Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Mark Levin on statism

How politics works: Senator Christopher Dodd and his cosy Irish cottage

This article from the telegraph uk

Posted By: Toby Harnden at Feb 24, 2009 at 05:44:00 [General]
Posted in: Foreign Correspondents
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Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, Christopher Dodd, COTTAGE, Edward R. Downe Jr, Galway , Inishnee, Ireland, Irish, Kevin Rennie, Roundstone, William Kessinger

An intriguing item here from the dogged Kevin Rennie of the Hartford Courant that highlights a classic example of why ordinary citizens become cynical about politicians and the way business in Washington is conducted.

Silver-haired Senator Christopher Dodd, chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, has already been getting a lot of heat for his two 2003 VIP mortgage loans from Countrywide, one of the major actors in triggering the current financial crisis.

Seeking Senate re-election in 2010, the 2008 presidential candidate (he dropped out on the first day of voting after finishing seventh in Iowa, where he had moved with his family as a way of courting voters) is now in a bit of a sticky spot with another accommodation- his "cottage" on the lovely Irish island of Inishnee.

Some digging from Rennie (a lawyer and former Connecticut state legislator) reveals that as well as there being a cloud over Dodd's properties in Connecticut and Washington DC, considerable murkiness surrounds the financial arrangements for the purchase of his "cottage".

As Rennie outlines, Dodd became part owner of the 10-acre Galway property in 1994 along with Missouri businessman William Kessinger, whom Dodd knew through investor Edward R. Downe Jnr, who had pleaded guilty the previous year to insider trading charges. The mortgage was listed as "between $100,001 and $250,000". Downe was a witness to Kessinger's purchase.

In 2001, Dodd circumvented the US Justice Department to help get his pal Downe a full pardon on President Bill Clinton's last day in office. The following year, Dodd bought off Kessinger's two-thirds share of the "cottage" for, Dodd said, $127,000.

Ever since then, Dodd has continued to list the value of the property as "between $100,001 and $250,000".

Check out the picture of Dodd's "cottage" (provided to me by Rennie), where he spends summers and which is looked after during the rest of the year by a caretaker. It's not exactly the humble tumbledown abode with a leaky thatched roof, a fireplace with peat thrown on it and donkey tethered outside that the Senator might like you to envisage.

The nearby village of Roundstone is a celebrity hangout. When he's there, the Sunday Times reported in 2007, he's likely to "rub shoulders with [RTE's] Pat Kenny, Bill Whelan of Riverdance, Lochlann Quinn, the former AIB chairman, and the singer Brian Kennedy".

Given the Irish property boom, a conservative estimate would be that the house would be worth approaching $1 million, and very possibly much more than that.

So why hasn't Dodd declared a more realistic true value of the property? No doubt he didn't want to highlight the fact that he had a third splendid pile, to go along with his residences in DC and Connecticut, as he sought the presidency (remember how all those homes harmed John McCain?). Maybe he knew it would mean further scrutiny of his connection with the pardoned crook Downe.

Now that President Barack Obama - whom Dodd enthusiastically endorsed for president over Hillary Clinton - has declared a new era of ethical government in Washington, his former Senate colleague will order a fresh, long overdue reappraisal of its value. Or perhaps the Senate Ethics Committee will look into the matter.

Call me cynical, but I wouldn't advise you to hold your breath.

Added by me.

Not to mention the fact that Dodd had a job as a lawyer for 2 years before he was elected to the house for 6 years and then to the senate for now 29 years. A job that now pays only $168,500 per years, and less in previous years. How can he afford these several multi million dollar homes?

The Campaign To Bankrupt The Palin Family

Posted by Martin Knight (Profile)

Tuesday, March 24th at 5:21PM EDT

From just September till now, Sarah Palin has accumulated a personal dept of over $500,000 in legal fees defending herself against fake/false/frivolous ethics charges. That’s Five Hundred Thousand Dollars.

A group of Alaska liberals, with the apparent cooperation of members of the Alaska Democratic Party have been filing ethics charge after ethics charge against Sarah Palin. The aim? Not to get her impeached and booted from office, because every single one of the charges are frivolous, baseless and even fairly deranged - one was even filed in the name of a soap opera character - but something far more personal.

These people want to bankrupt the Palins and leave them destitute. They want to empty their bank accounts so that they cannot afford the basics and necessities of life after Governor Palin leaves office.

With the exception of the partisan ethics complaint filed against Palin because her husband (a private citizen) made it clear (as was his right) that he didn’t think a policeman (now a hero to liberals) who used a taser on a ten year old child should continue to keep his gun and badge, all of these ethics charges were filed after John McCain tapped her to be his Vice-President.

David Bonoir, as the House Democratic Whip pioneered this tactic in the mid-1990s after the Gingrich Revolution swept Republicans to their first Majority in forty years. Immediately after Congress resumed, Bonoir began filing ethics complaints - frivolous, partisan complaints that even Democratic members of the ethics committee mostly laughed away - against Newt Gingrich on a weekly basis, week after week like clockwork and sending out press releases to friendly press outlets. It was a despicable tactic, but Republicans and Newt dismissed it as a desperate loser antic and ended up being blindsided when liberal talking heads began to use the talking point of Newt being the Speaker with the most ethics complaints filed against him … ever.

But at least, Bonoir’s aim was political, and politics ain’t beanbag, after all.

These people’s aim is most assuredly not political. Frivolous charge-filers Andree McLeod, Zane Henning, Linda Kellen Biegel, etc. are affiliated with a group of liberals (how many on the “Journolist”, I wonder?) who went to Palin’s hometown of Wasilla immediately after she was tapped for the VP spot and dubbed themselves the “Wasilla Project” with the sole purpose of ensuring any and all manner of slander, innuendo and libel against Palin was publicized on YouTube and from there would hopefully make it into the mainstream media. Henning (who claims to be a “conservative”) and McLeod (who is a “registered Republican”) feature prominently in their videos in “interviews” repeating the Alaska Democratic Party’s campaign talking points on Palin on cue.

McLeod, Henning, Biegel and others like them have discovered, however, that no matter how frivolous their charges, no matter how far-fetched, no matter how bone-headed stupid, the Governor would still have to legally defend herself against them - meaning she’ll have to pay attorney fees as she goes before the Personnel Board. And so they have gotten down to business, and like David Bonoir against Gingrich, they’ve been filing ethics complaint after ethics complaint against Governor Palin, but this time with her bankruptcy in mind.

Palin is now owing the law firm she has been forced to retain to answer this storm of ethics charges over half a million dollars since September - and note that her annual salary as Governor of Alaska is only $125,000 with Todd Palin making about $86,000 as both a fisherman and an oil worker - with more of these suits and ethics charges being promised by these bottom feeders and others like them.

After bearing with these attacks, Palin finally let the situation be known when she filed her annual financial disclosure forms with the Alaska Public Offices Commission this week, writing to the Anchorage Daily News;

I must defend against these baseless ethics accusations out of my own pocket as the use of public monies to do so could itself violate state law …

… obviously we cannot afford to personally pay these bills - and really no future governor should feel the sense of financial vulnerability at the hands of those with a political vendetta bent on personal destruction …

Some have suggested a legal fund to pay these bills. We’ll have to pursue that.

And if she does pursue that, I doubt she’d have any problem paying off any legal fees for the next twenty years.

But it’s the fact that she has to consider doing this to keep her and her husband’s life savings - a man and woman with minor children at home - from disappearing altogether that should sicken all of us - I don’t know about any of you, but I’m literally shaking with rage here.

This is the politics of personal destruction at its most reprehensible … and these people need to have their names made public and turned to mud in Alaska and all over America. They need to have themselves mired in court and forced to pay hundreds upon hundreds of thousands in attorney’s fees defending themselves against charges of depriving the people of Alaska of the services of their governor because of nothing more than hate.

I knew the Left’s tactics were ugly, but this … this is beyond wrong, this is pure evil.

Bachmann Quotes Jefferson; Strib Is Shocked Share Post Print March 24, 2009 Posted by John at 7:35 AM

Congresswoman Michele Bachmann is one of Minnesota's most effective spokesmen for conservatism, so our local media have collaborated with Democrats in trying to defeat her. The most recent attack on Michele arose out of my radio show last Saturday.

One of her staffers emailed us to ask if she could come on the show to talk about some public meetings she will be sponsoring in her district on the Obama administration's cap and trade legislation. We said sure, and I interviewed Michele for ten or twelve minutes. She explained some of the evils of cap and trade, and said that she is bringing an expert on the subject to speak at two meetings, one in St. Cloud and one in Woodbury. She encouraged the public to attend.

Not very controversial, one would think. But here is the headline in today's Minneapolis Star Tribune: "Obama's energy cap-and-trade plan has Bachmann talking about a revolution." If you read far enough, you find that she was quoting Thomas Jefferson:

"Thomas Jefferson told us, having a revolution every now and then is a good thing, and the people -- we the people -- are going to have to fight back hard if we're not going to lose our country," Bachmann said in the interview on WWTC-AM.

She said it with a laugh, and I don't think any of our listeners misunderstood her call for a taxpayer's revolt against the disastrous policies of the Obama administration. The Strib wove the Jefferson quote together with Bachmann's statement that she wants "people in Minnesota armed and dangerous on this issue of the energy tax because we need to fight back." As the paper implicitly acknowledges, Michele was saying that she wants citizens armed with information, which is why they should attend one of her public meetings with the cap and trade expert.

All in all, this shouldn't be fodder for a scare headline; and it wouldn't be if it didn't fit the local paper's campaign against a politician with whom it fervently disagrees. It's not hard to understand why Bachmann cruises to victory after victory, while the Star Tribune is in bankruptcy.