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Re: Any thoughts? Most of California's Black & Latino Voters Backed Gay Marriage Ban
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This is a Civil rights issue, plain and simple, and so therefore like the Civil Rights Act it has to be made into law by courageous legislators and not left to a referendum.

Do you think The Civil Rights Act would EVER had made it into law if the people in the south were allowed to vote on it back then?

No. LBJ had to ram it down their throats, at the cost of his political career, it can be argued....but he did it because it was the right thing to do, and History has just proven him right with the election of Obama. This very well wouldn't have happened without LBJ having the guts to do the right thing.

What should happen is Obama should make gay marriage a federal issue at some point...during a second term perhaps, and move it through Congress just like the Civil Rights Act.

Posted on: 2008/11/10 8:48

Re: Barack Obama for President
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Congratulations to all of the Obama supporters out there. You deserve what's coming. For the rest of us, we don't deserve it, but we're going to get it anyway. And, don't forget, if anything doesn't work out as planned over the next four years, it's all Bush's fault.

Finally...Will people like you Puh-LeeZ SHUT UP!!!

You have no need to worry. After 8 long years THE ADULTS are back in control, and there is nowhere for this country to go but UP ( in case you haven't noticed the DEEP ditch your CORRUPT AND CRIMINAL REPUBLICANS have left us in.)


Posted on: 2008/11/5 16:49

Edited by Webmaster on 2008/11/5 17:27:37

Re: What's worse for JC, Luxury Condos or Hipsters?
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Luxury Condos.

That was easy.

Posted on: 2008/10/21 18:17

Re: Resident parking (ticket)
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Has your permit expired?

They don't notify you or give you any grace period if it has.

You have to remember when you first got it and renew it every year before the expiration date.

Posted on: 2008/10/19 15:31

Re: Barack Obama for President
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What has Obama done?

What has McCain done except hire all the same people who destroyed his 2000 bid against GWB by using the same disgusting, false, and viscious tactics he is now using on Obama, let Phil Graham build his woefully, and tragically inept economic policy, proven himself a bad pilot of his own campaign by putting a more than dangerous idiot like Palin on the ticket, dumped his first wife in favor of a beer heiress with political connections, lose his temper EVERYWHERE, call said second wife a CU*T in public, sold out his Maverick status by licking GWB's ass for the past 2 years.....

What has Obama done?

Graduated Harvard cum laude, out-maneuvered Hillary Clinton, John McCain, and both the Democratic and Republican machines. In short, he is BRILLIANT, and it is time we have a BRILLIANT man in the office. Oh...and somehow he also managed to inspire a NATION.

That hasn't been done since Bill Clinton, Rhodes Scholar, and the last BRILLIANT man to hold the office.

What was John McCain's education? Oh yeah... he graduated 894 out of 900 from his legacy acceptance to the Naval Academy ( both his Dad and GrandDad were Admirals)...oh...and he got shot down. Bad pilot too, perhaps?

As former Supreme Commander of NATO, another Rhodes Scholar, and 4 Star General Wes Clark said...getting shot down over Hanoi doesn't necessarily make one a military expert.

The question you should be asking after reviewing McCain's less that desirable traits and abyssmal record is, "What hasn't Obama done?" He is not guilty of McCain's pathetic record on nearly everything.

Obama is the next President.

Posted on: 2008/10/13 6:04

Re: Barack Obama for President
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It is easy, bro.

8 years of Bush...who McCain embraces on everything but climate change, has brought us to this COMPLETE disaster.

We're sick of stolen elections, Fascists on the Supreme Court, an unfair tax code that funneled all the money from this supposed "booming" market and economy of the past 8 years to the top wealthiest one percent while the gap between rich and poor grew to it's greatest disparity since 1929, the middle class disappeared by the minute, THE WAR IN IRAQ...don't get me get me started, and I"M JUST GETTING STARTED!

Separation between Church and State, "Good Job Brownie," The list goes on and on.

Only an idiot would put another Republican in power again.



Obama is the next President.

Posted on: 2008/10/13 4:40

Re: What does everyone think of the Bailout?
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What we're also seeing here...and this should be a bright the final nail in the coffin of "Reaganomics"...the misguided plan for economic disaster set in motion almost 30 years ago and put on steroids over the past 8 years.

We are now witnessing "trickle down" in its fullest bloom, and it is a stinking, ugly weed indeed.

This economic rescue is unfortunately necessary right now. The house is on fire and we need to put it out first.

Moving forward, though...with the spine of republican economic policy decidedly crushed to bits (witness our paralyzed economy) the future should be much brighter with their obviously false and failed arguments permanently off the table.

The markets clearly need effective and stringent governmental oversight from here on in. Deregulation has failed. Let's turn the page.

Posted on: 2008/9/30 16:47

Re: What does everyone think of the Bailout?
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McCain Aide?s Firm Was Paid by Freddie Mac

Published: September 23, 2008
WASHINGTON ? One of the giant mortgage companies at the heart of the credit crisis paid $15,000 a month from the end of 2005 through last month to a firm owned by Senator John McCain?s campaign manager, according to two people with direct knowledge of the arrangement.

The disclosure undercuts a statement by Mr. McCain on Sunday night that the campaign manager, Rick Davis, had had no involvement with the company for the last several years.

Mr. Davis?s firm received the payments from the company, Freddie Mac, until it was taken over by the government this month along with Fannie Mae, the other big mortgage lender whose deteriorating finances helped precipitate the cascading problems on Wall Street, the people said.

They said they did not recall Mr. Davis?s doing much substantive work for the company in return for the money, other than speak to a political action committee of high-ranking employees in October 2006 on the approaching midterm Congressional elections. They said Mr. Davis?s firm, Davis & Manafort, had been kept on the payroll because of Mr. Davis?s close ties to Mr. McCain, the Republican presidential nominee, who by 2006 was widely expected to run again for the White House.

Mr. Davis took a leave from Davis & Manafortfor the presidential campaign, but as a partner and equity-holder continues to benefit from its income. No one at Davis & Manafort other than Mr. Davis was involved in efforts on Freddie Mac?s behalf, the people familiar with the arrangement said.

A Freddie Mac spokeswoman said the company would not comment.

Jill Hazelbaker, a spokeswoman for the McCain campaign, did not dispute the payments to Mr. Davis?s firm. But she said that Mr. Davis had stopped taking a salary from his firm by the end of 2006 and that his work did not affect Mr. McCain.

?Senator McCain?s positions on policy matters are based upon what he believes to be in the public interest,? Ms. Hazelbaker said in a written statement.

The revelations come at a time when Mr. McCain and Mr. Obama are sparring over ties to lobbyists and special interests and seeking political advantage in a campaign being reshaped by the financial crisis and the plan to bail out investment firms.

Mr. McCain?s campaign has been attacking Senator Barack Obama, his Democratic rival, for ties to former officials of the mortgage lenders, both of which have long histories of cultivating allies in the two parties to fend off efforts to restrict their activities. Mr. McCain has been running a television commercial suggesting that Mr. Obama takes advice on housing issues from Franklin D. Raines, former chief executive of Fannie Mae, a contention flatly denied by Mr. Raines and the Obama campaign.

Freddie Mac?s roughly $500,000 in payments to Davis & Manafort began immediately after Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae in late 2005 disbanded an advocacy coalition that they had set up and hired Mr. Davis to run, the people familiar with the arrangement said.

From 2000 to the end of 2005, Mr. Davis had received nearly $2 million as president of the coalition, the Homeownership Alliance, which the companies created to help them oppose new regulations and protect their status as federally chartered companies with implicit government backing. That status let them borrow cheaply, helping to fuel rapid growth but also their increased purchases of the risky mortgage securities that were their downfall.

On Sunday, in an interview with CNBC and The New York Times, Mr. McCain responded to a question about Mr. Davis?s role in the advocacy group through 2005 by saying that his campaign manager ?has had nothing to do with it since, and I?ll be glad to have his record examined by anybody who wants to look at it.?

Such assertions, along with McCain campaign television ads tying Mr. Obama to former Fannie Mae chiefs, have riled current and former officials of the two companies and provoked them to volunteer rebuttals. The two officials with direct knowledge of Freddie Mac?s post-2005 contract with Mr. Davis spoke on condition of anonymity. Four other outside consultants, three Democrats and a Republican also speaking on condition of anonymity, said the arrangement was widely known among people involved in Freddie Mac?s lobbying efforts.

As president of the Homeownership Alliance, Mr. Davis got $30,000 to $35,000 a month. Mr. Davis, along with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, have characterized the alliance as a coalition of many housing industry and consumer groups to promote homeownership, but numerous current and former officials at both companies say the two mortgage companies created and bankrolled the operation to combat efforts by competitors to rein in their business. They dissolved the group at the end of 2005 as part of cost-cutting in the wake of accounting scandals and, at Freddie Mac, a lobbying scandal that forced out its former top Republican lobbyist.

read more ... .html?_r=1&hp&oref=slogin

McCain is a f****ng pussy. Backing out of the debate...COWARD!

Posted on: 2008/9/25 6:21

Re: What does everyone think of the Bailout?
Quite a regular
Quite a regular

And now EVERBODY'S credit card, including the Government's is maxed out.

Time for change.

Time for Obama.

Posted on: 2008/9/25 5:45

Re: What does everyone think of the Bailout?
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Quite a regular

but in the end, I blame American people as well. Americans refuse to change their lifestyles or mentalities, and although there was no regulation with these banks for the loans they continued to sign, people gotta learn to live within their means. When you earn $60,000, don't live $80,000. We can only hope that at the very least, this bad turn of events will go down as a lesson learned for people who have no control over their spending habits, and that goes for the rich all the way down to the poor.

But that mentality has been ENCOURAGED by this administration. Wasn't it GWB who told us to "go shopping" after the 9/11 attacks?

Posted on: 2008/9/25 5:42

Re: Barack Obama for President
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I came out Obama 11-2...actually surprised they got me on those 2.

Posted on: 2008/9/25 3:33

Re: What does everyone think of the Bailout?
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Quite a regular

And who has been running the financial system???

Welfare mothers and the unemployed???


Nobody wants to take Responsibility?

That is for Congress to try and fix in 2 minutes for a MESS YOU shit heads have dealt us over 10 years???


Obama IS DEFINITELY NOW the next President.

Posted on: 2008/9/24 8:48

Re: Barack Obama for President
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Quite a regular

The jury is in.

Grovvejet is an irredeemable idiot.

Just ignore him from now on.

Posted on: 2008/9/23 5:38

Re: Barack Obama for President
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And the whole thing has been Phil Graham and John McCain's big cause for 25 years...remember the keating 5?

Democrats tend to learn from their mistakes.

Republicans like GWB, Graham, and Mccain OBVIOUSLY DON'T!

Posted on: 2008/9/22 4:09

Re: Barack Obama for President
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It got WORSE under the REPUGS!!!!!

It'll get better under Obama becuase there will be strict oversight. Nobody wants to relive the Bush failures again.

From a magna cum laude Harvard Law grad....not a default C average legacy Yale idiot, or a guy who graduated 894 out of 900 from the Naval academy.

We need to put an INTELLIGENT man in the office.

Obama is the next President.

Posted on: 2008/9/22 4:00

Re: Barack Obama for President
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If we?re about to dive another trillion into debt to save Wall Street in this unprecedented move?tack on a few billion for Main Street, or it does not pass.

With a friggin debt this massive?what is the #OOPS#ing difference?

John McCain and Phil Graham wanted deregulation?they got it?it failed.

Let them burn if this bill does not address some the people?s needs too.

Robert Kuttner
Posted September 21, 2008 | 02:22 PM (EST)

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Calling Paulson's Bluff

Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson spent the past two weeks playing a game of chicken with firms like Lehman Brothers and A.I.G. Now he is playing even higher-stakes chicken with Congress and the economy.

Paulson's storyline is that the credit markets are frozen, and unless Congress passes a "clean bill" -- his way -- disaster lies ahead. He spent a busy Sunday morning on the talk shows ducking questions on what would happen if Congress didn't act -- and what might still happen if it did.

One senior Congressional Democrat told me, "They have a gun to our heads." Paulson behaved as if he held all the cards, but in fact the Democrats have a lot of cards, too. The question is whether they have the nerve to challenge major flaws in Paulson's plan as a condition of enacting it.

Paulson also faces serious defections in Republican ranks, with several key senators and congressmen resisting a bailout of this scale. Sen. Richard Shelby, the ranking Republican on the Senate Banking Committee, speaking on CBS's Face the Nation, flatly blamed the crisis on greed and deregulation, and questioned the terms of Paulson's plan.

Paulson's bill would give him carte blanche to spend up to $700 billion over the next 24 months to buy toxic securities from financial firms. This presumably would "unclog" capital markets, the financial economy would begin functioning normally again, and then the government would recoup what it could.

The plan is outrageous on several levels. It demands nothing from these firms in return. It holds the Treasury Secretary accountable to no one. And it extends the most generous terms to Wall Street while offering nothing to Main Street.

House Financial Services Chairman Barney Frank, speaking Sunday morning on "Face the Nation," gave the flavor of what Democrats will demand, if they hang tough: An economic stimulus to go with the Wall Street bailout; more refinancing help for borrowers; and some limits on windfall gains to corporate executives. These provisions would improve the bill, and Democrats would win either way: if they were included, more help would be on the way to working families. If they lost, and the bill passed without these provisions, it would make crystal clear the difference between the parties.

Ideally, the Democrats should go even further.

The bailout bill should be explicitly tied to a commitment to re-regulate all types of financial institutions. The bill's authority should expire after six months, so that when the next Congress re-authorizes any bailout authority it would be combined with tough comprehensive regulation.

Any private company that sells assets to the Treasury should be subjected to stringent limits on executive windfalls.

The government should get an equity position in the firms it helps, proportional to the help that it gives.

Treasury should be authorized and directed to take controlling interest in some firms, and take over their management, if of course that provides the greatest potential savings to taxpayers. For example, when an FDIC-insured bank goes broke, the FDIC either merges it into a healthy bank, or takes it over and runs it for a time while it pays off depositors, to make sure that it is run properly. It does not just bail out the incumbent management that created, and profited from, the mess.

There should be a recapture provision, so that if firms end up profiting from this bailout, the government gets its money back.

Part of the $700 billion should be for mortgage refinancing, and authority for cities and towns to acquire foreclosed properties and put buyers and renters back in them.

The package should include at least $200 billion of new economic stimulus, in the form of aid to states, cities, and towns, for infrastructure rebuilding, more generous unemployment and retraining benefits, and green investment.

The Democratic leadership should force Republicans to take votes on provisions like these. The early signs were that they would be pushing hard for a two or three.

Yesterday, a key lobbyist for the financial services roundtable, Scott Talbott, warned, "We're opposed to adding provisions that will affect [or] undermine the deal substantively," The Roundtable's members are banks, securities firms and insurance companies, the prime beneficiaries of Paulson's proposed bailout. He warned that any effort to attach other provisions would be a deal breaker.

But excuse me, it is the financial industry that is coming hat-in-hand to the government, not vice versa. The industry has no leverage here, except to the extent that Congress lets itself be intimidated. Paulson is insisting on a "clean" bill, but as Barney Frank put it, helping Main Street as well as Wall street does not dirty the bill.

The two precedents for large scale bailouts, Franklin Roosevelt's Reconstruction Finance Corporation, and the Resolution Trust Corporation of the 1980s, gave government much more authority over the firms that it bailed out.

Paulson is playing this more as the investment banker that he used to be, than as a steward of the public interest. This is a dubious deal, with all the gain going to Wall Street and all the risk going to taxpayers. Congress should not be intimated by his threats to hold his breath and turn blue of he doesn't get his way.

Posted on: 2008/9/22 3:40

Re: Barack Obama for President
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Ohh..but how that all got distorted and stretched and abused under the Repugs!!!!


You're a silly man.

Posted on: 2008/9/22 3:35

Re: Brennan Coffee House Concert Series in Jersey City - Anyone Ever Been?
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I played that gig a couple of years ago.

Awe-inspiring space, amazing acoustics...a lovely time.

Posted on: 2008/9/22 2:33

Re: Barack Obama for President
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So, Groovejet...your Neo-Con fascists have done such a WONDERFUL job on EVERYTHING??? Really?

Have you read a paper lately, seen the news?

What else has to go wrong before you concede FAILURE?

What is this Trillion dollar bail-out but a SOCIALIST remedy for a CAPTALIST TRAIN-WRECK, all sponsored by your idiot-in-cheif?

COMMIE? Who are you, Joe McCarthy? Do you even know who that is?

You should start reading something other than The National Review and Mein Kampf before you start throwing around terms you don't understand.

You are shockingly misinformed, and other words...a typical Republican

Posted on: 2008/9/22 2:25

Re: Barack Obama for President
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9/21 Daily Kos R2K Tracking Poll: Obama 49 , McCain 42
by DemFromCT

Sun Sep 21, 2008 at 04:46:27 AM PDT

Today's Daily Kos Research 2000 tracking poll has Obama up over McCain by 49-42 (LV, MoE +/- 3). All trackers are data from three days prior to posting, with R2K (ours) from today and the others from yesterday.

Obama McCain MoE +/- RV/LV
Research 2000: 49 42 3 LV
Diageo/Hotline: 45 44 3.2 RV
Rasmussen: 48 47 2 LV
Gallup: 50 44 2 RV

Our last three days of polling are Obama +8 Th, +7 Fr, +6 Sa. Note Gallup over their last three days (Wed-Fri):

We'll see whether the idea that weekend polling is different than weekday polling as we collect more data. So far, any differences are too slight to matter or too small to pick up.

Check the age groups in the internals. The group I'm looking at today is 60+, which on 9/11 was McCain +15 and today is McCain +9, the only age group Obama does not win (social security ads might move this further.) In the same time frame, the 18-29s have moved +3 further to Obama, the 30-44s have flipped from McCain +4 to Obama +3 (a gain of 7), and the 45-59s have moved +3 in Obama's direction. The movement began in Wednesday's polling, reflecting Monday and Tuesday data, and suggesting a Black Monday bump.

Palin and McCain's fav/unfav remain poor... Obama is at +20, Biden at +10, McCain at +1 and Palin at -7. However, cable TV will continue to insist that she's incredibly popular. She is a campaign draw... especially compared to McCain. It remains to be seen if people will vote for a novelty item by November.

Bonus: here's a fun poll of sorts, the National Journal Insider's Poll, showing that insiders know no more and no less than we do. Dems are slightly more confident than Republicans, just like the Intrade and Rasmussen markets (~50-48 Obama-McCain).

Posted on: 2008/9/21 18:57

Re: Barack Obama for President
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Quite a regular

ok...2 1/2 is late

Posted on: 2008/9/21 8:31

Re: Barack Obama for President
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So when some write about the failures of the Republicans, just remember, we have a Democratic Congress that have also allowed it to happen and Obama is no stranger to the financial industry crooks.

The Dems have been back in power in congress for under 2 years after a 12 year occupation, 6 years of rubber stamping anything GWB wanted, and without a big enough majority to really move things.

This is where that all ends, friend. We're going to come out of this election with Obama as President, and a significant majority in both congressional houses.

What else has to go wrong before you morons concede that you have ROYALLY SCREWED THIS NATION BALLS DEEP?

Thats it!

There is no argument. Just read the papers.

Posted on: 2008/9/21 8:28

Re: Barack Obama for President
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VanVorster Presumably JAC meant the paradigmatic shift the party took after Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act and whites defected en masse. Look at this past convention. It didn't represent the America I know but rather some bygone era. and as BHO said, there are people (Ann Coulter, Bill O'Reilly, Scarborough, Limbaugh) who have made their careers and built their fortunes on fomenting hate, division by denigrating blacks, Hispanics, gays, etc. in the process.

Gazactly! Thanks VanVorster.

It is a little scary that these things need to be made clear. I thought I was talking to people who knew what was up.

This stuff should be a given, and everybody should also know that the current Repugs claiming Lincoln and saying MLK was a repug is really a joke.

The Repubulican party were the Liberals in Lincoln's time, and the Republican party in the 50's and 60's was decidedly NOT what we're dealiing with now.

Eisenhower would PUKE if he lived to see what Bush and Cheney have done.

"Beware the military/industrial complex" were Eisenhower's parting words.

I could even possibly vote for a republican like that. True conservatism has it's place.

These Neo-Cons are just plain evil, irresponsible and destructive idealogues. Read the news...all the proof you need.

Posted on: 2008/9/21 8:10

Re: Barack Obama for President
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pistolpackinpitbull put it say the 10 times fast ;-P

Posted on: 2008/9/21 0:14

Re: Barack Obama for President
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Thank you sinik...couldn't have said it better myself

I guess our mentally challenged Brit needs such simple extensions of logic spelled out for him.

Posted on: 2008/9/21 0:13

Re: Barack Obama for President
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Quite a regular

Palin is a Young Earth Creationist?
by DarkSyde
Sat Sep 20, 2008 at 12:00:16 PM PDT
Via Ed Brayton, Salon reports disturbing evidence that Sarah Palin is a follower of Young Earth Creationism:

"I pushed her on the earth's creation, whether it was really less than 7,000 years old and whether dinosaurs and humans walked the earth at the same time. And she said yes, she'd seen images somewhere of dinosaur fossils with human footprints in them."

Palin may have been referring to shyster Carl Baugh's dino-human footprint scam. A hoax so transparently dishonest that even Baugh's fellow creationist carnival barkers have turned on him for hawking it.

A young earth creationist who sticks to teaching Sunday school or sells mooseburgers is relatively harmless. But this person could be a 72 year-old heartbeat away from the Oval Office. And according to the piece, not only does Palin believe the earth might be a few thousand years old, she thinks it will come to an end in her lifetime. She proudly attends church services and appears on stage beside a pastor who believes Alaska will be a divine final refuge in the soon to come End Times. Maybe it?s a cynical act by a skilled faker, but Palin sure comes off like an enthusiastic True Believer. If someone like that is in charge of the world's largest arsenal of nuclear weapons, Armageddon could become, literally, a self fulfilling prophecy. To coin a phrase, can we afford to wait for the smoking gun that could come in the form of a mushroom cloud?

Posted on: 2008/9/20 19:15

Re: Barack Obama for President
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You probably voted for "Thatcher the Milk Snatcher" too. Brilliant!

The Republicans, like the Conservatives, have proven themselves to be morally and philosophically bankrupt.

Look at what Tony Blair got for drinking the Bush Kool-aid?

You're on the wrong side of history.

The Republicans, like The Conservatives, have FAILED THIS NATION.

They are unfit to govern. Look no further than any front page of any newspaper for proof.

Posted on: 2008/9/20 19:14

Re: Barack Obama for President
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Christofascism (the name being a portmanteau of Christianity and Fascism) is a concept in Christian theology first mentioned by Dorothee S?lle, a socially-engaged theologian and writer, in her book Beyond Mere Obedience: Reflections on a Christian Ethic for the Future in 1970. [1] [2] [3] To Dorothee S?lle, Christofascism was caused by the embracing of authoritarian theology by the Christian church. It is an arrogant, totalitarian, imperialistic attitude, characteristic of the church in Germany under Nazism, that she believed to be alive and well in the theological scene of the late 20th and turn of the 21st century.

See George W. Bush, Sarah Palin = Christofascist

Posted on: 2008/9/20 19:02

Re: Barack Obama for President
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Obstruction of Justice:

Stalled Troopergate probe leaves many questions

In this Sept. 9, 2008, photo, Alaska State Trooper Mike Wooten answers questions about the Troopergate investigation during an interview in Anchorage, Alaska. Until three weeks ago, only Alaskans and a few hard-core political junkies in the rest of the country cared about the obscure scandal known here as Troopergate. ANCHORAGE, Alaska (Map, News) - Until three weeks ago, only Alaskans and a few hard-core political junkies in the rest of the country cared about the obscure scandal known here as Troopergate.

A legislative committee had ordered an investigation into whether Gov. Sarah Palin abused her power to settle a vendetta against her sister's ex-husband. She didn't seem too worried. Broadly popular, she adopted a bring-it-on attitude, saying: "Hold me accountable. ... I don't have anything to hide."

But the bravado regarding allegations that she dismissed the state's top law enforcement official when he wouldn't fire Palin's former brother-in-law from his state trooper's job disappeared on Aug. 29.

Suddenly, Palin was the Republican vice-presidential nominee.

This story continues below

Suddenly, aided by McCain campaign operatives, she began stonewalling.

Over the next several weeks, Palin and her team withheld the investigation's most important witnesses - herself, her husband Todd, and a host of key administration aides. Palin also continued to withhold potentially key evidence - the contents of a plethora of e-mails among the governor, her husband and key state government officials.

Although the Legislature's investigator still plans to issue a report in October, the probe is effectively killed until January, when Sarah Palin will either be vice president or return to the governor's mansion in Juneau.

At that point, the investigation would revert to being mostly the concern of Alaskans and political junkies, if it matters at all.

In the meantime, questions that could settle the dispute will go unanswered.


The only smoking gun so far in Troopergate is the recorded telephone call by a Palin aide, Frank Bailey, to Lt. Rodney Dial of the Alaska State Troopers on Feb. 29. In that call, Bailey asked a pointed question about the continued employment of Mike Wooten, the trooper who divorced Palin's sister, Molly McCann.

"Why is this guy still representing the department?" Bailey asked.

He went on to tell Dial: "Todd and Sarah are scratching their heads, why on earth hasn't, why is this guy still representing the department? He's a horrible recruiting tool. ... You know, I mean from their perspective, everyone's protecting him."

Both Palin and Bailey say he'd acted on his own in making the call, but the investigation had been looking into whether the governor, her husband and other administration officials knew about the call or helped direct it.

During the call, Bailey appeared privy to information from Wooten's confidential personnel files. Bailey later told the Legislature's investigator, Stephen Branchflower, that he'd received the information from the governor's husband. Todd Palin, although a private citizen, frequently participates in a range of official duties. He had been copied in on official state e-mails, now withheld from the public on the grounds of executive privilege.

Cell phone records show that Todd Palin called key Palin aide Ivy Frye three times on the afternoon of Feb. 28, the day before Bailey's conversation about Wooten with Dial. The topics of discussion have not been disclosed.

Three-and-a-half hours after the last call, the first of 10 e-mails begin to fly among Frye, the governor, Todd Palin, Bailey, Administration Commissioner Annette Kreitzer, Deputy Chief of Staff Randy Ruaro and Palin aide Kris Perry. The exchanges continued overnight and into the morning of Bailey's phone call.

Only the senders, recipients and subject lines of those e-mails were released under a public records request. The e-mails carry the subject line "PSEA," a reference to the troopers' union, the Public Safety Employees Association, which was in the midst of contract negotiations with the state.

Palin won't release the contents of those e-mails. Despite her claim that Alaska's government is open and transparent, they - along with more than 1,000 other messages - are shrouded behind an exemption in the state's open records law.

Even more e-mails - the number unknown - circulated between Palin and her inner circle on private e-mail accounts that aren't subject to the state's open records law.

Last week, hackers revealed that they'd broken into one of Palin's private accounts and posted some of its contents on the Web. One of the more intriguing messages was sent from Chief of Staff Mike Nizich to Palin on Aug. 7, a week into the Troopergate investigation, with the subject line: "CONFIDENTIAL Ethics Matter."


Palin's explanation of why she fired Monegan on July 11 has shifted.

Monegan said in an interview with The Associated Press earlier this month that he wasn't given an explanation when Nizich told him he was being removed.

Six days later, Andrew Halcro, a former legislator and one of Palin's two 2006 gubernatorial election opponents, wrote in his blog that an anonymous source told him Palin had fired Monegan because he'd refused to fire Wooten.

The next day, Palin released a statement denying the allegations. Monegan responded publicly by saying he felt pressure to fire Wooten from both Palins, former Chief of Staff Mike Tibbles, Kreitzer and Bailey.

Palin said Monegan was let go over differing budget priorities and his failure to make progress on key goals, including reducing trooper vacancies and fighting alcohol abuse in rural Alaska.

Yet, when Monegan was fired, Nizich offered him another job as head of the state's Alcoholic Beverage Control Board, which regulates alcohol sales statewide.

Palin's staff, meanwhile, suggested that Palin had been upset with Monegan over the ongoing negotiations with the troopers' union because Monegan was pushing for more money for the force and opposed her push to strengthen its integrity clause - a move that might have made firing Wooten easier.

Last week, as national interest in Troopergate blossomed, the McCain campaign gave another reason for Monegan's firing - insubordination.

McCain operatives called Monegan a "rogue" who repeatedly tried to work outside normal channels for requesting money; Monegan said Palin never expressed any displeasure with him.

Monegan has come to regard her stated explanations as nonsense: "It boiled down to one issue," he told the AP. "There was only one reason that I got fired." Wooten.


In December 2006, during the first month of Palin's administration, members of her state trooper security detail asked if she was aware of any threats to herself or her family. Palin could offer only one: her former brother-in-law. She said Wooten had threatened to kill her father on Feb. 17, 2005, because he offered to hire a divorce lawyer for her sister.

"There was a serious, genuine concern about not only their safety, but the safety of their family, their kids, their nieces, nephews, her father, regarding Trooper Wooten," Bailey said in his deposition.

By then, Wooten's divorce to Palin's sister, Molly McCann, was more than a year in the past. During the time in between, though, Palin and her father, Chuck Heath, had cited the threat in various complaints against Wooten to the state police.

The first complaint was filed in 2005, about when the couple separated; Sarah Palin gave an interview to the state police as part of the ensuing investigation.

Palin sent Col. Julia Grimes, then the head of the troopers, a letter on Aug. 10, 2005, repeating the Wooten threat. Heath sent Grimes a letter on Oct. 10, 2005, listing the threat among a litany of complaints against Wooten.

Both letters focused more on the topic of frustration that no action had been taken to discipline Wooten rather than on any fear that the Palins were in danger.

Heath complained that the public and troopers were aware of Wooten's behavior, "yet, as of today this trooper still has not been held accountable for his illegal actions."

Wooten's union director, John Cyr, told the AP that the Palin family complaints amounted to harassment and that no one outside the Palin family had ever filed a complaint against the trooper.

In an interview with the AP, Wooten said, "I was not a threat to them, I've never been a threat to them and I won't be a threat to them. I have my priorities, and what I want to do with my life, and it doesn't include them."


At a news conference in July, Palin characterized the two dozen contacts from her staff to Monegan about Wooten as entirely appropriate. She also said she'd had no idea the contacts had been made.

But the Palins themselves had exerted considerable pressure, expressing much additional concern about Wooten in the first months of her administration. Monegan said Todd Palin asked him about the Wooten case in January 2007; Monegan told him that he'd looked into the case and it was closed.

A few days later, the governor called Monegan on his cell phone, also inquiring about Wooten, Monegan said.

"I re-explained the same thing to her as I did with Todd," he said.

Monegan said he interpreted those calls as the Palins venting, and that neither had explicitly told him to fire Wooten.

"Once I passed that information on and explained the process was done, I thought the issue would have been over," he said.

But the governor tried to bring it up again the next month at a birthday party for a state senator. Palin approached Monegan there and brought up Wooten. Monegan said he turned her away "to protect her" from getting into trouble over interference.

"'I need to keep you at arms' length,'" he recalled telling Palin at the time. "I didn't want her to be embarrassed or to get in trouble."

The Palins still weren't happy, Monegan said. In a later e-mail to him, Sarah Palin called the Wooten investigation "a joke."

Between the birthday party and the Bailey phone call a year later, Monegan said, he was contacted intermittently by Kreitzer, Tibbles and Attorney General Talis Colberg, all inquiring about Wooten. He said he also received two or three e-mails from the governor that were ostensibly about an unrelated subject, but that each contact always led to a mention of the Wooten matter.

Monegan said he repeatedly warned that such conversations and messages would be discoverable if Wooten ever sued: "I remember asking the chief of staff, 'Do you want Wooten to own your house? No? Well, neither do I. So let me handle the matter.'"

Monegan declined to give the AP copies of the e-mails from Palin's staffers.


Almost from the moment Palin named McCain's running mate, Republican pressure began to build to end the probe, which had been approved unanimously by the legislative committee of four Democrats and 10 Republicans.

McCain's campaign started claiming the investigation had become a political witch hunt, even though some Alaska Republican lawmakers still backed it.

Then Palin aides canceled their appointments to testify.

After lawmakers began issuing subpoenas, Palin's legal team - bolstered by McCain campaign lawyer Ed O'Callaghan, a former federal prosecutor - said the governor would no longer cooperate.

Next, the Palin team began to exploit a weakness in the Legislature's authority to call witnesses.

Late last week, Todd Palin declined to testify, and Colberg, the attorney general, refused to allow Palin's executive branch employees to testify.

Republican state Sen. Gene Therriault said he had opposed issuing subpoenas because it would force the two sides to retreat to their corners - and, he added, that's what happened.

"I tried to warn the committee off of this path," Therriault said. "I'm fearful of where we are."

Because lawmakers have little power to enforce their subpoenas unless the full Legislature is in session, the investigation has stalled until lawmakers reconvene in January.

Palin herself could call a special session at any time. So, too, could the legislators - if two-thirds of the 60 members approve.

Given recent events, neither of those scenarios seem very likely.

Posted on: 2008/9/20 19:00

Re: Barack Obama for President
Quite a regular
Quite a regular

And it is a good thing, I assume, you can't vote, TRUE BRIT?

Posted on: 2008/9/20 18:56

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