Archive for September 8th, 2008

By- Suzie-Q @ 9:15 PM MST

Female George Bush Gets A Lot Creepier

Monday, September 8, 2008

From: Stop All Monsters Blog

Now that the press is digging up dirt on the Female George Bush from Alaska, she’s actually looking like one of the worst human beings, ever. When she was mayor of Wasilla, she had the police department billing rape victims for their rape kits.

Not really in touch with her feminine side, I guess.

The Frontiersman / May 23, 2000

ANCHORAGE – Gov. Tony Knowles recently signed legislation protecting victims of sexual assault from being billed for tests to collect evidence of the crime, but one local police chief said the new law will further burden taxpayers.

While the Alaska State Troopers and most municipal police agencies have covered the cost of exams, which cost between $300 to $1,200 apiece, the Wasilla police department does charge the victims of sexual assault for the tests.

Wasilla Police Chief Charlie Fannon does not agree with the new legislation, saying the law will require the city and communities to come up with more funds to cover the costs of the forensic exams.

According to Fannon, the new law will cost the Wasilla Police Department approximately $5,000 to $14,000 a year to collect evidence for sexual assault cases.

She is truly a demon.

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Wasilla Has Released Palin Files

By- Suzie-Q @ 8:00 PM MST

Wasilla Releases Palin Files

Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 07:00:51 PM PDT

In response to the flurry of media requests regarding information on Sarah Palin’s tenure as mayor of Wasilla, the City has released a set of files which were recently requested by the media. The files include election results, certified annual financial reports, budgets, and more.

You can access the documents here.  Happy digging.

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Kevin Ring Indicted For Conspiring With Jack Abramoff

By- Suzie-Q @ 7:00 PM MST

Alleged Abramoff Accomplice Kevin Ring Indicted

Kevin Ring, the former underling of jailed former lobbyist Jack Abramoff, has been indicted on ten counts of public corruption.

From the AP:

A 10-count federal indictment unsealed Monday charges Kevin Ring, 37, with conspiring with Abramoff to corrupt congressional and executive-branch officials by giving them things of value as a reward for helping Ring and his clients.

Prior to becoming a lobbyist with Abramoff, Ring worked for Rep. John Doolittle, R-Calif., who remains under investigation in the Abramoff probe.

. . .The Justice Department said the indictment was returned by a grand jury on Friday and unsealed Monday after Ring was arrested. Ring was to appear in court later Monday.

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By- Suzie-Q @ 6:15 PM MST

Palin church: Alaska will be a ‘refuge’ for Armageddon

Raw Story- David Edwards and Muriel Kane
Published: Monday September 8, 2008

Republican vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin has attended a number of different churches over the years, but for most of her adult life, she belonged to the Wasilla Assembly of God, which has attracted attention for its unorthodox beliefs and practices.

In June, Palin addressed graduates of a youth ministry program at that church, telling them, “It was so cool growin’ up in this church and gettin’ saved here.”

CNN’s Jessica Yellin looked into the church’s beliefs and reports that it practices speaking in tongues and also “teaches that Alaska will be a shelter at the end of the world.”

A video produced by the church proclaims with apocalyptic imagery that “God has a destiny for the state of Alaska!” and in another clip someone from the church affirms, “I believe that Alaska’s one of the refuge states.”

Yellin acknowledged that “whether Palin shares these beliefs is unclear” but noted that “during her June visit, she described the Iraq War and a natural gas pipeline she is trying to build as part of God’s plan.”

Palin herself has not spoken publicly about her faith, but one Wasilla parishioner told Yellin that Palin’s years at the Assembly of God had shaped her beliefs, saying, “She has a better idea of what God is wanting her to do and guiding her and leading her.”

Since 2002, Palin has attended the non-denominational Wasilla Bible Church, which “has more traditional practices,” according to Yellin. The pastor there, Larry Kroon, says, “She really cares about her God, and it doesn’t get in the way of anything. … She approaches everybody with respect.”

This video is from CNN’s American Morning, broadcast September 8, 2008.

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By- Suzie-Q @ 5:15 PM MST

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By- Suzie-Q @ 4:45 PM MST

Sarah Palin Troopergate: Republicans Fail To Unseat Democrat Overseeing Investigation

MATT VOLZ | September 8, 2008 04:52 PM EST | AP

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — A Republican effort failed Monday to unseat the Alaska state senator overseeing the ethics investigation into whether Gov. Sarah Palin abused her power when she dismissed the state’s public safety commissioner.

Democratic Sen. Hollis French was accused of manipulating the probe for political effect on national and state elections. Republican Rep. John Coghill last week asked the Alaska Legislature’s Legislative Council, the body that appointed French to oversee the investigation, to discuss replacing French.

Coghill said he believed the investigation was lacking in fairness, neutrality and due process after French was quoted in media reports that the probe’s results were going to be an “October surprise” that is “likely to be damaging to the administration.”

On Monday, Democratic Sen. Kim Elton, the head of the Legislative Council, turned down his request. French’s decisions to date have been appropriate, bipartisan and unchallenged, Elton wrote to Coghill. And the comments French made were “corrected in a very public way in the media,” Elton wrote.

The investigation is examining whether Palin abused her power by firing Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan. Monegan has said he felt pressure from the Palin family and staff to dismiss a trooper, Mike Wooten, who went through a messy divorce from Palin’s sister.

Anchorage prosecutor Stephen Branchflower, who was hired to conduct the investigation and compile its findings, “will not discuss the status of his review with the media,” Elton said.

“I’m sure that all of us can work in a nonpartisan way to accomplish the charge given to the investigator by the Legislative Council,” Elton said.

Coghill told The Associated Press on Monday that he was disappointed that Elton seemed to miss the political nature of French’s statements and that he would appeal to the council chairman again.

“We all support somebody in this political race, but he took it right smack into this (investigation),” Coghill said of French. “I don’t want to stop the investigation, but I think Sen. French has made it very difficult to get an independent view.”

Elton declined an interview request Monday but said through his spokeswoman that he will not call a Legislative Council meeting until the investigation is complete. Alaska’s House and Senate Judiciary committees meet Friday to decide whether to grant subpoena power to the investigators.

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Would you like to see the economy restored to where it was pre-Bush?  Would you like to see America stop wasting money and running up the National Debt? Would you like to see job growth? Would you like to see tax cuts that help families?

From The Wall Street Journal

The Obama Tax Plan

August 14, 2008; Page A13

Even as Barack Obama proposes fiscally responsible tax reform to strengthen our economy and restore the balance that has been lost in recent years, we hear the familiar protests and distortions from the guardians of the broken status quo.

Many of these very same critics made many of these same overheated predictions in previous elections. They said President Clinton’s 1993 deficit-reduction plan would wreck the economy. Eight years and 23 million new jobs later, the economy proved them wrong. Now they are making the same claims about Sen. Obama’s tax plan, which has even lower taxes than prevailed in the 1990s — including lower taxes on middle-class families, lower taxes for capital gains, and lower taxes for dividends.

[The Obama Tax Plan]
Martin Kozlowski

Overall, Sen. Obama’s middle-class tax cuts are larger than his partial rollbacks for families earning over $250,000, making the proposal as a whole a net tax cut and reducing revenues to less than 18.2% of GDP — the level of taxes that prevailed under President Reagan.

Both candidates for president have proposed tax plans. But they are starkly different in their approaches and their economic impact. Sen. Obama is focused on cutting taxes for middle-class families and small businesses, and investing in key areas like health, innovation and education. He would do this while cutting unnecessary spending, paying for his proposals and bringing down the budget deficit.

In contrast, John McCain offers what would essentially be a third Bush term, with his economic speeches outlining $3.4 trillion of tax cuts over 10 years beyond what President Bush has already proposed and geared even more to high-income earners. The McCain plan would lead to deficits the likes of which we have never seen in this country. It would take money from the middle class and from future generations so that the wealthy can live better today.

Sen. Obama believes a focus on the middle class is appropriate in the wake of the first economic expansion on record where the typical family’s income fell by almost $1,000. The Obama plan would cut taxes for 95% of workers and their families with a tax cut of $500 for workers or $1,000 for working couples. In addition, Sen. Obama is proposing tax cuts for low- and middle-income seniors, homeowners, the uninsured, and families sending a child to college or looking to save and accumulate wealth.

The Obama plan would dramatically simplify taxes by consolidating existing tax credits, eliminating the need for millions of senior citizens to file tax forms, and enabling as many as 40 million middle-class filers to do their own taxes in less than five minutes and not have to hire an accountant.

Sen. Obama also recognizes that small businesses are the engine of job growth in the economy. That is why he is proposing additional tax cuts, including a tax credit for small businesses that provide health care, and the elimination of capital gains taxes for small businesses and start-ups. The vast majority of small businesses would face lower taxes under the Obama plan than under the McCain plan. In addition, Sen. Obama supports reforming corporate taxes in a manner that would help create jobs in America and simplify the tax code by eliminating distortions and special preferences.

Sen. Obama believes that responsible candidates must put forward specific ideas of how they would pay for their proposals. That is why he would repeal a portion of the tax cuts passed in the last eight years for families making over $250,000. But to be clear: He would leave their tax rates at or below where they were in the 1990s.

– The top two income-tax brackets would return to their 1990s levels of 36% and 39.6% (including the exemption and deduction phase-outs). All other brackets would remain as they are today.

– The top capital-gains rate for families making more than $250,000 would return to 20% — the lowest rate that existed in the 1990s and the rate President Bush proposed in his 2001 tax cut. A 20% rate is almost a third lower than the rate President Reagan set in 1986.

– The tax rate on dividends would also be 20% for families making more than $250,000, rather than returning to the ordinary income rate. This rate would be 39% lower than the rate President Bush proposed in his 2001 tax cut and would be lower than all but five of the last 92 years we have been taxing dividends.

– The estate tax would be effectively repealed for 99.7% of estates, and retained at a 45% rate for estates valued at over $7 million per couple. This would cut the number of estates covered by the tax by 84% relative to 2000.

Overall, in an Obama administration, the top 1% of households — people with an average income of $1.6 million per year — would see their average federal income and payroll tax rate increase from 21% today to 24%, less than the 25% these households would have paid under the tax laws of the late 1990s.

Sen. Obama believes that one of the principal problems facing the economy today is the lack of discretionary income for middle-class wage earners. That’s why his plan would not raise any taxes on couples making less than $250,000 a year, nor on any single person with income under $200,000 — not income taxes, capital gains taxes, dividend or payroll taxes.

In contrast, Sen. McCain’s tax plan largely leaves the middle class behind. His one and only middle-class tax cut — a slow phase-in of a bigger dependent exemption — would provide no benefit whatsoever to 101 million families who do not have children or other dependents, or who have a low income.

But Sen. McCain’s plan does include one new proposal that would result in higher taxes on the middle class. As even Sen. McCain’s advisers have acknowledged, his health-care plan would impose a $3.6 trillion tax increase over 10 years on workers. Sen. McCain’s plan will count the health care you get from your employer as if it were taxable cash income. Even after accounting for Sen. McCain’s proposed health-care tax credits, this plan would eventually leave tens of millions of middle-class families paying higher taxes. In addition, as the Congressional Budget Office has shown, this kind of plan would push people into higher tax brackets and increase the taxes people pay as their compensation rises, raising marginal tax rates by even more than if we let the entire Bush tax-cut plan expire tomorrow.

The McCain plan represents Bush economics on steroids. It has $3.4 trillion more in tax cuts than President Bush is proposing, largely directed at corporations and the most affluent. Sen. McCain would implement these cuts without proposing any meaningful steps to simplify taxes or eliminate distortions and loopholes. In addition, Sen. McCain has floated over $1 trillion in new spending increases but barely any specific spending cuts.

As previously mentioned, the Obama plan is a net tax cut — his middle-class tax cuts are larger than the rollbacks he has proposed for families making over $250,000. Sen. Obama would pay for this tax cut by cutting spending — including responsibly ending the war in Iraq, reducing excessive payments to private plans in Medicare, limiting payments for high-income farmers, reducing subsidies for banks that make student loans, reforming earmarks, ending no-bid contracts, and eliminating other wasteful and unnecessary programs.

While Sen. Obama would shrink the deficit from its current record levels, he recognizes that it is even more important to confront our long-term fiscal challenges, including the growth of health costs in the public and private sector. He also believes it is critical to work with members of Congress from both parties to strengthen Social Security while protecting middle-class families from tax increases or benefit cuts. He has done what few presidential candidates have been willing to do by making a politically risky proposal to strengthen solvency by asking those making over $250,000 to contribute a bit more to Social Security to keep it sound.

Sen. Obama does not support uncapping the full payroll tax of 12.4% rate. Instead, he is considering plans that would ask those making over $250,000 to pay in the range of 2% to 4% more in total (combined employer and employee). This change to Social Security would start a decade or more from now and is similar to the rate increases floated by Sen. McCain’s close adviser Lindsey Graham, and that Sen. McCain has previously said he “could” support.

In contrast, Sen. McCain has put forward the most fiscally reckless presidential platform in modern memory. The likely results of his Bush-plus policies are clear. As Berkeley economist Brad Delong has estimated, the McCain plan, as compared to the Obama plan, would lower annual incomes by $300 billion or more in real terms by 2017, costing the typical worker $1,800 or more due to the effect of large deficits on national savings and thus capital formation. Sen. McCain’s neglect of critical public investments would further impede economic growth for decades to come.

Do not take the critics’ word for it. Go look at the plans for yourself at www.barackobama.com/taxes. Get the facts and you will see the real priorities at stake in this election. America cannot afford another eight years like these.

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State Of The Race: 9/8/08

By- Suzie-Q @ 12:05 PM MST

State of the race: 9/8 (panic edition)

Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 09:30:49 AM PDT

I haven’t done [one] of these since August 1, since the Olympics and conventions sort of froze everything in place. We should be seeing the numbers shift around quite a bit over the next couple of weeks as the convention bounces fade and whatever is left over begins to assert itself. So while many of you panic over the national polling numbers, let’s take a look at the numbers that actually matter — the state-by-state polling.

Five weeks ago, it was Obama 336, McCain 202. I give the states to whoever leads in the Pollster.com polling aggregates. For this edition, it’s Obama 309, McCain 229. The difference from five weeks ago is Florida, which flipped from the narrowest Obama lead to the narrowest McCain lead (McCain 46.2, Obama 44.1).

Now let’s look at the battleground state map. In previous editions, I used to define “battleground” as states within single digits. As we near Election Day, I’m tightening that definition, to those states that are within six points. Why six? Because if we tightened the screen to five, that would leave out Michigan, and I think we can all agree that Michigan is certainly tight. Going to six doesn’t leave out any obvious hot battleground states. And going to seven would pull in states like Texas, which while tighter than history would suggest, aren’t being overtly contested (at least not for now). And yes, seven also keeps out New Mexico and Pennsylvania, which McCain is heavily contesting, but so far, McCain’s numbers in those states suck (which can obviously change in the coming weeks). So with that new screen, we get this:

That is Obama 243, McCain 132. Looks pretty good, huh? Unfortunately for Obama, other than New Hampshire and Michigan, those are all Red states, with their past history of voting Republican. So we’re not out of the woods just yet. This is a real battle. But make no mistake about it, I’d rather be in Obama’s shoes than McCain’s. Compare to 2004, with yellow representing the states either candidate won by 6 or less points:

Without those tight states, the tally was Bush 213, Kerry 165. Kerry had a much tougher map getting to 270 than Obama does this time around.

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Afternoon Jukebox… Jump

By- Suzie-Q @ 12:00 PM MST

Van Halen – Jump

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By- Suzie-Q @ 11:30 AM MST

Gov. Palin hiding husband’s correspondence related to trooper union

Raw Story- Nick Juliano
Published: Monday September 8, 2008

E-mails between Todd Palin, Gov’s aides among hundreds kept secret

Dozens of e-mails exchanged among several government employees and Todd Palin, the husband of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin who has no formal role in her administration, are not being turned over in response to an open records request in the state.

The e-mails are being kept secret ostensibly because they deal with policy deliberations between the governor and her staff, the contents of which do not have to be disclosed to the public. However, Todd Palin’s presence in the e-mail chains seems to belie concerns that their contents need to remain strictly in the domain of the state government.

Another possible reason for the withholding is the political damage that could accompany disclosure of the e-mails. According to subject lines of the e-mails, they seem to deal with a public sector union representing Alaska state troopers that the Palins have been feuding with for years as well as one of the governor’s main political opponents.

Mother Jones‘ David Corn outlined the backstory behind the missing e-mails Monday.

In June, Andrée McLeod, a self-described independent government watchdog in Alaska, sent an opens record act request to the office of Governor Sarah Palin. She requested copies of all the emails that had been sent and received by Ivy Frye and Frank Bailey, two top aides to Palin, from February through April of this year. McLeod, a 53-year-old registered Republican who has held various jobs in state government, suspected that Frye and Bailey had engaged in political activity during official business hours in that period by participating in a Palin-backed effort to oust the state chairman of the Alaska Republican party, Randy Ruedrich. (Bailey has been in the national news of late for refusing to cooperate with investigators probing whether Palin fired Alaska’s public safety commission because he did not dismiss a state trooper who had gone through an ugly divorce with Palin’s sister.)

In response to her request, McLeod received four large boxes of emails. This batch of documents did not contain any proof that Frye and Bailey had worked on government time to boot out Ruedrich. But there was other information she found troubling. Several of the emails suggested to her that Palin’s office had used its influence to reward a Fairbanks surveyor who was a Palin fundraiser with a state job. In early August, McLeod filed a complaint with the state attorney general against Palin, Bailey, and other Palin aides, claiming they had violated ethics and hiring laws. Palin, now the Republican vice-presidential candidate, told the Alaska Daily News that “there were no favors done for anybody.”

But more intriguing than any email correspondence contained in the four boxes was what was not released: about 1100 emails. Palin’s office provided McLeod with a 78-page list (PDF) cataloging the emails it was withholding. Many of them had been written by Palin or sent to her.

Of the withheld e-mails, at least four dozen include Todd Palin, and many of those refer either to the Public Service Employees Association, a union representing law enforcement officers in Alaska. Others including Todd Palin reference Andrew Halco, a former state lawmaker who ran as an independent against Sarah Palin in 2006. Since losing that race, he’s become a blogger who frequently criticizes Palin’s administration.

A string of e-mails sent over several days in late March and early April refer to “PSEA Ads” and a “PR Campaign,” although nothing but the subject line in the e-mails has been released on the grounds that they deal with “deliberative process” and executive privilege.

It’s unclear precisely what the ads or PR campaigns were, but municipal elections were held in Anchorage on April 1, during the timeframe the e-mails were being exchanged. RAW STORY has left a message with the PSEA’s executive director seeking more information.

The PSEA represents Alaska State Troopers, and Gov. Palin is alleged to have fired the state’s Department of Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan after he refused to have her former brother-in-law fired from the state police force.

Monegan showed the Washington Post separate e-mails from Sarah Palin’s personal Yahoo! e-mail account in which she showed intense interest in the investigation of trooper Mike Wooten, who allegedly threatened Pallin’s family while divorcing her sister.

In one e-mail from July of 2007, Palin criticized the fact that Wooten was “not even reprimanded by his bosses” after allegedly threatening to kill her father, and she implied that the union was protecting him.

“Remember when the death threat was reported, and follow-on threats from Mike that he was going to ‘bring Sarah and her family down’ — instead of any reprimand WE were told by trooper union personnel that we’d be sued if we talked about those threats,” she wrote to Monegan.

Whether the e-mails circulated between Palin’s husband and the governor’s staffers were similarly critical of the union is not known, but activists hope such information may come to light before the election.

McLeod, who filed the initial public records request, said she will appeal the decision to keep the 1,100 e-mails private.

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