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Archive for September 23rd, 2008

The Palins: Vendetta And Deception In Troopergate??

By- Suzie-Q @ 6:45 PM MST

The Palins need to seek counseling.

Tue Sep 23, 2008 at 03:26:30 PM PDT

Via Mudflats, which has become one of the go-to Alaska blogs for watching the slow-motion train wreck that is John McCain’s loony tunes VP pick, comes this observation from the Anchorage Daily New’s very conservative columnist Dan Fagan:

Most Alaskans don’t seem to mind all the changing of stories, obvious delay tactics, coverups and pure obstruction of justice because they believe Palin was acting in the state’s best interest when she, her husband and her staff over and over and over and over again told former Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan and other trooper management how disappointed and confused they were Wooten was still on the job.

So why would the governor sacrifice her reputation as an honest and different kind of politician just to cover the fact that she was doing something for the public good? Why do she and her new handlers in the McCain camp believe there is something in Troopergate that could cost them the election?

The real damage to Palin from Troopergate comes with an injury claim involving trooper Wooten when he hurt his back while in the line of duty.

This is something I’ve seen emptywheel chasing down in the past few days. She’s been asking just what the Troopergate investigator, Stephen Branchflower, was saying when he testified that he believed a key witness had had a “financial incentive” to lie to him in the course of his inquiry.

Specifically:

Independent investigator Steve Branchflower testified recently he believes someone in the governor’s office tried to block Wooten’s workers’ compensation injury benefits.

Harbor Adjustment Services, the company hired by the state to process, evaluate and decide on workers’ benefit claims, had great financial incentive in bowing to pressure from the governor to deny Wooten’s injury claim.

Now, you can quibble about whether or not getting Alaska State Trooper Mike Wooten — Palin’s estranged ex-brother in law — fired from his job does anything to protect her family or her sister’s family, as Palin herself still claims. Me, I can’t see how making it hard for him to pay his bills protects anybody. But maybe the guy shouldn’t be carrying a badge and gun. That’s possible.

But what possible protective benefit is there in denying the guy’s worker’s compensation claim?

Palin’s got no answer for that, and never will have one. Because there is not possible protective benefit in it. It’s 100% pure, uncut spite. And it’s using the trappings of high public office to twist the knife in a long-running and increasingly pathological personal vendetta, too.

Sick.

But it gets worse.

We know the governor’s office was very interested in Wooten. Dianne Kiesel, a state employee with the Department of Administration, tells me former Palin chief of staff Mike Tibbles instructed her to walk Wooten’s personnel file over to the governor’s office.

And there is the governor’s aide, Frank Bailey, caught on tape admitting he has information that came from Wooten’s workers’ comp file.

Oooooh boy. This lunatic really can’t help herself!

Nor may she ever have the strength to. Because she’s married to an equally sick enabler:

The very file that includes pictures, taken by none other than Todd Palin, of Wooten riding a snowmachine trying to prove the trooper was not injured.

Oh. My. God. Todd Palin stalked the guy and took secret photos of him!

These people are mentally disturbed.

John McCain owes it to America and the world to derail this insane nomination immediately. No ifs, ands or buts about it.

And every day the truth is delayed by McCain’s continued stonewalling of the Alaska State Legislature’s investigation is a stain on what’s left of his crumbling reputation.

What incredible spite this man must have for the American voters!

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By- Suzie-Q @ 5:45 PM MST

Protesters unfurl ‘Arrest Bush & Cheney’ banner at Nat’l Archives

Raw Story- Mike Sheehan and David Edwards
Published: Tuesday September 23, 2008

Anti-war protesters hung a banner today at the National Archives calling for the arrest of President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney.

The 22-foot-long banner in red, white and black reads, “Defend Our Constitution – Arrest Bush / Cheney! – War Criminals!”

The protesters, perched on a ledge at the historic building in Washington, D.C., additionally claim to be on a hunger strike.

According to a press release, the five are military combat veterans from the anti-war group Veterans For Peace who intend to stay on the ledge and fast for a full day “in remembrance of those who have perished and those still suffering from the crimes of the Bush administration.”

An Archives spokesperson had no comment when asked if authorities were planning to take action to stop the peaceful protest.

This video is from YouTube, broadcast September 23, 2008.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

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FBI Investigating Four Major Financial Institutions For Fraud

By- Suzie-Q @ 5:15 PM MST

FBI Investigating Companies At Heart Of Wall St Crisis

LARA JAKES JORDAN | September 23, 2008 07:50 PM EST | AP

WASHINGTON — The FBI is investigating four major U.S. financial institutions whose collapse helped trigger a $700 billion bailout plan by the Bush administration.

Two law enforcement officials said Tuesday the FBI is looking at potential fraud by mortgage finance giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., and insurer American International Group Inc.

The inquiries, still in preliminary stages, will focus on the financial institutions and the individuals that ran them, a senior law enforcement official said..

Officials said the new inquiries brings the number of corporate lenders under investigation over the last year to 26.

Spokesmen for AIG, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac did not immediately return calls for comment Tuesday evening. A Lehman spokesman did not have an immediate comment.

The law enforcement officials spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigations are ongoing and are in the very early stages.

Just last week, FBI Director Robert Mueller put the number of large financial firms under investigation at 24. He did not name any of the companies under investigation but said the FBI also is looking at whether any of them have misrepresented their assets.

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Does The Bailout Put The Constitution At Risk?

By- Suzie-Q @ 4:50 PM MST

From left, Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr., Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke and Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission Christopher Cox testified on Tuesday.

From left, Treas. Sec. Henry M. Paulson Jr., Fed. Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke & Chairman of the Securities & Exchange Comm. Christopher Cox testified on Tuesday.

Buyout Plan for Wall Street Is a Hard Sell on Capitol Hill

The New York Times

Published: September 23, 2008

WASHINGTON — Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr. received an angry and skeptical reception on Tuesday when he appeared before the Senate Banking Committee to ask Congress to promptly give him wide authority to rescue the nation’s financial system.

Mr. Paulson urged lawmakers “to enact this bill quickly and cleanly, and avoid slowing it down with other provisions that are unrelated or don’t have broad support.”

The Federal Reserve chairman, Ben S. Bernanke, who appeared with Mr. Paulson, said the financial system “continues to be very unpredictable, and very worrisome,” and that inaction could lead to a recession.

But after hours of back-and-forth, the committee’s leaders said explicitly what had seemed clear all day: that they rejected the administration’s plan. “What they have sent us is not acceptable,” the committee chairman, Senator Christopher J. Dodd, Democrat of Connecticut, told The Associated Press.

The panel’s ranking Republican agreed. “We have to look at some alternatives,” Senator Richard C. Shelby of Alabama told The A.P.

One after another throughout the session, senators from both parties said that, while they were prepared to move fast, they were far from ready to give the administration everything it wanted in its proposed $700 billion plan to buy up and hopefully resell troubled mortgage-backed securities.

On the House side of the Capitol, the mood was apparently similar after Vice President Dick Cheney met with Republican members. “Hardly anyone in that room has decided yet how they’re going to vote on this,” Representative Phil Gingrey, Republican of Georgia, told Bloomberg News.

Senator Dodd called the Treasury proposal “stunning and unprecedented in its scope and lack of detail.”

Asserting that the plan would allow Mr. Paulson to act with “absolute impunity,” Senator Dodd said, “After reading this proposal, I can only conclude that it is not only our economy that is at risk, Mr. Secretary, but our Constitution, as well.”

MORE HERE

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Olbermann: Fox Host Doesn’t Bother To ‘Hide His Racism’

By- Suzie-Q @ 12:05 PM MST

Olbermann: Fox host doesn’t bother to ‘hide his racism’

Raw Story- David Edwards and Muriel Kane
Published: Tuesday September 23, 2008

When Fox’s Neil Cavuto garnered the coveted “Worst Person in the World Title” from MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann on Monday it wasn’t the first time, but Cavuto’s latest misstep exceeds even his own previous appearance in the slot.

In an attempt to blame the Democrats in Congress for the current economic meltdown, Cavuto told Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-CA) last week that he should have warned bankers about possible problems with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

“I’m just saying,” Cavuto insisted, “I don’t remember a clarion call that said, ‘Fannie and Freddie are a disaster. Loaning to minorities and risky folks is a disaster.'”

“Wow,” commented Olbermann. “Usually they hide their racism a little bit better at Fox.”

The two runners-up to Cavuto for Monday’s Worst Person title were Fox’s Steve Doocy — for claiming comedian-turned-politician Al Franken must have broken some law by giving Saturday Night Live the idea for a tv sketch lampooning John McCain — and a South Carolina GOP official who suggested that Sarah Palin’s family problems might make his own drunk driving arrests less of an issue with the voters. Raw Story reported on both incidents yesterday.

This video is from MSNBC’s Countdown, broadcast September 22, 2008.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “The Raw Story | Olbermann: Fox host d…“, posted with vodpod

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Afternoon Jukebox… Put Your Lights On

By- Suzie-Q @ 12:00 PM MST


Santana and Everlast – Put Your Lights On

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Welcome to the final stages of the coup…

posted @ 19:28 BST

Larisa Alexandrovna | Huffington Post | September 20, 2008

If you must break the law, do it to seize power: in all other cases observe it. ~ Julius Caesar

Video: The Plot to Overthrow FDR

In 2000, the long fought for and long admired democracy of the United States of America began a slow and steady decline toward fascism – a Bush family tradition – with the installment of a president – a man the citizens overwhelmingly rejected (although the funny math told a still believed myth) – by a few corrupt judges on the US Supreme Court. That coup is now nearly complete and checkmate is all but unavoidable.

Let me first point you to the Bush administration’s so-called Wall Street bailout bill, here, so that you can see for yourself that this treachery is being conducted in the light of day. Fascism is finally and formally out of the right-wing closet even if the F word is not yet openly being used (although it should be, and often).

Now, if you do not yet understand that the Wall Street crisis is a man-made disaster done through intentional deregulation and corruption, I have a bridge in Alaska to sell to you (or Sara Palin does anyway). This manufactured crisis is now to be remedied, if the fiscal fascists get their way, with the total transfer of Congressional powers (the few that still remain) to the Executive Branch and the total transfer of public funds into corporate (via government as intermediary) hands.

Adam Davidson of NPR blogs about the so-called bailout bill as follows:

I would guess that this has to be one of the biggest peacetime transfers of power from Congress to the Administration in history. (Anyone know?). Certainly one of the most concise.

The Treasury Secretary can buy broadly defined assets, on any terms he wants, he can hire anyone he wants to do it and can appoint private sector companies as financial deputies of the US government. And he can write whatever regulation he thinks are needed.

Most importantly, Davidson points to this passage in the bill:

Decisions by the Secretary pursuant to the authority of this Act are non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency.

The Bush family, in the form of Prescott Bush, has tried a more aggressive coup before in order to install fascism in this country. This treasonous plot was called “the Business Plot,” because the high-level plotters – including Prescott Bush – were Wall Street men who openly supported fascism.

(more…)

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Obama Is Ahead In The Key Battleground States

By- Suzie-Q @ 10:45 AM MST

Obama ahead in key battleground states

Raw Story- John Byrne
Published: Tuesday September 23, 2008

Sen. Barack Obama holds a small lead in four key battleground states — Michigan, Minnesota, Colorado and Wisconsin — according to a new poll conducted by Quinnipiac University.

“The best news for Sen. Obama in the new surveys may come in Colorado, where he has moved to a four percentage point lead, 49% to 45%, after being down by a percentage point in August,” according to the Wall Street Journal. “That means Colorado presents a good opportunity for Sen. Obama to swing a Republican state to his favor this year.”

President Bush won the state in 2000 and 2004.

McCain’s best shot at turning a blue state red is Minnesota, where Obama enjoys just a two percent lead, well within the poll’s margin of error. Obama enjoyed a 17-point lead in the state in June.

Obama holds a four point lead in Michigan, the poll says, as well as a seven point lead in Wisconsin. Both states went Democrat in 2000 and 2004.

Read the full story here.

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Remember the ownership society?

by Geezer Power…10:42 am

Disowned by the Ownership Society

By Naomi Klein – January 31st, 2008

Remember the “ownership society,” fixture of major George W. Bush addresses for the first four years of his presidency? “We’re creating…an ownership society in this country, where more Americans than ever will be able to open up their door where they live and say, welcome to my house, welcome to my piece of property,” Bush said in October 2004. Washington think-tanker Grover Norquist predicted that the ownership society would be Bush’s greatest legacy, remembered “long after people can no longer pronounce or spell Fallujah.” Yet in Bush’s final State of the Union address, the once-ubiquitous phrase was conspicuously absent. And little wonder: rather than its proud father, Bush has turned out to be the ownership society’s undertaker.

Well before the ownership society had a neat label, its creation was central to the success of the right-wing economic revolution around the world. The idea was simple: if working-class people owned a small piece of the market–a home mortgage, a stock portfolio, a private pension–they would cease to identify as workers and start to see themselves as owners, with the same interests as their bosses. That meant they could vote for politicians promising to improve stock performance rather than job conditions. Class consciousness would be a relic.

It was always tempting to dismiss the ownership society as an empty slogan–“hokum” as former Labor Secretary Robert Reich put it. But the ownership society was quite real. It was the answer to a roadblock long faced by politicians favoring policies to benefit the wealthy. The problem boiled down to this: people tend to vote their economic interests. Even in the wealthy United States, most people earn less than the average income. That means it is in the interest of the majority to vote for politicians promising to redistribute wealth from the top down.

So what to do? It was Margaret Thatcher who pioneered a solution. The effort centered on Britain’s public housing, or council estates, which were filled with die-hard Labour Party supporters. In a bold move, Thatcher offered strong incentives to residents to buy their council estate flats at reduced rates (much as Bush did decades later by promoting subprime mortgages). Those who could afford it became homeowners while those who couldn’t faced rents almost twice as high as before, leading to an explosion of homelessness.

As a political strategy, it worked: the renters continued to oppose Thatcher, but polls showed that more than half of the newly minted owners did indeed switch their party affiliation to the Tories. The key was a psychological shift: they now thought like owners, and owners tend to vote Tory. The ownership society as a political project was born.

Article

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Palin Bans Reporters From UN Meeting And Press Strikes Back

By- Suzie-Q @ 10:00 AM MST

UPDATEDX2 Palin Bans Reporters from UN Meeting; Press Strikes Back

Tue Sep 23, 2008 at 09:16:36 AM PDT

Sarah Palin is in the UN today trying to score brownie points for having brief chit-chats with world leaders.  Apparently, being able to see Russia from a little island in Alaska doesn’t quite give you the foreign policy chops you need.

Palin, in all of her neo-Cheney goodness, decided to ban reporters from the event.  Unfortunately, reporters weren’t too happy about that:

Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, who has not held a press conference in nearly four weeks of campaigning, on Tuesday banned reporters from her first meetings with world leaders, allowing access only to photographers and a television crew.

CNN, which was providing the television coverage for news organizations, decided to pull its TV crew, effectively denying Palin the high visibility she had sought…

Those sessions and meetings scheduled for Wednesday are part of the Republican campaign’s effort to give Palin experience in foreign affairs. She has never met a foreign head of state and first traveled outside North America just last year.

The campaign told the TV producer, print and wire reporters in the press pool that follows the Alaska governor that they would not be admitted with the photographers and camera crew taken in to photograph the meetings. At least two news organizations, including The Associated Press, objected and were told that the decision was not subject to discussion.

http://news.yahoo.com/…

Let me be blunt.  Sarah Palin disgusts me.  There is a chance she might be this country’s next Vice-President, and she has yet to do a press conference.  At every turn, she limits press access and therefore the ability of the public to make an informed decision.

This time, it looks like her little stunt cost her the visibility and legitimacy she craves.  Perhaps the McCain campaign’s hissy fit yesterday regarding the media isn’t helping.

UPDATE: They already flipflop:

TVNewser has learned all the networks were prepared to ban the use of pictures and video from Gov. Sarah Palin’s meetings at the UN today. The ban was in protest of the McCain campaign’s restriction on editorial presence.

We hear the networks had arranged for a pool camera to cover all the meetings, and at least three journalists were to be present as well (one print, one radio, one TV). Earlier today, the McCain campaign said it would allow just one editorial person inside. Later, the campaign limited it to a camera only.

Within the last few minutes, the campaign reversed course

http://www.mediabistro.com/…

Politico has more here:  http://www.politico.com/…

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