Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Ted Stevens... Advanced Internet User... INDICTED.

Ted "The Internet is a NOT a's a series of tubes" Stevens was indicted today in what looks like a typical republican "I make a ton of money but still prefer someone else pay for it" scandal that I've been salivating over for the last few hours.

Can this man who knows the internet SO WELL (He headed up the Internet Neutrality Commission) possibly have any wrong doing? Here's a clip of what he said about the internet and then a story from CBS News I found a good read:

Ted "Series of Tubes" Stevens

CBS News:

Beleaguered congressional Republicans woke up Tuesday morning thinking they’d gained traction with their focus on offshore oil drilling and hoping that they could pin the “culture of corruption” on Democrats.

By lunchtime, the longest-serving Republican senator in history had been indicted on charges that he hid $250,000 in gifts from an oil company looking for favors.

Can it get any worse for the GOP?

“This is very bad for the party,” a retiring Senate Republican told Politico as news of Ted Stevens’ indictment echoed across Capitol Hill on Tuesday. “The timing on this couldn’t be worse.”

One year ago today, Stevens pleaded with his Republican colleagues to “stay with me” as he rode out a Justice Department investigation and an FBI raid on his Alaska home.

Now, there’s an arrest warrant out for the 84-year-old senator. He’s been stripped of his top committee rankings. His iconic career is crumbling. His hopes for reelection are in serious doubt.

And Senate Republicans have no idea what to do about it.

GOP Senate leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky was a congressional intern in 1964, when Stevens was planning his first run for the Senate. McConnell can’t and won’t ask a legend to resign, at least at this point.

The Senate ethics committee says it won’t do anything until the criminal case runs it course.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has left the ball in McConnell’s court, saying it’s “all up to [Republicans]” to decide how to handle Stevens.

Rep. Adam Putnam of Florida, the House Republican Conference chairman who had hoped to spend Tuesday blaming Barack Obama for Democratic inaction on energy, instead was left to argue that the indictment of the Senate’s most senior Republican was somehow “bad for both parties.”

The conservative National Review called for Stevens’ resignation. Democrats across the country called on their Republican opponents to return Stevens’ campaign contributions. Illinois Rep. Mark Kirk, a Republican, used Stevens’ indictment to demand passage of legislation that would deny congressional pensions to members convicted of felonies.

Stevens proclaimed his innocence Tuesday, saying he “never knowingly submitted a false disclosure form required by law as a U.S. senator.” But the details laid out by the Department of Justice are blistering, suggesting a seven-year pattern of failing to disclose the “gifts” provided to the senator by the Alaska oil field services company VECO.

The indictment charges Stevens with failing to report on his financial disclosure forms $250,000 in “things of value” including remodeling work on his home, a Viking grill and a sweetheart deal on a Land Rover.

The indictment further alleges that “during the same time he was concealing his continued receipt of these things of value from VECO and [VECO executive Bill J.] Allen,” that Stevens “received solicitations for official actions from Allen and other VECO employees, and that Sen. Stevens used his position and office on behalf of VECO during that same time period.”

In exchange, according to the indictment, the oil services company asked Stevens for help with company projects in Pakistan and Russia, as well as a National Science Foundation grant to a VECO subsidiary.

Matthew Friedrich, the acting assistant attorney general, said that prosecutors have not been able to establish the quid pro quo necessary for bribery charges. However, he said that the investigation is ongoing.

Stevens has a reputation as a fighter, so he may very well launch a counterattack on the Justice case against him. His campaign has said it’s “full steam ahead” for the fall election, adding that Stevens’ office has been “flooded” with calls and e-mailsfrom supporters urging him to press on.

“The message from them is clear: Alaska needs Ted Stevens in the U.S. Senate.”

Stevens is a former Senate Appropriations Committee chairman who has funneled billions of dollars in earmarks and federal funds back to his home state, but he become the butt of jokes over the so-called “bridge to nowhere” earmark that became a symbol of Washington excess.

While he’s known in Washington for his explosive temper, Stevens is beloved in Alaska, where Republican Gov. Sarah Palin said Tuesday that news of the senator’s indictment had “rock[ed] the foundation of our state.”

“A lot of people here see him like he’s our uncle,” said McHugh Pierre, a spokesman for the Alaska Republican Party. “A lot of people want to help him” in his time of need, he added.

Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii), a longtime Stevens friend, said he wasn’t surprised by the news because Stevens has been under investigation for so long. He said, however, that he believes Stevens is innocent.

Other senators responded with caution. “I need to learn more of the facts before I comment,” said Sen. John Warner (R-Va.). “I have the highest personal regard for him,” Warner added. “He is a strong man. He fought hard for his state, which he loved. All of us have unexpected moments in our career. All of us have to do our best to work through them. I wish him the best.”

Sen. Richard J. Durbin of Illinois, emerging from the Democrats’ weekly policy lunch, said there had been a “somber” reaction to word of Stevens’ indictment. Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) said he was saddened by the news.

Appearing on MSNBC on Tuesday afternoon, Republican National Committee Chairman Mike Duncan said that the indictment involves “a serious allegation” but insisted that it wouldn’t be a distraction from John McCain’s presidential campaign. “This presidential campaign will not be about the senior senator from Alaska,” Duncan said. “It’s going to be about big issues, about energy, about tax policy; it’s going to be about the future of America. This is a blip along the way.”

McCain, who has clashed repeatedly with Stevens in the past, issued no statement on the indictment.

Late Tuesday, an Appropriations Committee aide said that Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) will replace Stevens as ranking member on the Appropriation Committee’s Defense subcommittee “through the end of this Congress or until such time as Sen. Stevens is able to resume his duties as ranking member.”

Patrick O’Connor and Daniel W. Reilly contributed to this story.

By Martin Kady II and John Bresnahan
Copyright 2008 POLITICO

McCain compares Obama to Paris Hilton & Britney Spears

Let's add this article from CNN to the long list of desperation tactics by McCain. I just love it!

--------------------From CNN

A new campaign ad from Sen. John McCain -- which flashes shots of the two aforementioned megacelebrities -- calls Obama a megacelebrity, too, and questions his leadership ability.

"He's the biggest celebrity in the world. But is he ready to lead? With gas prices soaring, Barack Obama says no to offshore drilling and says he'll raise taxes on electricity. Higher taxes, more foreign oil -- that's the real Obama," the ad's narrator says while crowds screaming, "Obama!" are shown.

Responding to the ad, Obama spokesman Tommy Vietor said, "On a day when major news organizations across the country are taking Sen. McCain to task for a steady stream of false, negative attacks, his campaign has launched yet another. Or, as some might say, 'Oops! He did it again.' "

The ad is the latest in a string of hard-hitting television commercials from the McCain campaign. Earlier spots suggest Obama is playing politics with the Iraq war, is against funding American troops and bears some of the responsibility for high gas prices.
The campaign says the ad will run in 11 battleground states: Colorado, Iowa, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin.

In a conference call with reporters announcing the ad, McCain adviser Rick Davis said of Obama's campaign coverage: "The focus on media, on events and activities, is much more something you'd expect from someone releasing a new movie."

"What we decided to do was find the top three international celebrities in the world," he said.

"And I would say that from our estimation, Britney and Paris came in second and third. So from our perspective, we have the biggest three celebrities in the world."

Davis also brushed aside suggestions the ad will be viewed by the American public as going negative.

"Will people think of this as negative advertising? Look, it's the most entertaining thing I've seen on TV in a while. I wouldn't anticipate anything about this being negative," he said.
Steve Schmidt, another top McCain adviser, also said it was accurate to compare Obama to the two celebrities who, as one reporter said on the call, are often portrayed as "frivolous and irresponsible."

"I don't poll Paris Hilton and Britney Spears, but I know they're international celebrities, so apples to apples," he said.

A McCain adviser also told CNN's Dana Bash the ad targets Obama's "outrageous, narcissistic statements."

"It has not gone unnoticed by this campaign that Obama makes outrageous, narcissistic statements suggesting that his candidacy is what the world has been waiting for. Excuse me?" the adviser said. "What's going to happen when he parts the sea? What about all the fish in the middle?" the adviser said.

While Obama was overseas last week on his tour through the Middle East and Europe, the McCain campaign sarcastically addressed the Illinois senator's media coverage.

In an e-mail to supporters last week, the McCain campaign said, "It's pretty obvious that the media has a bizarre fascination with Barack Obama. Some may even say it's a love affair."

The campaign compiled clips of reporters praising Obama and made two videos set to music -- one with "Can't Take My Eyes Off of You" and the other to "My Eyes Adored You."

The campaign also gave reporters covering McCain in Pennsylvania a fake European press pass.

The pass featured a shot of the Statue of Liberty in front of an American flag, and the words: "McCain Press Corps/JV Squad/Left Behind To Report in America."

The back had a picture of a man sporting a beret and a neck scarf, standing in front of a silhouette of the Eiffel Tower and pouring a glass of wine.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

The Manchurian Candidate

Another day, another wild article about Barack Obama being a "secret Muslim." My first response is: So what?
Maybe it is because I live in the Pacific Northwest, the most un-churched area of the country, and as Mencken put it; news of my excommunication would bother me less than my morning Katzenjammer. I could care less what religion Obama is, as long as his agenda doesn't involve replacing the constitution with it.
Upon examining the "secret Muslim" lunacy, just how dumb do they think we are? (Please don't answer that, I really don't want to know) When the old Soviet Union sent a spy into the US, they made great pains to give him a plausable identity, trained him in American customs, literature, language, etc. The object was to pass him off as a typical American.
There are special schools in India to train call center operators to lose their accents, so Americans think the person on the other end of the line is from Iowa.
If a radical Islamic sect planned on placing a mole into the highest levels of American government, would they choose a black man named Barack? It's too obvious.
Desperate times call for desperate measures, and the right wing is becoming increasingly desperate to cling to power even as the results of their bankrupt policies become apparent to all but the most rabid of their followers. They're tossing out everything, hoping something will stick.