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Archive for November, 2009

How Many Federal Violations Are Involved In Palin’s Book Tour?

As revealed in Old Redneck’s diary at DailyKos titled The Palin-Graham Connection and Celtic Diva’s Blue Oasis, Palin has been flying around in an aircraft provided by Samaritan’s Purse. Samaritan’s Purse is self described as an

“International Christian relief and evangelism organization that provides spiritual and physical aid to victims of war, poverty, natural disaster, and disease.”

A cursory look at the Beechcraft/King Air 300 tail number N262SP at flightaware.com indicates the flight activity for this aircraft is being blocked by the owner. As Old Redneck asks in his diary, wouldn’t this be a violation of Samaritan’s Purse’s 501c(3) status? It appears Palin would fly in this aircraft to a location near her book signing and then get on her bus to ride into towns and places to sign her book like Ft. Bragg which leads to another question concerning violations.

As reported by military.com from the AP in the article, “Some Anti-Obama Tones to Palin Bragg Visit“,

Palin’s tour bus parked nearby, splashed with her photo, encouraged donations to her political action committee, while supporters made clear that she should run for president.

Palin’s father, who greeted visitors as his daughter signed copies of the book, said in an interview that Obama’s handling of the military was “scary.”

“I see a decline in our might,” Chuck Heath said. “People used to be afraid of us and respect us, (but) they’re not afraid of us and don’t respect us anymore.”

How blatant do violations of Federal Law (Titles 10, 2, and 18, United States Code), Department of Defense (DOD) Directives, and specific military regulations strictly limiting a military active duty person’s participation in partisan political activities have to be? Can you get any more obvious concerning partisan political activities than those of SarahPAC? And in regard to Sarah Palin herself, she is known in the reality based community as someone who speaks dishonestly with subversive undertones concerning the standing Commander In Chief of the United States Armed Forces so why is she touring US military bases? A recent example is her interview with Greta Van Sustern where Palin accuses President Obama of not acknowledging or respecting the troops. She did this despite Obama’s recent visit to Dover Air Force Base to honor the fallen, something his Republican predecessor did not do when they were flown in under the cover of darkness, a practice reminiscent of World War II Germany when the German leadership kept the fallen from German public eyes. So where is the “liberal” media on this? Nowhere I imagine just as when the Bush/Cheney Administration broke US Laws, violated the Constitution of the United States and International Law. I guess when compared with that, it’s not important?

John Ziegler Calls For NBC News To Fire Norah O’Donnell For Bias Against Palin. But How Can Interviewing Palin Supporters Be Considered Bias? She Just Asked Questions.

November 24, 2009 2 comments

John Ziegler called for NBC to fire Norah O’Donnell on his website as reported by the equally dubious “NewsBusters” which claims it exposes “liberal bias” in the media (from its rightwing partisan perspective). A lot of this was sparked by Norah O’Donnell’s interview with Palin supporters which follows:

Ziegler concluded,

“The evidence is overwhelming that at least when it comes to Sarah Palin, Norah O’Donnell is not remotely an objective news person. If NBC wants to still claim to be a news organization (already a very open question) Norah O’Donnell should finally be fired and NBC should apologize for funding her obvious Palin vendetta disguised as “news.” “

Concerning Ziegler, it should be noted that he reviewed Palin’s book and said

I was simply blown away by Going Rogue on almost every level. For many reasons, this is by far the best book and greatest literary achievement by a political figure in my
lifetime.”

So are we to take his word about a former vice presidential candidate that when asked in an interview was uninformed about what the Bush Doctrine was?

Since the Norah O’Donnell interview was with only two Palin supporters at the book signing in question, New Left Media decided why not interview as many Palin supporters as possible at a Palin book signing and see what the general knowlege and the reasons behind what Palin’s support is in general. Cenk of The Young Turks decided to air it and break it all down in the following video:

As you can see, a reporter can ask legitimate non partisan questions and Palin supporters do the rest. Is that really Palin hating or “media bias”? It becomes quite obvious O’Donnell was just doing her job.

UPDATE:
As people on the right make the 17 year old out a victim of MSNBC bullying instead of it being O’Donnell informing the young lady that Palin had supported the bailout since she was wearing the tee shirt in question, it should be noted that the girl has a political blog called “Red, White & Conservative” where she can echo the lies and hate speech of her political heroes and the howling hyenas of rightwing media. And also, I have learned that besides supporting the bailout in 2008 and backing up McCain’s suspension of his campaign temporarily to help on the issue, that on page 207 of “Going Rogue”, according to David Weigal of the Washington Independent, Palin wrote the following:

[T]he House of Representatives rejected a Bush-backed economic bailout plan in a vote in which two-thirds of Republicans voted no. The impression this made on the electorate was not helpful to our cause. Millions of Americans were poised to go bankrupt or lose their savings, and the perception was that Republicans had failed to respond.

Maybe the young lady will find that page in her autographed copy.

Michael Moore Discusses The Health Care Debate And the Reform Bill To The Canadian Press. In Doing So, He Tells How The Bill Is A Corporate Giveaway To The For Profit Insurance And Pharmaceutical Industries And How Easy It Is To Fool The American Public Due To A Failed Educational System.

In his address to the Canadian press, Moore explained to them how things are in the United States concerning healthcare and the debate there and how the insurance interests and pharmaceutical interests aren’t concerned too much over this bill.  He mentions the deal the Obama administration struck with the pharmaceutical industry to keep them out of the debate by saying,

“And the drug companies signed a deal with Obama to keep them out of it, because they agreed to reduce their prices by $8 billion in the first year of the healthcare bill”

He went on to say how they had raised prices $10 billion the year before therefore coming out $2 billion ahead. Unlike Canada, the United States does not negotiate drug prices on behalf of their citizenry. In addressing the benefits the for profit insurance industry which controls the American healthcare delivery system and any solution those in government will come up with for them in lieu of the public interest, he said,

“The health insurance companies are going to make an extra $70 billion dollars as a result of Americans being forced to buy their health insurance. What company wouldn’t love this bill?”

He also added the following,

“So all of the wailing that they’re doing about this bill — believe me, the health insurance companies are not that upset about it. In fact, they helped write this bill. It’s not universal health care. Thirteen million people will still not have health insurance in the United States.”

And in describing a country where it’s citizens aren’t exposed to how other countries address their health care needs and an educational system that is lacking in many respects, he went on to say.

When you create a society that essentially is in that state, it’s very easy to run an ad on the nightly news about what a third world country Canada is, and about how people are dying on the sidewalk here because they can’t get in to see the doctor, you actually believe that stuff. Because of the education you’ve been given, because education is such a low priority. Our schools are in such disarray. And our media doesn’t do anything to help educate people in the way they need to be educated.”

If one really looks at the debate in the United States, it is really hard to argue with him. A single payer system such as Canada has wasn’t allowed to be discussed in Congress when crafting the bill, but corporate lobbyists were insiders to the process. The US media stopped investigative journalism or giving any valid multiple views to anything about a decade ago. It has all become part and parcel of the rise of the corporate state in the United States. The story can be read in full at the raw story.

A Real Journalist Returns To American Broadcast TV After A Period In The Wilderness.

Cenk of The Young Turks discusses the recent hiring of Ashleigh Banfield marking her return to “mainstream” broadcast news. Ashleigh, an excellent journalist, was put on the shelf for questioning American “journalism” during the Bush/Cheney Administration’s invasion of Iraq. In doing so, she was removed from TV News by MSNBC, called in American rightwing circles “liberal”, and joined Phil Donahue who was also fired by MSNBC for questioning the reasons for the war on Iraq. This was a period where the price of questioning the Bush government was to suffer loss of job or visibility in one’s profession. It was a period where reporters from alternative choices to the corporate conglomerates that control broadcast news such as news programs like Democracy Now! (available on free speech TV) were arrested as Amy Goodman and their producers were when reporting at the RNC last year.

It, of course, was a time of “free speech zones” and largely uncovered large protests in the “mainstream media”. When comparing the lack of coverage of those protests which dwarfed the rightwing turf grass protests of today, it is important to keep an eye out on what perspectives are allowed. When in Oz (America since 2000), it becomes important to pay attention to the man behind the curtain. Let’s hope ABC will allow Ashleigh to do her job.

When Is Enough, Enough?

Currently the secret service is already strapped with all the death threats against this president. When is it time to shut this hate crap down?

I wonder what would happen if the US went back to the Constitution and the establishment clause the way it used to be? What would the extremists in America’s religious right do then? Look at the following from 1950:

How The Healthcare Reform Con Game Is Played. David Swanson Discusses The Ins And Outs Of American Politics And How The Monied Interests Never Lose Control.

Real reform was being defeated early on by lobbyists and their buying power of the people’s representatives. Hence, physicians for a change to a single payer or medicare model were escorted out of the Baucus hearings as ads came on TV where Harry and Louise were for health care reform this time along with Wall Street based insurers. Still, many rightwing organizations and some lobbyists were also providing the money to fight real reform and escorting and busing their useful idiots along with their guns (which they had been told would be taken away with an Obama presidency) and their “socialism” signs to disrupt town halls. And the Democratic Party vying to take away the dollars from the Republican Party that comes from the Health Insurers’ lobby and the big Pharma lobby, peddled to their constitients that sent them there to change things, that they took their interests to heart by providing a “robust” public option that would be available in an insurance “exchange”. In the end, this so called public option that was supposed to contain costs will be nothing but a dumping ground for those the for profit insurers won’t cover and only available to a few making it uncompetitive and unable to negotiate lower prices. Since progressives are the hardest people to fool with propaganda, another bone was tossed to them in the form of the Kucinich amendment which would allow the states if they wanted, to set up a single payer state system (along with using the combined state dollars for medicare and medicaid to pay for it). But now that is taken out because of the risks to the bottom line of the publicly traded Health Insurers for if a single payer system was allowed to exist in one of the states, people and businesses would start moving to that state to avoid the escalating costs and the cat would be out of the bag, so to speak. There is a reason the CBO won’t score a single payer system or a real single payer option. It would bring down the costs and be less expensive than the plans on the table or our current system and would actually save this country money. Saved money at the expense of those that can buy a member of congress with their lobbying money.

Italian Court Convicts 23 Americans In Rendition Case of Muslim Cleric.

The following quotes are from la Repubblicca :

MILAN – The judge in Milan ruled the Oscar Maggi decision not to prosecute the former head of SISMI Nicolo Pollari and his deputy Marco Mancini, on trial for the kidnapping of former Milan imam Abu Omar. They were sentenced instead of agents of the CIA, in large part to five years in prison, while Robert Seldon Lady, the CIA chief in Milan at the time, was sentenced to eight years. Officials SISMI Pio Pompa and Luciano Seno accused of abetting were sentenced to three years. However acquitted the former head of CIA in Italy Jeff Castelli. All defendants found guilty will have to compensate one million euros to the former imam. Wife Nabila Ghali will instead be paid 500 thousand euros. These sums have been decided by the court as an provisionally, while the amount of damages will be determined in a separate civil proceedings.

Pollari, some of his men and the 26 CIA agents were accused of taken the Muslim cleric Abu Omar, Under investigation by prosecutors in Milan for international terrorism, in February 2003. Abu Omar was then taken to Egypt, where he was tortured, so as to suffer permanent injury. For the SISMI Prosecutors had requested a sentence of 13 years imprisonment.

Concerning Pollari, the court had this to say:

Pollari for not having the procedure was ordered by the court on the basis of Article 202 of the Code of Criminal Procedure: “If the secret is confirmed and the definition of the process is essential knowledge of the secrecy of the court says can not rule having to proceed to the existence of state secrets. ” Pollari, said the sentence: “Without the state secrets would have proved my innocence.” The prosecutor Armando Spataro has also said: “The sentence demonstrates that our action was legally promoted.

Prosecutor Armando Spataro also said,

“Pollari and Mancini have not ensured security in Italy but, with their behavior, they have compromised.”

In all, 23 Americans were convicted for kidnapping. More as details develop.