Thursday, October 30, 2008

Campbell Brown Blasts Elizabeth Dole

CNN's Campbell Brown has given a prominent voice to those of us who have had enough of the disgusting Republican campaigning, that has finally reached its nadir in the 2008 elections.

In trying to retain her seat in Congress, Dole insinuates, in her newest ad, that her opponent is a Godless American.

After Brown takes you through the video, she absolutely shreds Senator Dole, and those running similarly offensive campaigns, ending her slam, by saying:
Just say no to your own craven ambition. Just cut it out. Reclaim your dignity! And with only a few days to go, please please just tell us what you think you can do to get this country back on track.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Why are we not learning more about who spread the PA hoax?

I find it more than a bit odd that there has not been much further scrutiny of Peter Feldman, Team McCain's Pennsylvania communications director.

As TPM has been aggressively reporting, something smells funny when 2 separate reporters covering the story indicated that details of the alleged crime came from Feldman and not the police.

The reason we need to know is that the implications are enormous. If details came initially from the police, it would follow the normal course of reporting an alleged criminal incident.

However, if this story was passed on to reporters by the McCain campaign, before the police even had gotten wind of it, that would mean something far more insidious. It would mean that this was a planned dirty trick from the McCain campaign.

We deserve some answers.

Please, read more on this important story by clicking the TPM article here.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Obama Spokesman Takes On Fox News Anchor`

Senator Obama spokesperson Bill Burton appeared on Fox News on Monday and pushed back on Fox anchor (aka McCain cheerleader) Megyn Kelly.

Watch this video and please tell me where Ms. Kelly's journalistic impartiality is anywhere on display.

I appreciate the way Mr. Burton handled the hypocrisy. The utter joke that a journalist would portray Obama as a socialist, let alone an entire network, is treated with the scorn that they deserve.

Burton was asked to appear after slamming Fox News in a statement earlier in the day.

According to the New York Times:
"This is a fake news controversy drummed up by the all-too-common alliance of Fox News, the Drudge Report and John McCain, who apparently decided to close out his campaign with the same false, desperate attacks that have failed for months,” Mr. Burton said. “In this seven-year-old interview, Senator Obama did not say that the courts should get into the business of redistributing wealth at all.”

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Latest Alaskan Press Not Pretty For McCain/Palin

If a heavily GOP state, like Alaska, is having trouble stomaching John McCain and native daughter, Sarah Palin, this race is over.

In an earlier post, I showed you some interesting comments from the Alaskan press. Today's columns and editorials are even more revealing.

The Anchorage Daily News endorses Barack Obama for president

In endorsing Barack Obama for president today, the Anchorage Daily News wrote:
Gov. Palin's nomination clearly alters the landscape for Alaskans as we survey this race for the presidency -- but it does not overwhelm all other judgment. The election, after all is said and done, is not about Sarah Palin, and our sober view is that her running mate, Sen. John McCain, is the wrong choice for president at this critical time for our nation.

Sen. Barack Obama, the Democratic nominee, brings far more promise to the office. In a time of grave economic crisis, he displays thoughtful analysis, enlists wise counsel and operates with a cool, steady hand. The same cannot be said of Sen. McCain.
On the economy, they said:
Sen. Obama warned regulators and the nation 19 months ago that the subprime lending crisis was a disaster in the making. Sen. McCain backed tighter rules for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, but didn't do much to advance that legislation. Of the two candidates, Sen. Obama better understands the mortgage meltdown's root causes and has the judgment and intelligence to shape a solution, as well as the leadership to rally the country behind it. It is easy to look at Sen. Obama and see a return to the smart, bipartisan economic policies of the last Democratic administration in Washington, which left the country with the momentum of growth and a budget surplus that President George Bush has squandered.

On the most important issue of the day, Sen. Obama is a clear choice.
On McCain's being an alleged 'maverick.':
Sadly, maverick John McCain didn't show up for the campaign. Instead we have candidate McCain, who embraces the extreme Republican orthodoxy he once resisted and cynically asks Americans to buy for another four years.
Ironically, Sarah Palin represented the final nail in the coffin of their endorsement:
Yet despite her formidable gifts, few who have worked closely with the governor would argue she is truly ready to assume command of the most important, powerful nation on earth. To step in and juggle the demands of an economic meltdown, two deadly wars and a deteriorating climate crisis would stretch the governor beyond her range. Like picking Sen. McCain for president, putting her one 72-year-old heartbeat from the leadership of the free world is just too risky at this time.
The link to the editorial can be found here.

Sarah Palin is America's real Bridge to Nowhere

In an op-ed in the Juneau Empire, stunningly titled "Sarah Palin is America's real Bridge to Nowhere," Seth Kantner lets it all hang out. Kantner begins:
I'm sitting on my bearskin chair beside the stove, in Kotzebue, while outside the ocean freezes over. Inside I have 49 things to say to you, America.

I'm an Alaskan - born in an igloo, enjoy whale muktuk, all that - and in case you aren't sick of our state by now, I'll start with an apology for one of our residents: Sarah Palin.

We Alaskans are not generally so magazine-pretty like her, nor are we so confrontational and vapid. Most of us don't have peachy cheeks - we have sunburn, windburn, frostbite. Our fingernails are dirty from actually gutting moose, our hands chapped from picking thousands of salmon, not holding one up for the camera.

Having said that, here in Alaska we are accustomed to getting jobs we're not qualified to fill.
In a stinging rebuke of the Alaskan Governor, he writes:
By now the world knows Palin is an expert at swishing around, color coordinated, with her makeup and mooseburger and mean-spirited commentary. We can only hope people realize she's a pretty atypical Alaskan, one who is simply skimming the gravy off our hard-earned Alaskan mystique to mix with her varnished nonsense.

Here where global warming is melting our world regardless of Palin's lone charge against reality, her alleged appeal leaves many of us cold. With long winters and tough trails, we still value a beaver hat and common sense more than high heels and fancy clothes. We don't want another leader less intelligent than we are.
Kantner concludes by writing:
From up here in the Arctic - not left or right but north of the campaign trail - the reality is clear and cold: When McCain chose Palin he wrote America out of his will. It's time for us to write him out of our future.
Access the full op-ed here.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

GOP Mouthpiece Ridicules Obama's Trip To Visit 'Grandma'

Republican 'strategist' Brad Blakeman has just employed the strategy of how to lose in a landslide.

This poor excuse for a pundit actually defended Sarah Palin's $150,000 fashion spree by comparing it to a real 'outrage,' Barack Obama's flying off to see his seriously ill grandmother.

One wonders if the GOP is just trying to get the lion's share of the mean-spirited vote.

Blakeman griped to MSNBC's David Schuster that Senator Obama was,
...taking a 767 campaign plane to go visit Grandma.

Forget about the energy that is wasted, what about the hundreds of thousands of dollars to take a private trip when this guy should be humping his bags on a commercial plane or taking a smaller plane. Taking a 767 of campaign money from people who could least afford it is more of an outrage in my opinion.
With co-horts like that, if I were a Republican I would be almost embarrassed to admit it.

Here is the video, along with commentary by Keith Olbermann and Sam Seder, as showcased on Countdown.

The GOP's Remaining Strategy: Voter Suppression

Paul Weyrich, the Conservative activist and pundit, co-founder of the Heritage Foundation think tank, said something back in 1980 that needs to be seen to understand why the McCain campaign strategy at the end may very well be all about ways to suppress the vote.

Mr. Weyrich currently serves as chairman and CEO of The Free Congress Foundation.

Before looking at the video, read a passage that Weyrich wrote this week, for The Bulletin of Philadelphia. In an article that looks at John McCain's dimming chances to gain the presidency, Mr. Weyrich notes that because Obama has such superior ground forces in place in many states, McCain may be "out of luck." He adds:
We know that, left to their own devices, many voters will skip voting just because they are preoccupied and no one reminded them or, in cases of the elderly, drove them to the polls.
Weyrich instinctively knows that his worldview is not the majority position, which is why he views ground forces as so important to fire up the base.

Now, check out the video below.

What Weyrich said in that video needs to be circulated:
Elections are not won by the majority of the people. They never have been from the beginning of our country and they are not now.

As a matter of fact, our leverage in the elections, quite candidly, goes up, as the voting populace goes down.
The Republicans don't want you to vote. They know that if everybody who wants to go to the polls does, they lose.

On one hand, Weyrich knows that it's important to galvanize your core. But, at the same time, he knows you might sneak a victory by dampening the enthusiasm (and doing whatever it takes to lower the turnout) of your opponent's supporters.

Please vote, and help others to do the same, on November 4th. If you have the opportunity to vote early, please do, and encourage others to follow your lead.

The only strategy the right-wing has remaining is to suppress the voter turnout. Robocalls now, a shortage of machines the first Tuesday in November in heavily Democratic districts?

We do remember Ohio in 2004 and Florida in 2000, don't we?

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

See Sarah Run.....The Senate!

Watching Sarah Palin in action, it is just incredible that Senator Obama is not ahead by 20 points at this juncture.

Can you imagine waking up on November 5th to the prospect of this person being Vice President? It boggles the mind.

Watch her answer a 2nd grader's question on what a Vice President does and tell me that she hasn't spent way too much time around Dick Cheney's handlers.

I especially wanted to post this version from CNN, found on You Tube, because we also get to see her claim she has more experience than Obama. It's almost as if we are living in a parallel SNL universe.

This isn't really happening, is it? And I didn't even get to comment on her $150,000 wardrobe! Alas, tomorrow is another day.

Pass the popcorn and enjoy.....

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Did John McCain Betray The Families Of POW's?

The video that John McCain does not want you to see

Watch the following video of John McCain's alleged betrayal of POW MIA families. Follow it up for yourself....investigate....and you will see some interesting behavior from 'war hero' John McCain.

I am not a fan of Bob Dornan, by any means. But he is totally on target here.

One really has to ask...what would motivate a man who was a POW to go out of his way to prevent information on POWs that were missing in action to become declassified? Why was John McCain so eager to close the book on Vietnam with so many questions unanswered and so many families still grieving?

Was there something that John McCain did not want to have aired publicly?

Decide for yourself.

UPDATE: I thought it important to include a recent, comprehensive report on the topic, for those who would like to follow up. Sydney Schanberg had a major article in The Nation last month, titled, "McCain and the POW Cover-Up." You can access it at TruthOut at this link.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Sarah Palin & The Secessionists

Sarah Palin, since she is so comfortable accusing Obama of being someone who "pals around with terrorists," really needs to answer a question.

Why was her husband a member of, and why did she twice address the Alaskan Independence Party, at their annual convention? The AIP was founded on the premise that Alaska needs to secede from the United States. And, speaking of terrorists, its founder, Joe Vogler, was killed, because of a botched plastic explosives sale.

The Last Refuge Of A Scoundrel

As Robert Kennedy Jr. wrote, earlier this month, at the Huffington Post, in a post titled, "The Alaskan Independence Party (The Last Refuge Of A Scoundrel):
If McCarthy-era guilt-by-association is once again a valid political consideration, Palin, it would seem, has more to lose than Obama. Palin, it could be argued, following her own logic, thinks so little of America's perfection that she continues to "pal around" with a man--her husband, actually--who only recently terminated his seven-year membership in the Alaskan Independence Party. Putting plunder above patriotism, the members of this treasonous cabal aim to break our country into pieces and walk away with Alaska's rich federal oil fields and one-fifth of America's land base--an area three-fourths the size of the Civil War Confederacy.

AIP's charter commits the party "to the ultimate independence of Alaska," from the United States which it refers to as "the colonial bureaucracy in Washington." It proclaims Alaska's 1959 induction as a state "as illegal and in violation of the United Nations charter and international law."

AIP's creation was inspired by the rabidly violent anti-Americanism of its founding father Joe Vogler, "I'm an Alaskan, not an American," reads a favorite Vogler quote on AIP's current website, "I've got no use for America or her damned institutions." According to Vogler AIP's central purpose was to drive Alaska's secession from the United States. Alaska, says current Chairwoman Lynette Clark, "should be an independent nation."

Palin's ongoing connection to the AIP

While there has been debate over whether Sarah Palin attended the 1994 AIP convention (I tend to believe the accounts that say she was there), there is no doubt about the fact that her husband joined the party in 1995. And there is no doubt that Sarah Palin has addressed the convention in 2006.

As written by Bob Sommer, at the Kansas City Star blog:
As recently as 2006, Palin addressed the AIP's state convention. Key figures from this party were instrumental in her election as mayor of Wasilla, among them Mark Chryson, who said, "With Sarah as a mayor, there were a number of times when I just showed up at City Hall and said, 'Hey, Sarah, we need help.' I think there was only one time when I wasn't able to talk to her and that was because she was in a meeting."

However, the connection did not end in 2006.

In fact, Governor Palin, had no problem issuing the following video welcome to the 2008 AIP convention, earlier this year. You may notice, that Governor Palin is older than 8, and knows full well, the history of the people she is addressing:

Sarah Palin knows far more about associating with terrorists than anything Senator Obama could even dream up. Her husband was a member of a proudly 'anti-American' political party, that was founded by a man who wasn't dealing in plastic explosives, simply for the sheer fun of it.

The hypocrisy of Sarah and Todd Palin knows no bounds.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Censure Michele Bachmann

Representative Michele Bachmann did something so reprehensible that she deserves to be censured by Congress.

On yesterday's edition of Hardball, with Chris Matthews, the Representative from Minnesota, went one step beyond the familiar Obama/Ayers lies, she indicated that Senator Barack Obama, and others in Congress, share anti-American views.

She even went so far as to recommend that journalists investigate liberal members of Congress.

Watch the video for yourself:

That McCarthy-esque moment was followed by some refreshingly powerful words from Katrina Vanden Heuvel. Watch:

A website has been set up to gather petitions to urge Congress to censure Michele Bachmann. Please visit the site and access the petition here.

If you would like to make a campaign contribution to Bachman's Democratic opponent, Elwyn Tinklenberg, click here.

Friday, October 17, 2008

The Only Ad Barack Obama Needs To Run

This one speaks for itself.

Game. Set. Match.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The GOP Will Try To Steal This Election

I believe the Republicans are once again seeking to manipulate the results of the presidential election.

Past as prologue

I am one of those who doesn't believe it was an accident that Pat Buchanan, out of the blue, scored an absurdly high number of votes in a heavily Jewish area. In fact, here's a link that shows the bizarre voting patterns that took place that Election Day in 2000. The more I read, the more convinced I am it was voter fraud.

I also believe that the GOP engaged in voter suppression of minorities in Ohio in 2004. Some have reported that the fact tha some people had to wait on line for 12 hours to vote, because there were so few machines available for them, not to mention people directed to the wrong precincts. Robert Kennedy Jr. in Rolling Stone estimated that 350,000 voters were disenfranchised in 2004. Once again it determined the course of the election.

I believe the GOP is in the throes of their latest attempts to manipulate the polls right now.

Sites to bookmark and the Acorn scam

As a reader of Mark Crispin Miller, Greg Palast, the Brad blog and other heavily referenced resources for monitoring and examining Republican voter fraud, I recognize the first signs.

In fact, I was just reading on the Brad blog about the ACORN so-called voter fraud that John McCain is trying to exploit. Go to the link and decide for yourself.

One well-used GOP tactic of the past was to make spurious charges of voter fraud before launching into their own bag of dirty tricks. Then, when Democrats complain, they cow the media into saying that it happens on both sides.

GOP dirty tricks in the news

Some current examples you should examine follow:

1) The robocalls that fraudulently tie-in Senator Obama with William Ayers. But far more insidious than this are alleged calls from the Obama campaign asking for your 3 AM!! I heard a caller speak to a talk show host recently after getting one of these calls. She wanted to warn others of the dishonest tactics that were being used.

2) Voter suppression. Countless examples can be found in places like Michigan, Ohio (with the apparent complicity of the courts?), and Florida, where voters were told to vote by phone.

3) Tampering with the process itself. What a surprise, there appears to be some sort of problem with the ballots in West Virginia.

Or, for the coup de grace, the following should let you know what I think the GOP is capable of.

As a reminder of the possibilities, As posted on Michael Moore's website, here is that video from a couple of years back, showing how you can, as the video is headlined, "Steal an Election with (a) Diebold Machine in One Minute."

Check out the video below and monitor the sites referred to above for the latest on the GOP's efforts to retain the White House, by any means they can.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Keith Olbermann Blasts John McCain

I have to admit, I have been waiting for this one for some time now.

Keith Olbermann, in a 'special comment,' on tonight's Countdown, let Mr. McCain have it, for his enabling of violent rhetoric and utter hypocrisy.

I will let the video do the talking.

I have such great respect and admiration for Keith Olbermann. I highly recommend you go to his site and check out the many features, including access to his other 'special comments.'

He can be accessed here.

Why Is Sarah Palin Lying About Troopergate Report?

Somebody tell Sarah Palin it is 2008.

If a bipartisan commission makes a report and states that you abused your power and violated state ethics laws, we have access to the report. We can read it for ourselves. It isn't hearsay.

Which makes me wonder if Palin is taking up residence down the rabbit hole or through the looking glass.

Since the report has been made public, Palin has been making almost celebratory statements thanking the investigation for clearing her.

But make no mistake, the investigation did not clear her. It said she was within state law to hire or fire who she pleased. But the report also very clearly stated that she abused her power and violated ethics laws.

Tell that to Palin. She has been bragging that the report found she didn't violate ethics laws.

Sarah Palin is a liar.

For confirmation, however, look at Monday's fact checker column in the Washington Post.

They give Palin the lowest possible score for her claim, 4 pinocchios.

As the column reports, in a phone interview with Alaska reporters on Saturday, Palin said this:
"I'm very, very pleased to be cleared of any legal wrongdoing, any hint of any kind of unethical activity there. Very pleased to be cleared of any of that."
It is not the only time she has made that claim.

After presenting the facts, the same facts that we have been reading for the past few days, indicating that Palin violated her state's Ethics Act, the column concludes with this:
What is not debatable is that the report clearly states that she violated the State Ethics Act. Palin has reasonable grounds for arguing that the report cleared her of "legal wrongdoing," since she did have the authority to fire Monegan. But it is the reverse of the truth to claim that she was cleared of "any hint of any kind of unethical activity."
For those keeping score at home, this is another way of stating that Sarah Palin is lying.

It's beginning to come off as pathological.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Fact Check Debunks Lie About Ayers Connection

Senator John McCain, in the tradition of the Bush administration, believes if you repeat a lie often enough, it becomes fact. They also believe that the media will do much of the work for them and they are correct.

As just one example, how many times have we read the Ayers charge, presented as somehow equivalent in nature to John McCain's association with the 'Keating 5?'

2 independent fact checkers expose Team McCain's lies

The fact checker segment of the Washington Post has taken on the charge by John McCain about his allegedly lying about being a pal of William Ayers.

Michael Dobbs, in his column reports:
The claim that Obama "lied" about his relationship with Ayers rests on his response to a question from George Stephanopoulos of ABC News in a Democratic primary debate in Philadelphia on April 16. Invited to describe his relationship with Ayers, Obama played down its significance.
Going on:
That statement can certainly be read as an attempt by Obama to minimize his dealings with a controversial figure. But it is hard to qualify it as a "lie."
The analysis concludes with this blunt assessment:
The New York Times got it right last week when it noted that the Illinois senator had "played down his contacts with Mr. Ayers, 63. But the two men do not appear to have been close. Nor has Mr. Obama ever expressed sympathy for the radical views and actions of Mr. Ayers."

The McCain campaign is distorting the Obama-Ayers relationship, and exaggerating their closeness. There is no evidence that Obama has "lied" about his dealings with Ayers.
The charge was given '2 pinocchios by Dobbs. This means,
Significant omissions and/or exaggerations. Some factual error may be involved but not necessarily. A politician can create a false, misleading impression by playing with words and using legalistic language that means little to ordinary people.
The link to to the article is here.

Seconding that opinion

An even more scathing denunciation comes directly from

This is their conclusion, regarding the same charge:
Voters may differ in how they see Ayers, or how they see Obama’s interactions with him. We’re making no judgment calls on those matters. What we object to are the McCain-Palin campaign’s attempts to sway voters – in ads and on the stump – with false and misleading statements about the relationship, which was never very close. Obama never “lied” about this, just as he never bragged about it. The foundation they both worked with was hardly “radical.” And Ayers is more than a former "terrorist," he’s also a well-known figure in the field of education.
That, very in-depth piece can be found here.

Please use these fact-checking articles as a reference when responding to the lies and distortions of the McCain campaign.

Sarah Palin Booed Dropping The Puck: Video

It was not supposed to work out this way.

24 hours after Alaska Governor Sarah Palin was found to have abused her power in Troopergate, she dropped the puck at the Philadelphia Flyer's home opener.

Despite written reports of a mixed crowd reaction, the above video makes it fairly apparent that the boos were the dominant sound. You can hear the reaction starting about 37 seconds into the video.

Interestingly, Palin, speaking earlier Saturday, had a strategy.

As NBC's Matthew Berger writes:
Perhaps it was Palin’s youngest daughter, Piper, who emerged with her in a Flyers jersey, which helped mollify the crowd. The Alaska governor had even foreshadowed the tactic earlier in the day.

“I’ve been warned that Flyers fans, they get so enthused, that they boo everybody at the drop of the puck,” she said at a Philadelphia fundraiser Saturday afternoon. “But what I thought I’d do is I’d put Piper in a Flyers jersey, bring her out with me. How dare they boo Piper!”
Hiding behind daughter Piper. How cute.

Now is that a considerate hockey mom, or what?

Saturday, October 11, 2008

What Alaskan Newspapers Are Saying About Sarah Palin

I was checking out the major Alaskan newspapers today and was given quite an eye-opener.

Transparency...replaced by secrecy

Before the trooper-gate report was released, Elstun Lauesen had some interesting observations in the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner.

In a column from last Sunday, titled, "McCain camp occupies Alaska (Palace coup leaves RNC in charge here)," after referencing recent statements by Pat Buchanan that Palin is being politically indoctrinated by Cheneyites, Lauesen writes:
Buchanan frets about Sarah Palin’s radical policy implant by the neo-conservatives; so should “true conservatives” be distressed by the McCain campaign’s political makeover of the woman many Alaskans once believed was a reformer. Transparency has been replaced by secrecy; bipartisan cooperation has been replaced by stonewalling; and rule-of-law is being compromised for political expediency.
Complaining that the Alaskan state legislature is under the thumb of the Republican National Committee, Lauesen adds: is not surprising that the McCain campaign decided that it is the natural law right to occupy and use Alaska any way it sees fit.

Sarah Palin, who believes her destiny is divinely guided and shares a messianic zeal with many of her core supporters, has virtually turned our state government over to the service of her political mission. Alaska’s Department of Law is now under the apparent direction of an outside alpha-dog attorney, Ed O’Callaghan, who was parachuted into Alaska by McCain’s national campaign to scrub the Palin dirt from the national lens. One big piece of that dirt is the so-called the Troopergate inquiry, with which we are all familiar. O’Callaghan reminds me of the Wolf, Harvey Keitel’s character in the movie “Pulp Fiction,” whose job was to clean up the blood and ditch the body for the employer of a couple of careless hit men.

Alaskans have watched helplessly as Attorney General Talis Colberg subverted the authority of the Legislature in Troopergate. Specifically, Colberg counseled state employees to refuse to testify in the Troopergate inquiry after they were subpoenaed. This advice is contrary to his duty to the people of Alaska.

The McCain camp has not only taken over the Department of Law, but it has hijacked the governor’s office as well. As of this writing, the governor’s press office routinely refers outside press inquiries to the McCain campaign.

Does not have what it takes

Reader Laurie Knapp, given a chance to speak her mind about her governor, in the Juneau Empire op-ed, "My Turn," had this to say. after the debate:
Do we not want a vice president who has spent more than 22 months mastering state issues, let alone national?

The energy policies with which Palin claims expertise were the product of her advisers' experience; they address gas alone, not renewable wind/solar/hydro or clean coal, let alone the nuclear agenda McCain promotes or the waste nuclear power produces.

When she spoke of women's rights, what does that mean exactly? Certainly, not reproductive freedom.
Knapp goes on to write:
Palin would be a 72-year-old heartbeat away from being leader of the free world, folks. We need more than a beautiful woman's love affair with the camera and the adulation of the masses. Please think beyond image and spin and take a hard look at what we as a nation can afford.

Palin is not stupid, but not smart enough to see beyond her own ego to realize she does not have what it takes to potentially guide this country through these tumultuous times.

A warning for Steve Branchflower

What can we expect now that the troopergate investigation has found that Sarah Palin abused her power?

Michael Carey, writing in the Anchorage Daily News on September 29th, has an idea of what's in store:
Investigator Steve Branchflower be warned. If you issue a report on Troopergate before the election in any fashion critical of Gov. Palin, you can expect to be made to look like a war criminal. Or worse.

Thanks to Troopergate, the relationship Palin established with Democrats during two legislative sessions -- the trust and accommodation she needed to pass her gas-line and oil-tax legislation -- no longer exists.

Throughout her political career, Palin has benefited from establishing and exploiting contrast favorable to her. The contrast between Palin the woman-of-integrity and dishonest Republican bosses. The contrast between the fresh new Palin and ham-handed incumbent fossil Gov. Frank Murkowski. The contrast between woman-of-the-people Palin and the public-be-damned oil companies. Even the contrast between young, vital Palin and aging, stiff John McCain -- which perversely enough has helped John McCain in the polls.

Now Palin stands in contrast with herself, before and after her nomination. And there's no benefit for her -- at least not in Alaska where she is still the governor.

I suspect that tomorrow will feature Alaskan newspaper editorials on the troopergate commission's report. I am curious as to what their take will be.

However, as this post illustrates, it's not such a bad idea to see what some of Sarah's neighbors, away from a GOP filter, have to say about their governor.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Bipartisan Investigation: Palin Abused Power

Who is the 'real' Sarah Palin?

It's official, the bipartisan 'troopergate' report findings are in. The report, from a committee comprised by a majority of Republicans, says that Sarah Palin, essentially violated state law and the public trust, and abused her authority as Governor of Alaska, in firing Walt Monegan, the Alaskan Public Saftey commissioner.

The dominoes begin to fall

From The Trail blog on the Washington Post:
Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) abused her executive power when she fired her public safety commissioner this year in the midst of an intense effort to oust her former brother-in-law from the state police force, a special prosecutor has concluded.
They conclude with the following, which you can expect to hear from the Palin-McCain ticket:
Before the report was released, the campaign of Palin's running mate, Sen. John McCain, denounced the investigation as biased and said that the governor did nothing wrong. The campaign characterized Monegan's firing as a "straightforward personnel decision" that has become "muddied with innuendo, rumor and partisan politics."
According to the Associated Press:
The investigative report concludes that a family grudge wasn't the sole reason for firing Public Safety Commissioner Walter Monegan but says it likely was a contributing factor.
Go ahead barracuda. Make our day. Talk about how you hold the higher moral ground.

The charade is over.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

McCain Shafts Taxpayers On 'Revised' Mortgage Bailout Plan

Now you see it. Now you don't.

That would be a single line that the McCain campaign removed from their self-described Homeowner Resurgence Plan (note the not-so-subtle implementation of the word 'surge').

But what changed and what does it all mean?

You may find the answer a bit mind-boggling, to say the least.

It was Politico who, according to Keith Olbermann, first noticed the excision. They reported:
The document posted and e-mailed by the McCain campaign on Tuesday night says at the end of its first full paragraph: “Lenders in these cases must recognize the loss that they’ve already suffered.”

So the government would buy the mortgages at a discounted rate, reflecting the declining value of the mortgage paper.

But when McCain reissued the document on Wednesday, that sentence was missing, to the dismay of many conservatives.

That would mean the U.S. would pay face value for the troubled documents, which was the main reason Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) gave for opposing the plan.

To access the original document, click here. For the later version, click here.

The essence of the altered plan is that rather than let the banks absorb the loss of value that had incurred, the burden now shifts to the taxpayers. The financial institutions would not be penalized for their bad business practices.

Keith Olbermann, on his Countdown program, put it this way:
Under the revised plan, taxpayers would have to pay face value for the troubled mortgages, even though they are no longer worth anywhere near that.

That would be a windfall for the banking industry, despite their predatory lending practices, which helped bring about the crisis in the first place.
Senator Obama, as reported by the Los Angeles Times,
...criticized a change the Arizona senator made to the mortgage plan that would give a break to lenders who had made bad loans.

"So banks wouldn't take a loss, but taxpayers would take a loss," said Obama, characterizing the switch as "just the latest in a series of shifting positions. . . . This is the kind of erratic behavior we've been seeing out of Sen. McCain."

We really are reaching in to the surreal with the McCain campaign at this point. The 'Straight Talk Express' is beginning to look like 'The Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight.'

Maverick McCain Video

As evidence that the 'maverick' part of McCain is pure Hollywood fantasy, right up there with George Bush becoming a cowboy for 8 years with the purchase of his Crawford Ranch, enjoy the above clip from You Tube. The video was created by Nate Peele.

It stars McCain and Bush, with supporting 'mavericks,' Cheney and Palin. It is all set to the theme from the old TV western "Maverick," which ran from 1957-1962.

(a repost, as the positioning of my original post was irretrievably corrupted)

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

McCain's Campaign Tactics Show He Is Unfit To Lead

It is hard to watch Senator John McCain conduct the most scurrilous political campaign in memory and not be reminded of the line uttered by Joseph N. Welch, to Senator Joseph McCarthy at the Army-McCarthy hearings of 1954: "You've done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?"

Attorney Welch had clearly had enough when McCarthy was trying to insinuate that a junior attorney in Welch's firm had communist affiliations.

Guilt by association. Sound familiar?

Shamelessly, McCain has telegraphed overtly his intention to not talk about issues and simply attack the character of Senator Barack Obama. Using his pit bull, Sarah Palin, Team McCain has all but accused Obama of being a terrorist himself. They want voters to think Obama is un-American, and 'isn't like us.'

Not getting away with it

Surprisingly, to some of us, the mainstream media is actually pushing back.

CNN's fact-check on Sarah Palin's accusation, that Obama is a friend of terrorists, fully shoots her down.

The fact is, Senator Obama did serve on a Board of Directors of the Annenberg Challenge, a board that also included William Ayers, formerly of the Weather Underground.

As CNN reported today, Leonore Annenberg, the wife of William Annenberg, founder of the group that funded the charity, is one of 100 former ambassadors who have just announced their support of John McCain. Based on his own logic, does that make McCain a man who enlists support from those who put terrorists in influential positions?

I don't think Mr. Straight Talk Express wants to go there.

The editorials call out John McCain

With their increasingly shocking rhetoric, and the apparent acceptance of calls to violence, the McCain campaign has crossed the line.

As today's New York Times editorial, headlined "Politics of Attack," stated:
It is a sorry fact of American political life that campaigns get ugly, often in their final weeks. But Senator John McCain and Gov. Sarah Palin have been running one of the most appalling campaigns we can remember.

They have gone far beyond the usual fare of quotes taken out of context and distortions of an opponent’s record — into the dark territory of race-baiting and xenophobia
In reference to Palin, the Times wrote:
Her demagoguery has elicited some frightening, intolerable responses. A recent Washington Post report said at a rally in Florida this week a man yelled “kill him!” as Ms. Palin delivered that line and others shouted epithets at an African-American member of a TV crew.

Mr. McCain’s aides haven’t even tried to hide their cynical tactics, saying they were “going negative” in hopes of shifting attention away from the financial crisis — and by implication Mr. McCain’s stumbling response.
As to Palin's role in all of this, an editorial in the Burlington Free Press states:
Anyone willing to incite this kind of fear and harness this degree of hate for political gain has no business on the national political stage, especially as a candidate for vice president of a major political party, let alone serve in high office.
They add:
The McCain camp's decision to let Palin loose on the attack brings an air desperation to a campaign that has abandoned a stand on the issues. Allowing Palin to take this line of attack raises serious questions about the kind of judgment Sen. John McCain would exercise to lead this nation
.Meanwhile, a Philadelphia Inquirer editorial says what the McCain campaign is serving up:
They're offering "Lipstick On a Pig: The Sequel." And it's as bad as the original.

McCain is slumping in polls, largely because of his uneven response to the financial crisis. But running mate Palin has hit on a way to change the subject: by smearing Barack Obama for his loose association with Bill Ayers, a founder of the 1960s radical group Weather Underground.

Obama is "palling around with terrorists who would target their own country," Palin said. She didn't mention that Obama was 8 years old when the group carried out bombings, nor that Obama has denounced Ayers' activities. It's enough, in her misguided view, that Ayers hosted a small political gathering for Obama in 1995, and that they serve on a charity board together.

This misdirection is reminiscent of the feigned outrage that poured out of the McCain campaign over Obama's "lipstick on a pig" remark a few weeks ago. Instead of giving voters substance, they're providing silly diversions.

Making it personal

I am a supporter of Senator Barack Obama for president. But, if I read the McCain campaign correctly, that means I want as president, a man who "pals around with terrorists." So, what is he saying about me, or any of us who have felt that Obama is the choice for America's future?

I spoke with several friends and co-workers over the past week, all notable for not being traditional Democratic voters. Each one of them told me how they went from seeing John McCain as a war hero, to a man who has lost his entire credibility. A couple of these former supporters of his were outspoken in their shame over how he has conducted himself in this election, and what he had become.

If, by some perverse chance, McCain actually pulls this one out and wins, how can he possibly gain back his credibility? He is no longer respected by many who at one point held him in high esteem.

Sadly, for John McCain, his legacy of long-suffering POW-turned-politician, has now been redefined

In the same way that 'swift-boating' is now synonomous with political slander, running a 'McCain-style campaign' will now be the reference point for any campaign whose prime focus is the character assassination of their opponent.

Was it worth it, Mr. McCain, to sell your soul, reputation and legacy?

I suppose you feel it was.

I would like to leave the following video for you to reflect upon. I am very happy to let McCain have the last word on the subject.

For a well-reasoned post from another blogger on the same topic, click here.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

The Keating 5: The Video

Sometimes you just have to let the video do the talking. I can't say it much better.

The video comes from the Obama campaign and asks you to share it with your friends.

It's not as if you'll hear about it from the networks. You know, the same networks that like to prattle on about Ayers and Wright.

So it is up to us to pass this along.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Palin & McCain Believe Rape Victims Should Pay For Exams

The above political ad by Planned Parenthood brings up some very disturbing facts about Sarah Palin and John McCain, that makes one wonder what a Palin-McCain administration might embody.

Making the victim pay

In an editorial in Wednesday's Boston Globe, it was reported that a new policy was put in place, during Sarah Palin's tenure as mayor, that asked victims of rape to pay for their own rape exams.

As was written:
the town started charging rape victims or their insurers for hospital emergency-room rape kits and examinations.

The policy so outraged the Alaska Legislature that in 2000 it passed unanimously a bill forbidding such fees. But Palin has never explained why, under her leadership, the town stopped picking up the cost of the swabs, specimen containers, and tests.
The article goes on to state the following:
After the Alaska Legislature banned the fees, Palin's handpicked police chief, Charlie Fannon, complained that the state's action would force the town to spend $5,000 to $14,000 a year to cover the costs. "I just don't want to see any more burden put on the taxpayer," Fannon said.

But the policy on rape kits may have had less to do with easing the burden on taxpayers and more to do with Palin's position on abortion. She has said she opposes it even in cases of rape or incest.

Peas in a pod

Additionally, Senator John McCain is on record for voting against a bill, part of which ended the practice that allowed some municipalities to make rape victims absorb some of the costs of these exams. His 'nay' vote is especially significant, when one considers that Senator Joe Biden was one of the Senators who pushed hard for passage of the bill.

The Daily Kos reports that McCain's position remains the same, with the 'maverick' voting similarly in 2007, one of just 19 Senators to do so.

The contrast between the 2 party's attitudes towards women could not be any starker.

The right-wing mouthpieces are screaming 'smear' once again. Too bad for them, the record is available to see.

The links to the votes and legislation are above. Do research and you will learn for yourself what Sarah Palin and John McCain really think about women.

The full Boston Globe editorial can be accessed here.

October 8 update:
There has been an overall dismissal of this story throughout the mainstream media and right-of-center blogosphere.

However, Eric Boehlert of Media Matters, has an excellent piece on their site, defending the truth of the charges, and inquiring why the media is so reticent about reporting on it.

You can access that fully-sourced story here.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Why Won't John McCain Release His Medical Records?

The above ad, which has been banned by the networks, addresses a valid question, why won't Senator John McCain release his medical records?

McCain, who chose a person widely regarded as one of the most incompetent people ever to be nominated for the Office of Vice President, has a medical history that suggests there is a significant chance he may not be able to serve out his term, if elected.

Can you imagine the potential disaster, if Sarah Palin became the President of the United States?

One would think that releasing one's health records, when running for leadership of the country for 4 years, would be a no-brainer. Unless, of course, there is something to cover up.

The public has a right to know the health of the person they are considering electing. If McCain has nothing to hide, he needs to release his complete medical records.

If he doesn't, we should assume the news contained in his records is grim. Those candidates running for the highest office in the land release their complete medical records. It is accepted practice. There is no excuse for his continuing to keep those records sealed.

At Think Progress, Dr. Clark Newhall, 1 of more than 2,700 American doctors who signed an open letter to Senator McCain, asking him to unseal his records, had this to say:
John McCain has never released his full medical records and he has severely restricted the public’s ability to judge his health. When McCain publicly “disclosed” his medical history, what he really did was provide a carefully selected set of medical records (1,173 pages in all) to 20 carefully selected reporters who were allowed three hours to review that massive pile of paper. They were not allowed to make copies and not allowed to consult with medical experts during the review.
Dr. Newhall adds:
What we do know is concerning: The Armed Forces Institute of Pathology reviewed the cancer taken off McCain’s head in 2000 and found it to be “highly suggestive of a metastasis of malignant melanoma and may represent a satellite metastasis.” Even with the most optimistic scenario, if McCain has a metastatic malignant melanoma, he has only a 38% chance of surviving past 2010.
I would like to add that there is a chorus of false indignation being chanted by the right-wing talking heads. However, if the roles were reversed and Senator Obama had given any reason for health concerns, how quick would these hypocrites be insisting that those records got released?

Consider that, the next time those pontificating pundits rant.

We need to demand that Senator McCain release his complete medical records now, and we need to keep reminding others to clamor for the same until he is prepared to answer.

Until he does, we should assume that McCain has something to hide.