Sanford pulls another ‘Quickie’ on South Carolinians

The past couple weeks have seen one of Conservative Republicans golden boys crash hard to the ground with the shocking revelation that SC GOP Governor and Presidential hopeful Mark Sanford was engaged in a steamy affair with a mistress.  

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v…

Lately, like the typical holy roller of the far right, Sanford has been pulling that “God told me that I should stay on as Governor shit.”  

“A long list of close friends have suggested otherwise – that for God to really work in my life I shouldn’t be getting off so lightly. While it would be personally easier to exit stage left, their point has been that my larger sin was the sin of pride.” – politico

Sanford’s larger sin was pride???? Are you shitting me?  This goes to show how narcissistic and sadistic these politicians are.  You’re supposed to have pride, morals, and beliefs.  Mark Sanford’s pride was hurt because he preached the choir AS HOLY ART THOU and got caught “hiking in the Appaliachian mountains.” (2012 GOP Code for screwing my mistress in Argentina). Did God tell Governor Sanford to leave his state in financial peril while he left to go “hiking.”  Did God tell Gov. Sanford to spend taxpayer money on his hiking trip?  Did God tell Governor Sanford to lie about his whereabouts?

Sanford writes that those friends asserted that “if I walked in with a real spirit of humility then this last legislative term could well be our most productive one – and that outside this term, I would ultimately be a better person and of more service in whatever doors God opened next in life if I stuck around to learn lessons rather than running and hiding down at the farm.”

http://www.politico.com/news/s…

Sanford’s calling for a productive legislative term has gotten off to a poor start as it appears that “God told him to take back his promise of releasing his expense report records to the media  while “hiking in the Appalachian Mountains.”

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/200…

I am curious why he would not want to release these records?  Could it be what he purchased on there while hiking…. Any thoughts anyone?

I wonder if that total line of bull would work for the rest of us.  I had a message myself from God last night, as I am also religious and it was that “God told me that Mark Sanford should resign as Governor of South Carolina, but first he should do what he committed to and release his expense report records for Morgan and me……..

Oh and he also told me to go hiking in the Appalachian mountains over the 4th of July weekend :)

Madoff Scandal Leading to New Securities Laws

Congressman Paul Kanjorski asked the SEC what new laws may be needed in light of the Bernie Madoff ponzi scheme investigation.  Madoff was sentenced to 150 years in federal prison this week for scamming thousands of investors and charities.  The SEC did only cursory examinations of his enterprise in spite of repeated warnings what he was doing was illegal.

The SEC has responded to Kanjorski’s query:

Dear Chairman Kanjorski:

Thank you for your June 16, 2009 letter regarding the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Office of Inspector General’s (OIG) investigation into allegations regarding Bernard L. Madoff (Madoff) and Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities, LLP and for meeting with me on June 23, 2009 at your offices to discuss our ongoing investigation.

I am glad that you are generally pleased with our progress in connection with our investigations and audits of these important and complex matters. As I indicated to you during our meeting, we are committed to producing, in an expeditious manner, thorough and comprehensive investigative and audit reports analyzing the reasons that the SEC did not uncover the Madoff Ponzi scheme notwithstanding examinations and investigations conducted over a period of nearly 20 years, as well as providing recommendations to improve the operations of the pertinent SEC divisions and offices. I appreciated the opportunity to brief you on developments in our investigation at your offices last week and am happy that you felt the meeting was productive.

While we have not yet completed the investigation, we are able to provide to you, at your request, several legislative suggestions that have arisen out of our Madoff investigatory work, which we believe will strengthen the ability of investors and the regulatory agencies to uncover frauds such as Ponzi schemes in the future. We understand that the SEC is also recommending to the Subcommittee the legislative suggestions numbered 1 and 4 below. These suggestions are as follows:

                       (1)     Extend the regulatory jurisdiction of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) to audit reports prepared by a domestic registered or foreign public accounting firm regarding issuers, broker-dealers, investment advisers and any companies subject to U.S. securities laws. The PCAOB’s current responsibilities include the following: (a) registering public accounting firms; (b) establishing auditing, quality control, ethics, independence, and other standards relating to public company audits; (c) conducting inspections, investigations, and disciplinary proceedings of registered accounting firms; and (d) enforcing compliance with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002.  The PCAOB is able to address many auditing problems through a combination of inspections and standards-setting. The PCAOB’s supervisory model uses several tools to improve audit quality, correct audit deficiencies, and promote compliance with applicable standards and laws. Where necessary, the PCAOB exercises its enforcement authority.

                       Extending the regulatory jurisdiction of the PCAOB would allow for increased oversight of these accounting firms and reduce the risks associated with unknown accounting firms that have been able to avoid scrutiny. We believe that H.R. 1212, as currently introduced, accomplishes many of these same goals, except that we would recommend that the legislation clarify that the PCAOB oversight be extended to audit reports prepared by a registered accounting firm which provides reports for investment advisers, investment companies and other registered entities, as well as registered broker dealers.

                       (2)     Amending the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 (Investment Advisers Act) to require the use of independent custodians in a manner similar to Section 17(f) of the Investment Company Act of 1940 (Investment Company Act), which requires the use of an independent custodian by mutual funds. Section 17(f) of the Investment Company Act requires a registered management company to “place and maintain its securities and similar investments in the custody of” a bank or a dealer admitted to a national securities exchange, subject to such rules and regulations as the Commission may from time to time prescribe for the protection of investors. See 15 U.S.c. ยง 80a-17(f)(1). In addition, Rule 17f-2(b) of the Rules and Regulations promulgated under the Investment Company Act requires that all such securities and similar investments be deposited in the safekeeping of, or in a vault or other depository maintained by, a bank or other company whose functions and physical facilities are supervised by Federal or State authority. The Rule further provides that investments so deposited shall be physically segregated at all times from those of any other person and shall be withdrawn only in connection with transactions of the character described in the Rule. This custodian requirement essentially removes the ability of an investment adviser to fraudulently use the proceeds invested by new investors to make payments to old investors.

                       Hedge funds are currently exempt from the Investment Company Act and are not subject to the independent custodian requirement. In addition, investment advisers who are also registered broker-dealers are currently permitted to clear their trades through their own broker-dealer firm. Thus, both investment advisers and hedge funds should be required to use an independent custodian.

                       We are aware that the SEC is currently proposing amendments to its custody rule under the Investment Advisers Act to require a written report from an independent public accountant that includes an opinion regarding the custodian’s controls relating to custody of client assets if the client accounts are not maintained by an independent qualified custodian.  However, we believe that a more direct way to remedy this statutory loophole would be to amend the Investment Advisers Act in conformity with the Investment Company Act.

                       (3)     The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of2002 requires ongoing certifications of certain reports by chief executive officers and chief financial officers of public reporting companies. Executives who knowingly file noncompliant reports face possible criminal prosecution including substantial fines and imprisonment.

                       Certifications have been determined to be effective controls to ensure compliance with particular requirements or guidelines. We would recommend imposing a requirement of certification by senior officers of registered investment advisers that shows they conducted adequate due diligence in connection with investments. This certification requirement should apply to all funds of hedge funds. The adequate level of due diligence required in accordance with the certification may be defined pursuant to a particular model of best practices, such as the Managed Fund Association (MFA) model or the Alternative Investment Management Association (AlMA) model, or could be developed by the SEC. Enforcing an adequate level of due diligence would ensure that investors have adequate information when investing through intermediaries.

                       (4)     Bounty programs are an effective tool to encourage whistleblowers to come forward and would provide necessary incentives for outside entities to bring complaints about possible illegal activity. There is some evidence that the bounty program implemented by the Department of Justice (DOJ) has played a role in the increase of civil recoveries obtained by the DOJ over a 10-year period. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) also has a system in place where it provides a bounty to individuals who present the IRS with information leading to the collection of federal taxes.

                       Although the bounty system has been in place at the SEC for more than 20 years, there have been relatively few awards made. The SEC program is limited to insider trading cases, and the stated criteria for judging bounty applications are broad, somewhat vague and not subject to judicial review.

                       Currently, Section 21A(e) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (Exchange Act) [15 U.S.C. 78u-l(e)] authorizes the SEC to award a bounty to a person who provides information leading to the recovery of a civil penalty from an insider trader, from a person who “tipped” information to an insider trader, or from a person who directly or indirectly controlled an insider trader. All bounty determinations, including whether, to whom, or in what amount to make payments, are within the sole discretion of the SEC, however, the total bounty may not currently exceed 10% of the amount “actually recovered” from a civil penalty pursuant to a court order.

                       We would recommend that the Exchange Act be amended to authorize the SEC to award a bounty for information leading to the recovery of a civil penalty from any violator of the federal securities laws, not simply insider trading violations. We would also suggest that the Exchange Act be amended to provide specific criteria for awarding bounties, including a provision that where a whistleblower relies upon public information, such reliance does not constitute an absolute bar to recovering a bounty. The statute should also require that the whistleblower be provided with status reports at certain milestones during the investigation or examination that was based on the tip.

We would be happy to discuss any of the above legislative suggestions with you or the Subcommittee at your convenience. If, as we conclude our investigation, we determine that there are any further legislative recommendations that would be appropriate for your Subcommittee, we will share them with you at that time.

Thank you again for your continued interest in our work.

Sincerely,

H. David Kotz

Inspector General

cc: The Honorable Mary L. Schapiro

Chairman, Securities and Exchange Commission

Congressman Kanjorski had this to say:

“I thank Mr. Kotz for his swift reply and his preliminary legislative recommendations for improving enforcement and closing legal loopholes based on his investigation into the $65 billion Madoff Ponzi scheme,” said Chairman Kanjorski.  “The recommendations provide some valuable insight that could help the House Financial Services Committee as we work to develop legislation for financial regulatory reform.  Additionally, Mr. Kotz’s first proposal is very similar to legislation that I introduced earlier this year that would close a legal loophole in the authority of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board that helped Bernard Madoff to avoid detection of his $65 billion scam.  By addressing this and other issues, we can work to update and improve our regulatory structure.  I look forward to reviewing Mr. Kotz’s full recommendations when they become available.”

Eichelberger’s Campaign Contributions

Sen. John “Himmler” Eichelberger has a clever campaign slogan.  He plasters his Senatorial District with “I Like Eich” signs.  They harken back to an era when Dwight Eisenhower used the slogan, women were repressed, Blacks were lynched and gays and lesbians were forced to be invisible.  The 1950’s were only a good era if you were white, male, Anglo-Saxon and Protestant.  They were a time of awful oppression for everyone else.  No wonder Sen. Himmler invokes those selective memories in his campaign.

Here are the Senator’s biggest contributors.  Feel free to hassle them about Eich’s comments and ask if they support his contention about “allowing gays to exist.”  Ask why anyone finding the Senator offensive should do business with them.

Richard Scaife, Bob Guzzardi, and Glen Meakem are this Nazi’s biggest contributors. No amount of pressure will convince any of them their investments were bad.  The corporations like Sheetz can be convinced not to give again.  Go into your local Sheetz and tell them you will no longer do business with people who support someone who thinks you ought not to exist.

Call the doctors and lawyers and ask them why they support this guy.  Let’s embarrass every one of them for supporting Eichelberger.  We can cut off his money this way.  What really disgusts me about Guzzardi is he made his money from the gay community in Philadelphia.  This is a real betrayal.

Logan Partnership, Altoona  Real estate developer $5,000  (814) 944-6127

Todd Eichelberger Real estate developer $115,000  (814) 942-3032

Gerald and Heather Harrington Duncansville  $1500  

Developer and attorney

Neil & Lois Kaneshiki  physician  $2500

Duncansville

2525 9th Avenue, Altoona, PA   (814) 942-6038

James & Yvonne Morgan  physician  $1500

Lewisburg  570.523.3290

Michael Humphrey & Jane Rowe  Hollidaysburg $750

physicians Lewisburg

DR. JOHN M. TEMPLETON, JR West Conshohocken $4000

Bob Guzzardi, Philadelphia In kind contributions totaling $49,425  

Pat Toomey Republican Majority Fund $2,000

Family PAC Pittsburgh  $2,000

Progressive Leadership Pittsburgh $1000

Scranton 2006  $50,000

Glen Meakem Sewickley  $50,000

Hok Fung Yau  United Computer Products Co. Altoona  $9000

2032 E Pleasant Valley Boulevard  (814) 943-1133

Sheetz PAC  $1150

5700 Sixth Avenue

Altoona, PA 16602

800.487.5444

Friends of Jeff Piccola $10,000

B. Anthony & Edith Delserone, Wexford Federated Investors  $2,000  (412) 288-1900

Bill Shuster for Congress  $225

Friends of Jake Corman  $5000

Earll for Senate  $1,000

Friends of Joe Scarnati  $1,000

Friends of Sen. Don White  $1000

Ronald H. Muhlenkamp  Butler Muhlenkamp & Co. Inc.  $4,000  (724) 935-5520

Duane Dilling Loysburg Physician $5200

2230 Woodbury Pike, Loysburg, PA  (814) 766-3485

DAVID E. & WENDY H. BARENSFELD Ellwood City Ellwood Group Inc.  $4,000

790 Commercial Avenue, Ellwood City, PA  (724) 752-3680

Howell A. Breedlove Pittsburgh Keystone Profiles $1000

220 7th Avenue, Beaver Falls, PA    (724) 506-1500

CLYDE S. & DANA M. MCMILLEN Loysville veterinarian $2,000  (717) 789-3121

Tri County Veterinary Services

1041 Montour Rd

Loysville, PA 17047-9216

CARROLL P. & DIANE S. OSGOOD Hollidaysburg physician $6000

501 Howard Avenue, Altoona, PA  (814) 946-9150

SANDRA L. & THOMAS J. USHER Hollidaysburg $10,000

ROBERT M. & SHIRLEY D. GORDON Sewickley Gordon Travel  $2,000

Richard M. Scaife Pittsburgh Pittsburgh Tribune Review $40,000

(412) 321-6460

MICHAEL J. & TAMMY S. DRASS Duncansville Physician $1000

1402 9th Avenue, Altoona, PA   (814) 940-2000

JOHN D. & KIM E. LITTLEJOHN Hollidaysburg physician $5,000

EDWARD P. FISCHER New Enterprise physician $2,000

ANDREWS & BEARD LAW OFFICES Altoona  $500

3366 Lynwood Drive, Altoona, PA  (814) 943-3304

FREDERICK B. GIEG. JR.  Attorney  Altoona $500

401 North Logan Boulevard, Altoona, PA  

(814) 946-1606

TERRY W. DESPOY Attorney Altoona $1,000

109 Byron Avenue, Altoona, PA  (814) 942-4388

Robert H. Long, Jr. Attorney  $300

213 Market Street 9th Floor, Harrisburg, PA

(717) 255-7600 or (717) 237-7160

Lewis, Eckert, Robb and Company Attorneys  $300

Plymouth Meeting

Craig A. and Patricia E. Eisenhart  $490

Mill Creek

Bruce J. Thaler Dentist  $490

Altoona

200 Union Avenue, Altoona, PA  (814) 942-1890

Paul I. and Sandra K. Detwiler, III  $4000

Everett

Pileggi For Victory $1,000

AT&T PAC $890

Rafferty For Senate  $2000

Friends of John Perzel  $10,000

IBEW Local 5 PAC $75

Blue PAC $300

Value Drug PAC  $300

Verizon Communications PAC $399

Mellon Financial PAC $300

Highmark PAC  $700

First Energy PAC  $300

Sun PAC (Sunoco) $300

Exelon PAC $300

Comcast PAC  $300

Brian D. and Brigid J. Dodson  physician  $490

Hollidaysburg

810 Valley View Boulevard, Altoona, PA  (814) 946-5469

Jonathan F. Grier physician  $1000

Hollidaysburg

2525 9th Avenue # 2A, Altoona, PA

(814) 941-7170

Kirkpatrick & Lockhart Preston Gates Ellis, LLP

Pittsburgh  Attorneys  $400

Donald Devorris Realty $500

Altoona

Ralph J. Albarano, Jr.  Ralph J. Albarano and Sons, Inc.  $500

1873 Old Route 22, Duncansville, PA  (814) 695-9883

Does God send natural disasters as punishment?

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Minnesota Supremes Say Franken Won, Coleman Finally Concedes

The Minnesota Supreme Court finally ended Norm Coleman’s quixotic quest to deny Al Franken his election victory back on November 4th.  The sore loser of all sore losers finally conceded the election and Franken can finally take his Senate seat and give the good people of Minnesota their proper representation in Washington.  The seat gives Democrats 60 votes though that magic number is anything but assured.  There’s no way of knowing how Arlen Specter will vote on any issue.

Obama Rural Tour Coming to PA

The President and some of his Cabinet will be coming to Pennsylvania on a rural tour.  I have no idea where Wattsburg, Pennsylvania is but I imagine Google Earth will be of assistance.  They will be there tomorrow to discuss rural broadband.  Heck I’d like real broadband here in Berks County.  Our Verizon DSL is so slow uploading videos I feel like we have dial up.  If we’re going to discuss broadband let us discuss getting real speeds such as they have in Europe and Japan.  Let’s also discuss the dangers of having only two choices of carriers if you want the service.

I fear a society where Comcast and Verizon control access to the internet.  In the old days you had a choice of hundreds of carriers but now unless you wish to pay a hefty premium for satellite your choices are slim.  This enables the government to shut down, filter or monitor your internet access quite easily.  It is doing this right now under Bush’s domestic wiretapping program which Obama has continued.  If this was an impeachable offense by George W. Bush it is an impeachable offense by Barack Obama.  Unconstitutional searches remain unconstitutional regardless of the identity of the person committing the crimes.

No additional details on the location of the event were provided by The White House.

Update:  Here’s the release from the White House on today’s event:

WATTSBURG, PA – Vice President Biden today announced the availability of $4 billion in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act loans and grants to help bring broadband service to un-served and underserved communities across America. This is the first round of Recovery Act funding aimed at expanding broadband access to help bridge the technological divide and create jobs building out Internet infrastructure.

Vice President Biden was joined today by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, Commerce Secretary Gary Locke, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski and Congresswoman Kathy Dahlkemper at Seneca High School, the first stop on the President’s National Rural Tour.

    “Today’s announcement is a first step toward realizing President Obama’s vision of a nationwide 21st-century communications infrastructure – one that encourages economic growth, enhances America’s global competitiveness and helps address many of America’s most pressing challenges,” said Vice President Biden.

The Recovery Act provided a total of $7.2 billion to the Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Utilities Service (RUS) to accelerate broadband deployment in areas of the country that have been without the high-speed infrastructure. Of that funding, NTIA will utilize $4.7 billion to deploy broadband infrastructure in un-served and underserved areas in the United States, expand public computer center capacity and encourage sustainable adoption of broadband service. RUS will invest $2.5 billion to facilitate broadband deployment in rural communities.

    “The Commerce Department’s Broadband Technology Opportunities Program will reach the last frontiers of America’s information landscape, and the investments it makes in inner-city neighborhoods and rural communities will spur innovation and pave the way for private capital to follow,” Secretary Locke said. “This first wave of funding will help create jobs, jumpstart additional investment and provide model projects that can better inform our national broadband strategy.”

     “The funding we’re announcing today will carry out President Obama’s goal to expand broadband to communities that lack access to it,” Secretary Vilsack said. “The President is committed to bringing the educational and economic benefits of the Internet to all communities.”

“Access to high-speed Internet is no longer a luxury, but an essential tool to compete in this 21st-century economy. The availability of this technology is critical to attracting the business and development that will create the good paying jobs that stay in the United States,” said Congresswoman Dahlkemper. “I am so pleased that Vice President Biden and the administration chose Western Pennsylvania to announce this critical broadband initiative – a region that will benefit from this strategic investment.”

    NTIA and RUS will be accepting applications for loans, grants and loan/grant combinations to be awarded by each agency under a single application form. This collaborative approach will ensure that the agencies’ activities are complementary and integrated, make the best use of taxpayer funds and make it easier for applicants to apply for funding. This is the first of three rounds of funding the Agriculture and Commerce Departments will provide.

    Vice President Biden also announced today that Commerce and USDA officials will host public workshops in July to share information about the funding availabilities and the application process. Forums will be held in Boston, Mass.; Charleston, W.Va.; Minneapolis, Minn.; Memphis, Tenn.; Lonoke, Ark.; Birmingham, Ala.; Billings, Mont.; Albuquerque, N.M.; and Los Angeles, Calif.  

    Applications will be accepted beginning July 14, 2009, through 5:00 p.m. EDT on August 14, 2009. The complete details of this Notice of Funding Availability are available at http://www.broadbandusa.gov.

    The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 was signed into law by President Obama on February 17, 2009. It is designed to jumpstart the nation’s economy, create or save millions of jobs, and put a down payment on addressing long-neglected challenges so our country can thrive in the 21st century. The act includes measures to modernize our nation’s infrastructure, enhance energy independence, expand educational opportunities, preserve and improve affordable health care, provide tax relief and protect those in greatest need.

    More information about efforts regarding the Recovery Act is available at www.usda.gov/recovery, www.commerce.gov/recovery and www.recovery.gov.

Meanwhile In Iraq…

George W. Bush pretended to give sovereignty to Iraq on June 28, 2004 five years ago.  It was another of his cruel jokes where his deeds failed to match his words.  Iraq was no more sovereign than the Thirteen Colonies were under King George prior to July 4, 1776.  Iraq had no control over its territory and no control over foreign troops occupying its country.

Today that changed.  American occupation forces withdrew from Iraqi cities and towns and turned governance over to Iraqis.  This is what real sovereignty is about.  There will be many difficulties ahead because a political solution has continues to elude the residents and leaders of the country.  Violence is likely to increase, especially along the border with Kurdistan.  The Kurds seek to reclaim land taken from them and Kirkuk is likely to be central to this struggle.

Absent a political solution and now absent American forces attempting to provide security there is a real threat of civil war.  The Iraqis know this and understand that their failure to accommodate each others’ concerns, responsibilities and rights to oil revenues will likely result in a decline in security.  Only when facing a crisis situation however may these differing groups force one another into some sort of agreement.  Absent that whomever emerges as the strongest group with the strongest leader will take control.  If this sounds much like Iraq under Saddam Hussein it is exactly that situation.  I fear our long struggle will result in no progress for the people of Iraq and nothing but heartache and loss for America.  This war was folly from the start.