Archive for August 30th, 2008

By- Suzie-Q @ 11:00 PM MST

McCain may deliver convention speech from disaster zone

Think Progress- By Faiz on Aug 30th, 2008 at 11:42 pm

Politico reports that the impending landfall of Hurricane Gustav has forced Republicans to scramble their convention plans. President Bush may not attend at all, and John McCain may deliver his acceptance speech from the hurricane-stricken areas:

McCain was scheduled to deliver his acceptance speech Thursday but now may do so from the devastation zone if the storm hits the U.S. coast with the ferocity feared by forecasters.

“It just wouldn’t be appropriate to have a festive occasion while a near-tragedy or a terrible challenge is presented in the form of a natural disaster,” McCain said in a taped interview for Fox News Sunday.

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Sarah Palin Is NOT The Mother?? (Video and Photos)

By- Suzie-Q @ 8:45 PM MST

Sarah Palin Is NOT The Mother [Photos+Video]

Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 01:12:31 PM PDT

Yesterday, with the news of Sarah Louise Heath Palin inexplicably being chosen as a Vice-Presidential nominee, the attentive American public was also introduced to her character. Unfortunately for all of us, it was filled with multiple instances of backtracking and outright lies. While Alaskans had been giving her an 80% approval rating, recently 87% of Alaskans polled on the subject of TrooperGate believed she was lying.

Now, I’ve known liars in my life. Their single core problem is not with themselves, but those around them. If they’re never called out on their twisting of truths and fabrications, they simply continue to make larger lies.

Well, Sarah, I’m calling you a liar. And not even a good one. Trig Paxson Van Palin is not your son. He is your grandson. The sooner you come forward with this revelation to the public, the better.

The story begins on March 6th, when Sarah decided to come forward and announce to the world that she was pregnant, a monumental occasion for an acting Governor. Republican Governor Jane Maria Swift of Massachusetts was the first sitting Governor in United States history to give birth in office just seven years before, and now here we were once again. Yet, no one could believe the news:

JUNEAU — Gov. Sarah Palin shocked and awed just about everybody around the Capitol on Wednesday when she announced she’s expecting her fifth child.

Palin said she’s already about seven months along, with the baby due to arrive in mid-May.

That the pregnancy is so advanced astonished all who heard the news. The governor, a runner who’s always been trim, simply doesn’t look pregnant.

Even close members of her staff said they only learned this week their boss was expecting.

“I thought it was becoming obvious,” Palin said. “You know, clothes getting snugger and snugger.”

But people just couldn’t believe the news.

“Really? No!” said Bethel state Rep. Mary Nelson, who is close to giving birth herself.

“It’s wonderful. She’s very well-disguised,” said Senate President Lyda Green, a mother of three who has sometimes sparred with Palin politically. “When I was five months pregnant, there was absolutely no question that I was with child.”

Palin said she’s not aiming to take any time off from her job as governor, assuming all goes well with the pregnancy.

With Palin riding extraordinarily high popularity ratings, pundits have mentioned her as a potential vice presidential candidate. But she said Wednesday night she’s “not pursuing or perpetuating it,” adding, “I have no desire to leave my job at all as governor.”

She’s known as a fashion plate, but said she hasn’t been dressing differently to cover her barely perceptible bulge.

Funny quote on her having no desire for the Vice-Presidency aside, the article is direly clear. No one knew she was pregnant, not even her own staff. Quite a feat. Why the secrecy? Sarah has never given an answer, and upon further reading, no one has bothered to ask.

Seven months into a pregnancy, and no one noticed.

Even Harry Houdini would be impressed.

And how could anyone tell? Sarah’s waistline never changed. Her wardrobe still remained tight and professional. In a video posted in February (nearing five months of pregnancy at the time), Sarah is seen trim, and walking around all of Juneau, Alaska.

[Watch the video]


…”I like running the hills, it kills me, that’s why I like it, I mean it thrashes your guts…”

Not exactly terminology said by a pregnant mother. Six months into pregnancy, she attended the National Governor’s Association at the White House:

(Full Hi-Res, Far Left)

The Associated Press provides two photos in this timespan, one three days later on February 28th:

And another three days before the announcement, on March 3rd:

Here she is, seven months pregnant, three days after her official announcement:

And one week later:

And that infamous video in which Sarah trashes Hillary Clinton? That was at the Newsweek Women & Leadership Event in Los Angeles, in March:

After previous pregnancies (in this case, four), and at later ages, the female body is meant to adjust and show changes earlier, not later as in Sarah’s unprecedented case.

On Friday, April 18th, 2008, Sarah and her husband Todd were in Dallas, Texas for a Republican Governor’s Convention. They had been in town for three days already, but Sarah had yet to give her keynote speaker address on energy policy. Then early Friday morning at 4:00am, Sarah began leaking amniotic fluid. Instead of checking into a hospital, she instead made a call to her doctor, and delivered the keynote speech.

“I was not going to miss that speech,” she says.

She rushed so quickly from the podium afterwards that Texas Gov. Rick Perry nervously asked if she was about to deliver the baby then.

The oddities only grow from here on, as instead of rushing to a Dallas medical facility that could treat a mother who’s amniotic fluid has been draining for hours on end (made even more crucial due to the fact that this is occurring a full month prematurely), Sarah & Todd instead opted to… Fly all the way back from Texas to Alaska. A dangerous choice, as with each pregnancy (once again, in this case after four previous), a mother’s window of labor to delivery grows shorter and shorter.


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By- Suzie-Q @ 7:15 PM MST

Gustav growing into ‘monster Category 5 storm.’

Think Progress- By Faiz at 9:34 pm

Hurricane Gustav is growing into “a monster Category 5 storm” as it heads towards the Gulf Coast. The storm is moving into the Loop Current, a deep bed of hot water in the Gulf of Mexico that is helping to intensify the storm. In May, climatologists reported that the Gulf has been experiencing warmer waters than usual:

Off St. Petersburg, water temperatures have been 2 to 4 degrees above the 80-degree average for this time of year. In Fort Myers, temperatures have been similar. If that warm water continues to deepen and spread, it could be disastrous if a hurricane enters the gulf. … The gulf, with its loop current of deep, warm-water pools, is a hurricane minefield. If the water heats up enough, it can send storms spinning headlong into the coast.

ABC News writes, “Many scientists predict over the next decade we’ll see stronger hurricanes — Category 4 and 5 hurricanes even more violent than Katrina. The cause, some argue, is rising sea surface temperatures caused by global warming.”

UpdateThe White House is “reevaluating the President’s plans to attend the Republican National Convention” in order to monitor the relief efforts.

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…It Wouldn’t be Appropriate!

Posted @4:33pm

From DailyKos – re: The RNC / McCain’s Birthday / Katrina

It Wouldn’t Be Appropriate

Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 04:00:22 PM PDT

McCain: “You know it just wouldn’t be appropriate to have a festive occasion while a near tragedy or a terrible challenge is presented in the form of a natural disaster.”

That’s true, John. That’s so true.

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Palin Facing Impeachment?

By- Suzie-Q @ 2:00 PM MST

Palin currently being investigated for abuse of office

Raw Story- Friday August 29, 2008

Last month a Democratic official told the Wall Street Journal that Palin was facing possible impeachment.

The Associated Press reports, “More recently, she has come under the scrutiny of an investigation by the Republican-controlled legislature into the possibility that she ordered the dismissal of Alaska’s public safety commissioner because he would not fire her former brother-in-law as a state trooper.”

The commissioner, Walt Monegan, was fired on July 11, because Palin “wanted to take the department in a new direction,” according to Bloomberg. “Monegan than alleged that he had been pressured to fire state trooper Mike Wooten, who was married to Palin’s sister and was involved in a contentious divorce, according to the Anchorage Daily News.”

The Bloomberg story continues, “Palin has denied any wrongdoing. The state Legislature voted on July 28 to hire an independent investigator to probe whether Palin, her family or members of her administration had pressured Monegan to fire Wooten, according to the Daily News.”

“Palin hasn’t been implicated in the four-year-old federal corruption investigation, which has resulted in convictions of or guilty pleas from three state legislators, Murkowski’s former chief of staff and two executives of an oil-services company, as well as the indictment of Senator Ted Stevens,” Bloomberg’s report concludes.

Last month a Democratic official told the Wall Street Journal that Palin was facing possible impeachment.

“This is a governor who was almost impervious to error,” Hollis French, a Democratic state senator told the Journal. “Now she could face impeachment, in a worst-case scenario.”

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GEF @ 4:48 PM ET

Such a re-affirmation of war carries broad legal implications that could imperil Americans’ civil liberties and the rights of foreign nationals for decades to come.

Bush quietly seeks to make war powers permanent, by declaring indefinite state of war

John Byrne

As the nation focuses on Sen. John McCain’s choice of running mate, President Bush has quietly moved to expand the reach of presidential power by ensuring that America remains in a state of permanent war.

Buried in a recent proposal by the Administration is a sentence that has received scant attention — and was buried itself in the very newspaper that exposed it Saturday. It is an affirmation that the United States remains at war with al Qaeda, the Taliban and “associated organizations.”

Part of a proposal for Guantanamo Bay legal detainees, the provision before Congress seeks to “acknowledge again and explicitly that this nation remains engaged in an armed conflict with Al Qaeda, the Taliban, and associated organizations, who have already proclaimed themselves at war with us and who are dedicated to the slaughter of Americans.”

The New York Times page 8 placement of the article in its Saturday edition seems to downplay its importance. Such a re-affirmation of war carries broad legal implications that could imperil Americans’ civil liberties and the rights of foreign nationals for decades to come.

It was under the guise of war that President Bush claimed a legal mandate for his warrantless wiretapping program, giving the National Security Agency power to intercept calls Americans made abroad. More of this program has emerged in recent years, and it includes the surveillance of Americans’ information and exchanges online.

“War powers” have also given President Bush cover to hold Americans without habeas corpus — detainment without explanation or charge. Jose Padilla, a Chicago resident arrested in 2002, was held without trial for five years before being convicted of conspiring to kill individuals abroad and provide support for terrorism.

But his arrest was made with proclamations that Padilla had plans to build a “dirty bomb.” He was never convicted of this charge. Padilla’s legal team also claimed that during his time in military custody — the four years he was held without charge — he was tortured with sensory deprivation, sleep deprivation, forced stress positions and injected with drugs.

Times reporter Eric Lichtblau notes that the measure is the latest step that the Administration has taken to “make permanent” key aspects of its “long war” against terrorism. Congress recently passed a much-maligned bill giving telecommunications companies retroactive immunity for their participation in what constitutional experts see as an illegal or borderline-illegal surveillance program, and is considering efforts to give the FBI more power in their investigative techniques.

“It is uncertain whether Congress will take the administration up on its request,” Lichtblau writes. “Some Republicans have already embraced the idea, with Representative Lamar Smith of Texas, the ranking Republican on the Judiciary Committee, introducing a measure almost identical to the administration’s proposal. ‘Since 9/11,’ Mr. Smith said, ‘we have been at war with an unconventional enemy whose primary goal is to kill innocent Americans.'”

If enough Republicans come aboard, Democrats may struggle to defeat the provision. Despite holding majorities in the House and Senate, they have failed to beat back some of President Bush’s purported “security” measures, such as the telecom immunity bill.

Bush’s open-ended permanent war language worries his critics. They say it could provide indefinite, if hazy, legal justification for any number of activities — including detention of terrorists suspects at bases like Guantanamo Bay (where for years the Administration would not even release the names of those being held), and the NSA’s warantless wiretapping program.

Lichtblau co-wrote the Times article revealing the Administration’s eavesdropping program along with fellow reporter James Risen.

He notes that Bush’s language “recalls a resolution, known as the Authorization for Use of Military Force, passed by Congress on Sept. 14, 2001… [which] authorized the president to ‘use all necessary and appropriate force’ against those responsible for the Sept. 11 attacks to prevent future strikes. That authorization, still in effect, was initially viewed by many members of Congress who voted for it as the go-ahead for the administration to invade Afghanistan and overthrow the Taliban, which had given sanctuary to Mr. bin Laden.”

“But the military authorization became the secret legal basis for some of the administration’s most controversial legal tactics, including the wiretapping program, and that still gnaws at some members of Congress,” he adds.

Bush Hitler

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Georgia Bank Collapses…

GEF @ 4:28 PM ET

Money Origami

Georgia Bank Closes in 10th Failure This Year

By Madlen Read
Associated Press

NEW YORK, Aug. 29 — Integrity Bank of Alpharetta, Ga., on Friday became the 10th U.S. bank to fail this year, done in by the very business it was built on — real estate lending.

Regions Bank of Birmingham, Ala., will assume all of Integrity Bank’s $974 million in insured and uninsured deposits in 23,000 accounts, and about $34.4 million of its $1.1 billion in assets.

The remainder of Integrity’s assets will be retained by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. The FDIC said it estimates that Integrity’s failure will cost its deposit insurance fund $250 million to $350 million.

Integrity Bank, which opened in November 2000, specialized in real estate lending in the Atlanta area with a self-described “faith-based culture.” Throughout the early part of the decade, when the housing market was booming, Integrity grew into a billion-dollar, publicly traded company. But when the real estate market started faltering, the bank found itself in trouble.

The bank replaced its chief executive in August 2007 and hired a turnaround expert in September, only to voluntarily delist its shares from the Nasdaq Global Market in March. Nasdaq had threatened to delist the company for failing to comply with reporting standards.

Rickey McCullough, an FDIC spokesman, said late Friday that the bank failed due to its aggressive pursuit of construction loans, coupled with falling real estate values and “inadequate risk management.”

Construction loans made up 76 percent of the bank’s total loan portfolio. For the quarter ended June 30, the bank posted a loss of $33.56 million.

After being closed on Friday by the Georgia Department of Banking and Finance, Integrity’s five branches in Atlanta will open Tuesday as Regions Bank branches.

Integrity is the first Georgia bank to fail since the late September 2007 closing of NetBank, also based in Alpharetta, the FDIC said.

The number of bank failures has shot up this year during continuing mortgage defaults. On July 11, California mortgage lender IndyMac Bancorp, with $32 billion in assets, became the largest thrift to fail in U.S. history.

According to FDIC data released Tuesday, the number of troubled U.S. banks jumped to 117 — the highest level in about five years — during the second quarter, up from 90 in the prior quarter. Bank profits plunged 86 percent during that quarter, the FDIC said.

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By- Suzie-Q @ 1:15 PM MST

McCain VP pick laughs as radio host calls Alaskan Senator a ‘b*tch’ and a ‘cancer’

Raw Story- Diane Sweet
Published: Saturday August 30, 2008

During a radio interview last January, McCain VP nominee Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin laughed as the host questioned Alaska Senate President Lyda Green’s parenting, and then further attacked the cancer survivor calling her a “b*tch” and a “cancer.”

Outraged Alaskan news media chastised the Governor for “conduct unbecoming a human being, never mind a governor.” and others demanding that Palin apologize for her behavior.

Gov. Palin’s office then released a public statement that said “Governor Palin was caught off guard by Bob Lester’s reference to Senate President Lyda Green.” but a writer for the Anchorage Daily News wrote in an op-ed that he ‘didn’t buy’ Palin’s explanation and goes on to relay the continued on air attack of Green, and Palin’s reactions:

“But there is more. Lester then describes Green’s chair as big and cushy. A clear reference to the senator’s weight. Palin laughs a third time. She’s just having a grand old time.

Palin was clearly enjoying every second of Lester’s vicious attack on her political rival.

But it gets worse.

Lester asks Palin point blank: “Do you have any idea of what you did, to make Lyda Green dislike you, hate you?” How does Palin respond? Does she do the right thing? What you would expect from a mature leader, a governor and say, “Bob, Lyda doesn’t hate me.”

No, she responds like a 13-year-old and says, “Um, you know once and a while I try to figure that out but I can’t figure that out.”

The report says that Palin did in fact call Green to apologize, but the writer casts doubt on Palin’s sincerity as she tells the radio host from the ‘Bob and Mark’ Show, DJ Bob Lester, that she would be “honored” to have him pay her a visit.

Gov. Palin made a return appearance on the Bob and Mark Show yesterday, August 29, 2008 with her running mate for the White House, Arizona Senator John McCain.

The following YouTube video is the recorded audio portion of Sarah Palin’s original radio interview as it was submitted to RAW STORY by a reader.

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Posted @12:44pm – Courtesy of Firedoglake

By: Spencer Ackerman Friday August 29, 2008 10:45 pm

Really disturbing headline, courtesy of MSNBC: “New Orleans: Evacuate, or Face Gustav Alone.”

Really disturbing announcement, courtesy of Blackwater’s newsletter, the Blackwater Tactical Weekly. Looks like Blackwater is on its way back to Blackwater NOLA. Emailed to me by my very alert friend Nick.

Security for Hurricane Gustav

Blackwater is compiling a list of qualified security personnel for possible deployment into areas affected by Hurricane Gustav.

Applicants must meet all items listed under the respective Officer posting and be US citizens. Contract length is TBD.

Full text of the Blackwater hiring note after the jump.

Security for Hurricane Gustav

Blackwater is compiling a list of qualified security personnel for possible deployment into areas affected by Hurricane Gustav.

Applicants must meet all items listed under the respective Officer posting and be US citizens. Contract length is TBD.

Law Enforcement Officers (all criteria must apply)

1. Current sworn [may be full time, part time or reserve]

2. With arrest powers

3. Armed status (must indicate Armed and/or Semi Auto. Revolver only not accepted)
expiration must be greater than 60 days out

4. Departmental credentials (not just a badge)

Armed Security Officers (all criteria must apply)
Only from the following states: OR, WA, CA, NV, NM, AZ, TX, FL, GA, SC, NC, VA, MD, IL, OK

1. Current/active/licensed/registered armed security officer

2. All training verification [unarmed and armed certificates of completion]

3. Current state issued face card indicting armed status [expiration must be greater than 60 days out]

Applicants will be required to provide an electronic copy of the above required credentials/documents, recent photo within
the last six months with response to this AD prior to consideration for deployment.

Personnel who meet the above qualifications and are interested, please send resumes and files to: 25505@blackwaterusa2.hrmdirect.com

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Pallid Palin’s Putrid Popularity

Posted by Basheert @ 12:20 pm MST

From DailyKos by SusanG

Editorials/Opinions in today’s Alaska Newspapers – Those who “know her best”:

An editorial in the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner:

She has never publicly demonstrated the kind of interest, much less expertise, in federal issues and foreign affairs that should mark a candidate for the second-highest office in the land. Republicans rightfully have criticized the Democratic nominee, Sen. Barack Obama, for his lack of experience, but Palin is a neophyte in comparison; how will Republicans reconcile the criticism of Obama with the obligatory cheering for Palin?…Most people would acknowledge that, regardless of her charm and good intentions, Palin is not ready for the top job. McCain seems to have put his political interests ahead of the nation’s when he created the possibility that she might fill it. It’s clear that McCain picked Palin for reasons of image, not substance.

The Anchorage Daily News samples some state politician reaction:

“She’s not prepared to be governor. How can she be prepared to be vice president or president? said [State Senate President Lyda Green, a Republican from Palin’s hometown of Wasilla]. “Look at what she’s done to this state. What would she do to the nation?”

And the News-Miner again, in round-up local reaction story:

Lately her reputation within the state has been bit by allegations of mixing political and family business, and by mistreating one of the state’s premier marine mammals. Palin’s catch-phrase of “openness and transparency” has been tarnished by revelations that staff members tried to have Palin’s former brother-in-law fired from his job as an Alaska state trooper. Also, the governor of the only state with polar bears has adamantly opposed listing the animals as a threatened species, despite strong evidence that global warming has devastated their sea ice environment off Alaska’s coast. Dermot Cole, a longtime columnist for Alaska’s second largest newspaper, the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, called McCain’s choice of Palin “reckless” and questioned her credentials. “Sarah Palin’s chief qualification for being elected governor was that she was not Frank Murkowski,” Cole said of her enormously unpopular predecessor, who lost favor with Alaskans in part because of unpopular budget cuts. “She was not elected because she was a conservative. She was not elected because of her grasp of issues or because of her track record as the mayor of Wasilla.”

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