Saturday, October 18, 2008

The last one to die

President George W. Bush has resolutely refused to establish any kind of timetable for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq. John McCain has not only praised Mr. Bush for maintaining this position, but has used it as a test of character against Barack Obama. McCain has mocked Obama's desire for a withdrawal timeline, saying that Obama would rather be president than win a war.

Mr. Bush has changed his mind and evidently failed to consult with Mr. McCain.

According to a story by NPR, "American and Iraqi negotiators have reached a tentative agreement governing the use of American forces in Iraq over the next three years...

"The draft Status of Forces Agreement, or SOFA as it's called ... hasn't been released to the public."

SOFA contains two items which appear to be sticking points for both sides - the U.S. and the Iraqis. One says that American personnel, military and civilian, who are "accused of committing serious crimes while off-duty and off-base can be tried in Iraqi courts."

The other sticking point is the timeline. "The draft calls for all American combat troops to be out of Iraq by 2012."


McCain, as Senator Obama has pointed out, was wrong about the Iraqi invasion from the beginning and he's wrong about what to do now.

The war in Iraq cannot be "won" because it is not a war, it is an occupation, and we are involved in fighting native insurgents, not to "win" anything, but to keep the peace until the politicians can get their heads together and figure out an ass-saving way to get out of the mess.

It appears the end may be in sight. And as the Iraqi situation begins to draw to a close, sadness washes across us for once again we are bludgeoned with the realization that it was all so unnecessary.

Saddam Hussein had nothing whatsoever to do with 9/11, and in fact was a hated enemy of our real enemy -- the man who did perpetrate 9/11, Osama bin Laden. Saddam was not a nice man, but he was no threat to the United States, in spite of the rhetoric spewed across our land by Bush, Cheney, Rice, Rumsfeld and the rest of the neocon desk "warriors."

2012. That's the proposed withdrawal date. That will be the actual date if SOFA is approved by the respective governments involved.

* * * *

The Associated Press reported today that "at least 4,185 members of the U.S. military have died in the Iraq war since it began in March 2003."

Here are some other numbers:

Britain - 176
Italy - 33
Ukraine - 18
Poland - 21
Bulgaria - 13
Spain - 11
Denmark - 7
El Salvador - 5
Slovakia - 4
Latvia and Georgia - 3 each
Estonia, Netherlands, Thailand and Romania - 2 each
Australia, Hungary, Kazakhstan and South Korea - 1 each.


While we credit these men and women for their commitment to their countries and to whatever ideals drove them to fight in Iraq, the terrible, horrifying, eternal fact is that each died in vain.

Not one single death was necessary! Not one! But how many more will die needlessly in the next four years?

Their blood drips from the hands of George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Condi Rice, Dick Rumsfeld and the neocons who cooked up this godawful disaster. Frankly, if there is a god, he's gonna get 'em, whether they believe in Jesus or not!


And I can guarantee that one of the questions most present in the minds of those still left in Iraq as the months and years slip by is simply this: "Will I be the last to die?"

Obama and McCain ads - a comparison


Today's local paper compared three of the most frequently-aired ads for the week ending October 12 by the Obama and McCain campaigns.

The comparison may give a clue as to why McCain is losing.

Ad I -

Obama's ad talks about Obama's health care plan and warns that McCain's plan will tax health care benefits "for the first time ever."

The ad is truthful and does not deal with McCain's character or lack thereof.

McCain's ad labels Obama as "Dangerous," and claims that Obama is "dishonorable." It attacks Obama's voting record on Iraq. It falsifies a comment Obama made about Afghanistan.

The ad is untruthful and attacks Obama's character.


Ad 2 -

Obama's ad has to do with Health Care Reform. It contrasts Obama's health care plan with "two extremes," or alternative health care plans.

The ad is truthful and does not deal with McCain's character of lack thereof.

McCain's ad is titled "Ambition," and attacks Obama personally for "bad judgment," and references Obama's non-relationship to William Ayers.

The ad is untruthful and attacks Obama's character.


Ad 3 -

Obama's ad is titled "Unravel." It claims that McCain's health care plan will "raise costs of employers," which might result in someone's health being either reduced or dropped entirely."

The ad is truthful and does not attack McCain's character or lack thereof.

McCain's ad is called "Tax Cutter." It asks the question, "Who is Barack Obama," and claims Obama "voted 94 times for higher taxes."

The ad is untruthful and attacks Obama's character.


And all of this should provide a bit of insight into how these two candidates think and how they approach differences between people. It also clarifies which candidate is more honest.

These comparisons also show rather clearly that McCain cannot run on his record nor his plans for the future and thus descends into the gutter by attacking Obama's character, and by lying about Obama's proposals.

Republican hate - Florida style


Thanks to Pensito Review for this.

Pompano Beach, Florida. The McCain campaign office.

Hanging on the wall is a poster, titled "Barack Hussein Obama." Underneath that title, these words: "This is the greatest nation on the face of the earth. Join with me as we change it." -- Barack Obama.

McCain says his people should not denigrate Senator Obama. Then McCain does just that. As does Sarah Palin. Wonder why his people around the country have evidently not gotten the word?

You'll notice the post equates Obama with Karl Marx, Joseph Stalin, Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini and Fidel Castro.

Isn't that funny?


The "official" Republican response was predictable. Chip LaMarca, chairman of the Broward [County] Republican Party said the poster "disgusted" him and that he would hightail it up to Pompano Beach and take it down!

We don't "condone" such things, said LaMarca. Right.

Do you really think that LaMarca had not seen or heard of this poster before it was "brought" to his attention?

No. As we have seen, this expression hate-filled bile, this character-assassination is typical of too many local Republican units all over the United States; the result, as we suggested, of the type of campaigning engaged in by both John and Sarah.

And isn't it interesting that the Obama camp does NOT respond in kind, either nationally or locally.

Republican hate - California style


We've previously ranted about an official Republican hate site in Sacramento, California. And we've pointed out a Republican group that is airing despicable hate-filled anti-Obama ads in other areas of the country. And we've taken notice of all the hate-filled people at McCain and Palin rallies.

But these particular slices of Republican life reveal only the tip of the iceberg -- a small fraction of the kind of hatred that advocates of McCain/Palin harbor in their hearts.

Here's one more incident from the tip.

Back to California. The culprit is Chaffey Community Republican Women, Federated, headed by Diane Fedele. The most recent issue of this organization's newsletter featured an illustration of a $10 food stamp with Barack Obama's face on a donkey body. He is shown eating fried chicken, ribs and watermelon - which is, of course, an obvious connect to old, racist smears.

The newsletter warns that if Obama gains the White House, his image will appear on food stamps rather than on one dollar bills like other presidents.

Like most of her cohorts, Fedele claims innocence. Gee whiz, we didn't mean anything bad about it. There was nothing racial about it. "I never connected," said Diane, "It was just food to me. It didn't mean anything else."

Nothing like racist, bigoted Republican women who are also inveterate liars!

Michelle Bachmann - Minnesota moron


Michelle Bachmann is a disgrace, and those Minnesotans who voted for her should hide their heads in a collective gesture of guilt and shame and then beg the people in Minnesota and all other Americans for forgive them for electing this wingnut to the U.S. House of Representatives.

In a previous post, we mentioned, among other things, Bachmann's fundamentalist Christian views, which she promotes as often as she gets a mike in her hand and her "palling around" with an extremist pastor, one Mac Hammond, who is under investigation by the IRS for misusing his church's funds.

Bachmann is back in the news again, not because of her belief that global warming is a hoax, or because she thinks god got her elected to the House of Reps, or because she thought John McCain was too liberal, or because she doesn't believe in evolution, or because god is on her side, but because she is incredibly stupid and accepted an invite to appear on Hardball with Chris Matthews.

Bachmann derives from the same mold as Sarah Palin, but, as unbelievable as it sounds, she may be even more stupid than Palin.

That stupidity became vividly and embarrassingly evident when Bachmann, on camera, smeared Barack Obama and other members of the United States Congress.

Bachmann accused Barack Obama of being "anti-American." She said, "I'm very concerneed that he may have anti-American views. That's what the American people are concerned about. That's why they want to know what his answers are. That's why Joe the plumber has figured so highly in the last few days."

Huh?

Like Palin, Bachmann is incoherent.

"In his book," claimed Bachmann, "Barack Obama had pointed to Jeremiah Wright as one of his mentors and also Father Pfleger as one of his mentors. Two of the three mentors are Father Pfleger and Jeremiah Wright. Now, these are very strange, anti-American mentors."

Bachmann wasn't done with her smearing, so she continued: "Barack Obama has been associating with anti-Americans, by and large -- the people who are radical leftists. That's the real question about Barack Obama."

She also said that it was fair to say that Obama "palled" around with terrorists.

Then she accused several members of Congress of having an "anti-American nature." When Matthews asked to name some of them, she couldn't or wouldn't. Nevertheless, she thought it would be a great idea if the anti-American members of Congress were investigated for the anti-American views.


Takes one right back to the good old days of Joe McCarthy! Bachmann is a freak of nature, who lives in a fantasy world derived from false images of the 1950's.

The real problem, though, is that's she's just as mean and nasty as Sarah Palin. And, like Palin, her meanness and nastiness is, in the eyes of many flummoxed and bamboozled fundamentalist Christians, cleansed and legitimized because she's been "saved," or "born again" and loves Jesus and prays and goes to church, and wears the flag on her sleeve, and just knows what god wants for America.

I guess when you really love Jesus, anything goes!

In fact, you can even take credit for projects you voted against! Click here.

Barf!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Republican nuts and ACORN

[Photo of John McCain at an ACORN rally in Miami in 2006 where he was the main speaker}

It is hard to comprehend how Repugnicans can, with a straight face, accuse any other group of voter fraud. Repugnicans invented voter fraud. Repugnicans perfected voter fraud. It was Repugnican voter fraud along with the U.S. Supremes that gave Bush the White House in 2000, and it was Repugnican voter fraud that sent him back there in 2004.

The so-called Attorney General scandal is all about voter fraud; about a Bush-crony-controlled Department of Justice subverting justice in order to ensure Republican victories in several different states.

So when Sarah Palin and others complain about ACORN, all one can do is laugh at their hypocrisy.

ACORN is a community organization that registers voters. ACORN does a magnificent job. ACORN is not perfect, however, and sometimes hires people who fill out voter registrations falsely in order to get through the day without working too hard. It doesn't happen often, but it does happen sometimes.

Even the Republican governor of Florida, Charlie Crist, said the whole controversy is a tempest in a teapot, that any voter registration problems in Florida have been minor this go-around. In other words, stop beating up on ACORN.

The thing is, an occasional faux voter registration is not voter fraud. Anyone walking into a polling place on November 4th with a phony registration would not be allowed to vote. Furthermore, the reason we know that there have been some false registrations is because of ACORN itself. ACORN is required by law to turn in ALL voter registrations and the fine is steep for failure to do so. ACORN works very hard to flag registrations it suspects are illegitimate.

And NEVER, not once, has ACORN been involved in a case of voter fraud.

The Republican outcry about ACORN is a politically-motivated stunt to take attention away from the fact that the Republican candidate is a failed candidate with no viable plans to deal with any of the important issues of our time. But what's got the Repugs so pissed has nothing to do with voter fraud, it has to do with the fact that ACORN has registered 1.3 million new voters and it is suspected that most of them will vote Democratic!


Then we have Sarah Palin, the perfidious liar, out beating the bushes for votes, who, like McCain, will say or do just about anything to try to get a vote or two. And, as usual, her big lies have to do with Senator Obama who so outshines her in every way that when one compares the two she comes across as lightweight, way out of her league.

In Maine, Palin tied Obama to ACORN, and then said that he wouldn't "disavow a group committing voter fraud." She told other lies also, painting Obama as unpatriotic and not loving America - the same old shit - but hopefully the people noticed she has absolutely nothing to offer this country of a positive nature. She's an empty shell.

And Obama is NOT tied to ACORN. His only relationship to ACORN had to do with working with the United States Department of Justice in a legal action related to ACORN. Palin purposefully attacked his character by misrepresenting who he is and what he does.


The truth is, and I'm sure that Ms. Palin is too ignorant to know this, Republicans have been working with ACORN for years. In fact, one of ACORN's big supporters was John McCain.

In February 2006, John McCain landed in Miami to attend an ACORN rally at the Miami-Dade Community College. Here's the press release:

"The rally will feature sponsors of the bill, prominent leaders representing various constituencies, and immigrants themselves. Sen. John McCain, chief co-sponsor of the legislation, will be the main speaker."

The event "is being sponsored by the New American Opportunity Campaign (NAOC, a coalition of local and national advocacy organizations), in partnership with ACORN." Others involved were the Archdiocese of Miami, the Florida Immigrant Coalition, People for the American Way, and the Service Employees International.

The reason McCain was the "main speaker" at this event was because ACORN was backing his immigration bill. This bill, which he co-sponsored, he now disavows!!!!

God is on Palin's side and Obama's the bad guy

Prior to her ascension to the Alaska state house, Sarah Palin was blessed by a kooky witch doctor bishop from Kenya who prayed that god would protect her from all forms of witchcraft. Palin believes that it was the prayers of this bishop witch doctor that lit a fire under god to make her the governor of Alaska. Her governorship was no accident, nor was it merely the result of people voting. Palin believes it was god's will that she became governor of Alaska.

Palin also believes in her heart of hearts that god wants her to become president of the United States. [So do all her spiritual mentors, for they think she will be god's messenger during the end times which are soon to be upon us!]

While campaigning in North Carolina, Palin played to the hoi polloi, most of which, it is safe to say, are conservative Christians. After bashing the media for treating her so badly, she said she's been upheld by the prayers of her supporters.

"...it's at events like these and our rallies that we are so energized and inspired and we know that we are not alone. We feel your strength and we feel the power of prayer, so many of you tell us that you are praying for us and praying for our country and that's why we so appreciate your being here."

Palin referenced a slight uptick in the polls for McCain and she told the audience that change was in the air. "We even saw today, thank the Lord [she said, looking toward the sky and raising her fist - Pentecostal style]. We saw some movement."


Obviously, if god wants Palin to be prez, he/she doesn't want Obama to be prez. And that can only mean: Obama is frustrating god's plan! Obama is anti-god! Obama is doing the work of the devil! Maybe Obama is the anti-Christ!


Palin is one sick puppy!

Joe, the plumber, Vickie Iseman and McCain campaign weirdness

Further evidence that the McCain campaign is running amok comes from the Republican plant, Joe the plumber, who rose up out of nowhere at an Obama rally just as Obama was walking down the rope, to ask Obama a pointed question, the answer to which was irrelevant. Obama was set up by this non-licensed plumber who's never made $250K in a year in his life.

McCain can't give Joe up, though, in spite of the fact that none of this has a damn thing to do with anything except to showcase McCain's lies about Obama's tax plan. In fact, McCain called Joe today and they discussed "stuff." Isn't that wonderful? And then McCain suggested people e-mail Joe to show their support for him. The problem is that the Internet-challenged McCain didn't offer a way to e-mail him as he didn't give out Joe's e-mail address.

Weird.


It's get weirder. Vickie Iseman, the lobbyist, who earlier this year was thought to be having an affair with McCain, told the National Journal magazine just the other day, "I did not have a sexual relationship with Senator McCain."

What the hell's going on here? Vickie Iseman's been old-news for many months. So far as I know, nobody at this point is asking whether she had an affair with her pet goat, much less McCain. So why would she make such a statement, "out-of-the-blue," so to speak?

One reporter suggested that something may be in the wind and Iseman is trying to head it off before it starts. Hmmm...


Both McCain and Iseman have denied there was anything inappropriate in their relationship.

She could be telling truth. Here's what we know: Iseman works for a lobbying firm which represented Paxson Communications for which McCain did some favors back in 1999. Those favors involved writing letters to the FCC to suggest the FCC give rapid consideration of Bud Paxon's request to buy a license for a TV station in Pittsburgh.

Paxson, at the time, was personally giving big bucks to McCain for his 2000 presidential bid, and Paxson employees gave McCain over $20K. Paxon also gifted McCain with the use of his company's jet on at least four different occasions in 1999 for campaign travel.

We also know that both McCain and Iseman have lied. McCain said, "At no time have I ever done anything that would betray the public trust." He must have forgotten Mr. Keating or he has a really warped view as to what it means to "betray" the public trust.

Iseman lied when she said "I have never even been alone with Senator McCain." According to news reports she was alone with McCain on a Paxson jet flight from Florida to Washington.


Back to square one: Why, in god's name, would Ms. Iseman bring all of this to the fore now? What possible motivation could she have? Unless...unless...as suggested above, someone is about to make public allegations about herself and Senator McCain.

Or maybe she just wants 15 more minutes of fame.

Weird.

Palin avoids reality

Sarah Palin, speaking at a fundraiser in North Carolina, told those assembled that her staff tries to distract her from reading campaign stories in the media. They warn her, "Oh, my gosh, don't watch. You're going to, you know, you're going to get depressed."

Such a deal. When reality impedes on your internal truth, avoid reality!


The reality is Sarah has good reason to be depressed. Unfortunately, for her, avoiding news reports about the sinking McCain campaign will not cure her depression.

One of the most important facts that Sarah may have missed by neglecting campaign reporting is the fact that a number of large newspapers across the country have endorsed Senator Obama for president. The latest of these include the Washington Post, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and most significantly, The Chicago Tribune, which has never before endorsed a Democratic nominee for president in its 161-year history.

All of these newspapers provide powerful editorials justifying their choice of Obama. Palin ought to read those, at least. She might learn something; about McCain and more importantly, about herself.

She would learn, for example, that the Rove's and the Eskew's were wrong. She would learn that slinging mud tends to get one dirty. She would learn that the American people are a lot smarter than she thinks they are. She would learn that the fact she is an empty-headed tart, chosen for her looks and her religion, has come through loud and clear. She would learn that loving Jesus is not warrant for racist attacks against the Democratic nominee. She would learn that her jingoist rhetoric is false--that pro-Americans are not necessarily Republicans and that they live in all areas of the country, not just small towns. She would learn that, in fact, most of those men and women fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan came, not from small towns, but from large urban areas.

She would learn that in almost every area, she is full or horse-hockey.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

John McCain & Nancy Reagan

The first thing ol' John said when he settled in his chair before last night's debate and after he had thanked everyone for their hospitality, blah, blah, blah, was that Nancy Reagan was in the hospital. Again, John put on his serious, sincere face while pretending that he gave a damn.

But why wouldn't ol' John give a damn?

Because Ronald and Nancy Reagan never forgave the Arizona senator for his year-long affair with the blonde bimbo, Cindy Hensley, and for his subsequent dumping of his crippled first wife, Carol, in order to marry the Hensley money. The Reagans, along with Ross Perot, didn't speak to McCain for years. In fact, Nancy Reagan felt so badly for Carol she gave her a job in the White House.

Talk about crocodile tears!

McCain's proud of what?

McCain's proud of all those racists

Daily Kos calls McCain's "Straight Talk Express," the "Hate Talk Express."

And it keeps on rolling along.

Last night's debate found the elderly senator from Arizona actually defending the rabble rousing, racist bigots who show up at his and Palin's rallies to yell out "Kill him!" and "Off with his head," and "Terrorist," and "Obama bin Laden", among other things whenever McCain and/or Palin refer to Senator Obama.

To be fair, McCain did say he doesn't agree with that stuff, but what he didn't say is that his campaign has not only allowed those things to happen, but have actually perpetrated them with its negative and racist ads. AND CONTINUES TO DO SO. Which makes McCain one hell of a huge hypocrite!

So here's John: "Let me just say, categorically, I'm proud of the people that come to our rallies."

And that comment could only be made by a man who's so out of touch and so afraid of losing that he'll accept the support of the Devil himself in order to pull the presidency out of the proverbial hat.

Tampa Repug jokes about Obama assassination

[Photo of Al Austin a Tribune File Photo]


The clown responsible for this utter stupidity " is "Al Austin, a long-time, high-level Republican fund-raiser from Tampa (FL)..."

This "high-level," low-class Republican fund-raiser sent an e-mail to his political contacts that contained a joke referring to the assassination of Barack Obama.

William March as tbo.blogs.com wrote that "The joke concerns a group of schoolchildren discussing the definition of 'tragedy' as opposed to 'great loss' or 'accident.' The punch line comes when one child says that if an airplane carrying Obama and his wife, Michelle, 'was struck by a "friendly fire" missle and blown to smithereens,' the event might be a tragedy 'because it certainly wouldn't be a great loss, and it probably wouldn't be an accident either."

Ha, ha, ha!

Now this bigoted blow-hard says he sent the joke by mistake and that he hadn't read it carefully and didn't know what it said.

Bullshit!

Austin is typical of the kind of people fronting the Republican Party these days. In fact, he has been, within recent memory, finance chairman for the national Republican Party and the state Republican Party.

I think I'll begin believing in hell again. There's got to be someplace we can send these fruitcakes!

Value-less Republicans

Ed O'Keefe of the WaPo writes of a conservative (Republican) political action committee known as "Our Country Deserves Better."

This value-less group of Repugnicans has begun running an ad in several states, including Colorado, Nevada and Michigan, "that, among other things, seeks to associate Barack Obama with terrorist leaders and groups. The ad is one of at least eight by the group that use a series of already-debunked claims ... and also broadcasts remarks by Obama's former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, whom the McCain campaign has ruled off limits."

Here's what one ad says: "Barack Obama seems to have different values from most Americans. His supporters put up Cuban flags with the murderer leftist Che Guevarra in Obama's campaign offices." They call this the "Wrong Values" ad, which also claims that "Obama's campaign received $33,000 in illegal donations from Palestinians living in the Middle East. A top official of the terrorist group Hamas endorsed Obama's campaign." Then there's a clip of Wright saying "God damn America."

There's much more of this same crap.

The implication in all of them is that "they" have the right "values," and Obama's has the wrong "values."

Actually, the only thing "right" about any of this is that these creeps have no values at all. They can go to hell with all the rest of the racist, bigots out there supporting John McSame and Sarah "Pit Bull" Palin.

Our country surely deserves better than the likes of any of these morally-impaired guttersnipes!

Autism & Down Syndrome. There is a difference I will allow...


"...what is the difference? Ah, I have it now - er, I had it, er, oops. 'Hey Sarah, is there any difference between autism and whatever it is your child has?'"


John McCain does not seem to know that his running mate has a child with Down Syndrome.

At last night's debate, McSame said that Sarah Palin "understands that autism is on the rise, that we've got to find out what's causing it..."

Shortly thereafter, he again referred to children with autism, claiming that "Sarah Palin knows about that better than most. ..."

Blah, blah, blah.


It is clear that ol' John either doesn't know there is a difference between autism and Down Syndrome or he doesn't know what Sarah's child has.

The McCain campaign people, though, made the laughable claim that McCain did so know what he was talking about. "He was drawing a parallel between parents of children with special needs."

No, he wasn't. Just ask yourself this question: How in god's name would Ms. Palin know about "precious children who have autism ... better than most"?

How stupid do these McCain people think we are?

Bribing John McCain is easy

This mostly from John Aravosis at Americablog.

"Verizon and AT&T provided free cell towers to the McCain ranch, and admit it's because he's running for president. ...

"This isn't funny. That would be an illegal corporate contribution to the McCain campaign. And it's bribery of a sitting US Senator. Especially after AT&T admits that this is why they gave McCain the free goods -- BECAUSE he's running for president. Are they mad? John McCain wasn't the Republican candidate yet -- and even if he were, corporations can't donate free favors to his campaign -- McCain was one of the many men running for the GOP nomination ... how does his being simply a candidate justify AT&T and Verizon giving him a huge illegal bribe? Are AT&T and Verizon stupid?

"No, they're very smart, in fact. John McCain chaired the committee of jurisdiction, and now is one of the top Republicans, on their issues. So a bribe made a lot of sense, albeit completely criminal sense.

"Oh, and guess what else? McCain's senior staff in his personal office and campaign have worked as hired lobbyists for AT&T and Verizon. Surprise!"


James Grimaldi at the WaPo noted that Bob Bauer, Obama's general counsel, "criticized John McCain for accepting free cell phone towers from two wireless companies that placed the devices on his wife's remote ranch in Arizona to improve a coverage dead zone.

"'This is John McCain's display of his maverick ethics: He believes he is entitled to free cell service while other Americans have to pay for theirs.'"

Now, the story gets "funny."

Brian Rogers, McCain campaign spokesman, told the AP that "This story is a disgrace. The McCain's went through the process that is available to anybody who subscribes to one of these cell phone companies to inquire about getting service."

And a Verizon exec claimed that "Verizon received a request from Mrs. McCain, but declined. Subsequent to that, the Secret Service made a legitimate request for a temporary tower for its work and Verizon completed as is required by our contract with the agency."

And, if you believe that...

Actually, Federal Election Commission reports indicate that AT&T and Verizon are the "top wireless services used by McCain campaign workers...furthermore, "public records reveal a different time line. Getting cell coverage was the culmination of an effort begun in early 2007 by Cindy McCain, when her staff first requested coverage through Verizon's Web site ... After discussing the matter with the company, Mrs. McCain offered land for a permanent cell tower. She gave Verizon authorization to act on her behalf to seek permits from the county ... Cindy McCain signed a contract in May." [2007!]

What eventually happened, for a variety of reasons, was that Verizon quit on the permanent tower and installed a cell site on wheels.

Jim Cicconi, an AT&T exec, had the gall to suggest that portable towers were also offered to the stadium site where Barack Obama gave his acceptance speech. They set up temporary cell towers.

"But telecommunications experts told the Post that installing portable towers for major events with thousands of people is a money-maker for wireless companies because thousands of people using phone and handheld devices bring in a lot of income using billable minutes."

In other words, to compare a convention site with a remote ranch is ridiculous on the face of it.


Aravosis points out that "Ethics lawyers said Cindy McCain's dealings with the wireless companies stand out because Sen. John McCain is a senior member of the Senate Commerce Committee, which oversees the Federal Communications Commission and the telecommunications industry. He has been a leading advocate for industry-backed legislation, FIGHTING REGULATIONS AND TAXES ON TELECOMMUNICATIONS DEVICES." [My emphasis]

In addition, "Five [McCain] campaign officials, including campaign manager Rick Davis, have worked as lobbyists for Verizon. Former McCain staffer Robert Fisher is an in-house lobbyist for Verizon and is volunteering for the campaign. Fisher, Verizon chief executive Ivan Seidenberg and company lobbyists have raised more than $1.3 million for McCain's presidential campaign and Verizon employees are among the top 20 corporate donors over McCain's political career ...

"McCain's Senate chief of staff Mark Buse, senior strategist Charles R. Black, Jr., and several other campaign staffers have registered as AT&T lobbyists in the past. AT&T Executive Vice President Timothy McKone and AT&T lobbyists have raised more than $2.3 million for McCain. AT&T employees have donated more than $325,000 to McCain campaigns, putting the company in the No. 3 spot for career donations to McCain, according to the nonpartisan Center for Responsible Politics."


None of this should be surprising, given what we know about John McCain's present and past career. He never met a lobbyist he didn't like or wouldn't help. But it seems a wee bit hypocritical of him to go on television and denounce his lobbyist pals.

I'll bet they are laughing their asses while sipping their martinis at whatever waterhole lobbyists use these days.

Sarah Palin - mean as a pit bull...

Sarah Palin has shown that she is, indeed, as mean as a pit bull.. But it has also become obvious she's dumb as a sack of rocks!

Paul Krugman, the economist extraordinaire and Nobel prize winner, tells how Palin, in her closing remarks at her one debate with Joe Biden, "garbled" a quote "from Ronald Reagan about how, if we aren't vigilant, we'll end up 'telling our children and our children's children' about the days when America was free.'"

This is Palin, the pit bull, either trying to instill fear into the hoi polloi about "that one" who doesn't really care about "our" country and doesn't really "love" our country, and would enact laws which would make us less free, or perhaps she was trying to restart the Cold War.

Now, it's possible that Palin knew not whereof she spoke, as one of her "handlers" is Tucker Askew, the same bad guy who did Bush's dirty work against McCain in 2000 and who was then rewarded with a job in the Bush White House. Perhaps Eskew wrote her speech.

Someone must have written her speech, because Palin is dumb as a sack of rocks. As Krugman points out, "when Reagan said this [above quote] he wasn't warning about Soviet aggression. He was warning against legislation that would guarantee health care for older Americans--the program now known as Medicare."

Krugman notes, rightly, that "Conservative Republicans still hate Medicare, and would kill it if they could -- in fact, they tried to gut it during the Clinton years (that's what the 1995 shutdown of the government was all about). But so far they haven't been able to pull that off."


So, on the one hand, we have Palin, mean as a pit bull, raising the specter of a big, bad bogeyman -- either Senator Obama or the Russian Putin -- who will take away our freedoms.

On the other hand, we have Palin, dumb as a sack of rocks, quoting a statement from a failed former president which had absolutely nothing to do with our "freedom," but was a typical Republican attempt to destroy the program that provides health care to our senior citizens.


Krugman goes on to detail how McCain's health care proposal would, in fact, destroy health care for senior citizens. But that's another story.

Let's put Palin on a plane, any plane, back to wherever the hell it is she came from.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Bob Schieffer - Undeniably Partisan

The following from MediaBloodhound.

"It seems timely to dig up this MediaBloodhound post (from May 6) on Bob Schieffer, tonight's debate host. Schieffer, an undeniably likable guy, has ties to the Bush White House that raise serious conflicts of interest. Will Schieffer's brother, for example, lost his ambassadorship to Japan if Obama wins?

"Here are some things to keep in mind when you're watching tonight:

"Bob Schieffer's coverage during the George W. Bush years, weighed against his hushed compromising relationship with the president, belies the CBS newman's project image as an unimpeachably principled journalist and typifies the way our media class operates. ...

"The truth is, ... in covering the Bush administration, Schieffer has been overly willing to trust and, whenever discrepancies between administration claims and the facts are verified, ever reluctant to hold anyone accountable. ...

"Throughout his January 2006 interview with Bush, Schieffer responded 'Um-hmmm' and 'Okay' and jarringly changed topics when the president's absurd answers demanded further inquiry. His misplaced deference lent credence to Bush's specious, unconstitutional explanations on everything from wiretaps, speaking with our enemies, the state of Iraq, Katrina, healthcare and energy independence. ...


MediaBloodhound tells of Senator John McCain's "caving to the White House on the 2006 Military Commissions Act ... [which] nullified habeas corpus and granted Bush the absolute power to devise his own definition of torture and to designate any American an 'enemy combatant' that can be held indefinitely without charge."

MediaBloodhound says, rightly, that McCain should have known better, but "unconscionably, still went along with it. And Schieffer, certainly in one of his worst moments covering the Bush White House, told Americans:

"'...Senator McCain and the White House came together on a plan that ensures America will abide by the Geneva Conventions in dealing with enemy prisoners. It is not a perfect plan, to be sure, but it shows how we do things in a democracy -- out in the open and in accordance with the law, even when dealing with the worst of the worst.'"

This is mindboggling. And, as MediaBloodhound points out, you want to believe what this "genial and grandfatherly figure" says, even if he is ignorant of the facts and skewing things to the benefit of George W. Bush.


There's much more...much more...all of it worth reading and worth chewing over. If you can read it before tonight's debate, all the better.

Click here for the entire article.

A priceless Palin game


With many thanks to John Aravosis at Americablog!

Be sure your audio system is up and running. Click here and when the Palin as President site comes up, click on various objects.

Be prepared to laugh. And note the site is updated daily until Nov. 4.

John McCain's gonna do WHAT to Obama?

[Photo by Scott Olson/Getty images]


When ol' John heard that his campaign people and other Repugnican friends are afraid that Obama is beating the crap out of him, he stood up short and stern and told them in no uncertain terms that at tonight's debate, he, the POW, John McCain, war hero, was gonna "whup his .... - you know what!"

The word, by the way, is "ass." John McCain promised to whup Obama's ass!

Yessiree. Down by 14 points. Whup, whup, whup.


We can't predict, of course, whether or not McSame is gonna whup Obama's ass. We can guess, however, what he's gonna say during the debate. Here's a pre-debate summary of John McCain's remarks:


"My friends..."

"Senator Obama's going to raise your taxes."

"Senator Obama lied about his friendship with a domestic terrorist."

"The point is...what is the point again?"

"My friends..."

"I know how to reach across the aisle."

"I know how to get things done."

"Obama's economic plan will cost us over $3 trillion."

"My friends..."

"I have an economic plan."

"I know how to get things done."

"I know how to reach across the aisle."

"My friends..."

"When I was a POW..."

"I don't like to talk about my POW experience..."

"Senator Obama's the most liberal member of the Senate."

"My friends..."

"What time is it?"

"Who's Bob Schieffer?"

"I think I should go now."

"My friends..."

"The point is..."

"I know generals and dictators all over the world..."

"Obama would rather be president than win in Iraq."

"My friends...the point is..."

"I know how to win the war."

"I will get bin Laden."

"I know where bin Laden is hiding. I think in Spain."

"My friends...where is Spain?"


"Thank you, Bob, for allowing me to present my wonderfully detailed proposals for ending the financial crisis, making health care affordable, winding down our military action in Iraq, dismantling Bush's imperial presidency, bringing down the cost of drugs, securing the safety of our nation without giving up our freedoms, solving our energy ... what?

"Why are you raising your hand, Bob? I'm talking! Oh, you didn't hear any of that in the debate?

"Well, Bob, my point is...wait just a minute I need to say one more thing to the folks gathered here tonight...

"My friends, my name is John McCain and I'm running for president and I've chosen a hockey mom to be my vice president and she doesn't know anything about anything but she sure is a hot babe and I've always liked hot babes, and I'd like your vote. If you can't vote for me, vote for Sarah...you remember - like Clint Eastwood in 'Two Mules for Sister Sarah' -- ha, ha, ha, ha.

"The point is...oops, damn it all, the point slipped my mind...

"G'nite, ev'ryone. No, I can't stick around to shake hands. "That one" is still here, ya know."

Bush memos, waterboarding, & defanging the Endangered Species Act

It was reported today that secret memos from the White House in 2003 and 2004, show clearly that Bush and his administration endorsed the water boarding of terrorist suspects.

The cynical among us do not find that surprising, of course, for we long ago made it policy to disbelieve any public statement made by the Bush team until that statement could be verified by sundry non-partisan sources. We've know from the beginning that George W. Bush, like his father, is a congenital liar.


Now, from the McClatchy Washington Bureau: "New legal memos by top Bush administration officials say that the Endangered Species Act can't be used to protect animals and their habitats from climate change by regulating specific sources of greenhouse gas emissions, the cause of global warming."

While all of this came to light some time ago and we wrote about it then, these new legal memos offer "the official legal justification for limiting protections under the Endangered Species Act."

What this means is that any federal agency can do whatever the hell they want to negatively impact endangered species sans consulting with the agencies involved in administering the Endangered Species Act, the Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Act.

So, if the Defense Department purports to blow up the world in which the bald eagle lives...well, tough shit. Bye, bye, bald eagle!

The cynical among us find none of this surprising, either. The Bush administration has been an environmental disaster from Day One and every time the Bushites claimed they did something to protect the environment, all the species ran away to hide.

Even though Bush is just about out of office, he and his cronies continue to try to pave with road with pearls for his corporate benefactors and industry polluters.

This latest Bush attack on our environment does not require Congressional consent.


Please note: Senator Barack Obama has promised to "undo the rule change if he were elected." John McCain's campaign has no comment and is not returning calls."

Naturally.

McCain's train is off the rails - right where we want it


[I do not know the source of the pictures. They tell a tale, however, that is right on target.]


A couple of days ago, John McSame, on the campaign trail, gave a speech. Alex Koppelman at Salon.com, says that his prepared remarks included the following:


"Let me give you the state of the race today. We have 22 days to go. We're six points down. The national media has written us off. Senator Obama is measuring the drapes, and planning with Speaker Pelosi and Senator Reid to raise taxes, increase spending, take way your right to vote by secret ballot in labor elections, and concede defeat in Iraq. But they forgot to let you decide. My friends, we've got them just where we want them."


The entire world broke up in laughter; not just because of the five blatant lies about Senator Obama, but because McSame showed in these few words that he doesn't have a clue and that his campaign train is off the rails.

Someone has said insanity is to continue doing the same thing even after having been shown it doesn't work.

A poll by CBS and The New York Times showed today that Obama is now up by 14 points!

Maybe McSame is going insane? "We've got them right where we want them"?

Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha!!!





Republican sleazebags in Sacramento, California

[Poster on right from Sacramento Republican site]


To call Republicans unprincipled is an oxymoron.

Consider the oxymoronic Republican Party morons in Sacramento, California.

On their official web site was posted material that linked Senator Barack Obama to Osama bin Laden "and encouraged people to 'Waterboard Barack Obama.'"

This was the work of the county party chairman, Craig MacGlashan, who also happens to be the hubby of Roberta MacGlashan, a Sacramento County Supervisor. Craig was not remorseful about what he had done. The Sacramento Bee records him as saying, "I'm aware of the content. Some people find it offensive, other do not. I cannot comment on how people interpret things."

Well, how does he interpret material that suggests Obama and Osama are linked? The whole point of such material is to convince the unconvinced that Obama is some kind of terrorist. To suggest there's another interpretation is utterly stupid!


The really bad stuff was taken down yesterday. Now you will find a spate of quite offensive cartoons about Obama, along with other crap. Lies and distortions are the bread and butter of the McCain campaign and the Sacramento Republicans are on the McCain train.

And these people claim to represent the "values" voters.

I wouldn't suggest that all Republicans are psychopaths, but it sure seems that way sometimes!

Check it out here.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

McCain pals around with domestic terrorist, G. Gordon Liddy

[Photo of domestic terrorist, G. Gordon Liddy]


Our thanks to Glenn Greenwald at Salon.com for what follows.


Some background on G. Gordon Liddy:

1. Went to prison for 4 1/2 years as a result of his involvement in the burglaries at the Watergate apartment complex and the office of Daniel Ellsberg's psychologist.

2. He said he was prepared to kill during the Ellsberg break-in if necessary.

3. Plotted to kill the reporter, Jack Anderson.

4. Plotted with a mobster to murder Howard Hunt to stop an investigation.

5. Plotted to firebomb the Brookings Institution.

6. At the Republican Convention in 1972 "He used Nazi terminology to outline a plan to kidnap 'leftist guerillas.'"

In the 1990s, Liddy:

1. Told his radio audience how to shoot agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms -- shoot them in the head as they'll be wearing bulletproof vests. "Kill the sons of bitches," urged Liddy.

2. During the Clinton years, Liddy bragged about naming his shooting targets after the Clintons.


The Liddy-McCain connection

1. Since 1998, Liddy has donated $5K to McCain's campaigns. His latest donation was $1K in February 2008.

2. McCain was a guest on Liddy's radio show back in May 2008. Greenwald tells of an online video of "John McCain On The G. Gordon Liddy 11/8/07," which has Liddy describing McCain as his "old friend." McCain praised Liddy's "adherence to the principles and philosophies that keep our nation great," and noted that he was "proud" of Liddy.

3. In 2000, McCain backed Liddy's son in a run for congress.

4. Liddy has hosted a fundraiser for McCain at his own home.


Greenwald references Steve Chapman of the Chicago Tribune who wrote,

"Liddy, now a conservative radio host, has never expressed regret for this attempt to subvert the Constitution. Nor has he developed any respect for the law ... Yet none of this bothers McCain. Liddy has contributed thousands of dollars to his campaigns, held a fundraiser for McCain at his home and hosted the senator on his radio show, where McCain said, 'I'm proud of you.' Exactly which part of Liddy's record is McCain proud of?

"While Obama has gotten lots of scrutiny for his connection to Ayers, McCain has never had to explain his association with Liddy. If he can't defend it, he should admit as much. If he thinks he can defend it, let him."


Mr. Greenwald notes with interest the fact that in 2008, there were 4,500 news reports that mentioned Obama and Ayers. There were less than 100 that mentioned McCain and Liddy.


That ought to change. Get the news out to your friends and neighbors. Write to your newspapers. Call your TV stations. Send a note to the Obama campaign suggesting that if McCain brings up Ayers at the debate tomorrow night, Obama should blast him for his association with an unrepentant and active domestic terrorist, G. Gordon Liddy!

McCain's Virginia connection

Jeffrey M. Frederick is the chairman of the Virginia Republican Party.

Glenn Greenwald, writing at Salon.com, tells what Karen Tumulty of Time heard "after being invited by the McCain campaign to observe its 'ground game' in Southern Virginia."

Tumulty wrote: "With so much at stake, and time running short, Frederick did not feel he had the luxury of subtlety. He climbed atop a folding chair to give 30 campaign volunteers who were about to go canvassing door to door their talking points - for instance, the connection between Barack Obama and Osama bin Laden: 'Both have friends that bombed the Pentagon,' he said. 'That is scary.'"

Greenwald says that "After noting that this is 'not exactly true,' Tumulty described how that accusation was nonetheless 'enough to get the volunteers stoked':

"'And he won't salute the flag,' one woman added, repeating another myth about Obama. She was quickly topped by a man who called out, 'We don't even know where Senator Obama was really born.' Actually we do: it's Hawaii."


Sam Stein at the Huffington Post says that Frederick's statement was read "on the set of a local Virginia news station."

McCain said he didn't have enough information to judge whether the remark was appropriate. ?

"I have to look at the context of this remarks," said McSame. "I have always repudiated any comments that have been made that were inappropriate about Senator Obama [that's a big lie!]. The fact is that William Ayers was a terrorist and a bomber and unrepentant. I don't care about that. But, Sen. Obama ought be [sic] candid and truthful about his relationship with Mr. Ayers..."

Unfortunately for the old man, his remarks were not coordinated with his campaign headquarters. While McCain didn't have enough information to condemn Mr. Frederick's statement, his own spokeswoman, Gail Gitcho, did. She condemned the remarks as "not appropriate."

Gitcho said, "While Barack Obama is associated with domestic terrorist William Ayers, the McCain campaign disagrees with the comparison that Jeff Frederick made."

Are these people all freaking idiots?

Obama's connection to Ayers is tenuous at best and totally irrelevant to anything at this point. Ayers is now a respected member of his community and has redeemed himself. Perhaps he will sue the McCain campaign for damaging his reputation. I'll put in a good word for him.


The next bit, while not connected to McCain's Virginia stupidity, offers further insight into the failing mind of the Senator from Arizona.

Stein writes that the Spanish-language Univision published an interview it conducted with John McSame. In this interview, McSame says there is a direct link between 9/11 and the war in Iraq.

The interviewer asked McSame if he agreed with Obama who said that "the Iraq war had nothing to do with the terrorist attacks of 9/11."

McSame said, "No. We invaded a country that every intelligence agency said was developing weapons of mass destruction. Think of Saddam Hussein in power with oil at 100 dollars a barrel, and all that entails with his commitment which when after he was captured, he stated categorically that he would acquire weapons of mass destruction, and he would use them wherever he could. Now, Iraq--"

At that point the interviewer interrupted to say, "But he had nothing to do with 9/11."

McSame responded: "He had a lot to do with invading his neighbor Kuwait, and we had to go to war and fight there. He had a lot to do with using weapons of mass destruction, he used them previously, so there's no doubt about his commitment to get them."


There are a number of things we can say about McSame's comments:

One is that he's almost as incoherent as his running mate.

Secondly, he's dead wrong on several points: "every intelligence agency" did NOT say Hussein was developing weapons of mass destruction; just the opposite.

Thirdly, the United States provided Hussein with WMD previously, in his war with Iran.

Fourthly, there is evidence that Hussein did not "invade" Kuwait, and that the invasion was staged by George H. W. Bush to justify his own invasion of Iraq to secure the oil fields there. And what the hell does that have to do with anything, especially 9/11. That was in 1991!

Fifthly, Saddam Hussein had nothing to do with 9/11. The terrorist attacks were carried out by terrorists of al-Qaeda, most of whom came from our allied country, Saudi Arabia. Osama bin Laden hated Hussein with a passion, and considered him to be scum, and a threat to Islam. Hussein, in turn, hated bin Laden.

Does John McCain, the foreign policy "expert" not know this stuff?


Finally, two days ago, McCain got around to suggesting that the U.S. economy, which not long ago he praised as being very sound, was hurting his campaign efforts "a little bit."

The day before that, Saturday, the McCain campaign "leaked" to Politico that McSame would be setting "a bold new economic agenda" before the world on Monday (yesterday).

Sunday night, the McCain campaign said, no, McCain would not be offering any "bold new economic agenda" on Monday or on any other day.

"We do not have any immediate plans to announce any policy proposals outside of the proposals that John McCain has announced, and the certain proposals that would result as economic news continues to come our way," said spokesman Tucker Bounds. Blah, blah, blah.

Now, either John had no plan planned, or he had a plan that his advisers said was no good, or his campaign people tried to force him to put out a plan because the economy is about to sink their entire effort to put ol' John in the White House, or the McCain campaign doesn't have a clue about anything and are just flailing around wildly to get some attention.

Or, maybe he ran his plan past Palin and Palin panned his plan?

Dennis Hopper to vote for Obama

Normally, I wouldn't give a rat's ass what Dennis Hopper thinks or says about anything. He's a good actor, a splendid actor, actually, but that doesn't mean he knows anything about anything else. Hells bells, we elected a grade-B movie actor and look at the pile of doggie do that got us into!

But...Hopper is a rarity - a Republican in Hollywood. He's also been a Republican most of his life. He voted for George W. and before that George H.W. Bush.

He ain't voting for McCain on November 4.

"...this time I'll vote for Obama, he said. In fact, Hopper feels so strongly about this he said, "I pray God, Barack Obama is elected.


I think I'll go see Hopper's next movie, whatever it is.

Former "evangelical" Frank Schaeffer supporting Obama


For many on the Christian Right, Frank Schaeffer is a traitor. Frank is the son of the late well-known, radical Christian evangelist, Francis Schaeffer. For years, Frank followed in his father's footsteps, schmoozing with all the big-name extremist poohbahs like Dobson, Falwell and others, helping, in fact, to create the monstrous Christian right movement we know today. Back in 2000, Frank voted for John McCain. McCain endorsed one of Frank's books.

Then Frank saw the light. You can read all about it in his new book, Crazy for God.

Frank was interviewed recently by Amy Goodman of Democracy Now. Frank spoke of an op-ed piece he wrote for the Baltimore Sun in which he took John McCain to task for "feeding the most unhinged elements of our society the red meat of hate."

Schaeffer reminded McCain that he has a choice: "Go down in history as a decent senator and a honorable man with many successes, or go down in history as the latest abettor of right-wing extremist hate.

"John McCain," he wrote, "you're walking a perilous line. If you do not stand up for all that is good in America and declare that Senator Obama is a patriot, fit for office, and denounce your hate-filled supporters when they scream out 'Terrorist' or 'Kill him,' history will hold you responsible for all that follows."

Schaeffer's concluding statement warned, "John McCain and Sarah Palin, you are playing with fire, and you know it. You are unleashing the monster of American hatred and prejudice, to the peril of all of us. You are doing this in wartime. You are doing this as our economy collapses. You are doing this in a country with a history of assassinations. ...

"We will hold you responsible."


Further into the interview Schaeffer spoke of Sarah Palin. This is information that should be fed daily to the American people:

"...speaking of the secessionists in Alaska, the evangelical right-wing subculture in this country, particularly the Assemblies of God, by the way, that Sarah Palin comes from, have really ceded from our union, in the sense of the fact that have have, you know, between home schooling and their own schools, their own publishing, their own radio, their own TV, many times very fundamentally anti-American, waiting for the Apocalypse, waiting for Jesus to take everybody away in the Rapture, weirdly Christian Zionist and at the same time assuming that the Jews will all be killed in Armageddon, when Jesus comes back, as part of their Rapture enterprise."

He goes on: "And the dangerous thing about Sarah Palin is, is that there's a very direct line from her to the kind of extremism that would literally destroy this country. ...

"So, basically, I think what this election is about and what my book is certainly about is, besides the politics, besides whether we have Barack Obama or John McCain as our president, is also another kind of choice, and this is, are we going to give the right-wing evangelical/fundamentalist wing nuts of all stripes, of the Sarah Palin types, a voice in literally destroying this democracy?"


Methinks Mr. Schaeffer got it right. The choice is between a man of principle, education, erudition and morality; a man who not only loves his country but believes in a future built upon the fundamentals that have made our country great, or a man so demented he chose to include on his ticket a woman who believes in the necessity of turning the United States into a theocratic state built upon the insanity of fundamentalistic Christianity in order to hasten the return of Jesus and the fantasy of the Rapture.


You can read the entire interview here.

Palin's troubles continue

One of the things about Pit Bulls is that they are occasionally so vicious that they have to be put away or put to sleep.

No one's suggesting that Palin should be put to sleep, but sending her away, maybe to another country that she and her friends at the Alaska Independence Party might appreciate more than the United States, is not all that bad an idea.

Meanwhile, her troubles in our snowy northern state continue.

The Anchorage Daily News reported yesterday that "The state Personnel Board investigation of Gov. Sarah Palin's firing of Walt Monegan has broadened to include other ethics complaints against the governor and examination of actions by other state employees..."

One of the complaints against Palin derives from Andree McLeod, a Republican activist, who claims that "state hiring practices were circumvented for a Palin supporter. ... The other, by the Public Safety Employees Association, alleges that trooper Mike Wooten's personnel file was illegally breached by state officials."

The PSEA plans to carry that a bit further by amending its complaint to also include charges of "harassment" of trooper Wooten by the Palin administration.


The state Personnel Board, comprised of three members appointed by the governor, hired Tim Petumenos as independent counsel who will serve as investigator. Normally, these charges would be investigated by the state's attorney general, but, in this case that would involve a conflict of interest.

Unfortunately, as the ADN points out, the state has a very convoluted system for investigating ethics complaints so there is no way to determine how long this investigation will take or if it will be made public when it is concluded.

One thing we know for sure, though. Even if Palin is accused of ethics violations, she will claim to be exonerated. It's also possible that the McCain camp will issue its own report in a day or two pronouncing her not guilty.

Palin vs. Walter Monegan

[Photo of Walter Monegan from Time magazine]


She said she was found innocent, although the report specifically accused her of abusing her power.

And it ain't over yet. The man she fired, Walter Monegan, at the time Alaska's Public Safety Commissioner, wants to clear his name and has requested the state personnel board give him a chance to do so.

Palin originally said she fired Monegan because she wanted the public safety department to go in a "new direction." Later, she changed her mind and said she fired Monegan because he had a "rogue mentality," was insubordinate, did not cooperate on the budget and took an unauthorized trip to Washington, D.C. to seek federal money.

Monegan claims that Palin's accusations are false, that he has been defamed, that his reputation has been "severely damaged," and his "ability to pursue future professional employment in law enforcement and related fields" has been impaired."

In addition, according to the Anchorage Daily News, "Monegan said the governor never complained about his job performance. His filing with the personnel board contains documents backing up his arguments -- that he was cooperating on the budget and that the trip to pursue funding to fight sexual assault was in close coordination with the governor's office."

Monegan's hearing request included a statement which argued that even though the governor has the right to fire commissioners, she did not have the right to attack him falsely to justify removing him from his job. "The evidence, combined with the governor's changing, inconsistent and implausible explanations, strongly suggests that Mr. Monegan was terminated because he refused to fire Wooten, not because of any supposed failing in his performance as a commissioner."

Monegan's argument was, actually, given credence by the so-called Troopergate report.


The question is, who do you believe: Walter Monegan or Sarah Palin? Which of these two people has a history of lying?

Monday, October 13, 2008

Jesus hates homos (?)

It's right there in the bible. The New Testament. Somewhere. I think.

You remember how you were taught in Sunday School that Jesus chased homos all over Palestine, cursing them and calling for them to be stoned. Homosexuality was his main agenda. He hated homos. You can read all about it in Matt, Marcus, Lukey and Juan.

For example, in one of those books, Jesus said, "Let them [homosexuals] be accursed. I call down upon these deviates the wrath of Almighty God (my dad), and shall see them burn forever in hell." I'm sorry, but I can't remember the actual chapter and verse.

You may also recall that Jesus suspected Peter might be a little gay. That's the real reason he said, "Get thee away from me, Satan!"

And you remember when he told the Samaritan woman at the well she had had too many husbands. The word, "husbands," was obviously a euphemism for female lovers.

Pilate, the Roman governor, "washed his hands of Jesus," because Pilate was gay [well, actually, he was bi-sexual] and he was thoroughly pissed at Jesus' rants about homos. That's why the Romans hung Jesus on the cross. They figured they'd get rid of this homo-hating Jew once and for all.


Well, they got rid of Jesus but they didn't get rid of his hatred of homosexuality. Most of his followers from the very beginning took up the cause and drummed any suspected gays out of the new churches they were building.

But as the church grew down through the ages, homo-hatred abated somewhat, as many of the clergy were homosexuals--closeted mostly. It appears that is still the case in the Roman Catholic Church.

Today, though, lots of Christians [mostly the fundy Bible-lovers] hate homos. There's one group called The Traditional Values Coalition that makes it their business to hate homos and do everything it can to make the lives of homosexuals miserable. They are just following Jesus, they say, who is going to send every homosexual, pedophile deviate straight to eternal hellfire.

On the TVC website, they warn that "The homosexual activist movement and organized pedophiles are linked together by a common goal: To gain access to children for seduction into homosexuality."

You know, I think I remember Jesus preaching about that once. It was right after he changed the water into wine at Cana. Most of the people present thought he was drunk as a skunk.


Even the liberal Protestant Episcopal Church in the U.S. has been infected by homo hating clergy and lay people. In our town, the oldest and largest Episcopal church broke away from the Episcopal denomination because the Episcopal church has allowed a gay person to be ordained as a bishop. Several California Episcopal churches and many of the Episcopal churches in the Pittsburgh diocese have done the same thing for the same reason.

The leaders and the members of these churches love Jesus so much, they say, and they want to follow him so desperately, that they must set off to establish their own "pure" churches where they can avoid the toxic illness that is homosexuality. They stress that the Bible says homosexuality is bad, sinful, an abomination. They probably have read all those passages in the Gospels that tell how Jesus beat up on homos in Galilee and Samaria and Jerusalem.

Then there's a homo-hating priest in England who is trying to love Jesus and hate homos, like all good Christians should. He's a priest in the Church of England [that's the same outfit as the Episcopal church in this country] and his name is Peter Mullen and he's the chaplain to the London Stock Exchange.

Mullen has a blog. On that blog he wrote that gays should be forcibly tattooed with a sodomy warning, a warning like the one on a package of cigarettes. "Let us make it obligatory for homosexuals to have their backsides tattooed with the slogan 'Sodomy can seriously damage your health,' their chins with 'Fellatio kills.'" [It appears he was talking about male homosexuals. I don't know what he'd suggest for lesbians.]

He also called for the banning of Gay Pride parades. And Mullen blasted a fellow clergyman for "blessing the civil partnership of two fellow clerics."

Jesus said, as I'm sure you know: "Church of England priests in the 21st century C.E. shall not join in civil partnerships with members of the same sex." I believe that's from the Gospel of St. Sybil.


Holy crap! What if all these people are wrong? What if Mullen is wrong? Mullen's the chaplain of the London Stock Exchange! Maybe the crashing market is a sign that Jesus has changed his mind about homos. Maybe when he got back up to his father in heaven he learned that his father really does love all people no matter their race, creed, or sexual orientation.

Wouldn't that be something?

Palin's "Christianity" at work in Alaska

Much of the following comes from an article by Bruce Wilson at talk2action.

Last year, in December, Sarah Palin appointed a guy named the Rev. Patrick Donelson to the Alaska State Suicide-Prevention Council. Donelson was then president of an outfit called Carry the Cure, Inc., supposedly "a suicide prevention nonprofit."

Sarah was involved with the organization to the extent she was "listed as actively serving on the advisory board..." Neither she nor Donelson are listed on the board at the present time.

Oops! Carry the Cure's tax returns for the years 2000 to 2006 indicate that its "organizational mission" was not suicide prevention at all, but "Religious - Evangelism. Wilson says that "from 2003 onward those tax returns suggest that the Alaska state suicide prevention grant money which Carry the [Cure] received was being used primarily for evangelizing, with suicide prevention as a secondary priority."

When Palin appointed Donelson, she noted that he was qualified because of his suicide prevention work with Carry the Cure, Inc.

Wilson tells us that Donelson's ministry web site is full of interesting stuff. "Christians can learn to raise the dead, and effect miraculous healing." Donelson also promotes the belief "that a Christian end-time army will cleanse the earth of evil."

There are four things to note here:

1) There is a conflict of interest. Palin served on the board of Carry the Cure, which means, at the least, that she had a personal involvement with the organization and that she agreed with the organization's mission of evangelism.

2) Carry the Cure, Inc., has, for years, been blatantly misusing Alaska state money "to promote a highly sectarian and controversial interpretation of Christianity."

3) Palin is complicit in this misuse of state funds because she knows Donelson, knows what Donelson stands for and as a board member, knew damn well that Donelson was using state funds for evangelism, not suicide prevention.

4) Donelson's theology fits neatly with Palin's own theology as expressed by the extremist nonsense peddled by the churches with which she was and is affiliated. Her actions in this instance are consistent with her view that she was selected by God to be governor of Alaska, and part of her job is to do God's will as she understands it.


Hmmm. Is this Patrick Donelson the same one who runs a fishing business out of Wasilla? Click here. Yes, it is. Click here. Makes one wonder if there's more here than initially meets the eye. Pat Donelson's website and personal testimony here along with your personal invitation to accept Jesus into your heart and be saved, is here.

Carry the Cure here. And here.

Palin's appointment of Donelson here. (Scroll down)

Palin perfidy in Alaska

Governor Sarah Palin, in a blatant attempt to hide her machinations from her fellow politicians and the people of Alaska, resorted, on a regular basis, to using her personal e-mail accounts to conduct state business.

That's bad enough. When confronted with her deviousness, Palin tried to keep those e-mails secret. Andree McLeod, a Republican once employed by the state, who remains active in the state's political life, sued under the Freedom of Information Act to gain access to Palin's secret and personal e-mails.

Last Friday, Ms. McLeod won a battle in the on-going war to force transparency and accountability from the Palin administration. Craig Stowers, a State Superior Court Judge, ruled that any e-mails that went through Sarah Palin's personal e-mail accounts were public records if they contained official state business.

Why would Palin use her own private and personal e-mails to conduct state business in the first place? There is obviously only one answer possible: She was trying to hide her machinations from public view. In this instance, there isn't one whit of difference between the ethics of Sarah Palin and the ethics of the worse vice president ever, Dickie Cheney!

Palin's perverse attempt to circumvent Alaska's public record laws might have been successful if a hacker had not broken into one of her e-mail accounts.

Unfortunately, because her personal e-mails are not part of a secure system, some may be lost forever.

It appears that McCain's choice for vice president lacks an ethical foundation. Some believe that McCain simply made a mistake; that McCain, being an honorable and ethical man, made a wrong choice; that he didn't know she was ethically challenged. Not so. Sarah Palin fits well into the ethical and moral mindset of the senator from Arizona. And that's one of the reasons he bowed to the wishes of the Christian right and chose her. He has neither, either.

John McCain - never met a lobbyist he couldn't help

We have heard over and over again how after the Keating scandal John McCain got religion, asked for forgiveness for his corruption and promised he would never do anything like that again.

Unfortunately, it was all was bullshit designed for public consumption in an attempt to change the focus of anyone watching his career. Since then, and up to the present, John McCain has been the lobbyists' best friend in Congress. Remember Vickie Iseman? Remember Paxson Communications? That story is not "ancient" history, that's today's news.

Also in today's news is the fact that McCain's campaign is literally littered with lobbyists and his main man (the same one who ran his 2000 campaign) is Rick Davis, arguably the biggest corporate lobbyist in the country. McCain's foreign policy adviser is a lobbyist for foreign countries.

The McCain camp can claim that these people are not "active," but that's not true, either. Randy Scheunemann and/or his company continues to take money for lobbying activities from countries like Taiwan and Georgia. And the hypocrisy of John McCain boggles the mind when he accuses Obama of "knowing" the execs of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, when, in fact, Rick Davis just received about $150,000 from both firms.


Now there's a new story being reported by The Mercury News out of San Jose, California. It tells a tale typical of McCain that goes back less than 10 years; long after McCain swore he'd never, ever, do anything that would hint of favoritism toward any person or corporation again.

In 1999, John McCain got on the bandwagon for an Arizona businessman, Donald R. Diamond, helping him purchase a piece of land owned by the U.S. Army at Fort Ord, California. Diamond, according to The Mercury News, is "an 80-year old real estate developer, lobbyist and top fundraiser for McCain's presidential campaign."

The land in question was purchased for the paltry sum of $250,000. According to the Pentagon, it was appraised at $7.2 million!

In 1999, McCain served on the Senate Armed Services Committee. It was McCain who helped "smooth out problems [Diamond] encountered" relative to the sale.

Now, notice this: "The Fort Ord property in question is home to the SunBay apartments and condominiums -- an enterprise whose history dates to the 1980s savings and loan crisis."

The purchase negotiations "bogged down" over "price, future water allocations and whether more apartments could be added to the complex." Diamond revealed "under oath" that McCain came to his rescue. "I asked him if he could help expedite it," said Diamond.

And McCain did.

In 2001, just two years after he bought the land, Diamond sold SunBay to a developer in Northern California for $28 mil.


The McCain camp is not commenting, other than to say that Senator McCain "had done nothing for Mr. Diamond that he would not do for any other Arizona citizen.

Right! And if you believe that...

The fact that Diamond is a "leading developer in McCain's home state" and a leading lobbyist in Washington, D., C., and "is among the elite 'innovators' group whose members have individually raised $500,000 or more for McCain's presidential bid" is simply irrelevant.

McCain would have helped Diamond if he worked for a 7-11 in Phoenix.

Barf!


You can read the entire article by Julia Reynolds here.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Boo Hoo Sarah

It is my understanding that the person who drops the puck at a Philadelphia Flyers hockey game is generally received with a certain amount of booing.

Last night, Sarah Palin, being invited by the right-wing owner of the Flyers to drop the ceremonial puck, was greeted with a chorus of boos that overwhelmed whatever noise her supporters tried to make.

Fox News edited out most of the booing and claimed she received a "mixed" welcome. The Associated Press and CNN also referred to this "mixed" welcome. All in the name of "fairness," of course. Give the POW a break, for Christ's sake!

I've seen the videos. There was nothing "mixed" about it. Sarah Palin was just about booed off the ice by the fans.

What's really sad about his miserable excuse for a human being is that earlier in the day she told a group at a fundraiser that she would stop some of the booing from those nasty Philadelphia fans by putting Piper, her 7-year old daughter, in a Flyers jersey. "How dare they boo Piper!" she said.

She USED her daughter to ward off the nastiness. Didn't work.

Boo!

The Rangers won the game 4-3.

Palin and McCain, the two stooges

It just gets funnier and funnier.

Well, not really. Actually, when you remember these two clowns are running for president (yes, I said that right - ol' John may not have realized it yet, though), it's not so funny at all. It's actually scary.

Here's how this particular "comedic" skit played out (Courtesy of Glenn Kessler of the WaPo).

You'll recall how, not too long ago, our leader, Prezident Bush, said that North Korea was one of the countries on his shit-list. Well, what he really said was that North Korea was part of the infamous "Axis of Evil."

We've gone back and forth relative to North Korea since then, and it's hard to know at any given moment if North Korea is still part of the Axis of Evil or if it has reformed and is now in line to become one of the good countries or if it is backsliding into Axis of Evil status. The situation changes rather quickly.

The Prez decided that he would remove North Korea from the State Department's list of state sponsors of terrorism. Why would Bush do that? Because North Korea, feeling the effects of famine - which is nothing new - has agreed to allow non-North Koreans into the country to verify it is in process of dismantling its nuclear weapons programs.

Do you suppose Bush consulted with member of Congress before taking this step?


When the so-called "hero" of the Hanoi Hilton (where he spilled his guts and the beans to the North Vietnamese), John McCain, heard about the prez's decision, he wasn't too happy. According to the WaPo, "McCain said it was unclear whether the verification plan would allow for a full exploration of Pyongyang's nuclear programs and that he was distressed at how Asian allies such as Japan were not consulted during the negotiations. In essence, McCain said, he could not yet support the decision."

When Palin heard about the prez's decision, however, which was yesterday (Saturday), she was even more enthusiastic than Barack Obama. Obama said it was an "'appropriate response' to a modest advance in the negotiations. Palin said that Bush had made a "wise decision."

Palin, in Altoona, Pennsylvania, put it this way:

"[Secretary of State] Condoleezza Rice, of course, having worked on this strategy for quite some time, I have faith in her that they're making this wise decision and North Korea, of course, better live up to its end of the bargain there, in speaking with the other countries whom they've been working with, in promising the verification. That end of the bargain has got to be lived up to."

Huh? Another totally incoherent statement from the vice presidential nominee! She actually cannot string a few sentences together in a way they make sense! Incredible!


What's even more incredible is that she contradicted her running mate or the guy who's rapidly becoming her second-in-command. McCain said, in effect, about the North Korea decision, "Whoa, this is too much too fast and I'm not sure it's justified and I can't support the decision at this point."

Palin said it's a wise decision.

Those are the facts.


The McCain camp must have had a few words with the Palin camp. And the Palin camp fell back on their tried-and-true method of pretending a lie is the truth and whatever they say will be automatically accepted by the hoi polloi 'cause their candidate believes in Jesus and is going to heaven when she dies.

Here's what Palin spokeswoman, Tracey Schmitt said in a statement released today:

"On North Korea, Governor Palin's position is identical to Senator McCain's: the verification steps are not sufficient to date to warrant North Korea's removal for the state sponsors of terror list. ... Governor Palin does not believe it was a wise decision ..." Blah, blah, blah.


Palin said it was a "wise decision." The Palin camp says no, she really believes whatever the hell McCain believes.

Sheesh, what a bunch of morons. And they want us to let them run the country!

Pretty soon we'll hear how Palin can see North Korea from Alaska and that makes her an expert on North Korea and she's visited North Korea a half a dozen times already, and knows just about everything there is to know about the country...no, that's not right. She knows all about North Korea's energy program because energy is her area of "expertise."

Methinks this is one hockey mom who play hookey when she should have been cracking the books.