Why do I have the feeling that this result won't change a thing.
Why is it that both HuffPo and the AP story state that the report uses the word 'unlawful,' when in fact the report says that she did not violate the law?
For the reasons explained in section IV of this report, I find that Governor Sarah Palin abused her power by violating Alaska Statute 39/52/110(a) of the Alaska Executive Branch Ethics Act. Alaska Statute 39.52.110(a) provides
The legislature reaffirms that every 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.
I find that, although Walt Monegan's refusal to fire Trooper Michael Wooter was not the sole reason he was fired by Governor Sarah Palin, it was likely a contributing factor to his termination as Commissioner of Public Safety. In spite of that, Governor Palin's firing of Commissioner Monegan was a proper and lawful exercise of her constitutional and statutory authority to hire and fire executive branch department heads.
Is it a coincidence that McCain finally tried to dial the hatred back a notch after he knew this report was going to be release?
in nouns denoting an actual or alleged scandal, esp. one involving a cover-up : Irangate.
ORIGIN early 1970s: suggested by the Watergate scandal, 1972.
No. 538.com uses statistics to indicate that, based on an intensive analysis of all current polls, in 10,000 simulations of elections results based on those polls, Barack Obama would win an election held today in about 90% of them.
Unfortunately, the actual election is held only once, and in three weeks.
Ms. Palin has provided various reasons for terminating Mr. Monegan on July 11. Initially the governor said through a spokeswoman that Mr. Monegan’s firing had nothing to do with a “personality conflict.” Since then, her explanations have evolved, from saying that he was falling short on filling trooper vacancies and attacking alcohol-abuse problems in rural Alaska to showing an “intolerable pattern of insubordination” and a “rogue mentality” by resisting her authority and fiscal reforms.
specifically the battle between GOP incumbent Saxby Chambliss and his Dem challenger:
Thursday's debate took place in front of a highly partisan crowd in the GOP stronghold of Middle Georgia.
Chambliss supporters waved "Saxby" signs and offered up a sustained "boos" when Martin mentioned Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama.
"Bomb Obama," one woman hollered.
in the absence of leadership. George Bush is toxic, John McCain, Boehner and Mitch McConnell were unable to command the Republicans into passing the first bail-out, and now even the crowds are taking on the character of unruly mobs. Crowd members here lecture McCain, telling him to “stand up” against socialists Pelosi and Obama. Does McCain do anything to silence the crowd, hush them back in to reasonableness? No, he agrees with the man.
McCain hadn't cashed in almost all the goodwill he had with the media and moderate voters. (He'll get it back, I think, but not by Nov. 7th)
And yet this conveys too much suggestion of planning and intent. I have more the sense of someone desperately casting about and losing control of the situation itself. Even hypocrites can get in over their heads. Indeed, in a more nuts-and-bolts strategic sense McCain has really gotten himself into a hole because the campaign he's been running has almost entirely been premised on the claim that you should be scared of an Obama presidency. Not that McCain, if he'd run a very different campaign, couldn't have run on issue disagreements with Obama. But right now if you take away fear of Obama becoming president, there's almost no reason not to vote for him since McCain has basically conceded the issue agenda to Obama. If you look at every poll for months, voters are dying for change. Fear of Obama is the only thing keeping him from leaving McCain in the dust. Take that away and McCain's done.
Dear John McCain,
When you dog-whistle, make sure you've got a cage ready for when they come running.
Why the fuck are you dog-whistling to Nazis anyway, you thought they were going to abstain from voting against Obama? You know he's black right?
Would you try my new Poll?
"Would you be more likely or less likely to vote for John McCain for president if you knew he had fathered an illegitimate black child? taken your "base" and shoved it right up your fat fucking ass"
You honestly couldn't get a much better description of the two candidates if you tried, right down to the recent Obama-Biden calling out McCain and all but questioning his manhood to see if they can get him riled up enough to shoot himself in the foot again. You suspect it's the equivalent of Bugs enticing the bull to charge with the red cape that just happens to have an anvil parked behind it.
McCain's temper is legendary, and his actions of the past few months; the Palin choice, the campaign suspension, the incoherent and ever-changing response to the credit crisis, have "Daffy" written all over them.
Meanwhile, "Bugs" Obama leans back, smiles, and carries on about his business of winning the election.
But the Branchflower report still makes for good reading, if only because it convincingly answers a question nobody had even thought to ask: Is the Palin administration shockingly amateurish? Yes, it is. Disturbingly so.
The 263 pages of the report show a co-ordinated application of pressure on Monegan so transparent and ham-handed that it was almost certain to end in public embarrassment for the governor. The only surprise is that Troopergate is national news, not just a sorry piece of political gristle to be chewed on by Alaska politicos over steaks at Anchorage's Club Paris.
A harsh verdict? Consider the report's findings. Not only did people at almost every level of the Palin administration engage in repeated inappropriate contact with Walt Monegan and other high-ranking officials at the Department of Public Safety, but Monegan and his peers constantly warned these Palin disciples that the contact was inappropriate and probably unlawful. Still, the emails and calls continued — in at least one instance on recorded state trooper phone lines.
An Associated Press review of the Republican vice presidential candidate's record as mayor and governor reveals her use of elected office to promote religious causes, sometimes at taxpayer expense and in ways that blur the line between church and state.
Since she took state office in late 2006, the governor and her family have spent more than $13,000 in taxpayer funds to attend at least 10 religious events and meetings with Christian pastors, including Franklin Graham, the son of evangelical preacher Billy Graham, records show.
Remember how we used to joke about John McCain looking like an old guy yelling at kids to get off his lawn? It’s only in retrospect that we can see that the keep-off-the-grass period was the McCain campaign’s golden era. Now, he’s beginning to act like one of those movie characters who steals the wrong ring and turns into a troll. During that last debate, while he was wandering around the stage, you almost expected to hear him start muttering: “We wants it. We needs it. Must have the precious.”
I miss the old George W. Bush. When he came out of the White House and made an announcement, you would usually think that whatever he wanted to do was a terrible idea. But at least you thought he could actually make the terrible idea happen.
BUSH: Let me comment on that. I'm not so sure the role of the United States is to go around the world and say this is the way it's got to be. We can help. And maybe it's just our difference in government, the way we view government. I want to empower the people. I want to help people help themselves, not have government tell people what to do. I just don't think it's the role of the United States to walk into a country and say, we do it this way, so should you. I think we can help. I know we've got to encourage democracy in the marketplaces. ... So I'm not exactly sure where the vice president [Al Gore] is coming from, but I think one way for us to end up being viewed as the ugly American is for us to go around the world saying, we do it this way, so should you. Now, we trust freedom. We know freedom is a powerful, powerful, powerful force, much bigger than the United States of America, as we saw recently in the Balkans. But maybe I misunderstand where you're coming from, Mr. Vice President, but I think the United States must be humble and must be proud and confident of our values, but humble in how we treat nations that are figuring out how to chart their own course.
Chomsky: Let us look at the “differences” more closely, and we recognize how limited and cynical they are...
I’ve been struggling to find the right terminology for this. She has jumped the shark. She has landed on Fantasy Island. She has slipped through the looking glass. She’s Queen of Denial. She has become the Head of Orwell’s Ministry of Truth… choose whichever metaphor works for you.
Then there was the 2000 presidential election. Many Democrats believed that they were disenfranchised by another kind of fix: according to this narrative, the election was decided by the Republican appointees to the United States Supreme Court all of whom voted as “their party” might have instructed.
That story line was factually wrong, but it didn’t matter–Democrats believed–and many still do–that, as the old quote has it, “we wuz robbed.”
... direct connections between Barack Obama’s campaign and ACORN, now under investigation in 12 states for registering the dead, so to speak.
Some have suggested that ACORN is in fact a criminal conspiracy of the type envisioned by RICO statutes; instead of drugs or gambling, its goal is the election of Obama.
“McCain campaign spokeswoman Meg Stapleton dismissed the report as the product of ‘a partisan-led inquiry run by Obama supporters.’ But there could be more land mines ahead. Some weeks ago, the McCain team devised a plan to have Palin file an ethics complaint against herself with the State Personnel Board, arguing that it alone was capable of conducting a fair, nonpartisan inquiry into whether she fired Monegan because he refused to fire Wooten, who had been involved in a messy custody battle with her sister. Some Democrats ridiculed the move, noting that the personnel board answered to Palin. But the board ended up hiring an aggressive Anchorage trial lawyer, Timothy Petumenos, as an independent counsel. McCain aides were chagrined to discover that Petumenos was a Democrat who had contributed to Palin's 2006 opponent for governor, Tony Knowles. Palin is now scheduled to be questioned next week, and the counsel's report could be released soon after. ‘We took a gamble when we went to the personnel board,’ said a McCain aide who asked not to be identified discussing strategy. While the McCain camp still insists Palin ‘has nothing to hide,’ it acknowledges a critical finding by Petumenos would be even harder to dismiss.”
I wonder if the reality of some of this is that McCain's support has dwindled to such a point that all that remains are the whackos. Trust me, if the democratic support dwindled enough, all of a sudden everybody on television would be "AIDS was started by the CIA" and "The FBI is monitoring me through microchips in my heads" people. Politics attracts its share of loonies, whatever the stripe, but usually there are enough non-crazy people to drown them out.
Giant construction contracts are being awarded to campaign contributors at the same time that "buddies" who just happen to be contractors are "helping" Todd build their two-story house. At the same time Sarah ensures there will be no public record of building permits.
Unable to find wrongdoing under the original investigation, Mr. Branchflower tried to stretch the Ethics Act to fit facts that are well beyond the scope of the law. To say she is in violation because she did not stop Todd Palin from raising concerns with appropriate authorities about a rogue State Trooper who had threatened their family and abused the public trust really defies commonsense and has no basis in the law.
One, by activist Andree McLeod, alleges that state hiring practices were circumvented for a Palin supporter. The case is not related to Monegan's firing. The other, by the Public Safety Employees Association, alleges that trooper Mike Wooten's personnel file was illegally breached by state officials.
“Sarah Palin's reaction to the Legislature's Troopergate report is an embarrassment to Alaskans and the nation.
She claims the report ‘vindicates’ her. She said that the investigation found ‘no unlawful or unethical activity on my part.’
Her response is either astoundingly ignorant or downright Orwellian.
Page 8, Finding Number One of the report says: ‘I find that Governor Sarah Palin abused her power by violating Alaska Statute 39.52.110(a) of the Alaska Executive Branch Ethics Act.’
In plain English, she did something ‘unlawful.’ She broke the state ethics law.
Perhaps Gov. Palin has been too busy to actually read the Troopergate report. Perhaps she is relying on briefings from McCain campaign spinmeisters.
That's the charitable interpretation.
Because if she had actually read it, she couldn't claim ‘vindication’ with a straight face.”
“Sen. Obama's leads in these four battleground states are as large as they have been the entire campaign. Those margins may be insurmountable barring a reversal that has never been seen before in the modern era in which polling monitors public opinion throughout the campaign.”
McCain says he has Obama just where he wants Obama. That's why McCain and Palin have to campaign in what were once reliably Republican states.
“Several things about John McCain’s Monday caused some head scratching, including the tease of some new economic policies to a town hall meeting with no Q&A.
It began with McCain’s close friend Sen. Lindsey Graham who said McCain would propose new tax policies this week. Yet Monday brought two stump speeches with no new economic proposals. Instead, McCain reiterated what he’s been saying for weeks.
A conference call with the campaign provided little guidance. It seems Monday was all about unveiling a new stump speech, according to campaign spokesman Brian Rogers.
On Tuesday, McCain will outline ‘specific new measures,’ according to Doug Holtz-Eakin, the campaign’s economic policy director, on a conference call with reporters. He declined to elaborate any further, saying only, ‘We just need to look forward to hearing from him.’
Then came the event in Wilmington, N.C., held at — irony alert! – Cape Fear Community College. McCain stood in front of the crowd and said he would take questions or comments after he delivered his remarks. He finished his prepared speech and tacked on a longtime stump story about the bracelet he wears. But then the music and handshaking began. No questions or comments to be heard—at least those directed at the senator. ‘I thought this was a town hall meeting?’ a man asked the press corps.”
“In a new shot across the bow of Arizona Sen. John McCain's lagging campaign, the Republican candidate's younger brother is blasting the campaign's top management and desperately pleading for a change of course.
Joe McCain, in an e-mail sent late Monday night, called on top campaign aides to allow more press access to those who know the presidential nominee best. He said loosening the tight message control was needed because it had become ‘counter-productive’ and was ‘causing gangrene.’
Reflecting apparent unhappiness with the way his brother is being portrayed, Joe McCain also said the campaign needs to make new ‘ads that show John not as crank and curmudgeon but as a great leader for his time.’
‘Let John McCain be John McCain,’ he wrote, criticizing unnamed campaign managers for slamming the door shut to reporters eager to interview those who know the candidate best.”
"Among independents who are likely voters - a group that has swung back and forth between McCain and Obama over the course of the campaign - the Democratic ticket now leads by 18 points. McCain led among independents last week.
McCain's campaign strategy may be hurting hurt him: Twenty-one percent of voters say their opinion of the Republican has changed for the worse in the last few weeks. The top two reasons cited for the change of heart are McCain's attacks on Obama and his choice of Sarah Palin as running mate....
McCain's favorable rating has fallen four points from last week, to 36 percent, and is now lower than his 41 percent unfavorable rating. Obama, by contrast, is now viewed favorably by half of registered voters and unfavorably by just 32 percent."
“Matthew Dowd, a prominent political consultant and chief strategist for George W. Bush's reelection campaign eviscerated John McCain on Tuesday for his choice of Sarah Palin as vice president.
Dowd proclaimed that, in his heart of hearts, McCain knew he put the country at risk with his VP choice and that he would ‘have to live’ with that fact for the rest of his career.
‘They didn't let John McCain pick the person he wanted to pick as VP,’ Dowd declared during the Time Warner Summit panel. ‘When Sarah Palin got picked instead of Joe Lieberman, which I fundamentally believed would have given John McCain the best opportunity in this race... as soon as he picked Palin, that whole ready versus not ready argument was not credible.’
Saying that Palin was a ‘net negative’ on the ticket, he went on: ‘[McCain] knows, in his gut, that he put somebody unqualified on the ballot. He knows that in his gut, and when this race is over that is something he will have to live with... He put somebody unqualified on that ballot and he put the country at risk, he knows that.’”
"Last night on the Colbert Report, Parker reiterated her belief that Palin is not qualified for the GOP ticket, but she also revealed that some White House officials have told her that they secretly agree:
COLBERT: Now but you said you got emails from people in the White House who secretively –
PARKER: Did I say that?
COLBERT: Yes you did. You said you secretly got emails from people in the White House but you wouldn’t name who they were, who said that they agreed with you.
PARKER: That’s correct. I got a lot of off-the-record emails and a lot of phone calls from people who said, you’re saying what we’ve been saying.
Watch it (starting at 2:06)."
A 2005 report by the League of Women Voters of Ohio and the Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in Ohio, for example, found that of more than 9 million votes cast in the state's 2002 and 2004 general elections, there were four instances of ineligible people attempting to vote. The data were collected from interviews with all 88 county Boards of Election.
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