Archive for the ‘Ethics’ Category

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The Palin Scandal Redux

July 4, 2009

Back in October, I wrote a little piece about Sarah Palin and her house–the links to the building supply company, the Wasilla Sports Complex, and all of the odd goings on. Well, it looks like it may be coming to a head. She’s resigning, and word on the street is that the Wasilla Sports Complex quid pro quo is the reason why. Let’s take a look at my October of 2008 post:

Massive Palin Scandal Brewing

h1 October 13, 2008 A scandal twice the size of Ted Stevens’ is brewing for Sarah Palin. No, it’s not the troopergate report, which in its own right is a monumental scandal, but one that hasn’t hit the mainstream media yet. This one’s a doozie. A half million dollar doozie.

Those of us who pay attention to the election with our proverbial telescopes and microscopes have all seen the pictures of Sarah Palin’s beautiful home overlooking a pristine Alaskan lake. It’s very picturesque, and enviable for most Americans. Now, it’s all the more idyllic if you believe the Palin’s–Todd built it himself, with his own two hands. What a nice image, but is that image the true one?

The home was constructed in 2002, right before Sarah Palin’s tenure as the director of Ted Stevens’ PAC, Ted Stevens Excellence in Public Service, Incorporated. Ted Stevens, you may recall, was indicted for taking a quarter of a million dollars worth of gifts in the form of construction on his Alaskan cabin, and there are potential striking similarities to Sarah Palin’s situation. Not only is it improbable that Todd Palin built an almost 4,000 square foot luxury home with a ‘couple of buddies’, but it is looking as though Todd Palin had very little to do with the construction other than supervision.

Remember the massive, and horribly overpriced sports complex that Sarah Palin pushed through in Wasilla? Well, it seems that the sports complex contractors and architect have strong links and ties to Palin. Spenard Building Supplies was one, and wouldn’t you know, they also supplied the materials for the Palin’s home. Sure, a small connection, but get this–Spenard also was the supplier for Ted Stevens cabin. This one building supply company is involved with Palin, Stevens, the Wasilla sports complex, and is a financial contributor to Palin. Keep in mind that the sports complex was being constructed at the very same time as the Palin’s home.

This connection is neither fleeting, nor minor. This appears to be a pattern of concurrent events that makes it more and more likely that the Palin’s home may have been some sort of quid pro quo arrangement for the massive influx of money into the building supply company. An area that could reinforce this connection would be if the architect of the Wasilla sports complex, Blase Burkhart (also a contributor to Palin), had anything to do with the construction of the Palin’s home.

Another interesting twist to the story is that Sarah Palin was, at the time, also running for Lieutenant Governor, a position that could further reward those contributing to her campaign, and those that were involved with the Wasilla sports complex and the construction of Sarah Palin’s home. We know that Alaska has been a bastion of corrupt political activities.

Spenard Building Supplies has connections to Ted Stevens indictment, but also the Murkowskis. They have been a major contributor to Murkowski’s daughter’s Senate run. Frank Murkowski was the center of a massive corruption probe, with his Chief of Staff, Jim Clark, being found guilty in a conspiracy involving Veco, the company at the center of the Ted Stevens corruption scandal. Spenard worked with Veco on Stevens cabin.

So, Sarah Palin’s home involves a company involved with Ted Stevens, Palin became the director of Ted Stevens PAC within months after the home was built, and there is a plausible quid pro quo with the involvement of the $12,500,000 Wasilla sports complex. These connections are proven with city, state  and court documents, the question now is whether Palin’s home had any amount of work contributed by Spenard, Veco, Burkhart, or any other contractors involved with the building of the Wasilla sports complex. My guess? There’s more to this story than has been uncovered so far. Todd Palin didn’t build a nearly 4,000 square foot luxury, lakeside home valued at over $500,000 by himself. Who helped him build it?

Sources for this entry include The Village Voice and StopThinkVote

Makes sense to me still. How about you?

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The Undeniable Idiocy of Palin

October 31, 2008

Sarah Palin sometime just before, and just after saying something completely asinine

Celebrities are notorious for saying some of the most outrageously asinine things that can be imagined. Tom Cruise, the master of glibness, has a streak of about 20 years of this, as does Jon Voight. These aren’t sane men, at least not if their silly comments are a peek into their actual worldview, and not just moments of confusion in front of the cameras. It doesn’t matter what their political views are, bat-shit insane extends throughout the whole spectrum. We expect this from them, and the other people famous for memorizing lines of dialogue, but Sarah Palin? She has a special place in the bat-shit insane category–a place reserved for those that should know better, but are just far too dumb to understand.

Politicians seeking the highest offices of the nation are supposed to be intelligent. They need to have the wherewithal to analyze and solve problems of such magnitude that history is affected by their decisions. A sound base of understanding and capability to piece together the various doctrines set forth by the forefathers and the preceding great administrators of our democracy is absolutely mandatory to make such decisions. One of the most basic of these doctrines is the Bill of Rights.

We should be able to expect that someone put forth as a major party candidate has a firm understanding of the Bill of Rights. It’s only twenty seven amendments that need to be understood, and one of those was repealed, simplifying the task. With sixteen years in politics, no matter the level she was serving at, one could reasonably expect Sarah Palin to have a firm grasp of these simple concepts. However, she has fallen far short of reasonable expectation, and her latest insight into the Bill of Rights leaves us no doubt as to the level of idiocy she has attained.

For those that have refused to read, or even take a quick gander at the Bill of Rights, here’s the First Amendment:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

There’s six main points within the this amendment, so let’s just take “Congress shall make no law…abridging the freedom of speech…”

Sarah Palin, in all of her glory, stated today:

If [the media] convince enough voters that that is negative campaigning, for me to call Barack Obama out on his associations, then I don’t know what the future of our country would be in terms of First Amendment rights and our ability to ask questions without fear of attacks by the mainstream media.

How monumentally idiotic is this statement? Not all of the marble quarries, in all of the countries on earth, could possibly provide the material to celebrate this idiocy with a monument fittingly large enough. It’s that convoluted, that moronic, and that far off from what the First Amendment deals with. We expect more from a major party nominee for Vice President.

Let’s just deal with her First Amendment right to free speech, for the time being. She has the right to say a lot of things–there is no denying this–and she’s speaking very, very freely. Some could argue that she’s even riding a fine line between free speech, and speech that is slanderous (per se). I won’t go into that here, as slander is tort law, and we’re just dealing with the First Amendment in a more pure state.

She hasn’t been stopped, by any party, from speaking. Many, if not most, of her speeches are televised, broadcast around the country, and the world, for billions to hear. There has been no speech filter placed between herself and the masses huddled in front of the evening news, and no attempt to stop her from spouting off what she wants to on the stages constructed for that purpose. Her freedom of speech has not only not been denied, it has been amplified far beyond the common person’s ability.

Her assertion that the the press is threatening her ability to exercise her freedom of speech is ludicrous. She cites the “fear of attack” by the ‘mainstream media’ as that threat to her freedoms. Nowhere in the First Amendment does it state, nor in any precedent, that the press cannot examine and analyze the speech made by an individual to the point of making that person fearful to speak freely. On the contrary, the press is guaranteed to do such things, right there after the individual’s right to the freedom of speech.

The press needs to be free to criticize Sarah Palin’s various opinions and statements put forth in order for our democracy to function well. It’s not a matter of getting her to stop speaking, or to dissuade her from do so, but to inform the general public of the veracity (or lack thereof) and implications of the various statements she makes. The freedom of the press, especially in disseminating information and opinion contrary to that which is put forth by our politicians, is not only in the best interests of the public, it is mandatory for the continuation of informed voting.

This cockamamie argument that the press labeling some of her speech as ‘negative campaigning’ is abridging her freedom of speech is not only wrongheaded, but a dangerous mischaracterization of the First Amendment. Her speech has not been infringed upon in the slightest, and to posit that criticism of her statements by the press is harmful to her First Amendment rights is laughable. That same press, that ‘mainstream media’ that she is attacking is the same press that gives her hour upon hour of coverage…in her own words. She could have even more camera time, if she so chose, but her ineptness as answering even the simplest of questions has made the McCain campaign limit the outlets of her free, and mind-numbingly foolish, speech.

Sarah Palin, spare us your horrifically idiotic interpretations of the First Amendment. Your ignorance knows no bounds. Your freedoms have not been threatened, but if you get elected all of our freedoms will be threatened by your idiocy.

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Vote Flipping, Vote Caging, and Suppression Problems

October 29, 2008

Testimonials of vote flipping

And here’s the ‘problem’

And some nasty voter registration challenges in Missouri (‘caging’, a violation of the Voting Rights Act)

Vote caging exposé

pt. 2

Oh, my…more

Sen. Whitehouse (isn’t that the best name for a politician?) on vote caging

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Sarah Palin and Ted Stevens-Video-What is Their Real Relationship?

October 28, 2008

This was a great day, and one that makes us also realize that there are elements in this nation that will fight against us every step of the way. I’m not talking about fighting against Democrats, or Republicans, but all of us, our freedoms and our democracy. There were the skinheads found, arrested, and taken out of action from outrageous plans of killing simply because of melanin levels in their proposed victims, and then there was Ted Stevens, the senior Senator from Alaska. Stevens was found guilty of all seven charges relating to his cabin’s refurbishment, and his relationship with Veco, an oil services company.

Both of these elements are a destructive force on our landscape. One outwardly spouts hate, and proposes a ‘cleansing’ of those people that they find don’t fit their perception of what America is, attacking democracy from the outside in; the other works quietly, behind closed doors, eroding democracy from the inside out. Both are heinous and devoid of redeemable qualities, but both are now stopped (at least for the time being) from doing anymore damage than they already have.

Outward from these individuals, however, are people and events that still need to be understood. A corrupt politician is nothing without the means to be so, and radical planners of hate crimes did not get their ideas from the ether. These people are interconnected with all sorts of other people and ideas, and the following is an example of the interconnectedness of Ted Stevens with someone else you may recognize:

There are legitimate questions about the running mate of John McCain. Here, on this blog, I briefly examined her house, and the similarities its building has to Ted Stevens’ cabin situation. They shared the same building supply company, and they both were massive improvements done in strange manners. When Governor Palin was Mayor, she made sure that building codes were not put in place before she built her house. Todd says he built the immaculate home with a ‘couple of buddies’. There were events going on down a short road from the Palin’s house construction site, though, that make the situation so strange. The Wasilla Sports Complex was being erected, and the same building supply company supplied both with their material–the same exact building supply company that was involved in the Ted Stevens’ cabin refurbishing. Oh, and did I mention, that building supply company seems to be a big Republican donor?

There they were, all too familiar with each other. Ted Stevens and Sarah Palin, mucking it up and making nice on camera. A show of support from Sarah Palin to a Senator who, at the time, had been indicted for the crimes he has now been convicted of. Governor Palin is so close to Ted Stevens that she headed up a PAC for him. A political Action committee that gave her the state stage from which to introduce herself to the Alaskan state Republican party. Before that she was a small town mayor. A former Alaska Independence Party member who switch to become a Republican in order to run for mayor. She was already scheming her way up the ladder, and Ted Stevens gave her that ladder. So what gives with her making nice in front of the cameras with a man about to be taken down with national media attention. It’s a risky move for a governor who, from what I’ve been hearing, was already lobbying to be the VP nominee.

I view the meeting and make nice session as a capitulation by Palin to Stevens. The embattled cannot dictate terms, especially something so major as a sit-down in front of news cameras without something to negotiate with. Stevens plays hardball. Not typical hardball, but hardball even by Washington standards. This is a class A, 100 percent certified bastard of a politician. The man was indicted on seven counts of corruption, and he still gets Palin, the sitting governor of the state with VP aspirations (and more) to defend him. He has something on her–something bigger than what can be passed off with a sleight of hand.

They both have ties to the oil industry that have been questioned. In Palin’s case, she negotiated a pipeline deal that favored only one company. That company happened to have an inside player, the head of Palin’s pipeline team had been hired as a lobbyist for the winning company. With Ted Stevens, he is now known to have taken over $250,000 worth of goods and services from an oil company. These events may seem disconnected, but they stem from the same attitude, the same inner circle, and from the same ethos and teachings that Stevens passed onto Palin when he groomed her for bigger things. Now the end game is afoot, and the lessons to be learned will haunt them both.

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New Ad Slams McCain on Gambling Ties

October 27, 2008

As I pointed out exactly one month ago today, John McCain has ties to the gambling industry that seem strange, at best. His contributors are the upper management of casinos, indicating an expectation of gambling expansion with his support. A watchdog group, called ‘Campaign Money Watch’ has released a new ad exploring the McCain/gambling industry connection.

Watch:

The following is a list I compiled last month of just Winn casino (and closely affiliated entities) employees that donated to John McCain and the RNC from April to July of this year. That’s right, this amount of money from only one casino operation in just three months:

Contributor Date Amount Recipient
Early, Peter L 5/7/2008 $28,500 Republican National Cmte (R)
Schorr, Marc 5/7/2008 $28,500 Republican National Cmte (R)
Wynn, Elaine 5/7/2008 $28,500 Republican National Cmte (R)
Maddox, Matt 5/7/2008 $7,700 Republican National Cmte (R)
Peterson, Scott E 5/7/2008 $7,700 Republican National Cmte (R)
BUTLER, DE RUYTER O 5/2/2008 $3,000 Republican National Cmte (R)
Sinatra, Kimmarie 5/29/2008 $2,900 Republican National Cmte (R)
Wooden, Maurice L 5/7/2008 $2,700 Republican National Cmte (R)
EARLY, PETER L MR 4/28/2008 $2,300 McCain, John (R)
KRAMER, RONALD J MR 7/31/2008 $2,300 McCain, John (R)
MADDOX, MATT MR 5/9/2008 $2,300 McCain, John (R)
NADY, LAURIE B MRS 4/28/2008 $2,300 McCain, John (R)
OSELAND, ROBERT L MR II 5/9/2008 $2,300 McCain, John (R)
PETERSON, SCOTT E MR 5/9/2008 $2,300 McCain, John (R)
SCHORR, MARC D MR 5/2/2008 $2,300 McCain, John (R)
SINATRA, KIMMARIE MRS 5/31/2008 $2,300 McCain, John (R)
SINATRA, KIMMARIE MRS 5/31/2008 $2,300 McCain, John (R)
Thomas, Roger 5/7/2008 $2,300 Republican National Cmte (R)
THOMAS, ROGER MR 5/9/2008 $2,300 McCain, John (R)
WOODEN, MAURICE L MR 5/9/2008 $2,300 McCain, John (R)
WYNN, ELAINE MRS 4/30/2008 $2,300 McCain, John (R)
ALLISON, WESLEY MR 5/9/2008 $1,000 McCain, John (R)
SCHALL, JASON M MR 5/9/2008 $1,000 McCain, John (R)
TOUREK, KEVIN JAMES MR 5/9/2008 $1,000 McCain, John (R)
Oseland, Robert L II 5/7/2008 $200 Republican National Cmte (R)
$142,600

Information gathered from FEC reports through opensecrets.org

Something’s wrong with this picture. Why so much money, in such a short time from just one of the casino operations? Surely they’re getting something if McCain wins, and I doubt it’s any sort of oversight. You see, John McCain is a gambling man. He freely admits it. He plays craps, he gambles massive amounts of money. He’s been spotting gambling in high rollers rooms, not just run of the mill ones. This is a guy who doesn’t understand probability, someone who thinks that, for some reason, they are above certain mathematical truths.

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McCain Breaking Campaign Laws, At Least 7 Million Dollars in Illegal Donations

October 26, 2008

John McCain is under severe scrutiny for campaign finance violations

The McCain campaign is attempting to obfuscate very serious inquiries into their fundraising practices. According to reports, the McCain campaign has received more than the legal amount in donations from 6,653 donors, totaling a stunning $7,000,000 in his primary campaign alone. At least one donor gave McCain an outlandish $56,047, so far in excess of the legal limit of $2,300 as to make it no longer even a plausible mistake.

McCain’s primary battle was hard fought at first, and his campaign suffered from a lack of funds that was often reported. It seems that to counteract this poor fundraising showing, either the McCain campaign itself began using illegal tactics, or each the 6,653 donors decided separately, and without urging, to skirt the law to give McCain an advantage. If the number were under 1,000, I may have been more willing to believe the latter scenario. Such a large number of donors, however, and such an unbelievable amount of cash collected in this manner leads me to believe that it was a concerted and accepted tactic on behalf of the campaign.

This is a depiction of what the McCain campaign may have been doing with the illegal contributions just before spreading it all over the floor and rolling in it.

Nineteen donors decided to give McCain over $10,000 each, an amount not only out of any bounds of legality, but one that comes quickly to the attention of campaign workers and management. Donors are the lifeblood of campaigns, without the needed cash a campaign is stagnant, and must rely on the free media to get their message out. Donors of large amounts are often personally called by management not only to thank them, but to invite them here and there to events. It’s a personal relationship building tool that ensures donations in the general election, and also that donor then becomes a valuable asset to the fundraiser for future donations in other campaigns and issue oriented political endeavors. To have a call list for management without the donation totals tallied next to the name is laughable, and wouldn’t be acceptable in even a third rate congressional bid.

This comes after the McCain campaign solicited $5,000 from a Russian government official, not only illegal on its face, but also an amount far exceeding the campaign contribution limits put forth under McCain-Feingold. The combined allegations raise serious concerns over the McCain campaign’s fundraising practices, and further highlights the hypocrisy of their hyperbolic charges against John McCain’s opponent, Senator Obama.

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Ashley ‘McCain Hoaxer’ Todd on Video & She’s Upset With Media!

October 24, 2008

Ashley Todd, the dumbest racist political hoaxer since Albizer the Racist of Phoenicia, circa 850 BCE

The reviling McCain campaign volunteer* is suddenly very upset with the media for creating a ‘political firestorm‘ over her allegations that she was beaten, robbed, sexually assaulted, and mutilated by a 6’4″ black man who did these things simply because she had a McCain bumper sticker on her car. Yes, that’s right, she is claiming that it’s the media’s fault that her hoax was talked about in the first place. This leaves me wondering what her motivation was to give herself a black eye, scratch a backwards B into her cheek, and report it to police? Could she have only been looking for attention amongst a small group of people with this obviously ill-prepared hoax? Of course not.

Not only did she quite obviously intend for this to get into the media, the McCain campaign themselves attempted to capitalize on this incident, not only publicizing that McCain and Gov. Palin had called her to see how she was, but apparently pushing the story to reporters! It makes me wonder how much of this was her own inspiration, and how much it was a group effort.

This is the same idiot that posted videos on YouTube complaining about a tall (maybe 6’4″?) black janitor that removed some signs that she had obviously not received permission to put up:


And here’s Ashley ‘ZOMG! I just got beaten up by a fake Obama supporter!’ Todd introducing herself:


I’m sorry McCain campaign, but she is simply more than just a ‘volunteer’. The responsibilities she listed are more in line with a paid employee of an organization affiliated with the campaign, not a straight volunteer.

*currently there is a debate evolving as to whether on not she had a paid position for a group that works for the McCain campaign

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