Sunday, September 28, 2008

Algae can savc the Environment. Green to Green.

BORCULO, Netherlands - Set amid cornfields and cow pastures in eastern Holland is a shallow pool that is rapidly turning green with algae, harvested for animal feed, skin treatments, biodegradable plastics -- and with increasing interest, biofuel.

In a warehouse 120 miles southwest, a bioreactor of clear plastic tubes is producing algae in pressure-cooker fashion that its manufacturer hopes will one day power jet aircraft.

Experts say it will be years, maybe a decade, before this simplest of all plants can be efficiently processed for fuel. But when that day comes, it could go a long way toward easing the world's energy needs and responding to global warming.

Algae is the slimy stuff that clouds your home aquarium and gets tangled in your feet in a lake or ocean. It can grow almost everywhere there is water and sunlight, and under the right conditions it can double its volume within hours. Scientists and industrialists agree that the potential is huge.

"This is the ultimate fast-growing organism," says Peter van den Dorpel, chief operating officer of AlgaeLink, which makes bioreactors for speeding reproduction. "Algae is lazy. It eats carbon dioxide and produces oxygen." It has no roots, no leaves, no shoots. "It grows so fast because it has nothing else to do. It just swims in the water."

Farming algae doesn't require much space or good cropland, so it avoids the fuel-for-food dilemma that has plagued first and second generation biofuels like corn, rapeseed and palm oil.

It can grow in fresh water, polluted water, sea water or farm runoff. It can purify a city's sewage while feeding on the nitrogen and phosphates in human waste.


And it is rich in oil. The most common types farmed today have an oil content of 30 percent, and it can go up to 70 percent or more.

It also consumes nearly twice its weight in carbon dioxide, the most common greenhouse gas that is discharged by vehicles, power plants and many heavy industries and which scientists say is causing climate change.

Seeking to cut its carbon emissions, the European Union last year mandated that 20 percent of Europe's energy must come from renewable sources by 2020, up from 8.5 percent now. Originally, that plan called for a 10 percent biofuel component for road transportation, but pressure on food supplies prompted a key EU parliamentary committee to vote to scale back that target by as much as half.

Scientists estimate that airlines are to blame for at least 2 percent of man-made carbon emissions, which could be sharply reduced by algae-based aviation fuel.

One promising idea in climate change technology focuses on capturing carbon from industry and storing it harmlessly in the ground. But algae farms can put that carbon to good use.

"Capturing CO2 is the easiest element" in algae production, says Carel Callenbach, the director of Ingrepro Micro Ingredients, which operates the largest algae farms in Europe, producing 80 tons a year.

Companies have been making biodiesel from algae for years, Callenbach said, but there's no money in fuel. It is expensive to make, and so far it cannot be produced in commercial quantities like ethanol or some other biofuels.

But now, spurred by profit-busting increases in petroleum prices, Boeing and some airlines are exploring whether algae can be refined economically to a kerosene-grade fuel to run their fleets. KLM Royal Dutch Airlines has contracted with AlgaeLink and other companies to scout out prospects.

"The advantage is that it can be used in the present structure. You don't have to totally rebuild airplanes," said Nanke Kramer, a KLM spokeswoman. She said KLM has no results yet from its initial experiments, and it is too early to say whether aviation fuel will be feasible or when the first flight tests would take place.

Rene Wijffels, a professor of bioprocess engineering at Wageningen University and Research Center in the Dutch town of Wageningen, said he did a feasibility study last year for an energy company on algae for fuel, and was surprised by the results.

"We did not believe it would ever be possible for energy production," he told The Associated Press. "We found the costs were high but not as high as we thought." At $3.20 per pound, he said, "it was too expensive for a biofuel -- but not that far away."

Biofuel production is shackled by two factors: the limited availability of nutrients, and an unfavorable energy balance. "If you use the present technology, you will put in more energy than you get out," Wijffels said.

Those problems can be solved, but it will take time and investment, he said.

The Netherlands, a country twice the size of Massachusetts, has long been ahead in farming technology and has one of the world's highest crop yields. With as many barnyard animals as its 16 million people, it is the world's second largest exporter of agricultural products after the United States.

At Ingrepro's algae farm in Borculo near the border with Germany, the scum from the 21,500 square foot pool is filtered and processed into flaky green strips that crumble to the touch. The carbon exhaust from the steam engine used to dry the algae is pumped back into the pool.

Algae oil goes into paints, resins and bioplastics. Fuel has the lowest value of any product, said Callenbach. The key to profiting from algae farming is in the cake left over after extracting the oil. Ingrepro turns it into dozens of products, from horse feed to weed killer for golf courses. As a food additive for humans, it is a source of healthy omega-3 fatty acids.

AlgaeLink, by contrast, sells bioreactors rather than algae products. It nurtures the algae in a closed and controlled environment of clear tubes, speeding the reproductive process by two to four times as the water turns darker almost before your eyes.

But the process requires much more energy than open pools.

Van den Dorpel says making jet fuel will be viable within a few years if petroleum prices stay above $100 a barrel. Callenbach says algae fuel may be profitable in about five years.

Wijffels is skeptical. "Five years? I'm a little more pessimistic than that. But maybe that's the role of a scientist."

Source: Find this original article on Huffington Post.

The Palin Choice of McCain, Opinion by Carl Bernstein of Watergate Fame.

In one of our many conversations as we crisscrossed the country during his campaign for the 2000 Republican presidential nomination, John McCain said to me, "I've always tried to act on what I thought was the best for the country. And that has guided me.... The only thing I can do is assure people that I would act on principle."

I traveled with McCain for weeks that political season, stayed in Arkansas with him, Cindy, and their children, and - for a Vanity Fair cover profile -- filled dozens of notebooks and tapes with observations from and about a potentially heroic politician who seems far removed from the man running for president today.

Three weeks after the 2008 Republican convention, on the cusp (maybe) of the first presidential debate, it is time to confront an awkward but profound question: whether in picking Sarah Palin as his running mate, John McCain has committed -- by his own professed standards of duty and honor -- a singularly unpatriotic act.

"I would rather lose a political campaign than lose a war," he has said throughout this campaign. Yet, in choosing Palin, he has demonstrated -- whatever his words -- it may be permissible to imperil the country, conceivably even to "lose" it, in order to win the presidency. That would seem the deeper meaning of his choice of Palin.

Indeed, no presidential nominee of either party in the last century has seemed so willing to endanger the country's security as McCain in his reckless choice of a running mate. He is 72 years old; has had four melanomas, a particularly voracious form of cancer; refuses to release his complete medical records. Three of our last eleven presidents (and nine of all 43) have come to office unexpectedly in mid-term from the vice presidency: Truman, who within days of FDR's death was confronted with the decision of whether to drop the atom bomb on Japan; Lyndon Johnson, who took the oath in Dallas after JFK's assassination; Gerald Ford, sworn in following the resignation of Richard Nixon. A fourth vice president, George H.W. Bush, briefly exercised the powers of the presidency after the near-assassination of Ronald Reagan.

Given that history, what does John McCain's choice of Sarah Palin -- the cavalier, last-minute process of her selection and careless vetting; and her over-briefed, fact-lite performance since -- reveal about this military man who has attested to us for years that he is guided by his personal code of honor? "Two things I will never do," McCain told me, "are [to] lie to the American people, or put my electoral interests before the national interest" -- an obvious precursor of "I would rather lose a political campaign than lose a war."

McCain, I wrote for Vanity Fair, "often speaks of the duty to follow his conscience in politics, rather than polls or party discipline. This, he says, comes from having escaped death and becoming 'more aware of the transience of everything we do.'"

"I've always had a pretty good idea about how to define something as to whether it's right or wrong," he told me. "I don't mean that I'm better or worse than anybody else. I just mean that when I see an issue and think about it and talk to people, I do generally have the ability to know what's the right course of action, even if it may not be what the majority wants. So I have a certain amount of confidence that I don't have to have a majority opinion on my side."

It does not take a near-death experience to know that Sarah Palin is not qualified to be commander in chief, or that -- in choosing her -- McCain has ignored his own oft-avowed code of conduct. "McCain made the most important command decision of his life when he chose Sarah Palin as his vice presidential nominee," noted David Ignatius in the Washington Post. "....No promotion board in history would have made such a decision."


Above all, the John McCain I covered in 1999-2000 was -- he said -- convinced that two factors were undermining the interests of the United States: its cultural wars, causing political gridlock in Washington and civic discontent across the land; and the unbending agenda of the right-wing of the Republican party that, in his view, had been captured by the Christian conservative movement and bore disproportionate responsibility for the poisonous state of American politics. Exhibit One: the scorched-earth campaign that George W. Bush was then waging against McCain's insurgent run for the Republican presidential nomination.

Yet, McCain, is, in fact, running the kind of campaign against Barack Obama that George Bush ran against him in 2000, which he regarded rightly as dishonest, dishonorable and diversionary in terms of the truth about him and about the nation's problems.

The conservative commentator George Will has been especially incisive of late about the "dismaying," "un-presidential temperament" of McCain and the sleazy tenor of his campaign. Karl Rove (!) has responded to the incessant lying of McCain's ads (one claims falsely that Obama has promoted "comprehensive" sex education for five-year-olds -- he had, in fact, endorsed legislation to insure that kindergartners were warned about sexual predators), by saying, yes, the McCain camp's mendacity has "gone one step too far."

Meanwhile, McCain's frequent invocations of the need for bi-partisan statesmanship are interspersed with the angry themes of cultural warfare and of the Republican convention orchestrated by his handlers, the most dominant of them practitioners from the campaigns of George W. Bush: attacks on "tax-and-spend Democrats," on the dependable liberal bogeyman, on "the angry Left," on Constitution-rewriting federal judges (including, incongruously, three of the Supreme Court justices who voted to uphold McCain's singular legislative achievement: the campaign-finance act he authored with Democrat Russ Feingold).

"If hypocrisy were gold, the Capitol would be Fort Knox," McCain once famously said. "Some of those guys," he said, referring to his fellow senators, "have they even had lives? What have they done?" He added, "Aw, jeez, this is exactly the kind of thing that gets me into trouble." Indeed.

McCain's first choices to be his running mate were former Gov. Tom Ridge of Pennsylvania and Senator Joe Lieberman, the Democrat-turned-Independent from Connecticut, and former vice presidential nominee of his former party. Neither passed the ideological litmus test of the Republican-Right -- "The Base" -- because each holds pro-choice views. Certainly both are qualified to step into the presidency in terms of national security credentials -- regardless of whether one agrees with their particular politics -- in the event of the death of the president. McCain's "Hail Mary" pick -- Palin -- was hastily decided on the next-to-last day of the Democratic convention, by which time it was evident that Obama's convention was winning over independent voters; all that remained was the final night and the opportunity for Obama to deliver a speech that would further work to his advantage, and debilitate the McCain campaign. Only by exciting "The Base" could McCain remain competitive and win, it was calculated.

The distance from McCain's ads and assertions about his presidential opponent and Democrats generally, and his decision to run a "persona-based" campaign, as opposed to being specific on the issues, is of a piece with his choice of Palin to be his running mate. As another conservative commentator sometimes critical of McCain -- Peggy Noonan -- has noted, the "narrative" of a life [McCain's, Palin's], takes over from existential political fact in the type of campaign run by McCain and his handlers. We have heard an awful lot in the past few weeks, especially from Sarah Palin, about John McCain "The Maverick," just as we did in the convention narrative. But what McCain has actually been doing in this campaign, rather than actually being The Maverick, is conveying the appearance of iconoclasm, and playing to the crowd. (Hence, perhaps, "suspending" his campaign -- and trying to postpone the first presidential debate while his poll numbers are sinking -- to deal with the financial crisis?) At this point, the maverick claim seems no more genuine than Sarah Palin's charade foreign-policy tour of Manhattan with no witnesses -- reporters -- permitted to observe the proceedings.

The issue of Palin's relative ignorance about international affairs and the larger world beyond America's shores (compared to previous vice presidential nominees), her attendant arrogance in seeming to revel in it, and McCain's decision to subject the country to it in choosing a possible president -- is the biggest question in this election, or perhaps ought to be. It goes to the core of who the John McCain of this campaign is.

Another conservative commentator, David Brooks, wrote last week: "Sarah Palin has many virtues. If you wanted someone to destroy a corrupt establishment, she'd be your woman. But the constructive act of governance is another matter. She has not been engaged in national issues, does not have a repertoire of historic patterns and, like President Bush, she seems to compensate for her lack of experience with brashness and excessive decisiveness."

The more we learn, the more we realize the vetting process was -- given the rush of the circumstances -- hopelessly inadequate: McCain didn't know many aspects of Palin's record or her reputation (none of which is to say she wouldn't be a congenial fit as, say, Secretary of Interior in a McCain administration). McCain's first choices for a running mate -- Ridge and Lieberman -- were light years ahead of Palin in the vice presidential-qualification department. But they didn't meet the ideological test, exactly the ideological litmus test that McCain has attacked his whole political career and told us he would never succumb to.

John McCain is a serious man, as anyone who has spent time with him knows. But he has not run the kind of serious campaign he once promised.

Not for the first time, as many of his fellow Republicans (as opposed to friendly reporters and sympathetic Democrats) had long maintained, McCain's more reckless inclinations and lesser impulses prevailed. A great political movement that would transcend rabid partisanship and hard ideology does not seem in the cards.

And if he wins the election, Sarah Palin -- who in her first post-convention discussion of foreign policy indicated a willingness to go to war with Russia over Georgia -- stands a heartbeat away from the presidency.

Ultimately it is the choice of Palin, made in the moment when action speaks loudest, that may undermine a quarter-century of assertions by John McCain about the preeminence of duty, honor and country in his political schema.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Sarah Palin? what kind of mother?

Jack Cafferty, CNN: "If Sarah Palin being a heartbeat away from the Presidency does not scare the hell out of you, it should."Now even conservatives are openly worried.

NEW YORK Criticism of John McCain from the right has escalated this week, from George Will to the Wall Street Journal's editorial page. But some conservative, in the wake of the Katie Couric interview, are also having second thoughts about Sarah Palin. Popular syndicated columnist and TV pundit Kathleen Parker, for example, has seen enough.

In a surprising post at National Review's site, she calls for Palin to step aside for the good of the country (and benefit of her family), saying she is out of her depth.

Parker writes: "No one hates saying that more than I do. Like so many women, I’ve been pulling for Palin, wishing her the best, hoping she will perform brilliantly. I’ve also noticed that I watch her interviews with the held breath of an anxious parent, my finger poised over the mute button in case it gets too painful. Unfortunately, it often does. My cringe reflex is exhausted.

"If BS were currency, Palin could bail out Wall Street herself. If Palin were a man, we’d all be guffawing, just as we do every time Joe Biden tickles the back of his throat with his toes. But because she’s a woman — and the first ever on a Republican presidential ticket — we are reluctant to say what is painfully true.

"What to do?

"Only Palin can save McCain, her party, and the country she loves. She can bow out for personal reasons, perhaps because she wants to spend more time with her newborn. No one would criticize a mother who puts her family first. Do it for your country."

Paschal’s comment: For anyone to imagine that this bundle of over-confidence with vast ignorance could possibly have the awareness to grasp her lack of fitness for this office is vain hope. Consider what kind of mother is willing to expose her unmarried pregnant daughter to the entire world? Since she did not believe in birth control, her daughter most likely had no information about safe sex. Furthermore, she was willing to expose her daughter to the world press in order to represent the GOP of Privilege and Family Values as their Second most visible representative. Such pride can have no insight into its own arrogance. You can bet the Party of Privilege will keep her under wraps until the debate next Thursday unless they can find some emergency in Alaska that desperately needs her presence there.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Are the Republicans the Anti-Christ of American Politics?

Are the Republicans the Anti - Christ of American politics?

For the past 27 years since Ronald Reagan, Republicans have proclaimed the government to be the problem, promising less taxes, less government, and less regulations. What they have delivered is a massive deficit, out of control spending, and a Washington culture of massive corruption, not to mention an unnecessary war of choice from which we are having great difficulty disengaging. CEOs, bankers, brokers, lobbyists and politicians have filled their own pockets, gotten richer than rich, with little regard for the ordinary working man and woman.

As the result this week in September of 2008, we faced a massive meltdown of the world markets and the U.S. economy. Deregulation was the mantra of the G.O.P. , fed by big money gifts to politicians who voted to suspend regulations long in place since FDR, in place precisely to prevent the repetition of the collapse that produced the market collapse of 1929 and the Great Depression of the 1930s.

Now, with plans under way this weekend, to force us taxpayers to bail out the for profit organizations and their greedy CEOs. Not 700 million from our pockets, but a low estimate (never believe #43!) of 700 BILLION DOLLARS. Wake up, America! That is almost a million times a million, almost a trillion dollars we ordinary folks must pay for Republican lack of oversight, and an out of control speculative market. Republicans are demanding &7,000.00 from every wage earner in this country to pay for there blindness, stupidly and greed.

The Republican party was in total control of this government under Bush from 2000 to 2006, and McCain was the cheerleader of deregulation, priding himself to be such. If you have a short memory as most Americans, you may have forgotten that McCain was one of the principals I the Savings and Loan scandal, one of the Keating Five Senators accused of corruption and disciplined by the ethics committee of the Senate. Does anyone see the hypocrisy that McCain is now running against the corruption in Washington in which he was a major player?

If a true conservative (and there are some) is not OUTRAGED at this betrayal of Republican principles, he or she is still part of the problem We shall not speak further here of McCain’s dishonesty in running a dishonest and lying political campaign. The vast number of lies is elsewhere listed.

I will suggest here that the Republican party has not merely lost its brand of conservatism, or taken over by the NeoCons. That is an internal dispute only Republicans can address. I do suggest here for the average citizen the Republican party has became the Anti-Christ of American politics. They have utterly betrayed the trust given them. No wonder so few even go to the polls to vote anymore. An anti-Christ figure promises redemption, wholeness, salvation but secretly works against the common good.

Republicans have clearly revealed themselves in this year of 2008 to be the Anti-Christ of American politics. If you do not believe this, simply examine the actual dishonormg by John McCain, not only of his first marriage, his lying in his autobiography, and his repeated lying today, supposedly running against his own record of 26 years in Congress, all detailed elsewhere.

Anyone who is not outraged at this systematic betrayal of the American people is simply not paying attention, of such is their political blindness they find some way to excuse it or blame others.

Paschal Baute
Lexington, Ky

Saturday, September 20, 2008

If You Are NOT Outraged...? comment on this week 918 -22

If you are NOT outraged....

Estimated 700 billion plus dollars of your money
is needed to bail out Wall Street’s greed and
to remedy our leaders’ failure of oversight.

My friend Schultzie in St. Louis (hello to your bride Mary Jane) guessed well how much I had to clean up my language to make it acceptable to priestly ears my last FCM post. I have a few MP friends, several Vietnam vets who fell for the Swiftboating of John Kerry, who deserve now to fly only at night like bats. I admit to language from my Navy Chaplain years, a bit more salty.

The mantra of Republicans since Reagan has been reduce taxes, reduce government, eliminate regulation. What they have really done is create massive deficits, established a climate of rampant corruption, with a global meltdown. They have sold the soul of the American worker for personal profit under the divine belief that the Free Global Market will solve all problems.

"We are a nation of whiners and the recession is only mental," said Senator Phil Graham, McCain’s main economic advisor, and the Dereg Pusher who put the nails in the coffin of this economic debacle, worst since the Depression. Graham wrote McCain’s economic plan and was or is in place to become a big player in McCain’s administration.

So now, guess what? Under Republicans being in charge the last 26 our of 40 years, in total control in #43's first six years, we ordinary taxpayers are having to pay our taxes for the bailout of the huge but huge corporations run for profit with CEO’s walking away with hundreds of millions of our ripped off money and trust. Now we are living in a socialist government because of Republican greed and blind worship of the Free Market.

We have just this week lost 20 to 50 % of our retirement stash and huge drop in our home values, which for many of us is out biggest security cushion. All this was done by our elected leaders who so trusted the Divine Market that they were ready to sell us, tried mightily to sell us, the privatization of social security within two years ago.

'Scuse me, Schultzie. Anyone NOT outraged at this betrayal of trust by our elected leaders have either been a blind part of the problem or they simply don’t understand what has happening.

Republicans in their knee jerk reaction to all government regulation have made socialists of us all, a great transfer of wealth from the average guys and gals to bail out huge for profit organizations in order to save the entire system from going down the tube.

Our taxes are being used to pay for the unparalleled risky investments these bankers and brokers and Republicans took while still walking away with big bucks. The regulatory structures put in place by FDR to prevent another depression have been systematically destroyed.

Massive tax cuts for the rich, trickle down economics and here comes the bill. Ordinary people are stuck with paying an estimated $7.000 per taxpayer to bail out the companies run for profit. Our Republican leaders and fellow voters have turned us all into Socialists. While they whined for decades about the “transfer of wealth” by the graduated income tax FDR initiated.

Transfer of wealth, indeed. We end up paying the salaries of the for profit people making huge salaries in the market and banks and insurance companies, in order to keep the entire system from collapsing. If you think this does not mean extra taxes, you are dreaming.

All of this is brought to us by the party that would protect us from Big Government and the abuse of Welfare for the poor. The G.O.P. is now seen clearly for what it is: the party of the rich, for the rich and by the rich. We ordinary guys and gals are now paying for their partying. It is not and has never been the party of the people, by the people and for the people.
1. In their absolute fear of anything "socialist," like the hand of the government regulation on the Free Market, Republicans have brought us a new Socialism in which we ordinary people are now forced to pay for their risk taking promiscuous partying.
If you are NOT outraged, you have no idea how much you have been ripped off by those pretending to protect you from Big Government.

Welcome to the new national Socialism of the Republicans. We pay for the gamblers to make more money AT OUR RISK. If we return this gang of thieves to power we are believing that the Dictatorship of the Proletariat is still only temporary.

Paschal in Lexington.
Noblesse Oblige. Carpe Diem

Thursday, September 18, 2008

The Republican "God" is Dead: the Divinity of the Free Market is Stripped Naked

The Republican "God" is Dead”
The Divinity of the Free Market is Stripped Naked.
Black September 2008.

Paschal Baute, proudly a progressive pragmatist.

Now in this September of 2008 we can see the stupidity of six years of Republican hegemony when they alone controlled both the White House and both Houses of Congress. There was no balance of power our founders intended in a tripart government. A Republican Congre3s rubber-0stamped everything Bush proposed. He did not veto a single earmark of federal funding for projects like the Bridge to Nowhere that Governor Palin keeps on boasting that she refused.

The stupidity, blindness, greed, avarice of unregulated institutions run by multi -millionaires is revealed. An Rand’s rampant individualism is shown for its blindness to actual human behavior. The architects of this collapse are Republican conservative ideologues who believed the free unregulated market would itself solve all its problems.

"Deregulate, Deregulate, deregulate" has been the mantra from Washington and John McCain has been a leader (he recently bragged on just this point) for 26 years. Yes, my as my Republican brother will point out for sure, some of the deregulation started with Clinton. But the known cheerleader, the main instigator has been Phil Gramm, McCain’s main economy advisor.

The conservative and libertarian keen jerk reaction to any and all regulation can now be seen for its total blindness to the reality of human nature, to greed, to the effect of Ayn Rand's Individualism so worshiped among many in the business and financial sectors.

So, with the federal bailouts of huge corporations with our tax monies, we are now all Communist, believing in the transfer of wealth from the poor and middle class to the fat cats, brokers, bankers, traders, insurers on Wall Street and in New York who have been making huge bucks in the absence of guidelines, regulations, and potential penalties now seen, finally seen we hope, as necessary.

The poor we will always have with us. They can take care of themselves, lift themselves by their own bootstraps. Now the fat cats are the ones who get government welfare in order to save the entire financial system from going down the drain in a total collapse of confidence. What stupidity from Washington, from the White House, from Congress, from all the Neocons, the Limbaughs, talk radio, and the O’Reilllys and the Hannitys from Fix News. Bull Crap galore: where is the pony in Reagan’s crap pile?

Obama has at least some plans worth considering, supported and advised by a number of pragmatic realists. Obama is a pragmatist. He will do what will work. McCain has no plan. Just trust him to clean up the mess he helped create over many years. Which is our best chance? We have less than 50 days to listen and to decide.

My conservative Republican and Libertarian friends: "take off your sunglasses. Open your eyes to another view." For balance, tune in to Countdown with Keith Olberman and the Rachel Maddow show, , MSNBC, 8 and 9 p.m. weekly. CNN is more likely to balance news than Fix News. The discussion last night on CNN AC360 between Robert Reich and the conservative guest (name lost) was revealing. The conservative financial guru agreed in every respect with Reich, who is part of the Obama advisoly team

Will he U.S. financial system collapse? This week or this month or this fall? Guess what? No one really knows. Supposedly, yes, the fundamentals are strong and good. Right now that may not be worth a good pee. We need a total change in Washington, asap. ACTION.

A commission? What crap!

Tuesday, September 09, 2008


Latest Right Wing Hate Speech Outrage:
Smearing a Very Effective Smart Progressive Woman News Anchor

Even by the low standards of the Republican News Network, this morning's attack on Rachel Maddow, on the Fox News network, as a "lesbian Air America host" was a despicable new low. Those words, an open appeal to bigotry and hate, said by an alleged media analyst named Tim Graham, were met with laughter and chortles by the Fox News team on air. This is sick and despicable stuff, even for Fox News.

Here is a message to Barack Obama: You need to spend more time fighting back against the lies and smears of a Swift Boat campaign more ugly than the campaign against John Kerry, and less time having sweet-talk meetings with Rupert Murdoch and Roger Ailes followed by professorial discourse with Bill O'Reilly. This is war, Barack, and you had better fight back.

The sickness and dementia of a purported news network airing with smug laughs and happy chortles a naked appeal to hatred and bigotry in this attack on "a lesbian Air America host" is a low that even a Republican cable organization like Fox should never stoop to.

Let’s see if the "Fox Democrats," such as Lanny Davis, Howard Wolfson and Susan Estrich, have the strength of principle to stand against this. One of them recently wrote of how proud he was that both parties nominated four great candidates. Is this Fox Democrat proud they nominated Sarah Palin? Is this a Democrat, a real Democrat? A Democrat proud that Republicans nominated Sarah Palin? Huh?

Let’s see if Democrats can summon the steel and will and fight to answer this campaign of personal destruction and let’s see if Barack Obama can toughen up his game, and play NFL Super Bowl football.

In the meantime, Fox News should be ashamed and embarrassed that they allow their shows to be used to attack "a lesbian Air America host.”

Sick is sick. Despicable is despicable. And this is sick and despicable. And each and every Republican and Fox News Democrat should say it.

Paschal Baute: I have watched and enjoyed Rachel for months as a guest on various MSNBC programs. I am delighted that she now has her own program. She is one of my favorites. This is simply another reason why evil is so rampant that we need laws against hatespeech. Her program is at 9 p.m. EST weekdays. MSNBC

Reference: Brent Budowsky is a regular columnist on

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Frank Rich did his homework on Sarah Palin: her fictions prevailed

Excerpts from his column, NY Times, Today

....We still don’t know a lot about Palin except that she’s better at delivering a speech than McCain and that she defends her own pregnant daughter’s right to privacy even as she would have the government intrude to police the reproductive choices of all other women. Most of the rest of the biography supplied by her and the McCain camp is fiction.

She didn’t say “no thanks” to the “Bridge to Nowhere” until after Congress had already abandoned it but given Alaska a blank check for $223 million in taxpayers’ money anyway. Far from rejecting federal pork, she hired lobbyists to secure her town a disproportionate share of earmarks ($1,000 per resident in 2002, 20 times the per capita average in other states). Though McCain claimed “she has had national security as one of her primary responsibilities,” she has never issued a single command as head of the Alaska National Guard. As for her “executive experience” as mayor, she told her hometown paper in Wasilla, Alaska, in 1996, the year of her election: “It’s not rocket science. It’s $6 million and 53 employees.” Her much-advertised crusade against officials abusing their office is now compromised by a bipartisan ethics investigation into charges that she did the same.

How long before we learn she never shot a moose?

Given the actuarial odds that could make Palin our 45th president, it would be helpful to know who this mystery woman actually is. Meanwhile, two eternal axioms of our politics remain in place. Americans vote for the top of the ticket, not the bottom. And in judging the top of the ticket, voters look first at the candidates’ maiden executive decision, their selection of running mates. Whatever we do and don’t know about Palin’s character at this point, there is no ambiguity in what her ascent tells us about McCain’s character and potential presidency.

He wanted to choose the pro-abortion-rights Joe Lieberman as his vice president. If he were still a true maverick, he would have done so. But instead he chose partisanship and politics over country. “God only made one John McCain, and he is his own man,” said the shafted Lieberman in his own tedious convention speech last week. What a pathetic dupe. McCain is now the man of James Dobson and Tony Perkins. The “no surrender” warrior surrendered to the agents of intolerance not just by dumping his pal for Palin but by moving so far to the right on abortion that even Cindy McCain seemed unaware of his radical shift when being interviewed by Katie Couric last week.

That ideological sellout, unfortunately, was not the worst leadership trait the last-minute vice presidential pick revealed about McCain. His speed-dating of Palin reaffirmed a more dangerous personality tic that has dogged his entire career. His decision-making process is impetuous and, in its Bush-like preference for gut instinct over facts, potentially reckless.

As The New York Times reported last Tuesday, Palin was sloppily vetted, at best. McCain operatives and some of their press surrogates responded to this revelation by trying to discredit The Times article. After all, The Washington Post had cited McCain aides (including his campaign manager, Rick Davis) last weekend to assure us that Palin had a “full vetting process.” She had been subjected to “an F.B.I. background check,” we were told, and “the McCain camp had reviewed everything it could find on her.”

The Times had it right. The McCain campaign’s claims of a “full vetting process” for Palin were as much a lie as the biographical details they’ve invented for her. There was no F.B.I. background check. The Times found no evidence that a McCain representative spoke to anyone in the State Legislature or business community. Nor did anyone talk to the fired state public safety commissioner at the center of the Palin ethics investigation. No McCain researcher even bothered to consult the relevant back issues of the Wasilla paper. Apparently when McCain said in June that his vice presidential vetting process was basically “a Google,” he wasn’t joking.

This is a roll of the dice beyond even Bill Clinton’s imagination. “Often my haste is a mistake,” McCain conceded in his 2002 memoir, “but I live with the consequences without complaint.” Well, maybe it’s fine if he wants to live with the consequences, but what about his country? Should the unexamined Palin prove unfit to serve at the pinnacle of American power, it will be too late for the rest of us to complain.

We’ve already seen where such visceral decision-making by McCain can lead. In October 2001, he speculated that Saddam Hussein might have been behind the anthrax attacks in America. That same month he out-Cheneyed Cheney in his repeated public insistence that Iraq had a role in 9/11 — even after both American and foreign intelligence services found that unlikely. He was similarly rash in his reading of the supposed evidence of Saddam’s W.M.D. and in his estimate of the number of troops needed to occupy Iraq. (McCain told MSNBC in late 2001 that we could do with fewer than 100,000.) It wasn’t until months after “Mission Accomplished” that he called for more American forces to be tossed into the bloodbath. The whole fiasco might have been prevented had he listened to those like Gen. Eric Shinseki who faulted the Rumsfeld war plan from the start.

In other words, McCain’s hasty vetting of Palin was all too reminiscent of his grave dereliction of due diligence on the war. He has been no less hasty in implying that we might somehow ride to the military rescue of Georgia (“Today, we are all Georgians”) or in reaffirming as late as December 2007 that the crumbling anti-democratic regime of Pervez Musharraf deserved “the benefit of the doubt” even as it was enabling the resurgence of the Taliban and Al Qaeda. McCain’s blanket endorsement of Bush administration policy in Pakistan could have consequences for years to come.

“This election is not about issues” so much as the candidates’ images, said the McCain campaign manager, Davis, in one of the season’s most notable pronouncements. Going into the Republican convention, we thought we knew what he meant: the McCain strategy is about tearing down Obama. But last week made clear that the McCain campaign will be equally ruthless about deflecting attention from its own candidate’s deterioration.

What was most striking about McCain’s acceptance speech is that it had almost nothing in common with the strident right-wing convention that preceded it. We were pointedly given a rerun of McCain 2000 — cobbled together from scraps of the old Straight Talk repertory. The ensuing tedium was in all likelihood intentional. It’s in the campaign’s interest that we nod off and assume McCain is unchanged in 2008.

That’s why the Palin choice was brilliant politics — not because it rallied the G.O.P.’s shrinking religious-right base. America loves nothing more than a new celebrity face, and the talking heads marched in lock step last week to proclaim her a star. Palin is a high-energy distraction from the top of the ticket, even if the provenance of her stardom is in itself a reflection of exactly what’s frightening about the top of the ticket.

By hurling charges of sexism and elitism at any easily cowed journalist who raises a question about Palin, McCain operatives are hoping to ensure that whatever happened in Alaska with Sarah Palin stays in Alaska. Given how little vetting McCain himself has received this year — and that only 58 days remain until Nov. 4 — they just might pull it off.

Thursday, September 04, 2008


Sarah Palin Revealed.
Research as Thursday, September 4, 2008

If you imagine that Sarah Palin has any credentials to be a Reformer, or that she should be taken at face value for her boasts so far, then read this, laugh and be ready to wonder how much more vetting this person awaits us.
Wonder also when she will submit herself to an interview like Tim Russert used to do, not some kind of Fox sycophant, where any of these embarrassing questions can be asked.

Her record is about to be scrubbed by the media. Rightfully so, for one who aims to be heartbeat away from the presumptive Presidency of a 72 year old man.

Here's a sampling of reports that complicate Palin's reformist credentials:

1 Last year, Palin requested more earmarks per person than any other state -- including some that were criticized by McCain himself.

2. Even as mayor of Wasilla, Palin's pursuit of earmarks was aggressive. She oversaw the hiring of a Washington lobbyist -- who, as we reported yesterday, had ties to Jack Abramoff – to go after federal pork.

3. And though Palin touted her opposition to the "Bridge to Nowhere" just last week in her debut speech, actually she initially supported the project during her run for governor. It was only after the bridge became notorious as an example of pork barrel spending that she changed her position.

4. In her run for governor, Palin was endorsed by now-indicted Sen. Ted Stevens. Video of the endorsement has been removed from her government website, but the two appeared together just two months ago at a press conference on energy. The friendly relationship between the embattled senator, who is accused of lying about gifts he received from an oil contractor, and the supposedly maverick governor is at odds with Palin's claim to dismantling the "old boys club" of Alaska government.

5. As Wasilla mayor, Palin reportedly fired the police chief and attempted to fire the librarian, because she did not feel that she had their "full support in [her] efforts to govern the city of Wasilla." Former city officials allege that the attempts to remove the librarian were a result of her refusal to censor books at Palin's request.

6. Palin has been at the center of the Trooper-Gate scandal that alleges misuse of her gubernatorial power. The affair erupted in July when Palin fired the Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan. Monegan later claimed his firing was a result of his refusal to fire Palin's former brother-in-law and trooper Mike Wooten. Palin denied that she, her husband or her staff ever pressured Monegan, a statement she later had to retract when recorded phone calls revealed one of her aides, Frank Bailey, had called a troopers office pushing for Wooten's removal.

7. Thursday, September 4, the Washington Post published emails from Palin to Monegan in which she appeared to complain that Wooten was still employed, apparently undercutting her claim that she discussed Wooten with Monegan only in the context of the security of her family.

8. As a result of the Trooper-Gate allegations, an independent investigator has been appointed by the state legislature. In recent days, Palin has appeared to stonewall the probe. Her lawyer argued in a complaint filed last night that she wold not be made available for her deposition unless the probe were handed over to the state personnel board, whose members are appointed by the governor. Bailey, who had been suspended by Palin with pay for his actions, today backed out of his deposition.

9. In a separate civil suit related to Wooten, Palin has claimed executive privilege on over a thousand emails between her and her staff.

10. ALASKA POLICE UNION FILES COMPLAINT AGAINST PALIN. An ethics complaint was filed Wednesday by the police officers union in Alaska, requesting a probe into possible wrongdoing by the governor or her office. It was brought on behalf of state trooper Mike Wooten, an ex-brother-in-law of Palin who is at the center of the "Troopergate" scandal.
The complaint alleges that the governor or her staff may have improperly disclosed information from Wooten's personnel records. The complaint alleges "criminal penalties may apply." john Cyr, director of the union that filed the complaint, told NBC News, "It seems obvious to us somebody has improperly accessed [Wooten's] personnel file."


STAY TUNED, Folks! This is just the beginning.
Or google yoursefl “Sarah Palin Revealed” to see what is new for yourself. Do your own research.
This is a fascinating story being unfolded, and most of it is being done on the internet.
The editor of The Anchorage Daily News said yesterday that the previous maximum hits their web site and archives had ever got was 350,00, but since last Friday, they had received four million.

Paschal Baute


Who is Sarah Palin? She tried 3X to ban books at the public LIbrary

Who is Sarah Palin?
Threatened Firing, Then Backed off, 12 years ago.

WASILLA -- Back in 1996, when she first became mayor, Sarah Palin asked the city librarian if she would be all right with censoring library books should she be asked to do so.

According to news coverage at the time, the librarian said she would definitely not be all right with it. A few months later, the librarian, Mary Ellen Emmons, got a letter from Palin telling her she was going to be fired. The censorship issue was not mentioned as a reason for the firing. The letter just said the new mayor felt Emmons didn't fully support her and had to go.

Emmons had been city librarian for seven years and was well liked. After a wave of public support for her, Palin relented and let Emmons keep her job.

It all happened 12 years ago and the controversy long ago disappeared into musty files. Until this week. Under intense national scrutiny, the issue has returned to dog her. It has been mentioned in news stories in Time Magazine and The New York Times and is spreading like a virus through the blogosphere.

The stories are all suggestive, but facts are hard to come by. Did Palin actually ban books at the Wasilla Public Library?

In December 1996, Emmons told her hometown newspaper, the Frontiersman, that Palin three times asked her -- starting before she was sworn in -- about possibly removing objectionable books from the library if the need arose.

Emmons told the Frontiersman she flatly refused to consider any kind of censorship. Emmons, now Mary Ellen Baker, is on vacation from her current job in Fairbanks and did not return e-mail or telephone messages left for her Wednesday.

When the matter came up for the second time in October 1996, during a City Council meeting, Anne Kilkenny, a Wasilla housewife who often attends council meetings, was there.

Like many Alaskans, Kilkenny calls the governor by her first name.

"Sarah said to Mary Ellen, 'What would your response be if I asked you to remove some books from the collection?" Kilkenny said.

"I was shocked. Mary Ellen sat up straight and said something along the line of, 'The books in the Wasilla Library collection were selected on the basis of national selection criteria for libraries of this size, and I would absolutely resist all efforts to ban books.'"

Palin didn't mention specific books at that meeting, Kilkenny said.

Palin herself, questioned at the time, called her inquiries rhetorical and simply part of a policy discussion with a department head "about understanding and following administration agendas," according to the Frontiersman article.


Were any books censored banned? June Pinell-Stephens, chairwoman of the Alaska Library Association's Intellectual Freedom Committee since 1984, checked her files Wednesday and came up empty-handed.

Pinell-Stephens also had no record of any phone conversations with Emmons about the issue back then. Emmons was president of the Alaska Library Association at the time.Books may not have been pulled from library shelves, but there were other repercussions for Emmons.

Four days before the exchange at the City Council, Emmons got a letter from Palin asking for her resignation. Similar letters went to police chief Irl Stambaugh, public works director Jack Felton and finance director Duane Dvorak. John Cooper, a fifth director, resigned after Palin eliminated his job overseeing the city museum.

Palin told the Daily News back then the letters were just a test of loyalty as she took on the mayor's job, which she'd won from three-term mayor John Stein in a hard-fought election. Stein had hired many of the department heads. Both Emmons and Stambaugh had publicly supported him against Palin.

Emmons survived the loyalty test and a second one a few months later. She resigned in August 1999, two months before Palin was voted in for a second mayoral term.

Palin might have become a household name in the last week, but Kilkenny, who is not a Palin fan, is on her own small path to Internet fame. She sent out an e-mail earlier this week to friends and family answering, from her perspective, the question Outsiders are asking any Alaskan they know: "Who is this Sarah Palin?"

Kilkenny's e-mail got bounced through cyberspace and ended up on news blogs. Now the small-town mom and housewife is scheduling interviews with national news media and got her name on the front page of The New York Times, even if it was misspelled.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Sarah Palin's Trouble with the Police

As you vet a candidate fof a position of power, look for who they kicked on the way up, that is, whether there is examples of the mis-use of power for personal interests. Paschal, 9/3/08

Case at hand is this revelation re Sarah Palin.

Sarah Palin's Trouble with the Police

By Robert Parry, Consortium News.

Posted September 2, 2008.

In her two executive jobs in Alaska, Palin ousted top law-enforcement officials because they were insufficiently loyal or not malleable enough.

You have to admire the Republican chutzpah. Still confronting a national scandal about packing the Justice Department with “loyal Bushies,” they pick a vice presidential candidate who – in her two executive jobs in Alaska – ousted top law-enforcement officials because they were insufficiently loyal or not malleable enough.

One of those firings has put Gov. Sarah Palin at the center of an ongoing legislative investigation that presumably will require her to testify about whether she was behind efforts by her husband and senior staff to pressure the state’s public safety commissioner to fire her ex-brother-in-law from the state troopers.

When the commissioner, former Anchorage police chief Walter Monegan, refused to go along, he was summarily ousted by Palin without much explanation.

Unless the Republicans can figure out a way to block Palin’s sworn deposition, she will have to either admit that she used her political influence to wage a family vendetta or she must face the risk that her continued denials of involvement will be contradicted by her own staff or by some other evidence.

However, if Palin admits that she did use her government office to punish a personal enemy – or that she fired the public safety commissioner because he refused to join in her family feud – the Republicans may have trouble continuing to sell Palin as a reform-minded governor.

Instead, Palin would appear to fit more neatly with Bush administration operatives who engineered the firing of nine U.S. Attorneys in 2006 and who employed ideological litmus tests in deciding who to hire for career jobs at the Justice Department.

As Kyle Sampson, chief of staff to then-Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, famously put it: the motive for purging the federal prosecutors was to eliminate those who were deemed not “loyal Bushies.”

Some of the U.S. Attorneys, such as New Mexico’s David Iglesias, had balked at political pressure before Election 2006 to bring what the prosecutors considered flimsy voter-fraud cases against prominent Democrats.

Now it appears that Sarah Palin shares the Bush administration's view about putting cronies in key law-enforcement jobs, making hers act like “loyal Palinistas.” As mayor of the tiny town of Wasilla and as governor of Alaska, she fired two top law-enforcement officials when they didn’t show sufficient loyalty or obedience to her.

Ousting the Chief

In 1996, after winning the election to be mayor of Wasilla then with a population of about 5,000, Palin sought to oust six department heads because they had signed a letter supporting the previous mayor, their old boss. Palin ultimately fired two of them, including the police chief.

Wasilla’s ousted police chief, Irl Stambaugh, sued Palin in 1997 for alleged contract violation, wrongful termination and gender discrimination The police chief claimed Palin fired him not for cause but for being disloyal and because he was a man whose size – 6 feet and 200 pounds – intimidated her.

However, a federal judge dismissed Stambaugh’s lawsuit.

So, having escaped any serious damage for punishing Wasilla’s police chief for a supposed lack of political loyalty, Palin had little reason not to throw her weight around when she became Alaska’s governor in December 2006.

By then, Palin was deeply involved in her family’s vendetta against her sister’s ex-husband, trooper Mike Wooten. Through complaints to his superiors, Palin already had helped engineer Wooten’s five-day suspension from the state police earlier in 2006 for various examples of personal misconduct.

In January 2007, a month into Palin’s term, her husband, Todd, invited Palin’s new public safety commissioner Monegan to the governor’s office, where Todd Palin urged Monegan to reopen the Wooten case. After checking on it, Monegan informed Todd Palin that he couldn’t do anything because the case was closed.

In an interview with the Washington Post, Monegan said that a few days later, the governor also called him about the Wooten matter and he gave her the same answer. Monegan said Gov. Palin brought the issue up again in a February 2007 meeting at the state capitol, prompting his warning that she should back off.

However, Monegan said Gov. Palin kept bringing the issue up indirectly through e-mails, such as comparing another bad trooper to “my former brother-in-law, or that trooper I used to be related to.”

Sarah Palin is revealed as a Fraud.

Sarah Palin clearly advertises herself as a fiscal conservative, even bragging in her very first speech.

The record shows clearly that she sought and obtained millions in earmarks from the Federal Goverment both as mayor and as governor. Clearly.

It is also revealed now that the vetting process was abbreviated. She was first interviewed the day before the announcement was made.

Since the National Ihquirer has sent staff to Alaska to discover what was not investigated, we can be sure to hear more.

She has said the Iraqi war was from God, and pobably also that those who voted Democratic are going to hell, as her home church preacher has said.

Her prime time talk this evening should be interesting, for sure.