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Old 03-15-2008, 11:40 PM   #166
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It has been said that "he who lives by the sword shall die by the sword." And in the case of Eliot Spitzer this couldn't be more true. In his case it's the political sword, as his enemies rejoice in his downfall. Most people, it seems, believe he got exactly what he deserved.

The illegal tools of the state brought Spitzer down, but think of all the harm done by Spitzer in using the same tools against so many other innocent people. He practiced what could be termed "economic McCarthyism," using illegitimate government power to build his political career on the ruined lives of others.

No matter how morally justified his comeuppance may be, his downfall demonstrates the worst of our society. The possibility of uncovering personal moral wrongdoing is never a justification for the government to spy on our every move and to participate in sting operations.

For government to entice a citizen to break a law with a sting operation – that is, engaging in activities that a private citizen is prohibited by law from doing – is unconscionable and should clearly be illegal.

Though Spitzer used the same tools to destroy individuals charged with economic crimes that ended up being used against him, gloating over his downfall should not divert our attention from the fact that the government spying on American citizens is unworthy of a country claiming respect for liberty and the Fourth Amendment.

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Old 03-16-2008, 09:28 PM   #167
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"Like every other American, I was stunned by the fall of Elliot Spitzer. Of course I feel terrible for his family and for him. He fought the law and the law won.

But something sinister is happening here and it scares me.

Governor Spitzer was elected by an immense majority in the third most populous state. He got millions of votes. Now he's out of a job and in disgrace, and a man the voters did not vote for as governor is governor.

Why? Because some nosy civil servants at the IRS started a fishing expedition against Spitzer because they suspected he might be moving around money for political bribes.

So they wiretapped him and they found he was using the money he was moving around to buy the services of prostitutes.

Now, this is illegal in most states, and clearly it is in New York and in DC. But let's be honest: Men hire prostitutes by the thousands, maybe tens of thousands, every day They also bring women across state lines for sex every day.

The punishment for the men who hire hookers is usually nil, or at most a small fine close to what you'd get for a traffic ticket.

However, in Governor Spitzer's case, he got outed, humiliated, disgraced in front of his family, and then the voters lost the guy they voted for.

It is deeply scary to me that a few employees of the federal executive branch can start a train rolling that has such immense effects on the electoral process. Basically, a few career civil servants have nullified the will of the voters of the Empire State (over something clearly wrong, I don't doubt that, but it's not a political crime, not treason, not terrorism).

Having elected officials kicked out of office by appointed officials is a very dicey proposition. Over hiring prostitutes?

I strongly suspect that if the feds followed a hundred young male elected officials around for a year, they would find some sexual hanky panky among a lot of them, and some money or gifts changing hands often. If the feds prosecuted them all, it would basically mean that federal prosecutors have a veto over the electoral process.

That is dangerous.

More will be revealed but it all scares me. Elections are a lot more important than call girls."

-CBS This morning, 03/16/2008, by Ben Stein

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Old 03-18-2008, 12:28 AM   #168
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uh-oh. looks like someone else had s-e-x, and is unfit to govern.

[q]The thunderous applause was still ringing in his ears when the state's new governor, David Paterson, told the Daily News that he and his wife had extramarital affairs.

In a stunning revelation, both Paterson, 53, and his wife, Michelle, 46, acknowledged in a joint interview they each had intimate relationships with others during a rocky period in their marriage several years ago.

In the course of several interviews in the past few days, Paterson said he maintained a relationship for two or three years with "a woman other than my wife," beginning in 1999.

As part of that relationship, Paterson said, he and the other woman sometimes stayed at an upper West Side hotel — the Days Inn at Broadway and W. 94th St.

He said members of his Albany legislative staff often used the same hotel when they visit the city.

"This was a marriage that appeared to be going sour at one point," Paterson conceded in his first interview Saturday. "But I went to counseling and we decided we wanted to make it work. Michelle is well aware of what went on."

In a second interview with Paterson and his wife Monday, only hours after he was sworn in to replace scandal-scarred Eliot Spitzer, Michelle Paterson confirmed her husband's account.

"Like most marriages, you go through certain difficult periods," Michelle Paterson said. "What's important is for your kids to see you worked them out."

The First Couple agreed to speak publicly about the difficulties in their marriage in response to a variety of rumors about Paterson's personal life that have been circulating in Albany and among the press corps in recent days.

They spoke in the governor's office even as scores of friends, family members and political supporters were celebrating in the corridors of the Capitol his ascension to the state's highest post.

Given the call-girl scandal that erupted last week and forced Spitzer's stunning resignation, Paterson conceded that top government officials are bound to come under closer scrutiny for their personal actions.

The governor flatly denied what he called a "sporadic rumor in Albany that I had a love child" by another woman. "That's just not true," he said.

"Don't you think he'd take care of a child if he'd had one?" Michelle Paterson said, in obvious disgust over that persistent rumor.

The romantic relationship he did have, Paterson said, lasted until sometime in 2001. He did not identify the former girlfriend.

Asked if he had stayed with anyone else since 2001 at the same West Side hotel, Paterson said, "From time to time I used to take Michelle to that hotel."

While Michelle Paterson did not speak much Monday, she touched on the subjects of marriage and infidelity in an interview last week with my colleague, Heidi Evans.

"I feel life is very fragile," she said. "You never know what could happen. That is why you shouldn't judge people.

When asked if she worried about "other women," given how much time she and her husband spend apart, she replied, "Not really. I have a philosophy in life: You have to let people live their life. I feel my husband loves me and is devoted to the family. And I know he loves me. I am not going to worry about that stuff."

He and his wife went to the West Side Days Inn when they were trying to rekindle the romance in their marriage, he said.

They did so after a marriage counselor he used recommended they introduce "new and exciting things" into their relationship, Paterson said, and so they could be alone and away from their children.

"It's convenient since it's only four subway stops from my Harlem office," Paterson said.

Asked if he had used government or campaign funds to pay for any rendezvous with his former girlfriend, Paterson said he had not.

All this, of course, would normally be considered part of the private life of any government official.

But after the sordid saga of Eliot Spitzer, and the ever-wackier escapades of former New Jersey Gov. Jim McGreevey and his estranged wife, Dina, it seems no political leader can escape the magnifying glass that is destined to be placed over his personal life.

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Old 03-18-2008, 01:04 AM   #169
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who cares

unless they can take him down
and get the Republican leader in the NY Senate appointed Governor.
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Old 03-19-2008, 11:14 AM   #170
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The $200 billion bail-out for predator banks and Spitzer charges are intimately linked

By Greg Palast
Reporting for Air America Radio’s Clout

Listen to Palast on Clout at www.GregPalast.com

While New York Governor Eliot Spitzer was paying an ‘escort’ $4,300 in a hotel room in Washington, just down the road, George Bush’s new Federal Reserve Board Chairman, Ben Bernanke, was secretly handing over $200 billion in a tryst with mortgage bank industry speculators.

Both acts were wanton, wicked and lewd. But there’s a BIG difference. The Governor was using his own checkbook. Bush’s man Bernanke was using ours.

This week, Bernanke’s Fed, for the first time in its history, loaned a selected coterie of banks one-fifth of a trillion dollars to guarantee these banks’ mortgage-backed junk bonds. The deluge of public loot was an eye-popping windfall to the very banking predators who have brought two million families to the brink of foreclosure.

Up until Wednesday, there was one single, lonely politician who stood in the way of this creepy little assignation at the bankers’ bordello: Eliot Spitzer.

Who are they kidding? Spitzer’s lynching and the bankers’ enriching are intimately tied.

How? Follow the money.

The press has swallowed Wall Street’s line that millions of US families are about to lose their homes because they bought homes they couldn’t afford or took loans too big for their wallets. Ba-LON-ey. That’s blaming the victim.

Here’s what happened. Since the Bush regime came to power, a new species of loan became the norm, the ‘sub-prime’ mortgage and it’s variants including loans with teeny “introductory” interest rates. From out of nowhere, a company called ‘Countrywide’ became America’s top mortgage lender, accounting for one in five home loans, a large chuck of these ‘sub-prime.’

Here’s how it worked: The Grinning Family, with US average household income, gets a $200,000 mortgage at 4% for two years. Their $955 a month payment is 25% of their income. No problem. Their banker promises them a new mortgage, again at the cheap rate, in two years. But in two years, the promise ain’t worth a can of spam and the Grinnings are told to scram - because their house is now worth less than the mortgage. Now, the mortgage hits 9% or $1,609 plus fees to recover the “discount” they had for two years. Suddenly, payments equal 42% to 50% of pre-tax income. Grinnings move into their Toyota.

Now, what kind of American is ‘sub-prime.’ Guess. No peeking. Here’s a hint: 73% of HIGH INCOME Black and Hispanic borrowers were given sub-prime loans versus 17% of similar-income Whites. Dark-skinned borrowers aren’t stupid – they had no choice. They were ‘steered’ as it’s called in the mortgage sharking business.

‘Steering,’ sub-prime loans with usurious kickers, fake inducements to over-borrow, called ‘fraudulent conveyance’ or ‘predatory lending’ under US law, were almost completely forbidden in the olden days (Clinton Administration and earlier) by federal regulators and state laws as nothing more than fancy loan-sharking.

But when the Bush regime took over, Countrywide and its banking brethren were told to party hardy – it was OK now to steer’m, fake’m, charge’m and take’m.

But there was this annoying party-pooper. The Attorney General of New York, Eliot Spitzer, who sued these guys to a fare-thee-well. Or tried to.

Instead of regulating the banks that had run amok, Bush’s regulators went on the warpath against Spitzer and states attempting to stop predatory practices. Making an unprecedented use of the legal power of “federal pre-emption,” Bush-bots ordered the states to NOT enforce their consumer protection laws.

Indeed, the feds actually filed a lawsuit to block Spitzer’s investigation of ugly racial mortgage steering. Bush’s banking buddies were especially steamed that Spitzer hammered bank practices across the nation using New York State laws.

Spitzer not only took on Countrywide, he took on their predatory enablers in the investment banking community. Behind Countrywide was the Mother Shark, its funder and now owner, Bank of America. Others joined the sharkfest: Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch and Citigroup’s Citibank made mortgage usury their major profit centers. They did this through a bit of financial legerdemain called “securitization.”

What that means is that they took a bunch of junk mortgages, like the Grinnings, loans about to go down the toilet and re-packaged them into “tranches” of bonds which were stamped “AAA” - top grade - by bond rating agencies. These gold-painted turds were sold as sparkling safe investments to US school district pension funds and town governments in Finland (really).

When the housing bubble burst and the paint flaked off, investors were left with the poop and the bankers were left with bonuses. Countrywide’s top man, Angelo Mozilo, will ‘earn’ a $77 million buy-out bonus this year on top of the $656 million - over half a billion dollars – he pulled in from 1998 through 2007.

But there were rumblings that the party would soon be over. Angry regulators, burned investors and the weight of millions of homes about to be boarded up were causing the sharks to sink. Countrywide’s stock was down 50%, and Citigroup was off 38%, not pleasing to the Gulf sheiks who now control its biggest share blocks.

Then, on Wednesday of this week, the unthinkable happened. Carlyle Capital went bankrupt. Who? That’s Carlyle as in Carlyle Group. James Baker, Senior Counsel. Notable partners, former and past: George Bush, the Bin Laden family and more dictators, potentates, pirates and presidents than you can count.

The Fed had to act. Bernanke opened the vault and dumped $200 billion on the poor little suffering bankers. They got the public treasure – and got to keep the Grinning’s house. There was no ‘quid’ of a foreclosure moratorium for the ‘pro quo’ of public bail-out. Not one family was saved – but not one banker was left behind.

Every mortgage sharking operation shot up in value. Mozilo’s Countrywide stock rose 17% in one day. The Citi sheiks saw their company’s stock rise $10 billion in an afternoon.

And that very same day the bail-out was decided – what a coinkydink! – the man called, ‘The Sheriff of Wall Street’ was cuffed. Spitzer was silenced.

Do I believe the banks called Justice and said, “Take him down today!” Naw, that’s not how the system works. But the big players knew that unless Spitzer was taken out, he would create enough ruckus to spoil the party. Headlines in the financial press – one was “Wall Street Declares War on Spitzer” - made clear to Bush’s enforcers at Justice who their number one target should be. And it wasn’t Bin Laden.

It was the night of February 13 when Spitzer made the bone-headed choice to order take-out in his Washington Hotel room. He had just finished signing these words for the Washington Post about predatory loans:

“Not only did the Bush administration do nothing to protect consumers, it embarked on an aggressive and unprecedented campaign to prevent states from protecting their residents from the very problems to which he federal government was turning a blind eye.”

Bush, said Spitzer right in the headline, was the “Predator Lenders’ Partner in Crime.” The President, said Spitzer, was a fugitive from justice. And Spitzer was in Washington to launch a campaign to take on the Bush regime and the biggest financial powers on the planet.

Spitzer wrote, “When history tells the story of the subprime lending crisis and recounts its devastating effects on the lives of so many innocent homeowners the Bush administration will not be judged favorably.”

But now, the Administration can rest assured that this love story – of Bush and his bankers - will not be told by history at all – now that the Sheriff of Wall Street has fallen on his own gun.

A note on “Prosecutorial Indiscretion.”

Back in the day when I was an investigator of racketeers for government, the federal prosecutor I was assisting was deciding whether to launch a case based on his negotiations for airtime with 60 Minutes. I’m not allowed to tell you the prosecutor’s name, but I want to mention he was recently seen shouting, “Florida is Rudi country! Florida is Rudi country!”

Not all crimes lead to federal bust or even public exposure. It’s up to something called “prosecutorial discretion.”

Funny thing, this ‘discretion.’ For example, Senator David Vitter, Republican of Louisiana, paid Washington DC prostitutes to put him diapers (ewww!), yet the Senator was not exposed by the US prosecutors busting the pimp-ring that pampered him.
Naming and shaming and ruining Spitzer – rarely done in these cases - was made at the ‘discretion’ of Bush’s Justice Department.

Or maybe we should say, 'indiscretion.'

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Old 03-20-2008, 05:26 PM   #171
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Playgirl has offered to make former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer "a very attractive offer" to pose for their magazine. On a posting today on the Playgirl blog, the mag invited Spitzer to show them "what you saved for such a select few," dangling the $1 million figure offered by Hustler to callgirl Ashley Alexandra Dupré, whom Spitzer first met as "Kristen" and who has since been revealed happily offering up the goods for free on various "Girls Gone Wild" videotapes.

Here's the post that went online earlier today on "playgirlmag.wordpress.com," which ETP has confirmed actually IS the blog of Playgirl Magazine:

Dear Eliot,

It's not fair. We've been watching you; and we've seen how you've been crucified by the mass media, conservatives, and Republicans. We've stood by as your call-girl was offered $1 million by Hustler to show the world what she's already been showing the world for a whole lot less.

We think you've had a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad week. But we've been thinking.

Your political career is sadly over; and you owe a lot of money to a lot of people. Hell, you may land in jail before too long. So consider this letter a brief note of urgency.

How about making some loot back, by showing us what you saved for such a select few? How about strutting your sexuality, and defending your right to get down for the magazine and Playgirl.com? Couldn't you use a little rent money right about now? Seriously — get in touch with us. We're ready to make you a very attractive offer. Someone get Spitzer on the line: Playgirl needs him naked, now.
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Old 03-20-2008, 05:49 PM   #172
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Originally posted by deep
who cares

unless they can take him down
and get the Republican leader in the NY Senate appointed Governor.

interesting, it seems the new governor has seen* a lot of excitement -the last few years

I wonder if the GOP didn't think they had a twofer here
before this man fessed up
that he is walking viagra ;up; ;way up;
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Old 03-24-2008, 07:32 AM   #173
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Girls Will Be Girls. Or Not.

Why aren't more powerful public women caught up in sex scandals?

Julia Baird
Updated: 1:04 PM ET Mar 22, 2008

Catherine the Great was a woman with an extravagant, exacting sexual appetite. During the 34 years of her reign, she had a host of young, well-trained lovers—many of them soldiers—who were paid handsomely for sating her, and were often rewarded with plum positions on her court, or gifts of property or serfs. Her libido was so legendary that when she died of a stroke in 1796, rumor spread quickly that she had been crushed under the weight of a stallion she was attempting to have sex with. It's a myth that has endured, and serves as a reminder of our fascination with powerful, sexual women: will they stop at nothing?

The question is, as another round of public sex scandals unfolds, where are these women today? The confessions of Eliot Spitzer and David Paterson—the man who, on the same day he replaced Spitzer, admitted to past affairs—pale when compared with tales of the Russian empress. Yet while there has been a spate of men caught with their pants around their ankles in recent years, political scientists scratch their heads when asked to come up with a female equivalent for the men (Spitzer, former New Jersey governor Jim McGreevey) the New York tabs have dubbed "Luv Guvs."

There have been only a handful of minor scandals involving women in public office in America, and most of them have been due to love affairs, not casual—or commercial—liaisons. In 1989, when Sue Myrick was running for re-election as mayor of Charlotte, N.C., she confessed to having had a relationship with her husband while he was still married to another woman in 1973. (She went on to win the election.) In 1998, shortly after U.S. Rep. Helen Chenoweth, a Republican from Idaho, began airing anti-Clinton advertisements insisting "personal conduct does count," she admitted to having had a six-year affair in the 1980s with a married man who later worked on her congressional staff. In 2004, state Rep. Katherine Bryson of Utah was caught with a lover on a surveillance camera; her then husband set it up to catch a burglar, he said. She called it an abuse of power because county employees had been used to install the equipment, but a police investigation cleared her husband of wrongdoing. (Internationally, one notable standout was an escapade in Taiwan, where tapes of politician Chu Mei-feng having sex with a married lover were leaked in 2001. She apologized and resigned.)

Hardly the stuff of tabloid dreams. It's certainly not as exciting as stolen hours at the Days Inn (Paterson), cigars in the Oval Office (Bill Clinton), a stripper nicknamed the "Argentine Firecracker" (Arkansas Rep. Wilbur Mills) or trysts with $4,000-an-hour prostitutes (Spitzer).

Some women say the lack of scandal is another reason more women should be elected. Former White House press secretary Dee Dee Myers, author of "Why Women Should Rule the World," says: "I'm confident predicting there would be fewer sex scandals if women were in power … I don't think Hillary Clinton is going to be hitting on the intern." But as morally superior as women are supposed to be, there is evidence to show they are led by their libidos, too: Prince Charles may have had Camilla, but Diana had plenty of lovers as well. Tom W. Smith, of the National Opinion Research Center at University of Chicago, says that when it comes to infidelity, "there is some sign that women may be closing the gap with men."

Why, then, are so few women in politics embroiled in tabloid tales? The obvious answer is numbers: while there are 86 women in Congress, and one in four state politicians is female, few are prominent enough to attract savage media scrutiny. Some insist it can be explained by basic biology. Feminist author Robin Morgan says men "stow their brains in their crotches. Women do seem to approach work differently. And women tend to regard sex differently. They like to at least like the person."

But surely part of the reason is that, historically, women who stray have suffered more than men who do. Men are often forgiven more easily—their dalliances are considered a lapse, an uncontrollable urge. Gunnbjorg Lavoll, a psychiatrist at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine, says the assumption that men will be "naughty" is built into phrases like "boys will be boys." "Do you hear 'girls will be girls'?" asks Lavoll. "No. The social consequences for women are much harsher. What kind of woman would abandon her children?"

When Edwina Currie, a British politician, disclosed a four-year affair with her Conservative colleague John Major in her 2002 "Diaries," she was roundly condemned. (Major said his wife knew and had forgiven him.) A newspaper poll showed 88 percent disapproved of her decision to reveal the affair—and while only a third thought worse of him, half thought worse of her. So perhaps women are just being smart by avoiding, or concealing, illicit or abundant sexual activity. A harem of young soldiers might not be a huge advantage when it comes to Election Day.
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Old 03-24-2008, 04:12 PM   #174
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diamond, you're up to your conservative talk again dammit!
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Old 03-24-2008, 04:14 PM   #175
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I saw on the news last night that the new governor is in trouble.

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