Press is Hailin’ Palin’s Railin’

This just in from the AP. The GOP’s darling candidate for Vice President wowed the press with her blistering attack on the “tax-raising, terrorist-coddling, self-indulgent liberal” Barak Obama. Miss Congenialty can do nothing wrong, and does everything right — far Right!

Palin casts herself as Washington outsider

By TOM RAUM and LIZ SIDOTI, Associated Press Writers

ST. PAUL, Minn. – Sarah Palin delivered.

An embattled vice presidential candidate, a novice on the national stage, the head of a family suffering its “ups and downs,” the first-term Alaska governor rocked the GOP convention with a star-turning performance.

Wielding a stiletto and a smile, Palin belittled Democrat Barack Obama and praised her new boss, John McCain, jolting the crowd of GOP partisans.

“Don’t you think we made the right choice for the next vice president of the United States!” McCain said, hinting the controversy surrounding his pick. “And what a beautiful family.”

However, when it comes to tax-raising, Palin is for it – as long as the increased taxes fall on the working class and not corporate interests.

There can be no doubt as to how Palin would treat terrorists. One just has to look at how she treats her friends! I’m sure that if she could, she would not hesitate to use “enhanced interrogation techniques” on all who cross her path.

Somehow, a “self-indulgent” liberal is to be loathed, while a self-indulgent conservative is to be praised.

IRAQ VETERANS AGAINST THE WAR

This site deserves as much exposure as it can get:

Why we’re against the war

Q: Why are veterans, active duty, and National Guard men and women opposed to the war in Iraq?

A: Here are 10 reasons we oppose this war:

I. The Iraq war is based on lies and deception.

The Bush Administration planned for an attack against Iraq before September 11th, 2001. They used the false pretense of an imminent nuclear, chemical and biological weapons threat to deceive Congress into rationalizing this unnecessary conflict. They hide our casualties of war by banning the filming of our fallen’s caskets when they arrive home, and when they refuse to allow the media into Walter Reed Hospital and other Veterans Administration facilities which are overflowing with maimed and traumatized veterans.
For further reading: http://www.motherjones.com/bush_war_timeline/index.html

II. The Iraq war violates international law.

The United States assaulted and occupied Iraq without the consent of the UN Security Council. In doing so they violated the same body of laws they accused Iraq of breaching.
For further reading:

http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/imt/proc/imtconst.htm

http://www.westpointgradsagainstthewar.org/

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Mayor Palin Billed Rape Victims

While Palin was Mayor of Wasilla, the Wasilla Police Department billed rape victims for the cost of the rape kit used to gather evidence. The cost would range from $300 to $1200 per victim and Wasilla collected between $5,000 to $14,000 per year from rape victims!

You can get a good idea of how many women in Wasilla were victims of sexual assault just by doing the math. And remember, Palin is opposed to allowing rape victims the choice of whether or not to get an abortion, forcing them to incur even more expenses.

Taxpayers take on trillions in risk in Fannie, Freddie takeover

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USA Today reports the unprecedented federal takeover of mortgage giants Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae announced on Sunday is a bold attempt to stabilize financial markets and restore the faltering housing market, but it thrusts trillions of dollars of risk directly onto taxpayers’ shoulders.

“You can call it a bailout, you can call it a safety net or you can call it a rescue package, but the bottom line is the American taxpayer is left footing the bill,” says Richard Yamarone, director of economic research at Argus Research. More.

So, what ARE these two mortgage giants?  And why are they important?  How did we get into this mess? And most importantly, how does it affect you?

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Bush Presidency to Extend Beyond January, 2009?

In a startling announcement, Bush proclaimed that 8,000 troops will be withdrawn from Iraq. In February, 2009. The Commander-in-Chief is giving orders that ostensibly won’t be carried out until after He leaves office. Bush’s “short-term” surge has continued throughout the last two year’s of His official term of office and with this order, will continue for at least a month after the date Bush is scheduled to step down.

And, no, I’m not making this stuff up.

Hang on.. Not so fast!

Truthout

Lawmakers Seek Anthrax Details

A month after the F.B.I. declared that an Army scientist was the anthrax killer, leading members of Congress are demanding more information about the seven-year investigation, saying they do not think the bureau has proved its case.

In a letter sent Friday to Robert S. Mueller III, the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Democratic leaders of the House Judiciary Committee said that “important and lingering questions remain that are crucial for you to address, especially since there will never be a trial to examine the facts of the case.”

The scientist, Bruce E. Ivins, committed suicide in July, and Mr. Mueller is likely to face demands for additional answers about the anthrax case when he appears before the House and Senate Judiciary Committees on Sept. 16 and 17.

“My conclusion at this point is that it’s very much an open matter,” Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, the top Republican on the Senate committee, said of the strength of the case against Dr. Ivins, a microbiologist at the Army’s biodefense laboratory who worked on anthrax vaccines. “There are some very serious questions that have yet to be answered and need to be made public.”

Read entire article…

A Million Eyes Upon Us…YOURS!

It is with great pride that TheZoo celebrates more than 500,000 hits to this site.  And since everyone has (well usually) two eyes, that makes more than one million eyes which have viewed this site.

There are many contributors (Critters) here, all of whom are passionately involved in our political process.

We work tirelessly for you, our readership, to provide you with information that you will not get in any corporate media site.

Along with other bloggers, we all feel we are making a difference in the discourse of politics in America.  And here at TheZoo, we do so with a little bit of humor and a slice of life thrown in.

Thank you everyone for making this site what it is!

The Eye pictures courtesy of SXC.

Palin’s Vendettas Ignored by John McCain — Dishonorable Lust Revealed

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From TimesOnline(UK)

As a former senior adviser to Governor Sarah Palin of Alaska, John Bitney helped America’s newest political celebrity throughout her successful 2006 election campaign, became the spokesman for her incoming administration and was ultimately named her chief liaison to the Alaskan legislature.

Bitney grew up with Palin, played in a high school band with her and, like many other Alaskans, was awed by her rapid rise from a moose-infested rural backwater to the pinnacle of power in her state.  He was one of her oldest and most loyal friends but when Palin abruptly sacked Bitney in July last year, she somehow failed to tell him. The first he learnt of it was when his state-issued mobile phone stopped working as he was driving to his office. He used another phone to check in and discovered that his name had been removed from the state employee directory.

His offense, according to senior Republican sources in Anchorage, was to fall foul of Palin’s 43-year-old husband, Todd. It was an early sign that the self-styled “first dude” of Alaskan politics was playing an unexpectedly prominent role in his wife’s administration.

What is horrifying is McCain’s cynical and sudden choice of her. Would you give power of attorney over your entire life to someone you had only met once or possibly twice? Of course not. You would give the matter and the person very serious consideration. Yet, McCain in effect is offering power of attorney over all the affairs of the United States and over all Americans, including me, to a woman he had barely met. I myself wouldn’t hire a baby-sitter on such scant acquaintance.

Now we add Todd Palin to the story; his behind the scenes tactical maneuvers and scheming is becoming part of the rapidly expanding Palin legend. Yet Palin’s surprise addition to the Republican presidential ticket has triggered mounting scrutiny of Todd’s largely unpublicized role in a series of acrimonious disputes that threaten to belie the wholesome, friendly image of the woman.

“He has become a kind of shadow governor,” noted Andrew Halcro, a Republican businessman running as an independent who was trounced by Palin in the 2006 governor’s election. “We need to get the facts about how power is being used in the governor’s office.”

Halcro told The Sunday Times that over the past 20 months, confidential e-mails sent by the governor and other officials had been routinely copied to Todd; and that other senior Republicans were stunned that John McCain’s advisers had made no serious attempt to investigate Todd’s role in other controversies before his wife was put on the ticket. “They did no vetting, and some of these issues are not going away,” Halcro said.

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Robert Parry on the ‘real’ John McCain

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Who is the REAL John McCain?

Investigative journalist Robert Parry talks about McCain, his defense of Bush/Cheney and Iraq war on theRealNewsNetwork:

For a continuation of this interview with Robert Parry:

Lieberman and the neocons around McCain – Robert Parry on Vietnam era hawks, the neocons and McCain Pt2

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Palin says Yes to Road to Nowhere (Her Own Words)

UPDATE:  This post was originally titled the Bridge to Nowhere.  It is in fact about The Road to Nowhere; an adjunct project with the Bridge to Nowhere.

The “Road To Nowhere” is a $375 million “mega-project” designed to connect Juneau to the towns of Haines and Skagway via 50 miles of new road along the steep slopes of an avalanche-battered canal, ending at a ferry terminal at the Haines river.

The communities directly affected – Haines (population 2,400), Skagway (population 870) and Juneau (population 31,000) – have voiced opposition to the road for a host of good reasons: it is a waste of money; with at least two dozen avalanche chutes, it will be too dangerous to drive in winter, which is most of the year; we already have a fine ferry system that gets us just about everywhere we need to go in all kinds of weather; some places are too nice to be paved over.

Oh, and did I mention that the road won’t fulfill its ostensible mission? The whole purpose of the new road was to connect Juneau to the Klondike Highway at Skagway, so that Alaskans who live in the interior would be able to drive to the state capital rather than rely on planes and ferries. But now the road is going to stop in the middle of the wilderness, 18 miles south of Skagway. Earlier this month, the Federal Highway Administration announced it would not finance a road that went through Skagway’s Gold Rush-era park, a national landmark. The result? We’re on course to get a $300 million road to nowhere.

(snip)

“[In canceling the 11-mile strip Palin] wasn’t aiming to kill this dubious project, which doesn’t even connect Juneau to the rest of Alaska’s road system. (It is essentially a 50-mile driveway to a new ferry terminal on Lynn Canal). Her administration has been moving forward with the project, estimated to cost $374 million. That is almost as much as the nationally infamous $398 million Ketchikan bridge to Gravina Island, which Palin did kill.”

(Another thing that ties the Bridge to Nowhere with its Road counterpart: the first $15 million for the Juneau road was included in the same bloated transportation bill that had Sen. Ted Steven’s most notorious pork project.)

And this from the Anchorage Daily News on the matter.


h/t: ThinkProgress

How Did the RNC Insult Troops and Veterans? Let me count the ways…

by Jon Soltz (VoteVets.org, VetVoice)

Last week’s Republican convention sure made every superficial effort to come off as pro-Troop and pro-Veteran.   And, of course, the media ate it up, not challenging a single thing.  But to those of us who did serve, it was offense after offense after offense.  Let’s count the ways:

McCain Didn’t Mention Veterans’ Care:  Maybe it’s because he has a terrible record, but not once in John McCain’s speech did he talk about taking care of those who served their nation in the military.  With exploding rates of PTSD, suicide, homelessness among veterans.  With ridiculous wait times for veterans seeking care, and a VA that every major vets group says is woefully underfunded.  With administrators dumping vets out of the veterans care system by diagnosing them with a lesser mental injury than they have.  Not.  A.  Single.  Word.  And, with the shame of…

Walter Reed:  What a slap in the face.  The first photo that John McCain stood in front of was Walter Reed.  Walter Reed Middle School in North Hollywood, California.  Chalk it up to someone in the campaign not knowing the difference between the two, but what I find even more offensive is this:  At some point John McCain asked his campaign what was going to be on the screen behind him.  And someone told him the first picture would be Walter Reed Army Medical Center.  John McCain didn’t object – even though he voted against closing tax loopholes to help fund military hospitals like Walter Reed.  But that wasn’t the only bit of fake imagery….

“Phony Soldiers”:  For the amount that Rush Limbaugh likes to rant on “phony soldiers,” there was a big silence and others from the mainstream media on the fact that the McCain campaign used stock footage of actors pretending to be soldiers in a video, intended to show how pro-military McCain is.  It’s actually kind of fitting – phony soldiers to promote a phony record on military and veterans’ issues.

Speaking of phony:  Remember that faux-outrage from the McCain campaign when General Wesley Clark dared to point out that being a POW isn’t a qualification for being Commander in Chief?  Boy, the McCain campaign wouldn’t let up on that.  Where were they when Fred Thompson said the same exact thing?

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John McCain: Reformed Maverick

While at one time, John McCain may have been a maverick, that went the way of the dinosaur around the time he lost the 2000 primary. if you can’t watch clips online, how about this straight talk from The Maverick?

2000 – “Neither party should be defined by pandering to the outer reaches of American politics or the agents of intolerance.
2006 – “Thank you, Dr. Falwell.”

2000 – “If we repeal Row v. Wade, thousands of young women will be performing illegal and dangerous operations.
2008 – “I do not support Row v. Wade and think it should be overturned.”

2004 – “I would clearly support not extending those tax cuts.”
2008 – “I’ll make the Bush tax cuts permanent.”

2002 – “I am very certain that this military engagement will not be very difficult.”
2006 – “Many of us fully understood from the beginning that it would be very, very difficult undertaking.”

And then there is the, at current count, 76 Flip-Flops which John McCain has not just changed his position but done so with enough velocity to bring about whiplash from any onlooker.

It is more than apparent that John McCain wants to be president really, really badly. And someone I once admired, has turned me completely against him because of his own abandonment of his trademark Straight Talk.

Media Takes a Hard Right – Runs over Olbermann

MSNBC’s announcement that it is replacing Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews with David Gregory as anchors for its main political events (the upcoming presidential debates and election) vividly illustrates several long-obvious facts. First, nothing changes the behavior of our media corporations more easily than vocal demands and complaints from the Right, which petrify media executives and cause them to snap into line. From today’s New York Times:

The change — which comes in the home stretch of the long election cycle — is a direct result of tensions associated with the channel’s perceived shift to the political left. . . . When the vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin lamented media bias during her speech, attendees of the Republican convention loudly chanted “NBC” . . . . Mr. Olbermann, a 49-year-old former sportscaster, has become the face of the more aggressive MSNBC, and the lightning rod for much of the criticism. . . . The McCain campaign has filed letters of complaint to the news division about its coverage and openly tied MSNBC to it. . . . Al Hunt, the executive Washington bureau chief of Bloomberg News, said that the entire news division was being singled out by Republicans because of the work of partisans like Mr. Olbermann.

Gregory, the veteran Washington hand, will anchor MSNBC’s coverage of the presidential and vice presidential debates and election night, said Jeremy Gaines, network spokesman. Gregory is nothing more than a talking head for the right-wing agenda to placate NBC and John McCain.

The tipping point appears to have come during the Republican convention. When Olbermann, after the network aired a 9/11-themed video prepared by the Republicans said; “I’m sorry, it’s necessary to say this,” he began. After saying that the video had exploited the memories of the dead, he directly apologized to viewers who were offended. Then, sounding like a network executive, he said it was “probably not appropriate to be shown.”

The anger in the blogosphere was palpable. Most couldn’t believe that the Republican Party, whose goal posts are now subterranean, managed to stoop even lower and politicize the worst attack on American soil for their own gain. Liberals and progressives alike, agreed with Keith’s statement, he was absolutely right that it shouldn’t have been shown in that kind of manner.

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Palin don’t know much about Economy

Today, the Huffington Post reports Sarah Palin’s first gaffe; on the economy.

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

Economists and analysts pounced on the misstatement, saying it demonstrated a lack of understanding about one of the key economic issues likely to face the next administration.

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

(snip)

The Palin misstatement comes as Fannie and Freddie are set to be placed under control of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, created by President Bush in late July to help regulate the two housing giants.

This adds on to McCain previously admitting that he doesn’t know much about the economy, but that he has read Alan Greenspan’s book. The exact quote:

“The issue of economics is not something I’ve understood as well as I should,” McCain said. “I’ve got Greenspan’s book.”

Talk about on-the-job training.  Do we really want OTJ training for both our President and Vice President when our economy is in such tatters?  Take a look at the educational and political backgrounds of each of the four candidates for President and Vice President and tell me who YOU want running this country?

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Palin agrees to interview – Slow Slide into Oblivion

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Under pressure for being shielded for questioning, Sarah Palin has a agreed to sit down with Charles Gibson of ABC’s “World News Tonight,” according to an ABC News official. No other interviews are scheduled. It will be the first TV interview for Palin since she was named 10 days ago as running mate to John McCain.Palin had planned to return to Alaska this weekend but is so popular on the stump that she is going to stay out a few more days before returning home. One of her sons deploys to Iraq on Thursday. Palin plans to sit down with Gibson later this week in Alaska, the source said.

The McCain campaign kept her off Sunday shows this weekend and plans to be sparing with high-risk network encounters, which they contend are unimportant to voters despite the media’s fixation on them.

I take it Fox News wasn’t available. The next best thing would be to have Charlie Gibson doing the interview. After all he made a mockery out of the Democratic Debate, good old Charlie showed his true colors that night. Do you think he might question her Patriotism? How about her Pro-Life Extremism? Or maybe, her lack of fiscal responsibility, as Mayor she left her town in millions of dollars of debt? (Some of which can be contributed to Palin remodeling her office three times) I lost my head for a second in wishful thinking; only Keith or Rachel would ask those questions.

The McCain Campaign itself proclaimed no press interviews with Palin until the press were deferential enough. Nobody is more deferential to Right-Wing talking points than Charles Gibson. And it’s pretty clear this farce is going to be close to unwatchable.

Palin will sit down for multiple interviews with Gibson in Alaska over two days, most likely Thursday and Friday,” said McCain adviser Mark Salter.

Political interviews are never done like this. It makes the questioning entirely at the discretion of the person being interviewed and their handlers. The interviewer has to be on their best behavior, at least until the last of the ‘multiple interviews’ because otherwise the subsequent sittings just won’t happen. For a political journalist to agree to such terms amounts to a form of self-gelding. The only interviews that are done this way are lifestyle and celebrity interviews. And it’s pretty clear that this is what this will be.

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More of the same – with lipstick

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What is the difference between Bush/Cheney and McCain/Palin? You guessed it: Lipstick.

All that “McCain is real change” talk aside, if you take a close look at the Republican election platform, the kind of people John McCain surrounds himself with and his choice of running mate, you can only come to the conclusion the Bush/Cheney years will be perpetuated in all issues that matter.

The Republican Party, which has become the political arm of the economic interest groups that are waging a war on the middle class for more than eight years now, has elected itself just the ticket they need. An old, sick and tired ex-maverick, who is so keen on becoming President that he throws each and every belief he may held at one point away for the office. He wasn’t able to stand up to the religious right, the vote providing machine of the GOP, to nominate the Vice-President of his own choice. He came out with, what he thought in his old-man-stubbornness-tantrum is a serves-you-right-candidate who is, much to the glee of the Cheney/Rove crowd, the ultimate Manchurian Candidate. The oil companies couldn’t be happier, cheering her on with drill-baby-drill chants, and the anti-choice crowd gets all bleary eyed for her “fetus-first” stance. Good job John McCain. Continue reading