Thursday, October 30, 2008

Headlines - Thursday

A new ethics complaint about Palin

She allegedly keeps spreading Alaska's tax-payers' wealth to her own family.

Since 2006, Sarah Palin has 'redistributed' $54,803 of taxpayer's money to pay for her family's airline tickets: $32,629 for the girls, and $22,174 for Todd. 
Frank Gwartney, a retired lineman in Anchorage, filed a complaint last Friday with Alaska's Attorney General, Talis Colber in Juneau. "Palin ran on the platform of ethics, transparency and anti-corruption. I'm tired of the hypocrisy that exists in Government and people need to know the truth," said Gwartney.

The complaint against Governor Palin, alleges Misuse of Official Position: "Gov. Palin attempted to and in fact did use her official position for personal gain by securing unwarranted benefits for her daughters..." All the allegations contained in the complaint are related to state reimbursed travel.
Move over, Sanjaya, and tell William Hung the news: Joe the Plumber is being pursued for a major record deal and could come out with a country album as early as Inauguration Day.
I think this is just awesome.

He can write patriotic songs and perform them at the Palin/Huckabee rallies in 2012. Maybe Tito the Builder could sing back-up. 

h/t Dick - Barack Obama is a socialist?
In a first, a military judge ruled on Tuesday that a Guantanamo detainee's confession was extracted through torture, and excluded it from the trial of a young Afghan detainee at the war court.
Obama now leads in four states won by Bush in 2004: 
Ohio (7 points), Nevada (12), Colorado (9) and Virginia (7) - 47 electoral votes total. 

And he's tied with McCain in North Carolina and Florida (also states Bush won)  - 42 more electoral votes.

Also, there are three states in which early voting has already exceeded its totals from 2004. These are Georgia, where early voting is already at 180 percent of its 2004 total, Louisiana (169 percent), and North Carolina (129 percent).

Fortunately, McCain is ahead 65-34 in Utah.



Goodbye, Cruel World

The world would be a better place if the American right wing had never existed. Thousands of Americans and Iraqis would still be alive, tens of thousands or Iraqis would still be living in their own homes. The American economy would not have hopped from bubble to bubble if the right wing had not put all of their faith in deregulation, and American jobs would not have been sent abroad. Our tax dollars would not have flowed upward into the coffers of the rich, and the war machine would not comprise such a large part of our economy. We would have retained the respect of other nations, and not aroused the absolute hatred of those we have attempted to bomb into submission. We would get along better with one another if the right wing had not used tribal hatreds to arouse their base against black people, immigrants, liberals, and the well-educated. Our infrastructure, health care, and schools would be better if the billions spent on futile wars had been spent on domestic needs. The planet would be a better place if our addiction to oil had been broken 25 years ago.



The Face of Christianism:

These people scare me.



You won't find it the front pages of major newspapers... 

Buried deep within the inside pages of the San Jose Murky News we learn that Kim Jong Il, dictator of North Korea, has been hospitalized due to a stroke, according to South Korean and Japanese intelligence agencies. This is likely to be the new President's first foreign crisis, says a veteran military reporter. And from the U.S. media... oh look! The Jonas Brothers are going to star in a movie with a farting dog!


The World That Awaits - Memo to the President-elect

When George W. Bush became president nearly eight years ago the world was largely at peace, the U.S. military was largely at rest, oil was $23 a barrel, the economy was growing at more than 3 percent, $1 was worth 116 yen, the national debt was just under $6 trillion and the federal government was running a sizable budgetary surplus. The September 11 attacks, for all they cost us as a nation, increased the world's willingness to cooperate with us. You, by contrast, will inherit wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, tired and stretched armed forces, a global struggle with terrorism, oil that has ranged as high as $150 a barrel, a weaker dollar (now worth 95 yen), substantial anti-American sentiment, a federal budget deficit that could reach $1 trillion in your first year, a ballooning national debt of some $10 trillion and a global economic slowdown that will increase instability in numerous countries.


Palin leaves the reservation:


A gas sign in Atlanta today:

It's $3.19 in my town.


There's nothing funny about a noose. Sorry, there just isn't. Not in westerns, not in suicides, and certainly not in political humor. Which is maybe why hanging Sarah Palin in effigy as part of a Halloween display (click link for video) is so typical of West Hollywood. Tasteless and unfunny.

But a hate crime? That's serious hysterical over-reacting by the same people who thought the nooses in Louisiana were nothing but a practical joke.

To begin with, "hate crimes" are those perpetrated against someone because they're members of a despised group - blacks, Jews, gays, that sort of thing. Being a despised celebrity VP impersonator doesn't count. Neither does being a scorned Alaskan beauty queen with all the brains and knowledge one would expect from that member of a largely blonde group.

Or are the offended ones actually suggesting that a group as privileged - and as elite - as Stupid Beauty Queens Masquerading as Political Heavyweights is a despised minority?

Get the impression that wingnuts never really did understand the whole concept of a "hate crime"? If somebody they hate is beaten up or murdered, it isn't a hate crime. In fact it's probably a practical joke and the jokers should be patted on the back and sent on their way to do more good deeds.

If somebody they agree with has a pie thrown in his/her face, that is a HATE CRIME and should be punished with the full weight of the law up to and including death in a faulty electric chair while they sit in the audience and cheer.

Has it occurred to anyone else that the American right wing has never really gotten the concept of fairness for all? That maybe they'd be happier in Burma or Soviet Russia?


Jesus' General

God hates Barack Obama and loves HOV lanes

Janet Porter

Mrs. Porter,

Thank you so much for weighing in on the presidential campaign by declaring that
Obama voters are going to Hell. I know it isn't easy being God's campaign surrogate--one major gaffe and your ass will be eternally roasting on a spit as a host of fallen angels chant, "I want mine, medium rare."

But shouldn't God's endorsement list be a little bit more ambitious? After all, the presidential race isn't the only thing on the ballot. What about the other races, initiatives, measures, propositions, and referenda? What has God got to say about them?


Fox News has a soon-to-be-aired tape of Michelle Obama on the phone to some obscure African news site (a glorified blog), ranting for nearly an hour about her husband's birth status:       


Liddy Dole puts out an ad falsely accusing her opponent of atheism, although Kay Hagan is a Sunday School teacher. Pretty rich coming from a Republican, a member of the party whose only god is money.


We are all waiting for Sarah Palin's medical records to be released, as she continues to be the only one of the candidates on a presidential ticket to have not done so.

On Sunday morning, Palin spokeswoman Tracey Schmitt told ABC News that the campaign had planned to release information on her medical history early this week.

Palin herself says there's nothing in the records that would surprise anyone. Then again, Palin herself said an ethics investigation exonerated her of misuse of power when the opposite was true.

"So be it, if that will allow some curiosity seekers, perhaps, to have one more thing that they can either check the box off that they can find something to criticize, perhaps, or find something to rest them assured over. Fine. I'm healthy, I'm happy, had five kids. That is going to be in the medical records. Never been seriously ill or hurt. You will see that in the medical records if they're released," Palin told NBC's Brian Williams.

Two things here. First, Palin made a point of saying she's had five kids. What do you want to bet the records clearly confirm four, and then hem and haw about No. 5? Second, what was that part about "if they're released." I'm betting it will be a very hot day in Alaska before that actually happens.



John McCain keeps wanking that Obama "broke his promise" to accept public financing.

Wrong. Obama pledged to "pursue an agreement with the Republican nominee to preserve a publicly financed general election." Note especially the words "pursue an agreement." Obama's attorney met with John McCain's attorney, and came out of the meeting convinced that Camp Grandpa didn't want to reach an agreement, hence the opt-out.

You see, there's that little matter of how John McCain has been gaming the campaign finance system dating from back during the primary race. There's the fact that
he used money from the Federal financing system as collateral for a campaign loan before dropping out of public financing during the primaries. Josh Marshall explained this gaming of the system back in June.

Then there's the issue of how John McCain's campaign is rotten to the core with K Street lobbyists. Do you think these people are supporting him because they don't want anything for their corporate clients? So spare me the outrage, Senator McCain. If your lawyers had just been mensches back in June and agreed to a mutual framework, we wouldn't even be having this discussion.


The Hill:

Democratic leaders are discussing a major reshuffling of Senate committee chairmanships, according to multiple sources, and the proposed changes include ousting Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) from his coveted chairmanship.

Lieberman, a former Democrat who supports Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) for president, is likely to lose his gavel on the Homeland Security Committee he has chaired since January 2007, say the sources who see him being replaced by Sen. Daniel Akaka (Hawaii), the committee's third-ranking Democrat.

Memo to Harry Reid and the rest of the Democratic caucus: We may be a big tent, but traitors are not welcome in it. Period.



So Shephard Smith interviews Joe Wurzelbacher (hereafter "Wurz") for a bit over five minutes about why Wurz thinks Obama's election would mean the "death of Isreal." During the interview, Smith challenges Wurz, saying that Obama has repeatedly stated his position that the U.S. would be a friend of Israel, and suddenly people think "Shep" is some kind of a hero because he stood up to Wurz's smears.

Nonsense. By putting Wurz on his show and spending five minutes debating Wurz's absurd smear, Shep was in fact spreading the smear. You don't fight smears like that by giving the smear a platform, and then saying you don't agree with the smear. You fight smears by quashing them.

Here's an analogy: let's say that Keith Olbermann put someone one the air who made the case that if elected, John McCain would -- without provocation -- launch a nuclear strike against Iran. Now even if Olbermann gently suggested the person was making  baseless accusation, can you imagine a single person on the right being happy with Olbermann?

Here's the bottom-line: there are times when citing FOX is useful, but those times are almost exclusively limited to when FOX either contradicts itself, or reveals serious infighting amongst conservatives. Virtually every single time they are talking about someone on the left, they are up to no good.


On his radio show yesterday, far right talker Bill Cunningham — who Sean Hannity considers a "great American", claimed that people who are poor in America are not poor "because they lack money." "They're poor because they lack values, morals, and ethics."

On his Monday show, he declared, "Among the so-called noble poor in America…birth control is not used so illegitimate children can be brought into the world, so the mom can get more checks in the mail from the government."

In a couple of stories concerning morals and ethics:

Exxon Mobil Corp., the world's largest publicly traded oil company, says it shattered its own record for the biggest profit from operations by a U.S. corporation, earning $14.83 billion in the third quarter.

Cuomo now asking for CEO pay details on 9 banks: Wall Street is in for some long days. Good.


McCain and his surrogates have attempted to paint Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) as holding anti-Israel views because of his relationship with Palestinian-American Professor Rashid Kahlidi. Says Rudy Giuliani yesterday on Faux: 

"Senator Obama and Ayers, sitting on the Woods board, gave something like $70,000 or $80,000 to Khalidi's organizations that participated in giving — doing these exhibits which would, I think, tell just one side of the story in terms of the Middle East. … But — and all that is available from public record."

Public record also shows this: 

A 1998 tax filing for the McCain-led group (International Republican Institute) shows a $448,873 grant to Khalidi's Center for Palestine Research and Studies for work in the West Bank. … The relationship extends back as far as 1993, when John McCain joined IRI as chairman in January. Foreign Affairs noted in September of that year that IRI had helped fund several extensive studies in Palestine run by Khalidi's group, including over 30 public opinion polls and a study of "sociopolitical attitudes."

As Ezra Klein notes, "This, of course, just goes to show how absurd it is to suggest that Khalidi is some sort of radical polemicist. The guy is such a credentialed and respected scholar that even right-leaning organizations have funded his work, simply because it's good work."


4,189 soldiers killed in Iraq; 625 in Afghanistan.


McCain is shocked that Obama campaign would 'boycott' hostile media

Last week, after Biden sat down for that ridiculous interview with Barbara West of WFTV in Orlando, FL., the campaign canceled West's upcoming interview with Biden's wife.

Yesterday in an interview with Fox News's Sean Insanity, McCain said, "And of course, if anybody in the media, much less Joe the Plumber asks a tough question, then they're boycotted. They pull their ads, etc."

Let's take a trip down the Memory Hole:

McCain canceled an appearance on CNN's Larry King Live after CNN's Campbell Brown conducted a tough interview with McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds about Palin's foreign policy experience.

Last month, the McCain campaign barred New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd from flying on both the McCain and Palin press planes after she wrote a negative column.

McCain campaign officials barred Time's Joe Klein from traveling with them, after he asked McCain an uncomfortable question about foreign policy.

Campaign officials have repeatedly gone on air to bash journalists after tough interviews, saying that Katie Couric asked Palin "a series of trapdoor questions," the New York Times "cast aside it's journalistic integrity to advocate for the defeat of John McCain," and demanded that the media treat Palin with "deference."


George Bush has transformed America's federal appeals courts, "advancing a conservative legal revolution that began nearly three decades ago under President Ronald Reagan." By Inauguration day, "Republican-appointed judges, most of them conservatives, are projected to make up about 62 percent of the bench" while controlling 10 of the 13 circuit courts.



....that you guys need a morale-booster! 

US joke of a president George Dubya Bush, his approval rating below that of used-car salesmen, lawyers and rabid pitbulls with Ebola, paid a surprise visit Tuesday to his republican party's headquarters, pushing staff to work hard for struggling liar  John McCain, a spokesman said between tears.

And speaking of Ebola....

Bush builds huge federal Ebola lab, with horrendously deadly bugs, in path of hurricane

You want pork, let's talk pork. This is John McCain's good buddy, George Bush's pork. And it's sickening.

Much of the University of Texas medical school on this island suffered flood damage during Hurricane Ike, except for one gleaming new building, a national biological defense laboratory that will soon house some of the most deadly diseases in the world.

How a laboratory where scientists plan to study viruses like Ebola and Marburg ended up on a barrier island where hurricanes regularly wreak havoc puzzles some environmentalists and community leaders...

Built atop concrete pylons driven 120 feet into the ground, the seven-floor laboratory was designed to stand up to 140-mile-an-hour winds. Its backup generators and high-security laboratories are 30 feet above sea level.

That's nice, because hurricanes never get any faster winds. Oh wait, they do. There's more:

The laboratory will do research into some of the nastiest diseases on the planet, among them Ebola, anthrax, tularemia, West Nile virus, drug-resistant tuberculosis, bubonic plague, avian influenza and typhus.







Party before country

Alaska GOP still backs re-election for corrupt felon. 

The Alaska Republican party on Tuesday found itself in the awkward position of urging voters to return a convicted felon to the United States Senate.
"Awkward"? How about repugnant, repulsive, shameless, sickening...
The party is pushing for the re-election of Senator Ted Stevens, who was convicted on Monday of seven felony counts but continues his campaign for a seventh full term, in the hope that his re-election will allow the party of morals and integrity to hold onto his seat even if Mr. Stevens eventually resigns.
Which he's already sworn he wouldn't do.
Spencer Ackerman:

Here I was, all set to debunk Bob Kagan's allegations that it's an "absurd conspiracy theory" to say Bush lied about the basis for the Iraq war, when Matt "Angel" Duss of the Center for American Progress beat me to it. But why stop at the invasion? Bob Woodward's new book, The War Within, documents at absurd length how almost everything Bush said about Iraq in 2006 and early 2007 was a lie. F'rinstance:

The morning after his speech announcing the surge, the president went to Fort Benning, Georgia, to address military personnel and their families. His decision had been opposed by General Casey and General Abizaid, his military commanders on the ground. General Pace and the Joint Chiefs had suggested a smaller increase, if any at all. And General Schoomaker, the Army chief, had made it clear that the five brigades didn't really exist under the Army's current policy of 12-month rotations. ... But on this morning, the president delivered his own version of history.

"The commanders on the ground in Iraq, people who I listen to -- by the way, that's what you want your commander in chief to do. You don't want decisions being made based upon politics or focus groups or political polls. You want your military decisions being made by military experts. And they analyzed the plan, and they said to me and to the Iraqi government, 'This won't work unless we help them. There needs to be a bigger presence." 

That's just page 325. Bush went to Fort Benning, looked soldiers and their families -- men and women who he sent into combat or would be sending into combat -- right square in the eye, and lied. That's just what the man does. Anyone who tells you otherwise is as much a liar as Bush himself.


Take a gander at the "Sarah Palin: Promise for America" store, which provides further evidence that Palin's advocates have pretty much decided the campaign is over. Here's the pitch: is proud to release the Sarah Palin: Promise for America series of gifts. Regardless of what happens on election day, we can all take heart that Sarah Palin has helped to begin a movement, a restoration of our nation to the American Promise. These gifts will help us all remember her message and her mission; and we'll tell the world that we stand with her as our leader.


h/t Gary Thomas Jefferson

"I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around [the banks] will deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered. The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people, to whom it properly belongs."                                                                                

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