News Bumped by the Bailout

In addition to the Attorney-gate Scandal being bumped off the front page, there’s some revoltin’ developments happenin’ in Sarah’s home state of Alaska. You, the one right across that tiny stretch of water from ol’ Putin.

Troopergate:
A lawsuit aimed at freezing the Legislature’s abuse-of-power investigation of Gov. Sarah Palin hits the courtroom this week.

Ted Stevens:

Allen testifies in Stevens trial

By Richard Mauer and Erika Bolstad
Anchorage Daily News

Published: September 30th, 2008 02:48 PM
Last Modified: September 30th, 2008 02:48 PM

WASHINGTON — The self-made Alaska construction executive whose testimony could bring to an end the 40-year U.S. Senate career of Ted Stevens took the stand today in the corruption case against his former fishing buddy and friend.

Newsweek Reporter: “Sarah Palin Is Not Very Bright”

Cenk Uygur, from The Young Turks, Interviews Newsweek Reporter Michael Hirsh on Sarah Palin.  They talk about “her knowledge runs about a millimeter deep” because she seems to have never thought about any important issue ever.

                                      

It’s gettin’ down right painful..

Wow! Sounds like Sarah Palin is ‘well-read’.. Sort of.. Well, maybe.. Huh..?

I don’t know how Katie Couric keeps a straight face with Palin’s lame and bizarre responses. She certainly has better self control than I..

I forgot to mention.. She’s a journalism major..

From HuffPo:

Asked what newspapers and magazines she reads, Palin – a journalism major in college – could not name one publication.

“I’ve read most of them, again with a great appreciation for the press, for the media,” she said at first. Couric responded, “What, specifically?”

“Um, all of them, any of them that have been in front of me all these years.”

“Can you name a few?”

“I have a vast variety of source where we get our news,” Palin said. “Alaska isn’t a foreign country, where it’s kind of suggested, ‘wow, how could you keep in touch with what the rest of Washington, D.C., may be thinking when you live up there in Alaska?’ Believe me, Alaska is like a microcosm of America.”

Troopergate Continues

More at the Anchorage Daily News

And from The Mudflats

I’ve been waiting for this one. One of the witnesses called by Stephen Branchflower (independent investigator of the legitimate Troopergate investigation) put herself in a tricky spot.

Murlene Wilkes, owner of Harbor Adjusting Services, and holder of a $1.2 million/yr. contract with the State of Alaska to handle workers compensation claims, apparently told a big fat fib. When Branchflower asked her if the governor’s office had ever asked her to deny a workers compensation claim for Palin’s ex-brother-in-law Trooper Mike Wooten (the trooper in “Troopergate”), she said no. Never. Really.

Mike Wooten, of course, is involved in a bitter custody dispute with Palin’s sister Molly. The Palins do not like him. Some say they have made a vengeful and personal sport out of ruining his career.

Problem is, that there are actually honest people in the world….and one of them works for Murlene Wilkes at Harbor Investments. This unnamed worker made a little phone call to the tip line that Branchflower set up at the beginning of the investigation. According to the tipster, yes indeed, the governor’s office DID put pressure to deny the claim.

Hard evidence contradicting sworn testimony has a certain effect on people. Murlene Wilkes, faced with this situation, decided to change her testimony according to a report in The Public Record. Now, with the little extra incentive of avoiding perjury charges, she has admitted that she was asked to deny the claim – at the direct request of Sarah and Todd Palin.

Read the rest of this story at The Mudflats.

H/T houseofroberts

A shattering moment in America’s fall from power

The Guardian (H/T: Andrew Sullivan)

[..] “The fate of empires is very often sealed by the interaction of war and debt. That was true of the British Empire, whose finances deteriorated from the First World War onwards, and of the Soviet Union. Defeat in Afghanistan and the economic burden of trying to respond to Reagan’s technically flawed but politically extremely effective Star Wars program were vital factors in triggering the Soviet collapse. Despite its insistent exceptionalism, America is no different. The Iraq War and the credit bubble have fatally undermined America’s economic primacy. The US will continue to be the world’s largest economy for a while longer, but it will be the new rising powers that, once the crisis is over, buy up what remains intact in the wreckage of America’s financial system.” [..]

-John Gray

Bailout Nightmare Boosts Democrats – Puts Obama Out Front

The economic crisis is helping Democrats across the country. The public is demanding change and leadership, and Obama and the democrats are who they are looking towards in the market meltdown. We are seeing Virginia go blue and also a definite shift in North Carolina. Even in the NC Senate race Hagan is trouncing Dole in the polls.

This is an optimistic sign for Sen. Obama to show what a truly great President he can become. If he listens to all the evidence that points to the fact this bailout had provisions that none of us could accept.

What attracted far less notice in the bill was a set of provisions that would have given Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson virtually unfettered authority to set up and run the new organization designed to stabilize the financial system — bypassing federal acquisition rules and competitive hiring procedures in the process.

The 2008 Emergency Economic Stabilization Act would have allowed Paulson and his eventual successor to waive provisions of the Federal Acquisition Regulation “upon a determination that urgent and compelling circumstances make compliance with such provisions contrary to the public interest.”

“It’s unprecedented in American history and American government,” said Donald F. Kettl, a political analyst and professor at the University of Pennsylvania. “The blank check is blanker still given that we don’t know who will be signing dollar bills on Jan. 21.”

While few other details emerged about the contracting provision, it appears the language would have given Treasury the ability to award contracts of nearly any value without any competition. The prospect of a government agency with unlimited and unregulated purchasing power concerned some government observers.

What this would have allowed is for Paulson to “award contracts of nearly any value without any competition” and sidestep minority hiring procedures. These are issues most of us are not willing to concede.

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Stephen Spoonamore 2008 Interview – “Paper ballots please..”

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Mark Crispin Miller

Here, in this shattering new interview, Stephen Spoonamore goes into harrowing detail about the Bush regime’s election fraud, past, present and–if we don’t spread the word right now–to come. Since he’s the only whistle-blower out there who knows the perps themselves, and how they operate, we have to send this new piece far and wide.

Here Spoon tells us that McBush’s team–i.e., Karl Rove and his henchpersons– have their plan in place to steal this next election: by 51.2% of the popular vote, and three electoral votes.

He also talks about the major role played by the Christianist far right in the electronic rigging of the vote.

And he defines our electronic voting system as a major threat to US national security, calling for it to be junked ASAP, in favor of hand-counted paper ballots.

Since Spoon is a Republican and erstwhile McCain supporter, as well as a noted specialist in nosing out computer fraud, his testimony is essential–not only for its expertise, but, no less, for the impact that his views will surely have on those Republicans who have been loath to see what Bush & Co. has done to our election system.

That whole story’s just about to break. In fact, tomorrow there will be a number of articles appearing, on a recent breakthrough in the lawsuit that Spoon’s testimony has enabled, and on other aspects of that all-important case.

Spoonamore says that the GOP wanted e-voting to steal elections but now foreign governments will be hacking and the winner will be determined by the best hackers. He says that if the GOP wins the hacking competition, McCain will win 51.2 percent with three electoral votes over Obama, and it will be a stolen election.

Spoon also makes a crucial point about the people who have been implicated in much of the election theft: “They are religious extremists.” He names those who know about stolen elections, and he insists that the only way to protect this election is with paper ballots, hand-counted. 

Cyber Security expert Stephen Spoonamore discusses electronic voting vulnerabilities, and says the 2008 election WILL be stolen, in this ten part series:

Part 1 – “It’s a network people.”

Part 2 – “Electronic voting machines are a national security threat.”

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Obama’s Plan To Increase FDIC Insurance to $250K

This would put to ease many of the growing concerns that the average Americans have with their banks today. The out-of-date $100,000 FDIC limit does not truly reflect-what many have deposited-in their banks to adequately cover them in a time of crisis. Also, this shows that Sen. Obama is in touch with the needs of the middle class by providing them with this added protection.

Obama calls it “a step that would boost small businesses, make our banking system more secure, and help restore public confidence in our financial system.” “But in order to pass this plan, we must do more.” “One step we could take to potentially broaden support for the legislation and shore up our economy would be to expand federal deposit insurance for families and small businesses across America who have invested their money in our banks.”

Obama noted in his speech that the majority of families should know that their deposits are safe. He went on to explain that these measures, by the FDIC, were put in place back during the Great Depression, and are guaranteed by the government.

“While that guarantee is more than adequate for most families, it is insufficient for many small businesses that maintain bank accounts to meet their payroll, buy their supplies, and invest in expanding and creating jobs. The current insurance limit of $100,000 was set 28 years ago and has not been adjusted for inflation.”

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The Sun Rose in the East Today

In spite of predictions of the end of the world should the bailout bill fail to pass, the sun continued to rise in the east, although the McCain campaign did note it was a bit later than yesterday.

A McCain spokesperson, speaking from the Palin Campaign Headquarters in Alaska, opined whether this heralded the beginning of the end, and predicted that the sun would rise at a later time each day until, at some point, it would fail to rise at all, plunging the land into darkness. Sales of solar-driven energy supplies plummetted on the news.

Others, however, pooh-pooed the doom-and-gloom scenario and predicted that, while there is decreasing amounts of sunlight now, sunlight will increase after the Winter Solstice. They based their statements on science supported by observations going back thousands of years to the building of the Great Pyramids and Stonehenge. Creations shot back, claiming that the Great Pyramids and Stonehenge were built before God created Heaven and Earth and were therefore tools of the Devil.

Walmart reported a run on flashlight batteries, and many banks have been inundated with customers seeking to withdraw their Daylight Savings.

The Reintroduction of Sarah Palin

In an effort to reinvent herself, Sarah Palin who has been heavily protected from the media, is to do additional interviews in the weeks ahead. As Politico reports, she is headed to McCain’s cabin to prepare for the VP debate.

While she is there, John McCain is keeping Palin in safe waters by doing right-wing talk radio. As her aide puts it, “Talk radio is a convenient, powerful and effective outlet,” said the aide. Rush Limbaugh, who is the most successful at promoting right-wing propaganda notes “The McCain camp doesn’t trust me.” But, he said he would welcome a call from Sarah Palin. It’s also in Rush’s best interest to have McCain in the White House. He would keep a larger portion of his mammoth eight year contract worth $38 million dollars under the McCain tax policy.

This reintroduction comes from the car-wreck interviews with Katie Couric and at the heels of some conservatives that are begging her to drop off the ticket.

Quite the contrary, Palin, her family and aides are determined to remind voters what they so liked about the governor in the first place. After the debate and talk radio hits, the plan is to find a way to let Palin be Palin, moving her away from the pre-fab talking points and letting the down-home daughter of Wasilla be herself.

“She wants to tell her story more, and people around her do, too,” added the source. “This is a governor very much on her toes, very much fed up with inaccuracies and fictions about her own life and career.”

I watched the Katie Couric interview last night with Sarah Palin and John McCain-where both try to blame “gotcha journalism” for reporting on Palin’s support for cross-border raids into Pakistan-which Katie pointed out is a position shared by Barack Obama.

Sitting with McCain for their first joint interview a week after the widely panned sit-down with Couric, Palin interjected when the CBS anchor brought up a report about the Wasilla Assembly of God, the governor’s childhood church and one she still attends at times, seeking to pray gays away from homosexuality.

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Breaking News: Smaller Banks Prosper During Crisis

The Washington Post reports that “Banks throughout the United States carried on with the business of making loans yesterday even as federal officials warned again that their industry is on the verge of collapse, suggesting that the overheated language on Capitol Hill may not reflect the reality on many Main Streets.”

Which begs the questions: With bipartisan opposition from objective experts, why should any Congressman instead believe the very same Bush officials who helped create this crisis with their deregulation? These same Bush officials who just months ago said our economy was fine? All seems well with the majority of small banks across the nation.

The industry is resilient despite the struggles of some members. Washington Mutual, a troubled Seattle savings and loan that was among the nation’s largest mortgage lenders, yesterday was seized by the government and sold to J.P. Morgan Chase.

At the same time, many smaller banks said they were actually benefiting from the problems on Wall Street. Deposits are flowing in as customers flee riskier investments, and well-qualified borrowers are lining up for loans.

The National Federation of Independent Business members only had 10% that said loans were harder to get in August. But only 2% cited that cost and credit as their number one business problem. However, this is well below the 37%; that noted credit as their biggest challenge in 1982.

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Dennis Kucinich’s questions on the bailout..

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Partial text:

“The $700 billion bailout for Wall Street is driven by fear, not fact,” Kucinich said on the House floor Sunday. “This is too much money in too a short a time going to too few people while too many questions remain unanswered. Why aren’t we having hearings on the plan we have just received? Why aren’t we questioning the underlying premise of the need for a bailout with taxpayers’ money? Why have we not considered any alternatives other than to give $700 billion to Wall Street? Why aren’t we asking Wall Street to clean up its own mess? Why aren’t we passing new laws to stop the speculation, which triggered this? Why aren’t we putting up new regulatory structures to protect investors? How do we even value the $700 billion in toxic assets?”