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Posts Tagged ‘vice-president

Meet Joe, the Invisible Vice-Presidential Candidate

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The American public has been cheated by the media. Yeah, we get the full skinny every time Sarah Palin sneezes. And we’ve seen enough footage on Joe the so-called Plumber to inspire every McCain-Palin mob member in America to chime, “Commie!” every hour, on the hour. But Joe Biden? Unless he makes some ghastly gaffe, he’s invisible. And what a shame for American voters.

Not only is Joe Biden a man of great character and substance, who has much to contribute to the national dialogue, but his is also (uh, earth to media) running for vice-president. Fortunately, the youth of America have done their best to pick up where the media’s left off in covering one of the most qualified and promising vice-presidential candidates we’ve seen in the past 3 decades:  

ABOVE: Here’s a video of a Joe Biden speech, covered by 5th grade reporter, Damon Weaver, who also interviewed Biden (starting at 3:34 on the video). Herein, we get a taste of the human interest story, as Joe tells about the slumber party with Biden’s grandchildren and Obama’s girls. Biden also explains the duties of the Vice-President. The sound quality of the video is not the greatest, but the content is first class. I only wish the media would cover this stuff. Or, at the very least, cover some of Biden’s speeches (see below). Lacking that, I wish we had an army of Damon Weavers to get out there and tell America what the hell’s really going on. 

ABOVE: Here’s the quintessential Joe we’ve been missing on the evening news. In this video, he discusses what we *didn’t* hear during the Republican convention. Of course, if the media is indeed owned by the Bush-cheney-McCain corporate henchmen, that would explain Joe’s absence.

ABOVE: More classic Joe. Here, he discusees John McCain’s record on the economy — his policies, contradictions and conflicts of interest, past and present — explaining details we’re not likely to ever hear on the evening news. 

ABOVE: This interview (WFTV w/anchorscab Barbara West) is more typical of the treatment the Obama ticket has received from the evil, liberal elitist media. To watch any news whatsoever, besides the Keith – Rachel line-up, I honestly can’t imagine how Obama and Biden have drawn such a large support base. It goes to show that maybe Americans aren’t as dumb as Palin and McCain, nor as dumb as they think.

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Sarah’s Job Description for Vice-President, Part II (Checkpoint Chickie Rides Again)

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In my August 30th post, where I first described, for the sole benefit of Sarah Palin, the job description for the Vice-President of the United States, I told her, “While there is no precedent in modern U.S. history for a person of your credentials serving as Vice President, it is theoretically possible for a third-grader to perform the actual duties of Vice-President. Your lack of education and/or experience with constitutional law shouldn’t be much of an impediment to serving, so long as the President doesn’t die or resign.” 

I was wrong. Either she never bothered to read the job description, or she simply didn’t comprehend it. Either way, it turns out that Sarah Palin’s lack of education and/or experience does present a serious impediment to the job for which she is applying. And  you’d have to be a simpleton, a die-hard racist, or the most tenacious of Republicans to have not realized this by now.

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For those who missed it, here is Sarah Palin’s answer to second-grader, Brandon Garcia, who asked “What does the Vice-President do?”

[T]hey’re in charge of the U.S. Senate so if they want to they can really get in there with the senators and make a lot of good policy changes that will make life better for Brandon and his family and his classroom.

EARTH TO CHECKPOINT CHICKIE:

Here again — for your edification, Sarah Palin — are the job duties for the Vice-President as specified in the U.S. Constitution. I’ve taken the liberty of translating the legal gobbledygook into terms so simple that even a third grader could understand them.  This way, if you’re ever again confronted with another of those third-grade “gotcha” questions, you can answer without fear of sounding inordinately ignorant and thereby causing the rest of us to keel in horror and/or fits of maniacal laughter. 

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THE GOBBLEDYGOOK: In case of the removal of the President from office or of his death or resignation, the Vice President shall become President. (25th Amendment, clarifying Article II, Section 1)

TRANSLATION: If John McCain died, resigned or was impeached, you’d become President.

THE GOBBLEDYGOOK: The Vice President of the United States shall be President of the Senate, but shall have no vote, unless they be equally divided. (Article I, Section 3)

TRANSLATION: While your official title is “President of the Senate,” you would actually have no power whatsoever in the Senate except to cast a tie-breaking vote, in the event of a deadlock.

THE GOBBLEDYGOOK: The President of the Senate shall, in the presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the certificates, and the votes shall then be counted. The person having the greatest number of votes shall be the President…. (Article II, Section 1)

TRANSLATION: On January 7, 2013, in front of the Senate and House of Representatives, you would open the sealed, certified tallies of electoral ballots (cast the previous November for president/vice president) so that the total votes could be officially counted. 

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EARTH TO McCAIN-PALIN CAMP, SUPPORTERS & SURROGATES:

The $150 million dollars that Barack Obama’s campaign received during the month of September is not evidence of some secret al Qaeda terrorist plot to elect Obama, but is what you might call a preponderance of tangible evidence that there are millions of U.S. citizens out here who are scared shitless over the uniquely dangerous combination of, uh, qualifications shared by both John McCain and Sarah Palin. These donations can also be interpreted as an outright rejection of the lying, the cheating and the hatemongering vitriol of your campaign.   

Here I could almost wish that there were… I don’t know…. a Congressional bill of some sort that would bar presidential or vice-presidential candidates and other leaders from, say,  “adopting or promoting an extremist belief system for the purpose of facilitating ideologically based violence to advance political, religious, or social change.”

 

But wait. Such a bill* already exists, having been passed one year ago this week, designed to interface with all the other laws passed over the past 8 years to address “homegrown terrorists.” Of course, these laws don’t apply to leaders who might abuse and exploit their powers to terrorize the citizens of this country. No, they apply only to the citizens would protest (or even think about protesting) against such laws and such leaders.  Lucky for us, these particular laws are being overseen by Attorney General Michael Mukasey**, the same Bush-Cheney henchman who the Obama campaign recently wrote, requesting an investigation into the voter fraud campaign being conducted by the Bush Administration and the Republican Party to steal the votes from Democrats who would vote for Barack Obama.
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In this light, the only hope for this country is that Obama will be elected by such a overwhelming landslide that, for the first time in 8 years, all the cheating, lying and dirty tricks in the world won’t be enough for the Bush-Cheney gang to again subvert that very democratic process that has sustained this country for over two centuries — ever since our forefathers authored our now-ravaged Constitution and Bill of Rights, those very documents that are apparently of so little importance to Vice-Presidential candidate, Sarah Palin, that she has yet to even bother reading them. 
  
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by Mantis Katz for the canarypapers
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** For more info on Mukasey, simply google “Bush Cheney Mukasey” and you”ll find a wide and well-marked trail of sourced detailing the cover-ups, legal sleights-of-hand, cronyism and other abuses of power committed by the Bush-Cheney-Mukasey gang.
 

The Sarah Palin – Troopergate Timeline: A Sordid Trail of Corruption, Squalor and Lies

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I take no relish in re-tracing the squalorous, trashy trail of Sarah’s Palin’s corrupt political life. In fact, I resent like hell the need to do this. It’s exhausting, maddening, sickening, depressing, dirty work. Were the evening news, the cable news and the press doing their job in presenting the full facts of this case, outright, it would not be up to rinky-dink bloggers like me to cob together these facts, as they exist, into a cohesive body of truth. 

On that note, here is the convoluted and excruciatingly long timeline on Troopergate — but one of many scandals littering the short (up to this point) span of Palin’s political career. The links at the bottom of the page substantiate every single word in this post. Palin’s quotes are in red:

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April 11, 2005

Eighteen months before Sarah Palin was elected governor, her sister, Molly McCann, filed for divorce from her husband, Mike Wooten. This marked the beginning of a fierce custody battle and an investigation into allegations made by the Palin family against Trooper Mike Wooten. According to state documents, Palin and her husband, Todd, hired a private investigator shortly thereafter (approx. June 2005). Sarah also wrote a letter to Alaska Safety Commissioner, Walt Monegan, alleging that Trooper Wooten had threatened to harm her sister and father, and had engaged in numerous instances of misconduct, including using a stun gun on his 10-year-old stepson.   

March 1, 2006

After a yearlong investigation (actually, there were more than 20 internal investigations into the Palin family allegations), Wooten was found guilty of 4 misconduct charges: killing a moose while using his wife’s permit, drinking a beer before driving a state vehicle, having an open beer can in the vehicle, and violating state policy by demonstrating the Taser’s test setting on his son. Wooten acknowledged the moose and Taser charges, but denied the beer charges. All four charges were nonetheless sustained. Regarding the Taser incident — which had happened several years earlier— Trooper Wooten told investigators he had, at his son’s request, showed him how the Taser felt, by using the test-setting, which is said to be weaker than an electric fence charge, and is the setting that troopers use on themselves, as a training aide. At the time of the incident, Wooten’s wife, Molly, was at home — as they were still married. According to testimony in the case, the son thought it was fun and wanted to do it again, while wife, Molly, along with the rest of the Palin clan, thought the incident to be humorous — or, at least they thought so until the divorce, a few years later. According to the internal police investigation, Wooten’s misconduct was not his demonstration of the Taser’s test-setting on the son, but was using state property for personal use. Wooten said, in retrospect, that he deeply regretted the incident. The investigation failed to sustain the death-threat allegations waged by the Palin family. Wooten was disciplined for the 4 (above mentioned) misconduct charges with a letter of warning and a 5-day suspension beginning on March 1, 2006. The letter warned that if he “messed up again” he’d be fired.

December 4, 2006

Sarah Palin was sworn in as Governor of Alaska.  

January – February 2007

In January 2007, Todd Palin invited Public Safety Commissioner Monegan to the governor’s office, where Todd Palin urged Monegan to reopen the Wooten case. After checking on it, Monegan said he informed Todd Palinthat he couldn’t do anything because the matter had been processed and the case was closed. In an interview with the Washington Post, Monegan said that a few days later, the governor also called him about the Wooten matter and he gave her the same answer. Monegan said Gov. Palin brought the issue up again in a February 2007 meeting at the state capitol, prompting him to warn Gov. Palin that she should back off. 

During this same time period, Sarah and Todd began what has been termed a “rogue investigation,” that was to last for months, over a worker’s compensation claim made by Wooten. The Palins alleged that Wooten was faking a job-related injury he claimed in January 2007, when he suffered a back injury while pulling a dead body from a wrecked automobile and slipped on icy pavement. After Wooten started receiving workers comp, Todd Palin began following him around “snapping pictures.” Palin’s office added these pictures to a dossier of information against Wooten, which they turned over to the state’s workers compensation board, purportedly to prove that Wooten was not too sick or injured to work.

April 2007

Seemingly our of the blue, Trooper Wooten’s workers comp claim was contravened, which means he received a letter saying he wasn’t entitled to benefits anymore. According to amended state documents, his injury was deemed to be the result of a preexisting condition from the his days in the U.S. Air Force, and notfrom the slippery ice fall he sustained. According to John Cyr, executive director of the Public Safety Employees Association which represents Wooten and other state troopers, Wooten “hired an attorney and filed a counterclaim against the state.”

August 2007

Several days before the Alaska State Fair, Safety Commissioner Walter Monegan got a phone call from the director of Palin’s Anchorage office asking that the trooper, Mike Wooten, not be assigned to work at a state fair, where he had volunteered for duty in full costume as “Safety Bear,” a child-friendly mascot. The reason provided by the gubernatorial aide was that Palin “was also planning to attend and did not want the trooper nearby.”

November 2007

According to John Cyr, there was a settlement in November 2007 in which Wooten underwent a back operation. In Cyr’s words, “This was a serious injury and he was flat broke and had to file for bankruptcy because his claims were denied.” Cyr accused Palin of abusing her power. “There was absolutely a personal vendetta against this trooper by the governor and the governor’s staff.”

July 11, 2008

Palin fires Commissioner Walt Monegan. In her statement on the firing, Palin said that she wanted “a new direction.” The firing took place, via an intermediary, while Palin was at a meeting in Philadelphia. Monegan alleged that his failure to fire Trooper Wooten may have been a factor in his firing. He stated that Palin’shusband, as well as members of the governor’s administration, had talked with him about the accusations against Wooten, which he considered improper. Palin responded that she had “never put pressure on Walt Monegan to fire – hire or fire – anybody.”

July 17, 2008 

At a Public Safety Employees Association press conference, Wooten’s released his packet of investigative papers (482 pages plus hours of recorded interviews) asking the public to read them and judge for themselves. Included in the packet was a letter written by Palin, in which she enumerated the earlier allegations against Wooten and suggested that many consider Wooten a ticking time-bomb. Palin continued to maintain, at this time, that Monegan’sfiring had nothing to do with his refusal to fire Wooten. On July 28, Palin’soffice issued a statement that she “will cooperate fully” with the investigation.

July 28, 2008

The Alaska Legislative Council – a bipartisan panel composed of 10 Republicans and 4 Democrats — authorized, by unanimous vote, a probe into the “Troopergate” allegations. 

July 31, 2008

 In a CNBC interview (her infamous “What is it exactly that the VP does every day?” interview, see video below) Sarah Paln responded to questions on Troopergate, saying that she looked foward to an investigation into the charges against her: “A couple of lawmakers who were pretty angry with me for replacing him, an at-will political appointment who was serving in my Cabinet — which every governor does — a couple lawmakers who weren’t happy with that decision certainly were looking at me as kind of a target right now and wanting to probe and find out why I did replace this, uh, Cabinet member, and it’s cool. I want them to ask me the questions. I don’t have anything to hide and, um, didn’t do anything wrong there, and it is a governor’s prerogative, a right, to fill that cabinet with members whom she or he believes will, um, do best for the people who we are serving, so I look forward to any kind of investigation or questions being asked because I’ve got nothing to hide.”

When asked why she fired Monegan, she said,

“I’m glad that you’re asking, because I never tried to fire a former brother-in-law, who’s been divorced from my sister for quite some time. No, it was the commissioner, uh, that we were seeking more results, more action to fill vacant trooper positions to deal with bootlegging and alcohol problems in our rural villages especially, just needed, uh, a new direction, a lot of new energy in that position, um, that is why the replacement took place there of the Commissioner of Public Safety. It had nothing to do with an estranged, former brother-in-law, a divorce that had happened some years ago.”  

August 13, 2008

An audio tape surfaces, proving Monegan’s claims that — while he was never directly told by Palin or anyone to fire Wooten — he was contacted many times by Palin, members of her administration and her husband, Todd Palin, in calls and emails that raised issues about Wooten’s employment. One of the recorded calls took place between Frank Bailey, Gov. Palin’s Director of Boards and Commissions, and an Alaska state trooper serving as a liaison to the Legislature. Bailey is heard saying, “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.” (the Troopergate news begins at 0:33 on the video below).

August 14, 2008

In the wake of the audio-tape’s ‘gotcha-moment,’ Palin was forced to acknowledge on August 14th that at least dozens (three dozen, as the investigation would later show) of calls were made from her staff members to Monegan’s office, questioning Wooten’s employment, which “could be perceived as pressure.” Gov. Palin denied orchestrating the calls.

August 21, 2008

It was one week before John McCain announced his selection of Sarah Palin for the VP candidacy. A routing slip, dated August 21, indicated that Wooten’s workers comp file had been pulled from the Alaska Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development and sent to the attention of Mike Mongale (not to be confused with Walt Monegan), a state manager with the workers compensation division. The routing slip was marked: “Wooten, as requested,” and was made out tot he attention of Mongale. According to a note faxed to John Cyr from the workers compensation division: “A request came in to return all of Wooten’s [workers comp] files to Juneau [the state capital]. The person who asked to route the files was told the files were being copied for the governor.”

Friday, August 29, 2008

John McCain announces his selection of Sarah Palin to fill the VP slot on his ticket. Sarah Palin hires attorney Thomas V. Van Flein to represent herself and the Governor’s Office in the investigation. Van Fleinreleased a statement that read, “We fully welcome a fair inquiry into these allegations. Please know that we intend to cooperate with this investigation.”

Simultaneously, Palin — via her attorney Van Flein — moved that the ethics investigation be dismissed, using the argument that the investigation should be turned over to the State Personnel Board (staffed by Palin’s political appointees, who would be subject to firing by Palin, if she so chose) , instead of being conducted by the Alaskan Legislative Council. Gov. Palin was to later expainthis move during her ABC interview with Charlie Gibson: “Our state statute says, if there’s a question about actions of the governor, you go to the Personnel Board. So we’ve said all along that that’s appropriate.” 

August 30, 2008

The McCain campaign releases a statement that reads: “Governor Palin dismissed Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan because of an honest disagreement over budget priorities – that’s it. The allegation that Governor Palin retaliated against Commissioner Monegan for not firing Trooper Wooten is cut from whole cloth. [Gov. Palin] did nothing wrong and has nothing to hide.”

September 1, 2008

Replying by letter to Friday’s letter from Palin’s attorney, State Sen. Hollis French (appointed by the legislature to manage the investigation) explained to Van Flein that — while the Personnel Board investigates complaints brought under state ethics laws — “the Legislature, of course, has its own separate powers of investigation. I hope you are not suggesting that the legislature does not have the authority to investigate potential violations of law by members of the Executive Branch.”

Sen. Hollis French also noted that the Legislative Council had not yet received a response their request for an interview with Gov. Palin. “I am requesting that you set a September date for the Governor’s deposition … by the close of business this Friday,” French wrote. “Delays in witness interviews will jeopardize the timely conclusion of this investigation. Indeed, delays would cause me to convene a meeting of the Judiciary Committee and ask that subpoenas be considered.”

The McCain/Palin campaign did not reply to questions about whether Palin would voluntarily provide a deposition, and her attorney did not return calls requesting comment, although McCain campaign spokeswoman, Maria Comella, did issue a statement: “The bottom line is Governor Palin has a proven record championing transparency in government and we are confident in that record.”

 September 2, 2008

The McCain campaign began questioning the legitimacy of the Legislative Council’s investigation, as McCain spokesmen and allies in Anchorage began contending that the probe had become “tainted” and “politicized” by Obama supporters

September 13, 2008

Investigators decide to subpoena 13 witnesses in the Troopergate case, including Todd Palin, to investigate whether pressure was applied from the governor’s office to deny Trooper Wooten’s workers compensation claim. Investigator Steve Branchflower said he wanted to interview Gov. Palin, but stopped short of issuing her a subpoena, because it would look bad to have the Governor or future Vice President subpoenaed. 

September 16, 2008

McCain campaign lawyers try to either end the investigation or delay it until after the election. Former Justice Department prosecutor Edward O’Callaghan, now working for the McCain campaign, told reporters that Palin was “unlikely to cooperate” with the Alaskan legislative inquiry into Monegan’s firing because it had been “tainted” by politics. O’Callaghan stated that the McCain campaign was directing an aggressive legal strategy to shut down a pre-election ethics investigation. 

In this spirit, Van Flein and O’Callaghanfiled a new motion with the Personnel Board. This one argued that, after a review of the evidence, including internal e-mails within the governor’s office, the governor’s lawyers had determined there was “no probable cause” to pursue any ethics inquiry into Palin at all. As a result, it argued, the previous motion for an ethics inquiry (which Van Flein himself had filed just two weeks earlier) should be dismissed. According to O’Callaghan, “There was no Ethics Act violation and there is no need to go forward with this.”

 October 1, 2008 

(Here, the squalor grows even more corrupt and complicated. These developments are very important to understanding Palin’s “governing style,”in general, and Troopergate, in particular). 

In a bombshell development, Murlene Wilkes, a key witness in the “Troopergate” investigation was forced to reverse her earlier (August) testimony in defense of Sarah Palin, after it was revealed she’d lied in her earlier statements to Steve Branchflower (lead investigator in the Troopergate probe). MurleneWilkes is the owner of Harbor Adjustment Services in Anchorage Alaska — a company that contracts with the state to handle all workers compensation claims for the State of Alaska. In Murlene Wilkes Augusttestimony, she had initially denied ever talking to anyone in the governor’s office about the Wooten file, and also denied ever seeing the photos Todd Palin had taken of Trooper Wooten. 

Forced to back off of her earlier defense of Palin, Murlene Wilkes admitted in her October 1st testimony that the governor’s associates had, indeed, applied pressure to deny workers compensation to Wooten. In her corrected testimony, Wilkes admitted to a state investigator that she had received phone calls and personal visits from advisers to Palin, including her husband, Todd Palin, the officials said. Further, Wilkes testified that she was told to deny workers compensation to Trooper Mike Wooten, because he supposedly was lying about his physical condition.  

This particular twist in the story is important because — in the wake of denying Wooten’s workers compensation claim in 2007 — Wilkes’ company,  Harbor Adjustment Services, received a renewal of their $1.2 million contract with the state, only the renewal was raised to $1.5 million, and was awarded despite lower competing bids. One losing firm has since appealed the contract award. 

October 2, 2008

An Alaska judge refused to block the state ethics investigation. Judge Peter Michalski threw out the lawsuit filed by five Republican state legislators who said the investigation had been tainted by partisan politics and was being manipulated to damage Palin shortly before the Nov. 4 presidential election. “It is legitimately within the scope of the legislature’s investigatory power to inquire into the circumstances surrounding the termination (of) a public officer the legislature had previously confirmed,” the judge wrote in his decision.

Judge Michalski also threw out a lawsuit filed by Palin aides seeking to dismiss the subpoenas compelling their testimony in the investigation. The aides argued that the subpoenas should not have to be honored, because they shouldn’t have been issued in the first place. 

As of this date, Todd Palin and several other top aides had still not testified, refusing to appear, despite the subpoenas. Todd and Sarah Palin, along with some of her staff, continue to assert that the legislative investigation has been compromised by politics and that they would only cooperate with a separate investigation run by the Alaska State Personnel Board (whose members, remember, could be fired by Palin, if she so chose).

October 3, 2008

The Alaska Supreme Court agreed to hear an emergency appeal from lawyers seeking to shut down the Legislature’s Troopergate investigation of Gov. Sarah Palin. The action came one day after Anchorage Superior Court Judge Peter Michalski threw out their lawsuit attempting to halt the Legislature’s investigation into Troopergate. The suit was filed by Texas-based Liberty Legal Institute and Anchorage attorney Kevin Clarkson, who filed the lawsuit on behalf of the Alaska Republican state legislators opposed to their colleagues’ investigation. 

 

October 9, 2008

The Alaska Supreme Court rejected an attempt by a group of six Republican legislators to shut down the Legislature’s investigation of Gov. Sarah Palin. This meant that Steve Branchflower, the investigator hired by the Legislative Council, would release his report as scheduled on October 10th. 

In a related development,  the McCain campaign released its own “report,” clearing Palin of any wrongdoing. In their 21-page statement, the McCain campaign alleged that the whole Troopergate investigation was a plot between Trooper Wooten and an angry blogger, saying: “It is tragic that a false story hatched by a blogger after drinks with Trooper Wooten led the legislature to allocate over $100,000 of public money to be spent in what has become a politically driven investigation.” 

Although the McCain campaign’s statement described Wooten as a separate issue from the Monegan firing, the McCain campaign went into great detail about the “rogue” trooper and his “long history of unstable and erratic behavior.” Seemingly oblivious to the fact that Wooten had already been investigated and alternately disciplined/cleared in March 2006 for the charges waged against him by the Palin family, the McCain campaign nonetheless described allegations of violence, including threatening Palin’sfamily and shooting his stepson with a stun gun. The McCain campaign statement also included allegations that Wooten cheated the workers’ compensation system. Todd Palinwas now saying that he’d had numerous conversations with government officials about why Wooten was allowed to stay on the job.

According to a McCain campaign statement: “The Palins make no apologies for wanting to protect their family and wanting to bring attention to the injustice of a violent trooper keeping his badge and abusing the workers’ compensation system. But Todd Palin said he never pressured anyone, including his wife.”

The McCain campaign also said that the investigation has become “muddied with innuendo, rumor and partisan politics.”

October 10, 2008

INVESTIGATION FINDS SARAH PALIN GUILTY OF ABUSE OF POWER

Sarah Palin abused her power when she fired her Public Safety Commissioner this July, a state investigation has concluded.

“I find that Governor Sarah Palin abused her power by violating Alaska statute 39.52.110(a) of the Alaska Executive Branch ethics act,” Branchflower said in the 263-page report to the Legislative Council released Friday afternoon.

“Alaska statute 39.52.110(a) provides ‘the legislature reaffirms that each public officer holds office as a public trust and any effort to benefit a personal or financial interest through official action is a violation of that trust,'” Branchflower continued.

His findings were presented to the Legislative Council Friday morning. The Council then met in a closed-door executive session for more than six hours as it reviewed the report. Friday afternoon the council voted unanimously to release the report to the public.Branchflower concluded that Monegan’s refusal to fire Trooper Mike Wooten, Palin’s former brother in-law, was “likely a contributing factor to his termination” but “not the sole reason.”

Still, Palin’s dismissal of Monegan “was a proper and lawful exercise of her constitutional and statutory authority to hire and fire executive branch department heads,” Branchflower said in the report. Branchflower also said Palin’sattorney general failed to provide him with emails of Palin’s that he had requested as part of the probe.

The report also found that Wooten’s workers’ compensation claim was handled properly, and that Wooten “received all the workers’ compensation benefits to which he was entitled.”

The above words, that Monegan’s refusal to fire Wooten was “not the sole reason”  will surely be parroted for all eternity, or the next few weeks (whichever ends first) by the McCain campaign.

SEE FULL 263 PAGE REPORT

[Editor’s note: It is unlikely the votes would be there for impeachment, but some censure is possible, if not likely. More, if anything, on this later….]

October 12

Spin City, here we come.

According to an ABC news report, Palin Makes Troopergate Assertions that Are Flatly False, “Palin spoke on the phone with Alaska reporters about the report. The McCain-Palin campaign only allowed one question per reporter. The journalists came from the Anchorage Daily News, KTVA-Channel 11 and KTUU-Channel 2. No follow-ups were alllowed.”

[No follow-ups? Huh?]

In this call, Palin said, “Well, I’m very pleased to be cleared of any legal wrongdoing, any hint of any kind of unethical activity there. Very pleased to be cleared of any of that.” 

[On this note I’m putting a punctuation point on this Troopergate timeline. As Forrest Gump might say, “Squalor is as squalor does.”]

 

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by Mantis Katz for the canarypapers

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 BONUS RESOURCE ON TIMELINE: In case you missed it, Bellflower has an excellent and succinct “Super duper Troopergate Timeline” that includes a few details I overlooked.  

ABC— Palin Denies Monegan Firing is Connected to Wooten Custody Battle

Washington Post: Palin’s Ex-Brother-in-Law Says He Regrets Bad Blood

McClatchy: Did Alaska’s Palin try to force firing of her ex-brother-in-law?

Huffington Post: Palin Hires Lawyer for Troopergate

Daily KOS: Palin files complaint against herself in a bid to stop investigation

AP: Troopergate probe running into new resistence

Anchorage Daily News: Lawmakers to Subpoena 13 in Troopergate — Investigators want to know if a workers compensation employee was pressured

mudflats: New McCain Stall of Troopergate Investigation: Part Karl Rove, Part Laurel & Hardy

Consortium News: New Witness Said to Implicate Palin

Newsweek: Can He Stop Troopergate? A McCain lawyer scrambles to block a Palin ethics inquiry

New York Times: Palins repeatedly pressed case against trooper

Huffington Post: McCain camp clears Palin of any wrongdoing in Troopergate before the State’s report is even issued

CBS: Judge Lets Palin Troopergate Probe Proceed

Anchorage Daily News: Judge Refuses to Halt Troopergate Probe

Anchorage Daily News: Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Troopergate Appeal

Anchorage Daily News: Supreme Court Won’t Block Troopergate Inquiry

KTUU News (Alaska) : Branchflower: Palin Abused Power

see also:

canarypapers: The Categorical Lies of Sarah Palin, Categorically Arranged

On Sarah Palin, Evangelism, the Presidency and End Times

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A Letter from Someone Who Grew Up with Sarah Palin’s Pastor

The letter, below, was written as a comment to our recent post on Sarah Palin’s religion, in The Sarah Chronicles: A Straight Poop Compendium of Questions & Answers on Sarah Palin. The author of this letter states that she, herself, was “indoctrinated from birth in the evangelical movement,” and also grew up with Sarah Palin’s current pastor. As such, she has valuable insights and knowledge to offer on the topics of evangelism, politics, the presidency and Sarah Palin’s candidacy, about which I know our readers will be interested to know. I am grateful to the writer of this letter for sharing her thoughts with such a generosity of intelligence, thoughtfulness  and respect.   

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I appreciate your thoughtful discourse. It is a shame that there are so many who have made up their minds and are unwilling to look at the complexities of life – including issues like war, capital punishment and abortion.

I agree that Palin’s lack of experience, knowledge and accurate information is incredibly worrisome. I am extremely disappointed in McCain for having made such an obviously political move rather than putting the interests of the people in this country first.

I grew up with Palin’s current pastor and was indoctrinated from birth in the evangelical movement. Evangelicals believe the end time is at hand at that Jesus will return any day. The long-term view on matters of global warming, environment, hunger, health, etc. are viewed quite differently when you don’t expect to remain on this planet.

Furthermore, as the name “evangelical” suggests, the God’s calling to the born again is to bring others to Him. No other belief is correct. All must come to Jesus and be born again. If they don’t, they will burn in hell – their just reward. Intolerance of other beliefs is the hallmark of the evangelical world.

Evangelicals want us to be taught their philosophy of creationism as a science in our schools. They can, as Palin does, totally disregard hard science in the furtherance of creationism.

They believe God (their God) should be at the center of government. They believe we should be praying to their God in our schools. They believe that literature and art not to their liking should be banned. Last but not least, evangelicals want to determine what all women may or may not do with regard to their own bodies and the difficult and often heartbreaking decisions that they must make.

So if not being prepared academically, intellectually or professionally and only one step away from being President of this country is not enough of a wakeup call, Palin’s strong evangelical beliefs should be seriously considered prior to going to the voting booth. And do not forget, that Palin was under investigation long before she was selected as McCain’s running mate.

Please keep in mind that some of the nicest people I have known are evangelicals. My posting is not a slam against evangelicals as individuals but rather an expression of my great concern about where we will find ourselves in eight years if we are led by an individual who does not believe in the distant future on earth.

Voters should set aside their emotional responses, the name calling and think about what our country will be like if Palin becomes President. I am a wife, mother and grandmother. I too have a college degree and have worked in politics, nonprofit, government and private industry. I would not for one moment think that I should be leading this country (or be one step away from leading this country).

As a woman, I am insulted that McCain apparently feels any woman will do to placate my desire to see a woman as VP and/or President.

Thanks for providing a place where ideas and thoughts can be exchanged.
MimI

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The Rise & Fall of McCain-Palin: A Shakespearean Tale of Junked Mavericks and Junkyard Dogs

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The mavericks have surely seen better days. It’s difficult to say which candidate is more guilty of wrecking the ticket’s facade of competence:  Her oily highness, whose primary role on the ticket, thus far, has been to smile, pose for pictures and recite bumper sticker slogans while simultaneously thumbing her nose at media questions, ethics investigations and subpoenas? Or the main maverick, who simply can’t help himself, as — in times of both crisis and calm, either of which offers golden opportunities to ‘act’ presidential — he instead shows his true colors, behaving, in the words of George Will, “like a flustered rookie, playing in a league too high”?

Grinning from ear-to-ear, the cats who swallowed the canary

One thing is for sure, the McCain-Palin ticket is a walking, talking wreck, and it’s only a matter of time before enough people say, “Enough!” It can’t happen soon enough for me. I, for one, will not miss their jubilant smiles from the campaign stump — those cat-who-swallowed-the-canary grins as they secretly gloat at their daily success of pawning a counterfeit platform full of lies onto another credulous crowd. Nor will I miss the cheers, jeers, hisses and chants of their lie-guzzling fans — their appetites perpetually whetted for cheap, dirty campaign slogans and smears, yet devoid of a hunger for truth and substance.  

 

This is what junkyard dogs do: they curl their lips into a vicious snarl, teeth bared, ready to sink their teeth into someone’s flesh. Friend or foe, it doesn’t much matter. Junkyard dogs will as easily lick the hand that feeds them one day, as they will bite it the next. And sometimes it’s hard to tell a grin from a snarl. To be sure, between McCain and Palin, there’s enough slobber and lies to foul the national dialogue for another 41 days. 

The history books may one day accurately record the demise of the McCain-Palin ticket as the logical conclusion of fiery rhetoric colliding with an even fierier reality. Facts are facts: reality always (eventually) trumps illusion, and truth always (eventually) trumps lies. But I’m hoping for a more timely arrival of the truth this election season. The good news for Americans is that, this year, we see some promise that truth may actually arrive on time, in its own time, instead of post-election, when it’s far too late to be of any use.

At the same time, I’ve become too wise to hope too much, too soon. I’ve seen enough over the past 8 years to know that anything (anything) is possible. “Enough” has yet to be enough. For the next 41 days, there still remains the possibility/likelihood of a September surprise or an October event of such magnitude that Americans would again be blinded by fear and panic (I’ve seen it happen) into doing something reckless (I’ve seen it happen) like appointing another fox to guard the henhouse — or, in this case, electing a pair of junkyard dogs to restore the finer points of truth, law, order, justice, humanity and scruples to our American government. 

No doubt about it: the mavericks have seen better days. And today — for all their strutting and fretting, their sound and fury — the two of them are poised mid-air in the jaws of the forlift. All that remains is for the American people to push the “HELL NO” lever on the McCain-Palin ticket and send their mangled platform to the polical junkyard where it belongs. Below is some tangible evidence for those who, like me, are in sore need of hope that, this time around, things will be different: truth will indeed trump lies, before it’s too late to matter. My perusal of the past week’s headlines, alone, has given much fodder for hope.

HOW ABOUT THAT SARAH?

Ever hear of an American political candidate barring the press outright? Well, to be fair, the McCain team didn’t completely block the press. The rules were: cameras yes, journalists no. This was, after all, a photo-op. Sarah’s whirlwind diplomatic tour this week — designed to dispel ugly rumors that she’s not ready to handle world affairs — is instead confirming what we already know: the McCain campaign doesn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of convincing any but the dumbest and most gullible of Americans that Sarah Palin is qualified to even act as mayor of Wasilla or the governor of Alaska, much less as vice-president or (gulp) president of the United States. Still, the McCain team perisists in erecting a facade, of sorts. Hence, the gag order on Sarah Palin’s mouth, juxtaposed with pics galore from carefully staged photo-ops. This manipulation of the press, by barring reporters access to a candidate, is unprecedented — not just in presidential politics, but in the entire history of American politics. Even Fox News was at a loss to pretty this one up: 

There’s not once chance that Governor Palin would have to answer a question. … They’re eliminating even the chance of any kind of interaction with the candidate — it’s just unprecedented.

To be fair, the media were officially allowed 29 seconds in the presence of her oily highness, in which they were able to glean a glimpse of Sarah’s foreign policy finesse during her meeting with Afghanistan president, Hamid Karzai, with their dialogue — from beginning to end — duly reported by the New York Times

“What is his name?” Ms. Palin was heard to ask, referring to the birth of Karzai’s first child least year. 

“Mirwais,” Mr. Karzai replied. “Mirwais, which means, ‘The Light of the House.'”

“Oh nice,” Palin responded.

“He is the only one we have,” Mr. Karzai said.

 

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GEORGE WILL COMMENTS ON McCAIN’S TEMPERAMENT

McCain was his own worst enemy last week as, in desperation, he impulsively mis-fired one sure-fire gaffe after another. George Will commented on this Sunday, then again yesterday, in the Washington Post

Under the pressure of the financial crisis, one presidential candidate is behaving like a flustered rookie playing in a league too high. It is not Barack Obama…. For McCain, politics is always operatic, pitting people who agree with him against those who are “corrupt” or “betray the public’s trust,” two categories that seem to be exhaustive — there are no other people…. 

Conservatives who insist that electing McCain is crucial usually start, and increasingly end, by saying he would make excellent judicial selections. But the more one sees of his impulsive, intensely personal reactions to people and events, the less confidence one has that he would select judges by calm reflection and clear principles, having neither patience nor aptitude for either….. It is arguable that, because of his inexperience, Obama is not ready for the presidency. It is arguable that McCain, because of his boiling moralism and bottomless reservoir of certitudes, is not suited to the presidency. Unreadiness can be corrected, although perhaps at great cost, by experience. Can a dismaying temperament be fixed?

SAM DONALDSON ON McCAIN’S DEREGULATION HYPOCRISY & THE INFLUENCE OF AGE

Sam Donaldson , equally unimpressed with John McCain’s “presidential” presence and economic finesse, commented on McCain’s two-decade-long support for deregulation (which McCain quickly flipped into a newfound criticism of deregulation last week):   

The question is, who in this crisis looked more presidential, calm and unflustered? It wasn’t John McCain….His talking points have gotten all mixed up and I think the question of age is back on the table. 

We deregulated in the beginning of ’99 and 2000 the banking industry, Phil Gramm and others, I think that Obama ad is correct. He was one of the prime movers. Now we’re going to have to clean that up at great expense. So I mean, I think for John McCain, though, who has the heaviest burden here, since he voted for all the deregulation, for him to now say he would be the toughest re-regulator is kind of a hard thing to swallow.”

(PHOTO, LEFT) McCain at an appearance this summer with Phil Gramm, his long-time financial adviser and campaign co-chair (until this past July). As one of the architects of the deregulation and decapitated laws that have so crippled Wall Street, Phil’s name has become a household word, as well as a favorite four-letter word.  

SPEAKING OF DEREGULATION….

Shooting himself in both feet, Sen. John “I’m-always-for-less-regulation” McCain penned an article for the September-October issue of Contingency, wherein, he makes a case for maverick-style health care reform. Paul Krugman brought this article to public attention yesterday, drawing our focus to one particularly disturbing passage, in which McCain presses for a “freer market” for health coverage, making the argument that health insurance would benefit from the same sort of innovation enjoyed by the deregulated banking industry. In McCain’s own words:

Opening up the health insurance market to more vigorous nationwide competition, as we have done over the last decade in banking, would provide more choices of innovative products less burdened by the worst excesses of state-based regulation.

Oh, if only McCain could eat his own words, erase them from the annals of history…. Then maybe his campaign’s recent deathbed conversion to anti-regulation would be believable, and his recent attacks, blaming Obama (instead of deregulation) for the Wall Street crisis wouldn’t be so laughable. 

 

AND SPEAKING OF PAUL KRUGMAN…

In a recent NYT op-ed piece titled, “Blizzard of Lies,” Krugman sees the McCain-Palin campaign’s smears and lies as bellwethers of what they’d bring to the presidency. 

How a politician campaigns tells you a lot about how he or she would govern….The Obama campaign is wrong to suggest that a McCain-Palin administration would just be a continuation of Bush-Cheney. If the way John McCain and Sarah Palin are campaigning is any indication, it would be much, much worse.

BUT I THINK SHAKESPEARE SAID IT BEST, SOME 400 YEARS AGO:

Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day
To the last syllable of recorded time,
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more: it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, 
Signifying nothing.

 

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by Mantis Katz for the canarypapers

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FOREIGN POLICY ALERT: Sarah Palin’s Dance Card is Filling Up!

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The society pages are all abuzz with the announcement of Sarah Palin’s impending debut into the glamorous world of foreign policy. According to today’s edition of Pakistan’s Daily Times, Sarah Palin will be two-stepping with several world leaders this week, including Presidents George W. Bush, Asif Ali Zardari and Hamid Karzai (of the U.S., Pakistan and Afghanistan, respectively), along with other as-yet-unnamed dignitaries at the United Nations General Assembly. (note: see 9/23 update, below!) We will surely hear more of this in the days to come and look forward to hearing Sarah’s Palin’s tall tales on the series of secret U.S. missile attacks and the U.S.-led cross-border ground assault in Pakistan’s Tribal areas, as well any statements she may make in the fashion world. (What will she wear? And where ever did she get that fabulous polar bear lapel pin? It’s simply to die for!)

 

 

On a more serious note, we continue to be concerned that, with Sarah’s busy schedule these days, she’ll hardly have time to rehearse for her upcoming debate with Joe Biden. From what we understand, the Cliff Notes on this meeting are a real bear. We trust that the moderators will be kind to Sarah, showing her the proper deference and, perhaps, offering some gentle, behind-the-scenes coaching beforehand, as it would hardly be fair to expect Sarah to be as knowledgeable as a man who has, for goodness sakes, spent the past 3 decades meeting with foreign dignitaries and serving as a statured leader and advisor in American foreign policy.

 

We are also concerned that some might accuse Sarah of being “presumptious,” by acting in a “presidential capacity,” in Friday’s meetings, as they fall on the heels of Barack Obama’s “presidential-style world tour, during which foreign leaders and American generals lined up to show him affection.” While Obama was most assuredly being presumptuous (our sincere thanks to John McCain for kindly pointing this out to us), it is an entirely different matter with Sarah. To those who would seek to paint Sarah with the same brush as Obama, we must insist: It’s not the same thing. It’s just not the same at all. We can’t be any plainer than that. We trust that clear heads will prevail.

9/23/2008 UPDATE! More names on Sarah’s Dance Card! Word has it that Sarah aspires to condense a 30-year whirlwind world tour into a mere 3 days. At this rate, she’ll need a new dance card! We have no doubt that, by week’s end, she will be ready to knock America’s socks off with her charm and her sound grasp of world events!

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by Mantis Katz for the canarypapers

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Drunk on Power: In Sarah Palin’s world it doesn’t matter what you know, but who you know

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Much as we’re sick to death of Palin, after seeing her face on the news 24/7, to the exclusion of sorely-needed substantive election coverage (and, here, we would assert that most Americans know more about Palin’s ex-brother-in-law than they know about Joe Biden) we nonetheless feel it necessary to mention the media’s latest abrogation of duty.

 

Namely, the media are spending a preponderance of time covering McCain-Palin: their speeches, their smear ads, the latest squallorous details of Palin’s white-trash life, complete with Hollywood Squares-style panels of talking heads who do little more than try to out-yell campaign slogans into our living rooms. Barely a question is posed, however, regarding Palin & Co.’s decision to thumb their noses at the law. And godforbid that the media would dare accuse Sarah Palin of a flagrant disregard for the laws of her state and her country, as she and her husband, et al, stonewall the State of Alaska’s ethics investigation into the possible abuse of executive power by the Palin Administration — an impeachable offense, by the way. The very existence of our country is swirling about the toilet drain, and the media’s talking heads are arguing about Palin’s ex-brother in law (did he drink that beer? did he threaten his ex-father in law? did he taser his son?) even as those questions have already been investigated, answered and accounted for.  

It’s bad enough, the media bellying-up to team McCain’s demand to show the proper “deference” to her oily highness (e.g. not asking her questions, not questioning her credentials, not questioning the steady stream of outrageous lies she’s spewing all across the country) but must they also give a full pass to team McCain’s attempt to coerce the legal system toward a similar “deference”? 

Who ever heard of a vice-presidential candidate defying a subpoena — thumbing his or her nose at a court order? And who ever heard of the American voting public being so indifferent about a candidate’s attempt to outright commit such a blatant travesty of justice? Indeed, the McCain lawyers are powerful. But, time was, the American public would have ridden a candidate like Sarah Palin out of town on a rail. What’s going on here? What the hell has happened to America? Hopefully, the integrity of the State of Alaska’s ethics investigation into Sarah Palin’s behavior will continue, unmolested, despite the overwhelming pressure and power of the McCain legal team to silence it. But, just in case, it’d be a good idea for citizens of good conscience to keep applying pressure. Here, in the interest of perspective and context, are a few videos.

Sarah Palin’s stance on the investigation before her anointment to the VP ticket

After.

The most likely explanation for Sarah Palin’s change of heart, regarding “full cooperation” and having “nothing to hide” with this investigation, is that she realized, much to her horror, that — with the national media focused on her every move — she would not be able to handle this the same way she’s handled other scandals in her state: by buying, bullying and intimidating witnesses into covering her ass.  

 

Earth to Sarah: You’re the media’s darling. You can do no wrong.