October 6, 2012 - The Constantine Report    
March 5th 2020 12

Are you using the best credit card when ordering food for delivery?

The key to more success is to have a lot of pillows. Always remember in the jungle there’s a lot of they in there, after you will make it to paradise. Egg whites, turkey sausage, wheat toast, water.

Continue reading
March 5th 2020 12

Are you using the best credit card when ordering food for delivery?

The key to more success is to have a lot of pillows. Always remember in the jungle there’s a lot of they in there, after you will make it to paradise. Egg whites, turkey sausage, wheat toast, water.

Continue reading
March 5th 2020 12

Are you using the best credit card when ordering food for delivery?

The key to more success is to have a lot of pillows. Always remember in the jungle there’s a lot of they in there, after you will make it to paradise. Egg whites, turkey sausage, wheat toast, water.

Continue reading
March 5th 2020 12

Are you using the best credit card when ordering food for delivery?

The key to more success is to have a lot of pillows. Always remember in the jungle there’s a lot of they in there, after you will make it to paradise. Egg whites, turkey sausage, wheat toast, water.

Continue reading
March 5th 2020 12

Are you using the best credit card when ordering food for delivery?

The key to more success is to have a lot of pillows. Always remember in the jungle there’s a lot of they in there, after you will make it to paradise. Egg whites, turkey sausage, wheat toast, water.

Continue reading
March 5th 2020 12

Are you using the best credit card when ordering food for delivery?

The key to more success is to have a lot of pillows. Always remember in the jungle there’s a lot of they in there, after you will make it to paradise. Egg whites, turkey sausage, wheat toast, water.

Continue reading

Michigan GOP Rep. Fred Upton, Whirlpool Heir, and the Demise of Benton Harbor

This is a modified py-6 that occupies the entire horizontal space of its parent.

Whirlpool Heir Fred Upton and the Reagan Administration

Wikipedia: Frederick Stephen “Fred” Upton (born April 23, 1953) is the U.S. Representative for Michigan’s 6th congressional district, serving since 1987. He is a member of the Republican Party and Chairman of the Committee on Energy and Commerce. … He served on the congressional staff of U.S. Congressman David Stockman (R-MI) from 1976 to 1980. He was in the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under Ronald Reagan from 1981 to 1985, while David Stockman was OMB Director.

Upton’s grandfather, Frederick Upton, was co-founder of appliance manufacturer and marketer Whirlpool Corporation, which is headquartered in Benton Harbor. …


“U.S. Rep. Fred Upton worth between $5 million and $25 million, says latest financial disclosure document” – “His wife, Amey, owns between $100,000 and $250,000 of stock in Exxon Mobil and Stryker Corp., and between $50,000 and $100,000 of Pfizer stock. Some of the other stocks owned by Amey Upton: AT&T, BP, Dow Chemical, General Electric, IBM, Mead Johnson, News Corp., Philip Morris and Verizon. … Click here to see a copy of the 16-page document filed by Upton in May, and here for copies of his forms from past years.”


From: “How Fred Upton and Whirlpool Devastated Arkansas and Michigan”

Populist Daily, November 7th, 2011

…. Fred Upton does pretty well. But Fred Upton wants more, and he wants you to have less. Here’s how well Fred Upton is doing. He receives a salary from the government of $174,000 plus expenses as a Congressman. He has another roughly $100,000 in income from stock he inherited in Whirlpool. He and his wife have another $300,000 or so in other stocks, like Exxon.

Upton’s total income is something like $600,000 annually. He further has undisclosed amounts of stock in a Whirlpool family trust, which he does not control and which equity is worth between $5,000,000 and $25,000,000. The Uptons have cash in the bank of somewhere between $500,000 and $1,000,000. As a Congressman, Fred Upton has to make all this public, and it is.

We can say one thing for sure. Fred Upton is doing better than the 5,000 people that the Whirlpool company laid off in the last year in order to provide those additional profits for his and his wife’s stock.

So Fred Upton should have some conflicting interests. He’s a major stockholder in Whirlpool…and a congressman. The congressman should care more for the people than he does for his wealth or why would he be pretending to work for the people, rather than Whirlpool’s best interests?

In Benton Harbor, Michigan, which is almost completely African-American, except for the Whirlpool headquarters, there is a park. It is called Jean Klock park and it is on the shores of Lake Michigan. Not many average workers still have jobs at Whirlpool in Benton Harbor. It closed its manufacturing jobs there long ago, and moved some of them to….Fort Smith, Arkansas because the wages were cheaper there.

Along the Lake Michigan shoreline, Jean Klock Park is one of the few highlights of a town where very little has ever been done for the people. And now Jean Klock Park has been diminished. More importantly, Benton Harbor may be the first case of the coming Fascist takeover of America.

You see, in 2010, a new governor was elected in Michigan. The hick farmers and the rich Republicans got together to put Ric Snyder into office. Snyder is a Right Wing investment banker, a Neocon-Fascist who was elected with the wealth of the Koch Family, the aid of a massive television ad campaign of lies, the help of the Tea Party Fascists, and the votes of the stupid hick farmers who are to narrow and greedy to understand that their parks will be next after Jean Klock Park. …

Full Story: http://www.populistdaily.com/politics/how-fred-upton-and-whirlpool-devastated-arkansas-and-michigan.html/06/us_rep_fred_upton_worth_betwee.html

From: “MI Gov. Rick Snyder’s takeover of Benton Harbor tied to shoreline development”

… Whirlpool, in an effort to recycle some old manufacturing land on the shore of Lake Michigan, a brownfield, if you will, decided to build a $500 million golf course & residential development, Harbor Shores, on its land, part of which would heavily impact Jean Klock Park. Note that Whirlpool pulled its last manufacturing out of Benton Harbor in March of this year, driving the final economic stake into the heart of this otherwise depressed area.

We also learn that the Emergency Financial Manager bill (pdf) that allowed Governor Snyder to take over Benton Harbor’s government was sponsored by Al Pscholka. Al Pscholka has some interesting characteristics:

* He is the former aide to Congressman Fred Upton who is a Whirlpool heir

* He represents the area that includes … Benton Harbor

* He is the former vice-president of a development company responsible for building Harbor Shores.

* He was on the Board of Directors for a nonprofit involved in the Harbor Shores development

… As I wrote about yesterday, one of the first things that [Emergency Manager] Joseph Harris did was to fire a number of people on both the Planning Commission and the Brownfield Redevelopment Authority in Benton Harbor and replace them with people he hand-picked. These two commissions are the ones most intimately involved in decision-making about real estate development in Benton Harbor. They will decide who gets permits, what developments will look like and who gets to pick the ripe plums present in Benton Harbor. And they are now staffed largely by people chosen by the Czar of Benton Harbor.

This is where the rubber meets the pavement. If you are looking for motivations for Snyder and his Republican friends to take over Benton Harbor, watch who gets development rights of the Lake Michigan shoreline. They are already setting things up to ensure that it is not the local residents of Benton Harbor. …


Occupy the PGA To Protest Selling Off of Benton Harbor, Michigan

From: Crooks & Liars

Rallies are planned for the Professional Golfer’s Association Senior Tour Event in Benton Harbor, Michigan, from May 23-27, in protest of Whirlpool Corporation, the Cornerstone Alliance, the Harbor Shores development, Gov. Rick Snyder, Emergency Manager Joseph Harris, State Rep. Al Pscholka, and Rep. Fred Upton.  All are part of an effort to take property from the residents of Benton Harbor and sell it to the Harbor Shores development.  Harbor Shores is a highly exclusive development where membership in the country club alone is $5,000 a year.  The development is a joint project of Whirlpool and Cornerstone.  Whirpool received massive sums of money from both the federal and state government in the form of subsidies and closed its plant in Benton Harbor, devastating the local economy.  After the factory closing, the average annual salary in Benton Harbor hovers around $10,000.

A member of the Cornerstone Alliance is Rep. Al Pscholka, the same legislator that proposed the state’s ‘Emergency Manager’ bill which was signed into law by Gov. Rick Snyder.  Manager Joseph Harris stripped all power from local elected officials, fired his critics and put the local radio station on eBay.  Now he has the power, it seems, to seize land from local citizens and sell it to Harbor Shores, one would assume under eminent domain.  Rep. Fred Upton, who is a recipient of money from Whirlpool and represents the area, doesn’t seem to have any problem with what is happening.

Local activists aren’t taking the whole thing sitting down:

We are committed to escalating the Occupy Movement to support human rights in housing in addition to the push back against bailouts for fraudulent banks. They are stealing our homes and our lives.

Democracy is non-existent here in Benton Harbor. Joseph Harris, the Emergency Manager, must go. We have a dictator in Benton Harbor, Michigan! ..


By Noah Shachtman

Wired Danger Room, September 12, 2012

Lt. Gen. William Caldwell, center, with Afghan surgeon general Ahmed Yaftali. Photo: U.S. Army

One of the Army’s top generals went before Congress Wednesday to deny that he was a shill for the Obama White House and a careerist so concerned with his own advancement that he covered up “Auschwitz-like” conditions at an Afghan hospital.

Lt. Gen. William Caldwell IV’s words were reinforced by e-mails presented to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee and by the testimony of his fellow witnesses, Defense Department Deputy Inspector General Kenneth Moorefield and Maj Gen. Gary Patton. All three batted away accusations from former subordinates and from House Republicans that Caldwell slow-rolled a 2010 investigation into corruption and maltreatment at the Dawood National Military Hospital in order to curry favor with the Obama administration during an election year.

“I supported all audits and assessments into any aspect of our command,” Caldwell said. ”In fact, at one time during my tenure we had in excess of 27 simultaneous audits or assessments by multiple government agencies external to the command. All of this was done so we could remain as transparent as possible.”

And as for an alleged tirade about the political implications of an investigation into Dawood, Caldwell added that “at no time” during discussions about the inquiry “did I make such a statement.”

But that may not be enough to rescue the reputation of a general once thought to be among the Army’s brightest stars. It certainly won’t be sufficient to erase the images that have emerged from Dawood of starving patients, maggot-infested wounds, and feces covering the hospital floor. Questions still remain about why it took Caldwell’s team so long to find out about the nightmarish conditions, and how quickly they moved to put an end to the horror.

Not long ago, Caldwell was so well-considered that he was given command of one of the service’s most storied units — the 82nd Airborne — and asked to take on arguably the central mission of the Afghan war: training and overseeing Afghanistan’s security forces. Caldwell received flattering press coverage, despite a rocky turn as the spokesman for the American campaign in Iraq. Subordinates, colleagues, and even the general himself made it known that he would be a fine candidate to lead the entire war effort in Afghanistan.

Events at Dawood may have changed all that.

The facility has long been known as a swamp — a place where patients struggled to get doctors’ attention, and pills slipped out the back entrance by the pallet-load. Conditions at the hospital were so awful — and its administration was so corrupt — that the Pentagon’s inspector general has conducted seven different investigations into the place.

In October of 2010, Col. Mark Fassl, who served as the IG for Caldwell’s training command, found the problems to be so endemic there that he emailed a request for help from the Department of Defense’s main inspector general back in the States. According to Fassl, Caldwell blew up when he heard about the plea.

“How could we think to invite the DOD IG [the Pentagon inspector general] in during an election cycle?” Caldwell was accused of asking. Especially when President Obama “calls me Bill,” the general supposedly asked.

By itself, the allegation of political interference was toxic. Generals are, in theory, supposed to be completely apolitical creatures (although it’s nearly impossible to get a star without successfully navigating Washington’s halls of power). But what made Fassl’s accusation even worse was that, the following month, the training command learned that conditions at Dawood weren’t just lousy. They were akin to a concentration camp.

Caldwell was able to explain the “calls me Bill” statement away; Caldwell said the phrase was used months earlier, when the president used the general’s first name during a video teleconference. It was a surprise, because he and Obama didn’t have much of a relationship. “I think anybody who has the president of the United States call them by their first name probably remembers that,” Caldwell added.

Caldwell was also able to explain why he was upset at the timing of the request to the Pentagon IG. Caldwell said a new inquiry should ultimately have as its goal the removal of Afghanistan’s notoriously corrupt surgeon general, Ahmad Zia Yaftali. Doing that would require the help of Caldwell’s boss, Gen. David Petraeus, and the Afghan civilian leadership. Better to get them on board first before reaching out to Washington.

Those steps were taken. The inspectors came shortly thereafter — in fact, it was “he quickest we have ever responded to any mission,” Moorefield said. The surgeon general was eventually canned.

But that still leaves the question: Why did it take so long — until November, 2010 — for Caldwell’s command to find out about the real conditions at Dawood? Caldwell became Afghanistan’s trainer-in-chief in November of 2009. His troops were working with the Afghan National Army’s medical corps for nearly a year. How could they have missed the skeletal patients, the lack of soap, or the open buckets of feces and urine sitting next to substandard food?

Caldwell has dodged scandal once before. He was accused by another subordinate of running an illegal psychological operation on a group of senators. The charges turned out to be largely bogus. But the near-miss — combined with the inquiries about Dawood — have taken their toll on the former leading light. After Afghanistan, Caldwell was given a relatively low-profile assignment, as head of U.S. Army North in Texas. He was not given a promotion to four-star general, despite nearly five years at his current rank and widespread praise for growing the Afghan security forces. Compared to the awful events at Dawood, it’s no tragedy. But it is an unexpected turn.




Pittsburgh Post-Gazette/NYT,  October 5, 2012

For a year, the Republican National Committee has portrayed Democrats as the  villains when it comes to voter fraud.

In a provocative article on CNN’s Web site, the committee’s chairman, Reince  Priebus, said, “Democrats know they benefit from election fraud.”

The tables have turned, however, and Republicans are now playing defense over  the role of a well-paid operative, Nathan Sproul, in a voter registration  scandal that emerged in Florida and has spread to other states.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement said it was reviewing “numerous”  claims involving a company that Mr. Sproul runs to determine if a criminal  investigation is warranted. Complaints have surfaced in 10 Florida counties,  among them allegations that registrations had similar signatures or false  addresses, or were filed under the names of dead people. In other cases, party  affiliations appeared to have been changed.

In recent days, similar claims against Mr. Sproul have arisen in Nevada and  Colorado.

Mr. Sproul, 40, a former executive director of the Arizona Christian  Coalition and the Republican Party in Arizona, is well known in political  circles there. Since 2004, Mr. Sproul’s companies — he has operated under  several corporate names — have collected more than $17.6 million from  Republican committees, candidates and the “super PAC” American Crossroads,  mostly for voter registration operations, according to campaign finance records.

The Republican Party, which paid Mr. Sproul about $3 million this year for  work in five states, has severed its ties with him, saying it has no tolerance  for voter registration fraud.

But questions about Mr. Sproul’s methods first emerged in 2004, when one of  his companies, Sproul & Associates, was paid nearly $8 million during the  election cycle. The payouts made the company the seventh-biggest recipient of  campaign expenditures by the committee, according to an analysis by the Center  for Responsive Politics.

Mr. Sproul declined to be interviewed.

In a statement issued by his lawyer, Mr. Sproul said the huge size of his  voter operation — he claims to have registered more than 500,000 people in more  than 40 states through election cycles — would invariably lead to a few problems. “Inevitably, there have been accusations of ‘bad registrations,’  isolated instances that have been thoroughly investigated not only internally  but by the appropriate legal authorities,” the statement said.

Mike Hellon, a former chairman of the Arizona Republican Party, said that Mr.  Sproul had been considered “very controversial” in Arizona Republican circles  before the recent allegations, partly because of past voter registration  investigations. “There are questions among a lot of people in the party about  how he gets these contracts and why he gets contracts,” Mr. Hellon said.

As a political operative in Arizona, Mr. Sproul is known for a  no-holds-barred approach. He was criticized for dredging up 28-year-old domestic  abuse claims against an incumbent State Senate candidate in 2008.

That same year, he promoted a ballot initiative that would have made it more  difficult to impose additional taxes or increase spending in the state. The  measure failed, despite considerable financial backing from the liquor industry  and from Jim Click, a Tucson car dealer and a large Republican donor who has  worked closely with Mr. Sproul on local elections.

On a campaign trip to Arizona last year, Mitt Romney visited one of Mr.  Click’s auto dealerships. Mr. Click is a co-chairman of Mr. Romney’s campaign in  Arizona. Mr. Sproul has also worked for the campaign, receiving about $60,000  since last year, according to campaign finance records. A spokesman for the  campaign said that Mr. Sproul collected petition signatures during the  Republican primary elections and provided office space.

Mr. Click said that while he had worked with Mr. Sproul on campaigns and  thought highly of him, he had nothing to do with securing his recent contracts  with the Republican National Committee. “He’s always performed for me,” Mr.  Click said. “He’s always been aboveboard.”

Mr. Sproul is one of the biggest players in a for-profit industry that relies  on low-paid seasonal workers who must be quickly trained in the legalities of  voter registration. In addition to $12 an hour, workers might be eligible for  college internship credit, the ad said.

Mr. Sproul has said that his company employs 4,000 workers. “We have in place  a background check system and stringent quality controls meant to prevent  individuals from skirting the system,” said the statement released by his  lawyer, David Leibowitz.

Mr. Sproul runs at least five affiliated companies that have conducted  registration drives, polling and political consulting. According to a lawsuit  filed against him by a former employee over pay, Mr. Sproul changed his  company’s name in 2008 to Lincoln Strategy Group, from Sproul & Associates,  after the negative publicity.

More recently, Mr. Sproul has operated under the name Strategic Allied  Consulting.

Susan Bucher, the superintendent of elections in Palm Beach County, Fla.,  said that about 100 questionable voter registrations had been flagged there. Of  those, more than half involved changing a voter’s party affiliation to  Republican or independent. Ms. Bucher said that the revised registrations gave  her “the feeling that the person completing the application had not come in  contact with the voter,” because they failed to include proper identifying  information, like the last four digits of the voter’s Social Security  number.

The voter registration fraud allegations against Mr. Sproul’s companies seem  to fit a pattern.

In Nevada, a complaint filed last month with the secretary of state’s office  alleged that a woman, Cathy Sue Yancey, was told to tear up a form in which she  registered as a Democrat and fill out another one without marking her party  affiliation.

The complaint was filed by another woman who said she witnessed the event  outside an unemployment office in Henderson, Nev., on Sept. 13. That woman, Gina  Greisen, said she and a group of friends had been approached by a man who told  them that they needed to update their voter registration. “He talked about voter  fraud and mentioned Acorn and illegals voting,” Ms. Greisen said.

The worker then approached Ms. Yancey. “He was sure a Republican, because he  was totally against Obama,” said Ms. Yancey, who was reached by phone and  verified Ms. Greisen’s account. “I’m a Democrat. I’m certainly voting for  Obama.”

The election forms were traced to a Sproul operation. Similar allegations  prompted an investigation by the Oregon Department of Justice in 2004.

In that case, a couple told the police in Roseburg that they had been  approached by a woman outside a Walmart who asked them to register to vote. The  husband, John Gomez, filled out a card registering as a Republican. His wife,  Katheline, registered as a Democrat.

About a month later, Mr. Gomez received a ballot in the mail, but his wife  did not, the Oregon authorities said. Her registration form seemed to have  evaporated. Investigators determined that the woman who solicited the couple had  been paid by Sproul & Associates.

The woman told investigators that she was paid only when she registered  Republicans or those who said they would vote for President George W. Bush. The  Oregon inquiry focused on more than 100 fraud complaints, many pointing to  operations run by Mr. Sproul, but did not result in any charges. A lawyer for  Mr. Sproul said at the time that the company had a system in place to prevent  and detect fraud and forgery.

Additional investigations of Mr. Sproul’s organization, including one by the  Portland office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, also failed to produce  any charges.

Around the same time, officials at a library in Pittsburgh complained that  Mr. Sproul’s company had used false pretenses — claiming to represent the  nonpartisan America Votes — to get permission to set up a voter registration  desk outside their building. It was only after visitors began to complain that  the library learned that the canvassers represented the Republican Party.

Derek Willis contributed reporting.

This article originally appeared in The  New York Times. First Published October 5, 2012