St. Louis Globe-Democrat
Atogwe’s contract is really only one-year, $4.1 million deal Page 4
One Hundred and Fifty Eight Years of Public Service Volume 1, No. 1 | 1 dollar
news and editorial content of the St. Louis Globe-Democrat
Activist Dana Loesh of St. Louis rallies the crowd on the steps of the Gateway Arch during a Anti-Stimulus Tea Party in St. Louis on February 27, 2009.
How the Tea Party can stay relevant Bennett to Tea Party: Don’t “Voters embraced Ronald Reagan because he wasn’t Jimmy Carter, become Carter Sen. Bob Bennett, R-Utah, took aim at the Tea Party’s “gloom talk,” likening it to that of former President Jimmy Carter. In an op-ed in The Washington Post Sunday, Bennett not only hung the Carter insult on the party that defeated him but also said the Tea Party falls well short of the principles, ideals and optimism of one of its heroes, Carter’s successor, former President Ronald Reagan.
proving that good slogans do not necessarily produce good government,” Bennett wrote. Bennett urged Tea Party members to “follow Reagan, not Carter,” adding, “They should stop the gloom talk. … Unlike Carter, Reagan had more than slogans. “He came to Washington with a clear plan to revive the economy and overhaul the tax code, revitalize the military, and, most important, boost the
Washington Embraces the Real Barack Obama
The Real Sin of Michael Steele -Patrick J. Buchanan
-Mark Shields Strictly speaking, We can argue later about Republican Party Chair why all this positive Michael Steele was way change has not happened off base when he made in the first 18 months of this remark at a closedthe Obama presidency door meeting of party and about who’s to blame. Page 7 contributors in Connecticut. Page 6
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national spirit. He saw the Republican Party as a big tent and he successfully did what is considered political suicide today: He worked across party lines and tried to find compromise.” Bennett lost in Utah’s Republican nominating convention in the most dramatic evidence yet of the Tea Party influence and its anti-Washington sentiments, captured in party slogans like “Send a Message to Washington” and “Take Back America.” The GOP backed two other candidates, who will compete for the nomination
at a June primary.
Neither has held public office.
Montana: Tea Party could be influential Tea Party organizers say the grassroots confederation could be a chance for candidates supporting the movement to make waves in Montana and nationwide. In Montana, for instance, Tea Party organizers say coalitions are cropping
See Tea Party, Page 5
Lt. Governor sues federal health care law enforcers
Wednesday Lt. Governor Peter Kinder joined a group of three Missourians in filing a legal challenge against the recently enacted federal health care law. The lawsuit “Kinder v. Geithner” was filed Wednesday at the Rush H. Limbaugh, Sr. United States Court House in Cape Girardeau.
“This lawsuit challenges those provisions of the federal health care law which actually reduce Missourians access to affordable health care and which violate our United States and Missouri state Constitutions.” Kinder said. “Many Missourians will lose
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Page 2 St. Louis Globe-Democrat
Open-Borders DOJ vs. America -Michelle Malkin
The Obama administration’s lawsuit against Arizona, officially unveiled on Tuesday, is an affront to all lawabiding Americans. It is a threatening salvo aimed at all local, county or state governments that dare to take control of the immigration chaos in their own backyards. And it is being driven by openborders extremists who have dedicated their political careers to subverting homeland security policies in the name of compassion and diversity. The Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, headed by Assistant Attorney General Thomas E. Perez, took the lead in prepping the legal brief against Arizona. The son of immigrants from the Dominican Republic, Perez is a farleft lawyer and activist who worked for the late mass illegal alien amnesty champion Ted Kennedy and served in the Clinton administration DOJ. While holding down a key government position there in which he was entrusted to abide by the rule of law, Perez volunteered for CASA de Maryland -- a notorious illegal alien advocacy group funded through a combination of taxpayer-subsidized grants and radical liberal philanthropy, including billionaire George Soros’ Open Society Institute (not to mention more than $1 million showered on the group by Venezuelan thug Hugo Chavez’s regime-owned oil company, CITGO). Perez rose from CASA de Maryland volunteer to president of the group’s board of directors. Under the guise of enhancing the “multicultural” experi-
ence, he crusaded for an ever-expanding set of illegal alien benefits ranging from in-state tuition discounts for illegal alien students to driver’s licenses. CASA de Maryland opposes enforcement of deportation orders, has protested post-9/11 coordination of local, state and national criminal databases, and produced a “know your rights” propaganda pamphlet for illegal aliens depicting federal immigration agents as armed bullies making babies cry. In 2006, CASA de Maryland threatened to protest at the schools of children whose parents belonged to the proimmigration enforcement group Minuteman Project -- and then headed into the Montgomery County, Md., public schools to recruit junior amnesty protesters who were offered school credits for traveling with CASA de Maryland to march on Washington. As a former Maryland resident, I got to see Perez’s militant friends and colleagues in action. I watched CASA de Maryland President Gustavo Torres (who met with President Obama last week) complain that motor vehicle administration officials have “absolutely no right to ask for people’s Social Security number or immigration status to get a driver’s license.” I stood among CASA de Maryland grievance-mongers who shouted, “No license, no justice! No justice, no peace!” while playing the race card against naturalized Americans and legal immigrants who opposed the illegal alien welfare state. Perez himself derided secure-borders citizen activists as “xenophobes,” but denied painting the grassroots immigration enforcement movement as racist. Questioned by GOP Sen. Jeff
Sessions during his Obama DOJ confirmation hearing last year about the illegal alien rights guide produced by CASA de Maryland, Perez grudgingly stated that “the Civil Rights Division must not act in contravention to valid enforcement actions of our federal immigration laws.” But “acting) in contravention” is exactly what the Civil Rights Division is doing in spearheading the challenge to Arizona’s valid enforcement actions of our federal immigration law. Perez, Attorney General Eric Holder and the rest of the open-borders DOJ team have invoked a “preemption” doctrine based on the U.S. Constitution’s supremacy clause to attack Arizona’s anti-illegal immigration measure and oppose local and state enforcement of federal immigration laws. Never mind that the Arizona law was drafted scrupulously to comply with all federal statutes and the Constitution. You gotta love Obama’s fair-weather friends of the Constitution. When a state acts to do the job the feds won’t do, Obama’s legal eagles run to the Founding Fathers for protection. When, on the other hand, left-wing cities across the country pass illegal alien sanctuary policies that flagrantly defy national immigration laws and hamper cross-jurisdiction enforcement, the newfound federal preemption advocates are nowhere in sight. The Obama DOJ’s lawsuit against Arizona is sabotage of the people’s will and the government’s fundamental responsibility to provide for the common defense. No border enforcement, no security. No security, no peace.
THE DR. IS IN: Be an active participant in your skin care -Dr. Lawrence Samuels
Question: I am 45 years
old and have a 7-year-old son. While at the pool a grandmother came over to my chair and commented on how nice my grandson was playing with her granddaughter. I was humiliated that I looked the age of a grandmother rather than a mother. Are there options for me to regain a more youthful appearance?
Answer: Although aging is a natu-
ral process, as knowledge increases, treatments are being identified that can prevent or modify the aging process. This process is controlled by age and environmental damage, especially sun damage. The primary, preventable cause of aging is exposure to UVB/UVA radiation from the sun. Repeated ultraviolet exposure produces photo-aging of the skin, which differs from the intrinsic aging process of the skin, which is dependent on genetics and chronologic age. Photo-aging is characterized by rough skin texture, dilated pores, poor skin tone, skin laxity, blotchy skin color, brown spots, sallowness, telangectasia (sometimes called broken blood vessels), fine lines and wrinkles. Although other factors can contribute to aging skin, such as,
smoking and environmental pollutants, ultraviolet radiation is recognized as the single most important factor. Skin care products can prevent and treat signs of aging skin caused by age and sun damage. The aging process of the skin begins in our mid-twenties and it is never too early or too late to start a preventative skin care program.
pass through the clouds. Rx Systems PF’s unique UVB/UVA broad spectrum Facial Moisturizer SPF 35 with transparent zinc oxide is the ideal sunscreen for everyday use.
Many things contribute to the aging process that can be improved just by making a change in lifestyle. For example: reduce excessive sun exposure, increase physical activity, stop smoking, eat a well-balanced diet, control your weight, and even get a little more shut eye. Other anti-aging benefits can be achieved through products for skin and hair. Rx Systems PF’s anti-aging skin products aim to rejuvenate, restore, repair the skin (epidermis and dermis), improve the moisture content of the skin, and decrease the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, or better yet prevent the damage from occurring in the first place. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends that, regardless of your skin type, a broad spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15 should be used all-year-round. Don’t reserve the use of sunscreen only for sunny days. Even on a cloudy day, up to 70 percent of the sun’s ultraviolet rays can
Question: I am 34 years old with a 6- and
Be an active participant in your skin care. Remember, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of repair. 9-year-old child and was told by another mother at the pool today that sunscreens are dangerous. I have a family history of skin cancer in both my mother and father. Can you give me some direction for safe sun exposure?
Answer: The incidence of skin cancer
increases with the amount of ultraviolet exposure, that is, sun exposure. In addition, 80 percent of skin aging is related to ultraviolet sun exposure which includes UV rays from tanning beds. The truth is based on what dermatologists see in their offices on a daily basis. Patients who use appropriate sunscreen protection have a decreased incidence of pre-skin cancer, skin cancer and sun damage compared to their brothers, sisters and parents who do not use appropriate sun protection. I have never seen a skin problem associated with the overuse of a sunscreen.
Letter to the Editor K2 ban won’t deter use, but will increase costs -By John Payne
Early last month, Missouri Supreme Court Chief Justice William Ray Price Jr. called for reforms of our criminal justice system, including incarcerating fewer nonviolent offenders. Price argued that such changes would both decrease recidivism and save the state money by decreasing prison budgets, and he was widely applauded by editorialists across the state for his stance. However, when a bill to ban K2, a chemical used as a synthetic substitute for marijuana, received its first public hearing little more than a week later, newspapers were equally eager to support the restriction. It should not be necessary to point out that increasing the number of nonviolent offenses is not obviously compatible with decreasing the number of nonviolent offenders behind bars. Furthermore, although enforcing a ban on K2 would require spending additional tax dollars, it is unlikely to lower the rate of drug use significantly. According to Harvard economist Jeffrey Miron, federal, state, and local governments spend more than $44 billion per year in their attempts to stop people from using certain drugs. It is difficult to determine exactly how much money is spent on specific drugs, but given that there were 847,863 arrests for marijuana during 2008 — half of all drug arrests — it is safe to say that spending on marijuana enforcement is higher than for any other drug, and far out of proportion to the dangers of a drug that is relatively innocuous in comparison to most others. Still, despite the billions of dollars spent and millions of people arrested over the years, legal restrictions on marijuana appear to have had little to no impact on decreasing its use. As of 2009, 102 million Americans — a third of the population — have used marijuana, according to estimates from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Almost all of them did so after marijuana was made illegal 73 years ago. Clearly, the law does not stop people from obtaining and using marijuana. Usage rates have changed dramatically over the years, but those changes are driven far more by wider social changes and shifting attitudes than by any law. Only politicians could be so vain as to believe their dictates are the guiding force in the lives of millions of people. A ban of K2, or of any similar drug, will not stop people from becoming intoxicated in some politically incorrect way. In fact, given that K2 is being sold primarily as a legal substitute for marijuana, banning it may simply send K2 users back to marijuana use, an outcome that I do not believe the bill’s supporters intend.
Page 3 St. Louis Globe-Democrat
BBB warns of St. Louis roofing company crimes Several St. Louis area homeowners say they were abandoned by a local roofing company that took thousands of dollars in insurance payments and then disappeared without doing any work on their storm-damaged roofs. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) warns consumers to be extremely cautious when dealing with HomeFront Roofing, which operated until recently at 3116 Ivanhoe Avenue, in St. Louis. The BBB also suggests caution when dealing with company president Ron Berglund, who lists addresses in St. Louis and Denver, Colo., and Bob Picchietti of St. Louis, who says he is the former general manager of the company. In February, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan sued Picchietti and another of his companies, Fidelity Reconstruction of Schaumburg, Ill., for taking money from homeowners and performing little or no work. Madigan accused company officials of misappropriating funds, violating consumer fraud laws and failing to pay subcontractors. Subcontractors have placed liens on consumers’ homes as a result of the nonpayment, Madigan said. A 69-year-old retiree from BelRidge, Mo., said he turned over his entire $4,500 insurance settlement to HomeFront in February, expecting the company to replace his hail-damaged roof. Instead, no one has ever returned to his home and water is leaking from his living room and bedroom ceilings. He says he has no money left to repair the roof. “He trusted them and they took advantage of him,” said the man’s son. HomeFront and two related companies may have reneged on the roof repairs of as many as 150 homes in Missouri, Texas and Colorado, according to the BBB. Michelle Corey, BBB president and CEO, said consumers’ reports to the BBB are heart-wrenching. “These are people who received insurance settlements for their roof damage and trusted HomeFront to make the repairs. The company apparently has taken the money and vanished,” she said. Many of the homeowners have said they have no money left to pay for repairs. BBBs in Denver, Colo., and Fort Worth, Tex., report several recent complaints involving companies with ties to HomeFront Roofing in St. Louis. The Denver company, called Colorado Homefront Quality Roofing, reportedly started business in 2004. The Texas company, based in Haltom City, Tex., also uses the name Homefront Roofing. Berglund is listed as president of those companies. A former employee from Denver said he estimates that 30 homeowners were abandoned in the St. Louis area, about 100 in the Dallas area and more than 20 in Denver. “In the end, we all got screwed,” he said. A former employee from St. Louis said, “They owe some people some money; that’s for sure.”
An 89-year-old retiree from St. Louis said he contacted HomeFront representatives after he saw workers from that company doing repair work on a neighbor’s roof earlier this year. After meeting with an insurance adjuster and a HomeFront representative, the homeowner paid HomeFront $2,200 as a downpayment to fix the damage to his roof. Despite repeated promises, the work was never started. The homeowner said he drove to the company’s Ivanhoe Avenue location about two weeks ago, and an employee told him that he was 21st on a waiting list of 47 customers who had contracted for repairs. He said the employee told him they would get to his home as soon as possible. Last week, when he returned to the office, he discovered it empty. A couple from Crestwood, Mo., said they paid the company $2,138 in June as partial payment for repairing hail damage to their roof. No work has been done, and the couple has not been able to contact company officials. “They seemed like very nice guys,” the Crestwood man said of the representatives of HomeFront. In a February press release announcing the Fidelity Reconstruction lawsuit, Madigan’s office called the targets of the lawsuit “con artists.”
[ ThinkGreen[ Here is what you can do:
Start a recycling program at your school Car pool Use public transportation Use e-mail instead of paper correspondence
Change incandescent bulbs to fluorescent bulbs Use both sides of the paper Plant a tree Buy rechargeable batteries for devices used frequently
If every person takes one small step toward being more conscientious of the environment, the collective effort will change the planet.
The suit against Fidelity, Picchietti and two other company officials asked that the court bar them from the home repair trade in Illinois. It also asks for restitution for consumers and fines against the company and its officials. The BBB offers the following advice when dealing with roofing companies, particularly those who send representatives door to door: • Beware of possible scams. Watch out for contractors in unmarked trucks or for companies requiring advance payment. Don’t succumb to highpressure techniques, such as notices that the price is good for one day only. • Try to verify the business’ true identity. Get a business card and a physical location of the company. It is always better to deal with wellestablished businesses in the area.
Your ad could be here! Contact a staff member to find out how!
• Ask for references. Make sure the company that wants your business has satisfied customers. • Understand that when an insurance company issues a settlement check for damages, that payment is going to you, not to the roofer. Just because you have been dealing with one roofer doesn’t mean you can’t decide to hire a different one if you are uneasy about the first. • Do not pay the full amount in advance of the work being completed. A good rule of thumb is to pay one-third when the contract is signed, another third while the job is underway and the final third when you are satisfied with the completed job. • Check a company’s Reliability Report with the BBB by going to www.bbb.org or by calling 314-645-3300.
Recognize your athlete here! Contact a staff member to find out how!
Page 4 St. Louis Globe-Democrat
Atogwe’s contract is really only one-year, $4.1 million deal now -Howard Balzer
When is a $32 million contract not a $32 million contract? In the case of Rams safety Oshiomogho Atogwe, it occurs when the final four years of his fiveyear deal can void after this season, and when the contract includes potential compensation of $11.5 million in 2011 if the void doesn’t occur. In essence, the contract Atogwe signed two weeks ago is a one-year, $4.1 million deal with all the money now guaranteed this year. However, there are no other known guarantees included in the contract. Broken down year-by-year, the total value of the contract is $32.1 million. That figure does not include a $500,000 bonus for making the Pro Bowl in any of the five years, but it can be earned only once. The $32.1 million total also doesn’t include up to $600,000 in yearly escalators, the triggers of which are not known. This year, Atogwe will be paid $2.1 million in guaranteed salary, and he received a roster bonus of $2 million on July 1. After this season is where things get interesting. The bottom line is that the remainder of the contract will likely void one day after the Feb. 6 Super Bowl, or he will be released later in the month before an $8 million roster bonus is due. If he were paid that roster bonus, then an additional $3.5 million in salary becomes guaranteed if he’s on the roster on the 60th day of the league year, which would be at the beginning of May. It is not known what triggers the void of the final four years of the contract; whether it is automatic or whether the Rams and/or Atogwe have the option to void. There would be no reason for Atogwe to void the deal because that would give the Rams the ability to place a franchise tag on him unless that is prohibited within the terms of the contract. From his standpoint, it would
be better to wait and see if the Rams pay him the roster bonus. If they don’t, he becomes a free agent. Were the Rams to void the deal, they could franchise him while still trying to negotiate a longer-term contract. That would be considered the prudent action from the Rams’ side, especially considering the possibility of a lockout. In any event, it appears highly unlikely that Atogwe will play for the Rams in 2011 under terms of the current contract. Atogwe spoke to that during a June 23 conference call after he agreed to terms when he was asked what the biggest eye-opener was after becoming a free agent. He said, “To me it was really the state of the league as I viewed it and viewed it from the perspective of how some of my peers were also being treated or what they were experiencing. Just the state of the league and the impending lockout that’s pretty much upon us come 2011, because I believe that shaped a lot of negotiations, a lot of interest in this 2010 free agency period. It’s real, and I believe a lot of players now who are looking to get extensions, looking to do long-term deals are actually feeling the brunt, feeling the impact of that coming. To me, if anything, that was the most eye-opening information that I received.” Asked if he was grateful that the Rams gave him a long-term deal, Atogwe said, “We were able to structure the deal in a way that it would benefit both of us.” In crediting his agent, Ken Landphere, Atogwe said that Landphere came up with “not an unusual, but a special way to get the contract done.” That “special way” obviously was the mechanism that could at best make him a free agent or finally receive a longterm deal from the Rams, or at worst be franchised again at a figure likely to be more than $6 million.
St. Louis Rams defender Oshiomogho Atogwe (21) intercepts a Brees pass.
Inside Fantasy Baseball: Picking the All-Stars for first half of season -Jeff Vernetti
In every sport when it comes time for players to be selected to the AllStar game, inevitably there are some talented pla yers who are left off the roster. It is always interesting to debate the merits of one player over another, but in the grand scheme of things it means very little. To pull everything back to fantasy sports, I compiled my mixed league All-Star team. Much like the real AllStar team, there will be some debates here, but here are just some of the players who have impacted fantasy owners all over St. Louis in a positive way. 1B – Joey Votto, Reds – Votto has been so solid and compared to his draft location, his value over expectation have been through the roof.
2B – Robinson Cano, Yankees – you could easily go with Brandon Phillips here, but my aversion to pick two Reds made me go with Cano. All kidding aside, he has been great – hitting .337 with 15 home runs and 55 RBI so far this season which are all huge numbers from a position that typically does not bring in high power numbers SS – Hanley Ramirez, Marlins – In a down year for shortstops overall, Ramirez has been the cream of the crop. He has hovered around .300 all season, has 13 home runs and 53 RBI and more importantly he has put the poor hustle issue behind him. 3B – David Wright, Mets – I really like Evan Longoria, but Wright’s numbers are just a little bit better. His power has returned after being hit in the head last year – 14 HR, 64 RBI – and much like Votto his value compared with where he was drafted is the real
plus for Wright.
OF – Josh Hamilton, Rangers – left for dead by most fantasy owners and baseball people, the tattooed Rangers slugger has been huge. Hamilton has 21 bombs, 62 RBI, and a .342 average. The key here is that Hamilton has been healthy after missing all but 85 games last season. OF – Ryan Braun, Brewers – one of the few reasons to even care about the Brewers this year has been Braun. The thing I like about Braun is that he is one of the few guys who lived up to his preseason hype. He was projected to be a big fantasy outfielder and he has been. I would like him to improve on the 11 home runs, but he has driven in 51 RBI and has hit close to .290 for most of the year. OF – Carl Crawford, Rays – there are a ton of guys to choose from
in the outfield, but I like Crawford with his combination of top end speed and RBI power. Crawford has 29 stolen bases, 49 RBI, and is hitting around .320 for most of the season. He only has eight home runs but gives you enough in all of the other categories. SP – Josh Johnson, Marlins – if you would have asked me two weeks ago I would have said Ubaldo Jimenez, but as his ERA has gone up, Johnson has remained a rock on the mound for the Marlins. He is 8-3, which is a testemate to how poor the Marlins are overall, but his ERA is 1.82 with a 0.96 WHIP and 115 strikeouts. RP – Heath Bell, Padres – Bell has been wonderful this year, racking up 23 saves and a solid 1.72 ERA. He can strike a batter out, 49 this season in 36 2/3 innings, and has allowed only seven runs all season. When Bell comes in the game is over.