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Palin Makes Her First Gaffe

Monday, September 08, 2008

By Sam Stein

Gov. Sarah Palin made her first potentially major gaffe during her time on the national scene while discussing the developments of the perilous housing market this past weekend.

Speaking before voters in Colorado Springs, the Republican vice presidential nominee claimed that lending giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac had "gotten too big and too expensive to the taxpayers." The companies, as McClatchy reported, "aren't taxpayer funded but operate as private companies. The takeover may result in a taxpayer bailout during reorganization."

Economists and analysts pounced on the misstatement, which came before the government had spent funds baling the two entities out, saying it demonstrated a lack of understanding about one of the key economic issues likely to face the next administration.

"You would like to think that someone who is going to be vice president and conceivable president would know what Fannie and Freddie do," said Dean Baker, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research. "These are huge institutions and they are absolutely central to our country's mortgage debt. To not have a clue what they do doesn't speak well for her, I'd say."

Added Andrew Jakabovics, an economic analysts for the progressive think tank, Center for American Progress: "It is somewhat nonsensical because up until yesterday there was sort of no public funding there. Even today they haven't drawn down any of the credit line they have given to Treasury. 'Gotten too big and too expensive' are two separate things. The too big has been a conservative mantra for a while and there is something to be said of that in that they hold about half of the mortgage guarantees that are out there. And in the last year they have been responsible for roughly 80 percent out there. The 'too expensive to tax payers,' I don't know where that comes from."...(Click here for remainder of post).

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Sarah Palin's Secret Emails

By David Corn
Mojo Blog @ Mother Jones.com

The Palin administration won't release hundreds of emails from her office, claiming they cover confidential policy matters. Then why do the subject lines refer to a political foe, a journalist, and non-policy topics?

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

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

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Sexism and the McCain-Palin Candidacy

Daily Kos

The depth of the modern Republican Party’s cynicism is news to nobody. So its nominee’s surprise choice for the vice presidency should not be a surprise.  

Forty years ago, the party, whose delegates at last week’s convention so avidly claimed the iconic mantle of Abraham Lincoln, the party of slave and abolitionist Frederick Douglass, Abe’s uncommon colleague in Emancipation, surely sent those men spinning in their graves when it avidly began courting the sons and daughters of the Confederacy, many of whom still thought John Wilkes Booth was a hero and Douglass just another "uppity n****r."

The "Southern Strategy" dog-whistled and otherwise wormed its way into the hearts of people whose families had long vowed never to vote for a Republican, people who had cheered the Democrat, Governor George Wallace, when he stood against the majority of his own party and invoked those immortal if-since-repented words: segregation now, segregation forever.

It didn’t matter whether the individuals engaged in this GOP blueprint were "personally racist," whether they actively felt people of color were inferior and unworthy, just as it didn't matter whether Wallace did. What mattered was that they capitalized on fear and ignorance and prejudice and tradition and hatred in adopting a path to political victory by implying – to a specific cohort of voters, not all of whom lived in the South – that they would achieve or maintain the racial divide and white privilege in the post-Jim Crow era. Personally racist or not, they were racist in their goals and achievements, just as ruthlessly if not so blatantly as Wallace himself, who once promised after a campaign loss never to be "out-n****red" again....(Click here for remainder of post).

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Palin In '06: I Won't Let "Spinmeisters" Turn Bridge To Nowhere Into "Something Negative"

By Sam Stein
Huffingtonpost.com

On the campaign trail Saturday, Gov. Sarah Palin defended her record on earmarks and spending claiming - per ABC's Jake Tapper - that she "championed reform of earmark spending by Congress, and I told the Congress thanks but no thanks on that 'Bridge to Nowhere.' If our state wanted a bridge, we'd build it ourselves."

By now, it is evident that the Alaska Republican is either knowingly deceiving voters or simply has her facts wrong when it comes to her support for the bridge. Palin backed the project when she ran for the governor's seat, even posing for a picture holding a t-shirt reading "Nowhere, Alaska" - a sympathetic gesture to the ridiculed construction plans.

And, it turns out, she once promised the voters of her home state that she would not only come to the defense of the bridge but would "not allow the spinmeisters to turn this project or any other into something that's so negative."

Here Palin is from an October 2, 2006 interview with the Ketchikan Daily News, conducted before she was elected governor (and before her opposition to the Bridge to Nowhere became a linchpin of her national persona).
"Asked what issues she's hearing about from Southeast Alaskans, Palin said many residents here feel they've been ignored in some sense.

"I'm hearing from a lot of Southeast residents who believe that maybe they haven't been given their due respect," she said. "Part of my agenda is making sure that Southeast is heard. That your projects are important. That we go to bat for Southeast when we're up against federal influences that aren't in the best interest of Southeast."...

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"Spinmeister" Sarah Palin

By brownsox

You have to give Sarah Palin credit: she has the remarkable ability to lie out of both sides of her mouth.

The candidate has used her "crusade" against earmarks as the centerpiece of her all-too-brief tenure as governor and her chief qualification for the vice-presidency.

As a gubernatorial candidate in 2006, she championed the Gravina Island Bridge to Nowhere project (emphasis mine):
"We need to come to the defense of Southeast Alaska when proposals are on the table like the bridge and not allow the spinmeisters to turn this project or any other into something that's so negative," Palin said.
And now that the Bridge to Nowhere has become a political liability?
Palin claimed she "championed reform of earmark spending by Congress, and I told the Congress thanks but no thanks on that 'Bridge to Nowhere,'" she said, omitting mention that she'd campaigned for governor supporting the bridge. "If our state wanted a bridge, we’d build it ourselves."
Sounds awfully Spinmeisterish, does it not? I mean, it sure sounds as if Palin has turned the Bridge to Nowhere project she so dearly loved into "something that's so negative". That couldn't be because it's no longer convenient for her, is it?...(Click here for remainder of post).

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It’s Policies before Personalities

By John Amato
Crooks and Liars.com



John McCain on doughnuts and sprinkles.
“This is our latest health program.”
OK, here’s the deal. The media wants to make presidential elections about personalities alone, a clash between individuals instead of two people that represent certain policies they want to install in the country. But we’re supposed to be voting on a candidate that expresses a desire to pass legislation that will help the country. We’re voting on principles plain and simple. McCain represents the almost eight years of probably the worst presidency in the history of the US. It’s “The Bush years,” ladies and gentlemen. We nearly just had a depression with the Bear Stearns fiasco, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac being taken over by the government, almost 50 million people have no health insurance, two wars are raging with no end in sight and China’s holding the paper on it.

The government is wiretapping our phones and emails although they would never use any of the gathered information for purposes other than combating terrorism. Yea, right. Bush admitted he approved of torture which is now up there with apple pie as part of the American way. Rumsfeld tells the troops that they should STFU because you go to war with what you have. Screw you and your MRAPS. McCain doesn’t want to expand services for the troops because he says they may leave the service then. Isn’t that a funny way of showing one’s support for the military?

Remember when we found a Canadian coin in our pocket and laughed about it saying “how the heck did it get there?” Not anymore.

You remember the idiotic question that infatuated the kool kidz back in the 2000 election, the one that asked the very serious “Who would you rather have a beer with George Bush or Al Gore?...(Click here for remainder of post).

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This cynical choice has left McCain’s honour in shreds

By Minette Marrin

I’m an American, California born. It’s true my mother was English and that I was brought up here from early childhood and think myself exceptionally lucky to belong here; I feel as English as I think anyone possibly can. Yet all the same, America is the land of my forebears on my late father’s side. I would even qualify to be a Daughter of the American Revolution, since one of my ancestors in North Carolina fought in the American war of independence. My grandmother travelled as a little girl in a covered wagon in the Wild West with my great-grandfather, who was an army officer. I have close family living in America still, and I have the right to vote there.

So I have always felt a strong sentimental attachment to the United States. I’ve felt proud of American achievements and generosity, and resented the unthinking antiAmericanism everywhere in Europe, ever since the first child in the playground of my first school shouted at me “Yanks go home”. Admittedly the spectacle of electioneering is a painful test of anyone’s respect for the United States. In their ghastly harrumphing electoral extravaganzas the Americans show themselves at their worst - vulgar, venal, naive, dishonest, stupid, wasteful, tasteless and vicious. Priggish though it may sound, I prefer to ignore these periods of national hysteria; after all, politics is nasty everywhere, it’s just that America does everything in extremes.

But last week everything changed. John McCain’s choice of Governor Sarah Palin was the last straw. It makes American politics look like a sick comedy. My faith in my native country had already been shaken by other elections and by other wrongs, such as the Iraq war (which I at first supported, to my shame). But the moose-hunting pitbull with lipstick is too much. I have never used my vote in the past, but if I had, I would usually have voted Republican. Today no rational conservative can vote for the Palin and McCain ticket. It makes America an international laughing stock. The fact that there has been a Palin bounce, after her charismatic speech, fills me with dismay....(Click for remainder of article).

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Sarah Palin's appeal to working-class women may be limited

For many of these critical swing voters, economic interests trump any admiration of the Alaska governor's maternal grit, and some are repelled by her sarcastic jabs at Obama.

By Faye Fiore and Peter Wallsten
Los Angeles Times Staff Writers 
September 7, 2008

UNIONTOWN, PA. -- Trish Heckman, a 49-year-old restaurant cook and disappointed Hillary Rodham Clinton supporter, watched last week as the country's newest political star made her explosive debut.

She followed the news when John McCain introduced Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his vice presidential running mate, paid attention to the raging debate over her qualifications, even tuned in to watch her dramatic speech at the Republican convention.

But when it came down to an issue Heckman really cares about -- sending a daughter to college on $10.50 an hour -- her desire to see a woman reach the White House took a back seat to her depleted savings account.

"I wanted Hillary to win so bad, but I saw Sarah, and it just didn't work for me," said Heckman, taking a break in the empty courtyard of J. Paul's restaurant in a downtown struggling to revive. "I have no retirement. Obama understands it's the economy. He knows how we live."

Heckman, like many others in this former coal-mining town at the western foot of the Appalachians, is the type of voter that both presidential campaigns will target in the final two months. Polls show that working-class women have emerged as one of the most critical categories of swing voters at a time when McCain and Barack Obama have galvanized their party bases but still need more votes to win....(Click for remainder of article).

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Sexism and the McCain-Palin Candidacy

By Meteor Blades
The Daily Kos

The depth of the modern Republican Party’s cynicism is news to nobody. So its nominee’s surprise choice for the vice presidency should not be a surprise.  

Forty years ago, the party, whose delegates at last week’s convention so avidly claimed the iconic mantle of Abraham Lincoln, the party of slave and abolitionist Frederick Douglass, Abe’s uncommon colleague in Emancipation, surely sent those men spinning in their graves when it avidly began courting the sons and daughters of the Confederacy, many of whom still thought John Wilkes Booth was a hero and Douglass just another "uppity n****r."

The "Southern Strategy" dog-whistled and otherwise wormed its way into the hearts of people whose families had long vowed never to vote for a Republican, people who had cheered the Democrat, Governor George Wallace, when he stood against the majority of his own party and invoked those immortal if-since-repented words: "segregation now, segregation forever."

It didn’t matter whether the individuals engaged in this GOP blueprint were "personally racist," whether they actively felt people of color were inferior and unworthy, just as it didn't matter whether Wallace did. What mattered was that they capitalized on fear and ignorance and prejudice and tradition and hatred in adopting a path to political victory by implying – to a specific cohort of voters, not all of whom lived in the South – that they would achieve or maintain the racial divide and white privilege in the post-Jim Crow era. Personally racist or not, they were racist in their goals and achievements, just as ruthlessly if not so blatantly as Wallace himself, who once promised after a campaign loss never to be "out-n****red" again.

The cynicism that led to the "Southern Strategy" is not the identical cynicism that chose Sarah Palin as John McCain’s running mate. But it contains the same DNA. It springs from the same do-any-unprincipled-thing-to-win-and-keep-winning-no-matter-what philosophy, the political gene that has guided too many politicians, modern and ancestral....(Click for remainder of post).

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Sadism, Cruelty, Torture In The Twin Cities: Professional Cultural Norms For US “Law” Enforcement

By Kirk James Murphy, M.D.
Firedoglake.com


Over the last week we've seen even the MSM drop the Village kewl kids pose and stand up to criticize the pervasive cruelty, abuse, and illegal use of force "law" enforcement inflicted upon the Twin Cities community.

The torture, sadism, and abuse the Minneapolis Police, St. Paul Police, Ramsey County Sheriffs (and out of town departments) unleashed upon protesters, press, passers-by, and community members took place while Homeland Security and the Secret Service they control were in direct command of all area "law" enforcement and had final authority over all decisions about protests and protesters. In other words, what we saw in the Twin Cities shows us how American local "law" enforcement act in broad daylight when the Feds are on the scene and supervising their work.

Over the last week, we had a chance to observe de facto professional cultural norms in America's local, state, and Federal enforcement. This is what democracy looks like?

What happened to people in local communities of color who weren't even associated with the protests? Here's what Rebecca Trotzky-Sirr, a fourth-year Univ. of Minnesota medical student learned when she interviewed a local resident on behalf of United Communities Against Police Brutality:
While much attention has been paid to arrests of prominent journalists & protesters harsh treatment during arrests, in the streets of St Paul many community members feel invisible as they live out the RNC protest repercussions. Undocumented families, refugees have been staying away from their homes in highly patrolled areas near downtown St Paul in fear of encountering police by accident. I visited and documented a gentleman of color who had no prior criminal history, who was detained without cause near central St Paul. During his arrest, while handcuffed he was beat by a police officer. The victim had recently had major surgery, released from hospital less than a week prior. Later, during booking, the same officer punched him repeatedly in the head and neck in front of other officers who looked on without concern. When police realized that this man was severely injured, they drove him one block away from the hospital and let him limp his way to the ER.

People of color, those most marginalized in our community, have faced severe consequences because of RNC protests. Police riled up, frustrated with protesters are taking out their anger on those without large wallets, or skin privilege.
Michael Cavlan, RN is a nurse who works on surgical trauma and burn units. I know surgical trauma nurses -- I used to work with them. The ones I knew weren't prone to overstatement: working around intense suffering makes that a very poor occupational choice. What did Michael Cavlan observe on the steets of the Twin Cities during the RNC?...(Click for remainder of post).

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