Saturday, August 30, 2008

Call Homeland Security, There’s A Comedian Running Amok In The County

“Sheriff, Sheriff, come quick!”

“What is it a bank robbery? Murder? Huge gangland slaying? Sick people smoking medical marijuana?"

“No, no, one of your deputies is making fun of you.”

“Better git mah gun. Notify the SWAT team.”

Both the New Times and the Tribune are now reporting that the various civil case filings in the Hedges bugging case now indicate that not only were regular procedures for investigating a criminal case ignored, it’s now alleged that what was going on wasn't crime, it was comedy.

According to the Tribune, “ . . . interview with human resources employee Dori Duke . . .” “paint a picture of turmoil in the narcotics until triggered when Hoving promoted Donovan to lead the unit, against Hedges’ opinion that he was unqualified. Hoving later removed Donovan.

“Donovan told the sheriff that Hoving makes fun of the sheriff and takes credit for anything that goes right and blames him for anything that goes wrong,” the lawsuit complaint stated in its account of Duke’s deposition.”

Happily, over at New Times, the Shredder asks the key question at this point: “What I’d like to know is how much this inferiority complex-driven drama has cost taxpayers. Thanks to Hedges’ taping, we’ve already had to foot the bill for a county investigation, an Attorney General investigation – they decided against prosecuting Hedges – and defending the county against a multi-million-dollar lawsuit that’s pending, not to mention whatever it cost t have Hoving retire before he was ready.”

I think our own Barney Fife has a whole lotta ‘splainin’ to do.

Talk About Comedy

Is John McCain joking? Does he really believe that a young woman who’s served a couple of years as governor of a lightly populated state, (a state whose residents get nice oil royalty checks in the mail to make living with caribou a bit easier) is ready to be a heartbeat away from being President of the most powerful country in the world at a turning point in our history, a tipping point in the global balance of power, a country beset with nearly overwhelming problems caused by a reckless corporatocracy, lethal Neo-Con policies, grotesque incompetence and cronyism, (policies McCaine supported overwhelmingly, despite his pretending to Mavrickhood) and a heedless, sleep-walking citizenry? Or is this just a cynical political ploy to garner the anti-abortion, NRA, Revenge-for-Hillary vote?

On the other hand, it may be a great fit. McCain likes to shoot from the hip and Palin likes to shoot mooses. It’s a fun pairing, but the question remains: Is McCain serious?

Your Saturday Poem

This from “Sure Signs," new and selected poems by Ted Kooser (Poet Laureate of the U.S.)

Sleeping Cat

My cat is asleep on his haunches
like a sphinx. He has gone down cautiously
into an earlier life, holding a thread
of the old world’s noises, and feeling his way
through the bones. The scratch of my pen
keeps the thread taut. When I finish
the poem, and the sound in the room goes slack,
the cat will come scampering back
into the blinding, bright rooms of his eyes.


NoBias said...

"On the other hand, it may be a great fit. McCain likes to shoot from the hip and Palin likes to shoot mooses. It’s a fun pairing, but the question remains: Is McCain serious?"

The question remains: Is Ann serious? It seems Ann is shooting from the hip.

Palin has more executive experience than the other three candidates on the tickets combined.

Palin governs the largest state in the union, understands the energy business, and has DEMONSTRATED competence and reform, something neither of the two Democrats have never demonstrated.

Palin and McCain both have DEMONSTRATED compromise and bucking not only the system but their own party, so really, if one is looking for REAL change, then it seems to make sense to select not just one, but two, leaders that have walked the walk.

If you're going to criticize McCain or Palin, then you might as well throw out everything Obama has brought to the table, which is really only a different campaign strategy, improved speeches, and a VP selection that was made to fill in a void in his background.

McCain, on the other hand, picked a VP that would STRENGTHEN his attributes. Alaska isn't going to make him president. He REINFORCED independance, opportunity, and resolve (is there anything about Palin that suggest's she doesn't have the RESOLVE to be VP, or even President if need be)? Obama's experience has been running for President, delivering inspriring speeches, and appearing Presidential more than anything else.

Palin pretty much caught up to Obama yesterday. She's running for VP, gave an inspirational (and articulate) speech, and appeared Presidential. It will be fun to watch the Democrats and Biden fumble all over themselves (and exposing their hypocrisy) as they try to take Palin down. I hope they do, because it will only serve to sharpen her skills in preparation for her as the next VP of the US, and in four years, as the next and FIRST, woman President of the country.

C'mon, these Democratic hacks need to get a grip on criticizing this selection. It's a great choice. Who wouldn't want a determined, articulate, person (not just a woman) to be President.

America should celebrate. For perhaps the first time since Kennedy/Nixon, we have a two tickets that provide about as close to the best each party could offer, and both tickets offer a strong case that there will be more than lip service to some compromise in DC.

Richard LeGros said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sewertoons said...

Too bad this posting kicked off the last blog responses on the "This 'n That" posting. I got up late today and had to go back to find it.

This 'n That Addition to the August 26 posting, '... can be found on the right hand side, third down. Look at the last few posts at the bottom. VERY interesting.

*PG-13 said...

Whatever you may think about McCain's choice of Sarah Palin ya gotta admit it's a brilliant stroke of strategy. It certainly resets the table doesn't it?

Among many things it creates the ultimate dilemma for truly committed feminists. Do they vote for the party which represents their own interests? Or do they vote for McCain and hope he croaks - not too far fetched a concept - thereby making Sarah Palin the President and Nancy Pelosi Vice President. That pairing may sound like a match forged in hell but it will certainly make for interesting history, eh? Talk about change!

Howie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sewertoons said...

*pg-13 said:

"Among many things it creates the ultimate dilemma for truly committed feminists. Do they vote for the party which represents their own interests? Or do they vote for McCain and hope he croaks"

Hmmmm. Most true feminists I know are pro-choice, which Sarah Palin definitely is NOT.

*PG-13 said...

> Hmmmm. Most true feminists I know are pro-choice, which Sarah Palin definitely is NOT.

Uh, exactly. Hence the dilemma. Pro-Choice OR a really good chance for a totally pink Whitehouse. Egads, that doesn't work does it? We'd have to rename it the Pinkhouse!

Sewertoons said...

*pg-13, you are not a woman, right?

Shark Inlet said...

As someone who has been a proud member of each of the two major parties at one point in time or another and as someone who understands the conservative Evangelical as well as the liberal point of view ... I have to say that Palin may be a good choice as VP, but that the voting public has yet to be presented with the case that she is anything more than an attempt to "play politics". Just like Biden seems to give the Obama ticket some "experience", Palin seems to give the McCain ticket some inroads into the Evangelical community.

To suggest that her two year experience as Governatrix of Alaska somehow qualifies her to run the US is silly. Either she has the potential or she doesn't ... but heading up Alaska is completely unlike running the US. Being a senator is also quite different, but somehow I would think that senatorial experience shouldn't be downplayed by folks promoting Palin as a good choice.

Perhaps, as NPR suggests, the new tack of the McCain campaign will be to portray both the top and bottom end of the ticket as "reformers" who are willing to take on even members of their own party if necessary. This might be tough to sell, however, with McCain's recent voting record.

She certainly is an interesting choice and I can't wait to find out more about her beliefs and track record.

Anyone promoting her or opposing her at this stage is doing so out of ignorance or has some specialized info that the rest of us don't have yet.

Lastly ... the one thing that the choice does for the Republicans is it prevents them from criticizing Obama as inexperienced. There may be other benefits as well, but that is the obvious benefit ... it will shut up my father and father-in-law on that topic.

Billy Dunne said...

"Anyone promoting her or opposing her at this stage is doing so out of ignorance or has some specialized info that the rest of us don't have yet."


Twenty months as Governor of Alaska. As little as three years ago the MAYOR of a town of 7,000. In Alaska. This from a party practicing the politics of fear for 8 years now?

Ignorance? Her experience is the MAYOR OF A small town in Alaska. How low can the bar be set. I don't need to know anything beyond that.

But I do choose to know more, and the last I checked, this certainly isn't specialized information. She's: Vehemently anti-choice, even in the cases of rape and incest; pro-gun; against state benefits for same sex partners; believes Creationism should be taught in schools; does not believe global warming is man-made (in opposition to her boy Mccain); and wants to drill for oil, well, everywhere, including ANWR (in oppostion to her boy Mccain.)

Rush Limbaugh's dream come true. The extreme right of the party has spoken, and McSame dropped his favorite pick of Leiberman for this.

Of course I oppose this woman, and her beliefs and certainly her party. And to say I do this out of ignorance is, well, the most ignorant statement I have read since some guy on FOX news said Palin has a ton of foreign policy experience because she lives next to Russia. Huh?

Ignorance. Give me a break Shark.

Shark Inlet said...


I am glad you are so opposed to Palin ... but I have yet to hear her, in her own words, explain her position on abortion and the rest. I am sure that there is some nuance in her words by comparison to the way you are portraying her.

Just like there is nuance in Obama's point of view that Fox News doesn't provide us, I expect that she is a real human with multifaceted plusses and minuses.

I suspect there are more minuses than plusses from my point of view, but ... do you really think that since Friday you know all there is to know about Palin ... or are you reading the web and finding out what others have said about her?

Churadogs said...

Nobias sez:"She's running for VP, gave an inspirational (and articulate) speech, and appeared Presidential."

Ah, there you have contemporary politics: "appeared Presidential."

BillyDunne sez:"Ignorance? Her experience is the MAYOR OF A small town in Alaska. How low can the bar be set. I don't need to know anything beyond that."

Did she serve on the PTA? That's formidable preparation for running the U.S. doncha think?

Friend of mine called to ask an interesting question. One that could apply to most all candidates: What kind of ego allows Palin to think she's ready to be Veep, let alone step into the Presidency? Said my friend, (who is in her own right a formidable woman) "If somebody called me up and asked me to be Veep, I would say, "Im sorry, but I'm simply not qualified for that job. Surely there are many other people more qualified than I?" And it would be a accurate judgement, based on an accurate assessment of reality.

What's fascinating to me about Palin -- and so many politicos -- W certainly comes to mind -- is here's an unqualified person who has no real accurate assessment of her unqualifiedness but does have an ego to say, Why YES! Of Course! I've served on the PTA. That clearly qualifies me. Plus, I'm a MOM, what better qualification than that? And as for being Veep or POTUS? Why,of Course! It's SO ME! I'm so WONDERFUL that OF COURSE I'll be a splendid President, how could I not be! Thanks for asking. Sounds like fun!!


*PG-13 said...

Sewertoons > *pg-13, you are not a woman, right?

And that is relevant how?

Even within the context of this thread I fail to see whether my being a woman, man, lesbian, gay, dog, cat or alien is important. Why do you ask?

Sewertoons said...

I've found that the right to choose vs. no right to choose does not affect men in the same way or to the degree as it does women.

*PG-13 said...

Sewertoons > I've found that the right to choose vs. no right to choose does not affect men in the same way or to the degree as it does women.

Believe me. I am very very very sensitive to the right to choose. My body, my choice. Your body, your choice. My belief system, my choice. your B.S., your choice. My God, my choice. Your Whatever, your choice. I'll support your choices about your life if you support my decisions about my life. Beyond that - back off! You got no say about my body, my belief system, my God. These are mine not yours. And you have no right whatsoever to even have an opinion about that!

Shark Inlet said...

I would like to point out that Joe Lieberman is full-o-crap.

He tells us that in times as troubled as today, we need a President with experience. I would like to point out that Lincoln didn't have any senatorial or governor experience before he was elected president. Of course, he was a horrible choice and the country is now suffering from the poor job Lincoln did.

The whole thing on experience is this ... an experienced candidate who promotes stuff you disagree with is far worse than an inexperience candidate you fully agree with.

Compare Dick Cheney versus Roberty Kennedy. The one has all the "experience" than anyone could ask for ... but he seems to use his experience for ... well ... who knows, really. The other had no experience before becoming Attorney General and yet seemed to do a good job in that role.

My question is this ... who is the real John McCain? Is McCain a maverick who stands up to Republicans who are full-of-it or is he the Republican insider who supports little more than the party line of shame?

I write this as someone who tends to vote Republican who tends to mistrust Democrats ... partly because Republicans tend to be pro-life. This time, however, I will vote for the Dems unless this Republican candidate repudiates the pro-business anti-family policies of the Bush administration. Unless you're gonna stand up and say that tax breaks for the super-rich while promoting policies which make it harder for the lower middle class to make ends meet is a mistake ... you've lost my vote.

"Drill here. Drill now" is another stupid statement by McCain which shows he is more interested in the party line of the Republicans than in doing the right thing.

NoBias said...

Shark, you say Lieberman is full of it, and you discount experience, and you are correct to a point. However, even Lincoln had legislative experience and he had accomplishments as a lawyer. Lieberman is dead nuts on, because he understands McCain based on his experience working with McCain.

McCain has already repudiated his party, it's the reason he is alienated from his party.

So let me ask, why do you feel the need to have him walk over coals and take a blood oath and swear on a bible about taxes or whatever when he has already (by experience) demonstrated he wouldn't accept tax cuts without spending cuts; in his words, they would be irresponsible tax cuts. That says more about how he would govern than all this campaign rhetoric.

On finance reform, he repudiated his party, on immigration he repudiated his party. He repudiates both parties by constantly voting against pork. He worked with Lieberman and Kennedy and Feingold, my God the most liberal pols out there - how is that not bi-partisan and how is that not indicative of how he will govern with Congress? How does that compare with Obama, who hasn't done a single bi-partisan thing since elected but make bi-partisan-like speeches.

Much is made about his age, but do you honestly think that at age 72 he cares anything about what his party is going to think of him at age 76. He is using the Republican Party to get elected, because he is a Republican, just like Lincoln, and that's the only way he is going to get elected. He has demonstrated he has the fortitude to do what is right if elected.

In the primaries, McCain barely made it through and did it in large part carrying only about a third of his own party's vote.

This guy doesn't want to win to push a Republican Party agenda, he wants to win because he knows if he does win, the fanatics in the Republican Party won't be able to do a damn thing on any issue he wants to resolve, because he'll be the President.

He has a record of putting aside differences to do what is right - even if it pisses off his own party. That is why he is the one who can resolve issues (including the war) and is the only candidate you can be assured will actually be able to do more than give speeches to change things.

It's likely that if he's elected, the Democrats are going to work with him as much, if not more, than about half of his own party.

Churadogs said...

According to FactCheck. org, most recently McCAin voted with President Bush 95% of the time. That does not a "maverick" make. The "maverick" mantle is all PR marketing. Even Obama voted, I think it was 39% with Bush. So, he's no "reformer/barn-burner either. More "PR narrative-framing-imagemongering hype)

What's always fascinating to me is why anyone wants to be Prez in the first place. Ego? (Why, it's so ME, and I'm so Wonderful!) Pure ambition -- (I'll do ANYTHING, just gimme the job because I want it and I'll say ANYTHING, do ANYTYHING -- even publicly hug Prez Bush whose Rovian reps previously trashed my family -- ANYTHING GIMME GIMME GIMME!)or Vision -- (I have a plan, here's what we need to do, blah-blah-blah), or, Hey, Seems like a fun idea (Woa! Too Cool, you want me to be POTUS, hey, why not, I'm so swell, why not me. Sounds like fun! It's good to be king)

Shark Inlet said...

If McCain is as much a maverick as you suggest ... how do you explain his voting record in these last two years? During this time frame McCain has voted with Bush far more often than he did in the first 5 years of the Bush presidency. It can even be said that McCain's voting record in this last two years is far more aligned with the Bush presidency than he has ever been aligned with any presidency.

The upshot would appear to be a man who is willing to bend his natural maverick viewpoint to cater to those who would help him get the Republican nomination.

I'm not saying I don't like McCain. In fact, I prefer him to all of the other Republican choices and half of the Democrats who were running.

If McCain would simply explain the ways he would not be four more years of Bush ... if he would explain where his policies differ from those of W ... it would help him.

This is the same problem Gore had. It is tough to run on your own beliefs when you also have to support the policies of the current president.

The problem with Lieberman's speech wasn't that he was supporting McCain, a man he knows well ... but that he was essentially saying that McCain would be a better president than Obama. This might be the case, but Lieberman's stated reasons for saying McCain would be better were ... um ... entirely specious. Let's take experience for example. As I pointed out earlier ... Obama's experience is similar to that of Lincoln and Palin's experience is far less than anyone else on either ticket.

Lastly, if you want to convince folks that McCain is a good choice for president, could you please explain why his proposals on taxes and healthcare (for example) make more sense than Obama's proposals on those same two items.

franc4 said...

Shark sez;
"Lastly, if you want to convince folks that McCain is a good choice for president, could you please explain why his proposals on taxes and healthcare (for example) make more sense than Obama's proposals on those same two items."

I am not as political savy as most of you but I would like to put my lower middle class slant on this remark.

McCain wanting to give the wealthly (business owners, usually (discounting the inherited/trust fund rich),makes sense to me. Seems like this may put some folks back to work, whereas I see Oboma leaning toward making the country Socialistic..."changing" (More welfare) rather than making it possible for folks to earn their own way. Giving busines tax breaks, just might bring some jobs back to the US...ya think?

As far as neither Obama or Palin having foriegn affairs experience....don't they have "staffs"? You can't tell me that everyone in the Senate, Congress or any politition are on top of EVERYTHING about world affairs without a staff of advisors keeping them up to snuff. Getting re-elected take a lot of time and work.

NoBias said...

Healthcare from McCain:

Legislate portable insurance. Will increase competition for insurance.

Provide tax credits to offset cost. This helps those that need it most, i.e. those without employer plans.

Guaranteed access plans via non-profit allowing acces to state plans.

....versus Obama who has no plan, but talks (see a pattern here over and over) about existing health care and the importance of health care (YAWN), but NO PLAN.

TAXES: McCain has a RECORD of voting against tax cuts WITHOUT spending cuts. He doesn't vote pork barrel, which leads to lower taxes.

McCain wants to prioritize deductions on capital equipment expensive. This creates EXPORTS and jobs in the US, and helps manufacturing. Tax credits on R&D which increases business spending and investment.

McCain understands economics.

Obama wants to end the Payroll tax ceiling. This would end permanently a system of equitable payments into Social Security.

Increase the upper tax rate, and eliminate tax exemptions at the upper tax rates.

Put windfall profits tax in place. In other words, remove the incentive to produce energy. Take oil out of the strategic energy reserve.

These are all short-term gimmicks.

There needs to be a real discussion about nuclear power, both of these guys say nothing because it's the third rail energy policy (very dissapointing). There needs to be a real discussion about the efficiencies (or lack thereof) of biofuels - why are we subsidizing resources that should be used for food and reduce food prices but are an inefficient energy resource?

It is really striking that Obama has no substance about tax policy. Using extra taxes to offset consumer costs is stupid. Unless the taxes go directly into investment, it's a long-term joke.

Now let's go back to experience, and Palin. Clinton was the governor of Arkansas, basically means he ran Little Rock. And we all know the slimier/edgier side of that gig. There's really not a lot of difference between the that and the governor of Alaska, except she understands the energy business. So this bruhaha about Palin's lack of experience is overplayed.

It's a legimate concern because she's not a seasoned national leader, but that doesn't translate necessary into a lack of leadership qualities, and let's face it, being President (or VP) is about as much as being a leader as anything.

What makes any of these four 'think' they should be President. Because they are human, they are all basically flawed and borderline unqualified, so what we are electing is their ability to lead, and there is nothing to suggest she doesn't have the resolve and fortitude to do it - especially compared to Biden and Obama, who have always been lawmakers first, without having that governing experience. They ran campaigns, in Biden's case unsuccesful, but the campaign managers run that as much as the candidate. McCain ran a campaign that was broken and on a shoestring, and fixed it.

If you're gonna examine experience and compare policy's, Obama's so far don't add up to much.

Shark Inlet said...

Just a quick reply today to mention I am heading out of town and will not be checking the net in any way (I am already having e-mail DTs).

This is a good discussion and I will get back to it sometime next week assuming there are no fires I need to put out. Hopefully Ann won't post enough new base articles that this drifts off the main page ... but even if it does, I will reply ... just check the end of the "August 2008" discussions.

Shark Inlet said...

On healthcare ... suppose a typical family of four policy runs $1000 per month. Do most of these families without insurance currently pay over $12k per year in taxes? Somehow I also think that asking a month-to-month family to front a full year's worth of healthcare costs and then cutting them a check four months after that year ends might not be as attractive to this family as you seem to think.

No mind. I'm thinking about healthcare from a business and macroeconomic point of view. In the US, insurance companies make far more money per patient than they do anywhere else in the world. In part, they do this by denying coverage to those who truly need it ... it cuts down costs, you know. A larger fraction of GDP is spent on healthcare here than in any other country in the world. We are about double the spending of folks in other westernized countries ... countries where the quality of care is comparable and all people are insured.

Essentially, if we were to have a single payer system somewhat like England or Canada, the population would be healthier.

The big deal, though, is this. It would allow US businesses to compete with firms overseas with greater ease. US firms now need to carry insurance for their employees and that insurance costs far more than these same firms would have to pay to the federal government to cover the costs if we were to move to a single payer system.

Do you really think that US businesses should be hamstrung by our antiquated insurance system? Do you really want wealth to flow overseas because US firms cannot compete as effectively on the international market? If McCain really understands markets and if he really is a maverick, he'll dump his silly unworkable healthcare plan (a 100% recycled reworking of the 1990s Republican response to Hillary-care) in favor of a plan which doesn't give the gift of unearned billions to firms which now provide poor service to the nation's sick.

On the question of taxes ... McCain seems to want lower taxes for all (and the largest reduction will be to those who are currently at the top end) while Obama wants to lower taxes for all but the top 5% (or less) of us. This would still stimulate spending and investment ... just not the sort of investments the top 1% tend to make. They would be asked to invest in their Country more than now ... like they did before 1980. I have no problem with progressive taxes ... it tends to allow society to benefit because the burden is spread across those who can most afford to pay.

Speaking of gimmicks ... how was McCain's gas tax holiday anything but an election-year-gimmick?

One last comment on Palin ... we can't truly know her merits until she is tested and until her opinions are known. Unfortunately, with a highly unusual and rather short track record (for a candidate aspiring for the Vice Presidency) we don't know jack. There are four cities California with populations greater than the population of Alaska. With Alaska's windfall profit from oil drilling, budget issues in that state are easy by comparison to elsewhere.

The only things we really can know about her is that she was able to successfully unseat a corrupt Republican during the primary season and perhaps how she ran her small town while mayor. I am curious about whether the town was financially better off or worse off when she left than when she ran for office initially.

Until John McCain tells us why she is a better choice than other possibilities (Jindal, Crist, Hutchinson, Pawlenty or Romeny), I'll have to agree with Karl Rove ... the choice of someone with this level of experience would appear to be entirely political.

This is certainly a good topic and I think we've not even scratched the surface, but it is important!