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Gender: Do not display
Hometown: Chicago area in Indiana
Home country: USA
Current location: Burlington, Vermont
Member since: Tue Jan 18, 2005, 10:05 AM
Number of posts: 58,306

Journal Archives

Fortunately, Kerry does not need to do that now

First of all, do you really think the person who started this beltway rumour did not know that this would happen?

The facts are that Kerry did fight this in 2004 and afterward. At this point, the ONLY people who believe that garbage are mostly the 30% who still believe that Obama is a Muslim born in Kenya.

The campaign's immediate reaction to the August attack was to put out 36 pages listing lies and discrepancies in the book. That was done within ONE DAY of the book's emergence in August.(In 2008, the first reaction of the Obama team was to put out 41 pages on lies in Corsi's book.) This should have been sufficient to spike their attack. How many lies are people usually allowed when they are disputing the official record, offering nothing - not one Telex, photo, or record sent upward discussing Kerry as the problem portrayed in the book - as proof. They also later proved the links to Bush - in funding, lawyers, and in one case the B/C people were caught passing it out. In addition, Kerry surrogates including some of his crew, Rassman and Cleland countered it. (Like Kerry, Obama used surrogates against Corsi rather than respond himself)

That was far more proof countering the liars than the media had on anything other than Obama's birth certificate. The problem was that it went to the media and they refused to play the role of evaluating who was telling the truth - the Washington Post's editor even saying they wouldn't. The broadcast media was worse. Would Obama have done as well if the networks and cable TV failed to give coverage to his speech on race in the furor over Reverand Wright?

There was an abundance of proof - far more than would be typically available as they hit against a well documented official record. Even before the August re-emergence, the Kerry campaign had already provided the media with more than enough backup for them to reject the August attack out of hand.

It should also be mentioned that it was not Kerry's accounts they disputed, it was the NAVY's official record. Backing the NAVY account over the SBVT, Kerry had the following:

he had 120 pages of naval records - spanning the entire interval with glowing fitness reports - all given to the media and on his web site from April on. That alone should have been enough.

He had every man on his boat for every medal earned 100% behind him. That alone should have been enough.

He had the Nixon administration on tape (that they thought would never be public) saying he was both a genuine war hero and clean, but for political reasons should be destroyed. (SBVT O'Neil was one of those tasked to destroy Kerry in 1971.) That alone should have been enough.

He also was given a plum assignment in Brooklyn as an aide to a rear admiral. From the naval records, this required a higher security clearance - clearly his "employers" of the last 3 years (many SBVT) had to attest to his good character. That's just standard. That alone should have been enough.

The then secretary of the Navy (John Warner) said he personally had reviewed the Silver Star Award. That alone should have been enough.

In any previous election, calmly and professionally countering lies by disproving them would have been the obvious preferred first step. It is only when there is no open and shut case (as there is here) that the candidate would try anything different.When this didn't work, Kerry did speak to the issue - and he did so before the Firefighters as soon as it was appear that the attack was beginning to hurt him. Many here - all political junkies didn't here this. Why? The media that gave a huge amount of free time to people they had to know were lying didn't think that it was important to give the Democratic nominees response air time. Now, it was - I think less than 2 minutes long - so there is no excuse.

But that was 2004. Since then, you could add:

1) When Kerry spoke on Kerry/Feingold, Senator John Warner debated Kerry on the floor. He respected what Kerry had put together and, in addition, he spoke of having reviewed Kerry's silver star and that he found that it was very well earned.

2) Sam Fox, who was one of the SBVT funders, tried to preempt Kerry grilling him when he was before the SFRC to get approved to be an ambassador by saying that "Kerry was a war hero and that no one could take that away". Kerry led him through ALL that was known when he paid for more ads in late October. The man best attempt to respond was to say that the left had "untrue" ads on Bush - to which Kerry asked if "that was the kind of judgment he would bring to Belgium - that two wrongs made a right.

There is NOTHING that Kerry or anyone else - in the Navy, media or government that could change the opinion of the far right - it is too deeply in their other reality - maybe because the truth of the type of man Kerry is and always has been can not fit with their distorted belief system. (ie he has in reality nearly every value they claim to admire and he is a LIBERAL.)

I think that is more semantics than real

"Insider trading" is something monitored by the SEC and they oversee publicly traded companies. The rules specifically list the positions in companies that are subject to its provisions. As legislators are not included in this, it is true to say that they are not subject to insider trading rules.

That said, there are ethics rules in both the House and the Senate. They can investigate whether a legislator used his position for financial gain. Highly publicized recent examples include both the House and the Senate looking at Countrywide giving preferential loans to legislators, including Senators Dodd and Conrad. The same could be done for any REAL, provable insider trading or use of inside information. Here, the most obvious example would be positioning oneself to gain from a not yet public earmark that has been accepted in a bill. (Here's an example of Speaker Hastert - http://thinkprogress.org/politics/2006/06/15/5792/hastert-pictures-of-corruption/?mobile=nc )

Strengthening the ethics rules could more explicitly prohibit some unethical behavior, but the current wave of action is really more political than reality based. The sudden desire to act against this - though Louise Slaughter's bill has been pretty dormant since 2006 when it was first introduced was caused by Sarah Palin's "national security" adviser's book that 60 Minutes profiled in an explosive expose. The problem is that the research methods are simplistic and beyond that there are some pretty mindbogling "mistakes". Palin "wrote" an op-ed on insider trading for the WSJ and has spoken of Schweitzer as one of her posse.

Here is the method used. He looked at all committees a legislator was on and then looked at the legally mandated disclosures made. He then identified all transactions made that are for companies in the businesses that the legislator oversees. One example is that he labeled ANY purchase of any health care stock or fund in 2009 suspect for Senators on the Finance or HELP committee suspect - because apparently it was insider information that they were working on a health care bill. Then, to add more smoke to that fire, he found that a year later when the bill passed, the value of these stocks were way up. Ignored is the fact that the market itself rose about 59% from the bottom in 2009 to the spring of 2010. (In fact, they would have done better buying Tiffany in March 2009 - as it went up about 250% by April 2010) It should also be noted that he ignored if the transactions occurred in blind accounts or accounts managed by others.

As to the errors, the ones I saw in the excerpts in the media included saying that Kerry was chair of the Finance committee's subcommittee on health in 2003 and thus led the effort on the 2003 drug bill - so like with 2009, any healthcare stocks are suspicious. In fact, it was a Bush supported bill and the republicans controlled the Senate and the bill was written in the full Finance committee. Kerry was running for President speaking against the bill and voted against it. I doubt many here do not know the 2003 bill was not a Democratic bill. Another error - likely coming from having created the above "truth" was to then suggest that Kerry was on the Health committee (HELP) and could have been informed of any Bush HHS change in drugs covered. Kerry was not on Kennedy's committee and before arguing insider information it would seem prudent to actually determine if the HHS department notifies the House and/or Senate about routine executive functions - such as which drugs are covered. My guess - they don't - - thus the weasel word "could".

The Boston Globe looked at a more comprehensive analysis that showed that if you look at all transactions - instead of cherry picked ones - legislators do not do better than others. http://articles.boston.com/2011-12-14/bostonglobe/30516909_1_insider-suspicious-trades-portfolio

Here is a defense one Colorado Democrat, who had done everything anyone would have asked to avoid conflict of interest, but was still named by Palin's goon, wrote. http://www.denverpost.com/opinion/ci_19801816

In addition, there is something wrong when an analysis like that is made and the person intending to level serious charges at public officials that will damage their reputations and question their integrity, that NO effort was made to ask the accused for any response. In addition, publicly available information that diminishes the likelihood of culpability is ignored. That is true in the case of the Colorado legislator and in the case of John Kerry. (In Kerry's case all the transactions mentioned were made by the Heinz trust, that Teresa is one of many beneficiaries but not a trustee of - and that was clear on the Senate disclosure.) When the allegation came out, Kerry demanded a retraction - http://www.businessinsider.com/insider-trading-congress-john-kerry-retraction-peter-schweizer-2011-11 )

My guess is that Obama is attempting to head off in the pass what otherwise would be a Palin led attack in the 2012 election. Counterintuitive as it is, the republicans may see that further diminishing the historically low confidence in Congress is good for the anti-Government wing of the Republican party. Not to mention - it could make the ethics rules tighter which was one of the things Obama did as a Senator. Oddly, this might be the only regulation the republicans are for.

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