Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Coulter calls McCain a ‘douchebag,’ gets bleeped by MSNBC

Coulter calls McCain a ‘douchebag,’ gets bleeped by MSNBC

Ann Coulter, conservative author and preferred provocateur among cable news bookers, was repeatedly bleeped during a recent appearance on "Morning Joe" on Tuesday. In the bleeped asides, Coulter apparently called John McCain a "douchebag."
Coulter was also cut for several seconds while discussing the consistency of current and former GOP candidates, including Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney and McCain.
"What did I say, 'douchebag'?" Coulter, realizing she had been bleeped, asked Joe Scarborough.
"We'll just blur it all out," Scarborough said.
"Well, they got the general drift," Coulter added.
On Monday, McCain appeared on "Imus in the Morning" on Fox Business, and was asked about his daughter Meghan's recent hiring by MSNBC.
"She went over to the dark side I guess," McCain said. "I am very proud of her. She's feisty. Being over there she is going to have to have quite a bit of that. I'm sure she will fight for the things she and I believe in."
UPDATE: Coulter later clarified her comments via Twitter: "I didn't call McCain a douchebag. I said consistency is overrated because, for example, McCain was consistently a dickweed."

Rick Perry gets U.S. voting age wrong in New Hampshire

At a town hall meeting at the Institute of Politics at New Hampshire’s Saint Anselm’s College Tuesday, Rick Perry asked that all of the college students in the crowd who will be 21 by Nov. 12 support his bid for the presidency.
Say what?

The voting age in the United States is, of course, 18. And the 2012 election will be held on Nov. 6, 2012. (The New Hampshire Republican primary, which brought Perry to the state, will take place on Jan. 10).

“Those who are going to be over 21 on November 12th, I ask for your support,” Perry said, eliciting a few chuckles from the crowd.” Those who won’t be, just work hard. Because you’re... counting on us.”
The gaffe can be easily chalked up to a slip of the tongue. In fact after the event Perry spokesman Mark Miner said simply “the governor misspoke.”
But whiffing on electoral basics will hardly help Perry as he struggles to recover from a series of gaffe-filled and lackluster debate performances (the most memorable of which was the “oops” moment during a Republican debate when Perry failed to recall the third government department he would eliminate as president).
Perry would love to capi­tal­ize on conservative displeasure with Herman Cain, as the businessman reassesses whether to stay in the 2012 race following allegations that he engaged in a 13-year extramarital affair.
But he will first have to convince voters that he has the verbal dexterity to go toe-to-toe with President Obama in a general election; repeated gaffes will likely hurt any effort to do so.
After the event, Perry ignored questions from reporters about Cain’s status in the race as he was hustled quickly from the college auditorium.

Americans to be Targeted As Terrorists Under NDAA Bill - Infowars Nightly News

Ginger White accuses Herman Cain of a 13-year affair

Ginger White accuses Herman Cain of a 13-year affair

A Georgia woman says that she and Herman Cain engaged in a 13-year affair, but the GOP presidential candidate issued a preemptive denial on Monday.
In an interview with the local Fox affiliate in Atlanta, Ginger White said she met Cain in the 1990s and he invited her to meet him in Palm Springs. From there, she said, the affair took off and he flew her to places where he gave speeches and lavished her with gifts.
WATCH: Ginger White's interview with Atlanta Fox5 News
“He made it very intriguing,” White said. “It was fun. It was something that took me away from my humdrum life at the time. And it was exciting.
“It wasn't complicated. I was aware that he was married. And I was also aware I was involved in a very inappropriate situation, relationship.”
To substantiate her claims, White showed the Atlanta reporter phone records documenting 61 calls from a number that the reporter later traced to Cain. The calls were being made as late as September 2011; Cain, who has acknowledged a relationship with White but not an inappropriate one, responded to a text message to the phone number, but told the reporter he was helping her financially.
“This is not an accusation of harassment in the workplace – this is not an accusation of an assault - which are subject matters of legitimate inquiry to a political candidate,” said attorney Lin Wood, who Cain hired after several sexual harassment allegations surfaced against him earlier this month.
“Rather, this appears to be an accusation of private, alleged consensual conduct between adults - a subject matter which is not a proper subject of inquiry by the media or the public. No individual, whether a private citizen, a candidate for public office or a public official, should be questioned about his or her private sexual life.”
After being criticized for his slow response to sexual harassment allegations in recent weeks, the presidential candidate on Monday refuted the story by appearing on CNN the hour before White’s interview aired.
The former Godfather’s Pizza CEO told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that a story would break Monday night in which a woman is “going to accuse me of an affair for an extended period of time.”
Cain told CNN, “It is someone that I know, who is an acquaintance who I thought was a friend.”
The GOP presidential candidate later elaborated on their relationship, saying she was a “friend, because not having a job, et cetera and this sort of thing.” He said it was “premature” to talk about how long he had known the woman, and that his wife had not met her.
Cain didn’t offer other information, explaining, “I don't want to specify because I don't know what's in the story ... We will address these when they come out, but at this point, I just wanted to give you a heads up. I don't have anything to hide and we will address the details as we know them.”
Once the story broke Cain said, his attorney, L. Lin Wood, would respond.
Cain said he had spoken to his wife about the most recent accusation. “Her reaction was very similar to mine — ‘Here we go again.’ ... As long as my wife believes that I should stay in this race, I'm staying in this race.”
He concluded that he would have a “nice steak dinner” tonight, because he’s “done nothing wrong.”
Even as Cain denied the accusations on television, his lawyer told the station in a statement that his client would not be responding publicly.
 “[T]his appears to be an accusation of private, alleged consensual conduct between adults — a subject matter which is not a proper subject of inquiry by the media or the public,” wrote Wood. “Mr. Cain ... has no obligation to discuss these types of accusations publicly with the media and he will not do so even if his principled position is viewed unfavorably by members of the media.”
After White’s accusations were made public, her attorney, Edward White, told CNN’s John King that White wasn’t likely to profit off them and had gone public after several media inquiries regarding her relationship with Cain.
“I’m concerned about whether or not she’ll be able to keep her job,” White said.
Earlier this month, Politico reported that two women were paid settlements over sexual harassment allegations against Cain from his time at the National Restaurant Association in the 1990s. One of the women went public, and two others ultimately accused Cain of sexual harassment. Cain denied ever sexually harassing anyone. His poll numbers initially withstood those allegations, but in recent days he has begun a downward slide.
White said she knows her name will be dragged through the mud, but that she felt it was important to get her story out, especially because she wasn’t happy about how Cain has treated his past accusers.
“I wanted to give my side, before it was thrown out there and made out to be something filthy,” White said. “Some people will look at this and say that is exactly what it is. I’m sorry for that.”
The Fox Atlanta report showed White has had financial problems, including evictions in recent years and a bankruptcy 23 years ago. She said she is struggling like many single mothers and is unemployed.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Madness of Michele Bachmann: A Broad-Minded Survey of a Small-Minded Candidate

Buy this book in print or E-Book from:

This fact-packed exposé reveals all the dirty little secrets that Michele Bachmann would rather you didn't knowBook Cover Image for The Madness of Michele Bachmann: A Broad-Minded Survey of a Small-Minded CandidateSince Michele Bachmann became a front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination, journalists have been plumbing the depths of the well-regarded blog Dump Bachmann for material on her. Now the bloggers themselves pour forth a decade's worth of research and analysis to show that, no matter what you've heard about Bachmann, there's worse. Much worse. After dogging her heels for the past decade, they reveal the blood-curdling truth about the woman who may well become the Republican Party’s 2012 presidential nominee.
  • Describes Bachmann's faith-based antischool agenda and antigay crusade
  • Explores her fellow travelers, her problematic pastors, and criminal supporters, any of whom could become her Rev. Jeremiah Wright
  • Reveals the boondoggles she's supported, the pernicious legislation she's championed (but, fortunately, almost never passed), and her foreign policy, which boils down to Jesus will be her Secretary of Defense
  • Exposes the truth behind the notorious "Bathroomgate" incident
  • Uncovers the influence of outside money on Bachmann's campaigns, causes, and policies
Democrats disappointed by Obama, Republicans embarrassed by their party's shallow field of candidates, and moderate independents looking for a reasonable choice need to know all they can about presidential contenders. The Madness of Michele Bachman provides deep background they won't find in the mainstream media.

More Information About this Book
Read a Sample Chapter

Buy this book in print or E-Book from:

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Bachmann's Claim of Media Bias is False

Bachmann's Claim of Media Bias is False

On Saturday, November 12, CBS News and National Journal hosted a GOP debate on foreign policy and national security issues. Eight Republican hopefuls participated in the debate, including Michele Bachmann. However, this past week, Bachmann’s camp has accused CBS of a media bias, which has raised questions of a gender bias.
The accusation comes in response to anemail leak by CBS News political director John Dickerson. In the email, Dickerson stated that Bachmann would not receive many questions due to her lagging in the polls. The Bachmann campaign is saying the reason for this is liberal media bias. But, Bachmann’s weakness as a contender for the nomination is the real cause for the lack of media attention she has received.
Bachmann is the only female GOP challenger, but rather than using this distinction to her political advantage, she is highlighting the difference negatively by claiming an unfair bias against her. By contrast, stronger political female candidates, such as Hillary Clinton during the 2008 presidential elections, made a great media splash, despite the obvious gender difference between her and other Democratic contenders. 
In November 2007, White House hopeful Senator Hillary Clinton was leading in the polls and garnering a support base of nearly 50% of Democrats for the nomination. Clinton was also the only female running for the nomination and managed to gain and hold media attention due to her clearly defined policies, competency as both a public speaker and crowd-mingler, and strength as a truly electable candidate. Bachmann does not possess this necessary criterion and has watched her support base dwindle to 4% in favor of stronger candidates.
Although Bachmann lacks tangible foreign policy experience, her position on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence lends her a degree of credibility on national security issues. A huge cornerstone of her campaign is to end illegal immigration and expand the border fence between the U.S. and Mexico. She has claimed that this endeavor is “job one.”
Bachmann’s position on the U.S. presence in Afghanistan and aid to Pakistan remain unclear. However, she disagrees with terrorist suspects being tried in civilian courts and supports waterboarding tactics. She strongly supports Israel and as a result, contests U.N. recognition of Palestine. 
Although Bachmann started out in the lead, winning the Iowa Straw Poll in August and appearing dynamic and passionate about her conservative message, her support has tapered off since Governor Rick Perry entered the race and Herman Cain won over supporters with his charismatic charm.
While projections for the Republican nomination favor candidate Mitt Romney, the race is far from over. However, if Bachmann continues to loose supporters to other candidates, her dropping in the polls and squeeze by the media will be solely attributed to her weakness as a candidate, gender differences aside.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Herman Cain on Libya

Because of this interview, Herman Cain has formally requested Secret Service protection as a buffer to no longer allow his interviews be video taped.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Former Reddit co-owner arrested for excessive JSTOR downloads

Former Reddit co-owner arrested for excessive JSTOR downloads

Former Reddit co-owner arrested for excessive JSTOR downloads
Aaron Swartz, the 24-year-old wunderkind who co-authored the RSS specification at age 14 and sold his stake in Reddit to Condé Nast (which also owns Ars Technica) before his 20th birthday, was arrested Tuesday on charges of wire fraud, computer fraud, "unlawfully obtaining information from," and "recklessly damaging" a "protected computer." He is accused of downloading 4.8 million documents from the academic archiveJSTOR, in violation of its terms of use, and of evading MIT's efforts to stop him from doing so.
Swartz is a founder of the advocacy organization Demand Progress. In a statement, Demand Progress executive director David Segal blasted the arrest. "It's like trying to put someone in jail for allegedly checking too many books out of the library," he said. Demand Progress also quoted James Jacobs, the Government Documents Librarian at Stanford University, who said that the arrest "undermines academic inquiry and democratic principles." 
According to the complaint, Swartz purchased a laptop in September 2010 and registered it under the name "Gary Host" (username: "ghost") on the MIT network. He then ran a Python script that rapidly downloaded articles from the JSTOR. JSTOR detected the script and blocked his IP address. The complaint alleges that there followed a game of cat and mouse in which Swartz repeatedly changed his IP and MAC address to evade JSTOR and MIT's efforts to block access. Swartz also bought a second laptop to speed up the downloading process. Finally, on October 9, JSTOR gave up and and blocked the entire MIT campus from using JSTOR.
When JSTOR lifted the block a few weeks later, Swartz started using his downloading script once again. (Update: To be clear, Swartz resumed his downloading "a few weeks later," but the complaint doesn't say JSTOR access was blocked that whole time.) This time, he entered an MIT network closet, "hard-wired into the network and assigned himself two IP addresses. He hid the Acer laptop and a succession of external storage drives under a box in the closet, so that they would not be obvious to anyone who might enter the closet."
Swartz entered the networking closet for the last time in January. The complaint describes the scene: "As Swartz entered the wiring closet, he held his bicycle helmet like a mask to shield his face, looking through ventilation holes in the helmet. Swartz then removed his computer equipment from the closet, put it in his backpack, and left, again masking his face with the bicycle helmet before peering through a crack in the double doors and cautiously stepping out."
The complaint alleges that "Swartz intended to distribute a significant portion of JSTOR's archive of digitized journal articles through one or more file-sharing sites." But it offers no evidence for this claim. In fact, in astatement following the arrest, JSTOR acknowledged that "we secured from Mr. Swartz the content that was taken, and received confirmation that the content was not and would not be used, copied, transferred, or distributed."
Indeed, Wired reports that JSTOR, the alleged victim, has denied seeking Swartz's prosecution.
Open access to information has long been a passion for Swartz, and he has a history of using unorthodox and controversial means to pursue it. In 2008, he used an automated script to download more than 2 million documents from PACER, the website the federal judiciary uses to distribute court documents. PACER is ordinarily paywalled, but the judicial branch was experimenting with offering paywall-free access to selected libraries. Swartz used the program to circumvent the paywall. The effort led to an FBI investigation, but no charges were ever filed.
There's an important difference between PACER and JSTOR. As works of the federal government, PACER documents are in the public domain. In contrast, many JSTOR documents are protected by copyright. The PACER documents Swartz downloaded are now available for download. Distributing the JSTOR documents, in contrast, would be a clear case of copyright infringement.
Contacted by e-mail, Swartz declined to comment on what he was planning to do with the documents. But he pointed to his bio in the Demand Progress statement, which notes that "in conjunction with Shireen Barday, he downloaded and analyzed 441,170 law review articles to determine the source of their funding; the results werepublished in the Stanford Law Review."
It's not clear, then, whether this was an attempt to liberate the documents from behind the JSTOR paywall or whether he was intending to use the documents for a personal research project.
According to the Boston Globe, Swartz has been released on $100,000 bail.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Reports revive debate over congressional stock deals [Video]

Reports revive debate over congressional stock deals [Video]

The news program "60 Minutes" and Newsweek magazine made a big deal over the weekend of claims that former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and current Speaker John A. Boehnermay have benefited financially from trading stocks on insider information.

The reports, which have been picked up by news organizations around the country, suggest that many members of Congress may be getting rich trading on information available exclusively to lawmakers.

The specific allegations have been rejected completely by Pelosi, Boehner and other members who were cited in the reports. And some longtime Congress-watchers think the current debate fails to acknowledge the reason why members of Congress -- unlike, say, a judge or a Defense Departmentprocurement officer -- are allowed to trade freely in stocks.

The weekend news stories grew out of a book that will be released Tuesday "Throw Them All Out," which addresses the broader issue of officials getting rich through public service. The author, Peter Schweizer, a fellow at the conservative Hoover Institution, calls for an end to the "double standard" that allows members of Congress to engage in insider trading but prohibits a corporate executive from doing the same.  

Here's a quick summary of the most high-profile trading allegations made over the weekend: Paul Pelosi, husband of the then-speaker, bought more than $1 million worth of Visa stock in March 2008 through an initial public offering. TheHouse Judiciary Committee passed a bill later that year that addressed “swipe fees,” the charges assessed by credit-card companies on their debit cards. "60 Minutes" correspondent Steve Kroft asked Pelosi whether she used her power as speaker from blocking that legislation from getting to the floor, a move that presumably could have contributed to the stock's profitability.

Pelosi's allies rejected the report Sunday and today. Her spokesman, Drew Hammill, pointed out that the "60 Minutes" account “failed to note that the legislation . . . was reported out of the Judiciary Committee on Oct. 3, 2008 – the day the House was consumed in passing TARP and also the last day the House was in session before the November election." A separate statement from the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, John Conyers, said there was never any expectation that the bill would get to the floor -- and he applauded Pelosi's role in pushing consumer protection legislation to protect  credit card holders.

The "60 Minutes" and Newsweek stories also cited Schweizer's finding that Boehner was trading in healthcare stocks shortly before significant changes were made in the healthcare bill then moving through the House. 

“I have not made any decisions on day-to-day trading activities of my account and haven’t for years. I do not do it, haven’t done it and wouldn’t do it,” Boehner said during a Washington press conference earlier this month when Kroft asked about the transactions.

In an interview, Schweizer said he could not say with any certainty whether specific members gained improperly. "My objection was to a double standard whereby the permanent political class gets to play by different rules than the rest of us. Most of us have to abide by insider trading laws and most of us in our employment have to abide by conflict of interest rules."

The report will likely add fuel to a growing debate about whether to restrict congressional stock trading or to require more rigorous disclosure. There is conflicting evidence on the topic. An academic  study released earlier  this year found members receiving unusually high returns from the stock portfolios.

But another study found just the opposite. Much of the ongoing debate is summarized in the current issue of the Atlantic Monthly, in an article by editor Megan McArdle.

Stan Brand, a former House counsel who advises members of Congress on ethics matters, urges calm. There may be a need for reform, but more facts are needed. He says Congress members are explicitly permitted to trade stock -- for a reason.

"The current rules state that every member has an affirmative duty to vote on a given legislative matter, unless they have a direct pecuniary interest" that could be affected directly by the vote. "A stock trade has never been considered pecuniary" because Congress members are part of a very large voting bloc and one member has only limited ability to influence a legislative outcome.

So, in the 1970s,congressional ethics panels allowed members holding New York City bonds to vote on a bailout for the city. The same was true for members who held shares in Chrysler before the auto bailout. If members of Congress -- who were intended to be citizen legislators with private personal and business interests -- had to recuse themselves for every stock they owned, it might be difficult to get a quorum on key votes, Brand said.

In his book, Schweizer goes beyond stocks to discuss how members of Congress made gains in property deals connected to transportation earmarks that they sponsored. Recently reformed lobbyistJack Abramoff said he heard a lot about stock trading from members of Congress.

But even his anecdotes suggested there are bigger, more sinister problems stirring in Washington's ethical swamp -- notably the influence of highly paid lobbyists and a Washington career path that promises stratospheric salaries to members of Congress and staffers after public service.

In an interview last week with CNBC, Abramoff recalled members of Congress bragging about their stock trades. "It was more, 'Look at me, I'm a real great stock trader,'" Abramoff said. "I was making far more money than they were. So I wasn't as impressed as perhaps they thought I'd be."

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Welfare for Millionaires

Welfare for Millionaires

A startling new report reveals the billions in government dollars that benefit America’s wealthiest citizens.

Class warfare is a politically charged term these days, from the Wall Street protests to the Capitol Hill negotiations over curtailing the nation’s debt. But a new congressional analysis, obtained by Newsweek, may fuel populist outrage by showing the extent of government subsidies that go to the wealthiest people in America.
From unemployment payments to subsidies and tax breaks on luxury items like vacation homes and yachts, Americans earning more than $1 million collect more than $30 billion in government largesse each year, according to the report assembled by Sen. Tom Coburn, a Republican from Oklahoma, who is so often at odds with members of both parties that colleagues call him “Dr. No.” The Internal Revenue Service provided the data showing how much money was going to the much-referenced top 1 percent.
In all, millionaires receive hefty help from Uncle Sam. The $30 billion in handouts, to put it in perspective, amounts to twice as much as the government spends on NASA, and three times the budget of the Environmental Protection Agency. On the other hand, it would only cover the cost of fighting about three months in Iraq and Afghanistan. Still, eliminating them would help make a small dent in the $1.5 trillion congressional leaders are trying to find by Thanksgiving.
Jon Bon Jovi, the millionaire rock star cited in the report, took federal dollars to raise honeybees on his property. Together billionaire moguls David Rockefeller and Ted Turner have also accepted more than half a million dollars in farm payments. Basketball legend Scottie Pippen took $210,520 in agriculture subsidies while making his fortune playing for the Chicago Bulls. To make matters worse, the government disclosed to Coburn that some recipients of farm subsidies got it by mistake. Tax records show that more than three fourths of high earners collecting farming money list their primary residence in a city—land unsuitable for farming.
Top earners, surprisingly, also get significant amounts of unemployment insurance and disaster payments. Since 2004, people with seven-figure salaries have accepted more than $9 billion in Social Security. A small band of GOP senators, led by Sen. Lindsey Graham, the South Carolina Republican, have proposed “means testing” to shrink Social Security payments for people who probably don’t need them.
The biggest money comes—or goes, rather—through unpaid taxes. More than 1,500 millionaires paid no income tax last year, according to federal records, mainly due to tax loopholes and savvy accountants. Tax breaks taken by millionaires on things like mortgage interest ($27.7 billion), rental expenses ($64.2 billion) and electric vehicles ($12.5 million) keep cash from entering the federal coffers.
“The country is sucking wind right now,” Coburn says. “We end up subsidizing the very wealthy and not helping the ones who really need the help.” The Oklahoman is one of few Republicans who support tax increases as part of a plan to reduce the deficit. Meanwhile, antitax activist Grover Norquist, a frequent nemesis for Coburn, says the whole system is too complex, and too unfair, and that lawmakers need to get rid of loopholes and to lower rates across the board.
Many federal programs maintain broad appeal, especially in such a volatile economy. Agricultural subsidies help farmers handle large swings in commodity prices.
But Coburn’s report is certain to generate arguments on the other side about tax fairness. Why, some might wonder, shouldn’t people who feed the government get to reap its benefits? Millionaires “pay a lot into the system,” says Joseph Thorndike, head of the Tax History Project, a Washington analysis group. “The government comes to the rescue of people in bad moments, and it should do that blindly.”
Yet the crux of the argument—that millionaires are using the social safety net as a luxury hammock—fuels an ongoing campaign by the White House to raise some taxes on top earners. “Republicans need to stop supporting tax breaks for the richest Americans so we can use some of that money to create jobs and reduce the deficit,” says White House spokesperson Amy Brundage. Or as Obama likes to put it, folks like him can afford to give more and take less.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Rick Perry Does Top Ten List - Rick Perry Excuses (Nov.10/11)

Herman Cain Cracks Anita Hill Joke

Herman Cain Cracks Anita Hill Joke

(Fox News Insider)At a meet-and-greet event Thursday in Michigan, a man asked Herman Cain if he’d heard the latest news about Anita Hill, who is, of course, known for accusing Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment in the 1990s. While the conclusion of the man’s question is muffled, he can be heard saying, “You hear the latest news today? Anita Hill is going to come…”
Cain’s response can be heard loud and clear. The GOP candidate, who has been the target of sexual harassment allegations, cracked, “Is she going to endorse me?” The joke drew uproarious laughter from the crowd.