Saturday, October 18, 2008

SBL open thread 

reminiscence: Pat Buchanan's 2000 Reform Party running mate, Ezola Foster, was a spokesperson for the John Birch Society.

After the Fall; Foster and the American Independence Party:
Ezola Foster recently announced that she was joining the American Independent Party, a remnant of segregationist Alabama Gov. George Wallace's independent presidential campaign in 1968.

The American Independent Party wants to abolish federal income taxes, pull the United States out of the United Nations, and protect America from an international conspiracy to make it join a "one-world socialist government."

Today the party only exists in California, where it has, remarkably, over 300,000 supporters, or 2% of the state's registered voters. But the American Independent Party does have a national affiliation with an organization called the Constitution Party. ("I'm a Constitutionalist," Foster explained, "and it's the only party that recognizes the kingship of Jesus Christ. I'm 100% for that.") ~ [SPLC

Just sayin'


Michelle Bachmann's jihad: 

called by God, informed by Ann Coulter

¹ Bachmann: called by God.

¹ Bachmann: Democrats are traitors.
Just read Ann Coulter's book on treason.

Help remove this lizard brained dominionist fool from Congress.
See: Act Blue

more about Bachmann (or scroll down page).


McPallin' Around 

Atlanta Journal Constitution endores Obama:
Obama is the choice
Sunday, October 19, 2008

The 44th president of the United States will take office in an uncertain and dangerous time for this country. The challenges we face both overseas and here at home are complex and unfamiliar, and the road ahead is likely to be very different from the road we have traveled to get here.

Leading the country in such a time will require someone of intellect, creativity, honesty and passion for those traits that have made America great. That person is U.S. Sen. Barack Obama.


McCain has yet to explain how most of his proposed policies and approaches differ from those of the current president. From deregulation of Wall Street and tax cuts that favor the richest 5 percent of Americans to a more aggressive foreign policy, McCain’s approach now reflects the same Republican orthodoxy that has governed this country since 2000. Time and again, he has been offered chances to explain how his philosophy differs from that of the current president, and he has not been able to do so.


And it’s not just a matter of policies. A third term under another Republican president would inevitably be populated by much the same cast of GOP staffers, executives and bureaucrats that has run Washington for so long and with such disastrous results. McCain’s campaign staff illustrates that problem perfectly because it is populated by many of the same people who ran previous Bush campaigns. They are also still trying to run the same basic Republican playbook that the party has used since 1980.

In fact, the competence of McCain’s campaign staff is itself cause to question the candidate’s executive abilities. To some degree, the rigors of creating and running a campaign organization can be a test of the skills needed to create and run an administration. And even many Republicans acknowledge that the McCain campaign has been poorly organized and erratic, lurching from one crisis to another without the sense of a strong hand at the tiller.

And of course, the most unfortunate evidence of that “strategic incoherence and operational incompetence” was McCain’s selection of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate, a person utterly unprepared for the high post in question.


Different challenges require different strengths. Obama has demonstrated a calm, thoughtful leadership style that fits this time and this challenge well. He has laid out a wiser, more measured approach toward foreign policy that elevates diplomacy and negotiation while reserving the use of force if necessary to protect this country and its allies in a dangerous world. He understands that international respect and admiration can’t be forced at gunpoint.

Economically, Obama is better equipped to deal with a rapidly changing global situation, and his policies focus directly on the problems confronting the American working and middle classes. His tax plan, for example, proposes to cut taxes on 95 percent of American households while raising taxes only on households with an income of more than $250,000. That plan may have to be adjusted in light of a harsh new fiscal reality, but it demonstrates where Obama’s instincts and values lead him.

The same is true of his health-care proposal. It requires a comprehensive approach, including financial assistance to help small businesses buy insurance for their employees. It would also require large employers that do not offer health insurance to help their workers with the cost of buying insurance on their own.

Those are new approaches, crafted by a new generation of leaders drawn to Obama by the chance to write their own chapter in the American story. Their time has come. His time has come. Obama is a leader of rare potential, and that’s precisely what the job of our 44th president demands.

You betcha'!


The Great ACORN Scare of 2008

Seattle Post Intelligencer:
Canvassers, not ACORN, at fault

Last year, a top elections official implicated the community group ACORN in what he called "the worst case of voter-registration fraud in the history of the state of Washington."

Referring to similar shenanigans by ACORN this year in other states, Republican John McCain said in Wednesday's presidential campaign debate that the group is "on the verge of maybe perpetrating one of the greatest frauds in voter history ... maybe destroying the fabric of democracy." McCain sought to tie his Democratic opponent, Barack Obama, to ACORN.

But however deplorable the behavior of ACORN workers in submitting phony registrations for the likes of cartoon characters and sports stars, it seems unlikely that the group's misdeeds will affect many votes in November.

In issuing his dire warning in the debate, McCain apparently conflated voter-registration fraud with voter fraud. Voter-registration fraud -- at least, of the type ACORN workers committed in Seattle last year and allegedly engaged in elsewhere this year -- is annoying, potentially costly to taxpayers and certainly illegal, but not, by itself, a serious threat to democratic foundations.

Voter fraud, on the other hand, can change the outcome of elections.

King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg, a Republican, said last year that the ACORN case in Seattle had nothing to do with manipulating outcomes and everything to do with the workers' efforts to keep their $8-an-hour jobs. If anyone was defrauded, it was ACORN, an acronym for Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now.

"The defendants ... cheated their employers to get paid for work they did not actually perform," Satterberg said. "The defendants simply realized that making up names was easier than actually canvassing the streets."

In the Seattle case, temporary workers hired by ACORN for a voter registration drive gathered at the downtown Seattle library to fill out bogus registration forms.

They copied names from newspaper stories -- such as those of actress Katie Holmes, New York Yankees relief pitcher Mariano Rivera and New York Times columnist Frank Rich -- pulled them from baby-name books and telephone directories or just made them up. They wrote in the addresses of homeless shelters for a majority of the 1,762 phony registrations they turned in to elections officials.

But that's as far as it went.


In the case of the fraudulent ACORN registrations, they were cancelled last year as a result of the criminal investigation, which was triggered when elections workers noticed similarities in handwriting for many signatures on the registration forms. No votes were cast based on those registrations.


Proven cases of voter fraud are rare.

Another type of elections fraud involves crimes committed by elections workers, such as creating bogus registrations and then filling out and counting ballots under those entries. McCain has not suggested that might occur in November


ACORN -- a national organization that not only conducts voter registration drives but also advocates on behalf of the poor and working class on housing, credit and education issues --


Obama represented ACORN as an attorney, along with the U.S. Justice Department, in a successful 1995 lawsuit against the state of Illinois that made it easier for people to register at driver's license offices. He has disavowed any connection to ACORN's current voter-registration effort.

Oh, yepper. If I weres a fresh Young College Republican political major or majorette scrubby-dub go-getter just lookin' fer a summer job makin' that 8 dollars per hour takin' a load off at the local cultural marxist air conditioned lie-berry while fillin' out voter registration forms with that liberal anti-murican traitor Frank Rich guys name on em' (it was just a joke!) by jigglin' Jeebis and Jeremiah, I'd be there too. You betcha'. Beats cleanin' hair outta' clogged drains and stuff all summer for $5.25 per hour with some Joe Plumber dood. Doggoneit.

update Help wanted, $12 per hour:
Dozens of newly minted Republican voters say they were duped into joining the party by a GOP contractor with a trail of fraud complaints stretching across the country.

Voters contacted by The Times said they were tricked into switching parties while signing what they believed were petitions for tougher penalties against child molesters. Some said they were told that they had to become Republicans to sign the petition, contrary to California initiative law. Others had no idea their registration was being changed.


It is a bait-and-switch scheme familiar to election experts. The firm hired by the California Republican Party -- a small company called Young Political Majors, or YPM, which operates in several states -- has been accused of using the tactic across the country.


The firm, which a Republican Party spokesman said is paid $7 to $12 for each registration it secures, has denied any wrongdoing and says it has never been charged with a crime. ~ [LA Times, via Hullabaloo]


Michelle Bachmann's Calculating Dominion 

"She is absolutely a cold, calculating person," says Gary Laidig, the Republican she unseated en route to the state Senate in 2000. "It's always the same with her on campaigns: Nobody really knows who she is, and she just comes across as this petite, attractive soccer mom. And that's it. But the fact is, she's part of a group that is absolutely determined to take over the Republican Party.

"She's kind of a spooky person. She's one of those people who feels that God is speaking directly to her, and that justifies her actions."

¹ Michelle Bachmann on Hardball, Oct 17, 2008. Via TPM

Excerpts from City Pages (Minneapolis / St. Paul):
The Chosen One
Michele Bachmann's recipe for success: Christian piety and not-so-Christian opportunism
G.R. Anderson Jr.
Published on October 04, 2006

Technically, Bachmann's political odyssey began in 1999, when she was part of a controversial slate of GOP-endorsed candidates for the traditionally nonpartisan Stillwater School Board. She and her compatriots lost that battle, collectively finishing at the bottom of the heap on Election Day. To date, it's the only election Bachmann has lost. She came back the very next year, mounting a stealthy and deadly-effective campaign to unseat incumbent GOP State Senator Gary Laidig, a Vietnam veteran and old-school Republican moderate who had represented the area in a state House or Senate seat since 1972.

But in a broader sense Bachmann had been honing her political chops and pursuing the role of uber-Christian public activist for years by that time. Back in 1993, she helped to start a Stillwater charter school that ran afoul of many parents and the local school board when it became apparent that the school—which received public money and therefore was bound to observe the legal separation of church and state—was injecting Christain elements into the curriculum. After Bachmann and company were driven out of that venture, she became a prolific speaker and writer on the evils of public education in the years leading up to her failed school board run.

By all accounts, she made herself into a formidable presence. "She's articulate, attractive, and speaks passionately," says Mary Cecconi, who spent eight years on the Stillwater School Board. "Actually, she is ferocious."

On the stump in 2006, Bachmann still calls education reform one of her "number one priority" issues, along with tax reform and homeland security. Her critics, in turn—who include a number of non-evangelical Republicans—point a wary finger at her ties to a religious conservative think tank called EdWatch, and contend that none of her five children has attended public school.


"She is absolutely a cold, calculating person," says Gary Laidig, the Republican she unseated en route to the state Senate in 2000. "It's always the same with her on campaigns: Nobody really knows who she is, and she just comes across as this petite, attractive soccer mom. And that's it. But the fact is, she's part of a group that is absolutely determined to take over the Republican Party. [...]

"At the end of the day, her politics are like this: Everyone will have a gun, nobody will have an abortion, no one will pay taxes, everyone will go to church, and there won't be any more pinko liberal teachers in school."


The couple soon moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma, where Bachmann enrolled in the Coburn Law School, a Bible-based institution affiliated with Oral Roberts University. According to one version of her résumé, she earned a Juris Doctorate at Coburn in 1986, and post-doctorate degree from William and Mary Law School in Virginia in 1988.

According to Bachmann's CV, she landed a job with "the federal U.S. Tax Court" in St. Paul in 1988. One church bio lists her title there as a "federal litigation tax attorney"—the only job besides being state senator that Bachmann notes on the campaign trail. Some of her critics have called the designation misleading. Setting the record straight in early 2005, Bachmann admitted to City Pages that she in fact worked for the IRS going after tax cheats, a fact she never mentions when she is rallying anti-tax sentiments on the stump.


She didn't always stay at home, though. Increasingly, Bachmann was hitting the church and school circuit as a speaker, railing against what she deemed to be unreasonable federal and state mandates for education. She was a prized pupil in something called the Maple River Education Coalition, which later became EdWatch. (Former Governor Jesse Ventura once said of them, "The Maple River group, they think UFOs are landing next month. They think it's some big government federal conspiracy!") According to the mission statement on its website, EdWatch is concerned about the "undermining" of "constitutional freedoms" due in part to the country's "entire educational system." In the words of one editorial column reposted at the site, "Public education is not among the enumerated powers of the federal government."

Note: EdWatch board of directors includes far right executive director of Gun Owners of America Larry Pratt. - See: www.edwatch.org/mredco_staff.html#Pratt
From Southern Poverty Law Center:
Eight Lanes Out
Larry Pratt, 58

Larry Pratt, a gun rights absolutist whose Gun Owners of America (GOA) has been described as "eight lanes to the right" of the National Rifle Association, may well be the person who brought the concept of citizen militias to the radical right.

In 1990, Pratt wrote a book, Armed People Victorious, based on his study of "citizen defense patrols" used in Guatemala and the Philippines against Communist rebels — patrols that came to be known as death squads for their murderous brutality.

Picturing these groups in rosy terms, Pratt advocated similar militias in the United States — an idea that finally caught on when he was invited for a meeting of 160 extremists, including many famous white supremacists, in 1992.

It was at that meeting, hosted in Colorado by white supremacist minister Pete Peters, that the contours of the militia movement were laid out.

Pratt, whose GOA has grown since its 1975 founding to some 150,000 members today, hit the headlines in a big way when his associations with Peters and other professional racists were revealed, convincing arch-conservative Pat Buchanan to eject him as a national co-chair of Buchanan's 1996 presidential campaign.

The same year, it emerged that Pratt was a contributing editor to a periodical of the anti-Semitic United Sovereigns of America, and that his GOA had donated money to a white supremacist attorney's group.

Pratt is today close to the extremist Constitution Party and its radical theology.

Anytime there was a school issue in the east metro, Bachmann was there. "In 1993 or '94, Michele was stumping anti-standards rhetoric," longtime Stillwater School Board member Mary Cecconi recalls. "I went to a church in Lake Elmo, because I wanted to hear her. Everything she said was met with catcalls and 'hallelujah' and 'amen sister.'"

Robin Eley By this time, Bachmann had become one of the founders of the New Heights Charter School, one of the first charter schools in the country. By law, charter schools have to be overseen by a public school district because they are funded, at least in part, by public money as tax-exempt nonprofits. In the fall of 1993, Denise Stephens had one daughter teaching at the school, and one daughter enrolled in the ninth grade. It was the first year that school at New Heights was in session as part of the Stillwater school district.

According to Stephens, it became clear that the charter school's board of directors was populated with right-wing Christians, all of them seeming acolytes of Bachmann. "I started raising questions about whether we were using public money to fund a religious school," Stephens recalls. Among the proposals coming from Bachmann and company was to expand the curriculum to teach creationism. The directors of the charter school, she recalls, were also advocating that "something called '12 Christian principles' be taught, very much like the 10 Commandments." One of the final straws for Stephens, who notes that she's been "a Republican since 1978," was that school officials would not allow the Disney movie Aladdin to be shown because it involved magic and supposedly taught paganism.

Stephens and other parents soon had confrontational meetings with Bachmann and the rest of the charter school group. "One member of Michele's entourage talked about how he had visions, and that God spoke to him directly," Stephens says. "He told us that as Christians we had to lay our lives down for it. I remember getting in the car with my husband afterward and telling him, 'This is a cult.'"

(This closely echoes something former state Senator Laidig says about Bachmann: "She's kind of a spooky person. She's one of those people who feels that God is speaking directly to her, and that justifies her actions.")

Eventually, the Bachmann and Stephens forces met in front of the Stillwater School Board. When confronted, according to Stephens, Bachmann grew angry: Are you going to question my integrity? she demanded. According to Stephens and others, Bachmann and four others resigned on the spot that night, offering what could be described as religious trash-talk on the way out. Bachmann still cites the charter school as a major accomplishment, but makes no mention of her leaving.


On the campaign trail, Michele Bachmann has said her husband grew up on a family dairy farm in western Wisconsin. According to a brief biography that ran in the Forest Lake Times when Bachmann and Associates opened an office there in March 2005, he earned a master's degree in counseling from Regent University in Virginia Beach, Virginia, a school then affiliated with Christian Broadcasting Network pitchman Pat Robertson. Bachmann later was awarded a doctorate in clinical psychology from an institution listed as Union Graduate School on his clinic's website, an apparent reference to Union Institute in Cincinnati, though nothing on either of the Bachmanns' public résumés suggests they ever lived in Ohio.


But Michele Bachmann's Christian testimony has not endeared her to everyone in her family. When Bachmann held a hearing on the gay marriage ban at the Capitol last April, she got a rude surprise: Sitting just a few feet away was her stepsister, Helen LaFave, who chose the occasion to come out publicly for the first time, with her partner of 20 years in attendance. "This issue has been very hurtful to me personally, and divisive for our family," LaFave told the Star Tribune at the time. Bachmann said at the time that she had taken a family vote on the gay marriage ban, and that family members favored it by a 6-3 margin. But both Michael and Helen LaFave insist she never spoke to them about it. Helen LaFave added that Bachmann ignored letters LaFave had sent her about the matter.

(Helen LaFave, 46, declined to be interviewed for this story, saying, "My dad is in his 80s now, and it's too much to have all of this out there for him.")

"I've got to be clear that I've always been kind of proud of Michele," Michael LaFave says cautiously. That all went sour, though, as Bachmann increasingly became the face of the efforts to ban gay marriage at the Capitol. LaFave had no choice but to take things personally: "I wrote her an e-mail, and asked very nicely why she had to carry the water on this, knowing that my father has a gay daughter. How could she discriminate against Helen?

"She's out there courting a family values agenda, but she's saying things about her own family that's not true," he claims. "She could have been talking to the voters the whole time about having a gay sister," he says. "That at least would have been honest. [...]

"What I'd say to Michele is that you've got a situation here that you didn't have to create. You didn't have to go about it this way," he says, and pauses before announcing he'll likely vote for Patty Wetterling. "I'd say, 'Michele, for all of this, you've lost your family. You've lost my vote.'"


[...] Bachmann was on a congressional candidate panel at Farm Fest 2006, in Redwood Falls, far out of her district. There were displays of farm equipment everywhere, and about 300 people had gathered under a white tent to hear the candidates field questions. Bachmann immediately made a point of saying she "married a dairy farmer" and spoke of the days when she and Marcus would milk the cows on his father's farm.

"That's something that certainly doesn't fit with my image of Michele," chuckles Michael LaFave when told of this. Bachmann is petite to the point of looking frail. She often is surrounded by people—supporters, staffers, fellow politicians, Marcus—who seem intent on sheltering her from any outside forces. From a distance, she looks youthful and composed. Up close, she appears at once older and less self-assured. In short, she's made for television. At Farm Fest, she looked completely out of her element.

There were complicated questions about farm policy—What's your stance on crop insurance? Should the current farm bill be extended?—that, in fairness, made sense to only four or five of the nine candidates on the panel. But while some candidates simply admitted as much, Bachmann repeatedly referred to "marrying into a farm family" in weaving answers that never quite got around to the questions.

In response to a complex question about setting up a permanent disaster fund for farmers and ranchers who raise beef cattle, Wetterling balked and admitted she didn't really understand the question or have an answer. Bachmann, by contrast, dove right in. "I appreciate the question, because on our dairy farm, we raise beef cattle as well," she began. "One thing we can never, ever, ever get away from is that we are not two separate entities: Commodities. Livestock. If there's anything that can interact, it's commodities and livestock. Without commodities, you don't have livestock. It's just that simple."

She concluded by noting that, as a mother of the sum of 28 children, she has learned that when families don't get fed, "they get cranky."

This drew a small chuckle from the crowd, but it was an uncomfortable one. One farmer turned to the one sitting next to him, shaking his head. "What the fuck is she talking about?" he wanted to know.


Friday, October 17, 2008

Gordon the Unrepentant Plumber 

G. Gordon Liddy, White House Plumbers Unit:
McCain finds his own radical friend (Chicago Tribune):

Liddy was in the thick of the biggest political scandal in American history -- and one of the greatest threats to the rule of law. He has said he has no regrets about what he did, insisting that he went to jail as "a prisoner of war."

Gordon the Assasin:
Persistence was one of Gordon Liddy's strong points; patience was not. In the weeks that followed the February 4 meeting, he relentlessly hounded Magruder to secure approval of Gemstone from John Mitchell. The attorney general had announced his resignation on February 15, 1972, and left Justice for CRP [ed/farmer note: Nixon's Committee for the Re-Election of the President] on March 1. To keep their chops sharp in the meantime, Liddy and Hunt performed an odd assortment of investigative jobs, including an examination of Jack Anerson's finances and a review of the best options for murdering the columnist,...

~ [James Rosen, The Strong Man; page 268; Doubleday, 2008]

Gordon the Jeweler -- Operation Gemstone:
Now, at 11:00 a.m. on January 27, 1972, Dean once again found himself seated in one of the faded red leather chairs in the attorney general's office, alongside Magruder and Liddy. The lawyer-cum-covert operator was finally going to present his master plan for a "first-class" campaign intelligence operation to Mitchell. Liddy strode into the attorney general's office carrying an easel and, under his arm in a brown paper wrapper, a set of large, professionally printed charts. [...] Liddy summarized his qualifications for the covert mission at hand, the many experts he had consulted, and the tight security precautions surrounding the entire operation. Next, he distributed sheets of paper with dollar figures on them.

Then came the charts. There were half a dozen, all multicolored and prepared - in Liddy's first breach of security - by Howard Hunt's friends at CIA. Each chart was three feet tall and four feet long, "artistically composed," as Mitchell later recalled, and bore the name of a precious stone or mineral. Each stone or mineral, in turn, comprised a component in the overall plan, which Liddy code-named Gemstone.

First came Operation Diamond, aimed at neutralizing the unruly hordes of antiwar radicals expected to disrupt the '72 convention. Liddy explained that the most effective riot-control techniques ever developed originated with the Texas Rangers, who, despite vastly inferior numbers, penetrated a given mob. "beat the hell out of" its leaders, then easily dispersed the stuned remainder. Indulging his fondness for all things German, Liddy proposed a similar program for the '72 convention, under which, as he put it, "special action groups" - a mordant reference to the Nazi Einsatzgruppen units that liquidated 1.5 million Jews - would kidnap and drug antiwar leaders and remove them to Mexico until the convention ended.

Liddy paused to extol the caliber of his agents, "professional killers who have accounted between them for twenty-two dead so far," Liddy said, "including two hanged from a beam in a garage." Mitchell gazed unblinkingly, puffed on his pipe, and posed his forst interjection. "And where did you find men like that?" I understand they're members of organized crime," Liddy said. "And how much will their services cost?" Mitchell asked. Liddy pointed to a hefty figure on the chart: "Like top professionals everywhere, sir, they don't come cheap." "Well," Mitchell said dryly, returning to his pipe, "let's not contribute any more than we have to to the coffers of organized crime."

Liddy sensed his pitch was not going over well. What's more, he was getting no help from his confreres, Magruder and Dean, who stared motionless at Mitchell "like two rabbits in front of a cobra." In slow succession, the charts came off the easel, Liddy explaining how each component fit into his overall plan. Ruby entailed the placement of spies in the Democratic contenders' campaigns. Coal called for the covert funneling of cash to Shirley Chisholm, a black female congresswoman whose quest for the Democratic nomination stood to divide the party along racial and gender lines. Emerald outlined how Liddy could intercept airborne and wireless communications from the planes and buses of opposing candidates by using a "chase plane" outfitted with state-of-the-art electronics gear. Quartz, and explication of how the Soviet embassy intercepted telephone signals using microwave systems, proved nearly incomprehensible. Crystal envisioned the rental in Miami, where both parties were holding their conventions, of a luxury houseboat, from which Liddy's men would monitor wiretaps and bugs. The bedroom of the houseboat, wired for sound, would also serve the purposes of Sapphire, wherein sophisticated call girls would seduce and debrief Democratic politicos. "Mitchell listened to that impassively, as did Dean," Liddy later recalled. "Magruder, however, wore a look of eager interest."

On it went. Opal's points I through IV set aside funds for illegal break-ins, in which the aforementioned wiretaps and bugs would be installed. As targets, Liddy specified the Washington campaign headquarters of Senators Edmund Muskie and George McGovern; the Democratic Party's convention headquarters in Miami; and one target to be chosen by Mitchell, who kept silent when Liddy paused for suggestions. Next came Topaz, the illicit photography of documents; followed by Garnet, the clandestine recruitment of unappealing hippies to endorse opposition candidates; and Turquoise, a plot for Hunt's Cuban mercenaries to sabotage the air-conditioning system at the Democrats' convention. Two final charts, Brick and Gemstone, broke down the costs by mission and projected dates of expenditure.

When Liddy was finished, the room was silent. All power emanated from Mitchell, and it was to him the other three looked for direction. The attorney general was dumbfounded. "Mr. Liddy put on his perfomance," he later testified, "and eveybody just sat there with their mouths open." [...] As Magruder told the Senate Watergate committee, in previously unpublished testimony, Mitchell "indicated that [Liddy's plan] was not acceptable both in its scope and its budget.


The revised Gemstone, Magruder later testified, was "less spectacular and therefore more acceptable."

[James Rosen, The Strong Man; page 262-265; Doubleday, 2008]

Gordon the Talk Radio Show Sniper:
In 1994, after the disastrous federal raid on the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas, he gave some advice to his listeners: "Now if the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms comes to disarm you and they are bearing arms, resist them with arms. Go for a head shot; they're going to be wearing bulletproof vests. ... Kill the sons of bitches." ~ Wiki link

Gordon the Great:
In 1998, Liddy's home was the site of a McCain fundraiser. Over the years, he has made at least four contributions totaling $5,000 to the senator's campaigns -- including $1,000 this year.

Last November, McCain went on his radio show. Liddy greeted him as "an old friend," and McCain sounded like one. "I'm proud of you, I'm proud of your family," he gushed. "It's always a pleasure for me to come on your program, Gordon, and congratulations on your continued success and adherence to the principles and philosophies that keep our nation great."

Which principles would those be? The ones that told Liddy it was fine to break into the office of the Democratic National Committee to plant bugs and photograph documents? The ones that made him propose to kidnap anti-war activists so they couldn't disrupt the 1972 Republican National Convention? The ones that inspired him to plan the murder (never carried out) of an unfriendly newspaper columnist? ~ [Chicago Tribune - see link above, "McCain finds his own radical friend"]

McCain, the Unrepentant Old Friend:
Via Atrios (Oct. 16, 2008)

"Did you not have a relationship with Gordon Liddy?" Letterman asked about Watergate burglar G. Gordon Liddy.

McCain said he knew him. Then, after a commercial break, McCain said, "I know Gordon Liddy. He paid his debt, he went to prison ... I'm not in any was embarrassed to know Gordon Liddy."

How many plumbers do you know making a quarter million dollars a year?

Gordon the Entrepreneur (New York Times, November 12, 1988):
The G. Gordon Liddy Story Continues With Chapter 11

LEAD: A Miami-based security company co-founded by G. Gordon Liddy, the convicted Watergate burglar who became a television and movie villain, has sought protection from its creditors under the Federal Bankruptcy Code.

A Miami-based security company co-founded by G. Gordon Liddy, the convicted Watergate burglar who became a television and movie villain, has sought protection from its creditors under the Federal Bankruptcy Code.

International Security and Intelligence Inc., also known as G. Gordon Liddy & Associates, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Tuesday in Federal Bankruptcy Court in Miami.

The company's services range from alerting corporate clients to the presence of listening devices to teaching courses on how to plant bugging devices, but most of its revenues come from providing armed guards in South Florida.

The two-year-old company has also advertised its ''Hurricane Force,'' which it describes as an anti-terrorist squad of former American, European and Israeli commandos that is capable of rescuing kidnapped executives.


During the 52 months that Mr. Liddy spent in jail, he decided to enter the security business to capitalize upon his five years' experience with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and other security-related background. ''Basically, the same spying techniques used by governments are being used by private firms,'' Mr. Liddy said in a recent interview.

In September 1977, after President Jimmy Carter commuted his sentence, Mr. Liddy left Federal prison heavily in debt but apparently with his sense of humor intact. In 1982 he he founded Gemstone Security of Florida Inc., the predecessor to G. Gordon Liddy Associates. Gemstone was a code name used by the Watergate conspirators.


In the 11 years since he left prison, Mr. Liddy has found other lucrative ways to mine the Watergate episode.

"Obviously crime pays,... ” ~ G. Gordon Liddy [Thought for the Day - The Independent (London), Sep 1, 2000].


Book note: excerpted material above from:
The Strong Man: John Mitchell and the Secrets of Watergate, by James Rosen, 2008 (Amazon link).


Thursday, October 16, 2008

Presidential debate 

Debate over.

(stay classy)


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