Welcome to the Coatesville Dems Blog

Public Corruption in Chester County, PA

I believe an unlikely mix of alleged drug trafficking related politicos and alleged white nationalist related politicos united to elect the infamous “Bloc of Four” in the abysmal voter turnout election of 2005. During their four year term the drug business was good again and white nationalists used Coatesville as an example on white supremacist websites like “Stormfront”. Strong community organization and support from law enforcement, in particular Chester County District Attorney Joseph W. Carroll has begun to turn our community around. The Chester County drug trafficking that I believe centers on Coatesville continues and I believe we still have public officials in place that profit from the drug sales. But the people here are amazing and continue to work against the odds to make Coatesville a good place to live.

Sunday, September 28, 2008


The Washington Post
Palin's Stand on Mining Initiative Leaves Many Feeling Burned
By Alec MacGillis
Washington Post Staff WriterSunday, September 28, 2008; A12
For months, the confrontation mounted, a face-off that arguably held in the balancethe fates of two of Alaska's biggest industries. On one side were companies hoping to open Pebble Mine at a huge gold and copper reserve adjacent to one of the world's largest salmon runs, Bristol Bay. On the other side were fishermen and environmentalists pushing a referendum that would make it harder for the mine to open.
The two sides spent more than $10 million -- unprecedented for such efforts in Alaska -- and throughout it all, the state's highly popular first-term governor, Sarah Palin, held back. Alaska law forbids state officials from using state resources to advocate on ballot initiatives.
Then, six days before the Aug. 26 vote, with the race looking close, Palin broke her silence. Asked about the initiative at a news conference, she invoked "personal privilege" to give an opinion. "Let me take my governor's hat off for just a minute here and tell you, personally, Prop. 4 -- I vote no on that,"


The New York Times
September 28, 2008
McCain and Team Have Many Ties to Gambling Industry

Senator John McCain was on a roll. In a room reserved for high-stakes gamblers at the Foxwoods Resort Casino in Connecticut, he tossed $100 chips around a hot craps table. When the marathon session ended around 2:30 a.m., the Arizona senator and his entourage emerged with thousands of dollars in winnings.

A lifelong gambler, Mr. McCain takes risks, both on and off the craps table. He was throwing dice that night not long after his failed 2000 presidential bid, in which he was skewered by the Republican Party’s evangelical base, opponents of gambling. Mr. McCain was betting at a casino he oversaw as a member of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, and he was doing so with the lobbyist who represents that casino, according to three associates of Mr. McCain.

The visit had been arranged by the lobbyist, Scott Reed, who works for the Mashantucket Pequot, a tribe that has contributed heavily to Mr. McCain’s campaigns and built Foxwoods into the world’s second-largest casino. Joining them was Rick Davis, Mr. McCain’s current campaign manager. Their night of good fortune epitomized not just Mr. McCain’s affection for gambling, but also the close relationship he has built with the gambling industry and its lobbyists during his 25-year career in Congress.


Both “Mine Gate” and “Craps Gate” mean trouble for the Republican Campaign.

McCain’s base in the extremist fringe of the evangelical community will learn that McCain is a high roller craps player.

In my opinion it also means more inquiry into influence peddling of both McCain and Palin that could lead to criminal prosecutions.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

John Stewart of the "Daily Show" nails the news

Sometimes John Stewart of the "Daily Show" nails the news.

More at:

Did I hear McCain say that the USA Tortures prisoners?

Last night at the candidate”s debate McCain said "the USA will not torture prisoners again".

Since is now apparent that John McCain believes that President Bush, Vice President Cheney, Condoleeza Rice, Donald Rumsfeld and Alberto Gonzales recommended and implemented the torture of prisoners of war; will John McCain testify at their war
criminal trials?

So when do we begin the war criminal trials of: President Bush, Vice President Cheney, Condoleeza Rice, Donald Rumsfeld and Alberto Gonzales?

Do you think that the war criminal trials will be held at The Hague or Nuremburg?

Far fetched?

Check this out:

From the Los Angeles Times
Rice admits Bush officials held White House talks on CIA interrogations
Her written statement to Senate investigators is the first official high-level acknowledgment of meetings that led to harsh methods such as waterboarding.
By Greg Miller
Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

September 25, 2008

WASHINGTON — Senior Bush administration officials held a series of meetings in the White House in 2002 and 2003 to discuss allowing the CIA to use harsh interrogation methods on Al Qaeda detainees, according to a written statement Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice recently provided to Senate investigators.

Rice's written response to investigators on the Senate Armed Services Committee marks the first time a high-ranking White House official has formally acknowledged the White House discussions, which led to the CIA's use of waterboarding and other coercive methods.

In particular, Rice wrote in the Sept. 12 statement that officials discussed simulated torture techniques that elite U.S. soldiers were subjected to as part of a survival training program, and that she and other officials were told that such methods "had been deemed not to cause significant physical or psychological harm."


Stop the Bailout !

Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Witch of Wall Street

Maybe the Wall Street Banker's crisis is not about greed and corruption; maybe it is a "spiritual" crisis. If it is a "spiritual" crisis; I think Gov Palin may have a solution.
It is my understanding that she has a very close relationship to Thomas Muthee a man who says that he has very successfully rid a village in Kenya of a woman who he accused of “causing car accidents through demonic spells”.

From the Times of London;
http://timesonline.typepad.com/uselections/“The pastor whose prayer Sarah Palin says helped her to become governor of Alaska founded his ministry with a witchhunt against a Kenyan woman who he accused of causing car accidents through demonic spells.”- ‘We prayed, we fasted, the Lord showed us a spirit of witchcraft resting over the place,’ Pastor Muthee says. ‘After the spirit was broken, the crime rate dropped to almost zero and there was “explosive church growth” while almost every bar in the town closed down.”

From the Christian Science Monitor
From the September 23, 1999 edition
Targeting cities with 'spiritual mapping,' prayer
Jane Lampman, Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor:
“C. Peter Wagner, head of Global Harvest Ministries in Colorado Springs, Colo., is in the vanguard of the movement. He defines three levels of spiritual warfare: "Ground-level" involves casting demons out of individuals; "occult-level warfare" involves more organized "powers of darkness" [They target here New Age thought, Tibetan Buddhism, Freemasonry, etc.]; and "strategic-level warfare" directly "confronts 'territorial spirits' assigned by Satan to coordinate activities over a geographical area."

I am not saying that there is a “demonic presence” a "Witch of Wall Street" but if there is the Dudette Gov from Alaska could bring in her heavy hitter witch hunter to lay hands on Paulson and expel the witch.

It could be that right now down in a rabbit hole bunker somewhere in New Jersey the Dudette Gov is “spiritually mapping” an anti-witch plan for Wall Street.

If that doesn't work maybe Palin can find an answer in reading moose entrails.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Monumental FBI investigation or Monumental Heist, The choice is ours.

White Collar Criminals are still Criminals what ever high level position they hold.

This could be the most monumental FBI investigation into public corruption and racketeering ever. Or the most monumental heist ever.

I think the Election will ultimately determine if McCain’s alleged criminal buddies go to prison or rule our country.

Here's a great video of Representative Marcy Kaptur who creatively outlines the problems as well as possible solutions for the current "financial crisis" as planned by the Bush Administration over the past few months.


Are any of McCain's staffers targets of the FBI mortgage fraud probe?

Silly me, I thought that bad guys go to prison. In Republican land they get private islands, private jets and a mega bank full of money for being major criminals.

I checked; all the major newspapers are not headlining the FBI probe article. Is CNN the only responsible news organization?

I don’t believe it. These very same targets of the FBI probe are looking for a Trillion Dollar gift from Congress. When is everyone going to get it that the Titians of Wall Street could also be the Titians of organized crime?

I believe that these guys are criminals and should be locked up. McCain and the Republicans think they deserve a Trillion Dollars.

I wonder if any of McCain’s staffers are on the FBI’s list.

First Published: September 23, 2008: 9:12 PM ET

Find this article at:

FBI probing bailout firms
Investigators start search for fraud at Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Lehman Brothers and AIG, sources say.
By Kelli Arena, CNN Justice Correspondent
Last Updated: September 23, 2008: 11:25 PM ET
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The FBI is investigating Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Lehman Brothers and AIG - and their executives - as part of a broad look into possible mortgage fraud, sources with knowledge of the investigation told CNN Tuesday.
The sources would not speak on the record because the investigation is ongoing.
FBI spokesman Special Agent Richard Kelko had no comment on that information, but said that 26 firms were currently under investigation as part of the bureau's mortgage fraud inquiry.
Earlier this month, FBI director Robert Mueller told Congress that 1,400 individual real estate lenders, brokers and appraisers were now under investigation in addition to two dozen corporations.
"The FBI currently has 26 pending corporate fraud investigations involving subprime lenders," Kelko said. "As we have seen, this number can fluctuate over time, however we do not discuss which companies may or may not be the subject of an investigation."
Previously, CNN has reported that Countrywide is part of the investigation.
More at: http://money.cnn.com/2008/09/23/news/companies/fbi_finance/index.htm?cnn=yes

FBI probing bailout firms

Finally, I was really getting tired of some people blaming the victims of mortgage fraud. Like burglars who blame their victims for leaving a door unlocked. And maybe some of these guys will have to spend their parachute money on defense attorneys.

First Published: September 23, 2008: 9:12 PM ET

Find this article at:

FBI probing bailout firms
Investigators start search for fraud at Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Lehman Brothers and AIG, sources say.
By Kelli Arena, CNN Justice Correspondent
Last Updated: September 23, 2008: 11:25 PM ET

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The FBI is investigating Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Lehman Brothers and AIG - and their executives - as part of a broad look into possible mortgage fraud, sources with knowledge of the investigation told CNN Tuesday.
The sources would not speak on the record because the investigation is ongoing.
FBI spokesman Special Agent Richard Kelko had no comment on that information, but said that 26 firms were currently under investigation as part of the bureau's mortgage fraud inquiry.
Earlier this month, FBI director Robert Mueller told Congress that 1,400 individual real estate lenders, brokers and appraisers were now under investigation in addition to two dozen corporations.
"The FBI currently has 26 pending corporate fraud investigations involving subprime lenders," Kelko said. "As we have seen, this number can fluctuate over time, however we do not discuss which companies may or may not be the subject of an investigation."
Previously, CNN has reported that Countrywide is part of the investigation.
More at:

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Will FirstPlus Financial Group be part of Paulson's bailout?

Posted on Wed, Jun. 18, 2008
Daidone pleads guilty to probation violation
By George Anastasia

Inquirer Staff Writer

Mob associate Daniel Daidone, who served nearly three years in prison for his role in a Camden City corruption case, pleaded guilty yesterday to violating the terms of his supervised release by associating with convicted felons.
Daidone, who was released from prison in July 2006, could be sent back to jail for up to two years when he is sentenced on July 22.

His illegal contacts surfaced during a multistate FBI financial fraud investigation that has targeted FirstPlus Financial Group, a Texas company with alleged ties to Salvatore Pelullo, an Elkins Park businessman with two fraud convictions, and mobster Nicodemo S. Scarfo.

Scarfo, son of jailed Philadelphia mob boss Nicodemo D. "Little Nicky" Scarfo, has convictions for bookmaking and racketeering.

Daidone worked for a FirstPlus subsidiary in the Philadelphia area and, according to the complaint against him, met with Scarfo and Pelullo on numerous occasions without reporting those contacts to his probation officer.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven D'Aguanno declined to comment about the FirstPlus investigation but confirmed that Daidone's supervised-release violations stem in part from that probe.
More at:

Live video of Paulon Hearings

You can watch live video coverage of what I think of as the organized crime on a gargantuan scale otherwise known as the Paulson hearings in Congress on the Washington Post website:


Sunday, September 21, 2008

The Titians of Organized Crime now reside on Wall Street

Al Capone- a jerk- Paul "Big Paul" Castellano, Anthony "Fat Tony" Salerno, Carmine "Junior" Persico, Anthony "Tony Ducks" Corallo, Philip "Rusty" Rastelli, as well as their subordinates, the entire Sicilian Mafia, the entire Camorra in Naples, the entire Russian Mafiya, Indian Mafia, Japanese Mafia- little fish; all of them mere amateurs in crime.

The real goodfellas are in Wall Street. Prohibition bath-tub gin, heroin trafficking, cocaine trafficking, arms trafficking are all amateur ways of stealing. The $62 Trillion credit default swaps market is how the professionals, the real good goodfellas do it.

The definition of organized crime is; crime aided and abetted by government officials who look the other way. None of the stealing that people like Paul Castellano did could have happened without the aid of government officials.

The exact same looking the other way enabled the goodfellas professionals on Wall Street to steal in multiples of trillions of dollars every year while remaining respected and seemingly law abiding in public.

And now that the gig is up and the Wall Street Gang got caught, the very same people that enabled them to steal are in the process of giving them a get out of jail free/keep their stolen cash card.

The Titians of Organized Crime now reside on Wall Street, to find out how they did it you need to go no farther than John McCain’s “economic brain”, national campaign general co-chair and Treasury Secretary pick Phil Gram:

Jim Pitcherella

“The Subprime Mess and Phil Gramm: An Experiment in Deregulation
by JAG posted 2 days ago
June 24, 2008 - 04:12 PM
Category: Miscellaneous Tags:
Senator Phil Gramm, John McCain, George Bush, Senate, Congress, subprime, mortgage mess, deregulation, Enron, Secretary Paulson, UBS, Mother Jones

In 1933, a few years following the stock market crash, Congress passes the Glass-Steagall Act, in hopes that regulating banks will help prevent market instability, particularly amongst Wall Street banks. The purpose of the act is to separate commercial banks that focus on consumers from investment banks, which deal with speculative trading and mergers.

The Glass-Steagall Act provided the proper oversight and entity separation that would prohibit banks and other financial companies from merging into giant trusts (conflict of interests) -- giant trusts or corporations being more powerful, naturally, and having the seemingly limitless capital to lobby their corporate interests, however, with a very myopic scope (particularly when it comes to factoring in potential losses -- most banks, as seen in contemporary times, chose not to anticipate losses in the mortgage market; they presumed home prices would continue to appreciate).

In 1999, former Senator Phil Gramm (who is, incidentally, Senator John McCain's economic adviser and cochairs his presidential campaign) set out to completely gut the Glass-Steagall Act, and did so successfully, replacing most of its components with the new Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act: allowing commercial banks, investment banks, and insurers to merge (which would have violated antitrust laws under Glass-Steagall). Sen. Gramm was the driving force behind the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, as he had received over $4.6 million from the FIRE sector (Finance, Insurance and Real Estate donations) over the previous decade, and once the Act passed, an influx of "megamergers" took place among banks and insurance and securities companies, as if they had been eagerly awaiting the passage of Gramm's Act. Everything in between Glass-Steagall and Gramm-Leach-Bliley (i.e. Savings and Loan crisis/bust) was, in large part, the incubation period for what would take place over the nine years that would follow the passage of Gramm's Act."

Monday, September 15, 2008

Governor Palin's Reading List

Just so we all know where Palin is coming from:

“Robert F. Kennedy Jr.
Posted September 15, 2008 | 11:27 AM (EST)
Governor Palin's Reading List
Fascist writer Westbrook Pegler, an avowed racist who Sarah Palin approvingly quoted in her acceptance speech for the moral superiority of small town values, expressed his fervent hope about my father, Robert F. Kennedy, as he contemplated his own run for the presidency in 1965, that "some white patriot of the Southern tier will spatter his spoonful of brains in public premises before the snow flies."

It might be worth asking Governor Palin for a tally of the other favorites from her reading list.”

Sunday, September 14, 2008

“Nations Financial Industry is Gripped by Fear”

I rarely watch “Fox News”; I wonder if they are reporting that the “Nations Financial Industry is Gripped by Fear”

The root cause of the failure of our financial industry is not just de-regulation; it is the appointment of political cronies and the firing of regulatory staff. While nobody was watching, corporations operating here stole us dry and the Republicans and their “de-regulation” set it up.

How is McCain and Palin going to spin what is looking more and more like another “Great Depression”?

Below is the news that should be headlined on TV.

Tune in Monday; this stuff is all happening over a weekend. The stock market isn’t ever open today.

The New York Times
In Frantic Day Wall Street Banks Teeter


Published: September 14, 2008
In one the most extraordinary days in Wall Street’s history, Merrill Lynch is near an 11th-hour deal with Bank of America to avert a deepening financial crisis while another storied securities firm, Lehman Brothers, hurtled toward liquidation, according to people briefed on the deal.

BBC News

Lehman set to go into insolvency

The New York Times


Rush Is On to Prevent A.I.G. From Failing
Published: September 14, 2008
The American International Group, the insurance company, is planning a major reorganization and a sale of its aircraft leasing business and other units to stabilize its finances, a person briefed on the company’s strategy said on Sunday.
A.I.G. became one of the focuses at an emergency gathering of Wall Street executives over the weekend, and was trying to arrange a capital infusion in the face of possible credit downgrades.

The New York Times

Nation’s Financial Industry Gripped by Fear
Published: September 14, 2008
Fear and greed are the stuff that Wall Street is made of. But inside the great banking houses, those high temples of capitalism, fear came to the fore this weekend.
Dinner parties were canceled. Weekend getaways were postponed. All of Wall Street, it seemed, was on high alert.

The Huffington Post:

Greenspan: This Is The Worst Economy I've Ever Seen
September 14, 2008 11:21 AM

Sam Stein
stein@huffingtonpost.com | HuffPost Reporting From DC

Washington Post:
Still No Buyer for Lehman Brothers; Talks Continue

Efforts Underway to Stave Off Bank's Collapse; Sources Says Barclays Drops Its Bid
By Heather Landy and Neil Irwin

Washington Post Staff Writers
Sunday, September 14, 2008; 5:30 PM

The New York Times
September 14, 2008
Fair Game
The Joys of Ownership
SO, ladies and gentlemen, how does it feel to be the new owner of those two big and banged-up mortgage companies, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac? Not exactly the kind of real estate you were looking to buy, you say? Felt you had swallowed enough garbage after the Bear Stearns bailout tapped you for $29 billion?
Make no mistake: we, the American taxpayers, are amassing quite a portfolio of flotsam and jetsam in the mortgage bust. It certainly brings new meaning to the notion of an ownership society, doesn’t it?
To be sure, the terms of the Mac ’n’ Mae rescue deal are still sinking in. And it will be years before we know how much taxpayers will have to pay for the privilege of backing these out-of-control entities. But in the meantime, here are some of the joys that ownership in Mac ’n’ Mae might bring.
The proud new owners — the taxpayers — could be asked to cover such niceties as the pay packages awarded to the chief executives, Daniel H. Mudd at Fannie Mae and Richard F. Syron at Freddie Mac, as they exit the accident scene. Estimates for what these arrangements might cost: $24 million in severance, retirement benefits and deferred compensation for both men.

Friday, September 12, 2008


There is a lot of understandable confusion over where Pennsylvania Congressional, Pennsylvania Statehouse and Pennsylvania Senatorial Districts begin and end. If you are a Chester County, PA resident I hope that the maps below can help to identify just which legislative district that you live in:




Long Arms

You hear about the long arm of the law.

Coatesville organized crime gangs have reached out from within lockup. The shooting last weekend of Arthur Smith is directly related to Duron “Gotti” Peoples’ trial in West Chester today. The Arthur Smith shot in Coatesville early last Sunday morning and the Arthur Sharp mentioned in the trial are the same person.

Like I said, the chance of being mugged or robbed in Coatesville is not that much different from other areas of Chester County. What makes Coatesville so very much more violent than other communities in Chester County is that Coatesville is the drug distribution center of Chester County. Tens of millions of dollars in drug trafficking go through Coatesville. The shootings and murders here are over control of that traffic. Much of the violence outside the city limits of Coatesville is also related to the drug trafficking in Coatesville.

On a hot summer night in Coatesville you may see lots of people out on the streets. Some of them are wearing Kevlar underwear; it’s not a fashion statement. Just don’t be in the way when the bullets are flying.
Jim Pitcherella

Peoples' trial heads to closing arguments
WEST CHESTER — Jurors in the trial involving the shooting of a former member of Coatesville's "Young Guns" gang are expected to begin their deliberations today to determine whether Duron "Gotti" Peoples is guilty of participating in the attack.
Common Pleas Court Judge Anthony Sarcione, presiding over the trial, sent the 12 jurors and two alternates home Thursday after the prosecution rested. The jury is scheduled to hear closing statements from the two attorneys in the case this morning.

Testimony Thursday centered around the version of events given by the victim in the case, Edgar "Juice" Barber, who said that he saw Peoples' face in the front seat of a station wagon that pulled alongside him at the Regency Park Apartments just before he was shot.

Although more than a dozen shots were fired, Barber, 30, was shot only once — in the back. He recovered from the wounding within a month.

Peoples, 31, is accused of attempted homicide, aggravated assault and criminal conspiracy in the Jan. 9, 2006, incident. Two other men, Donte "DC" Carter and Shamone "Tex" Kennedy, have also been charged.

Read the rest of the article here:

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

From the Gut

I have to admit that I have an automatic “gut level” prejudice against Republicans. When I am in the presence of a Republican “gang member” the hair on the back of my neck goes up. I have a subconscious defensive response that is something like what most people feel when they are about to be mugged. Whether it is reasonable or not; I subconsciously, at a “gut level” automatically link Republicans with criminality, the “Black Hand” and organized crime. I guess it is from early childhood experience growing up here in Chester County. Andy Dinniman says to try to get along with Republicans here in Chester County. That is something that is very difficult for me to do because to me at a “gut level” Republicans are gangsters.

That “gut level” prejudice is very strong in me. You need to understand that some of my best friends and some family members are Republicans, but I have had to work that out on an emotional level in order to be friendly.

John Kerry was a decorated war hero on a Navy riverboat. George W Bush was a drug addict alcoholic bum in a “rich boy” National Guard “country club” unit. I don’t need to tell you how Carl Rove handled Bush’s campaign against Kerry.

Barack Obama is a neighborhood organizer; a man of the people and a man of Democracy who is fighting for the rights of ordinary people. John McCain is a rich “country club” boy from and of the very wealthy. In my opinion he is one of the “gang members” of the “Republican Kleptocrats’s Contract on America” that has nearly stolen our country dry. Carl Rove and a collection of former and present lobbyists (except for Jack Abramoff) are handling McCain’s campaign. McCain’s weak point is that he is joined at the hip with the rest of the Republican Kleptocrats, so:
Carl Rove and the 59 lobbyists working for McCain’s election bills him as an agent of “Change” fighting against the Washington lobbyists.

It’s easy for me to figure out what is going on in this election; but then my “gut level” early childhood experience pre-disposes me to distrust anything Republican.
Jim Pitcherella-September 10, 2008

"The New York Times
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Op-Ed Columnist
From the Gut
If John McCain can win this election race with a 50-pound ball called “George W. Bush” wrapped around one ankle and a 50-pound ball called “The U.S. Economy” wrapped around the other, then he deserves to represent America in the next Olympics in any race he wants — swimming, cycling or track — I don’t care how old he is. He would be the Michael Phelps of politics.
I confess, I watch politics from afar, but here’s what I’ve been feeling for a while: Whoever slipped that Valium into Barack Obama’s coffee needs to be found and arrested by the Democrats because Obama has gone from cool to cold.
Somebody needs to tell Obama that if he wants the chance to calmly answer the phone at 3 a.m. in the White House, he is going to need to start slamming down some phones at 3 p.m. along the campaign trail. I like much of what he has to say, especially about energy, but I don’t think people are feeling it in their guts, and I am a big believer that voters don’t listen through their ears. They listen through their stomachs.
If you as a politician connect with voters on a gut level, they will follow you anywhere and not fret about the details. If you don’t connect with them on a gut level, you can’t show them enough details. Obama early on, and particularly with young people, connected on a gut level like no other politician since Ronald Reagan.
But in recent weeks, I feel as though he has lost that gut connection. I thought his convention speech contained no memorable lines or uplifting visions. It never got me out of my seat. Forget trashing McCain’s ideas. If Obama wants to rally his base, he has to be more passionate about his own ideas. I have long felt that what propelled Obama early was the fact that many Americans understand in their guts that we need a change, but the change we need is to focus on nation-building at home. We’re in decline. We need to get back to work on our country. And that is going to require strong, smart government.
Who is bailing out Fannie Mae? Who is going to build a new energy system? Health care? More tax cuts are not going to do it. But I am just not sure that Obama is making the sale that he has the plan and passion to unite and mobilize the country for this task.
In a way, I would love to hear Obama say, just for shock value: “I am so eager to do whatever it takes to fix these problems that I am ready to be a one-term president."
Read the rest of the column here:

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

“Hold Your Heads Up”

In reference to Bob Herbert’s column in today’s New York Times admonishing Liberals to buck up and “Hold Your Heads Up”

To be fair you need to say what Conservative Republicans have given our country. You cannot blame the invasion and occupation of Iraq on Republicans only. Sure the Bush Administration’s neoconservatives gleefully invented an imaginary connection in Iraq to the attack on New York City and Washington; but unless we fully embraced solar, wind and other renewable energy sources some sort of invasion or treaty to grab the oil in Iraq would have occurred.

What the Republican (so-called) conservatives really gave us is deregulation so complete that except for ethical and moral reasons corporations no longer have any inhibition against stealing and cheating. At least from the outside, no one is watching. They only get caught when an officer or employee with a shred of conscience left rats on them. Even then the sentence for a CEO is usually a multi-million dollar severance package. After all when every major corporation operating in the USA has cheating and stealing built into their DNA an honest, moral and ethical company operates at a disadvantage; or so the reasoning goes until they are caught and everybody connected with the company looses big time (see Enron Corporation).

From, FBI saw threat of mortgage crisis, By Richard B. Schmitt
Los Angeles Times Staff Writer, August 25, 2008

“Long before the mortgage crisis began rocking Main Street and Wall Street, a top FBI official made a chilling, if little-noticed, prediction: The booming mortgage business, fueled by low interest rates and soaring home values, was starting to attract shady operators and billions in losses were possible.

"It has the potential to be an epidemic," Chris Swecker, the FBI official in charge of criminal investigations, told reporters in September 2004. But, he added reassuringly, the FBI was on the case. "We think we can prevent a problem that could have as much impact as the S&L crisis," he said.

Today, the damage from the global mortgage meltdown has more than matched that of the savings-and-loan bailouts of the 1980s and early 1990s. By some estimates, it has made that costly debacle look like chump change. But it's also clear that the FBI failed to avert a problem it had accurately forecast.”

• The Republicans gave us Enron, Bear Stearns, Getty, (it turned out that Getty’s profits came from not paying state and federal gas pump taxes and not from the alleged former Russian mobster CEO’s financial genius), and now Fanny Mae/Freddy Mac.

• The Republicans gave us; Tom Delay, Jack Abramoff, Grover Norquist, Carl Rove, William Kristol, Paul Wolfowitz and Alberto Gonzales.

• The Republicans have taken a national budgetary surplus and in just 7 years through a combination of profuse reckless spending and tax give always to the extremely wealthy turned it into a monstrous fast growing budget deficit of $407 Billion.

• The Republicans have made foreign countries, chiefly China the “landlords” of our national debt and the financial owners of the United States. The desperate moves to shore up Fanny Mae/Freddy Mac is to keep those nations, mostly China from losing all confidence and abandoning the USA to the fiscal graveyard and moving on with building their country’s wealth.

From The Nation, The Silence of Lambs, posted by William Greider on 09/08/2008 @ 3:08pm http://www.thenation.com/blogs/notion/356921/the_silence_of_lambs
“Facing the crisis honestly would not fit very well with the flag-waving campaign themes. The United States is financially busted and utterly dependent on lending from foreign powers--both friends and rivals around the world. The government rescue of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac could not be put off until after the election, as insiders had hoped, because foreign creditors were beginning to back away from lending any more capital to the two failing US firms. The major creditors are led by China, Japan and other Asian nations, plus oil-rich Arab states and even Russia. The Bank of China has reduced its $376 billion in lending to Fannie and Freddie by 25 percent since July and other nations threaten to do the same.
So the Treasury arranged a deal that throws Fannie and Freddie shareholders over the side, but promises to protect the creditors, foreign and domestic. Bill Gross, chief investment officer of PIMCO, the mammoth bond house in California, issued an ominous warning in advance. If Washington didn't "open up the balance sheet of the US Treasury" and pump lots of public money into the ailing financial firms, the major lenders would sit by and let the great deflation of Wall Street proceed to its ruinous climax. Without the big lenders, credit would dry up through the US economy and the destruction could prove bloody historic for all. The Treasury Secretary heard the message.”
If this last ditch effort does not work; what ordinary people are threatened with is double digit interest rates, plunging property values and very high unemployment. That is what the Republicans can so very patriotically clam as their contribution to the citizens of the USA.
Jim Pitcherella


September 9, 2008
Op-Ed Columnist
Hold Your Heads Up
Ignorance must really be bliss. How else, over so many years, could the G.O.P. get away with ridiculing all things liberal?
Troglodytes on the right are no respecters of reality. They say the most absurd things and hardly anyone calls them on it. Evolution? Don’t you believe it. Global warming? A figment of the liberal imagination.
Liberals have been so cowed by the pummeling they’ve taken from the right that they’ve tried to shed their own identity, calling themselves everything but liberal and hoping to pass conservative muster by presenting themselves as hyper-religious and lifelong lovers of rifles, handguns, whatever.
So there was Hillary Clinton, of all people, sponsoring legislation to ban flag-burning; and Barack Obama, who once opposed the death penalty, morphing into someone who not only supports it, but supports it in cases that don’t even involve a homicide.
Anyway, the Republicans were back at it last week at their convention. Mitt Romney wasn’t content to insist that he personally knows that “liberals don’t have a clue.” He complained loudly that the federal government right now is too liberal.
“We need change, all right,” he said. “Change from a liberal Washington to a conservative Washington.”
Why liberals don’t stand up to this garbage, I don’t know. Without the extraordinary contribution of liberals — from the mightiest presidents to the most unheralded protesters and organizers — the United States would be a much, much worse place than it is today.
There would be absolutely no chance that a Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton or Sarah Palin could make a credible run for the highest offices in the land. Conservatives would never have allowed it.
Civil rights? Women’s rights? Liberals went to the mat for them time and again against ugly, vicious and sometimes murderous opposition. They should be forever proud.
The liberals who didn’t have a clue gave us Social Security and unemployment insurance, both of which were contained in the original Social Security Act. Most conservatives despised the very idea of this assistance to struggling Americans. Republicans hated Social Security, but most were afraid to give full throat to their opposition in public at the height of the Depression.
Read more at:

Sunday, September 7, 2008

“Slavery by Another Name, The Re-enslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to World War II.”

I had some "Starbucks" coffee at Barns & Noble tonight. It had not worn off yet. So I tuned in C-Span. "Race in America" was on. The Wall Street Journal's bureau chief in Atlanta, Douglas A Blackmon was discussing his book “Slavery by Another Name, The Re-enslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to World War II.”

My father had a pained look on his face when he talked about the working conditions at Lukens Steel Company before the Unions came. But he was paid for his work. Listen up United Steel Workers Union members; the revelations of this work give a whole new dimension to US Steel Company. Allegedly US Steel in Birmingham Alabama was not significantly different from the slave labor “corporations” of Nazi Germany. US Steel allegedly used thousands of Black male slaves laboring in hellish conditions for five decades; finally ending its alleged slavery at the beginning of World War II.

As historians here in Chester County know, the history of Black people in the USA, while documented is hard to dig up. We know a little about the Jim Crow days but we might just be discovering the devastating effect of what could be called the re-introduction of slavery to the USA following the Civil War. Although Congress had freed the slaves the Federal Government did not prosecute slave owners. “State Rights” prevailed until the 1940s. It is very disturbing that slavery in the USA did not end in the 19th Century. It ended in the 20th Century in 1941 when suggestions that slavery in the USA might be used as propaganda by the enemy prompted President Roosevelt to direct the USDoJ to prosecute slave owners.

From Mr.Blackmon's website:
“The Justice Department recently had formed its Civil Rights Section, created primarily to investigate cases related to anti-organized-labor efforts. It began shifting its focus to discrimination and racial abuse -- issues more commonly associated with the term ‘civil rights’ today.”

“Five days after the Japanese attack, on Dec. 12, 1941, Attorney General Francis Biddle issued a directive -- Circular No. 3591 -- to all federal prosecutors acknowledging the history of unwritten federal policy to ignore most reports of involuntary servitude.

Mr. Biddle wrote: ‘In the United States one cannot sell himself as a peon or slave -- the law is fixed and established to protect the weak-minded, the poor, the miserable. ...Any such sale or contract is positively null and void and the procuring and causing of such contract to be made violates [the] statutes.’He ordered all Department of Justice investigators to entirely drop reference to peonage in their written reports. Instead, they were to label every file ‘Involuntary Servitude and Slavery.”

" Based on a vast record of original documents and personal narratives, SLAVERY BY ANOTHER NAME unearths the lost stories of slaves and their descendants who journeyed into freedom after the Emancipation Proclamation and then back into the shadow of involuntary servitude. It also reveals the stories of those who fought unsuccessfully against the re-emergence of human labor trafficking, the modern companies that profited most from neoslavery, and the system’s final demise in the 1940s, partly due to fears of enemy propaganda about American racial abuse at the beginning of World War II."



An excerpt from the book at:


The Bricks We Stand On

On March 30, 1908, Green Cottenham was arrested by the sheriff of Shelby County, Alabama, and charged with “vagrancy.”1 Cottenham had committed no true crime. Vagrancy, the offense of a person not being able to prove at a given moment that he or she is employed, was a new and flimsy concoction dredged up from legal obscurity at the end of the nineteenth century by the state legislatures of Alabama and other southern states. It was capriciously enforced by local sheriffs and constables, adjudicated by mayors and notaries public, recorded haphazardly or not at all in court records, and, most tellingly in a time of massive unemployment among all southern men, was reserved almost exclusively for black men. Cottenham’s offense was blackness.

After three days behind bars, twenty-two-year-old Cottenham was found guilty in a swift appearance before the county judge and immediately sentenced to a thirty-day term of hard labor. Unable to pay the array of fees assessed on every prisoner—fees to the sheriff, the deputy, the court clerk, the witnesses—Cottenham’s sentence was extended to nearly a year of hard labor.

The next day, Cottenham, the youngest of nine children born to former slaves in an adjoining county, was sold. Under a standing arrangement between the county and a vast subsidiary of the industrial titan of the North—U.S. Steel Corporation—the sheriff turned the young man over to the company for the duration of his sentence. In return, the subsidiary, Tennessee Coal, Iron & Railroad Company, gave the county $12 a month to pay off Cottenham’s fine and fees. What the company’s managers did with Cottenham, and thousands of other black men they purchased from sheriffs across Alabama, was entirely up to them.

A few hours later, the company plunged Cottenham into the darkness of a mine called Slope No. 12—one shaft in a vast subterranean labyrinth on the edge of Birmingham known as the Pratt Mines. There, he was chained inside a long wooden barrack at night and required to spend nearly every waking hour digging and loading coal. His required daily “task” was to remove eight tons of coal from the mine. Cottenham was subject to the whip for failure to dig the requisite amount, at risk of physical torture for disobedience, and vulnerable to the sexual predations of other miners— many of whom already had passed years or decades in their own chthonian confinement. The lightless catacombs of black rock, packed with hundreds of desperate men slick with sweat and coated in pulverized coal, must have exceeded any vision of hell a boy born in the countryside of Alabama—even a child of slaves—could have ever imagined.

Waves of disease ripped through the population. In the month before Cottenham arrived at the prison mine, pneumonia and tuberculosis sickened dozens. Within his first four weeks, six died. Before the year was over, almost sixty men forced into Slope 12 were dead of disease, accidents, or homicide.

Most of the broken bodies, along with hundreds of others before and after, were dumped into shallow graves scattered among the refuse of the mine.

Others were incinerated in nearby ovens used to blast millions of tons of coal brought to the surface into coke—the carbon-rich fuel essential to U.S.

Steel’s production of iron. Forty-five years after President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation freeing American slaves, Green Cottenham and more than a thousand other black men toiled under the lash at Slope 12.

Imprisoned in what was then the most advanced city of the South, guarded by whipping bosses employed by the most iconic example of the modern corporation emerging in the gilded North, they were slaves in all but name.

Almost a century later, on an overgrown hillside five miles from the bustling downtown of contemporary Birmingham, I found my way to one of the only tangible relics of what Green Cottenham endured. The ground was all but completely obscured by the dense thicket. But beneath the undergrowth of privet, the faint outlines of hundreds upon hundreds of oval depressions still marked the land. Spread in haphazard rows across the forest floor, these were sunken graves of the dead from nearby prison mines once operated by U.S. Steel.2 Here and there, antediluvian headstones jutted from the foliage. No signs marked the place. No paths led to it.

I was a reporter for The Wall Street Journal, exploring the possibility of a story asking a provocative question: What would be revealed if American corporations were examined through the same sharp lens of historical confrontation as the one then being trained on German corporations that relied on Jewish slave labor during World War II and the Swiss banks that robbed victims of the Holocaust of their fortunes? My guide that day in the summer of 2000 was an industrial archaeologist named Jack Bergstresser. Years earlier, he had stumbled across a simple iron fence surrounding a single collapsed grave during a survey of the area.

Bergstresser was mystified by its presence at the center of what at the beginning of the twentieth century was one of the busiest confluences of industrial activity in the United States. The grave and the twisted wrought iron around it sat near what had been the intersection of two rail lines and a complex of mines, coal processing facilities, and furnaces in which thousands of men operated around the clock to generate millions of tons of coal and iron—all owned and operated by U.S. Steel at the height of its supremacy in American commerce. Bergstresser, who is white, told me he wondered if the dead here were forced laborers. He knew that African Americans had been compelled to work in Alabama mines prior to the Great Depression. His grandfather, once a coal miner himself, had told him stories of a similar burial field near the family home place south of Birmingham.

A year later, the Journal published my long article chronicling the saga of that burial ground. No specific record of the internments survived, but mountains of archival evidence and the oral histories of old and dying African Americans nearby confirmed that most of the cemetery’s inhabitants had been inmates of the labor camp that operated for three decades on the hilltop above the graveyard. Later I would discover atop a nearby rise another burial field, where Green Cottenham almost certainly was buried.

The camp had supplied tens of thousands of men over five decades to a succession of prison mines ultimately purchased by U.S. Steel in 1907. Hundreds of them had not survived. Nearly all were black men arrested and then “leased” by state and county governments to U.S. Steel or the companies it had acquired.3 Here and in scores of other similarly crude graveyards, the final chapter of American slavery had been buried. It was a form of bondage distinctly different from that of the antebellum South in that for most men, and the relatively few women drawn in, this slavery did not last a lifetime and did not automatically extend from one generation to the next. But it was nonetheless slavery—a system in which armies of free men, guilty of no crimes and entitled by law to freedom, were compelled to labor without compensation, were repeatedly bought and sold, and were forced to do the bidding of white masters through the regular application of extraordinary physical coercion.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

US lenders 'face state takeover'

It is good that we have two candidates who agree that we should not reward the white collar criminals at the mortgage companies. Maybe McCain is not an ordinary Republican.
From BBC News
"We've got to keep people in their homes," said the Republican candidate, John McCain.
"There's got to be restructuring, there's got to be reorganization, and there's got to be some confidence that we've stopped this downward spiral," he added, saying that the takeover of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac must not benefit executives at the two companies.
The Democratic Party candidate, Barack Obama, said any action should be focused "on whether it will strengthen our economy and help struggling homeowners".
"We must not allow government intervention to protect investors and speculators who relied on the government to reap massive profits," he said, adding "we must protect taxpayers, not bail out the shareholders and management of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac".

Friday, September 5, 2008

Suddenly religious Jack Abramoff is Sentenced to 4 Years in Prison

It looks to me that suddenly religious Jack Abramoff is sorry for being caught, not for what he did.

Newt Gingrich, the “Contract with America”, “Republican Revolution” and “Enron business ethics”; the bright, ivy league schooled “Young Republicans”. They think stealing and “book cooking” is just good business practice and even if they are caught it’s “just business” or “just politics. “Everybody does it” so they did nothing wrong.

Two down; Scooter Libby, Jack Abramoff; who is next?
Grover Norquist, Carl Rove, Alberto Gonzales?

I guess the “white collar” criminals think that they didn’t cause a major recession by means of mortgage fraud and security fraud; they just took advantage of an opportunity. So very many “white collar” criminals who think they did nothing wrong so they can’t go to prison. They are exasperating to investigate and prosecute because they don’t “flip” easily. Mafia bosses are more likeable because they know they are criminals, getting caught is just down time and they respect good AUSAs.

If Bush and Cheney are ever successfully prosecuted will they be repentant or just sorry they were caught?

“New York Times
September 5, 2008
Abramoff Is Sentenced to 4 Years in Prison
WASHINGTON — Jack Abramoff, the onetime flamboyant lobbyist who amassed a fortune by showering gifts on Congressional and executive branch officials while bilking Indian tribes of millions of dollars, was sentenced Thursday to four years in prison.
Judge Ellen S. Huvelle of Federal District Court here ordered that Mr. Abramoff serve the time for corruption and tax offenses uncovered by an influence-peddling investigation that touched Republican leaders in Congress and midlevel officials in the Bush administration, among others. Judge Huvelle said Mr. Abramoff had engaged in “a consistent course of corrupt conduct.”
Mr. Abramoff, who came to symbolize an out-of-control, even brazen style of courting government officials, told Judge Huvelle he had since realized how far he had stepped over the bounds of what was permissible. Wearing a worn brown T-shirt, pants with an elastic waistband and a Jewish skullcap, he apologized profusely and in a quavering voice said he was begging for mercy. “I have fallen into an abyss,” he said. “My name is the butt of a joke.”
The sentencing process was unusual and complicated by many factors. Prosecutors had asked Judge Huvelle to sentence Mr. Abramoff to a term less than the approximately 11 years allowed by federal sentencing guidelines to reflect his extensive cooperation with investigators.”
More at:

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Attytood: Palin's speech to nowhere

I could never understand Republicans who were not Billionaires or at least were well on their way to becoming Billionaires who were registered to vote as Republican or those “Regan Democrats” who voted Republican. They took the trouble to vote on Election Day not for candidates that would do them any good but for candidates that would actually cause them personal harm. For instance; the single largest crippling effect on small business and entrepreneurs in the United States is health insurance premiums. The single largest biggest boost for small business in the United States would be moving to single payer health coverage for all Americans. Yet the Republicans are unwilling to step away from the insurance company lobbyists.

I can only think that the ultra-wealthy controllers of the Republican Party think that those who constitute a majority of registered Republicans; those who’s personal income is less than $5 M per year, are idiots and will march in goose-step however their leaders demand.

One of the best critiques of Palin’s speech came from the Philadelphia Daily News writer Will Bunch

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Attytood: Palin's speech to nowhere

Sarah Palin delivered a great speech tonight -- for her party, for John McCain, for herself, for what she set out to accomplish. This was America's first real glimpse at the Alaska governor, and what we saw was a boffo politician who speaks in a plaintive prairie voice that channels America's Heartland like a chilling breeze rippling a field of wheat, who knows how to tell a joke, how to bring down the house and bring a tear to a few eyes. She is proud of her family, as she should be, and there is much to admire in her own "personal journey of discovery" (don't we all have these, by the way?) including her efforts to raise her son Trig. It is indeed nice to think that there would be an advocate for such children inside the corridors of the White House, although I'd surely like to hear what -- if anything -- she's done for special needs kids as governor of Alaska.
But...it was a great speech -- written for someone else, a male in fact, days before the Palin selection was even a gleam in John McCain's eye, but a great speech nonetheless. The pundits are fawning over it as I write this -- Tom Brokaw said she could not have been "more winning and more engaging" -- and in a world that is dominated by horse race journalism I can understand why, because I agree that Palin's one-of-a-kind story has given her long shot running mate a decent chance now of pulling this one out at the finish line.
It's a good metaphor, a horse race, because in the end it finishes right near where it started -- just as it will be for America if John McCain and Sarah Palin are sworn in on Jan. 20, 2009. Yes, it was a great speech politically, and a great night for her family, but an empty speech for America -- and for America's families. It was defined by its lowest moment, Palin's shameless lie about "the Bridge to Nowhere."
This was a Speech to Nowhere.
It was a Speech to Nowhere when Palin said that "I told the Congress 'Thanks but no thanks' on that Bridge to Nowhere, because that was a lie, and the worst kind of lie in American politics, a blatant falsehood that showed utter contempt for the American people that Palin pledged to serve, assuming we are too stupid to look up or know that truth, that she pushed for those funds in Congress and while she

Read the rest of the post here:

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Peggy Noonan "It's over"

Peggy Noonan, Mike Murphy Caught On Tape Disparaging Palin Choice: "It's Over," "Political Bullshit," "Gimmicky"
Huffington Post
September 3, 2008 04:35 PM
"Wall Street Journal columnist and former Reagan speechwriter Peggy Noonan and former John McCain adviser, Time columnist, and MSNBC contributor Mike Murphy were caught on tape disparaging John McCain's selection of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his Vice Presidential running mate.
"It's over," Noonan said.
When Chuck Todd asked her if this was the most qualified woman the Republicans could nominate, Noonan responded, "The most qualified? No. I think they went for this, excuse me, political bullshit about narratives. Every time the Republicans do that, because that's not where they live and that's not what they're good at, they blow it."
Murphy characterized the choices as "cynical" and "gimmicky."
Watch (the dialogue in question starts 38 seconds in, full transcript is below the video):

Chuck Todd: Mike Murphy, lots of free advice, we'll see if Steve Schmidt and the boys were watching. We'll find out on your blackberry. Tonight voters will get their chance to hear from Sarah Palin and she will get the chance to show voters she's the right woman for the job Up next, one man who's already convinced and he'll us why Gov. Jon Huntsman. (cut away)

Peggy Noonan: Yeah.
Mike Murphy: You know, because I come out of the blue swing state governor world: Engler, Whitman, Tommy Thompson, Mitt Romney, Jeb Bush. I mean, these guys -- this is how you win a Texas race, just run it up. And it's not gonna work. And --
Story continues below
PN: It's over."


The Noonan and Murphy Video is so; if you will, incriminating, I was wondering if it was legit. But it’s on all the major news:
Noonan and Murphy on Palin from the Washington Post:

Noonan and Murphy on Palin from the LA Times:

Noonan and Murphy on Palin from the New York Times:

Noonan and Murphy on Palin from the Philadelphia Inquirer


Looks like Palin is only a means to get cash and political support from the TV preachers.

If the old guy with the secret medical history would kick the bucket and she would actually get to be President of the United States, it would be game over; kiss the USA good bye.

It looks like the Republican’s bottom line is winning elections and to hell with the USA.

The Republican Party is pathetic.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Troopergate Northern Exposure

The problem is not Palin’s direct alleged vendetta on her Alaska State Trooper Mike Wooten former brother in law. It is her firing of Alaska’s Director of Public Safety Walt Monegan. Allegedly Monegan was fired by Palin for his refusal to fire State Trooper Mike Wooten.
Go to the “talking points memo” webpage and listen to the recording of a phone call from Frank Bailey, one of Palin’s staff suggesting that Walt Monegan fire Trooper Wooten. The recording begins with an attempt by Palin’s staff member to obtain information about a contract agreement between the police union and the State of Alaska. It is a long telephone call. The alleged pressuring of the Director of Public Safety to fire Trooper Wooten begins in about the middle of the tape.
Looks like enough evidence to convict to me. But, Look who is conducting the investigation, from the Huffington Post: This investigation into Monegan's dismissal has more than its share of subplots as well. The probe into Palin's involvement if any was ordered by a Republican-dominated state legislative council that includes one of the lawmakers under a federal bribery indictment. And Branchflower, the investigator, is a former Anchorage prosecutor whose wife used to work for Monegan at the Anchorage Police Department.
What all this might mean is that “Miss Congeniality” may need to be replaced soon.
Personally I think the Republican Party leadership is a complete failure and we may be looking at the last days of the Republican Party. By the way Jim “go along” Gerlach is thrilled with the choice of Palin.

Getting Real About Palin
08.31.08 -- 11:00AM
By Josh Marshall
I've noticed some people who should know better claiming that bringing up Gov. Palin's troopergate scandal is tantamount to making a victim of or defending her slimeball ex-brother-in-law who allegedly once used a taser on his stepson.
That's awfully foolish. So I thought I'd put together a post explaining why.
The person in question is state trooper Mike Wooten -- Palin's ex-brother-in-law who's embroiled in a bitter custody and divorce battle with Palin's sister. Back in the second week of August, well before Palin became a national political figure, TPMMuckraker was reporting on this story. And as part of the reporting we tried to get a handle on just how bad a guy Wooten was. Most people who are familiar with the ugliness that often spills out of custody and divorce cases know to take accusations arising out of the course of them with a grain of salt unless you know a lot about the people involved. And if you look closely at the case there are numerous reasons to question the picture drawn by the Palin family. Regardless, we proceeded on the assumption that Wooten really was a rotten guy because the truth is that it wasn't relevant to the investigation of Palin.
Let's review what happened.
The Palin family had a feud with Wooten prior to her becoming governor. They put together a list of 14 accusations which they took to the state police to investigate -- a list that ranged from the quite serious to the truly absurd. The state police did an investigation, decided that 5 of the charges had some merit and suspended Wooten for ten days -- a suspension later reduced to five days. The Palin's weren't satisfied but there wasn't much they could do.
When Palin became governor they went for another bite at the apple. Palin, her husband and several members of her staff began pressuring Public Safety Commissioner, Walt Monegan -- a respected former Chief of the Anchorage police department -- to can Wooten. Monegan resisted, arguing that the official process regarding Wooten was closed. And there was nothing more that could be done. In fact, during one of the conversations in which Palin's husband Todd was putting on the squeeze, Monegan told Todd Palin, "You can't head hunt like this. What you need to do is back off, because if the trooper does make a mistake, and it is a terminable offense, it can look like political interference."
Eventually, Palin got fed up and fired Monegan from his job. This is an important point. Wooten never got fired. To the best of my knowledge, he's is still on the job. The central bad act was firing the state's top police official because he refused to bend to political pressure from the governor and her family to fire a public employee against whom the governor was pursuing a vendetta -- whether the vendetta was justified or not.
Soon after this, questions were raised in the state about Monegan's firing and he eventually came forward and said he believed he'd been fired for not giving in to pressure to fire Wooten.
After Monegan made his accusations, Palin insisted there was no truth whatsoever to his claims. Nonetheless, a bipartisan committee of the state legislature approved an investigation. In response, Palin asked the Attorney General to start his own investigation which many in the state interpreted as an effort to either keep tabs on or tamper with the legislature's investigation. Again, very questionable judgment in someone who aspires to be first in line to the presidency.
The Attorney General's investigation quickly turned up evidence that Palin's initial denials were false. Multiple members of her staff had raised Wooten's employment with Monegan. Indeed, the state police had a recording of one of her deputies pushing Monegan to fire Wooten. That evidence forced Palin to change her story. Palin said that this was the first she'd heard of it and insisted the deputy wasn't acting at her behest, even though the transcript of the recorded call clearly suggested that he was. (Hear the audio here.)
Read the rest of the article here:
Also check out the Huffington Post. It has a name “Troopergate”:
"Palin Trooper Scandal Could Become Problem"
STEVE QUINN | September 1, 2008 04:30 AM EST |
ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Troopergate. It's a political he-said, she-said that has dogged Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin for nearly two months and is likely to do so for another two months leading to the Nov. 4 presidential election.
The little-known vice presidential candidate faces accusations of firing public safety commissioner Walt Monegan in what amounts to a messy Palin family drama dating to her pre-gubernatorial days. Monegan had refused to fire a state trooper who had gone through a messy divorce from Palin's sister.