Archive for October, 2008

Palin Scams Hard Working, Tax Paying Alaskans

October 22, 2008

This detailed information is from the Associated Press Writers, BRETT J. BLACKLEDGE, ADAM GOLDMAN and MATT APUZZO, October 21, 2008. 

I find it incredible that Americans in the midst of economic melt-down condone Palin’s expenditures and behavior.  She is nothing short of a common crook.

ANCHORAGE, Alaska – Gov. Sarah Palin charged the state for her children to travel with her, including to events where they were not invited, and later amended expense reports to specify that they were on official business.

The charges included costs for hotel and commercial flights for three daughters to join Palin to watch their father in a snowmobile race, and a trip to New York, where the governor attended a five-hour conference and stayed with 17-year-old Bristol for five days and four nights in a luxury hotel.

In all, Palin has charged the state $21,012 for her three daughters’ 64 one-way and 12 round-trip commercial flights since she took office in December 2006. In some other cases, she has charged the state for hotel rooms for the girls.

Alaska law does not specifically address expenses for a governor’s children. The law allows for payment of expenses for anyone conducting official state business.

As governor, Palin justified having the state pay for the travel of her daughters — Bristol, 17; Willow, 14; and Piper, 7 — by noting on travel forms that the girls had been invited to attend or participate in events on the governor’s schedule.

But some organizers of these events said they were surprised when the Palin children showed up uninvited, or said they agreed to a request by the governor to allow the children to attend.

Several other organizers said the children merely accompanied their mother and did not participate. The trips enabled Palin, whose main state office is in the capital of Juneau, to spend more time with her children.

“She said any event she can take her kids to is an event she tries to attend,” said Jennifer McCarthy, who helped organize the June 2007 Family Day Celebration picnic in Ketchikan that Piper attended with her parents.

State Finance Director Kim Garnero told The Associated Press she has not reviewed the Palins’ travel expense forms, so she could not say whether the daughters’ travel with their mother would meet the definition of official business.

After Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain chose Palin his running mate and reporters asked for the records, Palin ordered changes to previously filed expense reports for her daughters’ travel.

In the amended reports, Palin added phrases such as “First Family attending” and “First Family invited” to explain the girls’ attendance.

“The governor said, ‘I want the purpose and the reason for this travel to be clear,’” said Linda Perez, state director of administrative services.

When Palin released her family’s tax records as part of her vice presidential campaign, some tax experts questioned why she did not report the children’s state travel reimbursements as income.

The Palins released a review by a Washington attorney who said state law allows the children’s travel expenses to be reimbursed and not taxed when they conduct official state business.

Taylor Griffin, a McCain-Palin campaign spokesman, said Palin followed state policy allowing governors to charge for their children’s travel. He said the governor’s office has invitations requesting the family to attend some events, but he said he did not have them to provide.

In October 2007, Palin brought daughter Bristol along on a trip to New York for a women’s leadership conference. Plane tickets from Anchorage to La Guardia Airport for $1,385.11 were billed to the state, records show, and mother and daughter shared a room for four nights at the $707.29-per-night Essex House hotel, which overlooks Central Park.

The event’s organizers said Palin asked if she could bring her daughter.

Alexis Gelber, who organized Newsweek’s Third Annual Women & Leadership Conference, said she does not know how Bristol ended up attending. Gelber said invitees usually attend alone, but some ask if they can bring a relative or friend.

Griffin, the campaign spokesman, said he believes someone with the event personally sent an e-mail to Bristol inviting her, but he did not have it to provide. Records show Palin also met with Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Goldman Sachs representatives and visited the New York Stock Exchange.

In January, the governor, Willow and Piper showed up at the Alaska Symphony of Seafood Buffet, an Anchorage gala to announce winners of an earlier seafood competition.

“She was just there,” said James Browning, executive director of Alaska Fisheries Development Foundation, which runs the event. Griffin said the governor’s office received an invitation that was not specifically addressed to anyone.

When Palin amended her children’s expense reports, she listed a role for the two girls at the function — “to draw two separate raffle tickets.”

In the original travel form, Palin listed a number of events that her children attended and said they were there “in official capacity helping.” She did not identify any specific roles for the girls.

In July, the governor charged the state $2,741.26 to take Bristol and Piper to Philadelphia for a meeting of the National Governors Association. The girls had their own room for five nights at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel for $215.46 a night, expense records show.

Expense forms describe the girls’ official purpose as “NGA Governor’s Youth Programs and family activities.” But those programs were activities designed to keep children busy, a service provided by the NGA

to accommodate governors and their families, NGA spokeswoman Jodi Omear said.

In addition to the commercial flights, the children have traveled dozens of times with Palin on a state plane. For these flights, the total cost of operating the plane, at $971 an hour, was about $55,000, according to state flight logs. The cost of operating the state plane does not increase when the children join their mother.

The organizer of an American Heart Association luncheon on Feb. 15 in Fairbanks said Palin asked to bring daughter Piper to the event, and the organizer said she was surprised when Palin showed up with daughter Willow and Bristol as well.

The three Palin daughters shared a room separate from their mother at the Princess Lodge in Fairbanks for two nights, at a cost to the state of $129 per night.

The luncheon took place before Palin’s husband, Todd, finished fourth in the 2,000-mile Iron Dog snowmobile race, also in Fairbanks. The family greeted him at the finish line.

When Palin showed up at the luncheon with not just Piper but also Willow and Bristol, organizers had to scramble to make room at the main table, said Janet Bartels, who set up the event.

“When it’s the governor, you just make it happen,” she said.

The state is already reviewing nearly $17,000 in per diem payments to Palin for more than 300 nights she slept at her own home, 40 miles from her satellite office in Anchorage.

Tony Knowles, a Democratic former governor of Alaska who lost to Palin in a 2006 bid to reclaim the job, said he never charged the state for his three children’s commercial flights or claimed their travel as official state business.

Knowles, who was governor from 1994 to 2002, is the only other recent Alaska governor who had school-age children while in office.

“There was no valid reason for the children to be along on state business,” said Knowles, a supporter of Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama. “I cannot recall any instance during my eight years as governor where it would have been appropriate to claim they performed state business.”

Knowles said he brought his children to one NGA event while in office but didn’t charge the state for their trip.

In February 2007, the three girls flew from Juneau to Anchorage on Alaska Airlines. Palin charged the state for the $519.30 round-trip ticket for each girl, and noted on the expense form that the daughters accompanied her to “open the start of the Iron Dog race.”

The children and their mother then watched as Todd Palin and other racers started the competition, which Todd won that year. Palin later had the relevant expense forms changed to describe the girls’ business as “First Family official starter for the start of the Iron Dog race.”

The Palins began charging the state for commercial flights after the governor kept a 2006 campaign promise to sell a jet bought by her predecessor.

Palin put the jet up for sale on eBay, a move she later trumpeted in her star-making speech at the Republican National Convention, and it was ultimately sold by the state at a loss.

That left only one high-performance aircraft deemed safe enough for her to use — a 1980 twin-engine King Air assigned to the public safety agency but, according to flight logs, out of service for maintenance and repairs about a third of the time Palin has been governor.

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In tonight’s debate John McCain says, “Senator I AM NOT PRESIDENT BUSH!”

October 16, 2008

John McCain spouted a rude remark to Barack Obama – and Obama stuck to his guns, continuing to speak about the economy.  McCain looked angry, uncomfortable and perturbed.  He was sour and really uncomfortable in his own skin.

McCain went on the offensive, was disrespectful and angry.  If John McCain sincerely wants to end the negative, mud-slinging then he should have rebuked Sarah Palin for speaking of Obama as “paling around with terrorists”. 

So many of McCain/Palin’s remarks have been spiteful and negative.  If they really wanted to get ahead and distance McCain from “the little Bushy”, then McCain should get rid of the Karl Rove advisers – and go back to being the true moderate he was 8 years ago.

So, thankfully the debates are over and McCain can go back to Arizona and get a nap.  Good nite, grumpy!

What does Obama read?

October 16, 2008

Today I received an email from a “friend” and it was meant to scare me.  This is TYPICAL of the slander, mis-information and suspicious inuendo of the McCain supporters running scared. 

The email said, Snoops.com says the picture is real(Not touched up)! The author is from India and says he is not religious; but, sounds like he is Muslim.

 A PICTURE IS WORTH A THOUSAND WORDS. THIS WILL OPEN YOUR EYES. WHAT DOES OBAMA READ? “

So, I did go to www.snopes.com to check out the validity of the picture of Barack Obama holding

The Post American World.   Here’s what they actually said on snopes.com (not snoops.com as the email writer mistakenly quoted.)

I encourage each of you to go to www.snopes.com and read their summary.
 
A portion of it says,” The above displayed photograph of Barack Obama carrying (and presumably reading), the best selling book, The Post American World, is a real one, snapped by Doug Mills of The New York Times in Bozeman, Montana in May, 2008.  However, the characterization of the pictured book “as a Muslim’s view of a defeated America” is erroneous: The book does not postit a “defeated America”, nor does it express a Muslim point of view.”
 
It goes on to say, “The following review from Publishers’ Weekly summarizes the thesis of The Post American World.  When a book proclaims that it is not about the decline of America but “the rise of everyone else,” readers might expect another diatribe about our dismal post-9/11 world. They are in for a pleasant surprise as Newsweek editor and popular pundit Zakaria (The Future of Freedom ) delivers a stimulating, largely optimistic forecast of where the 21st century is heading. We are living in a peaceful era, he maintains; world violence peaked around 1990 and has plummeted to a record low. Burgeoning prosperity has spread to the developing world, raising standards of living in Brazil, India, China and Indonesia. Twenty years ago China discarded Soviet economics but not its politics, leading to a wildly effective, top-down, scorched-earth boom. Its political antithesis, India, also prospers while remaining a chaotic, inefficient democracy, as Indian elected officials are (generally) loathe to use the brutally efficient tactics that are the staple of Chinese governance. Paradoxically, India’s greatest asset is its relative stability in the region; its officials take an unruly population for granted, while dissent produces paranoia in Chinese leaders. Zakaria predicts that despite its record of recent blunders at home and abroad, America will stay strong, buoyed by a stellar educational system and the influx of young immigrants, who give the U.S. a more youthful demographic than Europe and much of Asia whose workers support an increasing population of unproductive elderly. A lucid, thought-provoking appraisal of world affairs, this book will engage readers on both sides of the political spectrum. http.www.cahners.com – 2008 February #4″

Anti-American Behavior = Sarah & Todd Palin

October 10, 2008

In Salon.com Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. writes a thought-provoking and timely article about Sarah Palin’s close associates and their anti-American beliefs.

So, Sarah, who’s the real terrorist?  A person who served on a committee with Ayers, or you, a supporter of the Alaskan Independence Party which openly detests America?

It’s time to stop throwing rocks at Barack Obama and take care of explaining your own swarmy associations with those who hate America.

Alaskan Independence Party: The Last Refuge of a Scoundrel

In 2004, America’s malleable mainstream media allowed itself to be manipulated by artful Republican operatives into devoting weeks of broadcast attention and drums of ink to unfairly desecrating John Kerry’s genuine Vietnam heroics while obligingly muzzling serious discussion of George W. Bush’s shameful wartime record of evasion and cowardice.

Last week found the American media once again boarding Republican swift boats against this season’s Democratic candidate armed with unfair and hypocritical attacks artfully designed by GOP strategists to distract attention from the cataclysmic outcomes of Republican governance. Vice Presidential hopeful Sarah Palin has taken to faulting Senator Barack Obama for his casual acquaintance with a respected Illinois educator Bill Ayers, who forty years ago was a member of the Weathermen, a movement active when Obama was eight and which he has denounced as “detestable.” Palin argues that the relationship proves that Obama sees “America as being so imperfect that he is palling around with terrorists who would target their own country.”

The Times dedicated a page one article to Obama’s relations with Ayers and CNN’s Anderson Cooper obliged Palin by rewarding her reckless accusations about Obama’s patriotism with a major investigative report. Fox, meanwhile, is still riveting its audience with wall to wall coverage of this pressing irrelevancy.

But if McCarthy-era guilt-by-association is once again a valid political consideration, Palin, it would seem, has more to lose than Obama. Palin, it could be argued, following her own logic, thinks so little of America’s perfection that she continues to “pal around” with a man–her husband, actually–who only recently terminated his seven-year membership in the Alaskan Independence Party. Putting plunder above patriotism, the members of this treasonous cabal aim to break our country into pieces and walk away with Alaska’s rich federal oil fields and one-fifth of America’s land base–an area three-fourths the size of the Civil War Confederacy.

AIP’s charter commits the party “to the ultimate independence of Alaska,” from the United States which it refers to as “the colonial bureaucracy in Washington.” It proclaims Alaska’s 1959 induction as a state “as illegal and in violation of the United Nations charter and international law.”

AIP’s creation was inspired by the rabidly violent anti-Americanism of its founding father Joe Vogler, “I’m an Alaskan, not an American,” reads a favorite Vogler quote on AIP’s current website, “I’ve got no use for America or her damned institutions.” According to Vogler AIP’s central purpose was to drive Alaska’s secession from the United States. Alaska, says current Chairwoman Lynette Clark, “should be an independent nation.”

Vogler was murdered in 1993 during an illegal sale of plastic explosives that went bad. The prior year, he had renounced his allegiance to the United States explaining that, “The fires of hell are frozen glaciers compared to my hatred for the American government.” He cursed the stars and stripes, promising, “I won’t be buried under their damned flag…when Alaska is an independent nation they can bring my bones home.” Palin has never denounced Vogler or his detestable anti-Americanism.

Palin’s husband Todd remained an AIP party member from 1995 to 2002. Sarah can be described in McCarthy-era palaver as a “fellow traveler.” While retaining her Republican registration, she attended the AIP’s 1994 convention where the party called for a draft constitution to secede from the United States and create an independent nation of Alaska. The McCain Campaign has reluctantly acknowledged that she also attended AIP’s 2000 Convention. She apparently found the experience so inspiring that she agreed to give a keynote address at the AIP’s 2006 convention and she recorded a video greeting for this year’s 2008 convention. In other words, this is not something that happened when she was eight!

So when Palin accuses Barack of “not seeing the same America as you and me,” maybe she is referring to an America without Alaska. In any case, isn’t it time the media start giving equal time to Palin’s buddy list of anti-American bombers and other radical associates?
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-f-kennedy-jr/alaskan-independence-part_b_133261.html

Angry, pissed off Republicans

October 9, 2008

On occassion I have the opportunity to read the blogs of other WordPress bloggers.  Today I stumbled upon one of the most refreshingly, funny blogs: http://margaretandhelen.wordpress.com/2008/10/07/maverick-my-ass/

Of course, this blog is purported to be an 82 year old woman blasting away at the Republicans – especially blasting away about Sarah Palin.  The tone is honest, funny and manages to piss-off several neo-cons who can’t quite get the “free speech” perogative of an elderly woman who has worked hard and paid taxes longer than they’ve been counting their stocks.  In fact, there’s one guy who posts regularly, claims he’s a cop in New Jersey and cannot resist blubbering smack to anyone on Helen’s blog with whom he disagrees.  I think it’s funny.

As I’ve stood back and watched the debates, listened to the radio shows, watched the evening news and read the papers, I’ve noticed that right now Republicans are furious.  Some are furious with “little bushy” and his administration for betraying them and letting their fat-cat rich buddies pilfer off the monies from the banks before they could get to it.  Others are angry because the moderate John McCain that most of America respected 8 years ago, seems to be dithering away, undecided in his loyalties to Karl Rove or to his own reputation. 

And then again, I’ve heard of Republican women who are laughably furious because the media, and bloggers like Helen are taking swings at Sarah Palin.  Well, hell, of course they’re angry….they’ve denied that women had rights, intelligence, political acuity and a place in history for so long, and NOW they want to claim that Sarah is their savior.  So, maybe they are learning you can’t piss on other women who want to progress and then turn around and condemn those who follow your right-wing, prejudice, racist actions.  Tsk, tsk, tsk.  And they claim to be the “best” stay at home moms, rearing their little ones by home-schooling, and gosh, darn-it being more righteous and moral than any pro-choice, Democratic mom who works outside the home.

Aside from that, the majority of Republicans are really PISSED OFF because their bank accounts are dwindling.  And that, my friend is the funniest part of all.  They’ve claimed to be concerned about other middle and lower middle class Americans for so long.  And now, some of them are right in line with the rest of us.  Of course, the richest of the Republicans won’t suffer a bit.  Like “little bushy” they will always be able to sleeze along pretending to be “one of us”.

So, as the angry, pissed off Republicans pray that God doesn’t allow Barack Obama to get into the White House, I personally am LMAO because the “have nots” just may vote in a black man (ohhhhh, God help us!!!!) and then now only will the Republicans have to suffer the losses of their income/investments because of the “little bushy” they chose, but they’ll have to sit by and watch as normal people in America get a let up for a change.

Let’s all take out our violins as we watch the little pissed off Republicans go into their corners and cry.

Sarah Palin foreign policy

October 7, 2008

This has to be one of the funniest things I’ve seen on eBay in a long, long time…..to buy this funny pin go to:

http://cgi.ebay.com/Sarah-Palin-Foreign-Policy-Button-I-CAN-SEE-RUSSIA_W0QQitemZ110296581012QQihZ001QQcategoryZ50790QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

“Watch McCain’s speech today and you will see only one thing: the behavior of cornered rats.”

October 6, 2008

Glenn Greenwald writes about McCain’s downward spiral of bitter, personal attacks against Barack Obama. 

To read this excellent article, go to:  http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/2008/10/06/microcosm/index.html

Here’s the full text from www.salon.com

John McCain’s unprecedentedly ugly speech today

(updated below – Update II)

In the last two months of this election — as the Bush administration winds down as the most unpopular in modern American history and the Right is on the verge of a desperately-needed collective death — we see a perfect microcosm of what our country has been over the last eight years. The financial crisis is spreading, accelerating, and morphing across the globe in unpredictable ways. The economic anxiety levels are as high as one can recall, teetering on panic, and even the Wall St. Journal Editorial Page is acknowledging that America’s days of economic dominance are over. The national debt is over a staggering $10 trillion and has doubled in the last 8 years alone. And the symbols of our nation have become gulags, the waterboard, an endless stream of bombs and occupations, and people imprisoned forever with no charges of any kind.

And as these flames engulf America’s foundations, what is the Right doing — the movement that brought us all of this through their virtually absolute control of our Government for the last eight years? They’re spending all their time chattering with each other about an aging 1960s radical and giddily cheering the increasingly repellent Sarah Palin as she skips around the country in front of rambunctiously booing right-wing crowds accusing Barack Obama of palling around with The Terrorists and pointing out that he doesn’t see America the way all the Normal, Good Americans do. For the last eight years, the opponents of the Right have been America-hating Terrorists and they still are.

And just now, John McCain — speaking in New Mexico — delivered one of the ugliest, nastiest, most invective-filled personality attacks a major candidate has ever delivered, blatantly designed to stoke raw racial resentments and depict Obama as a Manchurian candidate funded by secret Arab Terrorist sources — a truly unstable and hate-mongering rant filled with lines like these, delivered with an angry scowl to screaming, howling, booing throngs, while Cindy McCain stood behind him shaking her head in disgust at each fact she heard about the Black Terrorist daring to challenge her husband:

I don’t need any lessons in being honest with the American people, and if I did, I wouldn’t seek it from a Chicago politician. . . . There’s much we don’t know about Senator Obama. For a guy who has authored two memoirs, he’s not an open book. Who is the real Barack Obama? 

Most politicians have to answer questions about their past, but for Sen. Obama, the usual rules don’t apply. He thinks he’s above it all . . . His campaign had to return $33,000 in illegal foreign funds from Palestinian donors, and this weekend, we found out about another $28,000 in illegal donations. Why has Senator Obama refused to disclose the people who are funding his campaign? Again, the American people deserve answers.

McCain also repeatedly claimed that the fault of the financial crisis lies with Democrats who (despite controlling no branches of Government) forced banks to give mortgages to poor people who couldn’t afford them (which, as we’ve seen, means minorities) and that Obama “aided and abetted” these practices. What are typically Rovian attack themes disseminated underneath the surface are being unleashed in their naked, unhidden form. As Marc Ambinder just put it with real understatement: “Sen. Barack Obama is, Sen. McCain said in New Mexico just now, a mystery, a liar, complicit in the economic crisis and an unaccomplished naïf, at all the same time.” 

There are 30 days to go before this election is over. What we’re seeing explode in front of us are both the devastating fruits of eight years of unchallenged right-wing rule under the Bush/Cheney administration and the tactics of a desperate, dying, rotted movement descending further and further into the sewer in order to cling to power. The more they unmask themselves this way, the more smashing will be their defeat, the longer their banishment will be.

UPDATE: Here (.pdf) is a newspaper column from Bobby May, the McCain campaign chair in Buchanan County, Virginia and correspondence secretary for the Buchanan County Republican Party, warning that “the platform of Barack Hussein Obama” includes:

Illegal Immigration: “Learn to Speak Spanish”; 

Terrorist Threat to America: “Learn to Speak Arabic”;

Reparations to Black Community: Opposes before Election Day and supports after Election Day;

Freedom of Religion: Mandatory Black Liberation Theology courses taught in all churches;

Homosexual Marriage: Coddle sexual perverts. Give tax breaks for NAMBLA membership;

Drug Crisis: Raise taxes for free drugs for Obama’s inner-city political base;

The White House: Hire rapper Ludacris to “paint it black.”

Sarah Palin was introduced today by Lee County Sheriff Mike Scott who said: “On Nov. 4, let’s leave Barack Hussein Obama wondering what happened.” 

The GOP-favored Rasmussen Reports today reported that Obama is leading 52-44% — “the highest level of support ever recorded for Obama and is his largest lead of the year.” So this is all just the beginning. The Bush administration is ending with the appropriate results for the country quite visible at exactly the same time that the truly desperate Right is exposing their true face for all to see. That’s why these last couple of months are a perfect microcosm — a museum exhibit — for everything that has happened to the U.S. since 2001.

UPDATE: The new CNN “poll of polls” out today, taken after the Biden-Palin debate, found:

(1) Barack Obama is widening his lead over John McCain in the race for the White House. . . .That 8-point lead is double the 4-point lead Obama held in the last CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll, taken in mid-September. 

(2) President George Bush may be part of the reason why Obama’s making gains. Only 24 percent of those polled approve of Bush’s job as president, an all-time low for a CNN survey. . . .

Bush has now tied Richard Nixon’s worst rating ever, taken in a poll just before he resigned in 1975, and is only 2 points higher than the worst presidential approval rating in history, Harry Truman’s 22 percent mark in February 1952,” says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.

(3) A drop in the public’s perception of McCain’s running mate . . . More Americans appear to have an unfavorable view of Gov. Sarah Palin, and that may also be helping Obama in the fight for the presidency. Forty percent now have an unfavorable view of Palin, up from 27 percent a month ago and from 21 percent in late August, when McCain surprised many people by picking the first-term Alaska governor as his running mate.

A majority of Americans now believe that Sarah Palin would be unqualified to serve as president if it became necessary, and her unfavorable rating has doubled,” Holland said.

This is a dying, desperate movement — so deeply out-of-touch with the country that they actually proclaimed that Sarah Palin would save them in the wake of the debate, only to watch her continue to drag down their ticket. Polls now even show Obama with large leads in traditional red states like Virginia (10-12 points) and North Carolina (6 points). Watch McCain’s speech today and you will see only one thing: the behavior of cornered rats.