier years saw a placing of a wreath into the Columbia River, but as this year’s ceremony was held indoors at E.B. Hamilton Hall, in the Historic Fort Vancouver, aging survivors dressed in uniforms and association colors stood and hung it from the front of the speakers’ lectern.

Aging men who will be lucky to see another commemoration, assisted by walkers and canes, some struggling even to stand, proudly walked up to pay their own homage to fellow shipmates who never returned.

Speaking with these men prior to the opening ceremony filled me with awe of what they endured, what they accomplished and the deep memories each has of that day and the rest of the war.

Older and bent over today, some with graying or balding hair, long widowers, once they were the young warriors and sailors who paid the price that my generation and successive generations remained a free people.

We owe these men a debt of gratitude impossible to repay. We can never give back what they lost that day and I imagine none would accept it if we could, knowing the price had to be paid to remain free.

To a man they are true patriots and Americans, proud of their country, shipmates and fellow Veterans.

As Vancouver Police Officer Ray Reynolds so eloquently sang, “God Bless America.”

Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

Portland Job Growth: Negative

Bloomberg chart:
H/T Pete the Banker
And now the Portland Business Alliance and other business groups have come out with a new study that is devastating in its assessment of the Portland/Metro regions business and jobs growth. Find it Here.
The Portland-metro region faces a crisis. If unstopped, the loss of jobs in Multnomah County and the stagnant-to-declining wages and incomes across the region will erode our quality of life, not just in Portland-metro, but across Oregon because of the region’s key role in the overall state economy.Key findings:
  • Multnomah County has lost 26,463 private-sector jobs since 1997. It ranks second to the bottom in job creation among 199 counties in the west* over the last decade.
  • Portland-metro residents have lower wages and incomes than residents of peer regions. Because Oregon is an income-tax dependent state this means fewer resources for schools, law enforcement and other important public services.
 Key Questions they’re asking (that we already know the answers to because it’s what got us here in the first place):
  • Does our community truly welcome business and job creation, particularly as it relates to the large, internationally traded firms that offer higher wages?
  • When we must make trade-offs between competing interests, how do jobs and economic growth fair? Can we institute a ‘jobs impact analysis’ for every policy consideration?
  • Are our land use, transportation and tax policies supportive of growing jobs and incomes?
  • Can we nurture our small businesses – our entrepreneurial class – so that they have the opportunity to grow and thrive, generating more jobs?
Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

Pearl Harbor Survivors Program This Morning in Vancouver

The Pearl Harbor Survivors of Vancouver have announced their Chapter will commemorate the sixty-ninth (69th) anniversary of the December 7th, 1941attack on Pearl Harbor with a Memorial Service at Hamilton Hall/ Old Red Cross Building 605 Barnes Road at the Historic Reserve Fort Vancouver, WA Tuesday, December 7th, 2010. The doors to the service will open at 9:30. The Service will start of 10:30. The Honorable Tim Leavitt Vancouver’s Mayor will be the ceremonies’ Keynote Speaker.

Included in the Program will be a tribute to all Clark County Pearl Harbor Survivors, and other service men and women who have served or are serving our great nation. Others honoring our Pearl Harbor Survivors are the United States Marine Corps League Color Guard, Soloist Mr. Ray Reynolds with his beautiful renditions of “The Star Spangled Banner and God Bless America”, and Mr. Tom Niewulis leading us in prayer. Captain Ralph Laedtke, USN (ret) a Pearl Harbor Survivor will lead those present in the Pledge of Allegiance to our Great Country. The Master of Ceremonies of this historic event will be Commander Lawrence Patella USN (ret).

“Lest We Forget”, this memorial service is open to all interested in saluting our Pearl Harbor Survivors and all Vancouver Military Personnel. To further honor the Pearl Harbor Survivors and honor our brave men and women who are currently fighting to preserve our freedoms, all Active, Former, and Retired Military Personnel are requested to wear their uniforms.

Refreshment will be served following the Memorial Service.

Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

Welfare 101: PSU & Pacific U Busted in National Story Enabling Students to Beg for $

How do you turn civilized citizens into a rioting mass of Greeks? Teach them that the state owes you a 1) living, 2) housing, 3) food
The Daily Caller has discovered that colleges around the country are teaching their students to get on welfare. Leading the pack: Portland State University and Pacific University. We’re so proud.
But it gets worse!

The Daily Caller reports (Here) that more people than ever are on food stamps (here) and part of the reason is that the stigma is being taken out of sticking your hand out for freebies when you are capable of working and paying for yourself! 

Far from framing the decision to apply for food stamps as a last resort, the university’s website makes taking government handouts sound like a moral imperative. “As tuition increases, many students struggle to make ends meet,” the site explains. “Sometimes grants and loans don’t stretch far enough and students are forced to work low-paying jobs. For some, this still is not enough to get by. Having to choose between buying groceries or a $125 textbook is a tough decision that many students have been forced to make at some point in their college careers. As if taking a full class load wasn’t stressful enough!”

Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

The Tax Deal

NW Portland Graffiti

From the left:

The MoveOn.commies call the tax deal “An Absolute Disaster.” 

Dear MoveOn member, 
Last night, President Obama announced that he’s giving in to the GOP and extending the Bush tax breaks for the rich.1

The “deal” he’s proposing is an “absolute disaster,” as Senator Bernie Sanders said.2

But it’s not a done deal. Leading Democrat Chris Van Hollen said yesterday that “House Democrats have not signed off on any deal,” and last night Senator Sanders vowed to “do whatever I can to see that 60 votes are not acquired to pass this piece of legislation.”3

From the right:

Make no mistake about it, Obama’s announcement that he’ll keep all tax rates at the current levels is a huge victory for the GOP.  Here’s a man who banked his presidential run on rescinding “tax cuts for the rich.”  Far from a throwaway line on the campaign trail, it was Barack’s central talking point.

For him, spiking taxes on the “wealthy” wasn’t just political positioning. It was deeply ideological, part of his core philosophy.  Here’s a man who has lamented that the Supreme Court never codified “redistribution of wealth” in our legal code, and the same dude who made one Ohio plumber a household name by telling him how advantageous it was to “spread the wealth around.”

Barack, the most anti-capitalist President in modern time, was humiliated, both personally and publically, by being forced into backing a two-year extension of the tax cuts he loathes. Obama ate a capitalist sandwich, and you know he hated every bite of it. 

Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

Post Mo Mo: Andy McCarthy on Mo Mo’s "Entrapment"

What would someone have to offer to entice you into killing someone? Or to entice you into killing thousands of people?

The FBI has just caught Mohamed Osman Mohamud trying to kill 25,000 Americans at a Christmas tree lighting ceremony in Portland . That means the silly season is once again upon us. Not the holiday season — the entrapment season. It comes around, as surely as Cialis commercials follow NFL opening kickoffs, every time the FBI catches a jihadist trying to mass-murder Americans.

You may have noticed that jihadists try to mass-murder Americans with some frequency. One would think this stubborn fact would more than deserve the heightened attention it is reluctantly given by the FBI — the politically correct, anti-profiling, “every culture has its violent extremists” FBI. (Read the rest Here)

Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

McCain: Kyron Kops: Confident Yet Clueless (and Raking in the OT)

It has now been six months since Kyron Horman was last seen alive on June 4, 2010. To mark this unfortunate anniversary, Multnomah County Sheriff Dan Staton finally broke his silence to speak with media over this weekend. Sunday’s Oregonian carried a large front-page “exclusive” interview that told us nothing new, while confirming what many have believed all along.

While Staton expressed his confidence that something will break in this case by his arbitrarily set February 1 deadline, he and his detectives acknowledge they have no idea what happened to Kyron, where Kyron is today or whether the boy is alive or dead. 

There is no discernable crime scene, though Skyline School has been dubbed “Ground Zero” for the investigation. Investigators admit there is no physical evidence relating to Kyron or linking anyone – including Terri Horman – to Kyron’s disappearance. No broken eyeglasses. No torn CSI shirt. No bloody handprint. To say MCSO detectives are clueless is not an insult; it’s their own description of the case. Yet some of these investigators have been well-compensated for their time so far.
Public payroll records show several MCSO employees working on the Kyron Horman case earned five-figures in overtime in the month of June alone, on top of six-figure compensation packages. The following is a list of employee overtime costs, which includes earnings, salary-related fringe and insurance, for June 4 through June 30, 2010
  • Sgt. Diana Olsen – $17, 390.00
  • Deputy Lee Gosson – $16,966.00
  • Deputy Kevin Jones – $15,784.50
  • Deputy Joshua Zwick – $14,949.50
  • Deputy Bobby O’Donnell – $14,035.00
  • Deputy Jonathan Zwick – $13,144.50
  • Deputy Sean Mallory – $11,263.00
  • Deputy Daniel Rendon – $10,930.00
  • Deputy Lars Snitker – $10, 190.00
  • Deputy Matthew Ferguson – $10,155.50
  • Deputy Timothy Wonacott – $10,013.00

But the grand prize for overtime in June 2010 goes to Sgt. Jan Kubic, who was paid $18,164.50 in total overtime compensation for the month, on top of a total annual compensation package of $146,842. These staggering numbers for June alone only list those earning more than $10,000 in overtime for the month of June 2010. The total Kyron Horman overtime costs to taxpayers for June alone was $335,908.98. And these figures are only for the Sheriff’s Office – they do not include the district attorney or other federal, state and local agencies who contributed resources to the search for Kyron.

Oregonian Photo

On Friday June 11, one week after Kyron disappeared, the pubic got it first glimpse of the four adults involved in Kyron’s strange family dynamic. Donning white tee shirts depicting Kyron, the media and public saw Kaine Horman and his current wife Terri Horman, Desiree Young and her current husband Tony Young standing in the background as stage props as MCSO spokespersons delivered the first in a series of press conferences many in the media felt were defensive and confrontational. That same day, Deputy Eric Gustafson was paid for 20 hours of overtime for June 11 at a total cost to taxpayers of $1,600.00. Gustafson followed his 20-hour OT days with a 16 hour overtime day on Saturday, June 12 to the tune of $1,280.00. Gustafson’s 36-hour OT binge on consecutive days came a full week after Kyron had disappeared, but was typical of how the Sheriff’s Office approached this case from the beginning.

Sheriff Staton has repeatedly expressed his regret that investigators lost a critical six hours on June 4 from the time Kyron was last seen and the time he was reported missing. Staton is correct in that no one can go back and reclaim those critical six hours during which Kyron could have been taken to California, Idaho or Canada before the initial 911 call was made. But now Staton acknowledges his agency could have and should have responded differently than it did on and immediately after June 4.
As most of the nation knows by now, the search for Kyron Horman was the most extensive and expensive search and rescue effort in Oregon history. But that’s because for the first several days the Sheriff’s Office viewed Kyron’s disappearance as a lost child who wandered off on his own rather than a possible or likely crime.
Staton told KGW, “At first, we thought it was a child who walked away from school.” Staton now says if somehow they could have figured out earlier that Kyron was abducted, they would have done things differently. Staton now admits that waiting days before beginning to interview teachers, students and parents hurt the investigation because, “Once the days passed, people began to lose their train of thought and what they did or didn’t see.”
So why did the Sheriff’s Office respond to Kyron’s disappearance by launching a massive Search & Rescue (SAR) effort and not considering this a crime? The answer lies in the nature and history of the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office. Today MCSO is primarily a corrections agency with typically 80% of its budget going to run the county jail system. The law enforcement component of MCSO is a relatively small component of the agency responsible for patrol and investigative services for the unincorporated areas of the county, primarily Corbett, Sauvie Island and some parts of the West Hill. MCSO also provides contract services to the small cities of Wood Village and Maywood Park. But since the annexations of the late 1980’s and 1990’s MCSO’s law enforcement unit has struggled to justify its very existence nearly every budget cycle.
One thing MCSO does well is Search & Rescue. When media police scanners hear a call related to MCSO, it’s not uncommon the call relates to a lost or injured hiker in the Columbia River Gorge or a person or boat needing help on the Columbia or Willamette Rivers. So when Kyron was reported missing, MCSO defaulted to doing what it does best – looking for lost people in rough terrain. Yet few who knew the bespectacled Kyron Horman believed he would have voluntarily wandered away from Skyline School on his own. Yet MCSO spent the first week treating Kyron’s disappearance as a massive SAR effort, hoping for a Hollywood ending in which a dedicated searcher emerges from the blackberry brambles delivering a scuffed up, but relatively unharmed little boy into the arms of his waiting parents. But that ending never materialized. Instead MCSO was forced into a criminal investigative mode that took its small cadre of detectives into uncharted territory.
The Portland Police Bureau (PPB) is Oregon’s largest police department with 95 budgeted detectives. At PPB, the position of detective is actually a promotional position from police officer as opposed to a rotational assignment as in many smaller agencies. Portland’s 95 detectives are more than MCSO’s total number of law enforcement sergeants and deputy sheriffs combined and dwarf’s MCSO’s detective unit of six deputies. Yet Portland’s vastly more experienced detectives have been conspicuously absent from the Kyron Horman case as MCSO tried to solve this case mostly without Portland’s help, despite the recent announcement of the cost-shifting Task Force.
When MCSO’s investigative costs hit the $1,000,000 mark in September, the sheriff called a press conference to announce the formation of a new Kyron Horman task force. Staton initially billed the task force as a “more fiscally responsible” manner of running the investigation. Unfortunately, Staton committed a politician’s cardinal sin of overpromising but under delivering by committing some agencies to the task force before those agencies agreed to participate. While the task force was primarily a cost-shifting measure in which Staton sought to have other agencies pick up the ever-increasing costs associated with the Kyron Horman investigation, Staton also had another reason which he failed to disclose until this weekend.
At his September 15 press conference, Staton talked much about the task force as a responsible business model. On the six-month anniversary of Kyron’s disappearance Staton finally confessed to the Oregonian’s Maxine Bernstein what many in the public and media already suspected:
“I wanted to know what’s going on because I lost confidence in the investigation,” he said. “I felt the case was moving towards a cold case, and I was concerned. We had collected a ton of information, and nothing was being answered.”
After watching Sgt. Jan Kubic and other detectives rack up tens of thousands of dollars each in Kyron-related overtime, the sheriff finally admits he had lost confidence in a million dollar investigation that has produced no arrests, no identified persons of interest, no indictments, no physical evidence related to Kyron or anyone else.
Today the sheriff continues to assume, as do Kaine Horman and Desiree Young, that Kyron Horman is still alive, even as his dive team searches zero visibility ponds on Sauvie Island. Terri Horman reportedly remains the focus of the investigation, though MCSO investigators believe more than one person is involved in Kyron’s disappearance. Yet there has been no apparent discussion of offering Terri Horman an immunity deal in exchange for leading investigators to the real kidnappers and bringing Kyron home. The likely reason for that is that the district attorney believes that Kyron is not alive or that Terri Horman has no information worth trading for. Otherwise, it’s unfathomable that the district attorney and investigators would allow Kyron to remain a kidnap victim this long hoping to catch Terri Horman in a mistake that leads to her arrest and indictment.
Sheriff Staton expressed an understandable concern that the Kyron Horman case was moving quickly toward cold case status. With his investigators blowing a $1.4 million hole in his budget to date, that is a legacy he would like to avoid. The answer will be known on June 4, 2011 when we either look back on the successful arrest and prosecution of Kyron’s abductors, or lament the fact that we are gathering for the one-year anniversary of the unsolved disappearance of Kyron Horman.
Bruce McCain is a former Multnomah County Sheriff’s Captain and is an attorney in private practice. BruceMcCain.com 
Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

Portland Job Growth: Negative

Bloomberg chart:
H/T Pete the Banker
And now the Portland Business Alliance and other business groups have come out with a new study that is devastating in its assessment of the Portland/Metro regions business and jobs growth. Find it Here.
The Portland-metro region faces a crisis. If unstopped, the loss of jobs in Multnomah County and the stagnant-to-declining wages and incomes across the region will erode our quality of life, not just in Portland-metro, but across Oregon because of the region’s key role in the overall state economy.Key findings:
  • Multnomah County has lost 26,463 private-sector jobs since 1997. It ranks second to the bottom in job creation among 199 counties in the west* over the last decade.
  • Portland-metro residents have lower wages and incomes than residents of peer regions. Because Oregon is an income-tax dependent state this means fewer resources for schools, law enforcement and other important public services.
 Key Questions they’re asking (that we already know the answers to because it’s what got us here in the first place):
  • Does our community truly welcome business and job creation, particularly as it relates to the large, internationally traded firms that offer higher wages?
  • When we must make trade-offs between competing interests, how do jobs and economic growth fair? Can we institute a ‘jobs impact analysis’ for every policy consideration?
  • Are our land use, transportation and tax policies supportive of growing jobs and incomes?
  • Can we nurture our small businesses – our entrepreneurial class – so that they have the opportunity to grow and thrive, generating more jobs?
Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

Pearl Harbor Survivors Program This Morning in Vancouver

The Pearl Harbor Survivors of Vancouver have announced their Chapter will commemorate the sixty-ninth (69th) anniversary of the December 7th, 1941attack on Pearl Harbor with a Memorial Service at Hamilton Hall/ Old Red Cross Building 605 Barnes Road at the Historic Reserve Fort Vancouver, WA Tuesday, December 7th, 2010. The doors to the service will open at 9:30. The Service will start of 10:30. The Honorable Tim Leavitt Vancouver’s Mayor will be the ceremonies’ Keynote Speaker.

Included in the Program will be a tribute to all Clark County Pearl Harbor Survivors, and other service men and women who have served or are serving our great nation. Others honoring our Pearl Harbor Survivors are the United States Marine Corps League Color Guard, Soloist Mr. Ray Reynolds with his beautiful renditions of “The Star Spangled Banner and God Bless America”, and Mr. Tom Niewulis leading us in prayer. Captain Ralph Laedtke, USN (ret) a Pearl Harbor Survivor will lead those present in the Pledge of Allegiance to our Great Country. The Master of Ceremonies of this historic event will be Commander Lawrence Patella USN (ret).

“Lest We Forget”, this memorial service is open to all interested in saluting our Pearl Harbor Survivors and all Vancouver Military Personnel. To further honor the Pearl Harbor Survivors and honor our brave men and women who are currently fighting to preserve our freedoms, all Active, Former, and Retired Military Personnel are requested to wear their uniforms.

Refreshment will be served following the Memorial Service.

Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

Welfare 101: PSU & Pacific U Busted in National Story Enabling Students to Beg for $

How do you turn civilized citizens into a rioting mass of Greeks? Teach them that the state owes you a 1) living, 2) housing, 3) food
The Daily Caller has discovered that colleges around the country are teaching their students to get on welfare. Leading the pack: Portland State University and Pacific University. We’re so proud.
But it gets worse!

The Daily Caller reports (Here) that more people than ever are on food stamps (here) and part of the reason is that the stigma is being taken out of sticking your hand out for freebies when you are capable of working and paying for yourself! 

Far from framing the decision to apply for food stamps as a last resort, the university’s website makes taking government handouts sound like a moral imperative. “As tuition increases, many students struggle to make ends meet,” the site explains. “Sometimes grants and loans don’t stretch far enough and students are forced to work low-paying jobs. For some, this still is not enough to get by. Having to choose between buying groceries or a $125 textbook is a tough decision that many students have been forced to make at some point in their college careers. As if taking a full class load wasn’t stressful enough!”

Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com