Well, I was going to write about Obama. But my mind goes back to the Mormon Church sponsoring this Proposition in California that has the state in an uproar.
Here are the names of those who donated for the campaign:
Mormons for 8 Donors
Some interesting highlights. The Republican Party is in for a grand. An old folks home in Adelanto put in 5 Grand. Hey, I've been to Adelanto, these old cowboys got nothing better to do than make gay people feel bad? The Vineyard Group of Mesa Ariz in for $100K. And there's alot more people spending thousands of dollars to propogate the myth that marriage is something other than a legal contract.
Even the Governator came out today against the idiotic proposition.. only a few days late - but he said he thought it would be overturned by the courts.
My gay friends are understandably upset, but what makes this unusual is that they're not going to take it any more. They're rising up, and starting a boycott of those people and organizations that brought this hate filled Prop to our shores. And I say it's hate filled, not because it's about a moral issue, not because it's anti-gay - which of course it is - but because it's nonsense.
As I mentioned previously, the law doesn't recognize weddings. Weddings are the purview of religious groups, ceremonies, what have you. They can dictate whomever they want to be married in their church or in their organization. As a matter of law, marriage is something that is protected by the state, by the government, by the people - but not to prevent people from marrying, as in the case of different races marrying, but in the case of protection from discrimination.
However, I'm inclined to agree with my friends who feel that this is an unjust law thrust upon them by an insensitive public - and if a boycott of their businesses, or their companies, and protests in front of their places of business will help them become more sensitive, then I'm all for it. It took a bus strike for America to wake up to injustice in one community, and if it requires a boycott, then I for one will support it. Just let me know what restaurant, and what old folks home (!) I should stay out of.
Here's the creep roll. I'm boycotting any and all of their products, because they put their money where their mouths are, and they don't really deserve to be fed by the citizens of California.
And it's about time the Mormons stood up to be counted. Maybe now people will shine a light on their history, their belief system, because I believe the truth does set you free. Whether it's Joseph Smith pretending to be able to read an Egyptian hyeroglyphics or baptizing Jews so they can get into Mormon heaven, there's a whole lotta stuff that should and will come out by shining a light on their organization. What's that passage about people living in glass houses throwing stones?
My two cents.
It Still Felt Good the Morning After
Our nation was still in the same ditch it had been the day before, but the atmosphere was giddy. We felt good not only because we had breached a racial barrier as old as the Republic. Dawn also brought the realization that we were at last emerging from an abusive relationship with our country’s 21st-century leaders. The festive scenes of liberation that Dick Cheney had once imagined for Iraq were finally taking place — in cities all over America.
For eight years, we’ve been told by those in power that we are small, bigoted and stupid — easily divided and easily frightened. This was the toxic catechism of Bush-Rove politics. It was the soiled banner picked up by the sad McCain campaign, and it was often abetted by an amen corner in the dominant news media. We heard this slander of America so often that we all started to believe it, liberals most certainly included. If I had a dollar for every Democrat who told me there was no way that Americans would ever turn against the war in Iraq or definitively reject Bush governance or elect a black man named Barack Hussein Obama president, I could almost start to recoup my 401(k). Few wanted to take yes for an answer.
So let’s be blunt. Almost every assumption about America that was taken as a given by our political culture on Tuesday morning was proved wrong by Tuesday night.
The most conspicuous clichés to fall, of course, were the twin suppositions that a decisive number of white Americans wouldn’t vote for a black presidential candidate — and that they were lying to pollsters about their rampant racism. But the polls were accurate. There was no “Bradley effect.” A higher percentage of white men voted for Obama than any Democrat since Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton included.
Obama also won all four of those hunting-and-Hillary-loving Rust Belt states that became 2008’s obsession among slumming upper-middle-class white journalists: Pennsylvania and Michigan by double digits, as well as Ohio and even Indiana, which has gone Democratic only once (1964) since 1936. The solid Republican South, led by Virginia and North Carolina, started to turn blue as well. While there are still bigots in America, they are in unambiguous retreat.
And what about all those terrified Jews who reportedly abandoned their progressive heritage to buy into the smears libeling Obama as an Israel-hating terrorist? Obama drew a larger percentage of Jews nationally (78) than Kerry had (74) and — mazel tov, Sarah Silverman! — won Florida.
Let’s defend Hispanic-Americans, too, while we’re at it. In one of the more notorious observations of the campaign year, a Clinton pollster, Sergio Bendixen, told The New Yorker in January that “the Hispanic voter — and I want to say this very carefully — has not shown a lot of willingness or affinity to support black candidates.” Let us say very carefully that a black presidential candidate won Latinos — the fastest-growing demographic in the electorate — 67 percent to 31 (up from Kerry’s 53-to-44 edge and Gore’s 62-to-35).
Young voters also triumphed over the condescension of the experts. “Are they going to show up?” Cokie Roberts of ABC News asked in February. “Probably not. They never have before. By the time November comes, they’ll be tired.” In fact they turned up in larger numbers than in 2004, and their disproportionate Democratic margin made a serious difference, as did their hard work on the ground. They’re not the ones who need Geritol.
The same commentators who dismissed every conceivable American demographic as racist, lazy or both got Sarah Palin wrong too. When she made her debut in St. Paul, the punditocracy was nearly uniform in declaring her selection a brilliant coup. There hadn’t been so much instant over-the-top praise by the press for a cynical political stunt since President Bush “landed” a jet on the U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln in that short-lived triumph “Mission Accomplished.”
The rave reviews for Palin were completely disingenuous. Anyone paying attention (with the possible exception of John McCain) could see she was woefully ill-equipped to serve half-a-heartbeat away from the presidency. The conservatives Peggy Noonan and Mike Murphy said so on MSNBC when they didn’t know their mikes were on. But, hey, she was a dazzling TV presence, the thinking went, so surely doltish Americans would rally around her anyway. “She killed!” cheered Noonan about the vice-presidential debate, revising her opinion upward and marveling at Palin’s gift for talking “over the heads of the media straight to the people.” Many talking heads thought she tied or beat Joe Biden.
The people, however, were reaching a less charitable conclusion and were well ahead of the Beltway curve in fleeing Palin. Only after polls confirmed that she was costing McCain votes did conventional wisdom in Washington finally change, demoting her from Republican savior to scapegoat overnight.
But Palin’s appeal wasn’t overestimated only because of her kitschy “American Idol” star quality. Her fierce embrace of the old Karl Rove wedge politics, the divisive pitting of the “real America” against the secular “other” America, was also regarded as a sure-fire winner. The second most persistent assumption by both pundits and the McCain campaign this year — after the likely triumph of racism — was that the culture war battlegrounds from 2000 and 2004 would remain intact.
This is true in exactly one instance: gay civil rights. Though Rove’s promised “permanent Republican majority” lies in humiliating ruins, his and Bush’s one secure legacy will be their demagogic exploitation of homophobia. The success of the four state initiatives banning either same-sex marriage or same-sex adoptions was the sole retro trend on Tuesday. And Obama, who largely soft-pedaled the issue this year, was little help. In California, where other races split more or less evenly on a same-sex marriage ban, some 70 percent of black voters contributed to its narrow victory.
That lagging indicator aside, nearly every other result on Tuesday suggests that while the right wants to keep fighting the old boomer culture wars, no one else does. Three state initiatives restricting abortion failed. Bill Ayers proved a lame villain, scaring no one. Americans do not want to revisit Vietnam (including in Iraq). For all the attention paid by the news media and McCain-Palin to rancorous remembrances of things past, I sometimes wondered whether most Americans thought the Weather Underground was a reunion band and the Hanoi Hilton a chain hotel. Socialism, the evil empire and even Ronald Reagan may be half-forgotten blurs too.
If there were any doubts the 1960s are over, they were put to rest Tuesday night when our new first family won the hearts of the world as it emerged on that vast blue stage to join the celebration in Chicago’s Grant Park. The bloody skirmishes that took place on that same spot during the Democratic convention 40 years ago — young vs. old, students vs. cops, white vs. black — seemed as remote as the moon. This is another America — hardly a perfect or prejudice-free America, but a union that can change and does, aspiring to perfection even if it can never achieve it.
Still, change may come slowly to the undying myths bequeathed to us by the Bush decade. “Don’t think for a minute that power concedes,” Obama is fond of saying. Neither does groupthink. We now keep hearing, for instance, that America is “a center-right nation” — apparently because the percentages of Americans who call themselves conservative (34), moderate (44) and liberal (22) remain virtually unchanged from four years ago. But if we’ve learned anything this year, surely it’s that labels are overrated. Those same polls find that more and more self-described conservatives no longer consider themselves Republicans. Americans now say they favor government doing more (51 percent), not less (43) — an 11-point swing since 2004 — and they still overwhelmingly reject the Iraq war. That’s a centrist country tilting center-left, and that’s the majority who voted for Obama.
The post-Bush-Rove Republican Party is in the minority because it has driven away women, the young, suburbanites, black Americans, Latino-Americans, Asian-Americans, educated Americans, gay Americans and, increasingly, working-class Americans. Who’s left? The only states where the G.O.P. increased its percentage of the presidential vote relative to the Democrats were West Virginia, Tennessee, Louisiana and Arkansas. Even the North Carolina county where Palin expressed her delight at being in the “real America” went for Obama by more than 18 percentage points.
The actual real America is everywhere. It is the America that has been in shell shock since the aftermath of 9/11, when our government wielded a brutal attack by terrorists as a club to ratchet up our fears, betray our deepest constitutional values and turn Americans against one another in the name of “patriotism.” What we started to remember the morning after Election Day was what we had forgotten over the past eight years, as our abusive relationship with the Bush administration and its press enablers dragged on: That’s not who we are.
So even as we celebrated our first black president, we looked around and rediscovered the nation that had elected him. “We are the ones we’ve been waiting for,” Obama said in February, and indeed millions of such Americans were here all along, waiting for a leader. This was the week that they reclaimed their country.
ah... it's over.
we can all breathe a sigh of relief.
unless you're gay in LA. I think it's interesting to hear and read pundits debate this vote in california. On bill maher last night, it was opined that Hollywood was too chicken to vote down Prop 8 - (Prop Hate) and the evidence was that "Crash" beat "Brokeback Mountain" for an Oscar. C'mon.
It's pretty simple. People are prejudiced. They were and are prejudiced against other minorities that are different than they are. I was part of a program in the 60's called "Wingspread" - where a black high school from the south side of chicago teamed up with a white high school from the suburbs - and a group of students switched with each other. I became friends with the guy that I was assigned to - Frank Allen - despite growing up in the projects, he was like me in many ways, same kinds of interests (blues and piano) same position in football (guard and linebacker) same sense of humor (wacked) a fan of ripple wine that we'd get from Walgreens, we had many many laughs. However, the color of his skin was blacker than any person I'd ever met at the time, and I'll never forget when my friend Dave's mom nearly fainted when she ran into him at the local grocery store. Her three boys stood there and stammered and she had her mouth agape. Frank just smiled. Also remember hanging with him on the South side, and one of his friends little brothers coming over and feeling my arm. "I just wanted to see if the color of your skin would come off," he said "cause I've never touched a white person." That was pretty weird. We lived about 20 miles apart, but lifetimes apart.
But that was the 70's. And when the group of students who gathered together as part of Wingspread went to their final lunch together in Chinatown, I remember how everyone in the group made fun of the Asians in the restaurant - mocking their accents, eyes, etc. I thought to myself, "Wow, people don't learn anything other than their own world view." I was 15 at the time. I saw that prejudice was always there until you got to meet the other person, or minority.
Well it is everywhere. Some 70% of the minorities in California voted for Prop 8, the anti gay marriage ballot. 49% of the white voters voted for it, the rest against. So it was the minority vote that put it onto the books, preventing gays from marrying each other (or being legally bound to each other.)
Hey, I got news for you. And listen up you folks in Mormonland; MARRIAGE IS A CIVIL MATTER OF LAW. A legal matter if you will, which only means something to the state and the courts. A WEDDING IS A MATTER OF RELIGION, or ritual, or getting together, or whatever it is that you want to have to commemorate your vows.
So, people can have whatever wedding ceremony they want. It can be Mormon, it can be Lutheran, it can be on the moon - but it has nothing to do with the eyes of the law, which doesn't recognize a marriage unless it's a contract.
About 50 years ago it was illegal for races to intermarry. Was that a religious choice? I saw in the LA Times today, some nincompoop saying "I was born black. I didn't have a choice. These people weren't born gay. They chose being gay." Well, that's not true. At least if you believe in science - but genetic studies show that people have a predisposition to their sexuality. If you ever ask anyone when they started having feelings for someone else, they'll tell you it's in the early teen years when they start to know what kind of lover they prefer - even if they don't wind up going down that path.
However, I can't let the euphoria of Barack Obama's historic victory to get in the way of my feelings how wrong this Proposition was. I agree that the anti prop 8 people probably missed a chance to go into African American and Latino churches and preach tolerance - but they also missed the opportunity of showing how this is a matter of civil rights - because it's about civil laws - and you can't legislate civil rights away.. at least not while the country has a Constitution. If it's okay for races to intermarry, then it's okay for sexes to intermarry. That's pretty simple. If you're offended by races intermarrying, you have no right to stop them - it's the same with people of the same sex. The legal argument is the same.
So.. they have to go back into court, and they will win in court, because logic and the law is on their side. And until we decide that civil rights don't matter, then it will remain an unsolved mystery - but someone has to get out into the world to teach the truth; gays ARE BORN THAT WAY (as if shouting would help!), Marriage is a matter of civil law, and Weddings are a matter of ceremony - and one has nothing to do with the other.
Barack and Joe say they're "anti gay marriage" but pro gay unions. That's nonsense. I agree it's the most prudent position to take in an election, but it's false - it's based on prejudice. It's based on a belief that marriage has something to do with morality - when we all know how quick divorces can become law, and how easy it is to get married in Vegas but Marriage is a matter of the heart, and a matter of law - and no amount of legislating it is going to change the fundamental truth; gays have a right to marry, just like blacks and whites have a right to marry each other, just like Chinese and Latinos have a right to marry each other, just like an 80 year old business mogul can marry a girl 60 years his junior.
We are either a nation of laws, or we aren't.
my two cents
This is hilarious. Sarah Palin thinks she's talking to French President Sarkozy. Wow. Punk'd!!!
Working from CatM's great transcript, I changed a few things, added in the French and explained the cultural references.
SP Assist: This is Betsy.
MA: Hello, Betsy. This is Frank l’ouvrier (Frank the worker], I’m with President Sarkozy, on the line for Governor Palin.
SP Assist: One second please, can you hold on one second please?
MA: No problem.
SP Assist: Hi, I’m going to hand the phone over to her.
MA: Okay thank you very much I’m going to put the president on the line.
SP Assist: Ok he’s coming to the line.
SP: This is Sarah.
MA: Okay, Governor Palin?
SP: Hellloooo...(long drawn out, like Well, hellooooo)
MA: Just hold on for President Sarkozy, one moment.
SP [To someone in the room]: Oh, it’s not him yet, I always do that. I’ll just have people hand it to me right when it’s them.
FNS: Yes, hello, Governor Palin? Yes, hello, Mrs. Governor?
SP: Hello this is Sarah., how are you?
FNS: Fine, and you, this is Nicolas Sarkozy speaking, how are you?
SP: Oh...so good, it’s so good to hear you. Thank you for calling us.
FNS: Oh, it’s a pleasure.
SP: Thank you sir, we have such great respect for you, John McCain and I, we love you and thank you for spending a few minutes to talk to me.
FNS: I follow your campaigns closely with my special American Advisor Johnny Hallyday (the most famous French singer, looks like and sings like Elvis), you know?
SP: Yes! Good!
FNS: Excellent! Are you confident?
SP: Very confident and we’re thankful that the polls are showing that the race is tightening and--
FNS: Well I know very well that the campaign can be exhausting. How do you feel right now my dear?
SP: Ah, I feel so good. I feel like we’re in a marathon and at the very end of the marathon, you get your second wind and you plow to the finish—
FNS: You see, I got elected in France because I’m real and you seem to be someone who’s real as well.
SP: Yes, yeah, Nicolas, we so appreciate this opportunity.
FNS: You know, I see you as a president, one day, you too.
SP: [Muahaaa...weird laugh], maybe in 8 years. Haha
FNS: Well, ah, I hope for you. You know we have a lot in common because personally one of my favorite activities is to hunt too.
SP: [Giggle]o h very good, we should go hunting together.
FNS: Exactly! We could go try hunting by helicopter, like you did, I never did that.
FNS: Like we say in France, "on pourrait tuer des bébés phoques aussi" [Translation: We could also kill some baby seals.]
SP: [Giggle] Well I think we could have a lot of fun together as we’re getting work done, we can kill two birds with one stone that way.
FNS: I just love killing those animals. Mm, mm. Take away a life, that is so fun!
FNS: I’d really love to go as long as we don’t bring your Vice president Cheney, hahaha.
SP: No, I’ll be a careful shot, yes.
FNS: You know we have a lot in common also except that from my ass I can see Belgium. That’s kind of less interesting than you.
SP: Well, see, we’re right next door to other countries that we all need to be working with, yes.
FNS: Some people said in the last days, and I thought that was mean, that you weren’t experienced enough in foreign relations, and you know, that’s completely false, that’s the thing I said to my great friend, the Prime Minister of Canada, Stef Carse [Stephen Harper is the PM and Stef Carse is a Quebecois country singer who covered Billy Ray Cyrus' Achy Breaky Heart in French in the 90s].
SP: Well, he’s doing fine, too, and yeah when you come into a position underestimated, it gives you the opportunity to prove the pundits and the critics wrong. You work that much harder-
FNS: I, I was wondering because you are also next to him, one of my good friends, also, the prime minister of Quebec, Mr. Richard Z. Sirois [a famous Quebec radio host], have you met him recently? Did he come to one of your rallies?
SP: Uh, haven’t seen him at one of the rallies, but it’s been great working with the Canadian officials in my role as governor; we have a great cooperative effort there as we work on all of our resource development projects. You know I look forward to working with you and getting to meet you personally and your beautiful wife, oh my goodness, you’ve added a lot of energy to your country, even, with that beautiful family of yours.
FNS: Thank you very much. You know my wife, Carla, would love to meet you. You know even though she was a bit jealous that I was supposed to speak to you today. [Hahahaha]
SP: [Hahahha] Well give her a big hug from me.
FNS: You know my wife is a popular singer and a former top model and she’s so hot in bed. She even wrote a song for you.
SP: Oh my goodness! I didn’t know that.
FNS: Yes, in French, it’s called "Du rouge à lèvres sur une cochonne" [Translate: Lipstick for a sow literally (but not properly) but it actually means an uninhibited girl] or if you prefer in English Joe the Plumber, [sings] It’s his life, Joe the Plumber..."
SP: Maybe she understands some of the unfair criticism but I bet you she is such a hard worker, too, and she realizes you just plow through that criticism like
FNS: I just want to be sure, I don’t’ quite understand the phenomenon "Joe the Plumber," that’s not your husband, right?
SP: Mmhmm, that’s into my husband but he’s a normal American who just works hard and doesn’t want government to take his money.
FNS: Yes, yes, I understand, we have the equivalent of Joe the Plumber in France, it’s called, "Marcel, the guy with bread under his armpit, oui."
SP: Right. That’s what it’s all about, is the middle class, and government needing to work for them. You’re a very good example for us here.
FNS: I seen a bit about NBC even Fox News wasn’t an ally, an ally, sorry, about as much as usual.
SP: Yeah that’s what we’re up against.
FNS: I must say, Governor Palin, I love the documentary they made on your life, you know, Hustler’s "Nailin Palin."
SP: Oh, good, thank you. Yes.
FNS: That was really edgy.
SP: [Laughs] Well good.
FNS: I really love you. And I must say something, so, Governor, you’ve been pranked.
By the Master Avengers. We’re two comedians from Montreal
SP: Oohhh have we been pranked? And what radio station is this? [tries to force herself to sound nice but you can tell she’s pissed]
FNS: This is for CKOI in Montreal.
SP: In Montreal? Tell me the radio station call letters
[SP leaves phone, continuous griping in background, sounds like, "For chrissakes...that was ??? Just a radio station prank...chrissakes..."]
MA: Hello? If one voice can change the world for Obama, one Viagra can change the world for McCain.
[Man’s voice in background: hang up, hang up.]
SP Assist: Hi, I’m sorry, I have to let you go. Um, thank you.
by montsegur1234 on Sat Nov 01, 2008 at 03:43:03 PM PDT
I'm more than a little peeved at the nonsense coming out of the fear mongers during this campaign. I've gotten emails about Bill Ayers, emails about voter fraud with regard to ACORN, and I've heard every outrageous lie told about Barack Obama. As a thinking individual, I wish I knew more about Senator Obama, (PBS's Front Line) raised some interesting dimensions about both men) but I can't because of the smoke screen his opponents have put up. Filled with such outrageous nonsense and lies, I can't see the candidate for the smoke. He seems like a nice guy, a legit guy, an intelligent guy who knows how to surround himself with smart and smarter people. And he seems to have figured out how to lead the nation in just the few months we've known him. I used to like John McCain, but the use of lies and lying in his campaign has sickened me, and he's absolutely ruined his reputation and career. The fact that he has surrogates lying for him now, (FOX News and Rupert Murdoch showing their true colors) just brings to mind another era in our planet's history, where LIES and LYING was the coin of the realm. Let's hope we never get down this path again, but it reminds me of every lie that's come out from the Bush administration, whether about WMD's or Valerie Plame or .. the bailout. And now that McCain has become an expert at this disinformation, I can only turn to two figures who talked about the value of lies in their own administrations:
What famous politicians said the following?
"Naturally, the common people don't want war, but after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. This is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in every country."
The second quote is from the guy who was the leader of the guy who said the first quote. Can you guess who that is? This guy's boss, said the following quote:
"The size of the lie is a definite factor in causing it to be believed, for the vast masses of the nation are in the depths of their hearts more easily deceived than they are consciously and intentionally bad. The primitive simplicity of their minds renders them a more easy prey to a big lie than a small one, for they themselves often tell little lies but would be ashamed to tell a big one."
Quote #1 was Herman Goering, speaking at the Nuremberg Trials.
#2 was his boss: Adolf Hitler, from Mein Kampf
I'm not saying Republicans are Nazis. I come from a long line of conservative, funny, warm, Irish Republicans. Chicago Republicans no less. My Irish grandparents were high up in the Republican party, WWII veterans, commander of the American Legion and were close friends with Everett Dirksen. I know they're rolling in their graves at this nonsense coming out of the mouths of the pundits and candidates alike; attacking Obama's character, misrepresenting his policies, grasping at straws to make him seem UnAmerican, dishonorable, a socialist, or anything he's not. It's one thing to be against big government, but its another thing to attack the character and patriotism of a US Senator who happens to be an opponent. This ain't the party of Lincoln.
Can't wait for this election to be over so we can all take a bath to get this slime off of us, that's been slung so fiercely. I truly hope our nation can recover from its self inflicted wounds.
My two cents.
Lawyer Slapped With $10K in Sanctions for 'Laundry List of Unethical Actions'
Shannon P. Duffy
The Legal Intelligencer
July 25, 2005
U.S. District Judge J. Curtis Joyner's 10-page opinion in Holsworth v. Berg is packed with criticism of the conduct of attorney Philip Berg of Lafayette Hill, Pa.
"Other attorneys should look to Mr. Berg's actions as a blueprint for what not to do when attempting to effectively and honorably perform the duties of the legal profession," Joyner wrote.
"This court has grown weary of Mr. Berg's continuous and brazen disrespect toward this court and his own clients. Mr. Berg's actions ... are an enormous waste of judicial time and resources that this court cannot, in good conscience, allow to go unpunished," Joyner wrote.
In the suit, Berg is accused of legal malpractice by former clients who claim his failure to respond to an ERISA claim against them led to a default judgment.
But the sanctions against Berg stem from his decision to file a third-party counterclaim of fraud against a pension fund that had sued his former clients, according to court papers.
Joyner blasted Berg for filing the fraud claim, calling it an "irresponsible decision" because the claim was "utterly barren of any scintilla of legal principles."
In the ERISA suit, Berg's former clients -- Richard Holsworth and his company, Richard's General Contracting -- were sued by a group of pension funds led by the Carpenters Health and Welfare Fund of Philadelphia and Vicinity.
Carpenters Health claimed that Holsworth and his company had failed to make required payment of fringe benefit contributions.
According to court papers, Joyner found that Berg "neglected to file a response to [Carpenter Health's] claim or provide any legal defense whatsoever for his client."
Even after a default judgment was entered against Holsworth, Joyner found that Berg "remained silent."In April 2002 -- two months after the default judgment was granted and 11 months after the suit was first filed -- Joyner found that Berg "broke his silence" by filing a petition to strike the judgment or to open the default judgment.
Berg's motion was rejected and a default judgment of more than $5,300 was entered against his clients.The judgment swelled to more than $10,000 when Carpenters Health later successfully moved for a supplemental judgment to recover more than $4,700 in attorney fees for its efforts in responding to Berg's untimely motions.
Holsworth and his wife later filed a legal malpractice suit against Berg in the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas, alleging that Berg negligently failed to represent them in the Carpenters Health case.
A year later, in February 2005, Berg moved to join Carpenters Health as a third-party defendant in the malpractice suit, demanding more than $20,000 in damages.
In his counterclaim, Berg alleged that the ERISA suit filed by Carpenters Health in 2001, which led to the malpractice claim against him, was "a fraud upon the court and a fraudulent taking from the Holsworths."
Carpenter Health's lawyers removed the case to federal court and filed a motion to dismiss the claim.Joyner agreed, finding that Berg's fraud claim was "frivolous" and was motivated by an intent "to harass Carpenters Health and the Holsworths, as well as to delay and disrupt the administration of justice."
The claim was fatally flawed, Joyner found, because Berg had no standing to bring suit against Carpenters Health and had "failed to conduct even a minimally reasonable inquiry before filing his complaint."
FROM THE TIMES HERALD NEWSPAPER 8-25-08
To be eligible to serve as U.S. president, a person must be born in this country. According to Obama's birth certificate, which his campaign posted on its Internet site in June to quell rumors that he is foreign born, the Illinois senator was born in Hawaii on Aug. 6, 1961.
On Thursday, Philip Berg filed a temporary restraining order in federal court to bar Obama from running for president, claiming the Democratic candidate was actually born in Africa.
"We really don't believe he was born in Hawaii," Berg said. "We think he was born in Kenya."
The presidential candidate's father, Barack Obama Sr., was born and raised in a small village in Kenya, according to Obama's campaign Web site.
Berg's suit claims the senator's grandmother, brother and sister, who live in Kenya, believe they were present during Obama's birth in the African country.
Obama's mother, Ann Dunham, grew up in Kansas, and his parents met at the University of Hawaii when Dunham was a student there, according to the Obama campaign.
Eventually, Obama's father returned to Kenya, and his son grew up in Hawaii with his mother and for a few years in Indonesia after Dunham married an Indonesian man, Lolo Soetoro. Also, Obama lived with his maternal grandparents in Hawaii.
"If he was born in Hawaii, and he was adopted in Indonesia by Lolo Soetoro, (Obama) would lose his citizenship," Berg said.
The Obama campaign has a special section on its Web site, "Fight the Smears," that debunks the birth certificate story and other reports that have circulated about him during the campaign.
"It's part of a smear campaign," said an Obama campaign volunteer who identified herself as Rachel. "There are just so many lies out there."
The lawsuit claims three "independent" document forensic experts performed extensive tests on the digitally-scanned image of Obama's "Certificate of Live Birth" posted on the campaign's site and found the document to be "a forgery."
Jerome Corsi, author of the book, "The Obama Nation: Leftist Politics and the Cult of Personality," has also deemed the birth certificate phony, according to The Annenberg Political Fact Check, www.FactCheck.org.
The Annenberg Political Fact Check, a project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania, aims to expose deception and confusion in U.S. politics.
Recently, FactCheck.org staffers "touched, examined and photographed" the original birth certificate kept at the Obama campaign headquarters in Chicago and concluded the document is genuine.
"The evidence is clear: Barack Obama was born in the U.S.A.," FactCheck.org staffers concluded.
Sean Smith, Obama's Pennsylvania communications director, was contacted Friday about the suit but declined comment.
The civil suit filed by Berg will be reviewed by the U.S. Federal Election Commission, according to Patty Hartman, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
The Republican voter fraud hoax
Donald Duck and the Dallas Cowboys won't steal the election for Obama. Acorn's only crime is registering Democratic voters
Barack Obama and the Democrats are stealing the election. Massive voter fraud is being carried out, even as we speak, by their henchmen, known by the innocuous sounding Association for Community Organisations for Reform Now, or Acorn. Clever bastards.
The only problem? Despite the screaming wall-to-wall coverage of "Democratic voter fraud in 11 swing states" as seen on Fox News and even the once-respectable CNN, none of it's true. None of it.
In just the last week, we've had a phoney stunt raid in swing state Nevada (where Acorn had been cooperating with officials for months, concerning problem canvassers they'd long ago fired); a Republican election official in swing state Missouri tell Fox News that she's being beseiged with fraudulent registration forms from Acorn (in a county where they've not done any registration work since August); a Republican sheriff in swing state Ohio, who, the very next day, suddenly requested the names and addresses of hundreds of early voters (with evidence of exactly zero wrong doing, but lots of Democratic-leaning college student in the particular county, and John McCain's state campaign chair as a partner in the investigation); and a screaming front page headline in Rupert Murdoch's New York Post about a guy who claims he was somehow tricked by Acorn into registering 72 times (but read the article closely to note he says he registered at the same address each time, which, even if true, would allow him - you guessed it - precisely one legal vote.)
It's an old Republican scam, but it's never been carried out with more zeal than this year. The Republicans have been putting so much time, money and resources into the propaganda leading up to this over the last four years, we should have expected no less.
As luck would have it, the Democrats have a man who, as an attorney years ago, actually had the temerity to join the US department of justice in representing Acorn in a successful lawsuit, forcing the state of Illinois to follow the law by allowing citizens to register to vote at the department of motor vehicles. What a scoundrel.
That, of course, was before the department of justice, under George Bush's corrupt command, would itself become politicised by the very Republicans so desperate to keep low-income voters from voting, that they were willing to fire their own US attorneys for failing to bring phoney charges of voter fraud in key swing states like Nevada and Missouri.
So what are the crimes that have caused all the Sturm und Drang on US television and talk radio, and in several otherwise respectable newspapers and even by the McCain campaign itself?
The only actual crime here is that Acorn managed to register some 1.3m low-income (read: Democratic-leaning) voters over the past two years. The rest is, pretty much, just made up.
But in the bloody and desperate trenches of the Republican war on democracy, that's more than enough to kick in a last minute surge of lies that may - with the help of a compliant and lazy corporate US media - wreak enough havoc, scare enough voters, confuse enough people and plant enough seeds to call an Obama victory into doubt on November 4.
If you can't win it, steal it. If you can't steal it, claim the other guy stole it. If you can't claim the other guy stole it (yet), say they're about to and then kick up smoke that maybe someone will believe you. (Heckuva job, CNN.)
Here are the facts. Acorn verifies the legitimacy of every registration its canvassers collect. If they can't authenticate the registration, or it's incomplete or questionable in other ways, they flag that form as problematic ("fraudulent", "incomplete", et cetera). They then hand in all registration forms, even the problematic ones, to elections officials, as they are required to do by law. In almost every case where you've heard about fraud by Acorn, it's because Acorn itself notified officials about the fraud that's been perpetrated on them by rogue canvassers. Most officials who run to the media screaming "Acorn is committing fraud" know all of the above but don't bother to share those facts with the media they've run to. None of this is about voter fraud. None of it. Where any fraud has occurred, it's voter registration fraud and has resulted in exactly zero fraudulent votes.
You'll hear that Donald Duck, Mary Poppins, Dick Tracy, Mickey Mouse and (new this year) the starting lineup of the Dallas Cowboys football team have all had fraudulent registrations submitted in their names. That's true. And we know this, why? Because Acorn told officials about it when they followed the law and turned in those registrations, flagged as fraudulent.
What you won't hear is that federal law requires anybody who does not register to vote in person at the county office to show an ID when they go to vote the first time. So, unless Donald Duck shows up with his ID, he won't be voting this November. You needn't worry, no matter how much even John McCain himself cynically and dishonourably tries to mislead you.
If it quacks like a duck, in this case, it's likely another Republican Acorn voter fraud lie. They haul it out every two years.
Just days before the 2004 presidential election, rightwing whack job Michelle Malkin claimed that Acorn was registering terrorists to vote in swing state Ohio. Problem was, that was a lie.
In 2006, again just days before the election, the new US attorney in swing state Missouri (recently appointed, since the one before him refused to bring such charges), filed voter fraud indictments against Acorn workers in the state. Problem was, bringing election-related indictments that close to an election was a violation of the department of justice's own written policy. And Acorn had nothing to do with it, other than turning in the employees to officials.
Getting the picture? It's a hoax. All of it.
But it's been an effective one, as it's served to distract from very real concerns about tens of thousands of voters who have been illegally purged from the voting rolls in dozens of states, as the New York Times reported in a remarkable front page investigative story. That story followed a report the week before from CBS News detailing still more wholesale purges of voting rolls in some 20 states.
That will be the November surprise, when thousands, if not millions show up to vote only to find they are no longer welcome to do so and are forced to vote on a "provisional ballot" which may or may not be counted.
These real concerns of election fraud, such as voting roll purges, electronic voting machines that don't work and so much more that actually matters, have been obscured by the smoke and mirrors and sleight of hand of the Republican party's phoney Acorn voter fraud charade.
And where they can, they'll parlay it all into new photo ID restrictions at the polls (knowing full well that some 20m, largely Democratic-leaning voters don't own the type of ID they'd need to jump over that next Republican hurdle.)
Yet, with all of the unsubstantiated, wholly bogus claims of voter fraud being carried out by Democrats, there remains at least one case of absolutely ironclad, documented, yet still-unprosecuted case of voter fraud that, for some reason, Republicans don't much like to talk about.
We can only wonder why.
Obama/Biden vs McCain/Palin, what if things were switched around?.....think
about it. Would the country's collective point of view be different?
Ponder the following:
What if the Obamas had paraded five children across the stage, including
a three month old infant and an unwed, pregnant teenage daughter?
What if John McCain was a former president of the Harvard Law Review?
What if Barack Obama finished fifth from the bottom of his graduating
What if McCain had only married once, and Obama was a divorcee?
What if Obama was the candidate who left his first wife after a severe
disfiguring car accident, when she no longer measured up to his standards?
What if Obama had met his second wife in a bar and had a long affair while
he was still married?
What if Michelle Obama was the wife who not only became addicted to pain
killers but also acquired them illegally through her charitable
What if Cindy McCain graduated from Harvard?
What if Obama had been a member of the Keating Five?
(The Keating Five were five United States Senators accused of corruption
in 1989, igniting a major political scandal as part of the larger Savings
and Loan crisis of the late 1980s and early 1990s.)
What if McCain was a charismatic, eloquent speaker?
What if Obama couldn't read from a teleprompter?
What if Obama was the one who had military experience that included
disc ipline problems and a record of crashing seven planes?
What if Obama was the one who was known to display publicly, on many
occasions, a serious anger management problem?
What if Michelle Obama's family had made their money from beer
What if the Obamas had adopted a white child?
You could easily add to this list. If these questions reflected reality,
do you really believe the election numbers would be as close as they are?
This is what racism does. It covers up, rationalizes and minimizes
positive qualities in one candidate and emphasizes negative qualities in
another when there is a color difference.
Columbia University - B.A. Political Science with a Specialization in
Harvard - Juris Doctor (J.D.) Magna Cu m Laude
University of Delaware - B.A. in History and B.A. in Political Science.
Syracuse University College of Law - Juris Doctor (J.D.)
United States Naval Acade my - Class rank: 894 of 899
Hawaii Pacific University - 1 semester
North Idaho College - 2 semesters - general study
University of Idaho - 2 semesters - journalism
Matanuska-Susitna College - 1 semester
University of Idaho - 3 semesters - B.A. in Journalism
Education isn't everything, but this is about the two highest offices in
the land as well as our standing in the world. You make the call.
Can you believe this picture? 100,000 people showed up in St. Louis today to see Barack Obama speak. Wow. Shades of Lincoln.
meanwhile, Sarah Palin showed up on Saturday Night Live:
COLUMBUS, Ohio – After watching "Saturday Night Live" make fun of her from afar, Sarah Palin witnessed it first hand this week as Tina Fey engaged in fiction by depicting her at the news conference the has yet to hold.
Later, Palin came on stage during the Weekend Update mock news segment and bobbed to the beat as cast member Amy Poehler performed a rap song the Alaska governor decided was too hardcore for her to perform personally.
"I'm Jeremiah Wright 'cuz I'm the preacher; I got a bookish look and you're all hot for teacher," Poehler rapped as actors dressed as Eskimos, Palin's husband, Todd, and a caribou pranced across the stage.
The appearance was anticipated since September, when Fey began portraying Palin just after GOP selected the little-known governor as his running mate. The two look alike, and Palin remarked that people often told her — before Fey started portraying her — that she resembled the actor.
In the show's opening, Fey's impersonation of Palin told a group of reporters, "First off, I just want to say how excited I am to be in front of both the liberal elite media as well as the liberal regular media. I am looking forward to a portion of your questions."
Moments later, the camera cut away to the real Palin watching a television monitor alongside the show's executive producer, Lorne Michaels.
"You know, Lorne, I just don't think it's a realistic depiction of the way my press conferences would have gone," Palin said. She said she wished he would have let her do a sketch about "30 Rock," the NBC program in which Fey now stars. That prompted Michaels to deadpan: "Honestly not enough people know that show."
Palin then stood mute as Fey's "30 Rock" co-star, Alec Baldwin came onto the stage, mistook Palin for Fey and pleaded with Michaels not to let the actor go onstage with the governor.
"This is the most important election in our nation's history and you want her, our Tina, to go out there and stand with that horrible woman?" Baldwin said.
When Michaels broke down and introduced him to Palin, Baldwin feigned embarrassment and replied, "I see. Forgive me. I feel I must say this: You are way hotter in person."
Palin got even by saying, "Thank you, and I must say, your brother Stephen is my favorite Baldwin brother."
The camera soon cut back to Fey who answered a question about the polls.
"I don't worry about the polls. Polls are just a fancy way of systematically predicting what's going to happen. The only poll I care about is the North Pole, and that ... is ... melting. It's not great."
The real Palin then walked onto the news conference set, sending Fey fleeing.
"Thank you, thank you," the governor said to applause from the studio audience. "No, I'm not going to take any of your questions, but I do wanted to take this opportunity to say, `Live from New York, it's .'"
It was not immediately clear if McCain, overnighting in Ohio, watched the show, but earlier in the day he told a crowd in Woodbridge, Va., that he thought Fey and Palin were "separated at birth."
Speaking of his running mate, he added, "I know she'll do a great job."BUT THEN THEY RAN AN AD FOR OBAMA THAT QUOTED JOHN MCCAIN SAYING "I'VE VOTED OVER 90% OF THE TIME WITH GEORGE BUSH" - just devastating.
Look, I grew up in the 60's. As soon as you have a hero something bad happens to him (or her). I'm used to watching heroes disappear, and I'm not used to seeing them make it to the finish line. However, that being said, I'm hopeful that the country is going in the right direction. And just to make it seem all the more important and game changing than it already is, consider this;
If Gore hadn't lost the election (that he won) and if the Supreme Court hadn't handed Bush the election (which it did), then Obama would not be this close to being elected President. Only a sick economy and 8 years of an awful Presidency, could the country even consider voting for someone outside the paradigm. So consider for a moment thanking George Bush for being so awful, otherwise we'd be facing another four to 8 years of our national nightmare.
And the truth is, I enjoyed watching Sarah bop to the music on SNL - was she not aware of Amy P was singing, mocking her? Even if she was, she smiled gamely throughout, and remembered her chops as a weather lady. It just shows how adept she is at READING A SCRIPT, whether it's weather, or news, or what Karl Rove shoves under her nose. God bless her. I hope she stays on the national scene. But SNL was hilarious.. that rap song priceless. Good on ya Lorne.
My two cents
Voters say they were duped into registering as Republicans
October 18, 2008
Voters contacted by The Times said they were tricked into switching parties while signing what they believed were petitions for tougher penalties against child molesters. Some said they were told that they had to become Republicans to sign the petition, contrary to California initiative law. Others had no idea their registration was being changed.
It is a bait-and-switch scheme familiar to election experts. The firm hired by the California Republican Party -- a small company called Young Political Majors, or YPM, which operates in several states -- has been accused of using the tactic across the country.
Election officials and lawmakers have launched investigations into the activities of YPM workers in Florida and Massachusetts. In Arizona, the firm was recently a defendant in a civil rights lawsuit. Prosecutors in Los Angeles and Ventura counties say they are investigating complaints about the company.
The 70,000 voters YPM has registered for the Republican Party this year will help combat the public perception that it is struggling amid Democratic gains nationally, give a boost to fundraising efforts and bolster member support for party leaders, political strategists from both parties say.
Those who were formerly Democrats may stop receiving phone calls and literature from that party, perhaps affecting its get-out-the-vote efforts. They also will be given only a Republican ballot in the next primary election if they do not switch their registration back before then.
Some also report having their registration status changed to absentee without their permission; if they show up at the polls without a ballot they may be unable to vote.
The Times randomly interviewed 46 of the hundreds of voters whose election records show they were recently re-registered as Republicans by YPM, and 37 of them -- more than 80% -- said that they were misled into making the change or that it was done without their knowledge.
Lydia Laws, a Palm Springs retiree, said she was angry to find recently that her registration had been switched from Democrat to Republican.
Laws said the YPM staffer who instructed her to identify herself on a petition as a Republican assured her that it was a formality, and that her registration would not be changed. Later, a card showed up in the mail saying she had joined the GOP.
"I said, 'No, no, no. That's not right,' " Laws said.
It all sounds familiar to Beverly Hill, a Democrat and the former election supervisor in Florida's Alachua County. About 200 voters -- mostly college students -- were unwittingly registered as Republicans there in 2004 by YPM staffers using the same tactic, Hill said.
"It is just incredible that this can keep happening election after election," she said.
YPM and Republican Party officials said they were surprised by the complaints. The officials said the signature gatherers wear shirts bearing the Republican symbol, an elephant -- a contention disputed by some of the voters interviewed.
Every person registered signs an affidavit confirming they voluntarily joined the GOP, party leaders said.
"It does the state party no good to register people in a party they don't want to be in," said Hector Barajas, communications director for the California Republican Party.
The document that voters thought was an initiative petition has no legal implications at all. YPM founder Mark Jacoby said the petition was clearly labeled as a "plebiscite," which does nothing more than show public support.
He also said that plainclothes investigators for Secretary of State Debra Bowen, a Democrat, have conducted multiple spot checks and told his firm it is doing nothing improper....
Oh my! The Republicans cheating and committing voter fraud? I thought they were Americans! The true patriots! At least they weren't making up names and submitting them to ACORN reps. This is MORE INSIDIOUS. Creeps. All of 'em.
My two cents.
McCain, Obama trade jokes, not jabs at NYC dinner
By DAVID ESPO, AP Special Correspondent 1 hour, 1 minute ago
NEW YORK - John McCain and Barack Obama swapped self-deprecating jokes instead of campaign jabs Thursday night, the Republican saying he had replaced his team of senior advisers with "Joe the Plumber" while the Democrat claimed his own "greatest strength would be my humility.
Said Obama: "Contrary to the rumors you have heard, I was not born in a manger. I was actually born on Krypton and sent here by my father, Jor-el, to save the planet Earth," a reference to Superman.
McCain joked that Democrats had already begun attacking Joe the Plumber, the Ohio man whom he referred to in Wednesday night's debate, and claimed "that this honest, hardworking small businessman could not possibly have enough income to face a tax increase under the Obama plan."
"What they don't know is that Joe the Plumber recently signed a very lucrative contract with a wealthy couple to handle all the work on all seven of their houses," McCain said, drawing laughter with the reference to his property holdings.
The two men spoke at the 63rd annual Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner, a charity event organized by the Catholic Archdiocese of New York for the benefit of needy children. An estimated $4 million was raised.
The event often draws politicians as speakers and, by long tradition,appear as headliners every four years. In this case, the evening of humor came one night after an intense final debate of the .
McCain lampooned Obama's primary opponent, Hillary Rodham Clinton, as well as himself.
"Even in this room full of proud Manhattan Democrats, I can't shake the feeling that some people here are pulling for me," he said, before adding: "I'm delighted to see you here tonight, Hillary."
He also said Obama "is ready for any contingency, even the possibility of a sudden and dramatic market rebound. I'm told that at the first sign of a recovery, he will suspend his campaign and fly immediately to Washington to address the crisis," said the Republican, who drew criticism when he suspended his campaign a few weeks ago and flew to Washington during the crisis.
Obama also poked fun at his Democratic National Convention , which he delivered before a crowd of tens of thousands at an outdoor football stadium on an elaborately constructed stage.
"I was originally told we'd be able to move this outdoors to Yankee Stadium," he said of the dinner.
Then, pausing and looking around, he said, "Could somebody tell me what happened to the Greek columns that I requested?"
Both men closed with compliments.
McCain praised Obama for his "great skill, energy, and determination. It's not for nothing that he's inspired so many folks in his own party and beyond," he said of his rival, bidding to become the nation's first black president. "I can't wish my opponent luck but I do wish him well."
Obama said few Americans had served their country with "the same honor and distinction" as McCain, a former Navy pilot who was a prisoner of war for more than five years in Vietnam.
I got an email from an old military vet today - drumming up support for McCain by claiming ACORN is robbing the election (you can listen to fathead Rush Limbaugh at it every day). Here's the text. Forgive the guy's spelling, I guess when you're mad, you don't spell so good:
FW: Exposure To True Informstion Does No Matter Anymore
Please click on the Homeland Security US link below,
obtained from the Northeast Intelligence Network and
E-mailed to me by an American Patriot and war hero.
Kindly watch the entire video and share it; you can
skip the follow on article on ACORN if you care to,
but kindly watch the first video, it has nothing to
do with the election.
Do you think the mainstream media would run
with a story like this just 20 days from a Presidential
election? Exposure to True Information Does Not
Matter Anymore. There is a non-profit organization
that has been found to be illegally
registering voters. Voters have come forward stating
that have filled out multiple registration cards by this organization.
1. Several offices of this organization have been raided and thousands
of fraudulent registration cards have been seized.
2. One of the Presidential candidates used to be an attorney for this
3. One of the Presidential candidates used to be a trainer for this
4. One of the Presidential candidates campaign gave $832,000 to this
5. One of the Presidential candidates set on a board with a domestic
terrorist that gave this organization $200,000.
The answer to the question raised above would be YES if it was McCain, but
in this case it is Obama, so like everything else negative regarding Obama,
the mainstream media is silent.
Please click on this link to watch ACORN:
to watch "ACORN."
AND HERE'S MY RESPONSE:
The site you mentioned in your email is .. well, let's put it this way; loopy. "Exposure to True Informstion Does No Matter" indeed.
The guy who runs this site, Hagmann, has been exposed as a fraud. He's been spewing nonsense about terrorists running around the US for years,. The concept that ACORN, a homeless advocacy group who pays people to register voters, is some kind of terrorist left wing org is nonsense. You can't vote based on registering. John McCain himself spoke at their conference last year. Here's a photograph of John with the ACORN people:
Let's stop bashing the people who register homeless people to vote. 23% of the homeless in our country are Veterans. What's to say they won't vote for a fellow Veteran? If the ACORN people turned their own registrars in because of fraud, then what's the problem? If you sign up to vote as Mickey Mouse, you still have to show your Mickey Mouse ID when you go to vote.
Shouldn't we be worried about how we're going to fix the economy? In the history of the world, there's never been a nation with a bad economy that has been able to wage wars. The economy goes into the ditch, so does the military. How patriotic do we have to be to realize that we need someone in Washington who can fix the economy? If that's going to be Senator McCain, then let's hear what he wants to do.
He may be the person to bring the country out of its tailspin. Palin may be the soldier on the white horse that's going to save us from the Depression. But nothing they've said so far gives me that confidence. Maybe tonight, Senator McCain will "Whip Obama's You-Know-What," although the image of him whipping a black man - even if he's only half black - and not an Arab, "but a decent family man" is unfortunate.
my two cents
The Man Behind the Whispers About Obama
The most persistent falsehood about Senator Barack Obama’s background first hit in 2004 just two weeks after the Democratic convention speech that helped set him on the path to his presidential candidacy: “Obama is a Muslim who has concealed his religion.”
That statement, contained in a press release, spun a complex tale about the ancestry of Mr. Obama, who is Christian.The press release was picked up by a conservative Web site, FreeRepublic.com, and spread steadily as others elaborated on its claims over the years in e-mail messages, Web sites and books. It continues to drive other false rumors about Mr. Obama’s background. Just last Friday, a woman told Senator John McCain at a town-hall-style meeting, “I have read about him,” and “he’s an Arab.” Mr. McCain corrected her.
Until this month, the man who is widely credited with starting the cyberwhisper campaign that still dogs Mr. Obama was a secondary character in news reports, with deep explorations of his background largely confined to liberal blogs. But an appearance in a documentary-style program on the Fox News Channel watched by three million people last week thrust the man, Andy Martin, and his past into the foreground. The program allowed Mr. Martin to assert falsely and without challenge that Mr. Obama had once trained to overthrow the government. An examination of legal documents and election filings, along with interviews with his acquaintances, revealed Mr. Martin, 62, to be a man with a history of scintillating if not always factual claims. He has left a trail of animosity — some of it provoked by anti-Jewish comments — among political leaders, lawyers and judges in three states over more than 30 years.
He is a law school graduate, but his admission to the Illinois bar was blocked in the 1970s after a psychiatric finding of “moderately severe character defect manifested by well-documented ideation with a paranoid flavor and a grandiose character.” Though he is not a lawyer, Mr. Martin went on to become a prodigious filer of lawsuits, and he made unsuccessful attempts to win public office for both parties in three states, as well as for president at least twice, in 1988 and 2000. Based in Chicago, he now identifies himself as a writer who focuses on his anti-Obama Web site and press releases. Mr. Martin, in a series of interviews, did not dispute his influence in Obama rumors. “Everybody uses my research as a takeoff point,” Mr. Martin said, adding, however, that some take his writings “and exaggerate them to suit their own fantasies.”As for his background, he said: “I’m a colorful person. There’s always somebody who has a legitimate cause in their mind to be angry with me.”
When questions were raised last week about Mr. Martin’s appearance and claims on “Hannity’s America” on Fox News, the program’s producer said Mr. Martin was clearly expressing his opinion and not necessarily fact. It was not Mr. Martin's first turn on national television. The CBS News program "48 Hours" in 1993 devoted an hourlong program, "See You in Court; Civil War, Anthony Martin Clogs Legal System with Frivolous Lawsuits," to what it called his prolific filings. (Mr. Martin has also been known as Anthony Martin-Trigona.) He has filed so many lawsuits that a judge barred him from doing so in any federal court without preliminary approval.
He prepared to run as a Democrat for Congress in Connecticut, where paperwork for one of his campaign committees listed as one purpose “to exterminate Jew power.” He ran as a Republican for the Florida State Senate and the United States Senate in Illinois. When running for president in 1999, he aired a television advertisement in New Hampshire that accused George W. Bush of using cocaine. In the 1990s, Mr. Martin was jailed in a case in Florida involving a physical altercation. His newfound prominence, and the persistence of his line of political attack — updated regularly on his Web site and through press releases — amazes those from his past.
“Well, that’s just a bookend for me,” said Tom Slade, a former chairman of the Florida Republican Party, whom Mr. Martin sued for refusing to support him. Mr. Slade said Mr. Martin was driven like “a run-over dog, but he’s fearless.” Given Mr. Obama’s unusual background, which was the focus of his first book, it was perhaps bound to become fodder for some opposed to his candidacy.Mr. Obama was raised mostly by his white mother, an atheist, and his grandparents, who were Protestant, in Hawaii.
Theories about Mr. Obama’s background have taken on a life of their own. But independent analysts seeking the origins of the cyberspace attacks wind up at Mr. Martin’s first press release, posted on the Free Republic Web site in August 2004. Its general outlines have turned up in a host of works that have expounded falsely on Mr. Obama’s heritage or supposed attempts to conceal it, including “Obama Nation,” the widely discredited best seller about Mr. Obama by Jerome R. Corsi. Mr. Corsi opens the book with a quote from Mr. Martin.
“What he’s generating gets picked up in other places,” said Danielle Allen, a professor at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, N.J., who has investigated the e-mail campaign’s circulation and origins, “and it’s an example of how the Internet has given power to sources we would have never taken seriously at another point in time.”Ms. Allen said Mr. Martin’s original work found amplification in 2006, when a man named Ted Sampley wrote an article painting Mr. Obama as a secret practitioner of Islam. Quoting liberally from Mr. Martin, the article circulated on the Internet, and its contents eventually found their way into various e-mail messages, particularly an added claim that Mr. Obama had attended “Jakarta’s Muslim Wahhabi schools. Wahhabism is the radical teaching that created the Muslim terrorists who are now waging jihad on the rest of the world.”
Mr. Obama for two years attended a Catholic school in Indonesia, where he was taught about the Bible, he wrote in “Dreams From My Father,” and for two years went to an Indonesian public school open to all religions, where he was taught about the Koran. Mr. Sampley, coincidentally, is a Vietnam veteran and longtime opponent of Mr. McCain and Senator John Kerry, both of whom he accused of ignoring his claims that American prisoners were left behind in Vietnam. He previously portrayed Mr. McCain as a “Manchurian candidate.” Speaking of Mr. Martin’s influence on his Obama writings, Mr. Sampley said, “I keyed off of his work.”
Mr. Martin’s depictions of Mr. Obama as a secret Muslim have found resonance among some Jewish voters who have received e-mail messages containing various versions of his initial theory, often by new authors and with new twists. In his original press release, Mr. Martin wrote that he was personally “a strong supporter of the Muslim community.” But, he wrote of Mr. Obama, “it may well be that his concealment is meant to endanger Israel.” He added, “His Muslim religion would obviously raise serious questions in many Jewish circles.”
Yet in various court papers, Mr. Martin had impugned Jews. A motion he filed in a 1983 bankruptcy case called the judge “a crooked, slimy Jew who has a history of lying and thieving common to members of his race.” In another motion, filed in 1983, Mr. Martin wrote, “I am able to understand how the Holocaust took place, and with every passing day feel less and less sorry that it did.”In an interview, Mr. Martin denied some statements against Jews attributed to him in court papers, blaming malicious judges for inserting them.But in his “48 Hours” interview in 1993, he affirmed a different anti-Semitic part of the affidavit that included the line about the Holocaust, saying, “The record speaks for itself.” When asked Friday about an assertion in his court papers that “Jews, historically and in daily living, act through clans and in wolf pack syndrome,” he said, “That one sort of rings a bell.”He said he was not anti-Semitic. “I was trying to show that everybody in the bankruptcy court was Jewish and I was not Jewish,” he said, “and I was being victimized by religious bias.”In discussing the denial of his admission to the Illinois bar, Mr. Martin said the psychiatric exam listing him as having a “moderately severe personality defect” was spitefully written by an evaluator he had clashed with.
For instance, he said, he did not necessarily ascribe to a widely circulated e-mail message from the Israeli right-wing activist Ruth Matar, which includes the false assertion, “If Obama were elected, he would be the first Arab-American president.”He said he had at least come to “accept” Mr. Obama’s word that he had found Jesus Christ. His intent, he said, was only to educate.
Sean Hannity claims Senator Obama is guilty by association for being on a board with Chicago Citizen of 1997, the same year as the board, William Ayers. Gee, doesn't that make Sean Hannity an Anti Semite? The truth about Andy Martin reveals the truth about Sean Hannity - a blowhard full of innuendo and general creepiness, because his premise is based on racism and anti-semitism. Hannity defending having Andy Martin on his show for a half hour "HE ALLOWS ANYONE ON WITH A DIFFERENT POV," and used Al Sharpton's name as an example. Got news for you Sean; Sharptaon ain't no Andy Martin. Thanks for giving an anti-semite legitimacy on your show - who's next - the separationist from Alaska, Vogler? Oh, sorry, he's dead from fooling around with a bomb. Or maybe Sarah's Palin's husband, a card carrying member of that party for seven years? Hey, who's palling around with terrorists who want to bring down the nation?
Whatever. Honestly I think Obama should do what FDR did just prior to World War II; he made his opponent in the race his Secretary of the Navy. I say ask John McCain to work in your cabinet as Secretary of the Navy. It would do a lot to help heal the wounds that the right wing has inflicting on this nation, and if the Bill Clinton years were any example, will continue to do so while Obama serves in office, doing everything in their power to make his term fail. So much for patriots.
My two cents.