Saturday

A little election advice about Lies during the campaign.












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."

Give up?

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.

Thursday

Phil Berg is a Nutball

This creep in PA took Senator Obama to court claiming his birth certificate is fake. No Judge ruled on the matter, but he's claiming victory and the republican robo callers and right wing bloggers are putting out the message.. that shows Berg is a nutball. At least according to everyone who cares about the Law. The fact that he's a democrat, supporter of Hillary, anti Bush and Cheney doesn't make him smart, "prominent" as he refers to himself, or any less of a nutball. But don't take my word for it:

Lawyer Slapped With $10K in Sanctions for 'Laundry List of Unethical Actions'

Finding that a Pennsylvania lawyer had committed a "laundry list of unethical actions," a federal judge has imposed more than $10,000 in sanctions and ordered the lawyer to complete six hours of ethics training.

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

Born in the U.S.A.?
PHILADELPHIA - A Lafayette Hill attorney filed a lawsuit in federal court Thursday challenging Sen. Barack Obama's claim to United States citizenship. The action seeks to remove the Democratic candidate from the November ballot.
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.


ACORN Bullsh*t

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.

What if the roles were reversed?

This came along in my email box today, something interesting to ponder..

Obama/Biden vs McCain/Palin, what if things were switched around?.....think
about it. Would the country's collective point of view be different?
(10/8/08)

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
class?

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
organization?

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
distribution?

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.

Educational Background:

Barack Obama:
Columbia University - B.A. Political Science with a Specialization in
International Relations.
Harvard - Juris Doctor (J.D.) Magna Cu m Laude

Joseph Biden:
University of Delaware - B.A. in History and B.A. in Political Science.
Syracuse University College of Law - Juris Doctor (J.D.)

vs.

John McCain:
United States Naval Acade my - Class rank: 894 of 899

Sarah Palin:
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.

Sunday

Sarah Palin and the Apack of Lips






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 Republican vice presidential nominee 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 presidential nominee John McCain 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 Saturday Night.'"

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

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