Jonathan Melle

Jonathan Melle
I turned 39 (2014)

Monday, August 25, 2008

Arnold Schwarzenegger seeks coverage for all children! The Governor of California is a good man!

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California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger
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"Universal health goal fades in California: Many children may lose coverage"
By Jordan Rau, Los Angeles Times, August 25, 2008

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - California's promising strides toward extending medical coverage to all its children, a longtime goal of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and one advocates believed was in reach by decade's end, has stalled - and thousands of children are in danger of losing insurance.

The trend is likely to further destabilize California's already shaky healthcare system. Studies have found that children without insurance are less likely to go to the doctor for routine visits that allow early diagnosis and treatment for diabetes, obesity, and other increasingly common ailments.

Uninsured children are more likely to end up in the hospital or in the state's clogged emergency rooms, where much of the cost of their care is passed along to insured people.

Between 2001 and 2005, the number of Californians younger than 19 who were uninsured at any given time decreased 25 percent to about 763,000, according to the University of California, Los Angeles, Center for Health Policy Research.

Most of the drop came through aggressive enrollment efforts in state and private healthcare programs and despite the erosion of employer-based insurance, which was leaving more adults without coverage.

But legislative budget negotiators this year have decided to increase premiums to the state's Healthy Families program, which pays for medical care for more than 850,000 children of low-income workers who are above the federal poverty line.

The state estimates that the parents of 19,000 children will end up dropping out of the program by next July because of the $2 or $3 monthly increases. A family with three or more children, earning between two and 2 1/2 times the federal poverty level of $24,800 a year, would see their monthly premium rise to $51.

Lawmakers also have decided to require the parents of 3.4 million Californians who are below the federal poverty line to renew their Medi-Cal health coverage every six months. The Schwarzenegger administration expects that rule will pare Medi-Cal rolls by about 196,000 children over the next two years.

State officials say some of those families would leave the program anyway because they moved or found jobs, but advocates believe many who are entitled to the program will fail to file the paperwork and will fall off the rolls.

The changes to subsidized or free health programs come as private health initiatives that pay for the care of children are running out of money, causing them to limit the number they cover.

Altogether, "thousands of California children are likely to lose health insurance coverage they now have," said E. Richard Brown, the director of UCLA's research center. The privately run initiatives exist in 30 counties, arranging medical care for children who either are not legal residents or whose families earn slightly more than the threshold for public programs. Enrollment in the initiatives has dropped by 8,000 in the last two years.

During the 2003 recall campaign against Governor Gray Davis, Schwarzenegger said he wanted all children to have medical coverage. Enrollment in the state's children's programs grew steadily during his early tenure. Then, shortly after his 2006 reelection, Schwarzenegger unveiled a proposal to cover all children and most adults. But the California Senate in January rejected a $14.9 billion deal between Schwarzenegger and Assembly Democrats.

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Maria Shriver, wife of California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, watches a tribute to U.S. Sen. Ted Kennedy at the Democratic National Convention in Denver, Monday, Aug. 25, 2008. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
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Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger buttons his jacket as he walks to a news conference to unveil his new compromise state budget at a Capitol news conference in Sacramento, Calif., Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2008. Schwarzenegger's plan calls for a temporary 1 percent sales tax increase and additional spending cuts to close the $15.2 billion deficit. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
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A BOSTON GLOBE EDITORIAL
"It takes a terminator"
February 25, 2009

FOR CALIFORNIA Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, cold cash wisely trumps the hottest Republican talking points.

All this month, Schwarzenegger struggled to close a staggering $42 billion budget deficit in his state. He raised taxes to do it, over the objection of Republican legislators. After waging an epic battle to raise desperately needed revenue, Schwarzenegger isn't going to walk away from a dime of federal money now available to California via President Obama's stimulus package.

But other GOP governors are saying no to some stimulus money. The new law's harshest critics include Governors Haley Barbour of Mississippi; Bobby Jindal of Louisiana; Sarah Palin of Alaska; Rick Perry of Texas; and Mark Sanford of South Carolina.

Not surprisingly, this list includes Republican governors with political ambitions that reach beyond their state borders.

As they position themselves for the future, these governors are following a well-worn GOP roadmap, which calls for national Republican candidates to run hard to the right to woo their party's most conservative base.

That roadmap didn't work in the 2008 presidential election. But Republicans' stubborn political GPS won't let them recalculate. They continue to follow it, even if it means putting personal political interest ahead of their constituents' economic interests.

Worse, the governors are now being selective about what money they will or won't accept, talking about rejecting just the money for expanded unemployment compensation. They don't like conditions that might require them to extend the safety net to part-time workers.

"Now is the time and it's a great opportunity for Republican governors and other leaders to offer conservative-based solutions to the problems," argued Jindal on "Meet the Press" on Sunday.

But Governor Charlie Crist of Florida, also a Republican, shot back, "There is a national leader, his name is President Obama." Crist, who campaigned for the stimulus package with Obama, noted that after visiting Florida unemployment offices and looking "into the eyes of these people . . . I want to do everything I can to help them."

Crist is said to be contemplating a run for US Senate. Under California's term-limits law, Schwarzenegger cannot seek reelection, and as a naturalized citizen born in Austria, he cannot run for president.

Whatever the reason for their governors' independence, residents of California and Florida are lucky. The citizens of those states headed by the just-say-no crowd can only watch as their governors sacrifice precious federal help on the altar of conservative ideology.

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Saturday, August 23, 2008

Joe Biden for Vice President! Running with Barack Obama for Prez!

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About this candidate: Campaign biography-
BORN: November 20, 1942
CURRENT HOME: Wilmington, Delaware
BIRTHPLACE: Scranton, Pennsylvania
EDUCATION: B.A. from University of Delaware (1965), J.D. from Syracuse University College of Law (1968)
CURRENT JOB: Senior US Senator from Delaware
RESUME HIGHLIGHTS: Currently the top Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee; spent 16 years as the Chairman or Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee; authored the Biden Crime Law, signed by President Clinton in 1994, which provided federal resources for crime prevention, enforcement, and corrections; wrote the 1994 Violence Against Women Act, which is the first federal law to address gender-based crimes; authored a 1996 law establishing a national FBI database to track the whereabouts and movements of convicted sex offenders and requiring sexually violent predators and repeat offenders to register for life as sex offenders in their states of residence; wrote the laws that created the nation's "Drug Czar."
ELECTIVE OFFICES: New Castle County Council in 1970, US Senate in 1972
FAMILY: Wife Jill Tracy Biden, three children, Beau, Hunter, and Ashley, and five grandchildren
CAMPAIGN E-MAIL: info@UniteOurStates.com
CAMPAIGN PHONE: 202-224-0139
CAMPAIGN FAX: 202-224-5652
Source: www.boston.com/news/politics/2008/candidates/biden/
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Senator Joe Biden of Delaware emerged as the running mate after a long day of political suspense. (associated press/file 2007).
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"Biden is Obama's VP choice: Foreign policy credentials boost ticket"
By Liz Sidoti and Nedra Pickler, Associated Press, August 23, 2008

WASHINGTON - Barack Obama has selected Senator Joe Biden of Delaware to be his vice presidential running mate, a Democratic official said early today, balancing the party's ticket with an older congressional veteran well-versed in foreign and defense issues.

Biden, who has twice sought the White House, is a Catholic with blue-collar roots, a generally liberal voting record, and a reputation as a long-winded orator.

Across more than 30 years in the Senate, he has served at various times not only as chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, but also as head of the Judiciary Committee, with its jurisdiction over anticrime legislation and constitutional issues.

The official who spoke did so on condition of anonymity, preferring not to preempt a text-message announcement the Obama campaign promised for this morning.

CNN and the Washington Post also reported early today that Obama had picked Biden.

Obama's campaign arranged a debut for the newly minted ticket today outside the Old State Capitol in Springfield, Ill.

The Democratic National Convention meets next week in Denver to hand Obama his long-sought presidential nomination, and then confirm Biden.

Republican nominee John McCain's campaign early today derided the pairing of Obama and Biden. "There has been no harsher critic of Barack Obama's lack of experience than Joe Biden. Biden has denounced Barack Obama's poor foreign policy judgment and has strongly argued in his own words what Americans are quickly realizing - that Barack Obama is not ready to be president," said McCain spokesman Ben Porritt.

Biden slowly emerged as Obama's choice across a long day and night of political suspense as other contenders gradually fell away.

First Virginia Governor Tim Kaine let it be known that he had been ruled out. Then came word that Senator Evan Bayh of Indiana had also been passed over.

Several aides to Senator Hillary Clinton - who was Obama's closest rival for the presidential nomination - said they believed she also was out of contention. They added that the Obama campaign had never requested financial or other records from her.

Other finalists in the veep sweepstakes were Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius and Texas Representative Chet Edwards.

Among those on the short list, Biden brought the most experience in defense or foreign policy - areas in which Obama is rated relatively poorly in the polls compared with Republican Senator John McCain.

Biden voted in 2002 to authorize the Iraq invasion, which Obama opposed from the start. Since then, he's become a firm critic of the conflict and pushed through a resolution declaring that President Bush's troop increase - now considered a military success - was "not in the national interest."

A native of Scranton, Pa., Biden also has working-class roots that could benefit Obama, who lost the blue-collar vote to Clinton during their competition for the presidential nomination.

Biden, 65, was elected to the Senate at the age of 29 in 1973. He entered the 1988 Democratic presidential primary promising to "rekindle the fire of idealism in our society," but he quit the race three months later after he was caught lifting lines from a speech by a British Labor Party leader.

As a two-time presidential candidate, Biden has been well-vetted. "To the best of my knowledge, anything that is embarrassing about my past is pretty well public record," he said in a Los Angeles Times profile last year.

He lives modestly and is among the least affluent members of Congress. For his entire career in Washington, Biden has made a daily 80-minute commute on Amtrak from Delaware, and is, by all accounts devoted to his family, which includes three surviving children and five grandchildren.

"Very few people deserve to be called an exemplar of anything, but he deserves to be called an exemplar regarding his relationship with his family," said John Marttila, a Boston-based consultant who has worked on Biden campaigns dating back to his first run for Senate in 1972. "It's the center of his life."

Six weeks after his upset victory in '72, Biden suffered a devastating loss when a car carrying his wife and three children was struck by a tractor-trailer truck as they drove to shop for a Christmas tree. His wife, Neilia, and their 13-month-old daughter, Naomi, were killed, and their toddler sons, Joseph R. "Beau" Biden 3d and Robert H. "Hunter" Biden, were critically injured but fully recovered.

Beau Biden, elected attorney general of Delaware in 2006, is a captain in the Delaware Army National Guard. His unit is scheduled to be deployed in Iraq this fall. Hunter Biden practices law in Washington, D.C.

In 1977, Biden married the former Jill Jacobs, who teaches English at Delaware Technical and Community College. They have a daughter, Ashley, who is a social worker.
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Brian C. Mooney of the Globe staff contributed to this report.
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"Biden's Scranton childhood left lasting impression"
By MICHAEL RUBINKAM, Associated Press Writer, August 27, 2008

Joe Biden left blue-collar, bare-knuckles Scranton for the greener pastures of Delaware when he was only 10 years old. But Scranton, it turns out, left an indelible impression on him.

Barack Obama's running mate has returned again and again to the city of his youth, where he attended grammar school at St. Paul's, learned politics at his Irish-Catholic grandfather's knee, and made friendships that have lasted 60 years. He's such a familiar presence here and in the Philadelphia media market — which includes Delaware, his political base for more than 35 years — that he's known as Pennsylvania's third senator.

That may be one reason Biden's on the Democratic ticket. In choosing a lunch-bucket Democrat, Obama hopes to capitalize on Biden's appeal to the socially conservative, working-class voters who populate Scranton and many other regions of Pennsylvania. Named for the late governor from Scranton, so-called "Casey Democrats" are a critical voting bloc — and they largely spurned Obama in the primary, handing Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton a 10-point victory.

Like Biden, Clinton emphasized her ties to Scranton, where her grandfather worked in a lace mill and her father was born and buried. In an ad, she told of spending summers at a rustic cottage on nearby Lake Winola.

Biden's Scranton roots run deeper, and Obama hopes that enough voters in battleground Pennsylvania see themselves in the silver-haired senator to make the difference in the race against Republican John McCain.

Many of Biden's closest Scranton pals, basking in the reflected glory of their famous friend's vice presidential nod, plan to gather Wednesday night to watch Biden address the Democratic National Convention.

"Barack Obama's going to be well-served," said Tom Bell, 65, an insurance agent and lifelong Biden friend from Scranton who is hosting the party. "Quite frankly, I wish it were the other way around."

Until 1952, Biden lived with his parents and grandparents in a two-story Colonial on a tree-lined street in Green Ridge, an Irish-Catholic enclave and one of Scranton's nicest neighborhoods. Biden slept in an attic bedroom with sloped ceilings and a view of West Mountain, scrawling "Joe Biden was here" and "Kilroy was here" on the walls.

Last year, the Delaware senator took his 91-year-old mother to see the home on North Washington Avenue. The unannounced visit startled Anne Kearns, 73, who bought the house 46 years ago and raised her own family there.

"This neighborhood went for Hillary" in the primary, said Kearns, who keeps a framed photo of the encounter in her parlor. "Now that Hillary is not there, I hope the whole city gets behind Obama and Biden. I think they will."

Republicans will do their best to see that doesn't happen.

Seizing on comments Obama made at an April fundraiser in San Francisco, Pennsylvania GOP chairman Robert A. Gleason Jr. said he wondered if Biden agreed with Obama that small-town Pennsylvanians are bitter and "cling to guns or religion."

"An Obama-Biden ticket will not cure what ails them in Pennsylvania," Gleason said in a statement.

In many ways, Biden's childhood in Green Ridge was almost a reverse image of Obama's unconventional upbringing in Hawaii and Indonesia.

Friends recall an adventurous, charismatic boy who loved pickup baseball and football and never turned down a dare. Biden once climbed to the summit of a smoldering, unstable mountain of coal refuse; another time, he ran underneath a moving piece of heavy machinery — emerging, unscathed, on the other side.

"You couldn't dare him to do anything, because the problem was he'd do it," said close friend Jim Kennedy, 68, who lived along an alley behind the Biden house. "His DNA is still up in that alley, because I never saw anybody bleed as much as him."

Larry Orr, 65, a retired electrician and another longtime Biden friend, remembers the Green Ridge of Biden's youth as an archetypical middle American neighborhood, "an innocent time, a very innocent time."

But 1950s Scranton also suffered from a harsher reality. Coal mines and textile mills were shutting down, forcing families to pack up and leave. The city was at the beginning of a long, painful economic decline, and Biden's father could not find enough work.

His family joined the exodus, moving to Claymont, Del., where Joe Biden Sr. prospered as a car salesman. They returned to Scranton frequently, though, spending weekends, holidays and summers at the home owned by his maternal grandparents.

In his 2007 memoir, "Promises to Keep: On Life and Politics," Biden said he learned politics at his grandfather's kitchen table, where the Finnegan clan — Irish, Catholic and staunchly Democratic — would "argue local politics, state politics, world events, Truman against MacArthur."

Though popular with his peers, the now-famously loquacious politician struggled with a humiliating stutter. His teacher at St. Paul's gave him a cruel moniker — "Bi Bi Blackbird" — because Biden tripped over his own name. The stutter followed him to Delaware, where high school classmates called him Dash, because he sounded like he was talking in Morse code.

Years later, when Biden sat on Kennedy's front stoop in Scranton and told him that he was running for Senate, Kennedy was skeptical.

"I know about Delaware, that it's solid Republican (at the time). I looked at him," Kennedy said. "He looked at me and said, 'I can talk now.'

And he didn't stop.
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Associated Press Writer Kimberly Hefling in Denver contributed to this report.
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Barack Obama embraced running mate Joseph Biden Jr. at the end of last night's convention session. Jill Biden is at right. (Stephan Savoia/Associated Press)
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"Biden comes out punching: Obama's No. 2 ties McCain to Bush policies, faults judgment"
By Scott Helman, (Boston) Globe Staff, August 28, 2008

DENVER - Senator Joseph Biden Jr. accepted the Democratic vice presidential nomination last night and immediately attacked GOP candidate John McCain, slamming him for what he called failures of judgment and questioning whether his military experience qualified him to lead the country. Biden repeatedly linked McCain to what he called the "catastrophic" policies of President Bush.

It was red-meat stuff for the 4,233 Democratic delegates packed into the Pepsi Center for the party's national convention, many of whom were looking to Biden to fill a role they say presidential nominee Barack Obama badly needs - that of an aggressive and experienced attacker.

"The choice in this election is clear," Biden said. "These times require more than a good soldier. They require a wise leader."

He added later, "Again and again, on the most important national security issues of our time, John McCain was wrong and Barack Obama had been proven right."

Biden's speech last night capped the third day of the Democrats' highly choreographed convention, which concludes tonight with a speech by Obama in front of an expected crowd of more than 70,000 at the outdoor Invesco Field. Yesterday's proceedings began with the formal nomination of Obama and Biden as the presidential and vice presidential nominees; Obama made a surprise appearance on stage with Biden at the end of the night, and was greeted by a thunderous cheer.

Hillary Clinton, whom Obama narrowly beat for the nomination, brought the crowd to a roar by personally halting the roll call and calling on the convention "in the spirit of unity, with the goal of victory" to nominate Obama en masse. It did, and the Pepsi Center erupted into chants of "Yes we can!"

"It is with great pride that I announce that Barack Obama is the Democratic nominee for the president of the United States," said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the chairwoman of the Democratic National Convention.

The other highlight was former president Bill Clinton, who implored his wife's millions of supporters to follow his lead and get behind Obama, the man he said just months ago was too green for the Oval Office.

"Last night, Hillary told us in no uncertain terms that she is going to do everything she can to elect Barack Obama. That makes two of us," Clinton said, and the crowd roared. "Barack Obama is ready to be president of the United States."

Biden, 65, one of the senior Democratic statesmen, brings much to the party's ticket that Obama lacks, notably a deep foreign affairs resume and a familiarity with white, working-class Rust Belt communities such as Scranton, Pa., where Biden was born. But the selection of Biden, of Delaware, also gives Obama an outspoken teammate who, his acceptance speech showed, will not pull his punches.

The attack-dog role, often filled by the vice presidential nominee, could prove especially significant for the Democratic ticket this cycle. Many Democrats including those close to Senator John F. Kerry in 2004 were disappointed four years ago that Kerry's running mate, former North Carolina senator John Edwards, was not tougher on President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney.

At the same time, Obama routinely decries what he calls the "divisive politics that is all about tearing people down instead of lifting this country up." That means that the Illinois senator, more than past Democratic presidential nominees, cannot afford to come across to voters as overly negative, or he risks undermining the premise of his campaign.

"Senator Obama tries to elevate the dialogue in this country," said David W. Tandy, a lawyer and delegate from Louisville, Ky. "By no means will Joe Biden take it in the gutter, but what he will do is point out the clear distinctions between the parties."

Still, Biden has a delicate task ahead of him as he figures out how to trim McCain's sails without stepping over the line into personal attacks and nasty campaigning. Ruth Ann Palumbo, a state legislator and delegate from Lexington, Ky., said he is the man for the job.

"The American people want negative sometimes. They want contrasts," Palumbo said. "Biden will point out the contrasts."

The McCain campaign immediately struck back at Biden last night, saying, "Joe Biden is right. We need more than a good soldier, we need a leader with the experience and judgment to serve as commander in chief from day one. That leader is John McCain."

Biden last night emphasized his humble beginnings, drawing a connection with middle-class families suffering economically.

"Millions of Americans have been knocked down, and this is the time as Americans, together, we get back up together," he said. "These are extraordinary times. This is an extraordinary election. The American people are ready, and Barack Obama is ready."

Biden's verbosity is legendary in Washington, where he has served in the Senate since he was 30 years old. He is chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and a past chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

He has earned a reputation for quotable lines. Before dropping out of the Democratic presidential primary race earlier this year, Biden memorably attacked Rudy Giuliani, the former New York mayor and unsuccessful Republican presidential candidate, by saying: "There's only three things he mentions in a sentence: a noun and a verb and 9/11."

Appearing with Obama as his running mate for the first time Saturday in Springfield, Ill., Biden took a shot at McCain's recent comment that he could not remember exactly how many houses he and his wife, Cindy, own.

At the same time, Biden's unpredictability as speaker and as a politician has gotten him into trouble. As a presidential contender in 1988, he was forced to drop out of the race after charges of plagiarism and embellishing his academic record.

Last year, Biden spent his first official day as a presidential candidate explaining his comment that Obama was the "first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean." Biden said he regretted his words, and Obama later said he took no offense.

After the convention, Obama and Biden will campaign together through key states that could determine who wins the White House in November. Obama, Biden, and their wives are scheduled to leave tomorrow for Pennsylvania. They are also slated to make stops in Ohio and Michigan, according to the Obama campaign.

The new Democratic ticket will look to steal some media attention from McCain and the Republicans, who gather Monday in St. Paul for their convention. McCain may also unveil his running mate as soon as tomorrow.

After Biden finished his speech last night, Obama walked out and joined him and his wife, Jill, in a hug. "That was wonderful," Obama could be seen saying to Biden. Then Obama took the microphone.

"I want everybody to now understand why I am so proud to have Joe Biden and Jill Biden and [son] Beau Biden and Mama Biden and the whole Biden family with me on this journey to take America back," Obama said, before offering a brief preview of tonight's closing night at Invesco Field. "I look forward to seeing you there."
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Scott Helman can be reached at shelman@globe.com
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"That double standard"
By Anthony Pierce Jr., Friday, April 3, 2009, www.bostonherald.com, Letters to the Editor

If this story had been about Sarah Palin’s daughter, every far left newspaper would have had bold headlines on their front pages (“Video said to show Biden daughter using cocaine,” March 30).

But wait! This is our Democratic vice president who we supported! Never mind, this isn’t news!

Anthony Pierce Jr.
Brockton, Massachusetts

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"Biden says Cheney 'dead wrong' on security policy"
AP via news.yahoo.com - 4/7/2009

WASHINGTON – Vice President Joe Biden said Tuesday his predecessor, Dick Cheney, is "dead wrong" when he says President Barack Obama's national security policies are making the United States less safe. Biden said the exact opposite is true and added that President George W. Bush's vice president was part of a dysfunctional decision-making system.

"I don't think he is out of line, but he is dead wrong. ... The last administration left us in a weaker posture than we've been any time since World War II: less regarded in the world, stretched more thinly than we ever have been in the past, two wars under way, virtually no respect in entire parts of the world," Biden said. "And so we've been about the business of repairing and strengthening those. I guarantee you we are safer today, our interests are more secure today than they were any time during the eight years" of the Bush administration.

Since becoming president, Obama has ordered the closing of the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and banned certain interrogation methods for suspected terrorists.

Cheney last month said the Bush administration programs involving suspected terrorists were critically important and overturning them had made the country less safe.

"I think those programs were absolutely essential to the success we enjoyed of being able to collect the intelligence that let us defeat all further attempts to launch attacks against the United States since 9/11," Cheney said.

"I think that's a great success story. It was done legally. It was done in accordance with our constitutional practices and principles," he said. "President Obama campaigned against it all across the country. And now he is making some choices that, in my mind, will, in fact, raise the risk to the American people of another attack," Cheney said.

Biden said he and Obama are working to repair the United States' reputation, which was damaged abroad by the unpopular 2003 invasion of Iraq. He also said Obama's team is working together, unlike Bush's.

"Look, everybody talks about how powerful Cheney was," Biden said. "His power weakened America, in my view. Here's what I mean by that. What I mean by that was, there was a divided government."

He said Cheney had his own sort of national security council and there was the actual National Security Council.

"There was (Secretary of State Colin) Powell, who didn't agree with Cheney," Biden said, "and Cheney off with (Defense Secretary Donald) Rumsfeld."

Biden promoted Obama's administration as more conducive to better decision making.

"The strength of this administration is that the president and I work in concert. I am very straightforward in my views. I am as strong — I hold them as strongly as I ever have."

But he said those decisions are made with one National Security Council, "a united national security team."

Biden was interviewed on CNN's "The Situation Room With Wolf Blitzer."

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"Biden, Kerry offer support, tough love for Israel"
By Farah Stockman, Boston Globe Staff, Posted by Foon Rhee, deputy national political editor, May 5, 2009

WASHINGTON -- Vice President Joe Biden today said a viable Palestinian state, existing peacefully with Israel, "must be achieved" -- sending a strong signal that the Obama administration will push Israel's new right-wing government to move towards peace with Palestinians.

In a speech before 5,000 delegates to the annual conference of the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee, one of Washington's most powerful lobbying groups, Biden said: "Israel has to work toward a two state solution and -- you are not going to like my saying this -- but [do] not build more settlements, dismantle existing outposts, and allow the Palestinians freedom of movement . . . This is a show-me deal. Not based on faith. Show me."

Biden's tough love on Israel took up one line in a speech that was otherwise devoted to reiterating Obama's commitment to Israel's security, and Biden's own decades-long personal connection to Israel, starting from the day he met the chain-smoking Golda Meir, Israel's fourth prime minister, when he was a young senator.

But Biden's words could signal rough times ahead for Israel's new right-wing prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, who has backed away from endorsing the creation of a Palestinian state. Netanyahu is slated to meet Obama at the White House for the first time on May 18. Today, Obama met with Israeli President Shimon Peres.

At AIPAC, Senator John F. Kerry, chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, also called on Israel to stop building settlements on Palestinian territory occupied after the 1967 war.

"Nothing will do more to show Israel's commitment to making peace than freezing new settlements activity," the Massachusetts Democrat told the audience, to slight applause. "Settlements make it more difficult for Israel to protect its own citizens. New settlements...don't just fragment a future Palestinian state. They also fragment what the Israeli defense forces must defend, they undercut [moderate Palestinian president Mahmoud] Abbas, and strengthen Hamas by convincing the Palestinians that there is no reward for moderation."

Kerry warned that the " window of opportunity for a two-state solution is fast closing."

Both Kerry and Biden sweetened their message with pledges of unflinching support for Israel's security.

Kerry received his most sustained applause when he suggested that Israel should not be expected to pull out of the West Bank any time soon.

"Israel withdrew from southern Lebanon, only to face Hezbollah; Israel withdrew from Gaza, only to face Hamas rockets. Israel is not about to let the same thing happen in the West Bank, nor should they," Kerry said.

Kerry, who recently traveled to Gaza and Syria, also said he pressed during his trip for the release of kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit and a halt to rocket fire on Israel.

In his speech, Biden also warned that if diplomacy fails to curb the "grave danger of a nuclear-armed Iran," then the United States will have greater international support to "consider other options."

Biden also urged Israel's Arab neighbors to show they are serious about an Arab proposal to normalize relations with the Jewish state if Israel gives up occupied land.

"Now is the time for Arab states to make meaningful gestures to show the Israeli leadership and the people to show that the promise...is real and genuine," Biden said.

Their full remarks are below:

BIDEN'S SPEECH

THE VICE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much. (Applause.) Please. (Applause.) Larry, thank you for that introduction.

Ladies and gentlemen, there's an old -- there's an old Saxon expression. And what it says is -- (applause) -- there's an old expression. This is the man who introduced me to AIPAC. And there's an old expression that says an institution is little more than the lengthened shadow of a man. This is the man right here. This is the man. (Applause.)

Ladies and gentlemen, I was backstage and the stage director, a lovely young woman, was telling me that she was the stage director, and I told her how well I take orders. (Laughter.) And Larry was speaking, and I said, you see that man? I said, he's been my friend for 38 years. And she looked at me like, that's not possible -- (laughter) -- not that I don't look that old, but that she wasn't born, I don’t think -- when she said it. (Laughter.)

But the truth is Larry, and his magnificent wife, have been just wonderful, wonderful, wonderful supporters of Israel and AIPAC. And he really did, along with one of my closest friends, period, not just in politics, Michael Adler -- Michael Adler's dad in Miami and Larry Weinberg on the West Coast are the two people who gave me my formal education. And I thank them both. Thank you both. (Applause.)

I say to the board and all of you that are here, I'm delighted by your warm welcome. And it's very good to be among friends. I'd like to begin by congratulating your president, David Victor, for -- and the incoming president, Lee Rosenberg. Rosy, we're all pulling for your dad, Big Rosy, and we know how proud he must be right now as you're about to take on your new responsibilities. (Applause.)

I'd like to also congratulate AIPAC's Executive Director, Howard Kohr, and the rest of the staff for another successful conference. (Applause.)

And I want to congratulate an old friend, who I think is probably the most articulate and eloquent speechmaker in the world, Shimon Peres, President of the State of Israel -- (applause) -- on the 61st anniversary of Israel’s independence, which we're going to celebrate -- which we celebrated last week. And the President -- President Obama and I look forward to visiting later today with the President. I'm anxious to see him in the White House. (Applause.)

A little over a hundred days ago, our country started on a new path. The citizens of this country made a very fundamental decision. And it began with the historic inauguration of the 44th President, Barack Obama, but it grew -- it grew out of the determination of millions of Americans who desperately wanted to change not only the direction of our country, but quite frankly, the trajectory that the world was on. That’s what the Obama-Biden administration has set out to do, a lofty goal but an absolutely minimum required task -- to change the direction of this country and all the trajectory of the world. We not only want to do it here at home; we believe our fate is inextricably tied to the direction the world is moving in.

But in the midst of change, with all the change you will hear about, there is one enduring, essential principle that will not change; and that is our commitment to the peace and security of the state of Israel. (Applause.) That is not negotiable. That is not a matter of change. That is something to be reinforced and made clear. (Applause.) It seems almost unnecessary to state it, but I want the word to go forth in here that no one should mistake it.

That commitment began when the United States of America emerged from World War II as the preeminent economic, political, and military power in the world, and one of our great Presidents, Harry Truman, reached out to a tiny, struggling state, emerging from the ashes of the Holocaust, and recognized the state of Israel. It’s a commitment that spans generations, and administrations of both political parties. And our job -- obviously you know it's yours -- just so you know, we know it's our job to ensure that that endures.

The bond between Israel and the United States was forged by a shared interest in peace and security; by shared values and to respect all faiths and for all faiths and for all people; by deep ties evidenced here today among our citizens, both Christian and Jew; and a common, unyielding commitment to democracy.

Indeed, we've both experienced recent elections and the peaceful transition of power. I want to congratulate my friend, Prime Minister Netanyahu -- and as they say in the Senate, he is my friend -- for his victory. Bibi and I have been friends for a long, long time -- too long to mention. And you know the old cliché -- imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Well, I looked at Likud’s website, campaign website -- and on behalf of the Obama-Biden administration, I must say I am flattered. (Laughter.) Take a look at the website. It looked like we were running co-joint campaigns here. (Laughter.) And we didn’t charge Bibi a thing for it. (Laughter.) All kidding aside, a lot of you in the audience, and a lot of board members here, have been my friends for a long, long time

My commitment, though, to Israel did not begin with the friendships that I share on this stage. As the friends on this stage know, and some of you have heard me say, my commitment began at my father’s dinner table. My father was what you'd refer to as a righteous Christian. My father -- we had dinner at my father and mother's home as an occasion to sit down and have conversation and, incidentally, eat, rather than eat and, incidentally, have conversation. And over the years, my commitment was nurtured by many of the people in this room, starting with Larry and many others that are here.

In 1973, as a 29-year-old or just 30 -- just turned 30 years old, elected United States senator from the state of Delaware -- I made my first overseas trip to Israel. It was on the eve at the time unknown of the Yom Kippur War. I had just come from Cairo, and visited the Suez Canal. And I then went to visit the Prime Minister, Golda Meir, which was one of the great honors. I was asked not long ago, what are the two most meaningful meetings I ever had as a senator. And they were with the freed later president of South Africa, and Golda Meir. (Applause.) They both embodied everything I had been taught -- different races, different religions, different regions -- the same tenacity and the same open heart.

I sat across the desk from the Prime Minister. And she, as many of you know, is a chain smoker. She continually smoked. And she had a set of maps behind her, the old maps that were on rollers. There was a whole big slew of them, like eight maps in one set. And she was describing to me the Six-Day War and reading letters from the front, from young Israelis, most of whom had died defending their country. It was very moving. She kept flipping the maps up and down and pointing to different battles. I'm sure many of you had the experience. I'm sure you had the experience, Larry.

And there was a young man sitting next to me who didn't say a lot. His name was Rabin. And we had a conversation that lasted -- I won't put a time on it, but I'm quite confident it was over an hour. It was a long time. It was a great moment for a young man like me. It was meaningful. I learned a lot. But it also gave me a sense of the degree of -- how do I say it -- the pain, the history, the hope, the pragmatism, the grit of an entire nation. And almost it seemed in mid-sentence, she looked at me -- and my good friend, Michael Adler, heard me say this before, it was -- kind of startled me -- she said, Senator, would you like a photo? It was, like, by the way, do you want to go to the ball game?

And I said, well, of course, Madam Prime Minister. And the office in those days that she had, there were double doors that opened up onto a hallway. And we walked out, and there were photographers arrayed. And we stood next to one another, looking straight at the camera, at the photographers and the cameras. But she was talking to me without looking at me. She said the following. She said, Senator -- looking straight ahead, but talking -- she said, Senator, you seem worried. You look like you're worried. And I turned to her, and I said, well, Madam Prime Minister, I am. The picture you just painted -- in those days 60 million Arabs, 2 million Jews, et cetera.

And she put her hand out -- still looking at the camera -- on my arm. She said, Senator, don't worry. We Jews have a secret weapon in our struggle here. We have no place else to go. (Applause.)

And, for me, I thought at the time -- some of you know, she was so engaging -- I thought at the time, I'm probably the only person in the world she ever said that to. (Laughter.) And it was for me, at that moment, her comments crystallized for me everything I'd learned at my father's table, and everything about the basic responsibility of the United States to be a partner in ensuring that there will always, always be a place for Jews of the world to go -- (applause) -- and that place always must be Israel. (Applause.) It's real. It's serious. It's compelling. It's the only certainty, the only certainty. (Applause.)

Ladies and gentlemen, I'm here today to tell you something you already know, and I assure you this -- President Barack Obama shares that same commitment. (Applause.) His support is rooted in his personal connection to the Zionist idea to which he spoke about last year at this conference. He said last year that when he was a child, and I quote, "I was drawn to the belief that you could sustain a spiritual, emotional and cultural identity, and I deeply understood the Zionist idea that there is always a homeland at the center of our story."

Ladies and gentlemen, Barack Obama's commitment was reinforced -- not that it need to have been -- by his two relatively recent trips to Israel, when he met with Israeli leaders from across the spectrum -- and you all know it's a very wide spectrum in Israel; by the powerful, searing experience that he had visiting maybe in a sense the holiest of all places, commemorating the Holocaust; by seeing, first-hand, Israel's unique security dilemmas from a helicopter with top generals -- the sort of experience I had in '73 when I stood on the Golan Heights and realized if you had a really good arm you could literally throw a grenade down in the territory that could do damage to Israelis.

He also had it reinforced by traveling to the northern border, and met with families whose homes had been destroyed by rockets fired by Hezbollah and Hamas into their villages. But the President and I both know that ultimately we'll be judged not by our commitment and our verbal assurances to you or to anyone else or to the state of Israel, but by the results of the commitment we have made. (Applause.)

We believe that the results we seek, including a secure Israel at peace, can be best achieved by taking a new direction in our foreign policy; by, first and foremost, reestablish America's preeminent leadership in the world. (Applause.) The nation who asserts it leads, but has no one following, is not leading. We must reassert the confidence that we once had, and the confidence the world once had in us to lead the world.

When America has confidence -- the confidence of our allies and our friends, and the broad support we need in the world -- not only is America stronger but Israel will be stronger, because America is able to be a more efficient partner and effective partner, and our adversaries and Israel's adversaries know that as well.

In the Middle East, we stand for the premise that the status quo of the last decade has not served the interests of the United States or Israel very well. It has not enhanced the peace and security of the region, no matter how good the intention. I went to a Catholic grade school. When you got in trouble, the nuns would make you -- I'd say, but, sister -- and they'd make you write on the board a hundred times after school: The road to hell is paved with good intentions. All the good intentions of the last decade have not resulted in a more secure, more stable Middle East; a more secure, more stable Israel; a more secure, more stable United States.

So we are working to change that by responsibly ending the war in Iraq, by refocusing our efforts on Afghanistan and Pakistan to defeat al Qaeda, by engaging all countries in the region, including those with whom we have overwhelming disagreements, in order to advance our national security interests.

We are intensely focused on avoiding the grave danger, as Larry spoke about and others have, as well, including my good friend, John, of a nuclear armed Iran. (Applause.) A nuclear-armed Iran risks an arms race in the region that would make every country less secure; presents an existential threat. What we have tried with Iran in recent years has obviously not worked. What will work remains to be seen.

Since 2000, Iran has installed thousands of centrifuges and produced over a thousand kilograms of low-enriched uranium; not capable of use in a nuclear weapon -- low-enriched -- but nonetheless, they have produced that. Instead of arresting the danger; in the last six years, the danger has grown. It has not been arrested. We're determined to change that. That's why we will pursue direct, principled diplomacy with Iran with the overriding goal of preventing them from acquiring nuclear weapons.

The United States will approach Iran initially in the spirit of mutual respect. We want Iran to take its rightful place in the community of nations, politically and economically. That's a path that the Islamic Republic can take if it so chooses. Or that government can choose a different future: one of international pressure, isolation; and one which nothing is taken off the table.

If our efforts to address this problem through engagement are not successful, we have greater international support to consider other options. And ladies and gentlemen, don't kid yourselves -- international support matters, as we've learned over the last eight years. (Applause.) We must sometimes act alone, but it's always stronger when we act in unison.

Given the situation we inherited, we know we don't have unlimited time to make this assessment. Iran also has played a dangerous role in the region supporting terrorist organizations like Hamas and Hezbollah and undermining many of our friends and those who claim to be our friends. Indeed, these proxies are the tools in my view, our view, that Iran uses to exploit conflicts like the Israeli-Palestinian conflict -- use it to their advantage.

In this way the continuation of Israeli-Palestinian and Israeli-Arab -- Arab-Israeli conflicts, strengthen Iran's strategic position. They give Iran a playing field upon which to extend its influence, sponsor extremist elements, inflame public opinion -- all which are counterintuitive. It's counterintuitive if you think about it, that Iran's Shia influence in a Sunni Arab world would be able to be extended.

There are many reasons to pursue an end to these conflicts. It gives Israelis peace and security they deserve; to help the Palestinians fulfill their aspirations of an independent and better life; to ease tension in the regions -- in this region.

Today, one of the most pressing reasons may be to deprive Iran of the ability to extend its destabilizing influence. Again, it's counterintuitive if you think about its ability to extend its influence in the region.

That's why from day one of this administration we began to make a strong, sustained effort on behalf of peace. The President decided that we must be engaged; we must take risk on behalf of peace for Israel. The President appointed one of our most tenacious diplomats to lead that effort, George Mitchell, and the President is strongly and personally committed to achieving what all have basically said is needed -- a two-state solution, with a secure Jewish state of Israel living side by side in peace and security with a viable and independent Palestinian state. (Applause.)

He and I both believe that it's absolutely necessary to ensure Israel's survival as a Jewish democratic state that this occur. (Applause.) That is also the solution that Israel and the Palestinians committed to in the road map and reaffirmed in Annapolis. It can be achieved. It must be achieved.

There's an old expression, which Larry will get a kick out of, and it relates to Christianity. G.K. Chesterton once said, "It's not that Christianity has been tried and found wanting; it's been found difficult and left untried." Well, the truth of the matter is, the fact that peace has not occurred does not mean peace cannot occur.

Same time, we'll pursue a secure and lasting and comprehensive Arab-Israeli peace. The Israelis and its Arab neighbors have sufficient common interest to bring this goal within reach. Progress towards peace has only been possible when people -- when people were willing to think differently; to take risks; to make a principled compromise. That's why we have to pursue every opportunity for progress while standing up for one core principle: First, Israel's security is non-negotiable. (Applause.) Period. Period. Our commitment is unshakeable. We will continue to provide Israel with the assistance that it needs. We will continue to defend Israel's right to defend itself and make its own judgments about what it needs to do to defend itself. (Applause.)

Secondly, all of us have obligations to meet, including commitments Israel and the Palestinians made in the road map. The Palestinian Authority must combat terror and incitement against Israel. The United States and its partners have provided funding and training for a reformed Palestinian security force, which has impressed everyone, including the Israeli security officers with its recent demonstrations of professionalism and effectiveness. We are right now seeking funds from Congress to expand this program. But Israel has to work towards a two-state solution. You're not going to like my saying this, but not build more settlements, dismantle existing outposts, and allow the Palestinians freedom of movement based on their first actions -- (applause) -- its access to economic opportunity and increased security responsibility. This is a "show me" deal -- not based on faith -- show me. Prime Minister Netanyahu has important ideas about how to achieve some of these objectives and we look forward to working with him to help develop them when he comes to visit.

The Quartet and the Arab states also have clear responsibilities. One of the most important is to support the Palestinian Authority with the tools and funds it needs to govern on the West Bank, develop and reform its institutions, help the people of Gaza work toward returning to Gaza. We are doing our part with major assistance packages currently before the Congress. We expect others to do theirs.

The Arab states should act now, not later, to build upon -- (applause) -- to build upon the Arab Peace Initiative -- a constructive combination that contains the promise of a cooperative and comprehensive peace, but now is the time. Now is the time for Arab states to make meaningful gestures to show the Israeli leadership and the people that the promise of ending Israel's isolation in the region is real and genuine. They must take action now -- show me. (Applause.)

Ladies and gentlemen, finally, the world must continue to make clear to Hamas that the legitimacy it seeks will only come when it renounces violence, recognizes Israel, and abides by past agreements -- period. (Applause.) These are not -- some say, when I repeat that and the President says it, that these are unreasonable. These are not unreasonable demands -- they're basic standards of international conduct.

We're working hard to provide assistance to Palestinians in Gaza that does not benefit Hamas, and to coordinate with our allies to end the smuggling of weapons in the Gaza, which continue. And we demand -- we demand the immediate and unconditional release -- unconditional release of Gilad Shalit -- (applause) -- after nearly three years -- three years of captivity. It is not acceptable. (Applause.) And we remain committed -- we remain committed to seeing him returned safely to his family.

We will also explore opportunities, as the Israelis are, for progress between Israel and Syria. Peace between Israel and Syria could reshape the region. We will ensure that it does not come if it comes at the expense of Israel's security or Lebanon's sovereignty and independence.

The search for a secure and just and lasting peace in the Middle East has frustrated many and all who have come before us. We understand the immensity of the challenge. We recognize the hard choices that must be made. But we also know this: The path we have been on in recent yeas will not result in security and prosperity for Israel or the Palestinians, nor will it produce the stability and progress that's needed in the region to ultimately guarantee Israel's security.

Look, we know there are different views in this room. We know there are different views in this town about how to move forward. Nowhere are these issues debated more openly and vividly than in the streets of Israel and in the Knesset, which is an overwhelming tribute to its democracy. But I believe the critical question is not where we stand today, but how we see tomorrow, and what we're prepared to do to get there. This administration sees and seeks a future of lasting peace and security in which Israeli children can leave behind the tyranny of rockets and terror; when Israeli mothers, as they send their children off to school, do not have to worry about whether or not they will come home; or Palestinian children have full opportunities to live out their dreams, and the entire Middle East does not have to live under the dread of a nuclear cloud.

Delaying the pursuit of these goals is not an option. It's easier, but it is not an option. And the longer we wait, the harder it will be. Now is the time to work together for the promise of a better day, and for the success and strength and security of our most-treasured ally, Israel.

Thank you very much. God bless you all, and may God protect our troops. (Applause.)

KERRY'S PREPARED REMARKS

When this Conference met a year ago, we were in the heat of a Presidential primary, and the Dow was hovering around 13,000. So it’s an understatement to say, things change—and this year’s AIPAC conference arrives at a moment of enormous change. Israel has just sworn in a new Prime Minister and America has a President barely past his first hundred days. So leaders may change. Times may change. But one thing we know: America’s support for Israel’s dream and Israel’s security—that will never change!

This is the promise made by every President from Harry Truman to Barack Obama: America and Israel are now—and always will be—partners in a special relationship. Israel is more than just an ally and a fellow democracy. We share the bonds of faith, freedom, and friendship. We share an interest in a stable, secure, and peaceful Middle East. And we share in the belief that we are strongest when we stand behind our common values—and when we stand together.

Just like America, Israel has been a place of refuge for the tired and the poor. Huddled masses of Holocaust survivors traveling by moonlight in makeshift boats, victims of Soviet oppression yearning to breathe free, the dramatic airlifts of Ethiopia’s Beta Israel, and even a few Jews from Boston, Massachusetts—all have come to Israel’s shores, and all have learned for themselves what the writer Amos Oz meant when he called Israel "a dream come true."

It has been my privilege these last twenty-five years to visit Israel more times than I can count. I have walked through the quiet neighborhoods and sacred spaces of Jerusalem and the high-tech bustle of downtown Tel Aviv. So I can tell you: from the history buried in every hill of the Galilee to brand new solar panels popping up across the Negev, Israel is a place that never fails to amaze.

We admire Israel for a democracy as spirited as anywhere in the world. We admire Israel for the heroism of giants like Yitzhak Rabin who as a young man risked his life in war, then as an older man, gave his life for peace. And we admire Israel for the closeness of a community where one family’s anguish over a single kidnapped soldier is shared by an entire nation. I met with Gilad Shalit’s father Noam last week. As a parent I share his anguish, but I am confident that the day will come when Gilad is returned to his family and to the land he loves.

Of course, Israel needs more than our admiration and sympathy—Israel needs our support. And I will do everything I can as Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to ensure that the $30 billion in security assistance that Congress pledged to Israel is delivered in full: America will continue our military aid, and Israel will keep its military strength.

But as we all know, AIPAC’s concerns don’t end with aid to Israel. The Jewish people gave us the phrase, tikkun olam— to heal the world. And today I want to thank AIPAC for your help in achieving an American foreign aid budget that allows us to tackle big challenges such as global hunger, global climate change, and global disease. As you may know, some in Congress recently tried to cut $4 billion from the foreign aid budget. And given the tough economic environment, we were facing a hard fight to get those funds restored. Hours before the vote, AIPAC weighed in and started working the phones. At the same time, the rock star Bono was making the rounds. Ladies and gentlemen, with a one-two punch like that on our side, our opponents didn’t stand a chance! Today, hungry people will eat and sick people will get life-saving medicines in part because AIPAC knew its mission couldn’t end with Israel—so, thank you, AIPAC.

Because tikkun olam is an American value, too, we have responsibilities of our own. We need to reach out to the world and stand strong against the cruel sting of bigotry, anywhere and everywhere it rears its ugly head. Jewish history is full of painful reminders that words of hatred, left unchallenged, often become acts of hatred. Recently, a conference against racism became a stage for Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to slander the world’s only Jewish state—and the President was right to boycott the Durbin II racism conference in Geneva. I’ll tell you: while listening to people burst into applause was a vivid reminder that our fight is far from over, I was encouraged to see dozens of delegates vote with their feet and storm out in protest.

Too many outside this room don’t realize the reality of violent anti-Semitism even in a place like Venezuela, where a synagogue was attacked at gunpoint and defaced with anti-Semitic slurs. In an interconnected world, anti-Semitism that goes unanswered anywhere is a threat to all of us.

I have felt this sense of vulnerability in Israel, too. I recently took a short helicopter ride with Tzipi Livni from Jerusalem to the southern Israeli town of Sderot. Looking down on the farms and forests, it struck me that David Ben-Gurion’s dream of making the desert bloom has come true. But from the air it’s also unmistakable how small Israel is, and how close its people live to their adversaries.

You see it too in the rocket casings in Sderot, left by the thousands of rockets fired from Gaza these last eight years. When the sirens of Sderot start to sound, people have just fifteen seconds to find safety. I heard of children in the second grade who had spent literally every day of their lives never more than fifteen seconds from danger. Fifteen seconds, ladies and gentlemen. No child should live that way.

That same day I visited a town just across the border in Gaza, and I delivered the same message as in Sderot: if terrorists in Quincy, Massachusetts, were launching rockets into Boston aimed at innocent civilians, we’d have to put a stop to it, just as the Israelis were forced to respond. I said in Gaza, point blank: the rockets have got to stop! Not in a month, not in a year, but right now!

And as we know too well, the support for these militants comes from a number of places, but especially from Iran, the source of so many of the dangers Israel faces today.
Most troubling of all is the prospect of a nuclear-armed Iran. Every Israeli leader has made it clear me that they view a nuclear-armed Iran as an existential threat. And when a government pursuing nuclear capability asks its people to imagine a world without Israel, we must take that threat seriously. A nuclear-armed Iran would embolden Hamas and unleash Hezbollah. A nuclear-armed Iran could spark a nuclear arms race in the world’s most dangerous neighborhood. When we say that a nuclear-armed Iran is unacceptable, we mean it.

President Obama has said he wants his Administration to begin direct talks with Iran, and we need to give this strategy a chance. The reality is, the old Iran policy simply didn’t work. Red line after red line was crossed, until Iran manufactured enough low-enriched uranium to eventually develop a nuclear weapon if it chooses. And Iran learned there was no significant price to be paid for crossing those lines.

When we have engaged effectively with hostile nations in the past, we did so fortified by moral authority, committed allies, and the strongest military in the world. That’s exactly how we should engage Iran today—not to accept the unacceptable, but to make sure Iran never gets a nuclear bomb.

We all know—the President knows, the Vice President knows, and I know—that outreach alone is not a strategy: if diplomacy is to work, it must be backed by the prospect of tough, escalating, multilateral sanctions strong enough to actually change behavior. Greater Russian and Chinese cooperation must be a top priority, and demonstrating that we’ve made a legitimate attempt at across-the-board diplomacy is the best way to enlist them for tougher action down the road. And the bottom line is, the world needs to agree on an enforceable red line, then we need to enforce it.

One place to start turning up the pressure on Iran is in Syria. When the war broke out in Gaza, the Syrians were talking indirectly to Israel, and doing so over the objections of Iran. For all our justifiable grievances, it benefits America, it benefits Syria, and it benefits Israel if President Assad improves Syria’s behavior and looks west for new relationships.

Frankly, the rising threat of Iran has also presented unexpected new opportunities for peace. Arab leaders in Cairo, Amman and Riyadh are actually more worried about Iran today than they are about Israel. Whereas once the Arab world voted unanimously for the “three no’s” – no dialogue with Israel, no recognition of Israel and no peace with Israel – there are now three very different no’s which dominate many discussions in the region—and they are no’s that AIPAC can get behind: no Iranian meddling, no Iranian dominance, and above all, no Iranian nukes!
This is a fundamental shift, and our challenge is to translate the new dynamics into tangible progress that makes Israel stronger in the region, and moves us closer to peace.

One of the reasons peace talks at Camp David failed in 2000 was a lack of support from Arab states. Now, for the first time, through the Arab Peace Initiative, every Arab country has agreed to the basic formulation of land for peace, recognition of the state of Israel, and normalization of relations. Of course, Arabs cannot wait for Israel to make all the sacrifices before they begin actually improving relations—they should start doing so right now.

That’s why we need to expand this Initiative into a Regional Road Map that fleshes out the promise of peace between Israel and the entire Arab world. Israelis and Palestinians have the Quartet’s Roadmap; a Regional Roadmap would sign all of the key players onto a series of specific steps and commitments toward normalizing relations– and it would give Israel something it needs from its neighbors: real accountability.

The first step for Arab leaders is to tell Hamas the same thing I said in Gaza: The rockets must stop. Going forward, Arab leaders need to take reciprocal steps to demonstrate that they are sincere in their wish for peace and begin to legitimize Israel in the eyes of their people by treating Israel like a normal country – ending the boycott, letting El Al fly over their countries, and meeting Israeli leaders. And most of all, the poisonous rhetoric emanating from too many Arab TV stations and too many preachers’ pulpits has got to stop. Books in the hands of schoolchildren must tell history as it happened, and show maps with countries as they really exist! You cannot make peace out of one side of your mouth and preach hate out of the other.

Ultimately, it is the Israelis and the Palestinians themselves who must reach an agreement that they can live with. Here’s what I know: the people of Israel want peace, they deserve peace, and America is committed to help them achieve peace.

Nothing will do more to silence the skeptics and win over the silent majorities of peace-loving people everywhere; nothing will do more to ensure Israel’s long-term security – that Israel’s children have a thriving country ten, twenty, and fifty years from now– than two states, one Israeli, one Palestinian, living side by side in peace and security.

The big question is: how do we get there? I understand why Israelis and those who care about Israel have doubts about the peace process: We have seen too much process, and too little peace. Israel withdrew from Southern Lebanon, only to face Hezbollah missiles. Israel withdrew from Gaza, only to face Hamas rockets. The Israelis are not about to let the same thing happen in the West Bank – and nor should they. And now they look across at a divided Palestinian society and ask “who am I supposed to make peace with?”

The truth is, for years, we have all talked about the lack of a Palestinian partner for peace – one that can deliver for its people, win a battle for hearts and minds with the extremists, and take real steps to ensure Israel’s security. But none of us have done nearly enough to make this a reality. With Palestinian elections on the horizon, we must act now to strengthen those Palestinians willing to make tough sacrifices for peace. Hamas has already won one election—we cannot allow them to win another. That’s one reason why I believe that improving the daily life and freedom of movement for Palestinians in the West Bank will also help protect Israel.

We also need to find creative ways to deliver humanitarian aid and reconstruction assistance to the people of Gaza without empowering Hamas in the process. We can’t make the mistake in Gaza in 2009 we made in letting Hezbollah and Iran rebuild southern Lebanon in 2006. Half of Gaza is under eighteen years old, and if there is no light at the end of the tunnel for these children and few prospects for a normal life, then they will remain susceptible to Hamas’ ideology of hate.

Obviously, the Palestinians themselves must do enormous work to uphold their end of the bargain. Even as we work with the international community to provide more support, we need to ask more in return. It’s no secret that Fatah lost the 2006 election to Hamas in part because of a widely held perception that they were corrupt and inefficient. Much progress has been made since then, but Fatah still needs to earn back the respect of its own people—and they need to demonstrate that they are willing to crack down on terror in the West Bank.

Israel, too, must take hard steps forward on the path to peace. And nothing will do more to show Israel’s commitment to making peace than freezing new settlement activity. We will defend Israel’s security unflinchingly— we always have, and we always will. But the fact is, settlements make it more difficult for Israel to protect its citizens. New settlements, especially in sensitive areas like E-1, don’t just fragment a future Palestinian state – they also fragment what the Israeli Defense Forces must defend. They undercut President Abbas and strengthen Hamas by convincing everyday Palestinians that there is no reward for moderation. And they empower the enemies of peace throughout the region.

I know that lasting peace with the Palestinians will not come easily. But I also know that if we want the security for Israel that only peace can bring, then we must try now—because the window of opportunity for a two state solution is fast closing. And if the children I saw in Sderot, and those I saw in Gaza, can hope for themselves, if they can persevere for a better future, then we must all help them get there.

That is an obligation I felt long before I first went to Israel. Since then, I have stood on top of the Golan Heights, walked the border with Lebanon, and sat in a shelter in Kiryat Shemona where children had to hide from Katyusha rockets. I have passed by an Israeli street corner within hours of a lethal attack there, and visited the remains of a nightclub in Tel Aviv where people were enjoying their youth one minute and had it snatched away the next. And I have flown an Israeli jet in Israeli airspace and narrowly avoided a border-crossing into Egypt because the airspace was so narrow. All of these experiences have created an indelible impression of Israel’s journey and of the daily struggle of everyday Israelis to live safe and normal lives.

As I prepared to come here today, I found myself thinking about my first trip to Israel, twenty five years ago. I’d only been in the Senate for a few months when a small group of Jewish friends from Massachusetts convinced me to visit Israel. They were led by my friend Lenny Zakim, whose commitment to fighting discrimination lives on through the Leonard Zakim Bridge in Boston. Lenny wanted me to get the facts, he wanted me to understand Israel’s passion, and he wanted me to see and hear its remarkable story up close.

Lenny was doing the same kind of advocacy that so many of you will do later today—talking to Congressmen, exercising your rights and responsibilities as citizens, and making your voices heard.

I have so many memories of that first trip, but the strongest of all is standing on the mountaintop at Masada—in the very place where, thousands of years ago, the people of Israel gave their lives for the dream of a Jewish homeland.

We looked out, our small group, at that vast desert plain where young Israeli soldiers swear a new oath against the test of history, to defend Israel against new threats, new weapons, and new challenges.

We stood at the end of the cliff and altogether we shouted across the chasm - across the desert – “Am Yisrael Chai, Israel lives!” And across the silence we listened as voices came back - faintly we heard the echo of the souls of those who had perished – “Am Yisrael Chai!” “The State of Israel lives. The people of Israel live! Israel lives!”

The faces have changed, the era has changed, but the message today is the same: “Am Yisrael Chai!” “Israel lives!” Thank you.

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"Messing with Joe Biden"
The North Adams (Massachusetts) Transcript Online, Letters, July 15, 2009

To the Editor:

As the economy continues to drift, and while there appears to be signs -- some in the housing market, some in the credit market -- that it might be improving, I’ve been waiting for the stimulus to kick in and supply the needed push and JOBS that it was meant to create.

President Obama said in his glowing speech upon signing the $787 billion stimulus that Joe Biden would be overseeing the bill’s implementation and that "nobody messes with Joe."

I have come to the conclusion that the reason the stimulus is not effective is that Joe Biden is responsible for its implementation -- and he has failed in all aspects.

Where is Joe Biden? It reminds us of the game we played as youngsters: hide and seek. But no one is seeking! No words from Joe of confidence or upbeat forecasts or pleas for patience. Just silence. This coming from Biden is certainly different but does not settle one’s concerns.

Have you checked out the administration’s stimulus Web page lately? Now we see that "Joe" is going to be overseeing our efforts in Iraq. The administration’s point man. Remember Biden’s theory on Iraq from the campaign? He wanted to split the country into three ethnic sections. Let’s hope Obama sends him over there with a healthy supply of duct tape.

Apparently President Obama feels that Biden has done so well on the stimulus that he can handle another project. And "nobody messes with Joe."

God help us all!

Ray Shields
Pownal, Vermont
July 13, 2009

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"Biden to reassure allies in Ukraine, Georgia"
By Ross Colvin, July 17, 2009

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Vice President Joe Biden travels to Georgia and Ukraine next week to reassure the two U.S. allies that the Obama administration has not abandoned them in its efforts to "reset" ties with Russia.

Biden's trip comes just two weeks after Obama visited Moscow for talks with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin aimed at improving ties that hit a post-Cold War low under former President George W. Bush.

"Our efforts to reset relations with Russia will not come at the expense of any other countries," Biden's national security adviser, Tony Blinken, said on Friday.

Russia regards the former Soviet states as part of its sphere of influence, a view Obama has strongly rejected. Moscow has also fiercely resisted proposals -- led by the Bush administration - to bring the countries into NATO.

Blinken stressed that the message of continued U.S. support to Ukraine and Georgia was not a blank check and Biden would press them to carry out economic and democratic reforms.

In Kiev, Biden's first stop, he will deliver a major speech and urge Ukraine's squabbling leaders to make "hard choices" on energy sector reforms seen as vital for the country's recovery from a severe economic contraction.

The International Monetary Fund last month called on Ukraine's leaders to agree on restructuring the country's ailing state energy firm, Naftogaz.

A European Union official said in Brussels on Friday that Ukraine had promised to raise household gas prices and enforce payment of bills to strengthen Naftogaz's finances.

The IMF and other international institutions are discussing financing for Ukraine to pay for Russian gas. In January a dispute over payments led Moscow to turn off supplies to Ukraine of Russian gas destined for Europe for two weeks.

'POLITICAL PARALYSIS'

"Our hope is these leaders will live up to the promise of the revolution and make the hard choices to work together," Blinken said, referring to the mass "Orange Revolution" rallies that swept President Viktor Yushchenko to power.

He said the Obama administration was concerned about the "political paralysis" in Kiev that has seen constant bickering between Yushchenko and Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko.

Biden's trip to Georgia comes nearly a year since his last visit, during Russia's invasion to thwart an assault by Tbilisi to try to reestablish control over its breakaway region of South Ossetia.

In Tblisi, Biden will push for constitutional and electoral reforms, saying that, as in the case of Ukraine, its revolution "remains a work in progress." Georgia's opposition has accused President Mikheil Saakashvili of monopolizing power since the 2003 "Rose Revolution."

On the politically thorny issue of NATO membership, Blinken said it was up to Ukraine and Georgia to decide whether they wanted to join the alliance.

Obama has been less aggressive than Bush in pushing for the two countries to sign up to NATO, which has said they will join eventually but has declined to put them on an immediate path to membership.

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"US Vice President Biden hits nerve in Russia"
By Lynn Berry, Associated Press Writer, July 27, 2009

MOSCOW – An interview U.S. Vice President Joe Biden gave to an American newspaper was front-page news Monday in Moscow, where his characterization of Russia as a weakened nation hit a raw nerve.

Biden said Russia's economic difficulties are likely to make the Kremlin more willing to cooperate with the United States on a range of national security issues.

"I think we vastly underestimate the hand that we hold," he said in an interview to The Wall Street Journal published Saturday.

Biden's comments appeared to catch the Kremlin by surprise, coming less than three weeks after President Barack Obama said on a visit to Moscow that the U.S. wants to see a "strong, peaceful and prosperous Russia."

"It raises the question: Who is shaping U.S. foreign policy? The president or members of his team, even the most respected ones?" said Kremlin foreign policy adviser Sergei Prikhodko.

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs on Monday downplayed suggestions that Biden was setting a different U.S. policy from that laid out by the president.

When asked whether Obama thought Biden had gone too far in his remarks, Gibbs said the president stated his views on Russia during his recent visit and the vice president agrees with those views.

Gibbs said both leaders believe Russia will do its part to improve relations with the U.S.

Most Russian newspapers put Biden's interview on their front pages Monday, with headlines casting doubt on Washington's commitment to forge a more constructive relationship with Moscow.

"Joe Biden unexpectedly returned to the rhetoric of the previous Bush administration," the newspaper Kommersant wrote.

Moskovsky Komsomolets said Biden, with his "boorish openness," showed what the Obama administration really thinks about Russia. "We should respond to the Yankees in the same way," the newspaper wrote. "Any other language, unfortunately or fortunately, they do not understand."

The papers jumped on Biden's comments about Russia's demographic and economic problems.

"They have a shrinking population base, they have a withering economy, they have a banking sector and structure that is not likely to be able to withstand the next 15 years, they're in a situation where the world is changing before them and they're clinging to something in the past that is not sustainable," Biden said in the interview.

Some newspapers and commentators noted that Russians say the same things about themselves. The question, they said, was why Biden made the comments so quickly after this month's summit by Obama and President Dmitry Medvedev, and after Biden's own trip last week to Ukraine and Georgia, former Soviet republics whose growing ties to the West are deeply resented in Moscow.

Sergei Rogov, director of the government-funded USA and Canada Institute, was quoted in Kommersant as saying the interview was aimed in part at addressing criticism in the U.S. that the Obama administration was too soft on Russia.

Some commentators said it was wrong to see Biden as diverging from the policy set by Obama, as suggested by Prikhodko.

Biden was most likely expressing Washington's "Plan B," said Vladimir Milov, a former deputy energy minister who now heads his own think tank. If the Kremlin proves unwilling to compromise, the United States was likely to reduce relations to a minimum and push Moscow to the periphery of world politics, Milov wrote in the online Gazeta.ru.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made an apparent effort Sunday to reassure Moscow, saying on NBC "Meet the Press" that the administration considers Russia to be a "great power."

"Every country faces challenges," she said. "We have our challenges, Russia has their challenges. There are certain issues that Russia has to deal with on its own."
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Associated Press writer Julie Pace in Washington contributed to this report.
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"Tracking stimulus cash"
Posted by Foon Rhee, deputy national political editor, boston.com - September 28, 2009

The office in charge of overseeing the $787 billion economic stimulus package opened its new and improved website for business today.

The portal ( www.recovery.gov/Pages/home.aspx ) features several different ways to track how the money is being spent, including by state (Massachusetts has received nearly $5.6 billion so far) and by agency.

“Today’s launch of the latest version of Recovery.gov marks a significant step forward in our efforts to provide unprecedented transparency and accountability of Recovery Act dollars at work," Vice President Joe Biden, put in charge by the president, said in a statement.

"Visitors to the site now have at their fingertips agency-level information about every area of Recovery Act spending through new interactive maps, graphs and other user-friendly features – and this is just the beginning. Starting next month, this pioneering project will go even farther with the posting of data directly from recipients showing how they have put Recovery dollars to work on projects nationwide. I applaud the work of Earl Devaney and his team at the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board leveraging the latest technology to provide the public with more information about their taxpayer dollars at work than with any previous program in the history of our government. And I look forward to watching Recovery.gov continue to grow along with the Recovery Act.”

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"Biden and Cheney spar over antiterrorism policies"
By Steven R. Hurst, Associated Press Writer, February 14, 2010

WASHINGTON – Pingponging across the airwaves, Vice President Joe Biden and predecessor Dick Cheney bickered Sunday over terror trials and interrogations, credit for success in Iraq and the long-running effort to contain Iran's nuclear program.

Biden called Cheney "misinformed or he is misinforming" on current national security strategies. Cheney said President Barack Obama wasn't taking the al-Qaida threat seriously. But, in a marked change of tone, the former vice president acknowledged that the Bush White House struggled with how to bring suspected terrorists to justice.

Highly partisan public skirmishes between the Obama White House and Cheney — the result of the former vice president's unusual public criticism on a successor administration — have become standard fare. And the back-and-forth that was set up in Sunday's sequential appearances of television talk shows did not disappoint.

Biden struck first, declaring that Cheney's attacks on Obama's commitment to fighting terrorism ignored the facts.

"We've eliminated 12 of their top 20 people. We have taken out 100 of their associates," said Biden. "They are in fact not able to do anything remotely like they were in the past. They are on the run. I don't know where Dick Cheney has been. Look, it's one thing, again, to criticize. It's another thing to sort of rewrite history. What is he talking about?"

Cheney did not answer directly, instead insisting that Biden was "dead wrong" to assert that a fresh Sept. 11-style strike was unlikely, calling a nuclear or biological attack by al-Qaida "the biggest strategic threat the United States faces today."

Even so, Cheney appeared to dial back the rhetoric, acknowledging that the Bush administration too was divided on whether terror suspects should be charged and tried in federal civilian courts or taken before military tribunals.

"I can remember," Cheney said, "a meeting in the Roosevelt Room in the West Wing of the White House where we had a major shootout" — one that he said he lost — about civilian versus military trials for terrorist captives.

"We never clearly or totally resolved those issues. These are tough questions, no doubt about it," he said on ABC's "This Week."

Biden got in the first licks on NBC's "Meet the Press" in an interview taped late Saturday in Canada, where he was attending the Vancouver Olympic Games. On Cheney's assault on the Obama administration, Biden said "his assertions are not accurate."

Cheney demurred on that allegation, choosing instead to take on again Obama's decision to close the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

In doing so, he admitted for a second time that he had been at odds with the majority of Bush administration officials on the decision to release prisoners from the military lockup to their home country when cases against them were determined to be legally untenable.

"I didn't think that releasing anybody was the right thing to do, unless you had evidence that, you know, there was a mistake of some kind," Cheney said.

On Afghanistan and Obama's decision to increase U.S. forces in the 8-year-old war, Cheney gave Obama high marks. But he derided Biden for giving the Obama administration credit for winding down the war in Iraq without acknowledging the work of President George W. Bush. However, Biden had said: "We built on the positive things that the Bush administration had initiated. And we have jettisoned those things that were negative."

"For them to try to take credit for what happened in Iraq is a little strange. It ought to go with a healthy dose of 'thank you, George Bush,'" Cheney said.

On other disputed topics:

_Biden acknowledged that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the professed Sept. 11 attack planner, still might face trial in a military tribunal, despite the administration's earlier decision to take him before a civilian federal court in New York. That now seems unlikely given hot opposition from city authorities and members of Congress. Cheney said he believed Mohammed should and eventually would be tried by the military at a military facility.

_Cheney advised the Obama administration against ruling out a military attack on Iran even as it works for a new set of United Nations sanctions. "I don't think you want to eliminate the military — the possibility of military action. I think that's essential to give any kind of meaning at all to negotiations over sanctions," he said.

The back and forth began with Biden on NBC, moved to ABC's "This Week" with Cheney and ended with Biden appearing live on CBS's "Face the Nation.

There Biden got in the last word over Cheney: "Thank God the last administration didn't listen to him in the end" on how to handle terrorism suspects. Declaring that Obama was acting on the precedents set in the Bush White House, Biden said of Cheney, "His fight seems to be with the last administration."

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"Quote of the day"

Vice President Joe Biden to President Obama, shortly before the president signed the health-care bill into law:

"This is a big f**kin' deal."


Date: March 23, 2010

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"Biden Says Democrats Will Bounce Back"
WMUR.com - May 25, 2011

NASHUA, N.H. -- U.S. Vice President Joe Biden was in New Hampshire on Wednesday night, and he said he believes things are looking up for Democrats.

After the drubbing Democrats took in 2010, it didn't look like they would be coming off the ropes anytime soon; but Biden said at the annual McIntyre-Shaheen 100 Club dinner that their chance to bounce back could be right around the corner.

"The reports of the demise of the Democratic Party are premature," Biden said.

The vice president said a number of special election victories by Democrats around the country -- including New Hampshire -- is reason for optimism.

"Across America, people in those states are getting a real dose of the unvarnished agenda of the new Republican Party: the Republican Party circa 2010. And they don't seem to like it one bit," Biden said.

While flogging the Grand Old Party for its attacks on unions and proposed overhaul of Medicare, Biden said that America is seeing President Barrack Obama in a new light following the capture and killing of Osama bin Laden.

"(Bin Laden's death) is the boldest decision and the boldest undertaking that any president has undertaken on a single event in modern history," Biden said.

Earlier in the day, Biden stopped by the Chrysler plant in Manchester to highlight the corporation's recent repayment of $10 billion in government loans and the national resurgence of the automotive industry.

"They're (automotive companies) on track to sell more automobiles this year than any time since 2006," Biden said.

State Democrats said they feel like they're poised for a similar comeback.

"Well not just Democrats (are poised to make a comeback), but independents and moderate Republicans who are just so upset about what Bill O'Brien and his Republicans are trying to do to our state of New Hampshire," former state Democratic Party Chairwoman Kathy Sullivan said.

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Friday, August 22, 2008

Andrea Nuciforo / Pittsfield Politics: A disturbing story of Nepotism and Incest! Also see Denis Guyer, Carmen Massimiano, Jimmy Ruberto, & Speranzo.

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"Luciforo!"
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Andrea Nuciforo II
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"Luciforo!"
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Mayor James M. Ruberto is sworn in by Register of Deeds Andrea Nuciforo on Early-January, 2008.
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A post by "Eric", on August 22, 2008:

"The problem with local politics isn't partisanship. We have a mayor [Jimmy Ruberto] whose brother was DA [the late-Anthony Ruberto]. We have a DA [David Capeless] whose father was Mayor. How many votes did Jerry Doyle Sr. buy [Mayor] Jerry Doyle Jr. with driveway aprons and apartments in public housing? [William] Smitty Pignatelli's father was County Commissioner. [Chris] Speranzo's grandfather was a Democrat mover and shaker and union thug. Ben Downing's father [Gerard Downing] was DA and his father enough of a political hack to have an industrial park named after him. [Andrea] Nuciforo's [II] father [Andrea Nuciforo I] was a [State] Senator [and then a Judge], Uncle [Tom Wojtkowski] was a State Rep and Aunt a Mayor [Anne E. Wojtkowski]. [Kevin] Sherman's mother is a Del Gallo. The problem around here isn't partisanship so much as nepotism and incest."

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Source: www.topix.net/forum/source/berkshire-eagle/TQ2685K5A6MADK1D7
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Pittsfield's political inbred, dark prince: Andrea F. Nuciforo, Jr.! -(below)-
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August 22, 2014

Re: Pittsfield politicians are all the same

Pittsfield is a post-industrial American town. All of the blue collar jobs went overseas in the 21st Century. All of the Wall Street jobs went to the Corporate Elite in big cities like Manhattan, London, L.A. Museum exhibits of downtown Pittsfield have been shown to the upper classes in these same big cities: Manhattan, London, and L.A. Pittsfield is left with little fish in a big pond called Pittsfield politics. The Good Old Boy network are comprised of political hacks who come from multi-generational, inbred/low gene pool local families. Pittsfield politicians have huge ego's and ambitions. Pittsfield's current State Senator Ben Downing wanted to run for U.S. Senate! His dad was a District Attorney. His uncle is a non-Veteran who makes 6-figures running a homeless shelter for Veterans. His predecessor, Andrea F. Nuciforo, Jr., was the son of a State Senator then Pittsfield Judge, the nephew of a Pittsfield Mayor, and the nephew of a Pittsfield State Representative. Nuciforo had Congressional ambitions like Ben Downing. Nuciforo lost by 40 percentage points to Springfield Congressman Richie Neal in 2012. My point is that Pittsfield politicians are all the same. They come from multi-generational Pittsfield families and have big ego's and ambitions.

- Jonathan Melle

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About Me

My photo
Amherst, NH, United States
I am a citizen defending the people against corrupt Pols who only serve their Corporate Elite masters, not the people! / My 2 political enemies are Andrea F. Nuciforo, Jr., nicknamed "Luciforo" and former Berkshire County Sheriff Carmen C. Massimiano, Jr. / I have also pasted many of my political essays on "The Berkshire Blog": berkshireeagle.blogspot.com / I AM THE ANTI-FRANK GUINTA! / Please contact me at jonathan_a_melle@yahoo.com

50th Anniversary - 2009

50th Anniversary - 2009
The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on Columbus Avenue in Springfield, Massachusetts.

Pittsfield Politics: Capitanio, Mazzeo agree on budget cuts, public safety

Pittsfield Politics: Capitanio, Mazzeo agree on budget cuts, public safety
Paul Capitanio, left, speaks during Monday night's Ward 3 City Council debate with fellow candidate Melissa Mazzeo at Pittsfield Community Television's studio. The special election (3/31/2009) will be held a week from today (3/24/2009). The local issues ranged from economic development and cleaning up blighted areas in Ward 3 to public education and the continued remediation of PCB's.

Red Sox v Yankees

Red Sox v Yankees
Go Red Sox!

Outrage swells in Congress!

Outrage swells in Congress!
Senate Banking Committee Chairman Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., left, and the committee's ranking Republican Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., listen during a hearing on modernizing insurance regulations, Tuesday, March 17, 2009, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh). - http://news.yahoo.com/s/politico/20090318/pl_politico/30833

Beacon Hill's $pecial Interest Tax Raisers & $PENDERS!

Beacon Hill's $pecial Interest Tax Raisers & $PENDERS!
Photo Gallery: www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2009/03/15/St_Patricks_Day_Boston/

The path away from Wall Street ...

The path away from Wall Street ...
...Employers in the finance sector - traditionally a prime landing spot for college seniors, particularly in the Northeast - expect to have 71 percent fewer jobs to offer this year's (2009) graduates.

Economic collapse puts graduates on unforeseen paths: Enrollment in public service jobs rising...

Economic collapse puts graduates on unforeseen paths: Enrollment in public service jobs rising...
www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2009/03/14/economic_collapse_puts_graduates_on_unforeseen_paths/

Bank of America CEO Ken Lewis

Bank of America CEO Ken Lewis
Should he be fired? As Bank of America's Stock Plummets, CEO Resists Some Calls That He Step Down.

Hookers for Jesus

Hookers for Jesus
Annie Lobert is the founder of "Hookers for Jesus" - www.hookersforjesus.net/home.cfm - Saving Sin City: Las Vegas, Nevada?

Forever personalized stamped envelope

Forever personalized stamped envelope
The Forever stamp will continue to cover the price of a first-class letter. The USPS will also introduce Forever personalized, stamped envelopes. The envelopes will be preprinted with a Forever stamp, the sender's name and return address, and an optional personal message.

Purple Heart

Purple Heart
First issued in 2003, the Purple heart stamp will continue to honor the men and women wounded while serving in the US military. The Purple Heart stamp covers the cost of 44 cents for first-class, one-ounce mail.

Dolphin

Dolphin
The bottlenose is just one of the new animals set to appear on the price-change stamps. It will serve as a 64-cent stamp for odd shaped envelopes.

2009 price-change stamps

2009 price-change stamps
www.boston.com/business/gallery/2009pircechangestamps/ -&- www.boston.com/news/nation/washington/articles/2009/02/27/new_stamps_set_for_rate_increase_in_may/

Red Sox v Yankees

Red Sox v Yankees
Go Red Sox!

President Barack Obama

President Barack Obama
AP photo v Shepard Fairey

Rush Limbaugh lackeys

Rush Limbaugh lackeys
Posted by Dan Wasserman of the Boston Globe on March 3, 2009.

Honest Abe

Honest Abe
A 2007 US Penny

Dog race

Dog race
Sledding for dogs

The Capital of the Constitution State

The Capital of the Constitution State
Hartford, once the wealthiest city in the United States but now the poorest in Connecticut, is facing an uphill battle.

Brady, Bundchen married

Brady, Bundchen married
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and model Gisele Bundchen wed Feb. 26, 2009 in a Catholic ceremony in Los Angeles. www.boston.com/ae/celebrity/gallery/tom_gisele/

Mayor Jimmy Ruberto

Mayor Jimmy Ruberto
Tanked Pittsfield's local economy while helping his fellow insider political hacks and business campaign contributors!

Journalist Andrew Manuse

Journalist Andrew Manuse
www.manuse.com

New Hampshire Supreme Court Building

New Hampshire Supreme Court Building
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Hampshire_Supreme_Court

Economic State of the Union

Economic State of the Union
A look at some of the economic conditions the Obama administration faces and what resources have already been pledged to help. 2/24/2009

President Barack Obama

President Barack Obama
The president addresses the nation's governors during a dinner in the State Dinning Room, Sunday, Feb. 22, 2009, at the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Haraz N. Ghanbari).

The Oscars - 2/22/2009.

The Oscars - 2/22/2009.
Hugh Jackman and Beyoncé Knowles teamed up for a musical medley during the show.

The 81st Academy Awards - Oscars - 2009

The 81st Academy Awards - Oscars - 2009
Hugh Jackman pulled actress Anne Hathaway on stage to accompany him during his opening musical number.

Rachel Maddow

Rachel Maddow
A Progressive News Commentator

$500,000 per year

$500,000 per year
That is chump change for the corporate elite!

THE CORPORATE ELITE...

THE CORPORATE ELITE...
Jeffrey R. Immelt, chairman and chief executive of General Electric

The Presidents' Club

The Presidents' Club
Bush, Obama, Bush Jr, Clinton & Carter.

5 Presidents: Bush, Obama, Bush Jr, Clinton, & Carter!

5 Presidents: Bush, Obama, Bush Jr, Clinton, & Carter!
White House Event: January 7, 2009.

Bank Bailout!

Bank Bailout!
v taxpayer

Actress Elizabeth Banks

Actress Elizabeth Banks
She will present an award to her hometown (Pittsfield) at the Massachusetts State House next month (1/2009). She recently starred in "W" and "Zack and Miri Make a Porno," and just signed a $1 million annual contract to be a spokesmodel for Paris.

Joanna Lipper

Joanna Lipper
Her award-winning 1999 documentary, "Growing Up Fast," about teenaged mothers in Pittsfield, Massachusetts.

Happy Holidays...

Happy Holidays...
...from "Star Wars"

Massachusetts "poor" economy

Massachusetts "poor" economy
Massachusetts is one of the wealthiest states, but it is also very inequitable. For example, it boasts the nation's most lucrative lottery, which is just a system of regressive taxation so that the corporate elite get to pay less in taxes!

Reese Witherspoon

Reese Witherspoon
Hollywood Actress

Peter G. Arlos.

Peter G. Arlos.
Arlos is shown in his Pittsfield office in early 2000.

Turnpike OK's hefty toll hikes

Turnpike OK's hefty toll hikes
Big Dig - East-west commuters take hit; Fees at tunnels would double. 11/15/2008.

The Pink Panther 2

The Pink Panther 2
Starring Steve Martin

Police ABUSE

Police ABUSE
I was a victim of Manchester Police Officer John Cunningham's ILLEGAL USES of FORCE! John Cunningham was reprimanded by the Chief of Police for disrespecting me. John Cunningham yelled at a witness: "I don't care if he (Jonathan Melle) is disabled!"

Barack Obama

Barack Obama
The 44th US President!

Vote

Vote
Elections

The Bailout & the economic stimulus check

The Bailout & the economic stimulus check
A political cartoon by Dan Wasserman

A rainbow over Boston

A rainbow over Boston
"Rainbows galore" 10/2/2008

Our nation's leaders!

Our nation's leaders!
President Bush with both John McCain & Barack Obama - 9/25/2008.

Massachusetts & Big Dig: Big hike in tolls for Pike looming (9/26/2008).

Massachusetts & Big Dig: Big hike in tolls for Pike looming (9/26/2008).
$5 rise at tunnels is one possibility $1 jump posed for elsewhere.

Mary E Carey

Mary E Carey
My FAVORITE Journalist EVER!

9/11/2008 - A Show of Unity!

9/11/2008 - A Show of Unity!
John McCain and Barack Obama appeared together at ground zero in New York City - September 11, 2008.

John McCain...

John McCain...
...has all but abandoned the positions on taxes, torture and immigration. (A cartoon by Dan Wasserman. September 2008).

Dan Wasserman

Dan Wasserman
The deregulated chickens come home to roost... in all our pocketbooks. September 2008.

Sarah Palin's phobia

Sarah Palin's phobia
A scripted candidate! (A cartoon by Dan Wasserman).

Dan Wasserman

Dan Wasserman
Family FInances - September, 2008.

Mark E. Roy

Mark E. Roy
Ward 1 Alderman for Manchester, NH (2008).

Theodore “Ted” L. Gatsas

Theodore “Ted” L. Gatsas
Ward 2 Alderman (& NH State Senator) for Manchester, NH (2008).

Peter M. Sullivan

Peter M. Sullivan
Ward 3 (downtown) Alderman for Manchester, NH (2008).

Jim Roy

Jim Roy
Ward 4 Alderman for Manchester, NH (2008).

Ed Osborne

Ed Osborne
Ward 5 Alderman for Manchester, NH (2008).

Real R. Pinard

Real R. Pinard
Ward 6 Alderman for Manchester, NH (2008).

William P. Shea

William P. Shea
Ward 7 Alderman for Manchester, NH (2008).

Betsi DeVries

Betsi DeVries
Ward 8 Alder-woman (& NH State Senator) for Manchester, NH (2008).

Michael Garrity

Michael Garrity
Ward 9 Alderman for Manchester, NH (2008).

George Smith

George Smith
Ward 10 Alderman for Manchester, NH (2008).

Russ Ouellette

Russ Ouellette
Ward 11 Alderman for Manchester, NH (2008).

Kelleigh (Domaingue) Murphy

Kelleigh (Domaingue) Murphy
Ward 12 Alder-woman for Manchester, NH (2008).

“Mike” Lopez

“Mike” Lopez
At-Large Alderman for Manchester, NH. (2008).

Daniel P. O’Neil

Daniel P. O’Neil
At-Large Alderman for Manchester, NH (2008).

Sarah Palin for Vice President.

Sarah Palin for Vice President.
Republican John McCain made the surprise pick of Alaska's governor Sarah Palin as his running mate today, August 29, 2008.

U.S. Representative John Olver, D-Amherst, Massachusetts.

U.S. Representative John Olver, D-Amherst, Massachusetts.
Congressman Olver said the country has spent well over a half-trillion dollars on the war in Iraq while the situation in Afghanistan continues to deteriorate. 8/25/08.

Ed O'Reilly for US Senate in Massachusetts!

Ed O'Reilly for US Senate in Massachusetts!
John Kerry's 9/2008 challenger in the Democratic Primary.

Shays' Rebellion

Shays' Rebellion
In a tax revolt, Massachusetts farmers fought back during Shays' Rebellion in the mid-1780s after The American Revolutionary War.

Julianne Moore

Julianne Moore
Actress. "The Big Lebowski" is one of my favorite movies. I also like "The Fugitive", too.

Rinaldo Del Gallo III & "Superman"

Rinaldo Del Gallo III & "Superman"
Go to: http://www.berkshirefatherhood.com/index.php?mact=News,cntnt01,detail,0&cntnt01articleid=699&cntnt01returnid=69

"Income chasm widening in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts"

"Income chasm widening in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts"
The gap between rich and poor has widened substantially in Massachusetts over the past two decades. (8/15/2008).

Dan "Bureaucrat" Bosley

Dan "Bureaucrat" Bosley
"The Bosley Amendment": To create tax loopholes for the wealthiest corporate interests in Massachusetts!

John Edwards and...

John Edwards and...
...Rielle Hunter. WHO CARES?!

Rep. Edward J. Markey

Rep. Edward J. Markey
He wants online-privacy legislation. Some Web Firms Say They Track Behavior Without Explicit Consent.

Cindy Sheehan

Cindy Sheehan
She gained fame with her antiwar vigil outside the Bush ranch.

Olympics kick off in Beijing

Olympics kick off in Beijing
Go USA!

Exxon Mobil 2Q profit sets US record, shares fall

Exxon Mobil 2Q profit sets US record, shares fall
In this May 1, 2008, file photo, a customer pumps gas at an Exxon station in Middleton, Mass. Exxon Mobil Corp. reported second-quarter earnings of $11.68 billion Thursday, July 31, the biggest quarterly profit ever by any U.S. corporation, but the results were well short of Wall Street expectations and its shares fell as markets opened. (AP Photo/Lisa Poole, File) 7/31/2008.

Onota Lake 'Sea Serpent'

Onota Lake 'Sea Serpent'
Some kind of monster on Onota Lake. Five-year-old Tyler Smith rides a 'sea serpent' on Onota Lake in Pittsfield, Mass. The 'monster,' fashioned by Smith's grandfather, first appeared over July 4 weekend. (Photo courtesy of Ron Smith). 7/30/2008.

Al Gore, Jr.

Al Gore, Jr.
Al Gore issues challenge on energy

The Norman Rockwell Museum

The Norman Rockwell Museum
Stockbridge, Massachusetts

"Big Dig"

"Big Dig"
Boston's financially wasteful pork barrel project!

"Big Dig"

"Big Dig"
Boston's pork barrel public works project cost 50 times more than the original price!

Mary E Carey

Mary E Carey
My favorite journalist EVER!

U.S. Rep. John Olver, state Sen. Stan Rosenberg and Selectwomen Stephanie O'Keeffe and Alisa Brewer

U.S. Rep. John Olver, state Sen. Stan Rosenberg and Selectwomen Stephanie O'Keeffe and Alisa Brewer
Note: Photo from Mary E Carey's Blog.

Tanglewood

Tanglewood
Boston Symphony Orchestra music director James Levine.

Google

Google
Chagall

Jimmy Ruberto

Jimmy Ruberto
Faces multiple persecutions under the Massachusetts "Ethics" conflict of interest laws.

Barack Obama

Barack Obama
Obama vows $500m in faith-based aid.

John McCain

John McCain
He is with his wife, Cindy, who were both met by Colombian President Alvaro Uribe (right) upon arriving in Cartagena.

Daniel Duquette

Daniel Duquette
Sold Mayor James M. Ruberto of Pittsfield two tickets to the 2004 World Series at face value.

Hillary & Barack in Unity, NH - 6/27/2008

Hillary & Barack in Unity, NH - 6/27/2008
Clinton tells Obama, crowd in Unity, N.H.: 'We are one party'

John Forbes Kerry

John Forbes Kerry
Wanna-be Prez?

WALL-E

WALL-E
"out of this World"

Crisis in the Congo - Ben Affleck

Crisis in the Congo - Ben Affleck
http://abcnews.go.com/Nightline/popup?id=5057139&contentIndex=1&page=1&start=false - http://abcnews.go.com/Nightline/story?id=5234555&page=1

Jeanne Shaheen

Jeanne Shaheen
NH's Democratic returning candidate for U.S. Senate

"Wall-E"

"Wall-E"
a cool robot

Ed O'Reilly

Ed O'Reilly
www.edoreilly.com

Go Celtics!

Go Celtics!
World Champions - 2008

Go Red Sox!

Go Red Sox!
J.D. Drew gets the same welcome whenever he visits the City of Brotherly Love: "Booooooo!"; Drew has been vilified in Philadelphia since refusing to sign with the Phillies after they drafted him in 1997...

Joe Kelly Levasseur & Joe Briggs

Joe Kelly Levasseur & Joe Briggs
www.2joes.org

NH Union Leader

NH Union Leader
Editorial Cartoon

Celtics - World Champions!

Celtics - World Champions!
www.boston.com/sports/basketball/celtics/gallery/06_18_08_front_pages/ - www.boston.com/sports/basketball/celtics/gallery/06_17_08_finals_game_6/ - www.boston.com/sports/basketball/celtics/gallery/06_17_08_celebration/ - www.boston.com/sports/basketball/celtics/gallery/06_15_08_celtics_championships/

"The Nation"

"The Nation"
A "Liberal" weekly political news magazine. Katrina vanden Heuvel.

TV - PBS: NOW

TV - PBS: NOW
http://www.pbs.org/now

The Twilight Zone

The Twilight Zone
List of Twilight Zone episodes - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Twilight_Zone_episodes

Equality for ALL Marriages

Equality for ALL Marriages
I, Jonathan Melle, am a supporter of same sex marriages.

Kobe Bryant leads his time to a Game 5 victory.

Kobe Bryant leads his time to a Game 5 victory.
L.A. Lakers holds on for the win to force Game 6 at Boston

Mohawk Trail

Mohawk Trail
The 'Hail to the Sunrise' statue in Charlemont is a well-known and easily recognized landmark on the Mohawk Trail. The trail once boasted several souvenir shops, some with motels and restaurants. Now only four remain. (Caroline Bonnivier / Berkshire Eagle Staff).

NASA - June 14, 2008

NASA - June 14, 2008
Space Shuttle Discovery returns to Earth.

Go Celtics! Game # 4 of the 2008 NBA Finals.

Go Celtics! Game # 4 of the 2008 NBA Finals.
Boston took a 20-second timeout, and the Celtics ran off four more points (including this incredible Erving-esque layup from Ray Allen) to build the lead to five points with just 2:10 remaining. Reeling, the Lakers took a full timeout to try to regain their momentum.

Sal DiMasi

Sal DiMasi
Speaker of the Massachusetts State House of Representatives

Kelly Ayotte - Attorney General of New Hampshire

Kelly Ayotte - Attorney General of New Hampshire
http://doj.nh.gov/

John Kerry

John Kerry
He does not like grassroots democracy & being challenged in the 2008 Massachusetts Democratic Party Primary for re-election.

Tim Murray

Tim Murray
Corrupt Lt. Gov. of Massachusetts, 2007 - 2013.

North Adams, Massachusetts

North Adams, Massachusetts
downtown

Howie Carr

Howie Carr
Political Satirist on Massachusetts Corruption/Politics

Polar Bear

Polar Bear
Global Warming

Elizabeth Warren - Web-Site Links

Elizabeth Warren - Web-Site Links
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elizabeth_Warren & http://www.creditslips.org/creditslips/WarrenAuthor.html

Elizabeth Warren

Elizabeth Warren
Consumer Crusader

Leon Powe

Leon Powe
Celtics forward Leon Powe finished a fast break with a dunk.

Kevin Garnett

Kevin Garnett
Kevin Garnett reacted during the game.

Rajon Rondo

Rajon Rondo
Rajon Rondo finished a first half fast break with a dunk.

Teamwork

Teamwork
Los Angeles Lakers teammates help Pau Gasol (16) from the floor in the second quarter.

Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant
Kobe Bryant took a shot in the first half of Game 2.

Kendrick Perkins

Kendrick Perkins
Kendrick Perkins (right) backed down Lamar Odom (left) during first half action.

Go Celtics!

Go Celtics!
The Boston Symphony Orchestra performed the national anthem prior to Game 2.

K.G.!

K.G.!
Garnett reacted to a hard dunk in the first quarter.

Paul Pierce

Paul Pierce
Paul Pierce reacted after hitting a three upon his return to the game since leaving with an injury.

Go Celtics!

Go Celtics!
Kobe Bryant (left) and Paul Pierce (right) squared off in the second half of the game.

James Taylor

James Taylor
Sings National Anthem at Celtics Game.

John Forbes Kerry & Deval Patrick

John Forbes Kerry & Deval Patrick
Attended Celtics Game.

Greats of the NBA: Dr. J, Bill Russell, & Kareem!

Greats of the NBA: Dr. J, Bill Russell, & Kareem!
Attend Game 1 of the 2008 NBA Finals.

Bruce Willis

Bruce Willis
The actor (left) and his date were in the crowd before the Celtics game.

John Kerry

John Kerry
Golddigger attends Celtics game

Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton
Ends her 2008 bid for Democratic Party nomination

Nonnie Burnes

Nonnie Burnes
Massachusetts Insurance Commish & former Judge

Jones Library

Jones Library
Amherst, Massachusetts

Barack Obama & Hillary Clinton

Barack Obama & Hillary Clinton
2008 Democratic Primary

"US vs Exxon and Halliburton"

"US vs Exxon and Halliburton"
U.S. Senator John Sununu took more than $220,000 from big oil.

Jeanne Shaheen

Jeanne Shaheen
4- U.S. Senate - 2008

William Pignatelli

William Pignatelli
Hack Rep. "Smitty" with Lynne Blake

Ben Bernanke

Ben Bernanke
Federal Reserve Chairman

Gazettenet.com

Gazettenet.com
www.gazettenet.com/beta/

Boys' & Girls' Club

Boys' & Girls' Club
Melville Street, Pittsfield, Massachusetts

Denis Guyer

Denis Guyer
Dalton State Representative

The Berkshire Eagle

The Berkshire Eagle
Pittsfield, Massachusetts

Carmen Massimiano

Carmen Massimiano
Williams College - May 2008

Larry Bird & Magic Johnson

Larry Bird & Magic Johnson
www.boston.com/lifestyle/gallery/when_the_celtics_were_cool/

Regressive Taxation! via State Lotteries

Regressive Taxation! via State Lotteries
New Massachusetts state lottery game hits $600 million in sales!

Andrea Nuciforo

Andrea Nuciforo
"Luciforo"

John Barrett III

John Barrett III
Long-time Mayor of North Adams Massachusetts

Shine On

Shine On

Elmo

Elmo
cool!

Paul Pierce

Paul Pierce
Paul Pierce kissed the Eastern Conference trophy. 5/30/2008. AP Photo.

Kevin Garnett & Richard Hamilton

Kevin Garnett & Richard Hamilton
Kevin Garnett (left) talked to Pistons guard Richard Hamilton (right) after the Celtics' victory in Game 6. 5/30/2008. Reuters Photo.

Paul Pierce

Paul Pierce
Paul Pierce showed his team colors as the Celtics closed out the Pistons in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals. 5/30/2008. Globe Staff Photo / Jim Davis.

Joseph Kelly Levasseur

Joseph Kelly Levasseur
One of my favorite politicians!

Mary E Carey

Mary E Carey
In the Big Apple: NYC! She is the coolest!

Guyer & Kerry

Guyer & Kerry
My 2nd least favorite picture EVER!

Mary Carey

Mary Carey
My favorite journalist EVER!

Nuciforo & Ruberto

Nuciforo & Ruberto
My least favorite picture EVER!

Jeanne Shaheen

Jeanne Shaheen
U.S. Senate - 2008

NH Fisher Cats

NH Fisher Cats
AA Baseball - Toronto Blue Jays affiliate

Manchester, NH

Manchester, NH
Police Patch

Michael Briggs

Michael Briggs
#83 - We will never forget

Michael "Stix" Addison

Michael "Stix" Addison
http://unionleader.com/channel.aspx/News?channel=2af17ff4-f73b-4c44-9f51-092e828e1131

Charlie Gibson

Charlie Gibson
ABC News anchor

Scott McClellan

Scott McClellan
http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/m/scott_mcclellan/index.html?inline=nyt-per

Boise, Idaho

Boise, Idaho
Downtown Boise Idaho

John Forbes Kerry

John Forbes Kerry
Legislative Hearing in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, BCC, on Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson
My favorite classical U.S. President!

NH Governor John Lynch

NH Governor John Lynch
Higher Taxes, Higher Tolls

Paul Hodes

Paul Hodes
My favorite Congressman!

Portland Sea Dogs

Portland Sea Dogs
AA Red Sox

New York

New York
Magnet

Massachusetts

Massachusetts
Magnet

New Hampshire

New Hampshire
Magnet

New Hampshire

New Hampshire
Button

Carmen Massimiano

Carmen Massimiano
"Luciforo" tried to send me to Carmen's Jail during the Spring & Summer of 1998.

Kay Khan - Massachusetts State Representative

Kay Khan - Massachusetts State Representative
www.openmass.org/members/show/174

Luciforo

Luciforo
Andrea F Nuciforo II

B-Eagle

B-Eagle
Pittsfield's monopoly/only daily newspaper

Jon Lester - Go Red Sox!

Jon Lester - Go Red Sox!
A Red Sox No Hitter on 5/19/2008!

Go Red Sox!

Go Red Sox!
Dustin Pedroia & Manny Ramirez

U.S. Flag

U.S. Flag
God Bless America!

Jonathan Melle's Blog

Jonathan Melle's Blog
Hello, Everyone!

Molly Bish

Molly Bish
We will never forget!

Go Celtics!

Go Celtics!
Celtics guard Rajon Rondo listens to some advice from Celtics head coach Doc Rivers in the first half.

Go Celtics!

Go Celtics!
Celtics forward Kevin Garnett and Pistons forward Rasheed Wallace embrace at the end of the game.

Go Red Sox!

Go Red Sox!
Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon calls for the ball as he charges toward first base. Papelbon made the out en route to picking up his 14th save of the season.

Go Red Sox!

Go Red Sox!
Red Sox starting pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka throws to Royals David DeJesus during the first inning.

Go Red Sox!

Go Red Sox!
Red Sox pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka delivers a pitch to Royals second baseman Mark Grudzielanek during the second inning.

Go Red Sox!

Go Red Sox!
Red Sox right fielder J.D. Drew is welcomed to home plate by teammates Mike Lowell (left), Kevin Youkilis (2nd left) and Manny Ramirez after he hit a grand slam in the second inning.

Go Red Sox!

Go Red Sox!
Red Sox third baseman Mike Lowell crosses the plate after hitting a grand slam during the sixth inning. Teammates Manny Ramirez and Jacoby Ellsbury scored on the play. The Red Sox went on to win 11-8 to complete a four-game sweep and perfect homestand.

JD Drew - Go Red Sox

JD Drew - Go Red Sox
www.boston.com/sports/baseball/redsox/gallery/05_22_08_sox_royals/

Thank you for serving; God Bless America!

Thank you for serving; God Bless America!
Master Sgt. Kara B. Stackpole, of Westfield, holds her daughter, Samantha, upon her return today to Westover Air Reserve Base in Chicopee. She is one of the 38 members of the 439th Aeromedical Staging Squadron who returned after a 4-month deployment in Iraq. Photo by Dave Roback / The Republican.

Kathi-Anne Reinstein

Kathi-Anne Reinstein
www.openmass.org/members/show/175

Ted Kennedy

Ted Kennedy
Tragic diagnosis: Get well Senator!

Google doodle - Jonathan Melle Internet search

Google doodle - Jonathan Melle Internet search
http://blogsearch.google.com/blogsearch?hl=en&q=jonathan+melle+blogurl:http://jonathanmelleonpolitics.blogspot.com/&ie=UTF-8

John Forbes Kerry

John Forbes Kerry
Billionaire U.S. Senator gives address to MCLA graduates in North Adams, Massachusetts in mid-May 2008

Andrea Nuciforo

Andrea Nuciforo
"Luciforo"

A Red Sox Fan in Paris, France

A Red Sox Fan in Paris, France
Go Red Sox!

Rinaldo Del Gallo III

Rinaldo Del Gallo III
Interviewed on local TV

Andrea Nuciforo

Andrea Nuciforo
Luciforo!

John Adams

John Adams
#2 U.S. President

Jonathan Melle

Jonathan Melle
I stood under a tree on the afternoon of May 9, 2008, on the foregrounds of the NH State House - www.websitetoolbox.com/tool/post/nhinsider/vpost?id=2967773

Jonathan Melle

Jonathan Melle
Inside the front lobby of the NH State House

Jonathan Melle

Jonathan Melle
Bill Clinton campaign memorabilia

Jonathan Melle

Jonathan Melle
Liberty Bell & NH State House

Jon Keller

Jon Keller
Boston based political analyst

Jon Keller

Jon Keller
Boston based political analyst

Jonathan Melle

Jonathan Melle
Franklin Pierce Statue #14 U.S. President

Jonathan Melle

Jonathan Melle
NH State House

Jonathan Melle

Jonathan Melle
Stop the War NOW!

Jonathan Melle

Jonathan Melle
"Mr. Melle, tear down this Blog!"

Jonathan Melle

Jonathan Melle
I stood next to a JFK photo

Jonathan Levine, Publisher

Jonathan Levine, Publisher
The Pittsfield Gazette Online

Jonathan Melle

Jonathan Melle
I made rabbit ears with John & George

Jonathan Melle

Jonathan Melle
I made antenna ears with John & George

Jonathan Melle

Jonathan Melle
I impersonated Howard Dean

Jonathan Melle

Jonathan Melle
mock-voting

Jonathan Melle

Jonathan Melle
pretty ladies -/- Go to: http://www.wgir.com/cc-common/cc_photopop20.html?eventID=28541&pagecontent=&pagenum=4 - Go to: http://current.com/items/88807921_veterans_should_come_first_not_last# - http://www.mcam23.com/cgi-bin/cutter.cgi?c_function=STREAM?c_feature=EDIT?dir_catagory=10MorningRadio?dir_folder=2JoesClips?dir_file=JonathanMelle-090308? -

Jonathan Melle

Jonathan Melle
Go Red Sox! Me at Fenway Park

Mary E. Carey

Mary E. Carey
My favorite journalist! Her voice sings for the Voiceless. -/- Go to: http://aboutamherst.blogspot.com/search?q=melle -/- Go to: http://ongeicocaveman.blogspot.com/search?q=melle

Velvet Jesus

Velvet Jesus
Mary Carey blogs about my political writings. This is a picture of Jesus from her childhood home in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. -//- "How Can I Keep From Singing" : My life goes on in endless song / Above Earth's lamentations, / I hear the real, though far-off hymn / That hails a new creation. / / Through all the tumult and the strife / I hear its music ringing, / It sounds an echo in my soul. / How can I keep from singing? / / Whey tyrants tremble in their fear / And hear their death knell ringing, / When friends rejoice both far and near / How can I keep from singing? / / In prison cell and dungeon vile / Our thoughts to them are winging / When friends by shame are undefiled / How can I keep from singing?

www.truthdig.com

www.truthdig.com
www.truthdig.com

Jonathan Melle

Jonathan Melle
Concord NH

The Huffington Post

The Huffington Post
http://fundrace.huffingtonpost.com/neighbors.php?type=loc&newest=1&addr=&zip=01201&search=Search

Barack Obama

Barack Obama
smiles & beer

Jonathan Lothrop

Jonathan Lothrop
A Pittsfield City Councilor

Michael L. Ward

Michael L. Ward
A Pittsfield City Councilor

Peter Marchetti - Pittsfield's City Councilor at Large

Peter Marchetti - Pittsfield's City Councilor at Large
Pete always sides with the wealthy's political interests.

Gerald Lee - Pittsfield's City Council Prez

Gerald Lee - Pittsfield's City Council Prez
Gerald Lee told me that I am a Social Problem; Lee executes a top-down system of governance.

Matt Kerwood - Pittsfield's Councilor at Large

Matt Kerwood - Pittsfield's Councilor at Large
Kerwood poured coffee drinks for Jane Swift

Louis Costi

Louis Costi
Pittsfield City Councilor

Lewis Markham

Lewis Markham
Pittsfield City Councilor

Kevin Sherman - Pittsfield City Councilor

Kevin Sherman - Pittsfield City Councilor
Sherman ran for Southern Berkshire State Rep against Smitty Pignatelli; Sherman is a good guy.

Anthony Maffuccio

Anthony Maffuccio
Pittsfield City Councilor

Linda Tyer

Linda Tyer
Pittsfield City Councilor

Daniel Bianchi

Daniel Bianchi
A Pittsfield City Councilor

The Democratic Donkey

The Democratic Donkey
Democratic Party Symbol

Paramount

Paramount
What is Paramount to you?

NH's Congresswoman

NH's Congresswoman
Carol Shea-Porter, Democrat

Sam Adams Beer

Sam Adams Beer
Boston Lager

Ratatouille

Ratatouille
Disney Animation

Ruberto Details Plans for Success - January 07, 2008

Ruberto Details Plans for Success - January 07, 2008
"Luciforo" swears in Mayor Ruberto. Pittsfield Politics at its very worst: 2 INSIDER POWERBROKERS! Where is Carmen Massimiano? He must be off to the side.

Abe

Abe
Lincoln

Optimus Prime

Optimus Prime
Leader of the Autobots

Optimus Prime

Optimus Prime
1984 Autobot Transformer Leader

Cleanup Agreements - GE & Pittsfield's PCBs toxic waste sites

Cleanup Agreements - GE & Pittsfield's PCBs toxic waste sites
www.epa.gov/region1/ge/cleanupagreement.html

GE/Housatonic River Site: Introduction

GE/Housatonic River Site: Introduction
www.epa.gov/region1/ge/

GE/Housatonic River Site - Reports

GE/Housatonic River Site - Reports
www.epa.gov/region1/ge/thesite/opca-reports.html

US EPA - Contact - Pittsfield's PCBs toxic waste sites

US EPA - Contact -  Pittsfield's PCBs toxic waste sites
www.epa.gov/region1/ge/contactinfo.html

GE Corporate Logo - Pittsfield's PCBs toxic waste sites

GE Corporate Logo - Pittsfield's PCBs toxic waste sites
www.epa.gov/region1/ge/index.html

Commonwealth Connector

Commonwealth Connector
Commonwealth Care

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts
Healthcare Reform

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts
Healthcare Reform

Network Health Forward - A Commonwealth Care Plan

Network Health Forward - A Commonwealth Care Plan
Massachusetts Health Reform

Network Health Together: A MassHealth Plan - Commonwealth Care

Network Health Together: A MassHealth Plan - Commonwealth Care
Massachusetts Health Reform

www.network-health.org

www.network-health.org
Massachusetts Health Reform

Neighborhood Health Plan - Commonwealth Care

Neighborhood Health Plan - Commonwealth Care
Massachusetts Health Reform

Fallon Community Health Plan - Commonwealth Care

Fallon Community Health Plan - Commonwealth Care
Massachusetts Health Reform

BMC HealthNet Plan

BMC HealthNet Plan
Massachusetts Health Reform

Massachusetts Health Reform

Massachusetts Health Reform
Eligibility Chart: 2007

Harvard Pilgrim Healthcare

Harvard Pilgrim Healthcare
Massachusetts Health Reform

Business Peaks

Business Peaks
Voodoo Economics

Laffer Curve - Corporate Elite

Laffer Curve - Corporate Elite
Reagonomics: Supply Side

Corporate Elite Propaganda

Corporate Elite Propaganda
Mock Liberal Democratic Socialism Thinking

Real Estate Blues

Real Estate Blues
www.boston.com/bostonglobe/magazine/2008/0316/

PEACE

PEACE
End ALL Wars!

Freedom of Speech

Freedom of Speech
Norman Rockwell's World War II artwork depicting America's values

Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln
A young Abe Lincoln

RACHEL KAPRIELIAN

RACHEL KAPRIELIAN
www.openmass.org/members/show/218 - www.rachelkaprielian.com

Jennifer M. Callahan - Massachusetts State Representative

Jennifer M. Callahan - Massachusetts State Representative
www.openmass.org/members/show/164 - www.boston.com/news/local/articles/2008/05/04/legislator_describes_threat_as_unnerving/

Human Rights for ALL Peoples!

Human Rights for ALL Peoples!
My #1 Political Belief!

Anne Frank

Anne Frank
Amsterdam, Netherlands, Europe

A young woman Hillary supporter

A young woman Hillary supporter
This excellent picture captures a youth's excitement

Hillary Clinton with Natalie Portman

Hillary Clinton with Natalie Portman
My favorite Actress!

Alan Chartock

Alan Chartock
WAMC public radio in Albany, NY; Political columnist who writes about Berkshire County area politics; Strong supporter for Human Rights for ALL Peoples

OpenCongress.Org

OpenCongress.Org
This web-site uses some of my Blog postings

OpenMass.org

OpenMass.org
This web-site uses some of my blog postings!

Shannon O'Brien

Shannon O'Brien
One of my favorite politicians! She stands for the People first!

The Massachusetts State House

The Massachusetts State House
"The Almighty Golden Dome" - www.masslegislature.tv -

Sara Hathaway

Sara Hathaway
Former Mayor of Pittsfield, Massachusetts

Andrea F. Nuciforo, Jr.

Andrea F. Nuciforo, Jr.
A corrupt Pol who tried to put me in Jail

Andrea F. Nuciforo, Jr.

Andrea F. Nuciforo, Jr.
Another view of Pittsfield's inbred, multigenerational political prince. Luciforo!

Luciforo

Luciforo
Nuciforo's nickname

"Andy" Nuciforo

"Andy" Nuciforo
Luciforo!

Carmen C. Massimiano, Jr., Berkshire County Sheriff (Jailer)

Carmen C. Massimiano, Jr., Berkshire County Sheriff (Jailer)
Nuciforo's henchman! Nuciforo tried to send me to Carmen's Jail

Andrea Nuciforo Jr

Andrea Nuciforo Jr
Shhh! Luciforo's other job is working as a private attorney defending wealthy Boston-area corporate insurance companies

Berkshire County Sheriff (Jailer) Carmen C. Massimiano, Jr.

Berkshire County Sheriff (Jailer) Carmen C. Massimiano, Jr.
Nuciforo tried to send me to Carmen's Jail! Carmen sits with the Congressman, John Olver

Congressman John Olver

Congressman John Olver
Nuciforo's envy

The Dome of the U.S. Capitol

The Dome of the U.S. Capitol
Our Beacon of American Democracy

Nuciforo's architect

Nuciforo's architect
Mary O'Brien in red with scarf

Sara Hathaway (www.brynmawr.edu)

Sara Hathaway (www.brynmawr.edu)
Former-Mayor of Pittsfield, Massachusetts; Nuciforo intimidated her, along with another woman, from running in a democratic state election in the Spring of 2006!

Andrea F. Nuciforo II

Andrea F. Nuciforo II
Pittsfield Politics

Berkshire County Republican Association

Berkshire County Republican Association
Go to: www.fcgop.blogspot.com

Denis Guyer

Denis Guyer
Dalton State Representative

John Forbes Kerry & Denis Guyer

John Forbes Kerry & Denis Guyer
U.S. Senator & State Representative

John Kerry

John Kerry
Endorses Barack Obama for Prez then visits Berkshire County

Dan Bosley

Dan Bosley
A Bureaucrat impostering as a Legislator!

Ben Downing

Ben Downing
Berkshire State Senator

Christopher N Speranzo

Christopher N Speranzo
Pittsfield's ANOINTED State Representative

Peter J. Larkin

Peter J. Larkin
Corrupt Lobbyist

GE - Peter Larkin's best friend!

GE - Peter Larkin's best friend!
GE's FRAUDULENT Consent Decree with Pittsfield, Massachusetts, will end up KILLING many innocent school children & other local residents!

GE's CEO Jack Welch

GE's CEO Jack Welch
The Corporate System's Corporate Elite's King

Economics: Where Supply meets Demand

Economics: Where Supply meets Demand
Equilibrium

GE & Pittsfield, Massachusetts

GE & Pittsfield, Massachusetts
In 2007, GE sold its Plastics Division to a Saudi company. Now all that is left over by GE are its toxic PCB pollutants that cause cancer in many Pittsfield residents.

Mayor James M Ruberto

Mayor James M Ruberto
A small-time pol chooses to serve the corporate elite & other elites over the people.

Governor Deval Patrick

Governor Deval Patrick
Deval shakes hands with Mayors in Berkshire County

Deval Patrick

Deval Patrick
Governor of Massachusetts

Pittsfield High School

Pittsfield High School
Pittsfield, Massachusetts

Sara Hathaway

Sara Hathaway
Pittsfield's former Mayor

Rinaldo Del Gallo III

Rinaldo Del Gallo III
Pittsfield Attorney focusing on Father's Rights Probate Court Legal Issues, & Local Politician and Political Observer

Rinaldo Del Gallo III

Rinaldo Del Gallo III
Very Intelligent Political Activists in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. Rinaldo Del Gallo, III, Esq. is the spokesperson of the Berkshire Fatherhood Coalition. He has been practicing family law and has been a member of the Massachusetts bar since 1996.

Mayor Ed Reilly

Mayor Ed Reilly
He supports Mayor Ruberto & works as a municipal Attorney. As Mayor, he backed Bill Weld for Governor in 1994, despite being a Democrat. He was joined by Carmen Massimiano & John Barrett III, the long-standing Mayor of North Adams.

Manchester, NH Mayor Frank Guinta

Manchester, NH Mayor Frank Guinta
Cuts Dental Care for Public School Children-in-Need

Manchester, NH City Hall

Manchester, NH City Hall
My new hometown - view from Hanover St. intersection with Elm St.

Manchester NH City Democrats

Manchester NH City Democrats
Go Dems!

2008 Democratic Candidates for U.S. Prez

2008 Democratic Candidates for U.S. Prez
Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Mike Gravel, Dennis Kucinich, John Edwards

NH State House Dome

NH State House Dome
Concord, NH

Donna Walto

Donna Walto
Pittsfield Politician -- She strongly opposes Mayor Jim Ruberto's elitist tenure.

Elmo

Elmo
Who doesn't LOVE Elmo?

Hillary Clinton for U.S. President!

Hillary Clinton for U.S. President!
Hillary is for Children. She is my choice in 2008.

The White House in 1800

The White House in 1800
Home of our Presidents of the United States

John Adams

John Adams
2nd President of the USA

Hillary Clinton stands with John Edwards and Joe Biden

Hillary Clinton stands with John Edwards and Joe Biden
Hillary is my choice for U.S. President!

Bill Clinton

Bill Clinton
Former President Bill Clinton speaks at the Radisson in Manchester NH 11/16/2007

Barack Obama

Barack Obama
U.S. Senator & Candidate for President

Pittsfield's 3 Women City Councillors - 2004

Pittsfield's 3 Women City Councillors - 2004
Linda Tyer, Pam Malumphy, Tricia Farley-Bouvier

Wahconah Park in Pittsfield, Massachusetts

Wahconah Park in Pittsfield, Massachusetts
My friend Brian Merzbach reviews baseball parks around the nation.

The Corporate Elite: Rational Incentives for only the wealthy

The Corporate Elite: Rational Incentives for only the wealthy
The Elites double their $ every 6 to 8 years, while the "have-nots" double their $ every generation (or 24 years). Good bye Middle Class!

George Will

George Will
The human satellite voice for the Corporate Elite

Elizabeth Warren

Elizabeth Warren
The Anti-George Will; Harvard Law School Professor; The Corporate Elite's Worst Nightmare

The Flag of The Commonwealth of Massachusetts

The Flag of The Commonwealth of Massachusetts
I was born and raised in Pittsfield, Massachusetts

State Senator Stan Rosenberg

State Senator Stan Rosenberg
Democratic State Senator from Amherst, Massachusetts -/- Anti-Stan Rosenberg Blog: rosenbergwatch.blogspot.com

Ellen Story

Ellen Story
Amherst Massachusetts' State Representative

Teen Pregnancy in Pittsfield, Mass.

Teen Pregnancy in Pittsfield, Mass.
Books are being written on Pittsfield's high teen pregancy rates! What some intellectuals do NOT understand about the issue is that TEEN PREGNANCIES in Pittsfield double the statewide average by design - Perverse Incentives!

NH Governor John Lynch

NH Governor John Lynch
Supports $30 Scratch Tickets and other forms of regressive taxation. Another Pol that only serves his Corporate Elite Masters instead of the People!

U.S. Congresswoman Carol Shea Porter

U.S. Congresswoman Carol Shea Porter
The first woman whom the People of New Hampshire have voted in to serve in U.S. Congress

U.S. Congressman Paul Hodes

U.S. Congressman Paul Hodes
A good man who wants to bring progressive changes to Capitol Hill!

Paul Hodes for U.S. Congress

Paul Hodes for U.S. Congress
New Hampshire's finest!

Darth Vader

Darth Vader
Star Wars

Dick Cheney & George W. Bush

Dick Cheney & George W. Bush
The Gruesome Two-some! Stop the Neo-Cons' fascism! End the Iraq War NOW!

WAROPOLY

WAROPOLY
The Inequity of Globalism

Bushopoly!

Bushopoly!
The Corporate Elite have redesigned "The System" to enrich themselves at the expense of the people, masses, have-nots, poor & middle-class families

George W. Bush with Karl Rove

George W. Bush with Karl Rove
Rove was a political strategist with extraordinary influence within the Bush II White House

2008's Republican Prez-field

2008's Republican Prez-field
John McCain, Alan Keyes, Rudy Guiliani, Duncan Hunter, Mike Huckabee, WILLARD Mitt Romney, Fred Thompson, Ron Paul

Fall in New England

Fall in New England
Autumn is my favorite season

Picturing America

Picturing America
picturingamerica.neh.gov

Winter Weather Map

Winter Weather Map
3:45PM EST 3-Dec-07

Norman Rockwell Painting

Norman Rockwell Painting
Thanksgiving

Norman Rockwell Painting

Norman Rockwell Painting
Depiction of American Values in mid-20th Century America

Larry Bird #33

Larry Bird #33
My favorite basketball player of my childhood

Boston Celtics Basketball - 2007-2008

Boston Celtics Basketball - 2007-2008
Kevin Garnett hugs James Posey

Paul Pierce

Paul Pierce
All heart! Awesome basketball star for The Boston Celtics.

Tom Brady

Tom Brady
Go Patriots!

Rupert Murdoch

Rupert Murdoch
Owner of Fox News - CORPORATE ELITE!

George Stephanopolous

George Stephanopolous
A Corporate Elite Political News Analyst

Robert Redford

Robert Redford
Starred in the movie "Lions for Lambs"

Meryl Streep

Meryl Streep
Plays a jaded journalist with integrity in the movie "Lions for Lambs"

Tom Cruise

Tom Cruise
Tom Cruise plays the Neo-Con D.C. Pol purely indoctrinated by the Corporate Elite's political agenda in the Middle East

CHARLIZE THERON

CHARLIZE THERON
"I want to say I've never been surrounded by so many fake breasts, but I went to the Academy Awards."

Amherst Town Library

Amherst Town Library
Amherst, NH - www.amherstlibrary.org

Manchester NH Library

Manchester NH Library
I use the library's automated timed 1-hour-per-day Internet computers to post on my Blog - www.manchester.lib.nh.us

Manchester NH's Palace Theater

Manchester NH's Palace Theater
Manchester NH decided to restore its Palace Theater

Pittsfield's Palace Theater

Pittsfield's Palace Theater
Pittsfield tore down this landmark on North Street in favor of a parking lot

Pleasant Street Theater

Pleasant Street Theater
Amherst, Massachusetts

William "Shitty" Pignatelli

William "Shitty" Pignatelli
A top down & banal State House Pol from Lenox Massachusetts -- A GOOD MAN!

The CIA & Mind Control

The CIA & Mind Control
Did the CIA murder people by proxy assassins?

Skull & Bones

Skull & Bones
Yale's Elite

ImpeachBush.org

ImpeachBush.org
I believe President Bush should be IMPEACHED because he is waging an illegal and immoral war against Iraq!

Bob Feuer drumming for U.S. Congress v John Olver in 2008

Bob Feuer drumming for U.S. Congress v John Olver in 2008
www.blog.bobfeuer.us

Abe Lincoln

Abe Lincoln
The 16th President of the USA

Power

Power
Peace

Global Warming Mock Giant Thermometer

Global Warming Mock Giant Thermometer
A member of Green Peace activist sets up a giant thermometer as a symbol of global warming during their campaign in Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia, Sunday, Dec. 2, 2007. World leaders launch marathon negotiations Monday on how to fight global warming, which left unchecked could cause devastating sea level rises, send millions further into poverty and lead to the mass extinction of plants and animals.

combat global warming...

combat global warming...
...or risk economic and environmental disaster caused by rising temperatures

www.climatecrisiscoalition.org

www.climatecrisiscoalition.org
P.O. Box 125, South Lee, MA 01260, (413) 243-5665, tstokes@kyotoandbeyond.org, www.kyotoandbeyond.org

3 Democratic presidentional candidates

3 Democratic presidentional candidates
Democratic presidential candidates former senator John Edwards (from right) and Senators Joe Biden and Chris Dodd before the National Public Radio debate yesterday (12/4/2007).

The UN Seal

The UN Seal
An archaic & bureaucratic post WW2 top-down, non-democratic institution that also stands for some good governance values

Superman

Superman
One of my favorite childhood heroes and movies

Web-Site on toxic toys

Web-Site on toxic toys
www.healthytoys.org

Batman

Batman
One of my favorite super-heroes

Deval Patrick & Denis Guyer

Deval Patrick & Denis Guyer
Massachusetts' Governor stands with Dalton's State Rep. Denis E. Guyer.

Bill Cosby & Denis Guyer

Bill Cosby & Denis Guyer
TV Star Bill Cosby stands with Denis E. Guyer

Denis Guyer with his supporters

Denis Guyer with his supporters
Dalton State Representative

Denis Guyer goes to college

Denis Guyer goes to college
Dalton State Representative

Peter Marchetti

Peter Marchetti
He is my second cousin. Pete Marchetti favors MONEY, not fairness!

Matt Barron & Denis Guyer with couple

Matt Barron & Denis Guyer with couple
Matt Barron plays DIRTY politics against his opponents!

Nat Karns

Nat Karns
Top-Down Executive Director of the ELITIST Berkshire Regional Planning Commission

Human Rights for All Peoples & people

Human Rights for All Peoples & people
Stop Anti-Semitism

Massachusetts State Treasurer Tim Cahill

Massachusetts State Treasurer Tim Cahill
State House, Room 227, Boston, MA 02133, 617-367-6900, www.mass.gov/treasury/

Massachusetts State Attorney General Martha Coakley

Massachusetts State Attorney General Martha Coakley
1350 Main Street, Springfield, MA 01103, 413-784-1240 / McCormick Building, One Asburton Place, Boston, MA 02108, 617-727-4765 / marthacoakley.com / www.ago.state.ma.us

Bush v. Gore: December 12, 2007, was the seventh anniversary, the 5-4 Supreme Court decision...

Bush v. Gore: December 12, 2007, was the seventh anniversary, the 5-4 Supreme Court decision...
www.takebackthecourt.org - A political billboard near my downtown apartment in Manchester, NH

Marc Murgo

Marc Murgo
An old friend of mine from Pittsfield

Downtown Manchester, NH

Downtown Manchester, NH
www.newhampshire.com/nh-towns/manchester.aspx

Marisa Tomei

Marisa Tomei
Movie Actress

Massachusetts Coalition for Healthy Communities (MCHC)

Massachusetts Coalition for Healthy Communities (MCHC)
www.masschc.org/issue.php

Mike Firestone & Anna Weisfeiler

Mike Firestone & Anna Weisfeiler
Mike Firestone works in Manchester NH for Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign

James Pindell

James Pindell
Covers NH Primary Politcs for The Boston Globe

U.S. History - Declaration

U.S. History - Declaration
A 19th century engraving shows Benjamin Franklin, left, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Philip Livingston and Roger Sherman at work on the Declaration of Independence.

Boston Globe Photos of the Week - www.boston.com/bostonglobe/gallery/

Boston Globe Photos of the Week - www.boston.com/bostonglobe/gallery/
Sybregje Palenstijn (left), who plays Sarah Godbertson at Plimouth Plantation, taught visitors how to roast a turkey on a spit. The plantation often sees a large influx of visitors during the holiday season.

Chris Hodgkins

Chris Hodgkins
Another special interest Berkshire Pol who could not hold his "WATER" on Beacon Hill's State House!

The Big Dig - 15 tons of concrete fell from a tunnel ceiling onto Milena Del Valle's car.

The Big Dig - 15 tons of concrete fell from a tunnel ceiling onto Milena Del Valle's car.
Most of Boston's Big Dig highway remains closed, after a woman was crushed when 15 tons of concrete fell from a tunnel ceiling onto her car. (ABC News)

Jane Swift

Jane Swift
Former Acting Governor of Massachusetts & Berkshire State Senator

Paul Cellucci

Paul Cellucci
Former Massachusetts Governor

William Floyd Weld

William Floyd Weld
$80 Million Trust Fund Former Governor of Massachusetts

Mike Dukakis

Mike Dukakis
Former Governor of Massachusetts

Mary E. Carey

Mary E. Carey
Amherst, Massachusetts, Journalist and Blogger

Caveman

Caveman
www.ongeicocaveman.blogspot.com

Peter G. Arlos

Peter G. Arlos
"The biggest challenge Pittsfield faces is putting its fiscal house in order. The problem is that doing so requires structural changes in local government, many of which I have advocated for years, but which officials do not have the will to implement. Fiscal responsibility requires more than shifting funds from one department to another. Raising taxes and fees and cutting services are not the answer. Structural changes in the way services are delivered and greater productivity are the answer, and without these changes the city's fiscal crisis will not be solved."

James M. Ruberto

James M. Ruberto
"Pittsfield's biggest challenge is to find common ground for a better future. The city is at a crossroads. On one hand, our quality of life is challenged. On the other hand, some important building blocks are in place that could be a strong foundation for our community. Pittsfield needs to unite for the good of its future. The city needs an experienced businessman and a consensus builder who will invite the people to hold him accountable."

Matt Kerwood

Matt Kerwood
Pittsfield's Councilor-At-Large. Go to: extras.berkshireeagle.com/NeBe/profiles/12.htm

Gerald M. Lee

Gerald M. Lee
Pittsfield's City Council Prez. Top-down governance of the first order!

Mary Carey

Mary Carey
Mary with student

Boston Red Sox

Boston Red Sox
Jonathan Papelbon celebrates with Jason Varitek

Free Bernard Baran!

Free Bernard Baran!
www.freebaran.org

Political Intelligence

Political Intelligence
Capitol Hill

Sherwood Guernsey II

Sherwood Guernsey II
Wealthy Williamstown Political Activist & Pittsfield Attorney

Mary Carey 2

Mary Carey 2
California Pol & porn star

Pittsfield's Good Old Boy Network - Political Machine!

Pittsfield's Good Old Boy Network - Political Machine!
Andy "Luciforo" swears in Jimmy Ruberto for the returning Mayor's 3rd term

Berkshire Grown

Berkshire Grown
www.berkshiregrown.org

Rambo

Rambo

The Mount was built in 1902 & was home to Edith Wharton (1862-1937) from 1903 to 1908.

The Mount was built in 1902 & was home to Edith Wharton (1862-1937) from 1903 to 1908.
The Mount, the historic home in Lenox of famed American novelist Edith Wharton, is facing foreclosure.