Sunday, August 31, 2008

Alaska's Governor Palin and her "First Dude" Todd

With her emphasis on ethics and openness in government, "it turned out Palin caught the temper of the times perfectly," wrote Tom Kizzia of the Anchorage Daily News. She was also lucky. News broke of an FBI investigation of corruption by legislators between the primary and general elections. So far, three legislators have been indicted.

In the roughly three years since she quit as the state's chief regulator of the oil industry, Palin has crushed the Republican hierarchy (virtually all male) and nearly every other foe or critic. Political analysts in Alaska refer to the "body count" of Palin's rivals.

"The landscape is littered with the bodies of those who crossed Sarah," says pollster Dave Dittman, who worked for her gubernatorial campaign. It includes Ruedrich, Renkes, Murkowski, gubernatorial contenders John Binkley and Andrew Halcro, the three big oil companies in Alaska, and a section of the Daily News called "Voice of the Times," which was highly critical of Palin and is now defunct.---Fred Barnes (7-11-07)

Senator McCain has selected Alaska's Republican Governor Sarah Palin as his vice-Presidential running mate. Governor Palin is an athlete and a hunter. She used the money she won in a beauty contest to attend college. She has a degree in journalism and a minor in political science. She began her political career in the PTA, so she is interested in improving the educational standards of Alaska's children.

Governor Palin, whose nickname on the high school basketball team was "Sarah Barracuda," made her reputation by fighting corruption in Alaska's Republican Party. I think both parties could use more people like that.

I suspect that Governor Palin will campaign against Senator Obama by telling the American people how he channeled Chicago Annenberg Challenge (CAC) educational funds to Maoists and other radicals. Maybe "Sarah Barracuda" will sink her teeth into Senator Obama, who "doled out more than $100 million in grants but...failed to achieve any improvement in the Chicago schools."

Maybe if Senator Obama had started his career in the PTA like Sarah Palin, he wouldn't have been so wasteful with other people's money.

Wikipedia also notes:

[Governor Palin] chaired the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission from 2003 to 2004 while also serving as Ethics Supervisor of the commission.

Palin has five children with her husband "first dude" Todd Palin, who apparently has some Native Alaskan Yup'ik ancestry.

The Yup'ik people live in Alaska and the Russian Far East. The Yup'ik practice Christianity (mostly Russian Orthodoxy) or their traditional Shamanism. Christianity was introduced to Alaska by missionaries from Russia.

All Saints of North America Orthodox Church in Canada has a site which explains:

This project, digitizing original Alaskan Orthodox materials, has been blessed by His Eminence SERAPHIM, Archbishop of Ottawa and all Canada, and by His Grace Right-Reverend NIKOLAI, Bishop of Sitka, Anchorage & Alaska.

This site is an electronic library of historic Orthodox Christian resources in the indigenous languages of Alaska.

The church site has Orthodox songs in the native languages of Alaska and historical information from the perspective of the Russian Orthodox Church. Orthodox missionaries have often given non-literate people their own written language. The Slavic people were originally given a written language by Saints Cyril and Methodius.

Mr. Palin, who is called "the first dude" in Alaska, is a fisherman, like many Yup'ik people; but I don't know his religious orientation.

Governor Palin is non-denominational Christian. I read she believes in Creationism, which is one disagreement I have with her. I think that if people believe in Creationism, or Creation Science, they should study that in church. In school, children should study Biology. Creationism, sometimes called Creation Science or Intelligent Design, might be treated in a course that studies religious beliefs, of course.

UPDATE: On FOX News I heard that when she was elected as Governor of Alaska, Palin agreed not to promote Creationism in the schools. She has said that if students bring up Creationism in class discussion that they should be free to debate the topic, but she said it would not be taught in Alaska's schools. If that is her position, I don't have a problem with it. I want my children to be taught science by the teacher, but occasional exposure to the idea that some students believe in Creationism isn't going to hurt my children. The biology teacher could tactfully explain why scientists don't accept Creationism.

UPDATE #2: In an appearance on FOX News Palin pointed out that her father was a science teacher.

In the summer, first dude Todd Palin usually works in the fishing industry, and in the winter he usually works in the oil business. Right now, he is taking care of the Palin children because his wife is the governor.

Governor Palin recently gave birth to a baby with Down Syndrome. Even though she knew before delivery that her baby would be a special needs child, she didn't have an abortion. I really admire a mother who is that strong in her faith. I recently lost my handicapped brother, and his strength was an inspiration to our whole family and all his friends.

I can't understand how women can destroy their babies, but I am not sure that abortion can be stopped with a law. A strong, liberated woman isn't irresponsible with sex and protects her children. She doesn't let some man in her life or some other relative bully her into killing her unborn child. I think Governor Palin exemplifies this type of strong, liberated woman.

Because Senator McCain is in his 70s, it concerns me that Governor Palin does not have any experience in national politics, but she does have some experience in foreign affairs because her state is near Canada and Russia.

Governor Palin's best traits as a public official are her interest in fighting corruption--Look out Senator Obama!--and her knowledge about the oil industry. She will also bring a perspective to Washington that many so-called "conservative Christians" feel comfortable with.

I don't always agree with conservative Christians and their unscientific belief in Creationism, but they have strong churches, offer many social and cultural programs for their communities, and raise a lot of money to help the less fortunate in their communities. I admire this a lot, even while I disagree with some of their beliefs.

I am extremely uncomfortable with so-called Christians like Senator Obama's former minister Rev. Wright: he is a hater who preaches liberation theology and the divisive, anti-American, KGB-inspired "scientific" conspiracy theory that the U.S. government made AIDS to kill black people.

This crackpot KGB "science," which is reminiscent of Stalin's belief in Lysenkoism, was a big embarrassment to real scientists in the former USSR, and they disavowed the KGB's AIDS theory in November 1987.

The New York Times (11-5-87) reported:

Soviet scientists have disavowed charges in the Soviet-sponsored press that the AIDS virus was artificially cultivated at a secret American military base.

The scientists, Roald Sagdeyev and Vitali Goldansky, publicly distanced the Soviet Academy of Sciences from the accusations about American responsibility for acquired immune deficiency syndrome. They said they had protested the appearance of Soviet articles that repeated those contentions.

The disavowal was contained in Izvestia, the Soviet government newspaper, on Friday. The timing of the article by the scientists suggested that it had been written in response to complaints raised by Secretary of State George P. Shultz in an Oct. 23 meeting with Mikhail S. Gorbachev, the Soviet leader, about Soviet discussion of the AIDS issue. Mr. Shultz told Mr. Gorbachev that Moscow had been peddling ''bum dope'' on the subject. [No doubt Senator Obama and Rev. Wright were only eight years old in 1987 so they weren't reading the NYT.]

In 1992, the chief of Russia's foreign intelligence service--in a burst of glasnost' followed by a clumsy lie--admitted before an audience of Russian college students who were being recruited for the Russian intelligence service that the KGB made up this lie.

The Russian newspaper Izvestiya (3-19-92) reported:

[Russian foreign intelligence chief Yevgeni Primakov] mentioned the well known articles printed a few years ago in our central newspapers about AIDS supposedly originating from secret Pentagon laboratories. According to Yevgeni Primakov, the articles exposing US scientists' 'crafty' plots were fabricated in KGB offices. [For the motives behind Primakov's frank admission see here.]

The crackpot science underpinning the KGB's AIDS fabrication was cooked up by Jacob Segal, a disreputable East German "scientist" who collaborated with the KGB propaganda apparatus. Jacob Segal fabricated and publicized the same kind of lie that Ward Churchill spread about how the U.S. Army allegedly deliberately infected the Mandan Indians with smallpox. So much for "scientific communism."

According to the medical and scientific community who study AIDS, this KGB-inspired crackpot "scientific" conspiracy theory endangers the health and lives of black people:

More than 20 years after the AIDS epidemic arrived in the United States, a significant proportion of African Americans embrace the theory that government scientists created the disease to control or wipe out their communities, according to a study released today by Rand Corp. and Oregon State University.

That belief markedly hurts efforts to prevent the spread of the disease among black Americans, the study's authors and activists said.

...Phill Wilson, executive director of the Black AIDS Institute in Los Angeles, said past discrimination is no longer an excuse for embracing conspiracies that allow HIV to fester.

"It's a huge barrier to HIV prevention in black communities," Wilson said. "There's an issue around conspiracy theory and urban myths. Thus we have an epidemic raging out of control, and African Americans are being disproportionately impacted in every single sense."

"The whole notion of conspiracy theories and misinformation . . . removes personal responsibility," Wilson said. "If there is this boogeyman, people say, 'Why should I use condoms? Why should I use clean needles?' And if I'm an organization, 'Why should I bother with educating my folks?'

It seems to me that the "progressive" Harvard-educated Senator Obama could have enlightened his minister and his church about this hideous KGB lie, but he sat in his pew didn't do anything to serve his church family. I think this destructive KGB lie masquerading as science is a lot worse than Creationism.

Senator Obama was involved in programs that gave government money to churches for social programs, but I wonder what these programs were serving up to their clients--more anti-American crackpot "science"?

I can't get over the fact that Senator Obama frittered away millions of dollars to improve education for Chicago's children, but their education didn't improve at all. This is because Senator Obama gave the money to crackpot radical ideologues--even Maoists--instead of to real educators who would be able to raise the educational standards of Chicago's children.

Senator Obama's Alleged Connections to Tony Rezko, Nadhmi Auchi, Weatherman Bill Ayers, and Maoist Mike Klonsky

"As [blogger Steve] Diamond relates [here (8-20-08)], one of the first CAC [Chicago Annenberg Challenge]
awards in 1995 was $175,000 for the “Small Schools Workshop,” which had been founded by [Weatherman bomber Bill] Ayers and was then headed by [Maoist] Mike Klonsky. It was only the beginning of the CAC’s generous funding of Klonsky — a committed Maoist who had been an Ayers comrade in the radical Students for a Democratic Society (the forerunner of Ayers’ Weatherman terrorist organization), and who hosted a “social justice” blog on the Obama campaign website until his writings were hastily purged in June [see here] after Diamond called attention to them."--The National Review (8-28-08; page 2)

The famous conservative political columnist Robert Novak (above) has a very serious brain tumor, so he isn't able to write as much. He has been a columnist for 45 years.

Mr. Novak is the journalist who wrote the article that started the CIA leak/Plame scandal that was ultimately investigated by Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald.

On March 3, 2008, the day that Chicago businessman Tony Rezko's corruption trial began, Mr. Novak wrote an article called "Obama and the Fixer" (3-3-08) about Senator Obama's possible financial ties to Tony Rezko and Iraqi-British billionaire Nadhmi Auchi. [See also here; and Novak's 2008 archive.]

It turns out that Tony Rezko's corrupt dealings with politicians were also investigated by the famous United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, Patrick Fitzgerald.

Mr. Novak's article "Obama and the Fixer" (3-3-08) was published on the very day that Tony Rezko's extortion and money laundering trial opened and is a good overview of concerns about Rezko, Auchi, and Obama being raised by investigative journalists; but a lot more is coming out now.

Two recent articles that helped me to understand Obama's background are "Chicago Annenberg Challenge Shutdown?" (8-18-08) by Stanley Kurtz [archive] in the National Review and "Obama Should Come Clean On Ayers, Rezko And the Iraqi Billionaire" (8-30-08) by John Fund in The Wall Street Journal.

You can read about the Obama campaign's ferocious reaction when Stanley Kurtz appeared on Chicago's WGN Radio. By following the link there you can even listen to this very informative radio program. The Obama campaign sent an e-mail to its supporters asking them to call the show and make the points listed in the e-mail.

It is hard to know the truth about Senator Obama's possible connections to Rezko and Auchi, but it is disturbing that Senator Obama's campaign is threatening to use federal agencies to criminalize his critics. [See NRO "Barack Obama, Aspiring Commissar" (8-28-08) page two at the end; See more background here.]

Senator Obama doesn't want investigative journalists snooping into his relationship with the former Weatherman bomber Bill Ayers, who is now a Professor of Education at the University of Illinois in Chicago.

The National Review writes (8-28-08):

[Bill] Ayers, as we have previously detailed, is a confessed terrorist who, having escaped prosecution due to surveillance violations that came to light during his decade on the lam after a bombing spree, landed an influential professorship in education at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). As he has made clear several times before and after helping to launch Obama’s political career, Ayers remains defiantly proud of bombing the Pentagon, the U.S. Capitol, and other targets. He expresses regret only that he didn’t do more. Far from abandoning his radical politics, he has simply changed methods: the classroom, rather than the detonator, is now his instrument for campaigning against an America he portrays as racist and imperialist.

...Obama has lied about his relationship with Ayers, whom he now dismisses as “a guy who lives in my neighborhood.” Ayers and Obama have made joint appearances together; they have argued together for “reforms” of the criminal justice system to make it more criminal-friendly; Obama gushed with praise for Ayers’ 1997 polemical book on the Chicago courts; and they sat together for three years on the board of the Woods Fund, a left-wing enterprise that distributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to their ideological allies. Most significant, they worked closely together on the Chicago Annenberg Challenge (CAC).

The CAC was a major education reform project, proposed by Ayers, which was underwritten by a $49.2 million grant from the Annenberg Foundation, complemented by another $100 million in private and public funding. The project ran for about five years, beginning in 1995. As the liberal researcher Steve Diamond has recounted, Ayers ran its operational arm, the “Chicago School Reform Collaborative.” Obama, then a 33-year-old, third-year associate at a small law firm, having no executive experience, was brought in to chair the board of directors, which oversaw all “fiscal matters.”

By the time the CAC’s operations were wound down in 2001 it had doled out more than $100 million in grants but had failed to achieve any improvement in the Chicago schools. What little is known about the grants Obama oversaw is troubling. As Diamond relates, one of the first CAC awards in 1995 was $175,000 for the “Small Schools Workshop,” which had been founded by Ayers and was then headed by Mike Klonsky. It was only the beginning of the CAC’s generous funding of Klonsky — a committed Maoist who had been an Ayers comrade in the radical Students for a Democratic Society (the forerunner of Ayers’ Weatherman terrorist organization), and who hosted a “social justice” blog on the Obama campaign website until his writings were hastily purged in June after Diamond called attention to them.

Be sure to read blogger Steve Diamond's post "Behind the Annenberg Gate: Inside the Chicago Annenberg Challenge Records" (8-20-08).

The Iraqi-British billionaire Nadhmi Auchi is also using the British libel laws to intimidate investigative journalists who probe his possible connections to Senator Obama.

I think if Senator Obama had nothing to hide--like funding the Maoist Mike Klonsky--he would not be afraid to sit down and answer journalists' questions. I doubt that most Americans would approve of eductional funds going to Maoists.

It seems to me like the Chicago Annenberg Challenge (CAC) is another case of communists and terrorists plugging themselves into government funding that is intended to lift historically disadvantaged people out of poverty.

Note: Be sure to listen to Stanley Kurtz' account on Chicago's WGN-AM Radio about how the CAC doled out money meant to boost students' achievement to politicized programs.

One good place to find various articles about Senator Obama and his attempts to intimidate the media can be found at Michelle Malkin's blog. Her most recent article on the topic of Senator Obama's agressive moves to silence questions is called "Barack 'The Silencer' Obama’s Gangland Assault on Free Speech" (8-29-08), but she has an archive of related articles at her categories: Bill Ayers and Fairness Doctrine.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald

This is the U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald. He is the current United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois. [See their home page and Mr. Fitzgerald's official biography.]

Wikipedia writes:

On September 1, 2001, Fitzgerald was nominated for the position of U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois on the recommendation of U.S. Senator Peter Fitzgerald (no relation), a Republican from Illinois. On October 24, 2001, the nomination was confirmed by the Senate.

Mr. Fitzgerald has investigated and prosecuted drug dealers, gangsters, terrorists, and terrorists' financiers. He was the special counsel in charge of investigating the CIA leak case.

Here are documents for the US v I. Lewis Libby case.

Mr. Fitzgerald currently investigates and prosecutes political corruption in Illinois and is the prosecutor in the Tony Rezko case. Here are the US v. Rezko Trial Exhibits.

I wrote a bit about Tony Rezko here and here.

Is Nadhmi Auchi a Skeleton in Senator Obama's Closet?

Iraqi-British Billionaire Nadhmi Auchi (above)

"Auchi gave at least $10.5 million to Obama fundraiser Antoin 'Tony' Rezko, including a payment of $3.5 million that coincided with Mr. Obama's purchase in 2005 of a $1.65 million Chicago house, the London Times reported Tuesday [see Tuesday, 2-26 article here and a timeline here]. The newspaper said the timing of the payment and the house purchase, along with the purchase of land next door by Mr. Rezko's wife Rita from the same seller, raise questions about whether Auchi helped buy the house...

A 2004 Pentagon report obtained by The Washington Times identified Auchi as a global arms dealer and Iraqi billionaire "who, behind the facade of legitimate business, served as Saddam Hussein's principle international financial manipulator and bag man."--Bill Gertz, Washington Times (2-29-08)

"[I]n April 2004 [Nadhmi Auchi attended] a dinner party in his honor at [Tony] Rezko's Chicago home. Mr. Obama also attended, and according to one guest, toasted Mr. Auchi. Later that year, Mr. Auchi came under criminal investigation as part of a U.S. probe of the corrupt issuance of cell-phone licenses in Iraq.

In May 2004, the Pentagon's inspector general's office cited 'significant and credible evidence' of involvement by Mr. Auchi's companies in the Oil for Food scandal, and in illicit smuggling of weapons to Saddam Hussein's regime."---WSJ (8-30-08)

Today, The Wall Street Journal (8-30-08) again brings up earlier allegations about the possible connections between Senator Obama and the Iraqi-born billionaire Nadhimi Auchi. The article, by John Fund, is titled "Obama Should Come Clean On Ayers, Rezko And the Iraqi Billionaire."

But Senator Obama seems to be benefiting from libel lawsuits coming from Auchi's British lawyers. It will be interesting to see if the Iraqi-British Billionaire Nadhmi Auchi tries to sue The Wall Street Journal, since Men's News Daily (8-26-08) reports:

Why aren’t the American media investigating the role of British billionaire businessman Nadhmi Auchi in supplying loans to Barack Obama fundraiser Tony Rezko? Some point to media bias, but there is another factor. Working for Auchi, who was born in Iraq, attorneys from London law firm Carter-Ruck have for several months been flooding American and British newspapers and websites with letters demanding removal of material they deem “defamatory” to their client.

...U.S. media outlets are historically strong defenders of press freedoms. But there has been near-total silence about the UK-based legal threats to public discussion of the Rezko affair. While Auchi’s interference may explain part of the media’s lack of interest, the attitude of the New York Times and New York Review of Books goes a long way towards explaining the rest.

If elected President, Obama will be required to swear to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.” Will Senator Obama now join in co-sponsoring S-2977, the Free Speech Protection Act of 2008, and call upon his fellow Democrats to bring the bill to the floor of the Senate for a vote? If not will Obama explain why the Free Speech Protection Act is not necessary to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution?”

Will reporters covering the campaign ask Obama whether, if elected, he would approve a request for U.S. residency from Auchi?

Are the media now cooperating in their own silencing? The attitude of the New York Times does not bode well. [Read the entire article.]

Senator Obama's fund-raiser Tony Rezko went to prison because he failed to disclose a 3.5 million payment from the Iraqi-British tycoon in violation of the terms of his bail. [Rezko documents detailing his arrest and loan filing.]

In February, Bill Gertz of The Washington Times (2-29-08) wrote:

Auchi gave at least $10.5 million to Obama fundraiser Antoin "Tony" Rezko, including a payment of $3.5 million that coincided with Mr. Obama's purchase in 2005 of a $1.65 million Chicago house, the London Times reported Tuesday [Tuesday article here]. The newspaper said the timing of the payment and the house purchase, along with the purchase of land next door by Mr. Rezko's wife Rita from the same seller, raise questions about whether Auchi helped buy the house...

A 2004 Pentagon report obtained by The Washington Times identified Auchi as a global arms dealer and Iraqi billionaire "who, behind the facade of legitimate business, served as Saddam Hussein's principle international financial manipulator and bag man."

..."Additionally, significant and credible evidence has been developed that Nadhmi Auchi has engaged in unlawful activities working closely with Iraqi intelligence operatives to:

-"Bribe foreign governments and individuals prior to Operation Iraqi Freedom to turn opinion against the American-led mission to remove Saddam Hussein.

-"Arrange for significant theft from the U.N. Oil-for-Food Program to smuggle weapons and dual-use technology into Iraq ....

-"Organize an elaborate scheme to take over and control the post-war cellular phone system in Iraq."

The report suggests Auchi has ties to British intelligence through a 2002 association with a former British intelligence chief, and that British telecommunications companies may have used Auchi to gain access to cellular phone markets in post-invasion Iraq.

An article in the LA Times (7-7-04) explains that a May 2004 Pentagon Report, which the above article seems to quote, was produced by John A. “Jack” Shaw.

The LA Times (7-7-04) writes:

A senior Defense Department official [Shaw] conducted unauthorized investigations of Iraq reconstruction efforts and used their results to push for lucrative contracts for friends and their business clients, according to current and former Pentagon officials and documents.

...The inspector general’s office – which investigates waste, fraud and abuse at the Pentagon – has turned over its inquiry into Shaw’s actions to the FBI to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest, the sources said.

...Shaw justified his investigations under a special agreement with the Pentagon inspector general, Joseph E. Schmitz. The August agreement created a temporary office headed by Shaw called the International Armament and Technology Trade Directorate. Its mission was to cooperate with the inspector general on issues related to the transfer of sensitive U.S. technologies or arms to foreign countries.

Shaw frequently cited the agreement in his dealings with reporters and the military, telling them it allowed him to “wear an IG hat” to conduct investigations. In a recent letter to the inspector general, he said the agreement gave him “broad investigatory authority.”

That contention is the subject of dispute, however. The agreement states that Shaw “may recommend” that the inspector general initiate audits, evaluations, investigations and inquiries, but it does not appear to give him investigative powers.

“Jack Shaw was never authorized to do any kind of investigation or auditing on his own,” said one source close to Schmitz. “The agreement was not for that. He’s trying to cram more authority into that agreement than it gives him.”

...Last summer, Shaw was visited by Richard E. Powers, a longtime friend and lobbyist. Powers was representing SSA Marine, a Seattle-based port operations company that had won a controversial limited-bid contract in the early days of the war to manage the troubled port.

He also was representing a small business owned by Alaskan natives called Nana Pacific. Under federal regulations, small companies owned by Alaskan Native Americans can bypass the normal process and receive unlimited, no-bid contracts.

...Even after the Pentagon canceled the agreement that Shaw had used to justify his probe, he unilaterally continued the investigation, Pentagon sources said.

On May 11 [2004], Shaw delivered his report, which concluded that there was “serious, credible evidence of criminal wrongdoing by U.S. government employees pertaining to taking official acts in exchange for bribes.”

He acknowledged that the report “directly conflicts” with the December report by the inspector general, which he dismissed as “worthless.”

Shaw’s report, which The [LA] Times has reviewed, claims evidence of a conspiracy to take over Iraq’s cellphone service led by Nadhmi Auchi, a British businessman who has been accused of links to Hussein and who was convicted last year in a French court in an unrelated kickback scheme. Auchi maintains his innocence and is appealing.

Auchi, according to the report, paid bribes through a series of surrogates to win the three cellphone licenses and gain control of Iraq’s cellular system.

A spokesman for Auchi denied Shaw’s claims. He acknowledged that Auchi has an indirect, minor stake in Orascom, one of the cellphone operators. He denied any ownership interest in the other phone companies.
[Read the entire article.]

A follow-up LA Times (12-11-04) article notes:

A senior Defense official placed under investigation by the FBI on allegations that he tried to steer Iraqi reconstruction contracts toward friends has been removed from office, Pentagon officials confirmed Friday.

John A. “Jack” Shaw, the Pentagon’s deputy undersecretary for international technology security, was ordered to leave after refusing to sign a letter of resignation, the officials said. His last day was Friday.

“He was asked to discontinue his service,” a senior Pentagon official said.

Yet today, The WSJ (8-30-08) writes:

Then there's the house that Mr. Obama bought in 2005 in cooperation with Tony Rezko, his friend and campaign fund-raiser -- a move the candidate concedes was "boneheaded." Rezko was convicted in June of 16 counts of corruption. (Mr. Obama was not implicated in Rezko's crimes.)

Rezko's trial raised a host of questions. Was Mr. Obama able to save $300,000 on the asking price of his house because Rezko's wife paid full price for the adjoining lot? How did Mrs. Rezko make a $125,000 down payment and obtain a $500,000 mortgage when financial records shown at the Rezko trial indicate she had a salary of only $37,000 and assets of $35,000? Records show her husband also had few assets at the time.

Last April, the London Times revealed that Nadhmi Auchi, an Iraqi-born billionaire living in London, had loaned Mr. Rezko $3.5 million three weeks before the day the sale of the house and lot closed in June 2005. Mr. Auchi's office notes he was a business partner of Rezko but says he had "no involvement in or knowledge of" the property sale. But in April 2004 he did attend a dinner party in his honor at Rezko's Chicago home. Mr. Obama also attended, and according to one guest, toasted Mr. Auchi. Later that year, Mr. Auchi came under criminal investigation as part of a U.S. probe of the corrupt issuance of cell-phone licenses in Iraq.

In May 2004, the Pentagon's inspector general's office cited "significant and credible evidence" of involvement by Mr. Auchi's companies in the Oil for Food scandal, and in illicit smuggling of weapons to Saddam Hussein's regime. Because of the criminal probe, Mr. Auchi's travel visa to the U.S. was revoked in August 2004, even as Mr. Auchi denied all the allegations. According to prosecutors, in November 2005 Rezko was able to get two government officials from Illinois to appeal to the State Department to get the visa restored. Asked if anyone in his office was involved in such an appeal, Mr. Obama told the Chicago Sun-Times last March, "not that I know of." FOIA requests to the State Department for any documents haven't been responded to for months.

After long delays, Mr. Obama sat with the editorial boards of the Sun-Times and Chicago Tribune in March to answer their questions about his connection to Rezko. He had no recollection of ever meeting Mr. Auchi. He also said he didn't understand a lot about house buying, and gave vague answers to other questions. Since then, he has avoided any further discussion of the Rezko matter. [See full text]

I think that if there were no substance to the claims about a connection between Senator Obama and Auchi, Senator Obama would not be afraid to talk to the Chicago papers.

The Skeletons in Senator Obama's Closet

Stanley Kurtz, investigative reporter

Senator Obama claims that he never knew that his minister Rev. Jeremiah Wright told his congregation that the American government invented AIDS to kill black people.

It's hard for me to believe that Senator Obama didn't even hear about this lie.

The Senator never denounced this lie until he was forced to, and he has still not told his church that this is a KGB lie. Rather than just leave his church when Rev. Wright was exposed, why didn't this U.S. Senator stand up and confront his minister?

Even the KGB has admitted that they spread this lie about our government. The head of the Russian foreign intelligence Yevgeni Primakov is quoted making this admission in Izvestia (3-19-92). [See here and here. ]

AIDS experts write that some black people who believe this lie see no point in protecting themselves from AIDS.

Now Senator Obama's campaign is attacking an investigative journalist named Stanley Kurtz because he is looking into the Senator's early relationship with the self-confessed Weatherman bomber Bill Ayers.

On August 18, 2008, Mr. Kurtz described happened when he tried get access to some documents at the University of Illinois:

[T]hese files [would] illuminate the working relationship between Obama and Bill Ayers, they would also provide significant insight into a web of ties linking Obama to various radical organizations, including Obama-approved foundation gifts to political allies...

Unfortunately, I don’t yet have access to the documents. The Special Collections section of the Richard J. Daley Library agreed to let me read them, but just before I boarded my flight to Chicago, the top library officials mysteriously intervened to bar access. Circumstances strongly suggest the likelihood that Bill Ayers himself may have played a pivotal role in this denial. Ayers has long taught at UIC, where the Chicago Annenberg Challenge offices were housed, rent-free. Ayers likely arranged for the files of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge to be housed in the UIC library, and may well have been consulted during my unsuccessful struggle to gain access to the documents.

Ayers was a terrorist, but he wasn't imprisoned because of an "improper surveillance" technicality. I don't understand why a terrorist was rewarded with a teaching post at the University of Illinois.

The Chicago Tribune/The Swamp (8-28-08) reports on the furious reaction of Senator Obama's campaign:

Sen. Barack Obama's campaign organized its supporters Wednesday night to confront Tribune-owned WGN-AM in Chicago for having a critic of the Illinois Democrat on its air.

"WGN radio is giving right-wing hatchet man Stanley Kurtz a forum to air his baseless, fear-mongering terrorist smears," Obama's campaign wrote in an e-mail to supporters. "He's currently scheduled to spend a solid two-hour block from 9:00 to 11:00 p.m. pushing lies, distortions, and manipulations about Barack and University of Illinois professor William Ayers."

Kurtz, a conservative writer, recently wrote an article for the National Review that looked at Obama's ties to Ayers, a former 1960s radical who later emerged as a school reform advocate in Chicago.

The magazine had been blocked in its initial attempts to obtain records from the University of Illinois at Chicago regarding a school reform initiative called the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, which Obama chaired and Ayers co-founded.

Obama critics were quick to suggest that political clout could be involved in seeking to protect Obama from embarrassment. The school later reserved its position and made the records available Tuesday.

On Wednesday evening, Obama's campaign urged supporters to call the radio station to complain.

"Tell WGN that by providing Kurtz with airtime, they are legitimizing baseless attacks from a smear-merchant and lowering the standards of political discourse," the note said.

"It is absolutely unacceptable that WGN would give a slimy character assassin like Kurtz time for his divisive, destructive ranting on our public airwaves," the note continued. "At the very least, they should offer sane, honest rebuttal to every one of Kurtz's lies."

Zack Christenson, executive producer of "Extension 720 with Milt Rosenburg," said the response was strong.

"I would say this is the biggest response we've ever got from a campaign or a candidate," he said. "This is really unprecedented with the show, the way that people are flooding the calls and our email boxes."

Christenson said the Obama campaign was asked to have someone appear on the show and declined the request.

Today The Wall Street Journal (8-80-08) even has a story that suggests there may be connections between Senator Obama and an Iraqi-born billionaire who may be implicted in the oil-for-food scandal and weapons smuggling:

In May 2004, the Pentagon's inspector general's office cited "significant and credible evidence" of involvement by Mr. Auchi's companies in the Oil for Food scandal, and in illicit smuggling of weapons to Saddam Hussein's regime. Because of the criminal probe, Mr. Auchi's travel visa to the U.S. was revoked in August 2004, even as Mr. Auchi denied all the allegations. According to prosecutors, in November 2005 Rezko was able to get two government officials from Illinois to appeal to the State Department to get the visa restored. Asked if anyone in his office was involved in such an appeal, Mr. Obama told the Chicago Sun-Times last March, "not that I know of." FOIA requests to the State Department for any documents haven't been responded to for months.

Here is a blog called The Real Barak Obama.

Here are some interesting articles:

National Review (8-18-08) Stanley Kurtz, "Chicago Annenberg Challenge Shutdown?"

FOX News (8-26-08) "Newly Released Documents Highlight Obama's Relationship with Ayers"

National Review (8-28-08) "Barack Obama, Aspiring Commissar"

Michelle Malkin (8-28-08) "Next, the Obama thugs came for Stanley Kurtz"

Chicago Tribune (8-28-08) "Obama's e-mail about WGN-AM"

National Review (8-28-08) "Stanley Kurtz's Fairness Doctrine Preview"

World Net Daily (8-28-08) "Obama camp hits station airing critic"

Wall Street Journal (8-30-08) "Obama Should Come Clean On Ayers, Rezko And the Iraqi Billionaire"

The Washington Times (2-29-08) Bill Gertz, "Auchi connection"

The Times (2-26-08) Mansion 'mistake' piles the pressure on Barack Obama

The Times (2-25-08) "Timeline: British billionaire and Barack Obama": Events bringing Nadhmi Auchi, British-Iraqi billionaire, together with Antoin Rezko, Barack Obama's fundraiser

The Times (2-1-08) "Obama bagman is sent to jail after failing to declare $3.5m payment by British tycoon"

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Marty J. Jackley Announces the Indictment of Richard Marshall for Aiding and Abetting First Degree Murder

"[Richard] Marshall, the bodyguard of American Indian Movement (AIM) leader Russell Means in 1975, has been accused by federal witnesses close to the case of having provided the gun for which Aquash was killed."---Paul DeMain, News From Indian Country

Here is the text of U.S Attorney Marty J. Jackley's press release announcing the indictment of Vine Richard Marshall for aiding and abetting the December 1975 murder of the Canadian Indian Anna May Aquash:

Second Indictment Issued for Anna Mae Pictou Aquash Murder Announced
August 26, 2008
Rapid City, SD

US Attorney Marty J. Jackley announced that a Rapid City man has been indicted by a federal grand jury for aiding and abetting in the first degree murder of Anna Mae Pictou Aquash on or about December 12, 1975. Vine Richard Marshall aka Dick Marshall, was indicted by a federal grand jury on August 20, 2008, for aiding and abetting first degree murder. He appeared before US Magistrate Judge Veronica L. Duffy on August 26, 2008, and pled not guilty to the indictment. The penalty upon conviction is mandatory life imprisonment. The charge is merely an accusation and Marshall is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty. US Attorney Marty Jackley stated that, “this investigation remains open and I am, therefore, not providing further information at this time.” Fritz Arlo Looking Cloud and John Graham aka John Boy Patton have been previously charged by separate indictment for committing and aiding and abetting in the first degree murder of Anna Mae Pictou Aquash. In February 2004, Looking Cloud was convicted for his role in the offense. He was sentenced to life imprisonment in April 2004. Graham’s jury trial is presently scheduled to commence in Rapid City on October 6, 2008. The investigation is being conducted by the FBI. US Attorney Marty Jackley and Assistant US Attorney Robert A. Mandel are prosecuting the case. Marshall was remanded to the custody of the US Marshal. A trial date has not yet been set. # # #

Richard "Dick" Marshall Indicted for Aiding and Abetting the 1975 Murder of Anna Mae Aquash

"[Richard] Marshall, the bodyguard of American Indian Movement (AIM) leader Russell Means in 1975, has been accused by federal witnesses close to the case of having provided the gun for which Aquash was killed."---Paul DeMain, News From Indian Country

Paul DeMain, the editor of News from Indian Country, reports that on August 20, 2008, the U.S Indicted Richard "Dick" Marshal for aiding and abetting the December 1975 murder of Anna Mae Aquash, a Canadian Indian who was an activist in the American Indian Movement (AIM). His full name is Vine Richard Marshal, but he is better known as Dick Marshall.

U.S. Attorney Marty J. Jackley in South Dakota has confirmed in a press release (8-26-08) the August 20 indictment by Federal grand jurors in Rapid City. Since Anna Mae Aquash was Canadian, our northern neighbor's papers are also writing about this new indictment.

In 1975, Richard Marshall was reportedly the bodyguard of American Indian Movement (AIM) leader Russell Means. He currently lives in Rapid City, South Dakota.

The Kansas City Star (8-26-08) reports:

Marshall, 57, was an AIM leader who served 24 years in prison for shooting a man [Martin Montileaux] to death in 1975. Marshall was paroled in 2000.

Marshall's wife, Cleo Gates, testified at Looking Cloud's trial that three AIM members - Looking Cloud, Graham and Theda Clark - drove Aquash to Marshall's house. Gates said Aquash stayed with her in the kitchen while the others went into a back bedroom with her husband.

When a prosecutor asked whether Richard Marshall kept a gun there, Gates said he did not.

Witnesses said that Aquash was eventually taken to the Badlands and that Graham shot her as she begged for her life.

News From Indian Country reports:

[Richard] Marshall, the bodyguard of American Indian Movement (AIM) leader Russell Means in 1975 has been accused by federal witnesses close to the case of having provided the gun for which Aquash was killed. Aquash was brought to the home of Richard and Cleo Marshall (now) Gates late in the evening of December, 11 1975 or morning of Dec. 12 from Rapid City, South Dakota by Arlo Looking Cloud, John Boy Patton Graham and Theda Nelson Clark.

Aquash had been previously interrogated at the law offices of Attorney Bruce Ellison in the AIM - Wounded Knee Legal Defense/Offense Committee (WKLDOC) in Rapid City, S.D., and later transported to an empty apartment owned by Thelma Rios Conroy. There she was forced to cut the labels off her clothes and transported to Marshall's Pass Creek home in Allen, according to former members of AIM now cooperating with authorities in the investigation.

According to the testimony of Cleo Clifford Marshall Gates, Aquash was given coffee and a donut while Dick Marshall, Looking Cloud and Graham had a conversation in the back room of their Allen, South Dakota home. According to accounts of the evening attributed to Dick Marshall, Aquash was also given a change of clothes. The trio then left and went the home of Russell Mean's brother, William (Bill/Kills) on the Rosebud Reservation where it is alleged that several leadership members of the American Indian Movement were present, or consulted by telephone about the fate of Aquash.

Aquash was shot several hours later as the sun rose in Wanblee, South Dakota on the Pine Ridge Reservation, a couple of hours after leaving the Means' home around 3 or 4 am.

A South Dakota Grand Jury charges that on or about the 12th day of December, 1975, near Wanblee and in Allen, in Indian Country, in the District of South Dakota, the defendant, Vine Richard Marshall, a/k/a Richard Vine Marshall, a/k/a/ Dick Marshall, an Indian, willfully, deliberately, maliciously and with premeditation and malice aforethought, did aid and abet in the unlawful killing of Annie Mae Aquash, a/a/a Annie Mae Pictou, wherein she was shot with a firearm, in violation of 18 U.S.C 111, 1153 and 2.
The indictment was filed Aug. 20, 2008.


Marshall was convicted in the March 1, 1975 shooting of Martin Montileaux and later confessed to the act in order to obtain parole for life. Montileaux was shot in the back of the head, at the base of the skull by one bullet while standing in a bathroom stall of the Longhorn Bar in Scenic, South Dakota. Russell Means was on the other side of Montileaux when he was shot.

Marshall was a Movement leader at the upper security level, comparable to Theodore (Ted) Means of South Dakota AIM Security, (a brother of Russell Means) and Leonard Peltier who was assigned to Dennis Banks as a bodyguard while at Pine Ridge in 1975. Marshal served 24 years in prison for the Montileaux killing. He was placed on parole in 2000 for life.

Marshall was represented by AIM attorney Ken Tilsen of Minneapolis in 1975, an attorney closely affiliated with Vernon Bellecourt and the office of AIM Internal and Domestic Intelligence - the arm of the American Indian Movement, Bellecourt claimed was responsible for weeding out FBI pigs and informants. Tilsen came into possession of Annie Mae's wallet which was not found on her body, and rather than providing it to federal authorities, sent it to the sisters of Annie Mae Aquash in early 1976.

Fritz Arlo Looking Cloud of Denver was convicted in 2004 and is serving a life prison term for being a party to Aquash's death. Another man, John Boy Patton Graham of Canada, is scheduled to stand trial on October 6th, 2008 on the same charges. The federal government does not need to prove who actually pulled the trigger in either an aiding and abetting, or party to 1st degree murder charge - only that the "defendant" participated in, or had knowledge while aiding the crime.

According to a taped conversation with Graham in 2001, reviewed by the Associated Press, Graham admitted to being with Aquash, Clark and Looking Cloud moments before she was shot. Graham however, denied that he pulled the trigger.

The interview was set up by the late AIM leader Vernon Bellecourt at a time Bellecourt was denying publicly to the press, that he even knew who Graham was. The interview was suppose to be an attempt to enhance the alibi of John Graham according to a cooperating federal witness who made the recording. The witness is expected to testify about the interview if charges against Graham go to trial on October 6th.

[Be sure to read the entire article and a selection from the transcript of the 2004 testimony of Arlo Looking Cloud. Keep checking the NFIC Aquash Files for new information. According to Mr. DeMain, Native American investigative journalists know of 13 people murdered by the AIM.]

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Indian Journalist Paul DeMain Reports that the American Indian Movement (AIM) Murdered 13 People During Their "Reign of Terror"

Read about the American Indian Movement's reign of terror at Joseph and John Trimbach's American Indian Mafia and AIM Myth Busters.

"Clyde Bellecourt, Russell, Bill, and Ted Means, Lorelie DeCora, Madonna Gilbert Thunderhawk, Attorney Bruce Ellison, Troy Lynn Irving and her auntie Theda Nelson Clark...may still be indicted...Justice will only be served when those in AIM leadership/security roles are brought to justice for the manipulation and orders they gave others to do their dirty work"--Paul DeMain

On October 6, 2008, John Graham will go on trial for the 1975 murder of Anna Mae Aquash [See Aquash - NFIC Files/Articles here].

News from Indian Country now reports that another man has been indicted [See press release (8-26-08)] in connection with the Aquash murder:

On August 20, the U.S Indicted Richard "Dick" Marshal for aiding and abetting her murder.

The discredited professor Ward Churchill once wrote in the KGB-sponsored Covert Action Information Bulletin that FBI-backed death squads murdered 342 Indians. This was nothing but a BIG LIE. Ward Churchill has depicted Russell Means and other old leaders of the American Indian Movement (AIM) as heroes. In fact, some AIM leaders were not heroes but criminals. Their goal was to tear down the reputation of the FBI, not to lift up Indians. Richard Marshall, who was Russell Means' bodyguard in 1975, has now been indicted for aiding and abetting the murder of Anna Mae Aquash. He is the third person charged in connection with her murder. Arlo Looking Cloud has already been convicted, and John Graham goes on trial October 6.

Paul DeMain, the editor of News from Indian Country, writes that Native American investigative journalists have now identified 13 people murdered the American Indian Movement (AIM) during the 1970s:

[I]t has always been hard for me to get off the subject of justice for victims of the American Indian Movement that were murdered in the 1970s because of revolutionary fever and paranoia. Two of the thirteen victims Native investigative journalists have identified include Black civil rights worker and Martin Luther King disciple Perry Ray Robinson Jr., and Micmac mother Annie Mae Pictou Aquash.

As the federal government prepares for the trial of John Boy Patton Graham on October 6 in Rapid City, South Dakota, I note a few things. Only one other man, Arlo Looking Cloud has been convicted and is now serving a life sentence to being Party to 1st Degree Murder.

While Dennis Banks basks in the sun of his latest Longest Walk in Honor of Mother Earth and All Living Things, I often wonder if he ever thinks of the former mistress he allegedly conspired to have executed as a traitor and possible FBI pig – while some Native and non-Native media hold him up as some kind of “hero” in our community.

The trial of John Boy Graham, and other AIM leaders and affiliates like Clyde Bellecourt, Russell, Bill, and Ted Means, Lorelie DeCora, Madonna Gilbert Thunderhawk, Attorney Bruce Ellison, Troy Lynn Irving and her auntie Theda Nelson Clark that may still be indicted, can’t happen fast enough for vetting of information and transparency.

Even Leonard Peltier, the last ranking AIM security enforcer not to have a verifiable location on December 9-13, 1975 has to be concerned about what may become public, beyond his already waning claims of innocence.

But justice will not be served when just the gang of three, Arlo, John Boy and Theda Clark, those who moved against Aquash are behind bars. Justice will only be served when those in AIM leadership/security roles are brought to justice for the manipulation and orders they gave others to do their dirty work, and are forced to concede their roles. Only then will justice be served, and even then it is a hollow replacement for the Robinson, Aquash and other families watching others enjoy the freedom of major movie roles, or nice long walks.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Does Ben Whitmer Have a New Hairdo?

Today it was reported by the Rocky Mountain News that yesterday (8-24-08) Ward Churchill's security roughed up a FOX News reporter named Griff Jenkins after Jenkins allegedly "put his hands" on the discredited ex-professor Ward Churchill.

Video shows that Jenkins was only trying to interview Ward Churchill.

Glenn Spagnuolo, a leader of Recreate 68, told the Rocky Mountain News (8-24-08):

"Our security pushed him away from (Churchill) because nobody touches Ward while he's here...As soon as he put his hands on him, security moved him away."

The video I have seen only shows Churchill's security roughing up Jenkins.

UPDATE: See a later post and video of Churchill grabbing Jenkin's hand and shoving his microphone as Jenkins approaches Churchill for an interview.

I looked at the picture of Churchill flanked by his security detail (above H/T Drunkablog) and noticed the tattoo on the left lower arm of the man on Ward Churchill's right side.

That tattoo is a lot like the tattoo that Ward Churchill's acolyte Ben Whitmer (shown above in a picture from Westword, 1-18-07) also sports on his left arm! Drunkablog commenter Fred noticed the similar tattoos.

Is this tattooed He-Man in the first picture Ben Whitmer with hair and a beard? Enquiring minds want to know!

The alleged incident with the FOX reporter is a lot like an incident that happened when a reporter named Heath Urie tried to attend a lecture Ward Churchill was giving at the University of Colorado.

Here is video from yesterday that reportedly followed the alleged "touching" of Wardo's person.

UPDATE: Here is a second video [Same thing here] of FOX News reporter Griff Jenkins trying to interview Churchill. I don't see him touching Churchill.

According to the Rocky Mountain News (8-24-08):

Security at an anti-war rally outside the state Capitol this morning allegedly had to break up a confrontation between a Fox News reporter and Ward Churchill...

Churchill...was hounded by the persistent reporter, who allegedly put his hands on Churchill, organizer Glenn Spagnuolo said.

The reporter, Griff Jenkins, could not be immediately reached for comment.

In video footage of the incident, demonstrators surrounded Jenkins after the alleged confrontation between the reporter and Churchill.

"We're not going to stand for your lies," a demonstrator yells.

Spagnuolo said the reporter put his hands on Churchill.

The reporter "decided he wanted to be part of the news instead of reporting the news and wanted to mix it up with Ward Churchill for some reason," Spagnuolo said.

Spagnuolo said the reporter got out of hand.

"Our security pushed him away from (Churchill) because nobody touches Ward while he's here," Spagnuolo said. "As soon as he put his hands on him, security moved him away."

As I mentioned above, this whole alleged incident reminds me a lot of an earlier close encounter that involved Ben Whitmer, Josh Dillabaugh, Ward Churchill and the Boulder Daily Camera reporter Heath Urie.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Glenn Spagnuolo's "Anti-War" Rally and March to the DNC Site

Photo of Recreate 68 founder Glenn "Defend Denver" Spagnuolo

Not too many people showed up today for Glenn Spagnuolo's Recreate 68 "anti war" rally and march to the DNC convention site in Denver. Today's march is the first of perhaps five Recreate 68 events in Denver during the DNC.

Today's (8-24-08) Drunkablog carries pictures of Glenn Spagnuolo, a professional revolutionary. A story or update may follow later. Drunka often covers Spagnuolo's antics and sometimes calls Spagnuolo "Spagz" or "Spags," if you do a search.

I also saw the drama-queen Glenn on FOX News wearing his black "Defend Denver" T-shirt with the machine gun emblazoned on his chest.

Glenn, who recently lost his "free speech" case in federal court, got covert help on his Recreate 68 Internet site from another member of Ward Churchill's brain trust, Ben Whitmer.

Recreate 68 claims it is non-violent, but Westword (7-29-08) reports that during the "DNC Security Trial":

The defense presented [Recreate 68 organizer and spokesman Mark Cohen] with an e-booklet pulled from the R-68 website called “Bodyhammer: Tactics and Self-defense for the Modern Protester” that explains how to create shields, improvised body armor and special techniques for charging police lines. Cohen testified that the website is run by R-68 members Glenn Spagnuolo and Tryworks blogger Benjamin Whitmer.

Drunkablog (8-1-08) has also reported on Ben Whitmer's hush-hush role in the Recreate 68 organization.

Ben is known for babbling complete nonsense such as:

Constitutional rights ain’t contingent on what some shitheel judge says. That goes for the First Amendment, the Second Amendment, and every amendment thereafter. We have rights which ain’t bound by any pig, judge or otherwise.

If we lived in the People's Republic of Whitmer instead of the real world, we could just go to Ben Whitmer and dump federal court in the ashcan of history. We wouldn't need to teach Constitutional Law. We wouldn't need Constitutional lawyers or federal judges, either. We would just go to Ben Whitmer's blog. He is such an idiot!

In my opinion, the main goal of Recreate 68's leaders is to instigate violence along the lines of the Chicago Democratic National Convention in 1968. They aren't really "peace activists" at all; they are communist revolutionaries whose goal is to make government and law enforcement look repressive. Peace is just one of their rope-a-dope slogans.

A FOX TV reporter tried to ask the demonstrators their views, but they mostly used their free speech to scream profanity. Perhaps the demonstrators were disappointed that the promised cast of tens of thousands didn't show up. Or perhaps they are just a mob of losers who think politics is made in the street instead of at the ballot box.

FOX News reports (8-24-08):

About 1,000 anti-war protesters marched toward the site of the Democratic National Convention Sunday in Denver, in the first of at least five such rallies planned this week by the group Recreate 68.

The rally began with just a couple hundred demonstrators Sunday morning outside the Colorado State Capitol building, but swiftly grew as they began their trek toward the Pepsi Center, which is under heavy security with the convention set to begin Monday.

...Though demonstrators joined under the common cause of ending the war, they also spoke out in favor of abortion rights and against torture, imperialism and the election process.

“I think [the Re-create 68 events are] going to get everyone together and feeling the same thing,” [Colorado Springs demonstrator Bryan] Ostren said.

Meanwhile, police officers in riot gear patrolled on bicycles and foot along the route.

The protesters marched as thousands of delegates, reporters and politicians descended on the Western city.

The DNC: "A Unified Party, United in Unity Together As One, Undivided"

"Sen. Clinton is scheduled to address the convention Tuesday night, when she will either call on her supporters to unite behind Obama, or attempt to snatch the nomination and escape with it by helicopter to a secret mountain fortress. ''We are fully confident that Sen. Clinton will do the right thing,'' stated a Democratic party official, adding, "but we have a net.''--Dave Barry

Dave Barry has a column (8-24-08) today on the opening of the DNC. Here is a snip, but read the whole thing:

The Democratic party has gathered in Denver for what will be without question one of the most exciting political conventions in decades.

Granted, this is like saying that Moe was without question one of the smartest Stooges...

This year there is high drama in the Mile High City as the Democrats gather under their official 2008 convention slogan: "A Unified Party, United in Unity Together As One, Undivided.''

Already there has been sporadic gunfire between the Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton delegates. Political observers see this as indication that there is still some underlying tension between the two sides. Yes, Clinton has been making speeches urging her supporters to work for Obama; but at the same time she has also been using what one Obama adviser described as "a lot of air quotes.''

It's hard to blame Sen. Clinton for being bitter. Here she is, the smartest human ever, PLUS she spent all those years standing loyally behind Bill Clinton wearing uncomfortable pantyhose (I mean Hillary was, not Bill) (although there are rumors), PLUS she went to the trouble and expense of acquiring a legal residence in New York State so she could be a senator from there, PLUS she assembled a team of nuclear-physicist-grade genius political advisors, PLUS she spent years going around to every dirtbag community in America explaining in detail her 23-point policy solutions for every single problem facing the nation including soybean blight. And after all that, she loses the nomination to a guy who has roughly the same amount of executive governmental experience as Hannah Montana. Hillary is like: "Are you KIDDING me?''

Sen. Clinton is scheduled to address the convention Tuesday night, when she will either call on her supporters to unite behind Obama, or attempt to snatch the nomination and escape with it by helicopter to a secret mountain fortress. ''We are fully confident that Sen. Clinton will do the right thing,'' stated a Democratic party official, adding, "but we have a net."

...Obama, in a bold move, went with the one name guaranteed to send an electric shock of electricity through the spinal cord of American politics: Joe Biden.

This choice not only virtually locks up Delaware's electoral vote (which it shares with Wyoming) but it also buttresses the Obama team with one of the Senate's most vocal voices. Sen. Biden is scheduled to address the convention Wednesday night from 8:48 p.m. until dawn.

But in the end, the focus of this convention will be on Barack Obama, who on Thursday night will receive the nomination in long-overdue recognition of a distinguished career of seeking the nomination. His goal, in his acceptance speech, will be to win over the undecided voters -- the people who are unsure of what he really stands for, or who have received emailed rumors that he is a Muslim, or a socialist, or a vampire, or a lesbian. His goal will be to show, with no disrespect to the Muslim socialist vampire lesbian community, that he is a regular person just like you, except he has Vision and Leadership. After that, he will lay out his specific policies for building a brighter future. Then he will turn into a bat.

No, he won't, although that would make this the most fun convention EVER. But it still promises to be interesting. I'll be on hand to report all the convention-news developments to you from Denver as I think them up. Then next week I'll head to Minnesota or possibly Wisconsin and do the same from the Republican convention. Back-to-back party conventions! It's an exciting time to be a political "junkie.'' [Full text]