What is wrong with San Bernardino County?

San Bernardino County (Ca.) is the largest county, area wise, in the country, with a population of over 2 million. So why is it one of the poorest counties in the country? One word – Politicians (mostly all were Republicans).
Starting with Congressman Jerry Lewis, most known for his involvement with the Duke Cunningham scandal, and also voted the most corrupt member of Congress 6 years in a row. He did absolutely nothing for the district, except stifle it.
Then there was the Postmus scandal, which also took down 2 corrupt supervisors (Biane and Ovitt) and Assistant Assessor Jim Erwin, and later Supervisor Neil Derry, for money laundering.
Back in the 1990s, consecutive county administrators, Harry Mays and James Hlawek, went down after running the corners office like a criminal enterprise. In 2004, then-Supervisor Gerald Eaves pleaded guilty to accepting unreported gifts from a businessman in exchange for favors.
I still can’t figure out why anyone in San Bernardino County would even consider voting for a Republican, especially considering the crimes they have committed, and the damage they have done to the county.
Now we have a new batch of supervisors, Curt Hagman, Janice Rutherford, Robert Lovingood, James Ramos, and Josie Gonzales. They all have their little pet projects that they take on to get free photo ops, but have not improved the county in any way. Have you ever tried to get your supervisor to do something, or fix something? Don’t hold your breath, unless you are a major campaign contributor.
The excuse given is that the county has no money because of low property tax revenue, due to low home values. A majority of home values across the nation are back above the mortgage scandal prices, but not here. My house is worth less now than 12 years ago. Why? Because we have a pathetic infrastructure that most of the third world countries would be embarrassed by. And on top of that almost half of the county has no access to high speed internet, or even cable T.V., which in itself is pretty pathetic.
Again the reply is we have no money. Across the country counties have dealt with these problems, and still manage to prosper. So what does that say about San Bernardino County administrators? Many counties across the country have partnered with businesses to improve the quality of the infrastructure and the quality of life of their residents, so people are happier, home values go up, and so do county revenues. Is that asking too much?

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Dear Koch Brothers

Around the world the word is out about you. Despite your efforts to hide your involvement in almost every destructive, underhanded activity happening around the world, we see your greedy little hands. And your pathetic attempts to improve your image by running T.V. ads (propaganda), which are full of lies, fools no one.
Your legacies will be that of the 2nd & 3rd most despised people in history, right behind Hitler. And you have done almost as much damage to the world as he did. Your children and their children, and so on, and all of your relatives for generations will be shunned and despised, and will probably not admit any relationship to you. And if they are smart they will even change their last names.
Your ONLY hope for redemption is to repair ALL of the damage you have done to the world’s environment, and the damage you have done to democracy, and the damage you have done to working people and the world’s economy.

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Behind the Tea Party.

There is some debate about the creation of the Tea Party, but ultimately they merge into one. In 2002, a Tea Party movement website was published at usteaparty, it stated “our US Tea Party is a national event, hosted continuously online and open to all Americans who feel our taxes are too high and the tax code is too complicated”. The website was owned by the Citizens for a Sound Economy, a Koch Brothers front group that later became Americans For Prosperity and FreedomWorks, the two main financial supporters of the Tea Party, The site did not take off at the time. That website later became The Sam Adams Alliance.

In another version in 2009 someone on Market Ticker (an investment site) suggested posting tea bags to their elected representatives in Congress as a form of protest. Stephanie Jasky immediately leapt on the idea, Jasky bought an economy box of tea bags and posted one to every member of Congress. The idea was grabbed by Conservative campaigns such as FreedomWorks and aggressively promoted.

In another version following calls by Rick Santelli for a “tea party” by Chicago bond-dealers, conservative groups coalesced around the idea of protesting against Obama’s “liberal” agenda and a series a of protests took place, including the 2009 Taxpayer March on Washington.

From its website: The Tea Party is a grassroots movement that calls awareness to any issue which challenges the security, sovereignty, or domestic tranquility of our beloved nation, the United States of America. From our founding, the Tea Party represents the voice of the true owners of the United States: we the people. The Tea Party has 15 “Core” beliefs: 1. Illegal aliens are here illegally. 2. Pro-domestic employment is indispensable.

  1. A strong military is essential. 4. Special interests must be eliminated. 5. Gun ownership is sacred. 6. Government must be downsized. 7. The national budget must be balanced. 8. Deficit spending must end. 9. Bailout and stimulus plans are illegal. 10. Reducing personal income taxes is a must. 11. Reducing business income taxes is mandatory. 12. Political offices must be available to average citizens. 13. Intrusive government must be stopped. 14. English as our core language is required. 15. Traditional family values are encouraged.

The Tea Party beliefs fit well with the Koch Brothers Libertarian agenda, with significant differences. The Koch Brothers want to cut taxes but only for corporations and the rich. And they want to eliminate government regulations (especially the EPA), so they can make more money and pollute more.

The Tea Party meets locally, but regularly have “events”. All of these events are sponsored by and paid for by Americans For Prosperity and FreedomWorks, in other words by the Koch Brothers. Finally, the Koch Brothers have their own Astroturf “grass roots movement”. And most of the Tea Party leadership is affiliated with AFP or FreedomWorks.

About their sponsors: Dick Armey admitted to Media Matters, “FreedomWorks at this point essentially raises money for the sake of raising money. It exists to bilk activists.” And as Rick Perlstein said in the Baffler, some of the largest conservative media organs are essentially massive email lists of suckers rented to snake oil salesmen.

These are the people that pull the strings of the Tea Party.

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Boycott Koch Industries Products

      Since the only thing these low lifes care about is money, money is the way to stop them.
Do not buy any of these products.

Georgia-Pacific paper products and envelopes
Angel Soft toilet paper
Brawny paper towels
Dixie plates, bowls, napkins and cups
Mardi Gras napkins and towels
Quilted Northern toilet paper
Soft ‘n Gentle toilet paper
Sparkle napkins
Vanity fair napkins
Zee napkins

Koch Pipeline Company LP
owns and operates 4,000 miles of pipeline used to transport oil, natural gas
liquids and chemicals
Flint Hill Resources LP
that operates oil refineries in six states.
Koch Fertilizer, LLC,
owns or has interests in fertilizer plants the United States, Canada, Trinidad
and Tobago and Italy.
Matador Ranch in Texas

Invista Products (CARPETS & FIBERS)
COMFOREL® fiberfill
COOLMAX® fabric
DACRON® fiber
POLYSHIELD® resin
SOLARMAX® fabric
SOMERELLE® bedding products
*** STAINMASTER® carpet
SUPPLEX® fabric
TACTESSE® carpet fiber
*** LYCRA® fiber
Thermolite

Georgia Pacific Building products
Dense Armor Drywall and Decking
ToughArmor Gypsum
Georgia pacific Plytanium Plywood
Flexrock
Densglass sheathing
G/P Industrial
Blue Ribbon OSB Rated Sheathing
DryGuard Enhanced OSB
Perforated Hardboard and Thin MDF
Commercial Roof Fiberboard

Koch Carbon, LLC and its affiliates globally trade and transport petroleum coke,
coal, cement, pulp and paper, sulfur and other related commodities through
a network of bulk import/export terminals in the United States and Europe.
The C. Reiss Coal Company is a leading supplier of coal and related products typically
used in industrial applications or to generate electricity.

Koch Exploration Company, LLC and its affiliates acquire, develop and trade
petroleum and natural gas properties in the United States, Canada and Brazil.

Koch-Glitsch
Koch Membrane Systems
John Zink Company
Koch Agriculture Company
Koch Supply & Trading
Optimized Process Designs
Koch Knight LLC
IPT
Kitten Soft®

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Climate Change and the Koch Brothers.

Virtually everyone agrees that the climate is changing, the controversy is whether or not it is being accelerated because of human activities. The Earth has a natural greenhouse effect, a layer of greenhouse gases, primarily water vapor, which acts as a thermal blanket for the Earth. Scientific evidence for warming of the climate system is unequivocal. And the Earth’s climate has changed throughout history.

Scientists from NASA, NOAA, IPCC, and a vast majority of scientists worldwide (97%) agree that the main cause of the current global warming trend is human expansion of the “greenhouse effect”, warming that results when the atmosphere traps heat.     Global atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide have increased markedly, which accounts for the warming.

Continued greenhouse gas emissions at or above current rates would cause further warming and induce many changes in the global climate system. The current warming trend is of particular significance because most of it is very likely human-induced and proceeding at a rate that is unprecedented.

The effects of climate change are in the news every day. Extreme heat, severe storms, drought and famine, and rising ocean levels are the most obvious symptoms. Almost everyone has personally experienced these effects.

So, with so many people concerned about climate change why is so little being done? Money! I don’t mean money to invest in stopping climate change, I mean the millions of dollars being spent to discredit the sciences, and convince people that it is a hoax.

The main funders of climate deniers is the Koch Brothers, number 2 is Exxon/Mobil.

Since 1998 the Koch Bros. Has spent an estimated $70 million for propaganda provided by phony Koch funded “think tank” front groups like the Cato Institute, and The Heritage Foundation and using American For Prosperity as their mouthpiece. And hundreds of millions more in campaign contributions to puppet politicians who adhere to the Koch agenda.

So why would anyone spend that kind of money to fight against the climate change movement? Two reasons, one The Koch Bros. Are the biggest single polluters in the U.S., accounting for an astounding 5% of the carbon pollution in the country. They have been fined hundreds of millions of dollars, for countless thousands incidents of polluting. Two, they want to protect their $100 Billion dollar a year oil income.

In addition to rolling back renewable energy standards, the Koch’s are behind a push to place a new tax on customers that use solar power, and legislation that makes it more expensive and less accessible.

The Koch Brothers would rather kill every living thing on the planet, than give up one dollar in profits.

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Jeb Bush’s Scandals

I’m writing this because Jeb Bush is running for president, and people need to know the truth about him BEFORE election time.

Currently Jeb Bush is under investigation by Florida Attorney Steve Medina on charges of corruption involving Charles Koch, David Koch, Florida Governor Rick Scott, and presidential candidate, Jeb Bush. They are part of a deal made that allows the Koch Industries’ highly profitable paper and pulp company, Georgia Pacific, to dump millions of gallons of toxic waste per day, into St. John’s River in Florida.

The Jeb Bush administration (1999-2007), over the objection of then Attorney General Charlie Crist, gave preliminary approval for a Georgia-Pacific pipeline from its Palatka paper mill to the St. Johns River.

Now in Bush’s Presidential campaign his biggest contributors are the aforementioned Koch Brothers. Bush’s association with the Koch Brothers, and many other unscrupulous, and often criminal businessmen goes back decades.

In1984 Jeb Bush was then the chairman of the Dade county Republican party and

Camilo Padreda a close family friend, was its finance chairman. Padreda later pleaded guilty to defrauding the housing and urban development department of millions of dollars during the 1980s.

In 1985 Bush’s real estate firm received $75,000 from Miguel Recary, who never actually bought any property (yes a payoff). Recary was under investigation for Medicare Fraud. Jeb’s father George Bush, then Vice President interceded.

In 1986 Bush was a member of the board of The Private Bank and Trust which failed after federal regulators seized the organization and found that “it had been ‘making investments contrary to client instructions and putting funds in companies affiliated with or managed by the bank.

In 1989 Bush formed Bush-El to market MWI’s water pumps internationally. On one of Bush’s trips to Nigeria to help sell them MWI pumps in 1991, that company’s corporate pilot claimed he saw a suitcase full of cash — an apparent bribe for Nigerian officials.

In 1995, Jeb joined the board of directors of Ideon Group, a credit card registry service

Bush resigned soon after that. And the shareholders of Ideon filed suit against Bush and other directors, alleging stock manipulation.

In 2007, five months after his tenure as governor, Jeb Bush joined the world financial services behemoth Lehman Brothers as a paid consultant. Two month later Lehman started its slide from “risky” mortgages.

Later in 2007 Jeb joined the board of directors of Ideon Group, a credit card registry service. The Securities and Exchange Commission charged InnoVida in 2012 with “defrauding investors in an offering fraud scheme”.

Since joining the board of directors of Tenet Healthcare in April 2007, Jeb Bush has received more than $2 million in fees and stock awards. Tenet paid $900 million in fees to settle claims that it overbilled Medicare in the 1990s.

In 2010 Bush was elected director for Swisher Hygiene Inc. Shareholder lawsuits followed against Bush and his colleagues, “accusing him and fellow board members of insufficient oversight. Swisher Hygiene agreed to a class-action settlement.

Jeb Bush used his private e-mail account as Florida governor to discuss security and military issues such as troop deployments to the Middle East and the protection of nuclear plants, according to a review of publicly released records.

If Jeb was a member of any other family he would have been in PRISON decades ago. And now he wants to be President.

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What is ALEC, and why was it created?

ALEC, The American Legislative Exchange Council (originally the “Conservative Caucus of State Legislators”) was created in 1973. Its goals were to counter the Environmental Protection Agency, Unions, and government price controls. ALEC members include conservative corporations, and conservative state and federal legislators.

According to its website, ALEC “works to advance the fundamental principles of free-market enterprise, limited government, and federalism at the state level through a nonpartisan public-private partnership of America’s state legislators, members of the private sector and the general public”

ALEC members include over 300 corporations, about ¼ of state legislators, and many members of congress, as well as a few Republican presidential candidates.

ALEC meets in secret, no cameras or recordings allowed, twice a year to discuss and draft legislation that would increase corporate profits, and advance the conservative agenda. Even though millions of dollars a year are funneled from ALEC member corporations to ALEC member politicians, it is listed as a non-profit organization.

Over the years ALEC has expanded its goals. It now also drafts legislation that reduces taxes on corporations and the rich, and advances pro-corporate legislation. Beyond legislation it rates ALEC friendly Judges, and is now working to influence America’s young people with a high school graduation requirement that promotes its views (Founding Philosophy and Principles Act),

ALEC has nine “task forces” that are responsible for drafting bills: 1) Civil Justice; 2) Commerce, Insurance and Economic Development; 3) Communications and Technology; 4) Education; 5) Energy, Environment, and Agriculture; 6) Health and Human Services; 7) International Relations; 8) Justice Performance Project; and 9) Tax and Fiscal Policy. Public- and private-sector members make up each of the task forces—the public-sector members are state legislators and the private-sector members typically are corporate lobbyists or think-tank representatives. These task forces generate model bills that members can then customize and introduce for debate in their own state legislatures. Private sector members effectively have veto power over model bills drafted by the task forces.

      ALEC is a corporate bill mill. It is not just a lobby or a front group; it is much more powerful than that. Through ALEC, corporations hand state legislators their wishlists to benefit their bottom line. Corporations fund almost all of ALEC’s operations. They pay for a seat on ALEC task forces where corporate lobbyists and special interest reps vote with elected officials to approve “model” bills. Learn more at the Center for Media and Democracy’s ALEC Exposed, and check out breaking news on PE Warch.

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What Is the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)?

The Trans Pacific Partnership is a disastrous trade agreement designed to protect the interests of the largest multi-national corporations at the expense of workers, consumers, the environment and the foundations of American democracy. It will also negatively impact some of the poorest people in the world. The TPP is a treaty that has been written behind closed doors by the corporate world. Incredibly, while Wall Street, the pharmaceutical industry and major media companies have full knowledge as to what is in this treaty, the American people and members of Congress do not. They have been locked out of the process.

The TPP follows in the footsteps of other unfettered free trade agreements like NAFTA, CAFTA and the Permanent Normalized Trade Agreement with China (PNTR). These treaties have forced American workers to compete against desperate and low

wage labor around the world. The result has been massive job losses in the

United States, and the shutting down of tens of thousands of factories. These corporately backed trade agreements have significantly contributed to the race to the bottom, the collapse of the American middle class and increased wealth and income inequality. Former President Bill Clinton said that NAFTA was the biggest mistake of his presidency.

Sections of the TPP published by Wikileaks have revealed the treaty’s vast influence over multiple areas including individual rights, internet freedom and even the rule of law itself. Unelected corporate boards and the President can now wield unprecedented control over almost every aspect of human activity. “If you read, write, publish, think, listen, dance, sing or invent; if you farm or consume food; if you’re ill now or might one day be ill, the TPP has you in its crosshairs,” Wikileaks’ Julian Assange wrote.

Although it is called a “free trade” agreement, the TPP is not mainly about trade. Of TPP’s 29 draft chapters, only five deal with traditional trade issues. One chapter would provide incentives to offshore jobs to low-wage countries. Many would impose limits on government policies that we rely on in our daily lives for safe food, a clean environment, and more. Our domestic federal, state and local policies would be required to comply with TPP rules.

The TPP would even elevate individual foreign firms to equal status with sovereign nations, empowering them to privately enforce new rights and privileges, provided by the pact, by dragging governments to foreign tribunals to challenge public interest policies that they claim frustrate their expectations. The tribunals would be authorized to order taxpayer compensation to the foreign corporations for the “expected future profits” they surmise would be inhibited by the challenged policies.

Despite massive opposition from the American people, Tea Party Republicans and a majority of Democrats, Obama was granted fast-track authority by a 60-38 vote. “Obama will be able to finalize all three of the Obama trade deals, without any Congressional input…” notes Breitbart.

The Administration admits that there will be massive job loss. They plan on

financing retraing for those affected workers via the TAA (Trade Adjustment Assistance) by STEALING $700 million from Medicare.

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Koch Brothers – Threat to Democracy

Probably the second biggest threat to democracy, behind only terrorists, are the Koch Brothers. David Koch ran as vice president on the 1980 Libertarian ticket, to the right of Ronald Reagan. According to New York Times columnist Frank Rich, “his campaign called for the abolition not just of Social Security, federal regulatory agencies and welfare but also of the FBI, the CIA, and public schools”. Since then they have worked secretively behind the scenes to destroy everything that does not fit their agenda.

These born rich billionaires have never actually worked a day in their life. Their father Fred made his money building oil refineries in post-war Russia for Stalin, where he developed strong anti-Union beliefs. Later Fred was a founding member (no, not the founder) of the John Birch Society.

You have all seen or heard the tape of Wisconsin Governor Walker, thinking he is talking to David Koch. It verifies Koch financial backing of the Union busting movement, and pulling the strings of the Republican Party.
For a long time now, Charles and David Koch, America’s third and fourth richest men, have been at the center of funding right wing causes, from fighting universal health care to the funding the tea party. They’ve denied association with the tea party but there is video to prove otherwise. They founded Citizens for a Sound Economy which later became Americans for Prosperity and Freedom Works. David Koch continues as Chairman of the Board. They founded the Cato Institute, a conservative marketing firm masquerading as a think tank.
New Yorker magazine recently revealed that this group has been quietly guiding the organizing efforts of the Tea Party — in other words, billionaire oilmen secretly underwriting what the public has been told is a grass-roots movement for change in Washington. But it has now come out how involved they have been in funding Tea Party groups, Americans for Prosperity, Freedom Works, and Citizens for a Sound Economy ($12 million). The Koch brothers make millions of dollars of “donations” to ALEC, the secretive group of corporations and politicians that work to advance the conservative agenda.

It’s likely that the Koch’s had at least a funding role in Citizens United although no proof yet exists due to the ruling itself. Since that decision, information has come to light that raises serious questions about the impartiality of Justices Thomas and Scalia in the Citizens United case. It appears both justices have participated in political strategy sessions (like ALEC), perhaps while the case was pending, with corporate leaders whose political aims were advanced by the decision. With respect to Justice Thomas, there may also be an undisclosed financial conflict of interest due to his wife’s role as CEO of Liberty Central, a 501(c) organization that stood to benefit from the decision and played an active role in the 2010 elections.
They are behind the efforts to limit EPA power, so they can make more money, at the expense of our environment. And have been the focus of numerous environmental disasters and investigations, as well as funding the anti-climate change movement.

The only way to fight the Koch Brothers influence is to cut off their money. You can (and must) do this by boycotting all Koch industries products. You can find a list of these products at Government Reform.

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What is Americans for Prosperity ?

AFP was established in late 2003 by David and Charles Koch as a successor to the Citizens for a Sound Economy Foundation. According to its website “Our mission is to mobilize citizens to advocate for policies that cut red tape and increase opportunity, put the brakes on government overspending, and get the economy working for hard workers– not special interests.” America’s largest “center”-right “grassroots” organization.

Like other Koch Brothers front groups their stated mission sounds pretty good, but what they actually do is quite different. As they say “actions speak louder than words”, and their intent is other than benefiting the country as a whole. Remember that David ran as vice president on the 1980 Libertarian ticket, and both brothers have kept that ideology.

Let’s examine their mission statement: “advocate for policies that cut red tape” – AFP and the Koch brothers are the leading advocates in reducing the Environmental Protection Agency’s power, and their regulations. The Koch brothers are currently under investigation in Florida for dumping tons of toxic waste into the St. Johns River every day. In 2000, the EPA fined the Koch Brothers $30 million for its role in 300 oil spills, and was fined $20 million for benzene emissions in Texas. Not very hard to guess the Koch’s motivation here. And the push to lower taxes is focused on lowering taxes on corporations and the rich, NOT on everyone else.

In 2008 AFP ran its Hot Air Tour campaign, a hot air balloon cross-country tour with the slogan, “Global Warming Alarmism: Lost Jobs, Higher Taxes, Less Freedom”.

Increasing opportunity – not sure what that is supposed to mean unless it is referring to the Koch brothers having the opportunity to make more money and pollute more. AFP does absolutely nothing to create more opportunities for anyone else.

Putting the brakes on government spending – Besides advocating the elimination of the EPA and other governmental Regulatory agencies the AFP and the Koch brothers want to eliminate or privatize all “social” programs.

Get the economy working for hard workers – not special interests – Personally I doubt that the Koch brothers (and AFP) push to eliminate ALL Unions is any benefit to “hard workers. And the fact that AFP itself IS a ‘special interest” group contradicts that statement. Ask any teacher in Wisconsin how these policies have helped them and how it has helped Wisconsin’s economy.

As for “mobilizing citizens” AFP’s answer is the Tea Party. The Koch brothers (and big tobacco) created the Tea Party and AFP’s president is Tim Phillips, a Republican campaign strategist was an early tea party organizer.

AFP gets it’s data mostly from 2 other Koch funded “think tanks”. The Cato Institute and The Heritage Foundation. AFP frequently provides a platform for climate contrarian statements, such as “How much information refutes carbon dioxide-caused global warming? Let me count the ways.” AFP’s messages are in sync with those of other groups funded by the Koch’s and their other special interest groups that work against progressive initiatives and protections for workers and the environment.

While claiming to be a grassroots organization, AFP has bolstered it list of “activists” by hosting “$1.84 Gas” events, where consumers who receive discounts on gasoline are asked to provide their name and email address on a “petition” form. These events are billed as raising awareness about “failing energy policies” and high gasoline prices, but are never informed that the events were paid for by oil barons the Koch brothers.

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