Thursday, November 04, 2010

Oakland City News: Jane Brunner and Dan Lindheim On Police Positions

In a small press conference Thursday, Oakland Councilmember and City Council President Jane Brunner and Oakland City Administrator Dan Lindheim sat down to talk about the election and the status of Oakland Police staffing. Well, it was really all about Oakland Police staffing, and not so much about the ranked choice voting election.

Oakland Mayor-Elect Don Perata (which we can say because his 11 point first vote lead coupled with the first and second choices yet to be counted puts him closest to the needed 50 percent majority), said at his election party that his first action as Mayor of Oakland will be to reinstate the 80 police officer positions eliminated to trim Oakland's huge budget deficit. Here's the video containing Perata's comments at the 4:28 mark:

Don Perata's proposed action was met with some hesitation from new Oakland District 4 (Montclair - Oakland Hills) Councilmember Libby Schaaf, who said that she wasn't willing to rubber stamp Perata's intentions without knowing where the money to do it was going to come from. Here's the video with her comments:

Council President Brunner Agrees

In today's press conference, Council President Brunner echoed Schaaf's view. Brunner said "You know there's no money in the General Fund. I have had conversations with Perata about where else you could look for money in this system. It's probably the other funds. It's Redevelopment. Somebody's going to have to come up with something really creative. I don't know if he has a detailed plan at this point, but I don't think you can find $14 million out of $28 million. You may be able to find a few million. But we're all going to sit down right away."

Brunner said she wants to be careful not to call Perata the "Mayor" just yet because they're still counting votes.

Redevelopment Code And The Police

I pointed out that Section 33678 Subdivision (b) (C) of the California Health and Safety Code...

This:"(C) None of the funds are used for the purpose of paying for employee or contractual services of any local governmental agency unless these services are directly related to the purpose of Sections 33020 and 33021 and the powers established in this part."

Allows for the use of tax increment revenue for the provision of police services, but only if the redevelopment plan specifically points to its use. That means a redevelopment plan which doens't have such a provision must be rewritten. Lindheim said that using funds would not require rewriting of the plan, but here's where he's wrong. It does and the code really calls for this, just to keep yourself legally safe from attack.

I didn't attack him on the issue, because I wasn't there to do that, the quotes on the Perata statements were top priority. Plus, I can use this form to point out that if the City of Oakland's using tax increment revenue in a way that's legally unsafe, and it does seem so, it should stop doing so.

This is part one. Part two on Friday.

Eunice Sanborn is World's Oldest Woman

At 115 years old Eunice Sanborn is the world's oldest woman.

Sanborn was born July 20, 1895 in Lake Charles, Louisiana. She has outlived three husbands and her only child, Dorothy. She will be in Guiness Book World Records as the world's oldest woman.

She currently resides in Jacksonville, Florida.

Oakland Mayor - Elect (?) Don Perata On Reinstating 80 Oakland Police Positions (Video)

On the evening of the 2010 Midterm Elections, which included the Oakland, California Mayor's Race, the person who can arguably be called "Mayor-Elect" Don Perata said to this blogger his first action will be to "reinstate the 80 Oakland Police Positions," and did so in this video at the 4:28 mark:

This set up what seems to be a political battle as it flies right in the face of the Oakland City Council's decision to eliminate those positions as part of massive budget cutting efforts to eliminate Oakland's large deficit.

In her first interview, new Oakland Council District 4 Councilmember Libby Schaaf said that while she supports the Oakland Police, and is willing to consider Perata's proposal, she's not going to rubber stamp it:

Oakland Councilmember Jane Brunner and Oakland City Administrator Dan Lindheim will address this issue at a press conference today at 1 PM.

Did Unemployment take down the Democrats?

Did Unemployment take down the Democrats? After "Election Tuesday", this seems like a fair question to ask.

The answer is: The Democrats took down themselves....and yes unemployment and how little has been done to resolve the suffering attributed to massive joblessness in America played a major role in the Democrats’ huge defeat!

The 99ers did everything possible to wake up the Democratic leadership, long before the election, as to how they could preserve their majorities, help millions of Americans - and the economy - at the same time. (A win/win/win) The Democrats simply ignored all the emails, letters, videos, rallies, phone calls, faxes and in person pleas from the unemployed & 99ers alike. Now the Democrats are feeling the sting of consequences directly resulting from their own inaction on and their lack of urgency in dealing with the unemployment issue.

So what now? Enter the “Lame - Duckers.” On November 15th, Congress finally returns to Washington (well at least for 1 week) and if the past shows us anything, it is that the Senate can only get legislation passed in one week (or less) if it is either:

A - Spending to help ease suffering in Nations other than our own
B - Spending for US involved military conflict on foreign shores
C - Spending to bail out big business and Wall Street Bankers

Wouldn’t it be an unexpected delight for Congress to take less than a week to help the American people who are desperately suffering, like the 99ers - now without any income for 8 months?

Yes it would - but it is not very likely to happen. However, it could. If every person who is unemployed in this nation would start speaking up now, reaching out to your Washington elected officials from President Obama down to the most junior member of Congress - contact them often and with the same message. Continue to contact them until action is taken. Trust me, millions of Americans contacting Washington daily on this unemployment extension issue WOULD move mountains - or more importantly, Move Congress!

If anything, the millions of unemployed in America have not wielded the power of their sheer numbers in a unified effort to flood Washington with their demands - nonstop until action is achieved.

Do not misunderstand, it is a fact the 99ers and others have been holding fax attack, call in and email campaigns since March of this year, but unfortunately, it has been the unwavering participation of a focused minority of the American jobless that joined in this process. We need more.

Everyone needs to put the link to this article on their social networking pages, send it to their email lists, text and Tweet it out in mass. If everyone who reads this actually shares this with 10 - 25 people and they share it with all of their contacts and so on, and if everyone would just take action - determined to keep up that effort until Tier 5 is passed for all states and UI filing deadlines are extended - then everyone would have something to celebrate this holiday season.

It is a lot to ask, to give it one more big push, after doing so much already for 8 months and getting nowhere - but it is for our very survival. Look, in March this year, Washington was saying that: “No Tier 5 bill will ever come to the floor.” They all said it would never be written - well we got 2 Tier 5 bills written - now let’s get one passed! To those of you who are about to lose your benefits - NOW is the time to make your voice heard along with those of us who have been without UI for months and months.

Whitehouse Comments Line [Comments:202-456-1111 Switchboard: 202-456-1414 FAX: 202-456-2461] Toll-free number to Congressional Switchboard 866-220-0044. Just ask to be transferred to your Senator(s) or House member. Call as many times as possible and start now. Make sure they come back to a mountain of messages when they finally return to Washington.

Walgreens CEO and Walgreens CFO: Walgreens Creates Shareholder Value, Backs Heath Care Reform

At today's Walgreens Analyst Day, Walgreens CEO Greg Wesson and Walgreens Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Wade Miquelon joined other Walgreens executives like Walgreens President of Pharmacy Services, Kermit Crawford, in showcasing the firm's new strategy of being a health care provider.

Walgreens sees its role as serving the estimated 32 million Americans who will be the new users of the heath care system because of President Obama's Health Care Reform initiative (the same program the GOP and House Minority Leader John Boehner (R - Ohio) want to repleal).

Greg Wesson, Walgreens CEO, explained that Walgreens serves 6 million health care customers a day. Wade Miquelon, Walgreens CFO, said that Walgreens is "embedding continuous process improvement and innovation into the fabric of our company," in an effort to better serve those 6 million daily customers.

What's interesting about Walgreens, and shows a way toward an American economic recovery, is that it's using new government programs, specifically Heath Care Reform, as the basis for its recovery, while acquiring pharmacy chains like Northeast-based Duane Reed, to embark on his "health services provider" strategy.

At Walgreens Analyst Day, seen via, the Wesson said that Walgreens sees its 75,000 pharmacy workers as the ones who will help fill the demand for physicians that will be taxed because Heath Care Reform will bring 32 million Americans into the system.

Thus, the GOP's efforts to do away with the Obama Health Care Reform initiative will wreck Walgreens new business plans.  Indeed, the GOP would be smart to scale back, if not eliminate, its' rhetoric and examine just how the same American Business it claims to champion is actually embracing Heath Care Reform.

If Walgreens is on the right track, businesses like it, and Walmart and CVS are positioning themselves to actually help implement Health Care Reform.

Kanye West Has Angered 2 Presidents Including George Bush

Kanye West has pissed off two presidents-Who's next?

Ya gotta love Kanye West. The man is constantly finding ways to make noise and stay in the spotlight. If he’s not bum rushing the stage to spark drama with pop singer Taylor Swift, he’s releasing 30 minute cryptic movies (Runaway) that have no real meaning, but has everyone talking like it does. Sometimes we absolutely love him. Other times he makes us cringe, but that’s Kanye.

One person who is absolutely not feeling Kanye is former president George Bush. In his recently released memoirs ‘Decision Points‘ Bush notes that he took issue with Kanye West asserting he didn’t care about Black people during the Hurricane Katrina relief telethon.

He said he was deeply disgusted and that it was the lowest moment of his Presidency. He said its one thing to have someone disagree with his policies, it’s another thing to call him a racist. Teasers for Bush’s remarks about Kanye have been running in promos for his upcoming appearance on the Today Show where host Matt Lauer will air their conversation.

When I first saw an obviously angered Bush make his remarks the first thing that went through my mind was Kanye West did a damn good job and I need to give him props next time I see him. I also noted that President Bush looked like he really wanted to have a fair one with the upstart rapper. I thought about it some more and concluded that Bush may have name dropped Kanye to get some publicity for his book. We saw this with Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas wife calling Anita Hill demanding an apology after 20 years. Certainly Kanye dissing George Bush can’t be his lowest moment. Many in higher places have said and done worse.

George Bush looked like he was ready to knock Kanye out when describing his reaction to the rapper's remarks about him hating Black people

Kanye dissing Bush was his lowest moment over 1-Getting his facts wrong about the Iraq War? 2-Leaving office with a 20% approval rating? 3-Having shoes thrown at him? 4-Having entire books released about his gaffes and inability to pronounce words? Really? C’mon son. Bush can’t be serious.

I know I’ve said worse over the airwaves about the former President especially when he routinely putting Black men to death as Governor of Texas. I’ll never forget his callousness when Shaka Sankofa was put to death Hell I think President Barack ‘Bi-partisan’ Obama has said worse when he rightfully laid blame at Bush’s feet for the tanked economy.

But in any case, Kanye is in his crosshairs. he took issue with being called a racist. I guess Bush was looking at the fact that he gave more money and resources to Africa than any other President. Ok I’ll give him that..But his lack of actions during Katrina cancelled that out. Also, our country the good ole United States needs to be given a lot more back to the mother land.

Memo to George Bush: The Truth Hurts

Memo to Kanye West: Get your knuckle game up, that Bush boy looks like a scrapper.

With that being said, Kanye may also have to watch his step around President Obama who after viewing Kanye interrupting Taylor Swift, remarked to news reporter Terry Moran of CNBC in an ‘off the record’ remark that Kanye West was a jackass. Not sure if President Obama ever apologized the way he did when he called the Cambridge police ‘stupid’ for arresting his friend Skip Gates. In any case Kanye has done what no rap artist has ever done, got two Presidents pissed off enough to talk about him. I wonder if he’ll do a song about it or if he’ll step up his presidential piss you off game and say something to anger Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter or Bush Sr

Health Care Reform Seen As Opportunity By Walgreeens, Is GOP Listening?

GOP pay attention: Walgreens likes Heath Care Reform.

During Walgreens, Thursday's Analyst Report, Walgreens' President of Pharmacy Services, Kermit Crawford, said that Walgreens "Sees Health Care an opportunity." Crawford said that Health Care Reform will bring 32 million new people into the system, and "as we learned with Medicare, they will use it," he said.

Before Crawford spoke, Walgreens President And CEO Greg Wasson said that the retailer brings in 6 million health care users each day. Crawford added that Walgreens observes that Heath Care Reform will make it harder to gain access to physicians because of the demand, and Walgreens sees itself as well-positioned to fill that demand hole.

This is important news because GOP House Minority Leader John Boehner, soon to become Speaker of The House Of Representatives, said that the repeal of Health Care Reform was an objective.  On Tuesday, the US House of Representatives went from Democratic Control to Republican Control, as the GOP controls 235 seats, versus 195 seats for the Democrats.

If that's the case, then the GOP's not listening to American Business, or the American people, for that matter. If the GOP succeeds, which given Democratic control of the Senate, is doubtful, their efforts will harm Walgreens ability to grow and damage its new business model.

Stay tuned.

Lil Wayne Released From Prison

Getty Images
There have been different news sources reporting that Lil Wayne has been released from prison, and there are some news sources that are reporting that his jail release is delayed. It could be wise to trust the most credible source when dealing with this - and figure out which one has the most accurate information based on the sources given.

Since there are more that state he is out of jail that is what this post will focus on.

Access Hollywood reprints an Associated Press article posted at 9:07 a.m. on November 4, 2010 (it is currently 9:23) that states New York City jail records show that after eight months Lil Wayne has been released for "good behavior."

Also known as Weezy, he started his sentence in March after pleading guilty to attempted weapon possession. The sentence was to be yearlong.

At 9:15 a.m (this is all ET) People online reports that Dwayne Michael Carter Jr., Lil' Wayne's real name, will be celebrating his release this sunday at a Miami strip club.

Yesterday MTV was reporting that according to Drake Lil' Wayne would be out today - but Drake, although he was correct, is probably not the most credible source who would be the best to obtain that information from.

Let's all hope that Lil Wayne stays out of jail, and maybe he'll produce some songs talking about his life in prison and how it has changed his view of life.

San Francisco Giants Parade And Celebration Draws 1.7 Million To SF

The San Francisco Giants Parade day was an unofficial holiday that, according to a very good but unofficial source, drew 1.7 million people to San Francisco's Market Street and City Hall Plaza.

To put that in perspective, San Francisco's population is about 800,000 people (808,976 in 2008 according to the US Census); that means over double that was dumped onto the City's streets for a wonderful day.

People took the whole day off and, after the parade and celebration, stayed in San Francisco and walked along the Embarcadero, shopped, ate and drank. It would not be an unrealistic picture to assert a low estimate: that almost $105 million was spent in San Francisco, and on merchandise, food and drink, taxi cabs, and whatever miscellaneous items - that's just about $5 per person. That's it.

And it was a hot, hot day, with women wearing shorts, short-shorts, and in a few cases thongs.  It was a day when the smell of weed filled the air, and no one cared, (making this blogger think we need to split California into two states).

It was a day where everyone was happy.  Everyone.  You don't see that every day in your life.  It made the week of celebrating The San Francisco Giants World Series victory so much the better and fittingly added an exclamation point to the Monday bizarro World of celebrations: