Sarah Palin Might Need To Hike Her Skirts Higher As Money Train Slows Down

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The cash cow had to end sometime.   One has to wonder exactly what those who still contribute to Sarah Palin expect to get from their investment.

Sarah Palin’s political action committee brought in just over $460,000 during the first half of 2013, well short of its fundraising totals for the same period in previous years.  Campaign finance disclosures show Palin’s SarahPAC ended June with about $1.1 million available.

The New Yorker Cover About Anthony Weiner Says All That Needs Saying

This magazine always scores with their cover!

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The Human Story Of Bradley Manning

Front page, and above the fold in The New York Times.

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I have felt over the years as the Bradley Manning story has played out how he should have had better advice from his parents when it came time to enter the military.  A small-framed man who is gay is not the best mix for the jar neck crowd.  It should not have to be that way, but that is unfortunately how it still is.  The back story to how Manning came to be in a situation where he was confronted with the brutality of war while waging his own internal struggles is a sad one.  As I said when writing about him before, I wish Manning some way to find peace.

That story involved the child of a severed home, a teenager bullied for his conflicted sexuality whose father, a conservative retired soldier, and mother, a Welsh woman who never adjusted to life in Oklahoma, bounced their child back and forth between places where he never fit in.       

Private Manning was a misfit as well in the Army, which he joined in the hope of gaining technical skills and an education, and which eventually sent him to Contingency Operating Station Hammer, a remote post east of Baghdad, where he had access to some of the nation’s deepest military and diplomatic secrets. In early 2010, he covertly downloaded gun-camera videos, battle logs and tens of thousands of State Department cables onto flash drives while lip-syncing the words to Lady Gaga songs.

While larger questions about government secrecy and the role of the news media in the Internet age swirl around the case, the roots of Private Manning’s behavior may spring as much from his troubled youth as from his political views.       

He spent much of his childhood alone, playing video games or huddled in front of a computer when he was living with his mother in Haverfordwest, Wales. He was teased relentlessly there for his foreign ways and began to act out in school.

After several outbursts, his mother sent him back to Oklahoma, where he worked briefly at a computer software store. But several angry clashes with his father — which some friends attributed to his father’s disapproval of his sexual identity — landed him on the streets, living in his car.

Eventually, he made his way into the Army, which seized on his computer skills and trained him as an intelligence analyst. While stationed at Fort Drum, N.Y., friends said in interviews, Private Manning met a student from Brandeis University named Tyler Watkins, and fell in love. Some of Mr. Watkins’s friends were part of a burgeoning hacker community at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.       

That community, friends said, embraced the young Army private: his geeky fascination with computers, his liberal political opinions and his sexual orientation.       

While he seemed to thrive in that world, his military career was tarnished by violent outbursts. While serving on a base east of Baghdad, he was reprimanded twice, including once for assaulting an officer, and he complained in e-mails of being “regularly ignored by his superiors” unless they needed him to fetch more coffee.       

Private Manning rebelled quietly, friends said, wearing a dog tag that said “Humanist” and keeping a toy fairy wand on his desk. Then, surreptitiously, beginning in late 2009 or early 2010, he began downloading thousands of government documents. He considered leaking them to The New York Times, The Washington Post or Politico, but decided to contact WikiLeaks in February 2010, several months into his deployment.

Mr. Manning has reacted stoically to the conditions of his imprisonment, much of it in solitary confinement, although others, including his legal team and Amnesty International, have loudly protested his treatment. In one of his chats with Mr. Lamo, he contemplated a life behind bars, which could be especially difficult for him because of his struggles with his gender identity.       

“I wouldn’t mind going to prison for the rest of my life,” he wrote to Mr. Lamo, “or being executed so much, if it wasn’t for the possibility of having pictures of me plastered all over the world press as a boy.”

“Our Nixon” Coming To CNN August 1st

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Three of President Richard Nixon’s top aides documented their experiences at the White House with home movie cameras. Now, that footage seized by the FBI during the Watergate investigation is presented in a new documentary along with other rare footage and interviews. CNN Films’ “Our Nixon” will present a new look at the Nixon presidency at 9 p.m. ET Thursday, August

Director Penny Lane uses 500 reels of Super 8 home movies filmed by the three top aides, H.R. Haldeman, John Ehrlichman, and Dwight Chapin. during their time in the Nixon White House before they were incarcerated on conspiracy and perjury charges for their part in the Watergate scandal.

Bradley Manning Found Not Guilty Of Aiding The Enemy

My second cousin Bradley Manning was found not guilty by a military court today of aiding the enemy.  I am VERY GLAD to hear this news.  The verdict from the judge overseeing Manning’s court-martial means he dodged a life sentence. He has already pleaded guilty to nearly a dozen lesser charges that could carry a sentence of up to 20 years behind bars.  In a statement to the court this year, Manning said that the information he passed on “upset” or “disturbed” him but he didn’t think any of it would harm the United States if it became public. He said he thought the documents were old and the situations in them had changed or ended.

New York Mayoral Candidate Anthony Weiner Talks About Election And Sexting Scandal

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One of those must-reads was in the press this morning.  The New York Daily News had an interview with Anthony Weiner, and a wide range of issues came up for conversation.    Some of it seems insightful, and other parts are pure crazy wrapped in ego.  I continue to think the only proper thing Weiner can do for the people he professes to care about, the voters, is to resign.

Q. Did you think the second shoe dropping would cause so much  uproar?

A. I knew it would be bad. It’s too easy this stuff. The puns. The jokes.  The institutional frustration that I was doing well in the race. Look at the  tenor of the editorials before this second wave. Shaking the voters by the  lapels and saying “Why are you voting for this Weiner guy?” They couldn’t  understand that my message was reaching people. So now that they have something  on which to hang their righteousness. I guess I’m not surprised. I’ve been in  this business too long not to know it would be bad. It’s not like some outside  force did this to me. I did this to myself. This is my private life that is now  public. Sometimes that happens when you’re in public life. Voters know more  about me than they know about any of the candidates. If the press wants to  continue to talk about this stuff it will make it harder for me. But if I wanted  it to be easy I wouldn’t be running for mayor.

King Richard III “Coffin Within a Coffin”

Most intriguing.

First came the dramatic discovery of the long-lost remains of King Richard III.

Now, there’s the mystery of the coffin within the coffin.

Archaeologists working at the site in central England where Richard III’s body was found underneath a parking lot are currently puzzling over a sealed lead coffin containing the remains of a yet-to-be-identified person.

The lead coffin was found encased in a larger stone coffin.

The smaller coffin is intact “except for a hole at one end of the casket through which we could tantalizingly see someone’s feet,” said Mathew Morris, the fieldwork director at the site.

The archaeologists who undertook a new dig this summer think the double coffin, located near Richard’s grave, was buried during the 14th century, more than 100 years before Richard was killed at the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485.

Of the coffin’s three likely occupants, Swynsfeld died in 1272, William of Nottingham died in 1330 and Sir William de Moton died between 1356 and 1362.

Madison Bishop Morlino Needs To Call Pope Francis For Update on Gays

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News came from the Pope today that is making headlines around the world.   This just one day after the Wisconsin State Journal had a front page story about Madison Bishop Robert Morlino who uttered the words that homosexual behavior was “a behavior that can never be justified.”

Pope Francis said he will not “judge” gays and lesbians, and that also included gay priests.  No one with a pulse can miss the sharp shift from his predecessor about the topic of gay men and women.  Even Morlino must recognize that there is an attempt by the Pope to bridge the needless, hurtful, and damaging words and deeds of the Catholic Church.

“If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?” were the words from the Pope as he fielded questions from the press.

The tone and style of Pope Francis is one that allows for inclusion and sanity whereas his predecessor, Benedict XVI was stiff, stern, and scornful.

As one who advocates for openness and transparency from politicians and others with power, there was no way for me not to smile today when Francis took nearly 90 minutes to answer questions of the papal reporters.  This was in stark contrast to the very few questions that were able to be asked of Benedict during his time with the Fisherman’s Ring, and even those had to be submitted in advance!  There seems to be a new day dawning in Rome, and many are welcoming the change.

The Pope’s words are so different from what Morlino says.  Please note the difference.

Pope Francis says “When I meet a gay person, I have to distinguish between their being gay and being part of a lobby. If they accept the Lord and have good will, who am I to judge them? They shouldn’t be marginalized. The tendency is not the problem … they’re our brothers.”

Meanwhile Morlino, as I noted in my blog post yesterday has made it known that legalization of gay marriage will eventually spell “the end of  democracy” and that the increasing acceptance of same-sex marriage is happening  because “Satan has a plan to destroy our country from within.”

Francis is trying to bring the church forward and change the tone and meanness that it has often exhibited.  As such, I trust Morlino has the Pope’s phone number.