Monday, September 15, 2008

Sarah Palin's World Travels

Even though vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin has only had her passport since last year, she has traveled the world extensively. This, it seems, adds to her credibility as an experienced politician ready to lead. What with Russia so close to her that she can practically see it from her house (my words not hers), she probably has more foreign policy experience than George Bush (low bar, I know.) He could only see Mexico.

So the McCain/Palin campaign has disseminated the following past travel destinations for Palin.
  1. Ireland (Turns out it was only a 1 hour stopover for re-fueling on the trip to Kuwait)
  2. Iraq (This has been proven to be false... are you surprised?)
  3. Kuwait (She was there for two days visiting troops from Alaska-stayed on base for 1-1/2 days but was never in the field)
  4. Germany (A quick stop on the return flight to visit wounded Alaskan soldiers)
  5. Mexico (Turns out it was a family vacation)
  6. Canada (No word on where, why or how often)
Let's see, I've been to:
  • Canada for a total of 8 weeks (at least)
  • Bermuda for a total of 3 weeks
  • Bahamas for a total of 1 week.
Does this qualify me as VP material? Oh, and I was a hockey mom, too. I even played for 30 years. But alas, I don't wear lipstick. And I knew what the Bush Doctrine was. I guess I'm out.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Kudos to Al Franken

Kudos to author, radio host, actor and comedian Al Franken for easily winning the Democratic nomination for the Senate in Minnesota. He will be challenging republican Sen. Norm Coleman for the seat. Franken is an intelligent, politically savvy and extremely knowledgeable gentleman that will be a great addition to the Senate. Good luck to you, Al.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Mavericks, yet they can't fly solo!

A maverick, according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary is "an independent individual who does not go along with a group or party." John McCain and Sarah Palin are self-declared mavericks. So the underlying question, one that I wish Charlie Gibson would ask in his supposed upcoming hard hitting interview with the "barracuda," is why aren't they acting like independent individuals?

Joe Biden began stumping for the ticket, on his own, yes, all by his lonesome, immediately after Barack Obama announced that he was ready from day one. Why? Because he was. He's been on the interview circuit continously while constantly and competently answering the "mean spirited" media's barrage of questions. (Note: He doesn't need democratic traitor Joe Leiberman on his right correcting his answers either.) He has been allowed to answer questions and hit the campaign trail running because he didn't need the coaching, prepping, learning curve, late night, after-the-fact vetting that his counterpart obviously so desperately requires.

Sarah Palin is not allowed to answer questions from the press (supposedly because they pick on her too much, come on, Hillary took a beating and she handled it and she doesn't even shoot or eat moose.) She can't even deliver a Karl Rovian surrogate written speech without John McCain nervously looking over her shoulder. If you don't believe me, go back to one of the videos of his announcement speech after he introduced her (or the photo above.) He's either checking out her ass or reading her speech word for word to make sure she's adhering to it. Neither one is good for the country. Think about it. While you're at it, think about this random, scary thought. If she truly feels that the press is being too hard on her, which she has expressed, what is going to happen when she has to sit down in negotiations with President Putin about power struggles and military aggression. (Surely she knows who Putin is, afterall Cindy McCain bases Palin's foreign policy experience on the fact that Alaska is so close to Russia, I kid you not!) Is her staff, those whom she had not yet fired for looking at her too sternly, going to tell Putin that he is being too mean to her? Seriously. We are not the only country in the world to have a woman or black man in power, far from it, we are just the only ones to make a big deal about it. Gender and race have no place in this election. It is the McCain campaign that is trying to make them an issue so that it will distract us from all of the important issues that he knows nothing about. But I digress and attempt to get back to my point...

What does this all mean? That she is obviously NOT, as in not even close, far from it, eons away, from being the proverbial heartbeat away from the leader of the post Bush free world. Nor is she a maverick. Maverick's are independents. I don't see anything independent about her in the past or more importantly, right now.
Quack, puff


Okay, this whole John McCain, Sarah Palin form of campaigning is really beginning to annoy me. I can not comprehend why the people in this great country are not doing anything about all of their lies. They are and have been exposed, either through the internet or on a much smaller basis the MSM. Let me just throw out a few that are on the top of my head (one caveat: my memory is horrendous:)
  1. He continously claims that Obama will raise taxes on the middle class and the poor. This is an OUTRIGHT LIE. Obama's plan specifically calls for a tax increase on anyone that makes OVER $250,000. Oh, I forgot though, John McBush thinks that anyone that makes under
    $5 million is middle class. That must explain his confusion. McCain's plan calls for a rate cut for the top 1% earners, leaving out everyone else. That means us, fellow middle classers and the poverty stricken.
  2. He OUTRIGHT LIES about Sarah Palin being a reformer against earmarks. As mayor of Wasilla (population 5,300 when she was head honcho) she hired a lobbyist (from disgraced and accused Sen. Ted Stevens office) and they received the highest per capita earmarks in the WHOLE COUNTRY. Yes, Obama also applied for earmarks but he has never claimed to be against them and certainly not a staunch reformer against them.
  3. He OUTRIGHT LIES about Sarah Palin putting the Governor's jet up for sale on Ebay and selling it for a PROFIT. This is absolutely NOT true! She listed it on Ebay 3 times and received no interest. She ended up having to sell it at more than a $500,000 LOSS. This jet was not just used to shuttle around the governor, it was also used to transport prisoners around the state.
  4. He has admitted to CHEATING on his former wife MANY times while they were married. In fact he married his current wife, Cindy just one month after the divorce was final. A fact that he also LIED about in his memoir. He has admitted to this lie on TV since then. Why is okay for him but not John Edwards? Oh, I forgot, because he spent 5-1/2 years in a prison cell over 40 years ago. Isn't that also the reason why it's okay that he can't remember that he owns 7 houses? No, couldn't be because that was the reason he used when he was accused of carpet bagging when he first ran for congress in Arizona way back when. Has he really been using that excuse that long? Uh, huh!

  5. He claims that he is a "maverick" (a little Top Gun envy going on there?) and has separated himself from George Bush. Yet when it suited him before, during the brief (and I emphasize brief) time that Bush's ratings were higher, he was like his twin. He even went on talk shows and bragged, yes bragged about how he voted with Bush 90% of the time. Now he's just wiped that record clean, as if it didn't happen. As if we are all stupid. That, ladies and gentlemen, is what he is counting on. For us to be stupid.

These are just a few of the MANY lies told by the McPalin campaign. I'll get into more later. Please feel free to add your own.
Quack, puff

Sarah Palin: A Trojan Moose Concealing Four More Years of George Bush

Did Sarah Palin wrongfully push to have her ex-brother-in law fired? Was she really against the "Bridge to Nowhere?" Did she really sell Alaska's plane on eBay, or just list it on eBay? Did she actually have any substantial duties commanding the Alaska National Guard?

The correct answer to all these questions is: who cares? Which isn't to say these aren't valid questions, or that Palin and the McCain camp aren't playing it fast, loose, and coy with each of them. The point is that Palin, and the circus she's brought to town, are simply a bountiful collection of small lies deliberately designed to distract the country from one big truth: the havoc that George Bush and the Republican Party have wrought, and that John McCain is committed to continuing.

Every second of this campaign not spent talking about the Republican Party's record, and John McCain's role in that record, is a victory for John McCain.

Her critics like to say that Palin hasn't accomplished anything. I disagree: in the space of ten days she's succeeded in distracting the entire country from the horrific Bush record -- and McCain's complicity in it. My friends, that's accomplishment we can believe in.

Just look at the problem John McCain faced. George Bush has a disastrous record, and the country knows it. John McCain -- the current one, not the one who vanished eight years ago -- has no major disagreements with George Bush (and I'm sorry, wanting to fire Donald Rumsfeld a bit sooner doesn't qualify) and wants to continue his incredibly unpopular policies for another four years. The solution? Enter Sarah Palin, a Trojan Moose carrying four more years of disaster.

And the plan has worked beautifully. Just look at what's being discussed just 57 days before the election. Is it the highest unemployment rate in five years? The bailout of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac? The suicide bombing yesterday in Iraq that killed six people and wounded 54 -- in the same market where last month a bomb killed 28 people and wounded 72? That the political reconciliation that was supposedly the point of "the surge" is nowhere near happening? That Iraq's Shiite government is now rounding up the American-backed Sunni leaders of the Awakening? That the reason 8,000 soldiers may be leaving Iraq soon is so more can be deployed to Afghanistan where the Taliban is steadily retaking the country?

No. We're talking about whether Sarah Palin was or was not a good mayor, whether she was or was not a good mother, whether her skirts are too short and her zingers too sarcastic.

Contrary to what we're hearing 24/7 in the media, the next few weeks are not a test of Sarah Palin. The next few weeks are a test of Barack Obama.

He needs to dramatically redirect this election back to a discussion over the issues that really matter -- the issues that will impact the future of this country. A presidential campaign is a battle and this is the time for Obama to show some commander-in-chief skills. I'm not talking about calling Palin out for lying about his record and demeaning community organizing. I'm talking about grabbing the political debate by the throat. The country is already angry about what's happened over the last seven-plus years -- he shouldn't be afraid to give voice to that anger. Obama has spent years adopting a non-threatening persona; but he can't let his fear that appearing like an "angry Black man" (a stereotype not-too-subtly fueled by Fox News) will turn off swing voters keep him from channeling the disgust and outrage felt by so many voters --swing and otherwise.

McCain's team, in an effort to distract, is going to keep doing what they're doing -- diverting voters and the media with a tantalizing combination of personal trivia and small lies. It doesn't matter if they're caught in them -- in fact, all the better. Because they know there is no way in hell they can win if this election is about the big truth of the Bush years.

McCain's real running mate is George Bush and the failed policies of the Republican Party. Even if they are dressed up in a skirt, lipstick, and Tina Fey glasses.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Cindy McCain, addict, STOLE drugs -no jail time

The Smoking Duck on Politics adds: Check out this video...

Originally published on From Death by 1000 Papercuts:

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Cindy McCain: The McCain Manipulation Machine

We ran across a story written in 1994, a full 14 years ago, detailing the Cindy McCain "almost" drug-theft scandal which the McCains managed to weasel their way out of.

These days Cindy McCain is the picture of the glowing, supportive spouse of a politician running for President. It was a different picture back then, at least in private, as the McCain's managed to turn the tale of Cindy's scheme for stealing narcotics using the doctors who worked in the charity she ran, into one of "redemption".

At the time, journalists were willing to play along, the "tearful" confession, the claims of attempting to battle her addiction by seeking treatment, which turned out to be untrue.

GOP presidential candidate John McCain's wife Cindy took to the airwaves last week, recounting for Jane Pauley (on "Dateline") and Diane Sawyer (on "Good Morning America") the tale of her onetime addiction to Percocet and Vicodin, and the fact that she stole the drugs from her own nonprofit medical relief organization.

It was a brave and obviously painful thing to do.

It was also vintage McCain media manipulation. Source - Salon

The Phoenix New Times wrote an extensive piece covering the McCain's machinations to keep Cindy out of jail and out of the harsh public eye. After all, how would the the public feel about a woman who stole narcotics to feed her habit using the very doctors who worked for her charity? They also attempted to have the unintentional whistle-blower, Tom Gosinski, charged with extortion.

And it worked, to a "T".

From the John McCain website:
As an advocate for children's health care needs, Cindy founded and ran the American Voluntary Medical Team (AVMT) from 1988 to 1995. AVMT provided emergency medical and surgical care to impoverished children throughout the world. Cindy led 55 medical missions to third world and war-torn countries during AVMT's seven years of existence. On one of those missions, Mother Teresa convinced Cindy to take two babies in need of medical attention to the United States. One of those babies is now their adopted daughter, 15 year old Bridget McCain.
A friend of Cindy's, Tom was hired in September of 1991 as director of government and international affairs. Tom says that by the summer of 1992 he and other employees thought Cindy's behavior to be so erratic that "she was addicted to the prescription narcotics Percocet and Vicodin. They believed she was obtaining these drugs illegally in the names of her employees and the public charity she founded."

Tom kept a journal of those days, days where he took Cindy and the kids on trips and taught one of her children to swim, days where Cindy's behavior was the talk of the office.
July 20, 1992: Well, this morning I received a call from Francis Fote, a doctor who traveled to El Salvador with AVMT. Fote called to inform me that he had visited with Cindy on Friday regarding the use of his DEA number. He asked that I tell Cindy his number could only be used in the state of New York as that is where he is licensed. I do not know what Cindy is up to but it appears as though she is trying to use several doctors' DEA #'s so that she can acquire drugs for personal use. Kathy Walker has stated several times in the past that this has been going on for quite some time and that the DEA has questioned large acquisitions of drugs such as percocet. We know that 300 percocet have been missing from AVMT's inventory and that Cindy says they are locked up at her home. I really don't know what is going on but I certainly hope that Cindy does not get herself or AVMT in trouble. I also hope that if it is necessary, Cindy is able to get help before she does herself harm. . . .
By October Tom wrote that Cindy's parents, the wealthy Budweiser distributors, Jim and Smitty Hensley, had confronted Cindy about her drug abuse.
I understand that she told the Hensleys her addiction was rooted in her unhappiness--her marriage--and that she took the pills to mask her depression. The Hensleys told Cindy they knew she had a problem because of her severe mood swings and her change in character. They also said her meanness towards others was not excusable and must stop. . . .
A few days later Tom said that Cindy called him and told him something quite interesting, that she had contacted the DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency) herself, "and asked that an investigation be conducted to 'investigate allegations made against her.' She said a 'bogus' phone call had been received which made wild accusations about her and that she believed the phone call was 'political.' Cindy also said she had called the supposed originator of the call and that the individual denied ever making the call. . . ."

Cindy fired Tom in January 0f '93 citing a lack of funds to continue his position.

Because of Cindy's pattern of stealing the DEA numbers of the physicians who worked for her charity and using them to forge prescriptions under other unsuspecting person's names, Tom decided to find out if he had been one of Cindy's useful victims.

After he contacted the DEA he found that Cindy had indeed used his name twice on prescriptions in order to obtain narcotics for her own use. It was when he decided to file a wrongful termination lawsuit against AVMT that the full weight of the McCain's wrath and their attorney, John Dowd, fell upon him. Ironically it was Dowd who inadvertently exposed Cindy's drug use by going after Tom, claiming Tom's civil suit was "extortion".
In a "confidential" April 28 letter to Romley, Dowd blurted, "We believe that Mr. Gosinski is aware that in the past Cindy had an addiction to prescription painkillers. . . . Given Cindy's public position, exposure of this sensitive matter would harm her reputation, career, the operation of AVMT, and subject her to contempt and ridicule."

John Dowd

A former prosecutor, it was Dowd, as John McCain's attorney, who managed to keep McCain a peripheral character in the Keating Five Hearings. Dowd represented Fife Symington's $210 million settlement with the Resolution Trust Corporation. And it was Dowd the McCain's used as an attack dog against Tom. Dowd claimed Tom had attempted to "extort" Cindy while Tom had merely filed a wrongful termination suit.

There was now a civil suit, Tom's, which never got anywhere, and now charges of extortion against Tom, courtesy of the McCain's, and the investigation of Cindy and the AVMT by the DEA and the U.S. Attorney of drug acquisition and handling at AVMT.

"If she were charged in state court--and there is an offense that fits her case to a T--she's looking at Class 3 felonies," says one defense attorney. "If we assume conservatively that there were six separate counts, her liability in state court is astronomical. She could have been looking at ten to 20 years, with a presumptive sentence of 11.25 years and two-thirds served before she would be eligible for parole.
When the story of Cindy's drug use hit the streets Cindy told reporter Steve Meissner of the Arizona Daily Star that she had "completed a diversion program established by the U.S. Attorney's Office."

This was patently untrue. There was also the matter of when John McCain learned of his wife's penchant for pill popping and theft. According to Phoenix Gazette columnist John Kolbe, "it was John Dowd who informed the senator that his wife was an addict in January 1994. County records show that Dowd was representing Cindy McCain in talks with the DEA in May 1993."

Cindy also told reporters she had gone into rehab earlier that year, in '93, but she admitted to county investigators she had done rehabs in both '91 and '92.

It's All In The Presentation

Amy Silverman of Salon has the McCain's well-rehearsed schtick on how to manipulate the media and the public.
But both of Cindy McCain's staged, teary drug-addiction confessions have been vintage John McCain. His MO is this: Get the story out -- even if it's a negative story. Get it out first, with the spin you want, with the details you want and without the details you don't want.

McCain did it with the Keating Five, and with the story of the failure of his first marriage (Cindy is his second wife). So what you recall after the humble, honest interview, is not that McCain did favors for savings and loan failure Charlie Keating, or that he cheated on his wife, but instead what an upfront, righteous guy he is. Source - Salon
Cindy was never prosecuted for illegally pilfering controlled substances or the theft of physician's DEA numbers to illegally obtain narcotics, something other, less-well connected citizens have done time for in the slammer. Instead she's busy "standing by her man" in the 2008 presidential election.

After rumors of McCain possibly playing footsies with a lovely blond lobbyist, Vicki Iseman, Cindy declared:

"Well, obviously, I'm disappointed," she said, her voice low but clear and self-assured. "More importantly, my children and I not only trust my husband, but know that he would never do anything to not only disappoint our family, but disappoint the people of America. He's a man of great character." Source - AP

The kind of character of a guy who admitted not only cheating on his first wife after she waited for him to return from Hanoi as a POW but was still married to her when he began an affair with 18 years younger Cindy, Budweiser distributor heiress.

Sarah Palin had a nanny for her children!

So the former beauty queen, who has become the symbol of working mom's, especially hockey mom's with lipstick, in this country had nannies while her children were growing up. Supermom didn't do it all herself, as we've been led to believe! But then again, most of what she has told us has been less than truthful, hasn't it.

Check it out... Christy was the nanny's name. It is at the 3:17 mark of the video on You Tube.

Quack, puff

First Post

For my first post, I am actually using the words of another as he couldn't have put it any better to describe how I feel about the insanity of the Republican party candidates GW McCain and Sarah (I can't seem to tell the whole truth) Palin. Please see the article below...

Quack, puff

Robert S. McElvaine: Wake Up, America! -- The Morning After America's Blind Date with Sarah Palin


Has a huge portion of the American populace gone insane?

Periodically in American history, large numbers of people succumb to mass delusion. We are currently experiencing such a time.

After a Republican National Convention that culminated with one of the worst acceptance speeches in American history, John McCain has gotten a big bump in the polls.

Why? Almost entirely, it seems, because McCain chose as his running-mate someone about whom most Americans know almost nothing, whose views on most of the issues about which Americans care the most are opposite to those of a majority of Americans, whose experience to prepare her for the presidency is so inadequate that the Republican campaign is reduced to mentioning that she belonged to the PTA and that her state is close to Russia.


According to a just-released USA Today-Gallup Poll, white women have moved from favoring Barack Obama by 8 points before John McCain's choice of Sarah Palin as his running mate to backing John McCain by 12 points. Majorities of white women, this poll reports, say his choice of Palin increases their faith in McCain's decisions.

I repeat: WTF?

How far are the American people willing to go on a first, blind date?

Unless McCain has slipped Rohypnol into the drinks he served the electorate last week, newly infatuated and intoxicated voters ought have enough of their wits about them to know they don't want to give themselves up to a candidate with whom they completely disagree:

â– Most Americans want health insurance for everyone.
Sarah Palin opposes it.
â– Most Americans are not biblical literalists.
Sarah Palin is. In spades.
â– Most Americans favor a woman's right to choose in abortion.
Sarah Palin wants to outlaw ALL abortion, even in cases of rape and incest.
â– Most Americans favor environmental protections and understand that global warming is largely caused by human activity.
Sarah Palin doesn't.
â– Most Americans believe the findings of science.
Sarah Palin doesn't.
â– Most Americans do not think Tim LaHaye's "End Times with millions of non-Christians drowning in rivers of blood while Jesus cheers are upon us.
Sarah Palin does.
â– Most Americans disagree with most of what has happened during the last eight years and with George W. Bush.
Sarah Palin is Bush's more-evil fraternal twin.

Americans need to get out of bed with this candidate, quickly, while their virtue is still intact.

The time has come for us to stop people we meet on the street and ask them, "Are you more likely to vote for the Republican ticket because John McCain chose Sarah Palin as his running-mate?"

Every time someone answers, "yes" or "maybe," grab him or her by the shoulders and shake (gently), saying, "Wake up! Do you know anything about her?"

"Unless you are a member of the extreme "Christian" Right, you agree with Sarah Palin on almost nothing and you would be crazy to support her and McCain. (If you are a member of the extreme "Christian" Right, you are crazy, but, unlike most Americans, you are someone who logically should love Palin.)

{Historian Robert S. McElvaine is Elizabeth Chisholm Professor of Arts & Letters at Millsaps College.}

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Welcome to my Barnyard.

Hi my fellow intelligent Americans,

You can call me the Smoking Duck, or SD for short. This is my politico blog which I decided to start after listening to the end of the GOP convention with Heart singing "Barracuda". Someone's gotta do it.

I know I've done too many drugs when one of two choices for the president looks like a corpse and the vice - president is an incoherent (insert noun here).

More to come,

Quack, puff.