Archive for August 18th, 2008

Obama Ready To Announce Running Mate

By- Suzie-Q @ 10:15 PM MST

Senator Barack Obama greeting supportersat a town hall meeting in Albuquerque, New Mexico on Monday. (Alex Brandon/The Associated Press)

Senator Barack Obama greeting supportersat a town hall meeting in Albuquerque, New Mexico on Monday. (Alex Brandon/The Associated Press)

Obama appears ready to announce running mate

International Herald Tribune- Published: August 19, 2008

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Cindy Hensley McCain Is NOT An Only Child!

By- Suzie-Q @ 5:45 PM MST

Kathleen Hensley Portalski displays newspaper clippings of her father in World War II, as well as snapshots of herself as a child with her father.

Kathleen Hensley Portalski displays newspaper clippings of her father in World War II, as well as snapshots of herself as a child with her father.

Cindy McCain’s Half Sister ‘Angry’ She’s Hidden

All Things Considered, August 18, 2008 · Last Tuesday, NPR broadcast a story about Cindy McCain‘s business and charity work. In it, Ted Robbins described McCain as the only child of Jim Hensley, a wealthy Arizona businessman. The next morning, NPR received an e-mail from Nicholas Portalski of Phoenix, who heard the story with his mother.

“We were listening to the piece about Cindy McCain on NPR, All Things Considered, and it just struck us very hard,” Portalski said.

His mother, Kathleen Hensley Portalski, is also Hensley’s daughter.

The Portalski family is accustomed to hearing Cindy McCain described as Hensley’s only child.

She’s been described that way by news organizations from The New Yorker and The New York Times to Newsweek and ABC.

McCain herself routinely uses the phrase “only child,” as she did on CNN last month. “I grew up with my dad,” she said then. “I’m an only child. My father was a cowboy, and he really loved me very much, but I think he wanted a son occasionally.”

McCain’s father was also a businessman — and twice a father.

“I’m upset,” Kathleen Portalski says. “I’m angry. It makes me feel like a nonperson, kind of.”

Portalski is shown with her late father, Jim Hensley, who also was Cindy McCains father.

Portalski is shown with her late father, Jim Hensley, who also was Cindy McCain's father.

Who Is Kathleen Hensley Portalski?

Documents show Kathleen Anne Hensley was born to Jim and Mary Jeanne Hensley on Feb. 23, 1943. They had been married for six years when Kathleen was born.

Jim Hensley was a bombardier on a B-17, flying over Europe during World War II.

He was injured and sent to a facility in West Virginia to recuperate. During that time, while still married to Mary Jeanne, Hensley met another woman — Marguerite Smith. Jim divorced Mary Jeanne and married Marguerite in 1945.

Cindy Lou Hensley was born nine years later, in 1954.

She may have grown up as an only child, but so did her half sister, Kathleen, who was raised by a single parent.

Portalski says she did see her father and her half sister from time to time.

“I saw him a few times a year,” she says. “I saw him at Christmas and birthdays, and he provided money for school clothes, and he called occasionally.”

Jim Hensley also provided credit cards and college tuition for his grandchildren, as well as $10,000 gifts to Kathleen and her husband, Stanley Portalski. That lasted a decade, they say. By then, Jim Hensley had built Hensley and Co. into one of the largest beer distributorships in the country. He was worth tens, if not hundreds, of millions of dollars.

Sole Inheritor To Hensley’s Estate

When Hensley died in 2000, his will named not only Portalski but also a daughter of his wife Marguerite from her earlier marriage. So, Cindy McCain may be the only product of Jim and Marguerite’s marriage, but she is not the only child of either.

She was, however, the sole inheritor of his considerable estate.

Kathleen Portalski was left $10,000, and her children were left nothing. It’s a fact Nicholas Portalski says his sister discovered the hard way.

“What she found in town — on the day of or the day before or the day after his funeral — was that the credit card didn’t work anymore,” Nick says.

The Portalskis live in a modest home in central Phoenix. Kathleen is retired, as is her husband. Nicholas Portalski is a firefighter and emergency medical technician looking for work.

They say it would have been nice if they were left some of the Hensley fortune.

They also say they are Democrats, but Nicholas Portalski says he had another reason for coming forward.

“The fact that we don’t exist,” he says. “The fact that we’ve never been recognized, and then Cindy has to put such a fine point on it by saying something that’s not true. Recently, again and again. It’s just very, very hurtful.”

Kathleen Portalski says she’d like an acknowledgment and an apology.

NPR asked the McCain campaign — specifically, Cindy McCain — to comment or respond. Neither replied.

Related NPR Stories

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Regime Change In Pakistan! Unpopular Leader Resigns!

GEF @ 6:28 PM ET

Pervez Musharaff

Pakistanis celebrate after Musharraf news

The country comes to a near standstill as the president announces his resignation.
By Laura King

Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — In Wasif Khan’s cramped grocery store, the perspiring crowd gathered around the little television set behind the counter erupted in wild cheers when it heard President Pervez Musharraf utter the word “resignation.”

Two taxi drivers hugged each other, then ran straight outside to their cabs to sound their horns in celebration.

Musharraf’s dramatic declaration, the culmination of months of political turmoil, was part public spectacle and part nationwide soap opera played out in homes and offices, in teahouses and airline lounges, in sundry shops and mosque courtyards across Pakistan.

For perhaps the last time, the country came to a near-total standstill to listen as the president, a former army general who has been deeply unpopular for more than a year, delivered a live address to the nation.

In months past, gathered around TV sets, the Pakistani people had heard Musharraf declare and then rescind near-martial law, step down as the nation’s military chief and concede crushing defeat in parliamentary elections six months ago today.

Flanked by the national flag and a portrait of the nation’s founding father, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Musharraf spoke mainly in measured tones. But his voice rose in agitation as he accused his political foes, who won control in February’s elections, of conducting a vendetta against him.

Musharraf, who turned 65 last week, spent an hour extolling the achievements of his nearly nine years in power, including a lengthy roll call of road construction and industrial output, before he finally paused, blinked, looked straight into the camera and announced he would step down.

The response was electric and instantaneous.

Outside the headquarters of the party of assassinated former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, ecstatic supporters waved posters of their slain leader, chanting “Bhutto lives!” Some wept. Many of Bhutto’s backers considered Musharraf to be at least indirectly complicit in her death.

Even as the distant sounds of celebration began wafting over the presidential compound in the heart of the capital, Musharraf spoke on. Finally, he ended his speech with a defiant gesture of raised fists.

The camera stayed on him for a long, awkward moment as he stacked his note cards, glanced off to one side and pushed his chair back, half-rising.

As the speech ended, the Dawn television network came back to its news anchor, who was still looking a little stunned.

“Pervez Musharraf,” he said. “The former president of Pakistan.”

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Washington offers no asylum for Musharraf

by Geezer Power…12:25 pm

President Bush and President Musharraf of Pakistan discuss strengthened relationship in Islamabad, Pakistan: March 4, 2006.

But all things change, and Duhhbya’s buddy has finally stepped down. Bu$h doesn’t appear to be giving his fellow War President any support at this time, while U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, while noting that “President Musharraf has been a good ally,” said Sunday that Washington was not considering granting him asylum.

“That’s not an issue on the table, and I just want to keep our focus on what we must do with the democratic government of Pakistan,” Rice told Fox News.

Daily Kos did an excellent artical about this today showing how Bush & Mccain have failed miserably on foreign policy.

WASHINGTON – President Bush praised Pakistan Monday as a strong ally in the fight against terrorists and as committed to securing its border with Afghanistan.

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John McCain’s Party of Hate

Sudhan @21:15 CET

Brent Budowsky | Consortiumnews.com, August 16, 2008

Editor’s Note: To many Americans who expected better from John McCain, the surprise of Campaign 2008 is that the Republicans are operating almost exactly the same as they have in previous presidential election cycles — relying on personal attacks, wedge issues, tough-guy talk, and media complacency.

In this essay, former Democratic congressional aide Brent Budowsky ponders this disturbing reality:

As Campaign 2008 unfolds, it is increasingly clear that the Republicans are a party with little left but hate, anger and the politics of slandering their opponent.

John McCain has become a candidate reduced to doing a Karl Rove imitation as a sleazy, divisive campaigner, while making bellicose pronouncements about war reminiscent of the childish Confederates at the beginning of “Gone With the Wind,” drinking their brandy and smoking their cigars with fantasies about the glorious war that they hunger to fight.

Now, right on cue, comes the latest Swift Boat attack book from one Jerome Corsi, the great white hope of modern Republicanism who has published a new book tearing down Barack Obama, much like he did four years ago in producing the thoroughly discredited Unfit for Command to demean John Kerry’s heroism in Vietnam.

In other writings, Corsi also called Pope Paul II “senile” and referred to Hillary Clinton as a “lesbo.” So enough of Corsi. He deserves no more camera, ink or bandwidth than noting his history of slanders.

There is a much larger issue than a punk like Corsi. It is that John McCain, who promised to run a civil campaign, has become an embarrassment to the notion of civil discourse in public life.

As the campaign has worn on, John McCain speaks less and less about himself and his policies and more and more about Obama, attacking his Democratic opponent in the most personal, derogatory and often slanderous ways.

For instance, McCain said Obama wanted to bring reporters on his proposed visit to wounded troops in Germany. A lie. He said Obama wanted to bring television cameras to the wounded troops visit. A lie. He said Obama wanted to bring political staff on the visit. A lie. McCain’s campaign accused Obama of refusing to see wounded troops in order to play basketball. A lie.

These are not philosophical differences or public relations spin. These are outright lies, spoken or approved by John McCain, incorporated into his television commercials, repeated endlessly by a compliant news media when the truth was immediately known to the journalists on Obama’s Germany trip who raised little objection in the first key days when the lies did their damage.

Indeed, much of the mainstream media continues to give aid, comfort and protection to McCain by repeating and perpetuating his phony image as an independent and a maverick. The mainstream media also reruns McCain’s attack ads ad nauseum, for free, only spreading the damage of the lies further.

When the news media isn’t recycling McCain false accusations, it often creates its own, reinforcing McCain’s negative campaign narratives about Obama.

The newspaper that used to be the Washington Post ran a derisive and demeaning attack on Obama by “reporter” Dana Milbank, who relied on a bogus quote by one unnamed source that no reporter at the Post, including Milbank, even talked to.

Without checking the accuracy of the quote or trying to ascertain its context, Milbank made it the centerpiece of a column portraying Obama as a megalomaniac claiming credit for the international reaction to his overseas trip, when he actually had said he could take no credit for the crowd in Berlin, that it was really about the world’s high regard for America.

So, a comment that represented modesty and patriotism was turned into its opposite, supposed proof of Obama’s arrogance and hubris.

Continued . . .

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By- Suzie-Q @ 12:05 PM MST

McCain Steals Credit For GI Bill By Heralding His Own Proposal That VFW Called ‘Very Partisan’

Think Progress- By Ali at 11:50 am

Speaking to the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) today, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) once again tried to steal credit for the 21st Century G.I. Bill, which McCain had vigorously opposed, even submitting his own proposal to undermine the chances of success for the main bill. Today, McCain told the audience of veterans that he “sought a better bill” and declared the final passage of the GI bill “the result” of his efforts:

As a political proposition, it would have much easier for me to have just signed on to what I considered flawed legislation. But the people of Arizona, and of all America, expect more from their representatives than that, and instead I sought a better bill. I’m proud to say that the result is a law that better serves our military, better serves military families, and better serves the interests of our country.

It is audacious for McCain to go before the VFW and claim credit for a bill he nearly destroyed, considering the VFW was one of the bill’s strongest backers. It first endorsed the proposal in June 2007, and continued to press for the bill this year, rejecting McCain’s supposed concerns about military retention and stridently criticizing his alternative proposal:

VFW’s deputy director for legislative affairs Eric Hilleman: The Graham-Burr-McCain plan is “very partisan and is seen as a way to convolute the GI bill, or to slow the Webb-Hagel proposal down.”

VFW National Commander George Lisicki: “People are leaving after their first enlistment because they are tired of being shot at, and their families are tired of the frequent deployments…Whether they stay in four years or 20, we owe this newest, greatest generation the gift of education.”

In fact, tomorrow the VFW will award Sen. Jim Webb (D-VA), the original sponsor of the GI Bill, a gold medal and citation of merit for his leadership on the measure. Lisicki praised Webb as the “champion” veterans needed:

The VFW had been pushing for a new GI Bill for 10 years. We had called, written, testified, and met with every (congressional) member and staffer. We were greeted with sympathetic ears, but what we needed was a champion in the corner of America’s newest ‘Greatest Generation.’ We needed someone who could reason and negotiate across party lines like a gentleman, yet push through obstacles with bulldog tenacity. That someone was Jim Webb.

McCain also promoted his radical veterans health plan, which the VFW actively opposes.

UpdateIgor Volsky notes that, in his speech, McCain embraced government-run health care…but only for veterans.

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Afternoon Jukebox… Zwitter

By- Suzie-Q @ 12:00 PM MST

Rammstein – Zwitter

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Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf Has Resigned

By- Suzie-Q @ 9:30 AM MST

MUSHARRAF RESIGNS as Pakistani president.

MUSHARRAF RESIGNS as Pakistani president.

Musharraf resigns as Pakistan president

Raw Story via AFP- Monday August 18, 2008

Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf resigned on Monday, bringing the curtain down on a turbulent nine years in power to avoid the first impeachment in the nuclear-armed nation’s history.

The stony-faced former general announced the move in a lengthy address on national television, saying that the charges against him would never stand but that he wanted to spare Pakistan a damaging battle with the ruling coalition.

The departure of the close US ally set off celebrations in Pakistani cities, yet it was far from certain what would come next for a nation whose role in the “war on terror” has been increasingly questioned by Washington.

“After viewing the situation and consulting legal advisers and political allies, with their advice I have decided to resign,” Musharraf, wearing a sober suit and tie, said close to the end of his one-hour address.

“I leave my future in the hands of the people.”

There was no immediate reaction from the ruling coalition government, which easily defeated Musharraf’s allies at the polls in February and had been pushing since even before then to bring him down.

“If we continue with the politics of confrontation, we will not save the country,” the 65-year-old Musharraf said. “People will never pardon this government if they fail to do so.”

His resignation came after the coalition said it was ready to press ahead with impeachment as early as Tuesday. It was not known if Musharraf had concluded a deal that would save him from prosecution in the days ahead.

But several close aides said that Musharraf was not set to go into exile as several of Pakistan’s former leaders have done. “He is not going anywhere,” one aide said.

The president’s troubles began last year when he sacked judges in the courts who opposed him, clearing the way for his re-election last year while still holding a dual role as head of the country’s powerful armed forces.

The move set off mass protests in the streets that built into a national crisis which saw Musharraf declare a state of emergency in November.

But he was compelled to resign as army chief within weeks, and when his administration was seen to have bungled the handling of the December assassination of former premier Benazir Bhutto, his fate seemed to be sealed.


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By- Suzie-Q @ 8:15 AM MST

NYT Backs Up NBC: McCain Was Not In “Cone Of Silence” Before Saddleback

Huffington Post | Rachel Sklar | August 18, 2008 12:50 AM

Last night, John McCain‘s campaign manager Rick Davis sent a strongly-worded letter to NBC News president Steve Capus, complaining about “unsubstantiated, partisan claims” on the network made “in order to undercut John McCain.”

The claim in question was made by Andrea Mitchell on yesterday’s broadcast of “Meet the Press,” while discussing McCain and Obama’s respective performance during the Saddlebeck Forum on Faith led by Pastor Rick Warren. The full quote is as follows:

MITCHELL: The Obama people must feel that he didn’t do quite as well as they might have wanted to in that context, because that — what they’re putting out privately is that McCain may not have been in the cone of silence and may have had some ability to overhear what the questions were to Obama…. He seemed so well-prepared.

In the letter, reprinted by Mike Allen of Politico, Davis claimed that the claim was “completely unsubstantiated” and a “blatant falsehood.”

However, the New York TimesKit Seelye has boldly backed up Mitchell’s claim in today’s story, “Despite Assurances, McCain Wasn’t in a ‘Cone of Silence’.” Per Seelye:

Senator John McCain was not in a “cone of silence” on Saturday night while his rival, Senator Barack Obama, was being interviewed at the Saddleback Church in California… The matter is of interest because Mr. McCain, who followed Mr. Obama’s hourlong appearance in the forum, was asked virtually the same questions as Mr. Obama. Mr. McCain’s performance was well received, raising speculation among some viewers, especially supporters of Mr. Obama, that he was not as isolated during the Obama interview as Mr. Warren implied.(snip)

Mr. Warren, the pastor of Saddleback, had assured the audience while he was interviewing Mr. Obama that “we have safely placed Senator McCain in a cone of silence” and that he could not hear the questions… Interviewed Sunday on CNN, Mr. Warren seemed surprised to learn that Mr. McCain was not in the building during the Obama interview.

This corroborates Mitchell’s report, which was “McCain may not have been in the cone of silence” (he wasn’t, at least not for the duration) and “may have some ability to overhear” the question (unclear, but if the purpose of the ‘cone of silence’ is to guard against that, then presumably being outside it might have afforded that opportunity.

But even without Seelye, Mitchell was corroborated…by Davis. He wrote, “The fact is that during Senator Obama’s segment at Saddleback last night, Senator McCain was in a motorcade to the event and then held in a green room with no broadcast feed.” That means that he was not in the cone of silence during the Obama questioning, confirming Mitchell’s report.


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anthony @ 11:24 BST

DNC Protesters Outraged Over Makeshift Razor-Wire Jail in Denver Warehouse

“We’re trying to shine the light on this little secret political prisoner camp that was being set up in the city of Denver.”

Read more…

City defends ‘secret jail’ built for DNC

DENVER – Activist groups say the converted warehouse poses a threat to civil liberties. The city maintains the facility is needed in case of mass arrests during the Democratic National Convention.

Read more…

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