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USA Presidential Election 2008: Barack Obama (D) vs. John McCain (R)


USA Presidential Election 2008  

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I'll now be updating this thread with daily news of the politics that lead up to the election.


Palin's husband refuses to testify in probe

Palin's husband refuses to testify in probe


By MATT VOLZ, Associated Press Writer1 hour, 34 minutes ago


Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's husband has refused to testify in the investigation of his wife's alleged abuse of power, and key lawmakers said Thursday that uncooperative witnesses are effectively sidetracking the probe until after Election Day.


Todd Palin, who participates in state business in person or by e-mail, was among 13 people subpoenaed by the Alaska Legislature. Palin's lawyer sent a letter to the lead investigator saying Palin objected to the probe and would not appear to testify on Friday.


"The objections boil down to the fact that the Legislative Council investigation is no longer a legitimate investigation because it has been subjected to complete partisanship and does not operate with the authority that it had at the time of its initial authorization," McCain-Palin presidential campaign spokesman Ed O'Callaghan said.


Sarah Palin initially welcomed the bipartisan investigation into accusations that she dismissed the state's public safety commissioner because he refused to fire her ex-brother-in-law, a state trooper. "Hold me accountable," she said.


But she has increasingly opposed it since Republican presidential candidate John McCain tapped her as his running mate. The McCain campaign dispatched a legal team to Alaska including O'Callaghan, a former top U.S. terrorism prosecutor from New York to bolster Palin's local lawyer.


In the letter, Palin attorney Thomas Van Flein lists nine objections to the Legislature's investigation into Gov. Palin. Van Flein also argues the subpoena is "unduly burdensome" because Palin has travel plans that require him to be out of the state.


Earlier this week, Alaska Attorney General Talis Colberg said the governor, who was not subpoenaed, declined to participate in the investigation and said Palin administration employees who have been subpoenaed would not appear.


State Sen. Bill Wielechowski, a Democrat, said the McCain campaign is doing all it can to prevent the Legislature from completing a report on whether the GOP's vice presidential nominee abused her power as governor.


Wielechowski and another member of the panel that summoned the witnesses, told The Associated Press that the witnesses can avoid testifying for months without penalty and that court action to force them to appear sooner is unlikely.


Republican Sen. Gene Therriault agreed with Wielechowski's analysis.


"If we had turned the rhetoric down and turned the pressure down to do some things we might have gotten voluntary cooperation," said Therriault, who opposed the subpoenas.


The McCain-Palin campaign said Thursday that Gov. Palin is cooperating with a separate Alaska State Personnel Board investigation into Troopergate. Palin initiated that investigation after she joined McCain's ticket. The three-member board is appointed by the governor.


"I can't say it enough, the governor is an open book on this matter," McCain spokeswoman Meg Stapleton said. "She is fully cooperating with the unbiased, legally appropriate and independent investigation of the State Personnel Board."


Palin fired Walt Monegan in July. It later emerged that Palin, her husband, Todd, and several high-level staffers had contacted Monegan about state trooper Mike Wooten. Palin maintains she fired Monegan over budget disagreements, not because he wouldn't dismiss her former brother-in-law.


Wooten had gone through a nasty divorce from Palin's sister before Palin became governor. While Monegan says no one from the administration ever told him directly to fire Wooten, he says their repeated contacts made it clear they wanted Wooten gone.


Alaska Senate President Lyda Green, a Republican foe of Palin, said Wednesday that the investigation is still on track.


"The original purpose of the investigation was to bring out the truth. Nothing has changed," she said.


Without the testimony, the retired prosecutor hired to head the investigation could still release a report in October as scheduled, based on the evidence he's already gathered. As of Thursday, Steven Branchflower had interviewed or deposed 17 of the 33 people he had identified as potential witnesses in the probe.


The Legislature does not have the leverage to compel any witness to testify before Nov. 4, said Wielechowski, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee.


Wielechowski said he did not know whether Branchflower has enough material for a complete and fair report with so few witnesses. But he said delaying the probe would only politicize the matter more.


"It would be to appease the McCain camp," Wielechowski said. "They're doing everything they can to delay."


Ignoring a legislative subpoena is punishable by a fine up to $500 and up to six months in jail under Alaska law. But courts are reluctant to intervene in legislative matters and the full Legislature must be in session to bring contempt charges, Wielechowski said. The Legislature is not scheduled to convene until January.


Source: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080919/ap_on_...lin_troopergate


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This happened yesterday, but more details emerged on how they did it:


Palin Email Hacker Impersonated Her, Stole Password

WASHINGTON — Details emerged Thursday behind the break-in of Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin's e-mail account, including a first-hand account suggesting it was vulnerable because a hacker was able to impersonate her online to obtain her password.


The hacker guessed that Alaska's governor had met her husband in high school, and knew Palin's date of birth and home Zip code. Using those details, the hacker tricked Yahoo Inc.'s service into assigning a new password, "popcorn," for Palin's e-mail account, according to a chronology of the crime published on the Web site where the hacking was first revealed.


The FBI and Secret Service launched a formal investigation Wednesday. Yahoo declined to comment Thursday on details of the investigation, citing Palin's privacy and the sensitivity of such investigations.


The person who claimed responsibility for the break-in did not respond Thursday to an e-mail inquiry from The Associated Press.


"i am the lurker who did it, and i would like to tell the story," the person wrote in the account, which circulated on the Internet. What started as a prank was cut short because of panic over the possibility the FBI might investigate, the hacker wrote.


Investigators were waiting to speak with Gabriel Ramuglia of Athens, Ga., who operates an Internet anonymity service used by the hacker. Ramuglia told the AP on Thursday he was reviewing his own logs and promised to turn over any helpful information to authorities because the hacker violated rules against using the anonymity service for illegal activities.


"If you're doing something illegal and causing me issues by doing this, I'm willing to cooperate," Ramuglia said. "Obviously this is the most high profile situation I've dealt with."


The break-in of Palin's private account is especially significant because Palin sometimes uses non-government e-mail to conduct state business. Previously disclosed e-mails indicate her administration embraced Yahoo accounts as an alternative to government e-mail, which could possibly be released to the public under Alaska's Open Records Act.


At the time, critics of Palin's administration were poring over official e-mails they had obtained from the governor's office looking for evidence of improper political activity.


Details of this week's break-in, if authentic, were consistent with speculation by computer security experts who said Yahoo's "forgot-my-password" service almost certainly was exploited. The mechanism allows customers to retrieve or change their password if they can verify their identity by confirming personal information such as birthdate, zip code and the answer to a "secret question," such as a childhood pet's name or school mascot.


Palin's hacker was challenged to guess where Alaska's governor met her husband, Todd. Palin herself recounted in her speech at the Republican National Convention that the pair began dating two decades ago in high school in Wasilla, a town near Anchorage.


"I found out later though (sic) more research that they met at high school, so I did variations of that, high, high school, eventually hit on 'Wasilla high'," the person wrote.


The McCain campaign issued a statement describing the hacking as an invasion of Palin's privacy.


Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/09/18/p...s_n_127538.html

Yikes ..... Comments?

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I actually have screenshots of what he did, and so do a thousand other people on the internet.

Of what who did... the hacker and Palin's email account? That was posted on Gawker and HuffingtonPost.

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Did anybody watch the debates tonight? Seems like it has turned into a dead heat as both sides are claiming themselves as the "Winner" of the first debate.




Obama, McCain argue over war, taxes in 1st debate


By BETH FOUHY, Associated Press Writer2 hours, 3 minutes ago


John McCain accused Barack Obama of compiling "the most liberal voting record in the United States Senate" Friday night as the two rivals clashed over taxes, spending, the war in Iraq and more in an intense first debate of the White House campaign. "Mostly that's just me opposing George Bush's wrong-headed policies," shot back the Democrat.


Obama said his Republican rival has been a loyal supporter of the unpopular president, adding that the current economic crisis is "a final verdict on eight years of failed economic policies promoted by President Bush and supported by Sen. McCain."


The two men were polite but pointed as they debated at close quarters for 90 minutes on the University of Mississippi campus.


McCain accused his younger rival of an "incredible thing of voting to cut off funds for troops in Iraq and Afghanistan," a reference to legislation that cleared the Senate more than a year ago.


Obama disputed that, saying he had opposed funding in a bill that presented a "blank check" to the Pentagon while McCain had opposed money in legislation that included a timetable for troop withdrawal.


Obama opposed the invasion of Iraq in 2002, before he was a member of Congress, while McCain voted in the Senate to authorize the war.


"You were wrong" on Iraq, Obama repeated three times in succession. "John, you like to pretend the war began in 2007."


McCain replied that Obama has refused to acknowledge the success of the troop buildup in Iraq that McCain recommended and Bush announced more than a year ago.


The two presidential candidates stood behind identical wooden lecterns on stage at the performing arts center at the University of Mississippi for the first of three scheduled debates with less than six weeks remaining until Election Day. The two vice presidential candidates will meet next week for their only debate, and Obama and McCain each put in a plug for his own running mate.


But there was a difference: Democrat Joe Biden made the round of post-debate television shows. NBC and CNN said they invited McCain's running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, who has granted only three interviews since joining the ticket a month ago, but she declined.


The 47-year-old Obama is seeking to become the nation's first black president. McCain, 72, is hoping to become the oldest first-term chief executive in history — and he made a few jokes at his own expense.


"I've been around a while," he said at one point. "Were you afraid I couldn't hear him?" he said at another after moderator Jim Lehrer repeated a phrase.


But he also sought to turn his age into an advantage. "There are some advantages to experience and knowledge and judgment," he said. "And I honestly don't believe that Sen. Obama has the knowledge or experience" to serve as commander in chief.


McCain also made a point of declaring his independence from Bush. "I have opposed the president on spending, on climate change, on torture of prisoners, on Guantanamo Bay, on a long — on the way that the Iraq War was conducted. I have a long record and the American people know me very well ... a maverick of the Senate."


It was a debate that almost didn't happen. McCain decided a few hours in advance to attend, two days after announcing he would try to have the event rescheduled if Congress had not reached an agreement on an economic bailout to deal with the crisis now gripping Wall Street.


The two men were pointed but polite, although at least once McCain sought to depict his rival as naive on foreign policy. That was in response to Obama's statement that it might become necessary to send U.S. troops across the Pakistani border to pursue terrorists.


"You don't say that out loud," retorted McCain. "If you have to do things, you do things."


He also criticized Obama for having said he would sit down without precondition with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.


"So let me get this right, we sit down with Ahmadinejad and he says 'we're going to wipe Israel off the face of the earth' and we say, 'no you're not.' Oh please," McCain said.


Obama said Henry Kissinger, the former Republican secretary of state and a McCain adviser, shared his view on talks with Iran.


The two men also differed on federal spending. McCain said a freeze on most government spending was worth considering, except for veterans, defense and "some other vital issues."


Obama said the problem with that was that some programs needed more money. He mentioned early childhood education as an example.


Moderator Jim Lehrer's opening question concerned the economic crisis. While neither man committed to supporting bailout legislation taking shape in Congress, they readily agreed lawmakers must take action to prevent millions of Americans from losing their jobs and their homes.


Both also said they were pleased that lawmakers in both parties were negotiating on a compromise.


McCain jabbed at Obama, who he said has requested millions of dollars in pork barrel spending, including some after he began running for president.


As he does frequently while campaigning, the Republican vowed to veto any lawmaker's pork barrel project that reaches his desk in the White House. "You will know their names and I will make them famous," he said.


The stakes were high as the two rivals walked on stage. The polls gave Obama a modest lead and indicated he was viewed more favorably than his rival when it came to dealing with the economy. But the same surveys show McCain favored by far on foreign policy.


Both candidates had rehearsed extensively, Obama prepping with advisers at a resort in Clearwater, Fla., and McCain putting in debate work at his home outside Washington.


The two presidential hopefuls are scheduled to debate twice more, at Belmont University in Nashville on Oct. 7 and at Hofstra University in Hempsted, N.Y., on Oct. 15. Vice presidential contenders Sarah Palin and Joe Biden are to square off in a single debate Oct. 2 at Washington University in St. Louis.


Source: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080927/ap_on_...idential_debate

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I'm a conservative leaning Independent.

I'm not voting (I never do, not registered. and thus have never been summoned to jury duty, and I am keeping it that way.)

so I really can't complain either way, but If I was voting I'd vote Obama, McCain is an assho!e.

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