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Archive for July 4th, 2009

Palin Will Step Down as Alaska’s Governor

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 4th, 2009 4:41 am by HL

Palin Will Step Down as Alaska’s Governor

Palin

At the end of this month, Sarah Palin will no longer be Alaska’s governor. The Thrilla from Wasilla made her announcement on Friday, sparking speculation that she may be preparing to run for president in 2012—or that she was compelled to resign for less opportune reasons.

Declaring that she doesn’t want to be another lame-duck politician, Palin said she will be on hand to swear in Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell at the end of the month and said, “I know when it’s time to pass the ball for victory.”

Update: Palin’s abrupt announcement, of course, is also striking some as a sign that she could be the subject of a scandal, including The Brad Blog’s Brad Friedman, TPM’s Josh Marshall and The Huffington Post’s Shannyn Moore.?

MSNBC:

She said the decision has been “in the works” for a while and comes after “prayer and consideration.”

She is handing the reins over to Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell, who will be sworn in on July 25. Parnell and most of Palin’s cabinet were present at the announcement.

“We know we can effect positive change outside government at this moment in time on another scale and actually make a difference,” she said, adding that politics had become a “superficial, wasteful bloodsport.”

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Watch Palin’s announcement below:

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Paul Begala: Sarah Palin Turns Pro

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 4th, 2009 4:40 am by HL

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It was an almost impossible mission, but in resigning from office with 17 months to go in her first term, Sarah Palin has made herself the bull goose loony of the GOP.

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Fox Nation ignores resident Chris Wallace

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 4th, 2009 4:39 am by HL

Fox Nation ignores resident Chris Wallace

On July 3, FoxNation.com features the headline “Obama Busted Stacking Town Hall … What If Bush Had?” But the suggestion that Bush did not screen town hall audiences or questions was refuted by Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace, who said on the July 3 edition of Fox & Friends that “town hall meetings … have always been something of an artifice, because I know in the Bush administration, George W. Bush, they had a lot of these town hall meetings, and they chose all the people there. So everybody has always tried to get a home-court advantage.” Indeed, a March 12, 2005, Washington Post article on Bush’s 2005 Social Security town hall events reported, “The carefully screened panelists [at a town hall in Memphis] spoke admiringly about Bush, his ideas, his ‘bold’ leadership on Social Security. If the presentations sound well rehearsed, it’s because they often are. The guests at these ‘Oprah’-style conversations trumpet the very points Bush wants to make.”

In the wake of an October 13, 2005, “staged” public video conference Bush held with several soldiers in Iraq, an October 15, 2005, Washington Post article on that event called it “one of the stranger and most awkwardly staged publicity events of the Bush presidency.” The article further reported:

Before they [Bush and the soldiers] spoke, Allison Barber, a mid-level Pentagon official, helped coach the troops on who would be asked what by Bush. Afterward, according to Reuters, she told reporters that “we knew that the president was going to ask about security, coalition and training” but not the specific questions.

This not a new technique for Bush; his White House has perfected the public relations strategy of holding scripted events featuring the president’s supporters. During the first part of the year, Bush traveled the country to discuss his Social Security plan, while aides stacked the audience with Republicans and tutored participants in these town hall events on what to say.

From the March 12, 2005, Washington Post article titled “Social Security: On With the Show”:

The few dissenting voices in the Cannon Center for the Performing Arts were quickly silenced or escorted out by security. One woman with a soft voice but firm opposition to Bush was asked to leave, even though her protests were barely audible beyond her section in the back corner of the auditorium. The carefully screened panelists spoke admiringly about Bush, his ideas, his “bold” leadership on Social Security.

If the presentations sound well rehearsed, it’s because they often are. The guests at these “Oprah”-style conversations trumpet the very points Bush wants to make. Seniors on stage express confidence that Bush’s plan to create private investment accounts would not eat into promised benefits, and the granddaughter of one spoke hopefully on Friday of a richer retirement if the president prevails.

These meticulously staged “conversations on Social Security,” as they are called, replicate a strategy that Bush used to great effect on the campaign trail.

[…]

The White House follows a practiced formula for each of the meetings. First it picks a state in which generally it can pressure a lawmaker or two, and then it lines up panelists who will sing the praises of the president’s plan. Finally, it loads the audience with Republicans and other supporters.

To help make its case, the White House recruits people such as Mark Darr, 31, an insurance agent from Benton, Ark., who joined the president on stage at a forum in Little Rock last month. In a subsequent interview, Darr said he believes he was chosen because he went to college with one son of Republican Gov. Mike Huckabee and provided insurance for another.

After the governor’s office called, Darr said, he began receiving one call after another from the White House, quizzing him on his thoughts on Social Security and his family history, just as they did all the other candidates. “I’m sure they wanted to … make sure they weren’t going to embarrass the president,” Darr said.

From FoxNation.com:

From the July 3 edition of Fox News’ Fox & Friends:

DAVE RIGGS (guest co-host): Well, it’s good to see this, some in the press corps firing back. But is this unprecedented, though, in terms of the pre-packaged presidency that we’re seeing now? You mentioned that all presidents do this, but this is something in itself. I mean, we haven’t seen anything to this — this much packaging before, have we?

WALLACE: Well, yeah, as far as the town hall meetings, yes. I mean, there have been — those have always been something of an artifice, because I know in the Bush administration, George W. Bush, they had a lot of these town hall meetings, and they chose all the people there. So everybody has always tried to get a home-court advantage.


AIPAC Spy Figure: “Zionist” Wanted Me Dead

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 4th, 2009 4:38 am by HL

AIPAC Spy Figure: “Zionist” Wanted Me Dead
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CIA Again Delays Release Of Key Torture Report
The release of the long-awaited CIA inspector general report on torture has been postponed once again. The ACLU, which is suing to have the report released, just announced that the government is asking for yet another postponement on the date…


Summer Blockbusters: Why Do We Insist on Watching Really Bad Movies?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 4th, 2009 4:35 am by HL

Summer Blockbusters: Why Do We Insist on Watching Really Bad Movies?
Maybe they are more like summer flings — despite all the signs that should stay far away, you fall intensely anyway.

Sarah Palin Resigns: Is She Fleeing Scandal?
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Breadline USA: Why People Are Going Hungry in the Land of Plenty
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Rolling Stone Expose Declares Goldman Sachs Behind Every Market Crash Since 1920s
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This July 4th, Rebel and Agitate for Change
Agitators created America, and it's their feisty spirit and outright rebelliousness that we celebrate on our national holiday.


11th Commandment: The Key Difference Between Israelis and Americans

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 4th, 2009 4:34 am by HL

11th Commandment: The Key Difference Between Israelis and Americans
Today’s Israeli press quotes Prime Minister Netanyahu as telling 27 EU ambassadors that he was willing to “make concessions to the Palestinians” but did not want to be a “sucker” if the Palestinians pocket his “concession” and give nothing in…


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Max Blumenthal On The Scandal That Sunk Palin
This is credible. There clearly is a story here and it is not that Palin can do more for Alaska NOT as governor. Anyone who missed the announcement, check it out on TPM or wherever. It was incoherent, even scary….






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Rosen Redux: Espionage Case Back In The News
Jeff Stein of Congressional Quarterly keeps doing the best reporting on the continuing story. I assume we can expect more including from AIPAC as it fights off Steve Rosen’s claim that alleged violations of the Espionage Act is just business…


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Gov. Sarah Palin Quits Her Job

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 4th, 2009 4:33 am by HL

Gov. Sarah Palin Quits Her Job
Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) announced this morning from her home in Wasilla that she will not be seeking re-election and that she will be stepping down in a few weeks. Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell will be inaugurated as Alaska’s governor on July 25. A local NBC affiliate reports that “there was no immediate word […]

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) announced this morning from her home in Wasilla that she will not be seeking re-election and that she will be stepping down in a few weeks. Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell will be inaugurated as Alaska’s governor on July 25. A local NBC affiliate reports that “there was no immediate word as to why she will resign, though speculation has been rampant that the former vice presidential candidate is gearing up for a run at the 2012 Republican presidential nomination.” Conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer said on Fox News yesterday that Palin “is not a serious candidate for the presidency.” “You cannot sustain a campaign of platitudes and clichés over a year and a half if you’re running for the presidency,” he said.

After running through her accomplishments as governor during the announcement, Palin said, “This success I am proud to take credit, for hiring the right people.” She said she decided to “veto” those “stimulus dollars” because “some of those dollars would harm Alaska and they harm America.” “So that Alaska may progress, I will not seek re-election as governor,” she said, adding, “I’ve determined it’s best to transfer the authority of governor to Lieutenant Governor Parnell.” Watch it (note the video feed cut out before Palin finished her statement):


Analysis: Once Again, the Enigma That Is Sarah Palin Plays It by Her Rules

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 4th, 2009 4:32 am by HL

Analysis: Once Again, the Enigma That Is Sarah Palin Plays It by Her Rules
Sarah Palin demonstrated once again yesterday that she is one of America’s most unconventional politicians, following an unpredictable path to an uncertain future.

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Does Al Franken Solve the Filibuster Problem?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 4th, 2009 4:29 am by HL

Does Al Franken Solve the Filibuster Problem?
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Democratic Health Care vs. Democracy
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Afghan ‘Surge’ Tests Obama’s Military Muscle
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