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Saturday, October 11, 2008

Annual cost of forest loss at between $2 trillion and $5 trillion.

Source: BBC
The global economy is losing more money from the disappearance of forests than through the current banking crisis, according to an EU-commissioned study.

It puts the annual cost of forest loss at between $2 trillion and $5 trillion.

The figure comes from adding the value of the various services that forests perform, such as providing clean water and absorbing carbon dioxide.

Key to understanding his conclusions is that as forests decline, nature stops providing services which it used to provide essentially for free.

So the human economy either has to provide them instead, perhaps through building reservoirs, building facilities to sequester carbon dioxide, or farming foods that were once naturally available.

Or we have to do without them; either way, there is a financial cost.

The Teeb calculations show that the cost falls disproportionately on the poor, because a greater part of their livelihood depends directly on the forest, especially in tropical regions.

The greatest cost to western nations would initially come through losing a natural absorber of the most important greenhouse gas. Link Here

(Ohio)Brunner won't need to change voter lists

A federal appeals court ruled 2-1 last night in favor of Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner
Source: The Columbus Dispatch

Brunner won't need to change voter lists
Appeals court reverses ruling on registrations
Saturday, October 11, 2008 3:36 AM
By and Alan Johnson

A federal appeals court ruled 2-1 last night in favor of Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner to put on hold an order sought by the Ohio Republican Party involving information about new voters and concerns about potential fraud.

The three-judge panel of the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said Brunner is not required to provide county elections boards with the names of voters whose personal information does not match state motor-vehicle or federal Social Security records, as ordered Thursday by U.S. District Court Judge George C. Smith of Columbus.

Brunner had sought an emergency order delaying Smith's order, and the appeals court agreed with Brunner that federal law does not require her to provide the names and that the Nov. 4 election is too close for major policy changes.

The panel noted that the process of matching voter information with state and federal records has been in place since 2007, and that the details about mismatches are available to counties on individual voter records, even if not in one list.

KMOX - Play Report on Democrats' October 11 Radio Response

Democrats' October 11 Radio Response
John O'Connor Reporting
Washington, DC (CBS) -- Democratic party response to President Bush's radio address from VIce Presidential candidate Sen. Joseph Biden (D-DE).

Play Report on Democrats' October 11 Radio Response

Ohhhhh Shit God help us all, Does this wanker really believe that?


In Final Months in Office, Bush Is Burdened but Still Confident

WASHINGTON — George W. Bush began his presidency with the worst terrorist attack on American soil and he is ending it with the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. In between, he confronted a hurricane that nearly wiped New Orleans off the map as his administration showed ineptitude in its response.

Now, as he spends his last months in office trying to avert a global economic collapse, Mr. Bush has been telling people privately that it’s a good thing he’s in charge.
“He said that if it was going to happen at all, he was glad it was happening under his presidency, because he had a good group of people in D.C. working for him,” Dru Van Steenberg, one of several small-business owners who met with Mr. Bush in San Antonio earlier this week. The president expressed the same sentiment, others said, during a similar private session in Chantilly, Va., the next day.
“He said that whoever was going to take over in January was going to have a huge crisis on their hands the day they come into office,” Ms. Van Steenberg added. “He thought by this happening now, that perhaps everyone could see signs of improvement before the next president comes into office.”
Mr. Bush will spend Saturday as the host of an extraordinary emergency meeting of international finance ministers at the White House. For him, the economic turmoil is the financial equivalent of 9/11 — a bookend to a presidency that has grappled with challenges brought on by terrorists, Mother Nature and two long-running wars. No longer will Iraq be the sole determinant of the Bush legacy; now the president’s fate is tied up in the economy as much as the war.
Mr. Bush has always been confident of himself, even when the American public was not, and that has not changed. Just as he is convinced he did the right thing in Iraq, he is convinced he is doing the right thing on the economy — despite job approval ratings at historic lows and a presidential campaign in which both candidates have used him as kind of a battering ram.

Be Very Afraid!

Arianna Huffington:

McCain and his hatchet mom VP nominee are desperately trying to expose the "real" Obama to the people of America; but what they are really exposing is how morally corrupt McCain has become. And how complete has been his transformation from a noble reformer into an ignoble hack, willing to abandon his most deeply held values in his lust for the presidency. Read More
The Winner of Debate II? "That One"

McCain twice laid out the criteria for how the American people should judge the candidates: In tough times, we need someone with a steady hand on the tiller. By that measure, Obama was the clear winner. He was centered where McCain was scattered. Forceful where McCain was forced. Presidential where McCain was petulant. Read More

We wish we were joking. But we aren't.

McCain Now Tying Michelle Obama To Ayers

The firm's Chicago office currently employs more than 500 lawyers.
The McCain campaign is now broadening their attack on Obama's past association with William Ayers to include Michelle Obama -- even though McCain has repeatedly said spouses should be off limits during the campaign.
The attack? Bernardine Dohrn, Ayers' wife and fellow former Weatherman, went to work in 1984 for the major Chicago-based national law firm of Sidley & Austin, and three years later, Michelle joined the mega-firm as well.
That's the entire attack. We wish we were joking. But we aren't.
Read the whole story here.

"Have You No Sense of Decency Left?"

The McCain campaign crossed the line today from negative character attacks to the kind of character assassination that plays to the basest impulses and incites the most dangerous reaction. We've seen the prelude this week in the McCain crowds and in Sarah Palin's well-rehearsed, carefully telepromptered and increasingly ugly diatribes. But the intent became undeniable with the new McCain ad that falsely charges that "Obama worked with terrorist William Ayers when it was convenient"--which all but alleges that the candidate was there planting bombs.
McCain had to back off and almost apologize at an event in Minnesota when a questioner in his crowd alleged that Obama was "an Arab." McCain meekly had to explain, over the evident unrest of his supporters, that Obama wasn't dangerous.
But who was responsible for leaving people to think that he was dangerous in the first place? The McCain campaign grab-bag of tarnished tactics has trafficked in soft hate and hard fears about "the other." It has been said that everything in America ultimately comes back to race. But with Republican campaigns in trouble, starting with Barry Goldwater and continuing with Nixon's "southern strategy" in 1968, it really always does come back to race.
The McCain forces have taken this to a new low; there is no way to deny the deliberate, conscious attempt to portray Obama as unAmerican; not "one of us" as Pat Buchanan said tonight on "Hardball"; someone "who doesn't see America as we do," in the venomous patois of Palin.
In all decency, it is at least worth mentioning, even as we note that Obama is not an Arab or a Moslem, that there is something profoundly unAmerican about denigrating all Arabs or all Moslems as suspect or evil. Or, for that matter, something profoundly unAmerican about playing to the old prejudices that many assumed would prevent any African-American from ever becoming President in their lifetimes. The appeal to intolerance is amplified by commentators like Buchanan and William Kristol, who urge the McCain campaign to pound away at Obama's former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright. They have a list of names they want McCain to flourish and a wave of innuendos they want McCain to raise. Joe McCarthy would recognize this; it's the smear technique that he virtually patented. To borrow a phrase from that period, a phrase that shattered his reign of intimidation, maybe we ought to ask the McCain forces, the candidate and his supporting commentariat, "Have you no sense of decency left at all?"
I don't think McCain does. LinkHere

McCain, Media & Meltdown: A Witches' Brew for Election Violence

As previously described, John McCain's body language shows he is a hater ("McCain's Body Language: He is a Hater", October 8, 2008). Now, his rhetoric has caught up to his body language. He has been baiting his audiences to view Barack Obama as dangerous, and representative of a "foreign" (read: sinister) element.
The spontaneous reactions of his audience -- from "kill him", "off with his head", to "he's a terrorist" -- show that the effect of such language is to remove the veneer of civility that keeps our country together and enables us to settle our differences through the rule of law and electoral processes. When people leave a McCain rally telling reporters that Obama is a terrorist because "it's in his blood", the potential for violence is real. LinkHere

Really? No response?

Palin Non Grata: Even Drudge Avoids Wading into the Palin Ethics Swamp
I cannot help but notice that, as of 2:17 a.m. EST on Saturday, the vastly popular Drudge Report hadn't included a single reference to Friday's report that Sarah Palin did indeed abuse her powers as governor in the firing of Alaska Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan.
(Saturday Morning, at last, there has appeared a side bar story on the matter, under a piece on Italian Prime Minister Berlusconi, a White House economic plan non-story and allegations against an Obama fundraiser.)
In other news, yes, the financial markets continue to die, but I'd say that anytime the vice presidential candidate of a major party is determined to have abused his or her powers by a bi-partisan committee -- well, I'd say it's a bit more important than, I don't know, maybe Putin's pet tiger...
The story is that the Republican Party vice presidential nominee three weeks before the election has been found by a bi-partisan Alaska legislative investigation to have violated state ethics laws and abused her power by trying to have her former brother-in-law fired as a state trooper. So there it is. LinkHere

Friday, October 10, 2008

Michigan's Main Street Bank Fails, 14th Bank Closed in 2008 (actually now the 15th)

Source: Bloomberg

Oct. 10 (Bloomberg) -- Main Street Bank, of Northville, Michigan, was closed by regulators today, the 14th to fail this year, as tightening credit and a deepening housing slump accelerates government action to shore up confidence in financial institutions.

Main Street, with $98 million in assets and $86 million in deposits as of Oct. 7, was shut by the Michigan Office of Financial and Insurance Regulation, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. was named receiver. Monroe Bank & Trust, of Monroe, Michigan, is acquiring the deposits of Main Street. The failed bank's two offices will open tomorrow as branches of Monroe Bank & Trust, the FDIC said. LinkHere

Fired official asked Palin about her car seat use with son Trig

Source: Boston Herald

ANCHORAGE, Alaska - Todd Palin talked with more than a dozen state officials, many of them repeatedly, in his crusade to get a state trooper fired who he considered to be a bad cop, a dishonest person and a threat to the Palin family, according to his sworn statement given Wednesday to a legislative investigator.

The 25-page statement from Gov. Sarah Palin’s husband, in response to questions submitted by the investigator, shows that Todd Palin’s efforts started before his wife became governor and accelerated during the first 19 months of her administration.

He also suggested there was bad blood between the governor and former Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan over two other matters:

• An inquiry from Monegan to the governor about whether she once failed to put her infant son Trig in a car seat while she was driving.

• The unavailability of a state trooper airplane for the governor’s use when traveling to the Alaska’s rural areas.

"These purges are in violation of federal law, including the National Voter Registration Act

In Colorado, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Nevada and North Carolina, eligible voters were taken off rolls, and new registrations were blocked, illegally.
WASHINGTON (AFP) - Tens of thousands of voters in at least six battleground states have been removed from election rolls or have been illegally blocked from registering to vote, according to an investigation by the New York Times published Thursday.The anomalies, which are violations of US federal law, are largely bureaucratic mistakes in record keeping, and "do not seem to be coordinated by one party or the other, nor do they appear to be the result of election officials intentionally breaking rules," said the newspaper.The states affected -- Colorado, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Nevada and North Carolina -- are among the most crucial states that could swing either way in the November 4 presidential election between Republican John McCain and Democrat Barack Obama.While neither party appears to have been guilty of violations, the Democrats will most likely suffer the most because more Democratic voters have newly registered this year than Republicans.As such, "the heightened screening of new applications may affect their party's supporters disproportionately," the newspaper reported.The Times also suggested the problems could keep up until election day, when people who have been removed turn up and expect to vote "only to be challenged by political party officials or election workers, resulting in confusion, long lines and heated tempers."The newspaper identified the root cause as the 2002 Help America Vote Act, which allows states to remove from the rolls names of voters who should no longer be listed because they are dead, have moved out of the state or have been declared unfit to vote."For every voter added to the rolls in the past two months in some states, election officials have removed two," the newspaper reported.The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), an influential association for civil rights, said in a statement Thursday that the Department of Justice should compel states to comply with federal law."These purges are in violation of federal law, including the National Voter Registration Act, which prohibits such purges of voters 90 days before a federal election," said the ACLU statement. LinkHere

"Troopergate" affair

The report into abuse of power allegations against Republican vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin is poised to be released Friday after Alaska lawmakers review findings of the probe.
Alaska's Supreme Court on Thursday rejected an attempt by state Republicans who had been seeking to halt the investigation into the "Troopergate" affair, claiming it had become politically motivated.
Members of Alaska's Legislative Council began a closed-doors meeting in Anchorage shortly after 9:00 am local time (1700 GMT) where they were to be briefed by the inquiry's lead investigator, Steve Branchflower.
The 14 council members will then vote on whether to publish the lengthy report online, possibly later Friday, officials told AFP.
The inquiry has been probing allegations that Palin abused her office as Alaska Governor by sacking a public safety commissioner, Walt Monegan, for his failure to dismiss a state trooper who was her former brother-in-law.
The results of the inquiry will come under scrutiny for the impact they may have on the presidential race, with November 4 vote just weeks away, particularly since Palin has sought to cast herself as a corruption fighter.
Alaska's bipartisan Legislative Council voted unanimously to investigate Palin on July 28. Palin, who insisted Monegan was dismissed for strategic reasons, had initially promised to cooperate with the probe.
However after being named as John McCain's presidential running mate in late August, Palin has huddled with legal advisors and chosen not to testify.
A spokesman last month said Palin would not give testimony to investigators, saying the probe was "tainted" and being run by "partisan individuals that have a pre-determined conclusion."
After the Alaska Supreme Court rejected the bid to halt the probe Thursday, a Palin spokeswoman launched a pre-emptive strike, suggesting lawmakers may tamper with the findings of the inquiry at Friday's closed door hearing.
"This approach raises concerns that all the facts will not be revealed," Meghan Stapleton said.
"If the Legislative Council chooses to selectively release information, that raises the concern that members will have the opportunity to insert politics into the findings of the report."

Holy Shit Hey McCain, Palin, Georgies going to Pal around with Terrorist, what you gonna do about it, Hmmmmmm?

Defense Secretary Robert Gates said U.S. is willing to reconcile with Taliban.

The McCain Wander

Misconduct ... US vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin abused her position as Alaska Governor

Misconduct ... US vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin abused her position as Alaska Governor by pressuring officials to dismiss a state trooper, an investigator's report said today / AFPMore

The McCain campaign has attempted to make an issue out of Barack Obama's limited connections with former Weather Underground member William Ayers. However, according to a new investigative report, vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin herself has had a far close and more extensive association with Alaska's own political extremists than she has ever acknowledged.The story at Salon.com by Max Blumenthal and David Neiwart offers an in-depth examination of the crucial role played in Palin's political career by two members of the secessionist Alaska Independence Party (AIP).When Blumenthal appeared on Thursday's Rachel Maddow Show, he began by explaining that AIP -- which has links to both neo-Confederate parties in the South and the theocratic Constitutional Party -- serves as "a haven for anti-government extremists, anti-government militia members, and conspiratorial figures who believe that the United States government plans to implement a New World Order."AIP advocates secession from the United States, and its founder, Joe Vogler, is known for having proclaiming "I'm an Alaskan, not an American. I've got no use for America or her damned institutions." The extent of Palin's connection to AIP has previously been uncertain. Her husband Todd was a member of the party until 2002, but although Palin attended some conventions and sent them a message earlier this year saying, "Keep up the good work," she herself never belonged to the group.The Atlantic's Marc Ambinder suggested a week ago that Todd Palin's membership in AIP should not be an issue, writing that "Maybe Todd Palin didn't believe in all of the principles the AIP espoused... indeed, the AIP seems to be a bit of a cultural relic in Alaska, a quirky old friend. ... That [Sarah] didn't dump him because he associated with some dum-dum secessionists is probably a sign of good judgment."However, Blumenthal told Maddow that when he and co-author David Neiwert, who has been investigating anti-government militias since the 1990's, interviewed people in Palin's home town of Wasilla, they found that "Sarah Palin is far more intimately associated with the extreme right-wing fringe of Alaska than the media has acknowledged or than she is willing to acknowledge."Blumenthal said that Palin used former AIP chairman Mark Chryson and a local John Birch Society activist known as "Black Helicopter" Steve Stoll "to advance her political career on a local and state level -- and she sought to reward them with plum political appointments." LinkHere

Pulling Away Obama opens a double-digit lead in new NEWSWEEK poll

The global financial meltdown has caused a dramatic shift in the 2008 presidential race, according to the latest NEWSWEEK poll. With four weeks left in the presidential campaign, Barack Obama now leads John McCain by double digits, 52 percent to 41 percent among registered voters—a marked shift from the last NEWSWEEK poll, conducted one month ago, when the two candidates were tied at 46 percent.
Underlying Obama's surge in support: An historic boiling over of dissatisfaction with the status quo. An astounding 86 percent of voters now say they are dissatisfied with the way things are going in the United States, while a mere 10 percent say they are satisfied. That's the highest wrong track/right track ratio ever recorded in the NEWSWEEK poll. LinkHere


John McCain sought to walk back some of the hostility that he and his crowds have projected towards Barack Obama in recent days, saying he wanted to run a respectful campaign and urging his supporters to think of Obama as a decent person.
He was promptly booed.
After an attendee at his town hall said he was concerned about bringing up a child under a president who "cohorts with domestic terrorists such as [Bill] Ayers," McCain didn't take the bait. Rather, he sought to calm the questioner's obviously emotional tone.
"[Senator Obama] is a decent person and a person that you do not have to be scared about as President of the United States," he said, before adding: "If I didn't think I would be one heck of a better president I wouldn't be running."
The crowd groaned with disapproval. Later in the townhall McCain was pressed again about Obama's "other-ness" and again he refused to play ball.
"He is a decent family man and citizen that I just have disagreements with on fundamental issues," he said.
The episode reflected the intensity of the anger that many McCain-Palin supporters have for Obama -- anger that was stoked, in large part, by McCain itself. It also underscored just how difficult a situation McCain has walked himself into. Hours before he attempted to calm nerves, the Senator's campaign sent out a statement to reporters defending the remarks of its crowd members.
"Barack Obama's attacks on Americans who support John McCain reveal far more about him than they do about John McCain. It is clear that Barack Obama just doesn't understand regular people and the issues they care about. He dismisses hardworking middle class Americans as clinging to guns and religion, while at the same time attacking average Americans at McCain rallies who are angry at Washington, Wall Street and the status quo," reads a statement from spokesman Brian Rogers. "Even worse, he attacks anyone who dares to question his readiness to serve as their commander in chief in chief. Raising legitimate questions about record, character and judgment are a vital part of the Democratic process, and Barack Obama's effort to silence and shame those who seek answers should make everyone wonder exactly what he is hiding."

Catapult the Propaganda

Jon Stewart highlighted Fox News' coverage from the past few days in politics on his show Thursday night, showing everything the network chose to cover rather than focusing on the economy, which correlates to voters leaning towards Barack Obama.
"I'm guessing you guys don't want to talk about the economy," Obama spokesman Bill Burton said to Gretchen Carlson on "Fox & Friends."
"Here's what Fox has been talking about just since Tuesday's debate," Stewart said, before showing clips of the following:
Megyn Kelly discussing voter fraud
Sean Hannity mentioning William Ayers
Megyn Kelly, Brian Kilmeade, and Steve Doocy discussing Newsweek's liberal bias
Sean Hannity mentioning Reverend Jeremiah Wright
Megyn Kelly referencing Obama's "deep secret ties" to the Kenyan government
"Fox & Friends" introducing country star Aaron Tippin's "Drill Here, Drill Now!"
and a collection of Bill Ayers clips, punctuated by Frank Luntz downplaying the results of a post-debate focus group that suggested Obama won the debate.

Republican Ruth Ann Michel, 64, a retiree said her vote for Obama would be her first for a Democratic presidential candidate.

KITTANNING, Pa. — The steel mills and coal mines of western Pennsylvania helped fuel the nation's economic engine. Today, old factory shells and boarded-up storefronts stand as bleak reminders of those once-prosperous times.
But the voters in working-class enclaves such as this still are a sought-after prize in presidential politics, and many are belatedly backing Democratic nominee Barack Obama.
In the Democratic primaries, working-class whites consistently supported Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton. Later polls showed them overwhelmingly favoring Republican nominee John McCain.
Now, driven by fears that their personal finances could further deteriorate, many see Obama as the better choice _ their thinking in some cases driven more by concern about how McCain would handle the economy than any growing admiration for his rival.
"I don't know that there's anything I particularly like about him (Obama), but I dislike McCain, and I dislike the way the country is, and Republicans need to change," said lifelong Republican Ruth Ann Michel, 64, a retiree shopping in a market in Butler on a recent day. She said her vote for Obama would be her first for a Democratic presidential candidate. LinkHere

McCain Palin Who Is Barack Obama?


Barack Obama's campaign put together a video of behind-the-scenes campaign footage to answer the question John McCain and Sarah Palin keep asking: "Who Is Barack Obama?"

Four Days in Denver: Behind the Scenes at the 2008 DNC

Obama Listed As "Barack Osama" On Some New York Ballots


Forgotten The Last 8 Years Yet?

The rabid nature of the scene has startled longtime political observers and even former associates of McCain himself.
John Weaver, the Senator's former top strategist, has said McCain is making a tactical mistake by letting abusive hecklers have their voices heard during his forums. David Gergen, a longtime Washington strategist, has warned that the rhetoric from these attendees could "lead to some violence."
Veteran Republican Congressman Ray LaHood criticized Sarah Palin in particular, saying her rhetoric did not "befit the office she's running for."
AFL-CIO President John Sweeney denounced the recent campaign stops as dangerous and expressed alarm that the top of the Republican ticket would not protest the crowd's language.
"Sen. John McCain, Gov. Sarah Palin and the leadership of the Republican party have a fundamental moral responsibility to denounce the violent rhetoric that has pervaded recent McCain and Palin political rallies. When rally attendees shout out such attacks as "terrorist" or "kill him" about Sen. Barack Obama, when they are cheered on by crowds incited by McCain-Palin rhetoric -- it is chilling that McCain and Palin do nothing to object."
Veteran reporter Dan Balz has opined that "McCain's tactics are over the line, with no restraint in sight, and threaten to provoke reactions among partisans on both sides that will continue to escalate."
And Frank Schaeffer penned a solemn and critical column (first published in the Baltimore Sun) personally addressed to McCain himself: "If your campaign does not stop equating Sen. Barack Obama with terrorism, questioning his patriotism and portraying Mr. Obama as "not one of us," I accuse you of deliberately feeding the most unhinged elements of our society the red meat of hate, and therefore of potentially instigating violence."
McCain, through Rogers' statement, is gambling that the voices of caution don't matter as much as the sentiments of the people. But he is also implicitly arguing that even the vilest rhetoric sent Obama's way is fair game when chalked up to concerns about the Illinois Democrat's past associations and judgments. And he's acknowledging that he won't lift a finger to dissuade the raging tempers.

Cindy McCain Kept Keating Partnership After Scandal
Sen. John McCain's wife and father-in-law continued a lucrative business partnership with disgraced financier Charles H. Keating Jr. for 11 years after the GOP presidential nominee said he ended his close friendship with Keating in March 1987.
Cindy McCain's business partnership with Keating in a real-estate development between 1986 and 1998 netted her a tidy profit, in addition to years of significant tax benefits. Her father, who died in 2000, earned similar returns.
Read the whole story here.

Sarah Palin: The rape kit controversy

Judge Orders State To Preserve Palin's Emails

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — A judge has ordered the state of Alaska to preserve any government-related e-mails that Gov. Sarah Palin sent from private accounts.
Anchorage Superior Court Judge Craig Stowers ruled Friday in the lawsuit brought by Anchorage resident Andree McLeod against Palin, the Republican vice presidential nominee.
Palin has occasionally used private e-mail accounts to conduct state business, and her Yahoo accounts were hacked last month. The hacking of Palin's private account was significant because it showed that using private e-mail accounts to conduct state business would be vulnerable to being exposed.
It wasn't widely known that the governor and her staff were using private e-mail accounts until McLeod filed the first of several open records requests earlier this year that yielded some of the e-mail traffic _ much of it redacted for what were deemed privacy reasons.
The judge ordered the attorney general to contact Yahoo and other private carriers to preserve any e-mails sent and received on those accounts. If the e-mails were destroyed when the accounts were deactivated, he directed state officials to have the companies attempt to resurrect the e-mails.
"We shouldn't be in a position where public records have been lost because the governor didn't do what every other state employee knows to do, which is to use an official, secure state e-mail account to conduct state business," McLeod said after the 90-minute hearing.
"It's a dereliction of the governor and her duties," she said. LinkHere

Sorry, Dad, I'm Voting for Obama

The son of William F. Buckley has decided—shock!—to vote for a Democrat.
Let me be the latest conservative/libertarian/whatever to leap onto the Barack Obama bandwagon. It’s a good thing my dear old mum and pup are no longer alive. They’d cut off my allowance.
Or would they? But let’s get that part out of the way. The only reason my vote would be of any interest to anyone is that my last name happens to be Buckley—a name I inherited. So in the event anyone notices or cares, the headline will be: “William F. Buckley’s Son Says He Is Pro-Obama.” I know, I know: It lacks the throw-weight of “Ron Reagan Jr. to Address Democratic Convention,” but it’ll have to do. LinkHere

Ahhhhhh but he scurried back to Washington, fix it all remember, He was the only one capable of doing the job.

McCain didn't talk about the stock market yesterday, and didn't put out a statement on it, while Obama did both, and McCain campaign manager Rick Davis was asked about that on a conference call (about Acorn!) this afternoon.
"There’s very little a candidate for president can say and very little the president can say about what’s happening in the stock markets except hope that they correct themselves," Davis said, adding that McCain's mortgage plan could be an "elixir" for the financial crisis."I can’t imagine a situation where on a daily basis the campaign would put out a statement about what the market was doing," he said. "It doesn’t meant that we don’t care and aren’t trying to do something about it."
The campaign, he said, shouldn't become a "CNBC news show on the stock market."

GOP Campaign Veteran: "Sad"

McCain's Risky Turn
There is a scene early in "Dead Certain," Robert Draper's book about President Bush, when the Bush campaign, reeling from its loss to John McCain in New Hampshire in the 2000 primary, is plotting its moves for a do-or-die struggle in South Carolina.
As Bush's South Carolina team sketched out one tough step after another, Mark McKinnon, Bush's media adviser, listened with amazement. Draper writes that McKinnon was thinking: "They're letting the dogs off the chain."
John McCain was the victim in that campaign eight years ago. Now, struggling to overcome Barack Obama's lead in the polls, he is unleashing attacks and empowering forces that lead him in the same direction.
Through television ads by his campaign and by the Republican National Committee, Obama is under attack for his association with William Ayers, the 1960s radical. On the campaign trail, McCain's rallies have at times turned into angry rants by his supporters aimed at Obama and the Democrats. Frank Keating, the former governor of Oklahoma and a McCain surrogate went on television this week and played the race card, saying Obama should own up to the fact that he was once a "guy of the street" who used cocaine.
I wrote yesterday about the risks to both McCain and Obama -- and the country -- as they fire at one another in increasingly sharp terms. The danger is that the winner will come to office with a sizable portion of the population poisoned by the effects of the campaign.
But what's also clear is that McCain's tactics are over the line, with no restraint in sight, and threaten to provoke reactions among partisans on both sides that will continue to escalate.

"ABC won't air our ad."

ABC Rejects Ad From Al Gore's Climate Group
An environmental action group founded by former vice president Al Gore is accusing ABC of censoring an advocacy ad the group paid to air on the network.
The Alliance for Climate Protection late Wednesday sent an e-mail blast to supporters with the ominous subject line, "ABC won't air our ad."
"Did you notice the ads after last night's presidential debate? ABC had Chevron. CBS had Exxon. CNN had the coal lobby," wrote Alliance CEO Cathy Zoi. "But you know what happened last week? ABC refused to run our Repower America ad -- the ad that takes on this same oil and coal lobby." The message sent readers to to a web page where they could send a form letter to the network.
The ad in question, which was aired by several other networks, is a 30-second spot that starts off with a call to "Repower America," with images of a little girl, windmills and solar panels. Then music in the ad gets more intense, as the narrator's voice asks, "So why are we still stuck on dirty and expensive energy?"
"Because Big Oil spends hundreds of millions of dollars to block clean energy," it says. "Lobbyists, ads, even scandals, all to increase their profits, while America suffers."

"Sit down, boy!"

Where have I seen this before -- the crowd taunts of reporters traveling with Sarah Palin, the rage drummed up by the GOP ticket against the news media, the "kill them" attitude typified by the man in the Palin crowd in Clearwater, Fla., who yelled at an African-American TV sound technician: "Sit down, boy!"
It's getting so ugly out there that it's only a matter of moments before "press-bashing" can be taken literally.
I'll tell you where I've seen this "beat the press" tactic before: In the waning days of the flailing 1992 re-election campaign of President George H. W. Bush. In a flashing signal of desperation that could have been read from the next galaxy, Bush and his surrogates spent so much time attacking the media, giving out buttons and bumper stickers saying "Annoy the Media -- Re-Elect Bush," that Republican audiences on the campaign trail were ravening at the sight of the journalists accompanying the patrician-raised Bush 41 to campaign rallies.
One day in Oregon, as I recall, a network crew was set upon and assaulted. Other journalists were shoved. We all were hollered at: "Tell the truth! Tell the truth!" One hothead in Vineland, N.J., seemed within a couple of seconds of taking a swing at me as I walked by, laden down with a computer and other shoulder-mounted gear. A red-faced young man walked into our filing tent in the Pacific Northwest and ranted, glossolalia-like, at the top of his lungs, the spit flying.
The vibes got nastier by the day. Finally, one evening on the road, one journalist made his way to Bush as the president was dining with staffers and beseeched him to tone down the rhetoric before hate led to tragedy.




Don't Shame The Name Vote For Obama


SHE "Doesn't Befit Office"

Veteran Republican Congressman Ray LaHood criticized his party's vice presidential nominee Friday, saying that Sarah Palin's vitriolic campaign rallies ""don't befit the office she's running for."
Rep. LaHood, who has represented Illinois' 18th district for seven terms and is retiring in January, told WBBM Radio that Palin should control the racially-charged heckling at her rallies:
"Look it. This doesn't befit the office that she's running for. And frankly, people don't like it."
Some of the names Obama is being called, which include "terrorist" and "traitor," "certainly don't reflect the nature of the man," LaHood said to WBBM.
LaHood supports John McCain's candidacy, but warned that the heckling could backfire on the Republican ticket.

Where Is McCain's Warning Letter On Subprime Crisis?

What Letter was McCain Referring To?

Both John McCain and Barack Obama took turns during the second presidential debate on Tuesday night claiming credit for having warned of an imminent economic crisis.
Obama has referred frequently to his 2007 letter to Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson. But Sen. McCain countered by saying that he had written a letter "warning of exactly this crisis." As far as we can tell, this was the first reference McCain has made of such a letter, and we couldn't find it. Despite multiple requests, the McCain campaign did not provide comment or the letter.
Obama likes to bring up the letter he wrote to Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke. Dated March 22, 2007, about six weeks after he'd declared his candidacy for the presidency, the letter stressed the need for immediate intervention to curb the "rising rates of home foreclosure in the subprime mortgage market":

"He keeps saying, 'Who is Barack Obama?' I would ask the question, 'Who is John McCain?'
Former Republican Governor of Michigan William Milliken tells the Grand Rapids Press that he's "disappointed" in John McCain and the campaign he is running:
He endorsed John McCain in the presidential primary, but now former Republican Gov. William Milliken is expressing doubts about his party's nominee.
"He is not the McCain I endorsed," said Milliken, reached at his Traverse City home Thursday. "He keeps saying, 'Who is Barack Obama?' I would ask the question, 'Who is John McCain?' because his campaign has become rather disappointing to me.
"I'm disappointed in the tenor and the personal attacks on the part of the McCain campaign, when he ought to be talking about the issues."
Read the whole thing

John McCain's rally on Friday once again inspired furious reactions from his supporters, with one woman screaming "traitor!" as McCain criticized Barack Obama's tax record.
"He promised higher taxes on electricity," McCain charged at the event in La Crosse, Wisconsin. "He voted for the Democratic budget resolution that promised to raise taxes on people making just $42,000 a year." At that point, the woman yelled "traitor," and both McCain and his wife Cindy appeared to look in her direction.
The Arizona Senator continued with his stump speech without referencing her. LinkHere

Four years ago, John Kerry flirted with the idea of making John McCain his running mate. Today, he is denouncing the Arizona Senator for "a stunning failure of leadership," and running a nasty, hate-filled campaign.
In a letter to supporters, the Massachusetts Democrat -- no stranger to smears himself -- ramps up his criticisms of McCain to new heights. In addition to airing disgust with the tone of the McCain crowds, he rips Gov. Sarah Palin for making "outrageous charges that only a few years ago would have disqualified someone from serious consideration for national office."
The letter reads:
The Jed Report reminds us that Barack Obama predicted the campaign's nasty turn months ago:
Obama Knew It Was Coming All Along


The Real Palin
Sensitive Palin Ethics Report Kept Secret, for Now
Politically charged and tightly held, Palin ethics report to be released in Alaska
Sworn to secrecy, Alaska lawmakers have begun reviewing a lengthy and politically sensitive investigative report focusing on whether Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin abused her authority as governor.
The first-term Alaska governor has been accused of firing a state commissioner to settle a family dispute. But the report is also expected to touch on whether Palin's husband meddled in state affairs and whether her administration inappropriately accessed employee medical records.
The inquiry, approved by a legislative committee's bipartisan vote, began before Republican presidential nominee John McCain named Palin his running mate. Since then, the case has been dogged by accusations of political influence.
The investigation focuses on her firing of Public Safety Commissioner Walter Monegan. Monegan says Palin and her husband pressured him to fire Mike Wooten, a state trooper involved in a nasty divorce and custody dispute with the governor's sister. When Monegan resisted, he says, he was fired.
Sarah Palin - Separatist Spy

Is Sarah Palin a good Christian?

Given the interest in Sarah Palin, I've decided to run a poll among readers of Articles of Faith: Link Here To Vote
Do you think Sarah Palin is qualified to serve as Vice President of the United States?

The Big Man Knows How To Capture Osama, I know how, I know how.

Well if you know how you friking idiot, why haven't you done it in 8 friking years Hmmmmmm?

In last Tuesday's presidential debate, John McCain said that that he will "get Osama bin Laden, my friends." He's been promising that for over a year, but it was only a couple of months ago that someone finally pressed him to describe what he would do differently than President Bush. McCain replied: "I know how to improve our capabilities so that we will capture Osama bin Laden.
"That made me wonder whether McCain has shared this critically important knowledge with the President, so today I went to the White House and asked. Here is my conversation with Press Secretary Dana Perino:
Q John McCain said recently that he knows how to get Osama bin Laden. And a couple of months ago he said that he knows how to improve our capabilities so that we would capture bin Laden. Has Senator McCain shared his knowledge with the president?
MS. PERINO: Maybe you haven't been here. I've been very astute at not getting involved in the 2008 election, and I'm not going to start now.
Q It has nothing to do with the elections.
MS. PERINO: Yeah, it does. It has everything to do with the election. That's exactly why you're asking the question. And I'm not going to answer it.
Since the White House won't answer my question, we're left with four possibilities:
1). McCain thinks he knows how to capture Osama, has told Bush how to do it, and it's not working;
2). McCain knows how to capture Osama, has told Bush how to do it, and Bush is waiting for the most politically opportune time to execute the plan;
3). McCain knows how to capture Osama, but is keeping his plan a secret, therefore putting his own political fortunes over those of his country;
or4). McCain doesn't have a clue about how to catch Osama.I don't know which is worst, but I suspect number four is closest to the truth.

Obama: McCain Wasn't Willing To Say Ayers Attacks "To My Face"

Last Gasp: McCain Camp Finally Releases Ayers Ad

During an interview with ABC's Charlie Gibson Wednesday night, Barack Obama accused John McCain of scoring "cheap political points" with the personal attacks he had leveled at him in recent days. Speaking of the previous night's presidential debate, Obama said he was surprised McCain didn't attempt to repeat these attacks during their time on stage together:
Well, I am surprised that, you know, we've been seeing some pretty over-the-top attacks coming out of the McCain campaign over the last several days that he wasn't willing to say it to my face.

Update: Joe Biden echoes the line during an appearance on Thursday in Missouri:

Market in freefall on Black Friday

Shares closed 8pc down, in a day that wiped $84 billion off the markets.

Report: McCain Exploded With Rage During Gambling Outing

Writing for the Daily Beast, Michael Kinsley relays a disturbing story about John McCain from Jeff Dearth, former publisher of the New Republic, when Dearth and McCain attended a magazine industry conference at a casino hotel in Puerto Rico in 2005:
McCain's game is craps. So is Jeff Dearth's. Jeff was at the table when McCain showed up and happily made room for him. Apparently there is some kind of rule or tradition in craps that everyone's hands are supposed to be above the table when the dice are about to be thrown. McCain--"very likely distracted by one of the many people who approached him that evening," Jeff says charitably--apparently was violating this rule. A small middle-aged woman at the table, apparently a "regular," reached out and pulled McCain's arm away. I'll let Jeff take over the story:
"McCain immediately turned to the woman and said between clenched teeth: 'DON'T TOUCH ME.' The woman started to explain...McCain interrupted her: 'DON'T TOUCH ME,' he repeated viciously. The woman again tried to explain. 'DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM? DO YOU KNOW WHO YOU'RE TALKING TO?' McCain continued, his voice rising and his hands now raised in the 'bring it on' position. He was red-faced. By this time all the action at the table had stopped. I was completely shocked. McCain had totally lost it, and in the space of about ten seconds. 'Sir, you must be courteous to the other players at the table,' the pit boss said to McCain. "DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM? ASK ANYBODY AROUND HERE WHO I AM."
This being Puerto Rico, the pit boss might not have known McCain. But the senator continued in full fury--"DO YOU KNOW WHO YOU'RE TALKING TO? DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM?"--and crisis was avoided only when Jeff offered to change places and stand between McCain and the woman who had touched his arm.


In Florida, she asked 'Who is Barack Obama?' Hey, lady, we just met YOU five f-ing weeks ago."

Stewart Rails On Palin At Charity Event: "Woman Out Of The Woods"Sarah Palin unappealin' to Jon Stewart
If anyone had any doubts as to whom Jon Stewart supports for President, they were cleared Tuesday night at the Project ALS benefit at the Waldorf-Astoria.
Host Ben Stiller called Stewart "America's young elder statesman of political comedy" and surmised that on his Comedy Central sendup of the news, Stewart "can't take sides."
"Oh," said Stewart. "I think it's pretty clear.
"Neither of them is perfect, but if you, out of nowhere, are going to grab a woman out of the woods and make her your vice presidential candidate, what can I do?
"[Sarah Palin] is like Jodie Foster in the movie 'Nell,' " Stewart continued. "They just found her, and she was speaking her own special language.
"Have you noticed how [Palin's] rallies have begun to take on the characteristics of the last days of the Weimar Republic? In Florida, she asked 'Who is Barack Obama?' Hey, lady, we just met YOU five f-ing weeks ago."

Ohhhhhhh God it can't be soon enough, for the LOSER TO BE GONE

As the 2008 campaign nears its conclusion, the presidential transition efforts of the two major candidates have become a study in contrasts: Sen. Barack Obama has organized an elaborate well-staffed network to prepare for his possible ascension to the White House, while Sen. John McCain has all but put off such work until after the election.
The Democratic nominee has enlisted the assistance of dozens of individuals -- divided into working groups for particular federal agencies -- to produce policy agendas and lists of recommended appointees. As evidence of their advanced preparations, officials provided a copy of the strict ethics guidelines that individuals working on the transition effort are required to sign.
John McCain, by contrast, has done little. Campaign spokespersons did not respond to requests for elaboration. But one official with direct knowledge, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, expressed concern with McCain's approach. The Arizona Senator has instructed his team to not spend time on the transition effort, according to the source, both out of a desire to have complete focus on winning the election as well as a superstitious belief that the campaign shouldn't put the cart before the horse.
Virtually every modern non-incumbent presidential candidate has organized, during the course of the campaign, a transition effort to prepare for the early months of a potential administration. These teams help build lists and vet individuals who could serve in key government posts. They hammer out proposals to facilitate policy making from day one. And they work closely with outgoing administration officials to better understand the true lay of the political land.
Governance scholars consider the process invaluable, particularly as the nation struggles with a major economic crisis, two active wars, and a range of domestic security threats. "Our enemies understand how potentially vulnerable we are in the transition from one administration to the next," Clay Johnson III, former Executive Director of the Bush-Cheney Presidential Transition, said recently at a forum on transition planning. "This is something we need to be very, very seriously prepared for." LinkHere

Michelle Obama Makes Daily Show Appearance



McCain Co-Chair Calls Obama "A Guy Of The Street," Raises Drug Use

Former Oklahoma Gov. Frank Keating, a McCain campaign co-chairman, edged up to an explicitly racial attack on Barack Obama on Thursday, describing the Illinois Senator as a "guy of the street" before raising his youthful drug use.
Appearing on Dennis Miller's radio show, Keating charged that the Democratic nominee was covering up his "very extreme" record, and urged Obama to be more honest with Americans. "He ought to admit," Keating said, "'You know, I've got to be honest with you. I was a guy of the street. I was way to the left. I used cocaine. I voted liberally, but I'm back at the center.'"
Keating began to address Obama's former pastor Jeremiah Wright -- a topic that John McCain himself has said should be off-limits -- but Miller interrupted him to return to the discussion of cocaine.
Listen to the audio here.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

We made this endorsement out of a determination that a continuation of the Bush era is simply unthinkable.

Editor: Why We Made Our First Endorsement In 75 Years

Two years ago, in our issue that hit newsstands a month before the midterm elections, we decided to make a statement about how important the '06 elections were (and how important it was for our readers to participate) that we endorsed a candidate in every federal election in the country, and for good measure, in gubernatorial races as well. It was an insane thing for a magazine with a small staff to do--compile dossiers on well over a thousand candidates and potential candidates and then make a choice in each of nearly 500 races and justify that choice in a few pointed words. The reaction was astounding--candidates we opposed trashed us on their sites and in their local papers; candidates we favored announced it in every way they could.

This year, in an election year in which the stakes are even higher, there was no real decision to make. We were going to reprise the "Endorsement Package." In honor of the election, the entire November issue became the "endorsement issue," stuffed with impassioned recommendations to our readers. One of those endorsements is for Barack Obama to become the next President of the United States. It's a thoughtful, lengthy, slightly intemperate piece of writing, and by no means hagiographic. The endorsement expresses our frustrations with Obama's candidacy and his campaign at least as much as it makes the case for what it is we hope he can accomplish. As much as any other factor, we made this endorsement out of a determination that a continuation of the Bush era is simply unthinkable. We do see Senator Obama as a transformational figure, but we did not recommend against John McCain lightly. Over the past two years, we've published four substantive pieces about Senator McCain, including one cover profile. He's a man we have long respected and liked, but the man running for president is a very different man from the John McCain we wrote about two years ago, or 8 months ago, or just a few weeks ago.


Exclusive: Inside Account of U.S. Eavesdropping on Americans

U.S. Officers' "Phone Sex" Intercepted; Senate Demanding Answers
Despite pledges by President George W. Bush and American intelligence officials to the contrary, hundreds of US citizens overseas have been eavesdropped on as they called friends and family back home, according to two former military intercept operators who worked at the giant National Security Agency (NSA) center in Fort Gordon, Georgia.
The chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), called the allegations "extremely disturbing" and said the committee has begun its own examination.
"We have requested all relevant information from the Bush Administration," Rockefeller said Thursday. "The Committee will take whatever action is necessary." LinkHere

WATCH Kinne discuss why it was 'awkward' listening to her fellow Americans.

ABC Is Lying About NSA Let's Try Democracy

t r u t h o u t David Swanson New NSA Whistleblower Speaks

They Trying For Another Stolen Election, Mayby The Friking Democrat


New York Times
investigation today reveals that tens of thousands of voters are being removed from voter rolls,
many of them illegally, in state after state, just days before what will be the nation's largest election.
OCTOBER 'SURPRISE': -->GOP allegations of "voter fraud" now filed in Ohio. Also, right on schedule. Following the PR jackpot 'stunt raid' of an ACORN office in Vegas, the GOP's October "Surprise" received a boost from Fox "News" in a segment repeating baseless allegations of "voter fraud" in both NV and MO. The RNC issued the FNC transcript, verbatim, as a "news release", and last night AP helped ramp up the phony story -- meant only to suppress, scare, disenfranhcise, intimidate and cause chaos now and on Election Day -- by reporting unsubstantiated ACORN "voter fraud" in swing state Missouri. Late today, the scam moved to Ohio...
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