Daily Archives: January 19, 2011

ACLU Sues King Co. Over Canceling Anti-Israel Bush Ads

In December, King County Washington accepted ads indicting Israel for “War Crimes” that were soon canceled due to public outrage, mentioned HERE, cancellation HERE.

In the current atmosphere of hateful rhetoric being condemned, the ACLU of Washington has filed a federal lawsuit against King County claiming “King County violated the First Amendment rights of the group that sought to place the ad on the sides of Metro Transit buses.”

The ads, created by the the Seattle Mideast Awareness Campaign set off a firestorm of criticism prompting “three other organizations planning to run counter-ads portraying Israel as a victim of Palestinian terrorism.”

King County Metro Executive Dow Constantine said when canceling the ads and counter-ads, “The escalation of this issue from one of 12 local bus placards to a widespread and often vitriolic international debate introduces new and significant security concerns that compel reassessment.”

Read more at the Seattle Times

With the ACLU support of “hate crimes” legislation, perhaps they should define just what is “hate speech” and “free speech” from their ranks as they seem to be all over the board on the subject.

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

‘Racist’ Gun Owners Saves Their Lives, Waiting on Police

Few are actually ever faced with a situation of a home invasion, but they do happen, more than they should.

With Michael Moore coming out claiming gun owners are racist, will he hold a demonstration outside this Oklahoma woman’s home or call for the prosecution of the woman in Indiana?

Is this woman also racist?

In both of these instances, the intruders were white.

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

Repeal Obamacare!

After only one year, a bi-partisan House vote decided that the new health care legislation should be repealed HERE. Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has said he will not even schedule the legislation passed today for a vote in the Senate.

The people spoke in November and the House reacted today with their bi-partisan vote to repeal it and start over.

Senate Democrats need to stop being the “Party of No!”

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

Bruce McCain: Metro Mouthpiece Attacks Tea Party

Brian Feulner/The Oregonian

The Oregonian reported Tuesday that the regional government Metro has hired a former reporter for the Hillsboro Argus (a sister publication to the Oregonian owned by Advance Publications) to cover the agency’s activities. At first glance, this did not appear unusual, since most governmental agencies employ or assign one or more employees to the job of public information officer or PIO. Often these PIO’s are themselves former reporters who understand the business and can rely on their previous contacts. But in this case, the reporter was hired not as a PIO but as a reporter who would provide “quicker, independent, newspaper-style reporting of Metro’s activities.”

The reporter is Nick Christensen whose idea of “independent, newspaper-style” journalism apparently includes penning anti-Tea Party screeds for the left wing blog site Blue Oregon. For the unfamiliar, Blue Oregon is the state’s blog-of-record for left wing politics. Like most blog sites, it allows viewers to post comments and to its credit, Blue Oregon requires a log in and effectively bars anonymous posts that tend to pollute most web forums.

True to its progressive roots, Blue Oregon tolerates conservative posters long enough to exhaust the collective liberal lexicon of invective vituperation. Conservatives brave or stupid enough to venture into that liberal but shallow diversity pool will soon find their ankles slashed by tiny blue terrors that are individually weak but collectively vicious. There’s something about seeing red in the water that sets off a feeding frenzy in those who swim in the Blue Oregon fish bowl.

When liberals crudely attempted to pin the tragic Tucson shootings on conservatives in general and Tea Party activists in particular, every wannabe leftist pundit tripped over their Birkenstocks in a mad dash to see who could best vilify the Tea Party and conservative speakers. Among those at Blue Oregon doing their level best to ‘Pin the Shooting on the Elephant’ was none other than Nick Christensen, who was only identified as a former reporter for the Hillsboro Argus and not as a hired shill for Metro.

Christensen’s piece was entitled, “Own It, Tea Party” and contained all the elements we had come to expect from the frothing left wing blogosphere. Christensen’s article can be best summarized with its parting shot:

“…Tea Party, [alleged shooter] Loughner did what you’ve been calling for all along – he went back to America’s colonial roots, he locked and loaded his Second Amendment remedies and he murdered six people in his attempt to assassinate a seventh.

Own it.

You can’t in one breath say there’s a time and a place for warfare, and in another breath disown it every time it happens. Take it one way or the other, Tea Party. Either admit you’re moral relativists that only accept revolution when it’s for a cause you support, or admit you’re simply taking advantage of a brutish rhetoric because it raises the cash and helps your candidates get elected.”

Of course, Christensen is entitled to his opinion and is free to express it in any lawful manner he chooses. He would no doubt deny he wrote his hit piece on behalf of Metro or as its agent or employee. There’s no apparent indication Christensen used public funds or resources to craft his Blue Oregon article. Christensen and the Blue Oregon editors will protest that his article was his own opinion and does not necessarily reflect that of Metro (hint: next time say so in a disclaimer).

But that misses the point.

For someone who professes to be an “independent, newspaper-style” journalist, Christensen’s published diatribe against the Tea Party reveals a valuable insight into the kind of reporting the public can expect from him when conservatives dare to challenge a Metro policy or proposal.

So conservatives beware. If you dare to speak out against a Metro policy or proposal and heaven forbid you are tagged as a “tea bagger,” be prepared to have your ankles bitten by Metro’s hired mouthpiece.

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

ACLU Sues King Co. Over Canceling Anti-Israel Bush Ads

In December, King County Washington accepted ads indicting Israel for “War Crimes” that were soon canceled due to public outrage, mentioned HERE, cancellation HERE.

In the current atmosphere of hateful rhetoric being condemned, the ACLU of Washington has filed a federal lawsuit against King County claiming “King County violated the First Amendment rights of the group that sought to place the ad on the sides of Metro Transit buses.”

The ads, created by the the Seattle Mideast Awareness Campaign set off a firestorm of criticism prompting “three other organizations planning to run counter-ads portraying Israel as a victim of Palestinian terrorism.”

King County Metro Executive Dow Constantine said when canceling the ads and counter-ads, “The escalation of this issue from one of 12 local bus placards to a widespread and often vitriolic international debate introduces new and significant security concerns that compel reassessment.”

Read more at the Seattle Times

With the ACLU support of “hate crimes” legislation, perhaps they should define just what is “hate speech” and “free speech” from their ranks as they seem to be all over the board on the subject.

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

Bruce McCain: Metro Mouthpiece Attacks Tea Party

Brian Feulner/The Oregonian

The Oregonian reported Tuesday that the regional government Metro has hired a former reporter for the Hillsboro Argus (a sister publication to the Oregonian owned by Advance Publications) to cover the agency’s activities. At first glance, this did not appear unusual, since most governmental agencies employ or assign one or more employees to the job of public information officer or PIO. Often these PIO’s are themselves former reporters who understand the business and can rely on their previous contacts. But in this case, the reporter was hired not as a PIO but as a reporter who would provide “quicker, independent, newspaper-style reporting of Metro’s activities.”

The reporter is Nick Christensen whose idea of “independent, newspaper-style” journalism apparently includes penning anti-Tea Party screeds for the left wing blog site Blue Oregon. For the unfamiliar, Blue Oregon is the state’s blog-of-record for left wing politics. Like most blog sites, it allows viewers to post comments and to its credit, Blue Oregon requires a log in and effectively bars anonymous posts that tend to pollute most web forums.

True to its progressive roots, Blue Oregon tolerates conservative posters long enough to exhaust the collective liberal lexicon of invective vituperation. Conservatives brave or stupid enough to venture into that liberal but shallow diversity pool will soon find their ankles slashed by tiny blue terrors that are individually weak but collectively vicious. There’s something about seeing red in the water that sets off a feeding frenzy in those who swim in the Blue Oregon fish bowl.

When liberals crudely attempted to pin the tragic Tucson shootings on conservatives in general and Tea Party activists in particular, every wannabe leftist pundit tripped over their Birkenstocks in a mad dash to see who could best vilify the Tea Party and conservative speakers. Among those at Blue Oregon doing their level best to ‘Pin the Shooting on the Elephant’ was none other than Nick Christensen, who was only identified as a former reporter for the Hillsboro Argus and not as a hired shill for Metro.

Christensen’s piece was entitled, “Own It, Tea Party” and contained all the elements we had come to expect from the frothing left wing blogosphere. Christensen’s article can be best summarized with its parting shot:

“…Tea Party, [alleged shooter] Loughner did what you’ve been calling for all along – he went back to America’s colonial roots, he locked and loaded his Second Amendment remedies and he murdered six people in his attempt to assassinate a seventh.

Own it.

You can’t in one breath say there’s a time and a place for warfare, and in another breath disown it every time it happens. Take it one way or the other, Tea Party. Either admit you’re moral relativists that only accept revolution when it’s for a cause you support, or admit you’re simply taking advantage of a brutish rhetoric because it raises the cash and helps your candidates get elected.”

Of course, Christensen is entitled to his opinion and is free to express it in any lawful manner he chooses. He would no doubt deny he wrote his hit piece on behalf of Metro or as its agent or employee. There’s no apparent indication Christensen used public funds or resources to craft his Blue Oregon article. Christensen and the Blue Oregon editors will protest that his article was his own opinion and does not necessarily reflect that of Metro (hint: next time say so in a disclaimer).

But that misses the point.

For someone who professes to be an “independent, newspaper-style” journalist, Christensen’s published diatribe against the Tea Party reveals a valuable insight into the kind of reporting the public can expect from him when conservatives dare to challenge a Metro policy or proposal.

So conservatives beware. If you dare to speak out against a Metro policy or proposal and heaven forbid you are tagged as a “tea bagger,” be prepared to have your ankles bitten by Metro’s hired mouthpiece.

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

Pete the Banker: Goldman’s Morally Hazardous Facebook Offering


Goldman Sachs together with its select foreign clients are investing in Facebook through a private placement valuing the firm at $40 – $50 Billion, the initial steps in an Initial Public Offering (IPO) transaction which is likely to come to market in 2012.  By structuring the transaction as a limited private offering Goldman avoids 
both the lengthy process and required filing of public disclosure statements with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The exclusivity of this offering is prompted by Goldman’s cozy relationship with its clients, “For Goldman executives who manage money for wealthy families, so-called special investments have long been a major selling point in luring clients to the firm. The argument to prospective clients is that by placing their money with Goldman, they have access to the same investment opportunities as the firm, long considered one of the world’s smartest investors.”  (here)
Goldman will earn both significant fees on the private placement and ultimately on the IPO and Goldman as well as its clients hope to benefit by significant appreciation in the valuation of Facebook during the period leading up to and perhaps after any Initial Public Offering.  Citing intense media scrutiny and criticism of the transaction, Goldman who originally planned to offer participation to both American and Foreign clients restricted the sale to foreign clients.   (here)
It should be clearly established that the risk involved in this private placement and the subsequent IPO should be exclusively borne by Goldman and its investors.  They and they alone should bear the risk of loss on both their equity contribution as well as any debt employed.  But by virtue of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, “moral hazard” has effectively been institutionalized and Goldman can effectively shift the risk of any potential loss on this offering to the Treasury and the American taxpayer.  If they profit they and their customers will prosper.  If they fail they will run to the Federal Reserve and Treasury for a bail out. 
“Remember that Goldman Sachs is now a bank-holding company – a status it received in September 2008, at the height of the financial crisis, in order to avoid collapse (see Andrew Ross Sorkin’s blow-by-blow account in “Too Big to Fail” for the details.)
This means that it has essentially unfettered access to the Federal Reserve’s discount window – that is, it can borrow against all kinds of assets in its portfolio, effectively ensuring it has government-provided liquidity at any time.
Any financial institution with such access to such government support is likely to take on excessive risk – this is the heart of what is commonly referred to as the problem of “moral hazard.” If you are fully insured against adverse events, you will be less careful.
Goldman Sachs is undoubtedly too big to fail – in the sense that if it were on the brink of failure now or in the near future, it would receive extraordinary government support and its creditors (at the very least) would be fully protected.
In all likelihood, under the current administration and its foreseeable successors, shareholders, executives, and traders would also receive generous help at the moment of duress. No one wants to experience another “Lehman moment.”
This means that Goldman Sachs’s cost of financing is cheaper than it would be otherwise – because creditors feel that they have substantial “downside protection” from the government.”  (here)
So much for the Administration’s pledge to end Too Big To Fail, excessive Financial Institution speculation, and further taxpayer bail outs.  And not only are American taxpayers subsidizing Goldman’s operations, but they aren’t even allowed to benefit by participating in the IPO process.  It seems only the wealthiest families can pay and play.  Well, we can’t say we weren’t forewarned about wealth redistribution during the 2008 election campaign.  Apparently, that $5 Million (Charles Gasparino, “Bought and Paid For”, 2010, page x) donated to Democrats by Goldman Sachs and its management team reaped big rewards for Goldman and a select few of its wealthy foreign clients.  

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

GIUSTO BELIEVES KULO KNEW ABOUT GOLDSCHMIDT RAPE

The former Multnomah County Sheriff and former driver for then-Governor Goldschmidt (and blogger for VictoriaTaft.com) says he believes former Governor Kulongoski knew about Goldschmidt the child rapist. Hear the interview Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4
 
This the day after we read (here) that Goldschmidt’s victim all those years ago has died at the age of 49. Here’s an excerpt from the Zero:

“She was a good person who suffered a great deal in her life,” said the woman’s mother, who added, “We’re glad her suffering is at an end.”


The mother declined to identify the cause of death but said her daughter had been in the hospice for about five weeks.

Giusto was Goldschmidt’s Oregon State Police driver during his years as Governor. Goldschmidt admitted raping the child when he was Mayor of Portland. 
Eventually Giusto began seeing Goldschmidt’s estranged wife, Margie. Giusto told me today that when she found out about the child rape she divorced him. In legal papers released, Margie Goldschmidt had claimed she believed the young victim had been complicit.
Kulongoski denied knowing about the rape even though Goldschmidt’s former speech writer, Fred Leonhardt, claimed he was the one who told him. See Leonhardt’s statement at www.TedKnew.blogspot.com. Here’s an excerpt:

The Oregonian neglected to remind its readers that such acts aren’t confined to Capitol Hill or to Republicans: In 2004 it reluctantly reported that Governor Ted Kulongoski and others in Portland’s political and business circles were accused of knowing former governor Neil Goldschmidt had repeatedly raped his children’s 14-year-old babysitter while mayor of Portland in the 1970’s.
I was the accuser.
The story of Neil and the girl had circulated for years in Portland bars and boardrooms, among lawyers, judges, reporters, editors, business executives, developers, elected officials­many of whom had gained power and wealth from their association with Goldschmidt.
No one spoke up; no one confronted him.
Goldschmidt, unencumbered by conscience and sheltered by those who knew the truth, went on to a stellar career: U.S. secretary of transportation, Nike VP, and governor of Oregon, where he was touted as presidential material. As his speechwriter (and as-yet unaware of his sordid past), I proudly helped author Neil’s “Children’s Agenda,” inspiring Oregonians to protect and defend those most vulnerable to poverty, neglect and, too often, sexual predators.
Convinced by Neil’s former state police bodyguard in 1994 that the rumors were true, I told Kulongoski, my close friend and at that time Oregon’s attorney general. But the statute of limitations had expired, and Neil had obtained a confidentiality agreement from his now-adult victim in exchange for cash.

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

Zero’s "Politifact" Goes After Claims About Rigler Elementary

Let’s go back to the beginning. We received a phone call at the program on KPAM 860 from the relative of a Rigler teacher who claimed that, unlike any other children of faith, Muslim kids were allowed to use school facilities to pray as often as they wished (Muslim adherents can pray up to five times per day) and had their gear stored at school in a room to accommodate their needs when they wanted to pray. 

We checked it out and found out from a school official it was true. My producer contacted Matt Shelby, the spokesman for Portland Public Schools, whom I was told was checking into it but said that of course they did make accommodations for children of faith. So it was a half confirmation, if you will. (here’s the original post complete with his comments) Shelby has now confirmed that children have used the accommodations before but he claims it’s been a long time.  He’s attempting to suggest that I “LIED” about the situation at Rigler. That is NOT true. I did not lie. I may have conflated his “checking it out” with the other confirmations but it’s not a lie–intentional or otherwise. In fact his subsequent email/comment on the blog (which was held up because, a) it awaited moderation, b) while I checked out his claim) actually CONFIRMS the accommodation at Rigler. 

Here’s Matt’s email/comment to the blog:

    Victoria,
    The reader board in Spanish advertises: days with no school in November, Parent Teacher conferences and Book Fair.
    Rigler School does not have any students that pray as part of their school day. This includes, Muslims, Christians, Jews, Mormons and other groups mentioned in the article.
    Consequently, the school does not have any space or equipment devoted to any type of religious practice at school
    Four years ago, Rigler did have two brothers who asked permission to pray during their lunch during Ramadan. The school did give them a quiet space to use; they missed no instructional time to do so and only prayed once a day.
    Those are the facts.
    Remind me when you or Eric spoke to me about this. I don’t recall.
    Matt Shelby
    PPS Communications

When Matt refers to the reader board at Rigler he’s referring to a reader board in front of the school which is all in Spanish. I translated the reader board. I was being sarcastic and engaging in what we call satire when I said in the caption: 
I actually know a little Spanish, hence I actually read most of it right. The “prayer rug” reference was satire. I figured I’m not the only person who knows a little Spanish and that most people would know it was a joke. 
Now let’s get to the part where Shelby says the school has no students who pray as part of their day,

“This includes, Muslims, Christians, Jews, Mormons and other groups mentioned in the article.”

Since children of other faiths don’t require separate places to pray during the day and Muslims are the only adherents who pray as many as five times a day, his reference to other religions is immaterial. People of other faiths don’t have to go to another room–provided by the school by the way–and pray, therefore this is a moot point.
And here’s where we get to it. Shelby confirms that the district has provided a spot at the school to pray.
Four years ago, Rigler did have two brothers who asked permission to pray during their lunch during Ramadan. The school did give them a quiet space to use; they missed no instructional time to do so and only prayed once a day.
The people we spoke to about it confirmed these things but not when. That Shelby’s example happened four years ago is interesting but not material. That the school provided the space to pray is the material point. That they prayed only during Ramadan is helpful but not material. The fact that they prayed “once a day” is of no material value.
What is material is this: The school district provided a place for children of one religion to pray during school hours. My understanding is the school actually stored the equipment (prayer rugs etc) to help them do it. Matt doesn’t take up this concern.
Personally, I think there should be more prayer in school. I believe that this same accommodation would NOT occur for children of other faiths. Indeed, the ACLU and other groups have seen to that. The dockets of many courts are peppered with cases fighting just such unequal treatment.
Perhaps it is this last point that Shelby is most concerned about. We spoke on the program with an expert in establishment clause cases using the information we were given by the folks who confirmed this.
Ken Klukowski is quoted on the original blog post:

Klukowski says case law regarding Muslim prayer and other considerations hasn’t caught up with the real world on this issue but says this situation is, “completely inconsistent with how federal courts have treated other religious groups especially Christian.” Not only can you not have Christian prayer in school but you can’t even have a moment of silence because it was “intended to help facilitate prayer”– a violation of the establishment clause according to a Supreme Court decision.
He believes cases like this and others involving special accommodations for Muslim students, for instance separate foot washing sinks in school, need to have a full, frank judicial reconsideration to put all religions on the same footing. He believes if these students were Christian or Orthodox Jew they would not be given a separate room in which to pray during school hours.


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