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Progressive Politics in Minnesota, the Nation, and the World

Palin Is Clearly Not Ready...Will That Hurt Women Candidates?

Category: Sarah Palin
Posted: 09/12/08 12:31

by Dave Mindeman

Sarah Palin had no idea what the Bush docrtrine is. Does it matter as to readiness to be President? Yes. Will it matter to the electorate? Don't know.

Gov. Sarah Palin may be a fine and popular Governor, but she is not ready to be a major political candidate. Maybe they can coach her into looking like it, but even that is a tall order for the 60 day sprint.

But there are a number of political points to ponder here.

(1) McCain's Vetting Process was non-existent. It looks more and more like John McCain chose Sarah Palin at the last minute to give credence to his desire to "shake things up". She was on his final list but I doubt she was going to make the final cut -- not until the very end. It really was a dice roll -- and it still might come up seven.

(2) Policy wise, Gov. Palin is ready to be Governor, but not President. She understands her state politics welll and in that sphere is well versed and brilliant. But I doubt that even she has thought of herself as a VP possibility. She assumed, and probably rightly so, that the national microscope would be down the road somewhere.

(3) Will the Electorate still give her a pass? I get the feeling that the general public is kind of "rooting" for her. The McCain campaign is encouraging that persona by playing "victim" politics....her against the media. It is a very sexist ploy if you ask me, but so far it has been working. She may be getting a pass on the first couple of missteps, but that will not play well for long. Her debate with Biden looms larger than ever.

This candidacy concerns me. It is why I post on it so much. First, because she is clearly not ready for the job. Second, the McCain campaign is using her as a gender smokescreen. The cynical way they hide her from the press is demeaning. And third, I fear that the Palin candidacy may affect future prospects for women candidates at this level. Forcing a woman who is clearly not ready into this type of campaign, may make for a tougher bar for other women to overcome.

And so we continue....
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Palin Interview Watch: She Gets a C-...So Far

Category: Sarah Palin
Posted: 09/11/08 22:32, Edited: 09/11/08 22:33

by Dave Mindeman

I saw some of the clips of the Gibson interview with Sarah Palin. I am sure that everyone will interpret it via their own prism, but a couple of things are clear:

1) She had no clue as to what the Bush Doctrine is. She was completely stunned when Gibson asked her about it and was lucky that Gibson bailed her out and explained it to her.

2) I hope that she finds a better nuance for our NATO obligations than going directly to war....but I'll give her a pass on it because "technically" that is the way the treaty would be narrowly interpreted.

3) She did a skillful political job of skirting the mission of God question. But evangelicals get a lot of practice at saying one thing to the public and another in church.

4) The "meeting a foreign leader" question won't affect anything much, but the fact that she has not met one and still thinks being close to Russia via the Bering Straight is somehow a qualification just shows how little she knows about foreign affairs. However, I doubt anyone will care and the spin will be to criticize Gibson for asking such a "mean" question.

Republicans will still love her and Democrats will continue to be critical. But the fact is this -- She needs a lot of on the job training. And just so you know, I said that about Dan Quayle, too.
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Norm Coleman's Outrage on Tax Evasion Rings Hollow

Category: Norm Coleman
Posted: 09/11/08 14:02

By Dave Mindeman

The Wall Street Journal has a story about the release of a report from the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations (yes, that would be ranking member Norm Coleman's committee) about the ongoing corporate offshore corporate tax dodge. It reads:

Some of the country's biggest investment banks and brokerage firms -- including Morgan Stanley, Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., Citigroup Inc. and Merrill Lynch & Co. -- marketed allegedly abusive transactions that helped foreign hedge-fund investors avoid billions of dollars in U.S. taxes over the past decade, according to a report by Senate investigators.

Lehman Brothers, Citigroup.....don't you find it a bit ironic that these big banks are scheming and plotting their way to save their clients billions of dollars in taxes they owe, but now are counting on the taxpayers they bilked to bail them out?

Norm Coleman, the watchdog, had to comment:

The Associated Press reports that Sen. Norm Coleman of Minnesota, the ranking Republican on the committee, took the agency (the IRS) to task for allowing the practice to go on for as long as it did. Coleman said it was "especially troubling that the IRS has failed to address many of these problems for so long," AP reported.

Yes, these problems HAVE gone on far too long. Let's go down memory lane, shall we?

Financial Page of New Yorker-- April 22, 2002

Promoters push "layered trusts," "offshore asset-protection trusts," and "constitutional pure trusts." If you spend a few minutes on the Internet trolling for tax scams, you'll come away convinced that everyone is cheating Uncle Sam but you. The problem with such schemes, for your average taxpayer, is that they're illegal. If you want to avoid taxes with impunity, hide millions in offshore banks, and contentedly snub the tax authorities of your home country, you need to be something more than an ordinary citizen. You need to be a corporation.

Chairman of Senate Permanent SubCommittee on Investigations in 2002 is Norm Coleman.

Turncoats in Bermuda Shorts by Arianna Huffington in Salon.com -- 3/12/2003 during the March to War

... no issue is more emblematic of this administration's perverted domestic priorities than its scandalous refusal, in a time of soaring deficits, to stop corporations and wealthy individuals from cheating the public out of billions of dollars a year by either reincorporating offshore or simply hiding their profits in offshore subsidiaries. While our young men and women are ready to lay down their lives on the sands of Iraq, these companies are allowed to avoid paying their fair share by hightailing it to the sands of Bermuda.

Chairman of Senate Permanent SubCommittee on Investigations in 2003 is Norm Coleman.

The Biggest Tax Cheats 4/13/2005 (Boston Globe)

How can we possibly reduce the federal deficit and find enough money for high-quality public services without raising everyone's taxes? Actually, there's a remarkably easy solution. The government just needs to get serious about collecting money from tax cheats. And this doesn't mean audits of ordinary taxpayers or mom-and-pop businesses -- that's not where the big cheating is.
Much of it is in the form of very complex tax shelters, deliberately designed to make the tax evasion techniques so complicated that auditors have trouble figuring out what's legal and what isn't. Much of the rest happens overseas, where affiliates of US corporations arrange to book their profits in tax havens with which the United States has no enforcement treaty. The Internal Revenue Service recently released a report estimating that taxes owed but not collected in 2001 (the last year studied) ranged from $312 billion to $353 billion. That didn't even count much of the tax evasion by US firms offshore.


Chairman of Senate Permanent SubCommittee on Investigations in 2005 is Norm Coleman.

PayPal Names Names as IRS Chases Tax Evaders -- 11/06/2005 (The Independent --Business Section)

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is demanding records of customers using Paypal through offshore accounts in all tax havens, including Jersey, Guernsey, Isle of Man, Gibraltar and other UK dependencies. According to the IRS, PayPal's services have proved very attractive to tax evaders and the problem is growing. Customers can buy goods from eBay and many other shopping websites, pay for them from untaxed income held offshore and get the goods sent to their home address.

Chairman of Senate Permanent SubCommittee on Investigations in 2005 is Norm Coleman.


Swiss Fight against Tax Cheats --Aids Singapore's Banking Quest 2/6/2006

(Note: Switzerland cracks down...so the money just moves...and without much effort to hide it)

For decades, the ultrarich looking for discreet banking services gravitated to Switzerland, where account secrecy was sacrosanct. But when Swiss authorities acceded to pressure from the European Union to discourage tax evasion, the door opened for a new challenger to woo the world's wealthy: Singapore. The tiny Asian nation has beefed up account secrecy protections, has changed trust laws and has begun allowing foreigners who meet minimum wealth requirements to purchase land and become residents. Now private-banking money is flooding in from at least three sources: Asians who have grown rich from the booming Asia-Pacific economy, foreigners seeking to invest and do business in Asia, and Europeans moving money from Switzerland for tax purposes.

Chairman of Senate Permanent SubCommittee on Investigations in 2006 is Norm Coleman.

********************************************

Yes, Senator Coleman, tax evasion by corporations is a big problem but it is not a new one. Expressing outrage rings very hollow from a person who has had 6 years to do something about it.....but didn't.
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