Sunday, September 28, 2008

Bailout Breakthrough?

Breakthrough Reached in Negotiations on Bailout

WASHINGTON — Congressional leaders and the Bush administration reached a tentative agreement early Sunday on what may become the largest financial bailout in American history, authorizing the Treasury to purchase $700 billion in troubled debt from ailing firms in an extraordinary intervention to prevent widespread economic collapse.

Officials said that Congressional staff members would work through the night to finalize the language of the agreement and draft a bill, and that the bill would be brought to the House floor for a vote on Monday.

The bill includes pay limits for some executives whose firms seek help, aides said. And it requires the government to use its new role as owner of distressed mortgage-backed securities to make more aggressive efforts to prevent home foreclosures.

In some cases, the government would receive an equity stake in companies that seek aid, allowing taxpayers to profit should the rescue plan work and the private firms flourish in the months and years ahead.

The White House also agreed to strict oversight of the program by a Congressional panel and conflict-of-interest rules for firms hired by the Treasury to help run the program.

The administration had initially requested virtually unfettered authority to operate the bailout program. But as they moved toward clinching a deal, both sides appeared to have given up a number of contentious proposals, including a change in the bankruptcy laws sought by some Democrats to give judges the authority to modify the terms of first mortgages.

Congressional leaders and Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr. emerged from behind closed doors to announce the tentative agreement at 12:30 a.m. Sunday, after two days of marathon meetings.

“We have made great progress toward a deal, which will work and be effective in the marketplace,� Mr. Paulson said at a news conference in Statuary Hall in the Capitol.

In the final hours of negotiations, Democratic lawmakers, including Representative Rahm Emanuel of Illinois and Senator Kent Conrad of North Dakota, carried pages of the bill by hand, back and forth, from Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office, where the Democrats were encamped, to Mr. Paulson and other Republicans in the offices of Representative John A. Boehner of Ohio, the House minority leader.

At the same time, a series of phone calls was taking place, including conversations between Ms. Pelosi and President Bush; between Mr. Paulson and the two presidential candidates, Senator John McCain and Senator Barack Obama; and between the candidates and top lawmakers.

“All of this was done in a way to insulate Main Street and everyday Americans from the crisis on Wall Street,� Ms. Pelosi said at the news conference. “We have to commit it to paper so we can formally agree, but I want to congratulate all of the negotiators for the great work they have done.�

In a statement, Tony Fratto, the deputy White House press secretary, said: “We’re pleased with the progress tonight and appreciate the bipartisan effort to stabilize our financial markets and protect our economy.�

A senior administration official who participated in the talks said the deal was effectively done. “I know of no unresolved open issues for principals,� the official said.

In announcing a tentative agreement, lawmakers and the administration achieved their goal of sending a reassuring message ahead of Monday’s opening of the Asian financial markets.

Lawmakers, especially in the House, are also eager to adjourn and return home for the fall campaign season.

Among the last sticking points was an unexpected and bitter fight over how to pay for any losses that taxpayers may experience after distressed debt has been purchased and resold.

Democrats had pushed for a fee on securities transactions, essentially a tax on financial firms, saying it was fitting that they contribute to the cost.

In the end, lawmakers and the administration opted to leave the decision to the next president, who must present a proposal to Congress to pay for any losses.

Officials said they had also agreed to include a proposal by House Republicans that gives the Treasury secretary an additional option of issuing government insurance for troubled financial instruments as a way of reducing the amount of taxpayer money spent up front on the rescue effort.

The Treasury would be required to create the insurance program, officials said, but not necessarily to use it. Mr. Paulson had expressed little interest in that plan, and initial cost projections suggested it would be enormously expensive. But final details were not immediately available.

Saturday’s intense negotiating effort followed a tumultuous week, including a contentious meeting at the White House with President Bush and the two presidential candidates.

That meeting had moments of drama, including a bunt warning by President Bush. “If money isn’t loosened up, this sucker could go down,� he said. It ended with angry recriminations after House Republicans scotched a near-agreement from earlier in the day.

Mr. Paulson scrambled to revive the talks, and they resumed almost immediately. Congressional and Treasury staff then worked all of Friday and through the night, ending in the predawn.

Mr. Paulson and Congressional leaders stepped in at 3 p.m. Saturday and were in direct negotiations for most of the rest of the night. And immediately after the news conference, staff members began efforts to finalize the language.

Even then, their work is hardly over.

Congressional leaders who want the bailout to pass with solid bipartisan support had already begun to anxiously court votes, mindful of the difficulty they could face in a high-stakes election year.

Public opinion polls show the bailout plan to be deeply unpopular. Conservative Republicans have denounced the plan as an affront to free market capitalism, while some liberal Democrats criticize it as a giveaway to Wall Street.

Representative Roy Blunt of Missouri, the chief negotiator for House Republicans, who have been among the most reluctant to support the plan, expressed some satisfaction but did not commit his members’ support.

“We need to look and see where we are on paper tomorrow,� Mr. Blunt said. “We have been talking about how we can make these things work in a way that our conference can come together.�

Representative Barney Frank of Massachusetts, the lead negotiator for the House Democrats, said that there was no expectation of making anyone smile.

“This was never going to be a bill that was going to make people happy,� he said. “No solution to a problem can be more elegant than the problem itself. We are dealing with a very difficult problem.�

“Given the dimensions of the problem, I believe we have done a good job,� he added. “It includes genuine compromises.�

Aides described a tense meeting on Saturday afternoon that included Senator Max Baucus, Democrat of Montana, shouting at Mr. Paulson about executive pay caps.

Outside, stunned tourists visiting the Capitol watched as camera operators shoved one another to get footage of lawmakers talking outside of the meeting room.

At one point, when too much information was leaking out, staff members’ BlackBerrys were confiscated and collected in a trash bin.

While Congressional Republicans sent only their chief negotiators, Mr. Blunt and Senator Judd Gregg of New Hampshire, at least nine Democrats with competing priorities piled into the meeting, surprising the Republicans but apparently not unsettling them.

The centerpiece of the rescue effort remains the plan for the government to buy up to $700 billion in troubled assets from financial firms as a way to free their balance sheets of bad debts and to help restore a healthy flow of credit through the economy.

The money will disbursed in parts, with an initial $250 billion to get the rescue effort under way, followed by another $100 billion upon a report by Mr. Bush to Congress.

The president could then request the balance of $350 billion at any time. If Congress disapproved, it would have to act within 15 days to deny the Treasury the money.

Early in the day, the two presidential nominees were active from the sidelines. Mr. McCain telephoned Congressional Republicans to sound them out, and Mr. Obama got regular updates by phone from Mr. Paulson and top lawmakers.

Some lawmakers have made clear that they will not vote for the bailout plan under virtually any terms. “I didn’t want to be in the negotiations because I object to the basic principles of this,� said Senator Richard C. Shelby of Alabama, the senior Republican on the banking committee, who would normally be his party’s point man.

Pressed about his role, Mr. Shelby replied, “My position is ‘No.’ �

Officials, including Mr. Bush, stepped up efforts to sell the plan to the American public, which, according to opinion polls, is deeply skeptical.

“The rescue effort we’re negotiating is not aimed at Wall Street; it is aimed at your street,� Mr. Bush said in his weekly radio address. “There is now widespread agreement on the major principles. We must free up the flow of credit to consumers and businesses by reducing the risk posed by troubled assets.�

In a brief speech on the Senate floor, Senator Kent Conrad, Democrat of North Dakota, said: “It’s not just going to be Wall Street. The chairman of the Federal Reserve has told us if the credit lockup continues, three million to four million Americans will lose their jobs in the next six months.�

The ultimate cost of the rescue plan to taxpayers is virtually impossible to know. Because the government would be buying assets of value — potentially worth much more than the government will pay for them — there is even a chance the rescue effort would eventually return a profit.

Some Democrats had sought to direct 20 percent of any such profits to help create affordable housing, but Republicans opposed that and demanded that all profits be returned to the Treasury.

Robert Pear contributed reporting.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Palin scares Independents in Florida

One thought pushes fence-sitters

to the left: Palin

By Adam C. Smith, Times Political Editor
In print: Saturday, September 20, 2008








St. Petersburg Times convened a group of Tampa Bay voters who were undecided about the presidential election. Their strong distrust of Barack Obama suggested it was a group ripe for John McCain to win over.

Not anymore. The group has swung dramatically, if unenthusiastically, toward Democrat Obama. Most of them this week cited the same reason: Sarah Palin.

"The one thing that frightens me more than anything else are the ideologues. We've seen too many," said 80-year-old Air Force veteran Donn Spegal, a lifelong Republican from St. Petersburg, who sees McCain's new running mate as the kind of "wedge issue" social conservative that has made him disenchanted with his party.

"I'm truly offended by Palin,'' said Republican Philinia Lehr, 37, of Largo, a full-time mother with a nursing degree who voted for George Bush in 2004. Like Palin, she has five children and she doesn't buy that the Alaska governor can adequately balance her family and the vice presidency.

"You're somebody's mom and what are you going to do, say, 'Excuse me, country, hold on?' … She's preaching that she's this mom of the year and taking that poor little baby all over everywhere. And, you know, what she's doing to her 17-year-old daughter is just appalling.'' Lehr said she's bothered by the way Palin's pregnant daughter has been brought into the national spotlight.

Of the 11 undecided voters participating in the discussion one recent evening at the Times — four Republicans, five Democrats, and two registered to no party — only two Republican men applauded the selection of Palin.

Nobody had finalized a choice, but seven of the panelists said that McCain's running mate selection had made them more likely to vote for Obama, and in several cases much more likely.

"And that ticks me off because I do not want Obama,'' said Democrat Annette Kocsis, 68, a former Hillary Rodham Clinton supporter from Clearwater, scoffing at "the pit bull in lipstick," as Palin has called herself.

Palin, who makes her first Florida campaign stop Sunday in a Republican stronghold in north-central Florida, has generated enthusiasm among conservatives. But at least with this randomly selected group of swing voters, she appears to be an obstacle to McCain's winning over disillusioned Democrats or moderates.

"That was almost insulting," Democrat Rhonda Laris of Temple Terrace, another strong Clinton backer skeptical of Obama, said of the Palin pick. "Do they think we're really stupid? … I'm definitely leaning toward the Democratic side now. Sarah Palin scares ... me."

Obama is not making inroads because of anything he has done or said. It's more that McCain has repelled these swing voters in the biggest battleground region of the biggest battleground state. In several cases, voters who had sounded hungry for a reason to vote for McCain now sound resigned to settling for Obama.

"It's McCain's beliefs," said Annette Maakestad, 57, of St. Petersburg, explaining why she's shifting toward Obama. "I don't think he's changed or he's going to change his party that much."

But they're still not sold on the Illinois senator.

"I really wanted someone youthful and someone who could relate more to the future generations," said Republican Jim Soltis, 70, of Holiday, who is weighing his desire for expanded health insurance access with maintaining Bush's tax cuts. "So I keep watching and watching and hoping for Obama to say the right things, and he's not saying them."

Most members of the panel participated in a similar meeting in August, though three new voters joined the group this week. The conventions did nothing for them — bored them, in many cases — and they're looking for the debates starting Friday to finally help them make up their minds.

"I'm not crazy about Obama, and I'm really not crazy about McCain," said Democrat Carlos Gonzalez, a 70-year-old higher education administrator from Oldsmar, who preferred Clinton. "I really have not heard anybody saying what they're going to do with this mess we have."

Rebecca Montilla, a 22-year-old premed student at the University of South Florida, began questioning her Democratic allegiances when it struck her in the primary that Democrats were sounding reckless about yanking troops out of Iraq. Obama's inexperience worries her, but she comes from a lower-middle-class family in Orlando that is increasingly struggling to keep food on the table. McCain offers no reassurance.

"I go back and forth, like, every day,'' she said. "It just seems like a lot of bickering, and it's really difficult for me to see what McCain's going to do and what Obama's going to do."

Said Lehr: "I wish we could put them both back in the hat, shake it up, and start over and pick two new candidates."

Adam C. Smith can be reached at asmith@sptimes.com or (727) 893-8241.

What they're saying about Palin

"The one thing that frightens me more than anything else are the ideologues. We've seen too many."

Donn Spegal, 80, St. Petersburg, Republican Air Force veteran

"I'm truly offended by Palin. You're somebody's mom and what are you going to do, say, 'Excuse me, country, hold on?' "

Philinia Lehr, 37, Largo, Republican full-time mother

"That was almost insulting. Do they think we're really stupid? ... I'm definitely leaning toward the Democratic side now. Sarah Palin scares ... me." "

Rhonda Laris, Temple Terrace, Democrat

"She is Dick Cheney with a dress on."

Bill Chever, 56, St. Petersburg, Independent Air Force veteran

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Is There an Anti-Aging "Silver Bullet"? Yes and No.

Is there an Anti-aging "Silver Bullet"?
Healthy Lifestyle as a Spiritual Challenge
Paschal Baute, Ed. D. .September, 2008

With cancer that metastized 15 years ago, with several health issues not treatable by medical science (not including mortality), and just completing my 79th birthday anniversary, I am acutely aware that I must manage my lifestyle, health habits and altitudes. Janette and I eat less red meat, more veggies and fruits.

Is there a super-food out there, some anti-aging silver bullet? What is a healthy balance of lifestyle, not just food, but exercise, etc. Are those products being promoted as needed for healthy aging simply scams? What are these ORAC units people say we need so much of per day.

Caution. If you have a food or practice that you believe is contributing or greatly contributing to your health and sense of well being, do not change anything. You belief itself may be 50% or more of the power this gives you. Placebo effect is a powerful adaptation with many benefits. Axiom. Do not knock someone’s story or belief. Belief itself, hope, is half of the power.

Health in aging is a welcome concern today. We are living longer. We are paying more attention to our diets and what is necessary for healthy living. Health and exercise clubs have multiplied. TV programs on exercise can be found on every channel early each day.

Questions to be considered: Is there a super food we all need? How does one measure a super-food? What is ORAC value? How measure the ORAC value of various foods?
What is MLM, multi level marketing? How assess it? What is the writer’s own practice as a 15 year survivor of metastized cancer at age 79 and counting with some physical conditions not treatable by medical science? That is, what is my “formula� for health and well being?

I have a friend who is convinced that a certain superfood has transformed both his own health and that of his wife. This product is available only through a MLM, a multi-level marketing program. I did some early research on the product, got a one month supply and almost bought in for a month’s supply. There was no significant effect for me, so I decided to do more research.

On of the selling points of this product and other “superfoods “being promoted today is its very high ORAC value, “Oxygen Radical Absorption Capacity.� or what is more commonly known today as anti-oxidants. I am not a biologist, nor a health scientist,, but have been convinced that we need a good daily supply of antioxidants, available mainly through fruits and vegetables. I refer the reader here to the wikipedia article on this subject.

Diet right now is very important for me. Since I now have dry macular degeneration in both eyes, which can only be slowed, not stopped by proper diet. we have known that diet rich in antioxidants, lutein, etc and the best preventable aids, as they slow down the aging process. The recommended daily intake of antioxidants is 5,000 Orac values. It is generally agreed that the average intake is less than 2,000. So to slow the aging process the first thing to do is to eat more fruits, vegetable, grains and nuts. Which fortunately many have been doing in recent years.

Two of the products being promoted for high ORAC value online and through MLM are the Acai Berry and Dark Chocolate, both separately and together. There is research and testimony that both can increase the sense of well being. There are comparison tables that illustrate the high ORAC value of both. Other products are Noni juice, Pomegranate, Goju berry, Notice the exotic source of these superfoods.

But when you look closely at the actual research, you can find that One Red Delicious Apple your full day’ ORAC needs. I can accept that dark chocolate and many other foods also supply high ORAC value. What is missing in the comparison tables offered that promote certain foods is the range of other foods with high ORAC value, some superior to the product promoted. For example ground Cinnamon has ORAC value 29 tunes that of Dark Chocolate and 18 times that of Acai Berry. See the table at the end of this article.

What are we to make of all this? Well for one, a good balanced diet today, less red meat with more veggies and fruit will provide the needed ORAC value for health. Vitamin supplement, Omega 3 fish oil, Chrondroitih Glucosomine, Flax seed oil can also add proven nutritional value.

If I eat a small bowl of oatmeal, with a handful of blueberries, a handful of almonds, and a small handful of cranberries or raisins, I can be sure that I am getting my required daily ORAC value at breakfast, which is what I do. If I also eat sparingly of meat, generously of fish, including salmon. With plenty of vegetables and maybe an apple or a piece of fruit for a snack. I am getting all the ORACs my body needs. I do not believe there is any magic bullet in food, but am convinced that a good breakfast, balanced meals, and much exercise is sufficient for my well being.

MLM means that you use your network of friends to recruit others into purchasing and promoting your chosen super product. In order to promote your business, you end up hassling your friends about your favorite thing. The problem is only those in the upper part of the pyramid make much money. I do not want to recruit my friends for this purpose. I have and live a great mystery of life within me, a Pearl of Great Price, and that is what I value the most to share, primarily through friendship, service and various ministries. I do believe the Placebo effect works. If we believe strongly enough, chances are great that he “pill� will work. Belief as a placebo is an evolutionary adaptation. Hope gives you a leg up.

I suggest we have three anti-aging "silver bullets." On the physical level, the magic in slowing the aging process is regular exercise which stimulates the entire circulatory system. On the spiritual level, it is a deep personal faith with loving service. People with a strong belief system tend to live longer and healthier. They take better care of their bodies and are more resistant to disease. The third silver bullet in anti-aging is simply eating less, smaller portions. Pay attention to waist lines at the supermarket. Too many of us are eating ourselves into an early grave. Okinawa, where never eating to satiation is a cultural habit, has the largest and healthiest population of centenarians on earth. Here is the uncomfortable spiritual challenge for our fast food society: Eat less and experience life long wellness. Is there some super-food? No, but there are a few silver bullets.

Budget-wise for seniors living within their means. The super-foods being marketed today, especially via MLM, cost from $1.00 to $2.00 per ounce, and from $30 to $50 per month for the program. Cinnamon and dark chocolate can be found (discount, like Sams or Walmart) for 20 to 30 cents per oz.

What would be my own "magic formula" for health and wellness? 1. Living with a deep personal faith, full of loving service/;2. A daily exercise program and active life style. 3. Balance between the physical, emotional, social and spiritual; 4. Healthy diet described above; 5. Prayerful daily life, meditation; 6. Sharing daily with my still wondrous "bride:"� 7. Living daily with “miracles,� all around, Music. Story. Poety. Noblesse Oblige�and “Carpe Diem.� "How are you?" is the common greeting. My response: "I work up today. I’m blessed!" Every day the sun rises for me. “My soul magnifies the Lord.." (Luke 1: 46 ff) I am part of the greatest story in history.

Reference on ORAC food values: http://oracvalues.com/sort/orac-value/100

Comparable ORAC Values
100 grams or about 4 oz
Blueberries 8700 Milk Chocolate 1700
Raspberries 5300 Almonds 130
Cranberry 5200 Prunes (half cup) 7291
Cherries 4700 Dark chocolate 13,000 (not verified
Walnuts 3400 one russet potato, baked 4649
1 Red Delicious Apple 5900 Acai Berry 17,000 (not verified)
Cereal, oats, dry, instant 2308 Baking chocolate,, unsweetened, squares, 48.760
Cereal, granola, 2294 Cinnamon, ground 267,536 (sic)
Prunes 3200 Source: Mostly from Wikipedia, ORAC values

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Why Are Republicans Hiding Sarah Palin?

Why Are Republicans Hiding Sarah Palin?

Are Republicans afraid if we discover who Sarah Palin is, her actual record, then both they, she and McCain will be embarrassed and possibly ridiculed? Apparently they are determined to keep her from a press conference. Is it sexist to insist that Governor Palin be given the same tough scrutiny that Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama have survived? Should we not have an opportunity to seriously review the facts about this candidate they are proposing to be a heartbeat away from the Presidency of a 72 year old man? The press loves nothing like a scandal. What can we expect?

Remember the corporate jet sold on eBay for a profit? McCain bragged yesterday on that as the best part of her speech. Fact check. It was not sold on eBay, not at a profit. She listed it on eBay three times without selling it. It was sold finally only at a loss to one of her corporate sponsors.

Maybe we are about to discover how two-faced she is, running as a representative of the party of fiscal responsibility while seeking and obtaining more federal pork per capita than any other governor?

Maybe we are about to discover that she is an either / or person and if you don’t support her 100% any time she wants it, you are on her black list forever because she is a grudge-holder:

Maybe we are about to discover that she uses her official power for personal reasons, by means of an investigation, TrooperGate she is trying desperately to stall?

Maybe she is a redneck, a rigid fundamentalist who brooks no dissent and God is always on her side, endorsing her pastor’s view that those voting Democrat are hell bound?

Stay tuned. Some breaking news is coming. I do mean 'breaking" the illusion that Sarah Palin is what Republicans and the religious right want her to be.

I suggest for the Republican party to put this person as their Vice Presidential choice is an insult to the American People and even a betrayal by John McCain of his “M Country First� motto. To imagine they can hide this candidate from public scrutiny is a further insult

Paschal Baute
Lexington, Ky
tel 293 - 5302

Friday, September 05, 2008

Why is Sarah Palin, the "Bulldog with Lipstick," Hiding from Us?

Why is Sarah Palin Hiding?.
Research as Friday, September 5, 2008

Today marks a full week since Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin has been introudced to us as Senator McCain’ choice for the V.P. slot on the Republican ticket. Why has she still not given a press interview where questions can be asked. Many persons are not comfortable that she has the resume or the character to be a heartbeat away from the Presidency of a 72 year old man. Serious questions about her record as governor and as mayor remain. The Anchorage Daily News has gotten four million hits, five times as many as in its history since last week.

Governor Palin through down the gauntlet Thursday niight. After calling Hillary a whiner earlier, she casts herself now as a victim. Anthony Wade's ariticle below is why she is hiding from the press, urgently needs to hide from the press and why the GOP is helping her hide from the press. They, or we, are about to ask some very embarrassing questions about her record.

Can Governor Palin hide for the next sixty days from a Face the Nation Tim Russert type of interview? It is okay to get a cram course in foreign affairs from the RNC so you don't look stupid, but how loing can you keep hiding? We have the right and the duty to ask questions, even hard questions.

Governor Palin, you cannot run from the media o r from the public for the next 60 days even as you seek to postpone your ethics investigation at home.

Paschal Baute.
Lexington, Ky

Sarah Palin: A wolf in Moose Clothing
by Anthony Wade.. OpEd news

No matter how desperately Sarah Palin tried last night to cast herself as the poor little victim, she only succeeded in sounding extremely arrogant and condescending. Could you just imagine the outcry if Hillary had delivered the hit-piece of a speech Palin did last night? The cat calls of “shrill!� would still be reverberating. Palin started last night by drawing a line in the sand and trying to intimidate the media that has correctly covered her since the surprise announcement of her vice presidential candidacy. Palin said last night:

"But here's a little news flash for all those reporters and commentators: I'm not going to Washington to seek their good opinion - I'm going to Washington to serve the people of this country.�

Relax Sarah; you’re not going to Washington quite yet. So here is a little news flash for you. You will not get a good opinion from the media unless you deserve one. So far, you do not and attacking the media for your own shortcomings is not going to help your situation. It is not the media’s fault for example that you are under an ethics investigation with a special counsel who says he has over 20 emails and voice mails from you and your people trying to coerce someone into firing your brother in law.

It is not the media’s fault that your lawyer has now tried to move this investigation to a board, which consists of three people you have appointed; a clear conflict of interest. It is not the media’s fault Sarah, when it is discovered that you are the Earmark Queen of Alaska, sucking in 27 million dollars for your little town of 6,500 people, while claiming to be a “reformer�. It is not the fault of the media that there is video of you attributing the war in Iraq to God. It is not the fault of the media that your pastor is on record as twisting scripture to fit his own political agenda. It is likewise, not the fault of the media that you claim to be a reformer but haven’t reformed anything.


And while you are at it, try to ease up on the mocking of a United States Senator Ms. Palin. I know you were just reading what they wrote for you off the teleprompter but this was quite uncalled for:


"I guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a "community organizer," except that you have actual responsibilities.�


What responsibilities did you have Sarah? Trying to decide which moose to shoot first on your hunting trips? This is not to belittle small-town America but to not allow someone who really hasn’t done anything to claim superiority over people who have. Sarah Palin was Mayor of Wasilla Alaska. The population of Wasilla Alaska is 6,500 people. Allow me to provide some perspective. The island I live on is only 17 miles long and about five miles across. It is pretty small. The population however is over 477,000 people. Wasilla again, has 6,500 residents. So ease up on the mockery of a man who served a community that dwarfs yours and was then elected to the state legislature before being elected to the United States Senate.


Palin also claimed to oppose the Bridge to Nowhere, but conveniently left out that she initially had supported it. She also claimed to have balanced her budget but omitted that during her six years as Mayor, she increased general government expenditures by over 33%. During those same six years the amount of taxes collected by the City increased by 38%. She inherited a city with zero debt, but, despite the increase in taxes, left it with debt of over $22 million.


Despite her fiscal mismanagement, Palin also veered into the subject of energy, pretending to be an expert. When it comes to oil and gas she said:


"And take it from a gal who knows the North Slope of Alaska: we've got lots of both.


No thanks Sarah. I will take it from the experts who have correctly concluded that drilling offshore will have zero effect for 30 years and even then, it will not affect gas prices one iota. You see maybe if you understood that we deal oil on a global market and that we do not have anywhere near enough of our own to satisfy our consumption, you would have realized how inane your own comments were. You see, the only people who really stand to benefit from offshore drilling are the oil companies that are already making billions off of our backs. You know, the same oil companies you pretended to fight against last night.


Then Palin decided to dive off the deep end of GOP deception and smearing of Barack Obama:


"But listening to him speak, it's easy to forget that this is a man who has authored two memoirs but not a single major law or reform - not even in the state senate."


Oops, I guess the 152 bills he sponsored in the 109th Congress alone were not good enough for Queen Sarah. Or how about the 110th Congress where he worked across party lines to pass the Global Poverty Act and the Lugar-Obama proliferation and threat reduction initiative. I guess those are not “major� laws to the woman from Wasilla Alaska. I can go further, like where she misrepresented the Obama tax proposals or mocked his logo but why bother? The point has been made.


Welcome to the fray Mrs. Super-Hockey Mom. After tonight the friendly crowds go away and then you will be left to defend your positions and your past. You will have to explain why you fired that guy who refused to deliver your payback to your brother in law. You will have to explain how a “reformer� raises taxes 38% and saddled her home town with a 22 million dollar debt. Maybe you bought the GOP talking points they made up for you. You know, all that malarkey about having “steel in your spine� and what not. Plays well with the red meat crowd you had in front of you last night giving you a five minute standing ovation for having done nothing. Here is the problem though. You don’t have to convince them Sarah. They were voting for John McCain even if a moose were on the ticket with him.


No Sarah, it is those pesky independents you need to convince, or maybe even some disaffected Hillary followers. Last night’s “I’m a victim� speech isn’t going to do it. Blaming the media for correctly asking questions isn’t going to do it either. Mocking other people, who have done more in their lives than you have in Wasilla Alaska is not going to cut it either. You will have to convince them what you bring to the table besides those sharp teeth of yours. You see Sarah, while you were busy being an “executive� of a town smaller than your average corporation, the rest of the country was going through the worst eight years in recent memory. Unemployment has skyrocketed. Wages are declining. Healthcare is unaffordable. Gas has gone from $11 a barrel to $140. Milk and electricity are through the roof. We are in a war that has now been proven to be based on lies and thousands of our kids are dead because of it. Our infrastructure is collapsing and our dollar is devalued.

Despite the delusions of our current First Lady, education is an unmitigated disaster. These are not subtleties to the American people Sarah and they are not wiped away by clever sound bites spoken by people who have no clue what they are actually talking about. You see Sarah these problems are all the result of the failed policies of George W. Bush and the GOP controlled Congress. Your boy John McCain was not only part of that congress but in his own words, no one has supported President Bush more than he has. That is why people call him McBush and they are painfully aware that he represents nothing but McSame. He has embraced the Bush economic policies and war policies. He has now even flip-flopped on torture.


This is your platform Sarah. I understand that you really couldn’t talk much about it last night because you can’t sell it to the American people. That is why they wrote your speech the way they did. They trotted out the Super-Hockey-Mom in moose clothing and hoped that people wouldn’t notice the wolf within. So you can pout all you like and draw your little faux lines in the sand. The media will continue to treat you as they should; as someone who is claiming to be something they are not. You get no special privileges Sarah. You can belittle and mock people and talk off the script that they give you but it will not fool the people you need to fool. They will see you for what you are. A one time mayor of a small village, which you left 22 million dollars in debt.

The current governor of the 3rd smallest state in the country; and under an ethics investigation in that capacity. I think in the end they will remember you from the way you greeted them last night. As a mean-spirited, condescending politician, reading talking points off a teleprompter but not actually understanding much of what she was saying.

In the end, that cannot be one step from the presidency and the American people will realize that.

_______

Anthony Wade, a contributing writer to opednews.com, is dedicated to educating the populace to the lies and abuses of the government. He is a 40-year-old independent writer from New York with political commentary articles seen on multiple websites. A Christian progressive and professional Rehabilitation Counselor working with the poor and disabled, Mr. Wade believes that you can have faith and hold elected officials accountable for lies and excess.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Srah Palin's mockery, lies and other distortions.

“But here's a little news flash for all those reporters and commentators: I'm not going to Washington to seek their good opinion - I'm going to Washington to serve the people of this country.�

Relax Sarah; you’re not going to Washington quite yet. So here is a little news flash for you. You will not get a good opinion from the media unless you deserve one. So far, you do not and attacking the media for your own shortcomings is not going to help your situation. It is not the media’s fault for example that you are under an ethics investigation with a special counsel who says he has over 20 emails and voice mails from you and your people trying to coerce someone into firing your brother in law. It is not the media’s fault that your lawyer has now tried to move this investigation to a board, which consists of three people you have appointed; a clear conflict of interest. It is not the media’s fault Sarah, when it is discovered that you are the Earmark Queen of Alaska, sucking in 27 million dollars for your little town of 6,500 people, while claiming to be a “reformer�. It is not the fault of the media that there is video of you attributing the war in Iraq to God. It is not the fault of the media that your pastor is on record as twisting scripture to fit his own political agenda. It is likewise, not the fault of the media that you claim to be a reformer but haven’t reformed anything.

And while you are at it, try to ease up on the mocking of a United States Senator Ms. Palin. I know you were just reading what they wrote for you off the teleprompter but this was quite uncalled for:

“I guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a "community organizer," except that you have actual responsibilities.�

What responsibilities did you have Sarah? Trying to decide which moose to shoot first on your hunting trips? This is not to belittle small-town America but to not allow someone who really hasn’t done anything to claim superiority over people who have. Sarah Palin was Mayor of Wasilla Alaska. The population of Wasilla Alaska is 6,500 people. Allow me to provide some perspective. The island I live on is only 17 miles long and about five miles across. It is pretty small. The population however is over 477,000 people. Wasilla again, has 6,500 residents. So ease up on the mockery of a man who served a community that dwarfs yours and was then elected to the state legislature before being elected to the United States Senate.

Palin also claimed to oppose the Bridge to Nowhere, but conveniently left out that she initially had supported it. She also claimed to have balanced her budget but omitted that during her six years as Mayor, she increased general government expenditures by over 33%. During those same six years the amount of taxes collected by the City increased by 38%. She inherited a city with zero debt, but, despite the increase in taxes, left it with debt of over $22 million.

Despite her fiscal mismanagement, Palin also veered into the subject of energy, pretending to be an expert. When it comes to oil and gas she said:

“And take it from a gal who knows the North Slope of Alaska: we've got lots of both.�

No thanks Sarah. I will take it from the experts who have correctly concluded that drilling offshore will have zero effect for 30 years and even then, it will not affect gas prices one iota. You see maybe if you understood that we deal oil on a global market and that we do not have anywhere near enough of our own to satisfy our consumption, you would have realized how inane your own comments were. You see, the only people who really stand to benefit from offshore drilling are the oil companies that are already making billions off of our backs. You know, the same oil companies you pretended to fight against last night.

Then Palin decided to dive off the deep end of GOP deception and smearing of Barack Obama:

But listening to him speak, it's easy to forget that this is a man who has authored two memoirs but not a single major law or reform - not even in the state senate.

Oops, I guess the 152 bills he sponsored in the 109th Congress alone were not good enough for Queen Sarah. Or how about the 110th Congress where he worked across party lines to pass the Global Poverty Act and the Lugar-Obama proliferation and threat reduction initiative. I guess those are not “major� laws to the woman from Wasilla Alaska. I can go further, like where she misrepresented the Obama tax proposals or mocked his logo but why bother? The point has been made.

Welcome to the fray Mrs. Super-Hockey Mom. After tonight the friendly crowds go away and then you will be left to defend your positions and your past. You will have to explain why you fired that guy who refused to deliver your payback to your brother in law. You will have to explain how a “reformer� raises taxes 38% and saddled her home town with a 22 million dollar debt. Maybe you bought the GOP talking points they made up for you. You know, all that malarkey about having “steel in your spine� and what not. Plays well with the red meat crowd you had in front of you last night giving you a five minute standing ovation for having done nothing. Here is the problem though. You don’t have to convince them Sarah. They were voting for John McCain even if a moose were on the ticket with him.

No Sarah, it is those pesky independents you need to convince, or maybe even some disaffected Hillary followers. Last night’s “I’m a victim� speech isn’t going to do it. Blaming the media for correctly asking questions isn’t going to do it either. Mocking other people, who have done more in their lives than you have in Wasilla Alaska is not going to cut it either. You will have to convince them what you bring to the table besides those sharp teeth of yours. You see Sarah, while you were busy being an “executive� of a town smaller than your average corporation, the rest of the country was going through the worst eight years in recent memory. Unemployment has skyrocketed. Wages are declining. Healthcare is unaffordable. Gas has gone from $11 a barrel to $140. Milk and electricity are through the roof. We are in a war that has now been proven to be based on lies and thousands of our kids are dead because of it. Our infrastructure is collapsing and our dollar is devalued. Despite the delusions of our current First Lady, education is an unmitigated disaster. These are not subtleties to the American people Sarah and they are not wiped away by clever sound bites spoken by people who have no clue what they are actually talking about. You see Sarah these problems are all the result of the failed policies of George W. Bush and the GOP controlled Congress. Your boy John McCain was not only part of that congress but in his own words, no one has supported President Bush more than he has. That is why people call him McBush and they are painfully aware that he represents nothing but McSame. He has embraced the Bush economic policies and war policies. He has now even flip-flopped on torture.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Alaska'a Beauty Queen Veep

ALASKA’S BEAUTY QUEEN VEEP

Count on one thing from Beauty Queens: they have often gotten ahead through their looks. The world owes them something. They expected to be catered to and they are.

As Mayor of Wasilla, (population 6,715) she fired the Police Chief and Library Director for not supporting her in her 1996 race for Mayor. She was nearly recalled.

At her first press conference she bragged on rejecting the Bridge to Nowhere funding.. Actually, the record shows that she sought the same federal funding a number of times. While presenting herself as a fiscal conservation, did McCain know as mayor she went to Washington to ask for earmarks?

She is being investigated by a bipartisan committee for abuse of power as Governor, firing the Public Safety Commissioner when he wouldn't fire her ex-brother-in-law, lied about pressuring the guy to do so, and then showed keen judgment by replacing him with someone who had to resign in two weeks because of sexual harassment problems.

Yes, she did ask her Attorney General to open an independent investigation, but the legislature had already started investigating her on ethics charges, still to be completed.

Yes, she did cut property taxes as Mayor which she boasted about at her first press conference, but she also raised the sales tax.

On the basis of a single 15 minute interview with her, McCain said he felt like he had a “soul-mate.� Yes, Bush looks into the eyes of Putin and feels reassured.

“Country First� McCain has put this lightweight a heartbeat away from the Presidency. Conservatives love her. He has sold his soul for political expediency. Talk about cynical calculation? What about judgment worthy of our highest office?

Bernard Baute
Lexington, KY

Monday, September 01, 2008

McCann is not pandering

I do not believe McCain is pandering to women or conservative men by selecting a photogenic former beauty queen to be his Vice Presidential nominee. Cindy McCain says Palin has national defense experience because Alaska is close to Russia. That is good enough for me.

So what if Palin professed desire to renew Federal funding for the "Bridge To Nowhere," many times before bragging the opposite at her first press conference? Politicians are allowed to change their tune when the situation changes. After all, they must present their best possible side even if it is not true.

I am certain that the unfinished bi-partisan investigation in Alaska of her abuse of power is a typical "witch hunt" in Alaska politics. No one that good looking could do anything dirty or underhanded.

McCain may be accused by liberals of being cynical and calculating. I think he is cunning shrewd to choose someone with apparently so little experiences for his Veep. Imagine the air time and free publicity for the GOP ticker this choice is going to get/ Wow.

Think of the sympathy Palin is going to get for totting around her Down Syndrome child. Does not this 72 year old war hero from a miliary caste family and the Republicans too need lots of our sympathies this year. They are even worried about how much air-time to give Bush at the convention.

Bush might brag on how timetables in Iraq were the White House plan all along. Or say something equally funny, while counting on the short memory span of most people. I am looking forward to seeing this good looking woman on the tube as often as I can. McCain sure stole Obama’s "Change" motto. Who would have thought it possible?

McCain is more shrewd than most people give him credit for. Above all we are going to need "shrewd" in the White House. Furthermore, the fact that so many liberals are against Palin is reason enough for me to vote the GOP ticket.

Paschal Baute.
September 1, 2008