Friday, August 29, 2008


McCain picks Alaska governor as running mate

updated 3 minutes ago

McCain picks Alaska governor as running mate

Sen. John McCain has picked Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate, CNN has learned. The 44-year-old Palin, now in her first term as governor, is a pioneering figure in Alaska, the first woman and the youngest person to hold the state's top political job. full story


Russian admiral: Our Black Sea fleet can destroy NATO’s group in 20 minutes

DEBKAfile Special Report

August 29, 2008, 7:56 PM (GMT+02:00)

Russian Navy missile practice in Black Sea

Russian Navy missile practice in Black Sea

Former Russian Black Sea Fleet commander, Adm. Eduard Baltin was quoted by Moscow media as saying Friday, Aug. 29: “Despite the apparent strength of the NATO naval group in the Black Sea… a single salvo from the Moskva missile cruiser and two or three missile boats would be enough to annihilate the entire group. Within 20 minutes, the waters would be clear.”

Adm. Baltin added: "We will not strike first, and they do not look like people with suicidal tendencies."

The Russian Fleet deploys 16 warships in the Black Sea compared with 10 NATO vessels – three American, Polish, German and Spanish frigates, and four Turkish warships, soon to be augmented by another six, including the USS Mount Whitney, which is considered one of the most advanced warships in the world.

In Washington, White House spokeswoman Dana Perino rejected Russian prime minister Vladimir Putin’s assertion that US personnel were in the combat zone during the war in Georgia and “someone in the United States” provoked the conflict to help one of the candidates in the American presidential race.

In his first major remark since the Georgian crisis erupted, Putin quoted information provided by the Russian military but offered no evidence. Perino called his allegations “patently false and “not rational.”



Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin Is McCain's VP Pick: Source

Posted By:John Harwood

By John Harwood , CNBC Political Correspondent | 29 Aug 2008 | 09:24 AM ET

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, a self-styled "hockey mom" who has only been governor for a little over a year, is GOP Presidential candidate John McCain's choice for Vice President, CNBC has learned.

According to a Republican strategist, Palin is the nominee, though McCain's campaign has not comfirmed this.

With an announcement scheduled in Dayton, Ohio, an associate of Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty said the governor had been informed he is not McCain's pick.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak for Pawlenty, who had all but ruled himself out.

"I'm not going to be there. I plan to be at the state fair. You can draw your conclusion from that," Pawlenty said on his weekly call-in radio show on WCCO-AM in Minneapolis.

He also called it "a fair assumption" that he will not be McCain's running mate.

Associates close to former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney were saying the same thing, telling The Associated Press that the former presidential candidate had not been offered the job by McCain.

Palin is a first-term governor credited with reforms of her out-of-the-way state.

Newly minted Democratic nominee Barack Obama is making an aggressive play for the traditional GOP stronghold and its three electoral votes, and polls show the race close.

At 44, Palin is younger than Obama and, like McCain, she calls herself a maverick.

A Gulfstream IV from Anchorage, Alaska, flew into Middletown Regional Airport in Butler County near Cincinnati about 10:15 p.m. Thursday, said Rich Bevis, airport manager.

He said several people came off the plane, including a woman and two teens, but there was no confirmation of who was aboard.

"They were pretty much hustled off. They came right down the ramp, jumped in some vans here and off they went," Bevis said. "It was all hush, hush."

Among the other possible running mates: former Pennsylvania Gov.Tom Ridge, Democrat-turned-independent Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut and former Rep. Rob Portman of Ohio.

The Arizona senator decided on his choice for vice president early Thursday, but the campaign has given no hint on the selection that will be announced on his 72nd birthday.

The speculation sent a buzz throughout Denver, where Obama accepted his party's nomination and put Sen. Joe Biden of Delaware on his ticket.

Jill Hazelbaker, McCain's communications director, gave nothing away during an interview on CBS' "The Early Show."

"John McCain is going to make the choice from his heart. He's going to choose someone who can be a partner in governing. He's going to choose someone who brings character and principle to the table and who shares his priorities. And I'm confident that he's going to make a great pick," Hazelbaker said.

Republicans kick off their national nominating convention next week in St. Paul, Minn., and McCain's campaign hopes the announcement of his running mate will stunt any momentum Obama might get from the just-concluded Democratic National Convention.

McCain was mum on the subject Thursday as he and his wife, Cindy, boarded a plane in Phoenix bound for Dayton.

—AP contributed to this report


Pakistan’s Government Collapses

August 29, 2008 | From

Political chaos and Islamist violence increases in Pakistan.

Pakistan’s five-month-old coalition government collapsed August 25 after its second-largest party pulled out of the ruling coalition. Not only does this worsen the country’s political crisis, but it will likely make the government even more ineffective in bringing Islamist terrorists under control in Pakistan.

If there was any doubt that a common dislike of President Pervez Musharraf was the only thing holding the fragile government coalition together, that was confirmed when former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League (pml-n) withdrew from the government just days after Musharraf’s forced resignation. Sharif accused the senior coalition partner, Asif Ali Zardari’s Pakistan People’s Party (ppp), of failing to honor promises to reinstate judges ousted by Musharraf.

The ppp should still be able to retain power by cobbling together smaller parties to form a new coalition government. Rivalry between the two main parties continues over who will be Pakistan’s president, though it is expected that Zardari, who is Benazir Bhutto’s widower, will likely win the post.

Just hours before the pml-n announced its decision to withdraw, the government banned several groups affiliated with the Taliban movement. The ban, however, does not include all Taliban groups, but only those the state has lost control over and that are connected to foreign terrorists. As such, according to Stratfor, it is no more than a formality, since it is difficult for anyone to distinguish between the various types of Taliban.

Moreover, with the pml-n sitting on the opposition benches, the government may find itself even more hamstrung than it has already been in taking effective action against the worsening Islamist insurgency in Pakistan. Sharif’s party had been pushing for negotiated settlements with militants and, as such, it is likely to try and thwart any tough moves against militants by the government.

Meanwhile, the Taliban have become increasingly bold, claiming responsibility for a wave of suicide attacks over recent days.

Record Islamist violence last year was followed by a brief lull following peace agreements made between the government and terrorist groups this February. True to form, it appears the terrorists only used that respite to prepare for more intensive attacks: In the last couple weeks, several suicide bombings have killed more than 100 people. On August 21, two suicide bombers attacked Pakistan’s biggest weapons factory, close to the capital of Islamabad, killing at least 67 people and wounding more than 200. A Taliban group claimed responsibility for the attack, which was one of the most violent incidents in the country’s history. In the latest attack, on Thursday, a bomb blew up a police bus in northwest Pakistan, killing at least 10 people.

Meanwhile, the offensive over recent weeks by Pakistani security forces against Islamic extremists in the northern Swat valley and in Bajaur, which has displaced thousands, is further turning public opinion against the state and its use of force against the Taliban.

A politically unstable Pakistan where Islamist terrorists are getting the upper hand means that the United States and nato are going to find it increasingly hard going in Afghanistan. Read “Democracy, Negotiations and Casualties” for more.


Cindy McCain's Half Sister: "I'm Voting for Barack Obama"

Thursday August 28, 2008

John McCain and Cindy McCain

DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images; Ted Robbins/NPR
Buzz up!

Cindy McCain's half sister is planning on voting for Barack Obama, she tells

"I'm not voting for McCain," Kathleen Hensley Portalski tells Us. "I have a different political standpoint.

"I'm voting for Obama," the Phoenix resident says. "I think his proposals to improve the country are more positive and I'm not a big war believer."

Portalski, 65, and the potential first lady, 54, have the same father: Jim Hensley, the founder of the beer distributor Hensley and Co. that Cindy McCain now chairs.

In an interview with NPR News' All Things Considered last week, Portalski said she felt "like a non-person" after Cindy McCain described herself as an "only child."

Portalski's mother is Hensley's first wife; Cindy McCain's mother, Marguerite Hensley, also had another daughter from her first marriage.

"She's kinda cool, standoffish," Portalski tells Us of her half sister.

Portalski also doesn't expect Cindy McCain to make an effort to reconcile their relationship.

"She never has, and I doubt that she ever will," she tells Us.

Portalski's son Nathan, a 45-year-old aerospace machinist, is also backing Obama.

"I wouldn't vote for John McCain if he was a Democrat," he tells Us. "I would not vote at all before I'd vote for him.

"I question whether Cindy is someone I'd want to see in the White House as first lady," he adds.


Previewscreensnapz001-11It comes as no huge shock to hear that the on-air bickering that has characterized MSNBC's coverage of the Democratic convention has carried over into behind-the-scenes tension and backbiting. The reports poured in last night. Politico quoted a "high-ranking journalist" who said "the situation at our channel is about to blow up." Jossip reported that both staff and top brass believe network host Keith Olbermann is way out of bounds in bashing other anchors.

And the Wall Street Journal quotes former MSNBC host Connie Chung thusly: "Grow up! They have to just grow up." Whose fault is all this? Probably MSNBC chief Phil Griffin, whose staff (judging from all the reports) have a hard a time trusting. Well, he is the fellow who keeps rather ridiculously insisting MSNBC isn't becoming the left-wing Fox News. But the Journal has found another guilty party: Tim Russert, who had to go and die:

The sudden death this summer of NBC News Washington bureau chief Tim Russert, who made frequent appearances on MSNBC, removed a political and temperamental rudder for the network. Mr. Griffin has tried to fill the power vacuum since, struggling to shepherd the network's big personalities through a period of transition.

"Struggling" is putting it mildly. The Democratic convention should be a crowning moment for the resurgent cable news network, which has otherwise been an also-ran since its founding 12 years ago. A little sparring would be one thing; conflict can goose ratings, even when it's wantonly self-indulgent.

But this is just a mess. Host Chris Matthews has oscillated wildly between cranky scolding of his coworkers and obsequious near-groveling to the Hillary Clinton supporters who detest him. Both of Joe Scarborough's high-profile rants were too long and tiresome to add spice. And half of what Olbermann says seems to end up on microphone accidentally. Now even shiny new anchor Rahel Maddow is being drawn into the muck (Jossip reports some staff demand she be more of an Olbermann partisan).

MSNBC needs more yelling (at misbehaving anchors) off the air and less yelling on it. Unless this fighting sends ratings through the roof. In that case, by all means, continue.


Muslims in fed terror probe making donations to Obama
Will candidate follow other Dems who gave back jihad-tied funds?

Posted: August 29, 2008
1:00 am Eastern

© 2008 WorldNetDaily

Jamal M. Barzinji

Islamic leaders tied by federal investigators to the radical Muslim Brotherhood in America – including one under active investigation for alleged terror-financing – have recently donated to Sen. Barack Obama's campaign for president, according to Federal Election Commission records reviewed by WND.

Jamal M. Barzinji earlier this year gave Obama $1,000, a gift that records show has not been returned. Other Democratic candidates, including Rep. Jim Moran, have refunded donations from Barzinji since federal agents raided his Virginia home and offices in the wake of the 9/11 attacks.

Obama's top Muslim adviser resigned earlier this month over controversy surrounding his ties to an alleged Muslim Brotherhood front connected to Barzinji, who heads a network of Islamic charities and businesses.

Barzinji remains at the center of an active federal investigation into terrorist financing that involves recently convicted terrorist supporter Sami al-Arian. A grand jury is still hearing the widening case in Northern Virginia.

A federal court affidavit alleges "Barzinji is not only closely associated with PIJ (as evidenced by ties to al-Arian, including documents seized in Tampa), but also with Hamas." The Palestinian Islamic Jihad, or PIJ, and Hamas are two known terrorist groups outlawed by the U.S.

Barzinji in November 2000 was arrested and charged with domestic abuse and resisting arrest, according to Fairfax County Police Department criminal records.

Nancy Luque, a Washington-based lawyer for Barzinji, says her client does not support terrorism and that the government is conducting a witch hunt. Barzinji has not been charged with a crime in the years-long probe.

According to recently declassified FBI documents posted by the Investigative Project on Terrorism, Barzinji and another board member of an Islamist think tank in Herndon, Va., were listed among "members and leaders of the IKHWAN."


Lawsuit questions Obama's eligibility for office

Citizenship claim at issue

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Pennsylvania's former deputy attorney general and Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton supporter Philip J. Berg has filed a lawsuit in federal court in Pennsylvania accusing presumptive Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama of lying about his U.S. citizenship, which would make him ineligible to be president.

Mr. Berg is one of a faction of Clinton supporters who haven't heeded the party's call for unity, filing the suit just days before the opening of the Democratic National Convention, which will nominate Mr. Obama as the party's presidential candidate.

The suit, filed in U.S. District Court in Philadelphia last week, also names the Democratic National Committee and the Federal Election Commission and says Mr. Obama´s mother went to Kenya late in her pregnancy and ended up giving birth there. It also claims that later in life, Mr. Obama declared himself a citizen of Indonesia.

The Obama campaign has firmly said the Illinois Democrat is a natural-born citizen. Last month, the campaign posted on Mr. Obama's Web site a copy of his "certification of live birth." It says he was born in Honolulu on Aug. 4, 1961, two years after Hawaii was named the 50th state.

Mr. Berg said he was contacted about filing the lawsuit by a member or associate of the group PUMA, which was formed to support Mrs. Clinton shortly after she withdrew from the race. Its mission includes denouncing the Democratic Party and Mr. Obama's nomination.

"I really do not believe he is a natural-born citizen," said Mr. Berg, adding that he is not connected with Mrs. Clinton or her campaign.

Just over one-quarter of Clinton supporters say they're now backing Mr. McCain, up from 16 percent in late June, according to a CNN poll conducted after Mr. Obama announced Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr., of Delaware, as his running mate. Two-thirds of Clinton supporters are now backing Mr. Obama.

Mrs. Clinton, for her part, encouraged her supporters this week to back Mr. Obama.

"Whether you voted for me, or voted for Barack, the time is now to unite as a single party with a single purpose. We are on the same team, and none of us can sit on the sidelines," she said during her address to the convention Tuesday.

Mr. Berg, who says he donated about $200 to Mrs. Clinton's campaign, may represent the fringe of the pro-Hillary faction that hasn't warmed to Mr. Obama.

He has filed suits for clients against President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney, claiming they knew about the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks before they happened. He also publicly asked Supreme Court Justices Clarence Thomas, Antonin Scalia and Sandra Day O'Connor to disbar themselves for their decision in the controversial 2001 case Bush v. Gore.

Mr. Berg has posted documents on his Web site,, he says back up his claims. But he said he doesn't know where they originated.

Backers of the idea that Mr. Obama isn't a natural-born citizen say Mr. Obama's certification of live birth doesn't quell the issue. They say a certification can be obtained after birth.

But the Hawaii State Department of Health said Monday that there is no difference between a certificate and a certification of live birth in the eyes of the state. For instance, either can be used to confirm U.S. citizenship to obtain a passport or state ID, said Alvin Onaka, a research and statistics officer at the Department of Health.

In Hawaii, only the person named on the certificate or his family can request the certificate of live birth.

Several fact-checking groups, such as and have determined that the certification posted on Mr. Obama's Web site is authentic.

Mr. Obama's opponent, Sen. John McCain of Arizona, has faced questions about his qualification as a "natural-born citizen" as well.

Mr. McCain was born on a military installation in the Panama Canal Zone, where his father, a Navy officer, was stationed.

Theodore Olson, a former solicitor general who is advising the McCain campaign, said in February that he's confident Mr. McCain meets the constitutional requirement. Legal scholars say there is no precedent on the subject because all previous presidents have been born within the 50 states or territories that became states.


Kristol: Bush Might Bomb Iran If He ‘Thinks Senator Obama’s Going To Win’»

On Fox News Sunday this morning, Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol said that President Bush is more likely to attack Iran if he believes Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) is going to be elected.

However, “if the president thought John McCain was going to be the next president, he would think it more appropriate to let the next president make that decision than do it on his way out,” Kristol said, reinforcing the fact that McCain is offering a third Bush term on Iran.

“I do wonder with Senator Obama, if President Bush thinks Senator Obama’s going to win, does he somehow think — does he worry that Obama won’t follow through on that policy,” Kristol added. Host Chris Wallace then asked if Kristol was suggesting that Bush might “launch a military strike” before or after the election:

WALLACE: So, you’re suggesting that he might in fact, if Obama’s going to win the election, either before or after the election, launch a military strike?

KRISTOL: I don’t know. I mean, I think he would worry about it. On the other hand, you can’t — it’s hard to make foreign policy based on guesses of election results. I think Israel is worried though. I mean, what is, what signal goes to Ahmadinejad if Obama wins on a platform of unconditional negotiations and with an obvious reluctance to even talk about using military force.

Kristol also suggested that Obama’s election would tempt Saudi Arabia and Egypt to think, “maybe we can use nuclear weapons.” Watch it:

Kristol’s belief that Bush might attack Iran before leaving office is not new. In April, he told Bill Bennett that it wasn’t “out of the question” that Bush would consider such a strike because “people are overdoing how much of a lame duck the president is.”

The claim that Obama’s potential election could force Bush’s hand also isn’t new. Earlier this month, far-right pseudo scholar Daniel Pipes told National Review Online that “President Bush will do something” if the Democratic nominee won. “Should it be Mr. McCain that wins, he’ll punt,” said Pipes.

Both Kristol and Pipes apparently agree with President Bush’s claim in March that McCain’s “not going to change” his foreign policy.


The Next Nuclear Superpower

Are the nuclear warheads America is storing in Europe about to come under German control? By Andrew Miiller

Germany has a nuclear arsenal that includes approximately 20 b61 nuclear bombs and around 130 other nuclear devices. Of course, the Germans do not actually own these nuclear weapons, but they do keep them and train their fighter pilots how to use them.

These weapons are part of the American nuclear arsenal in Europe. Washington currently has approximately 350 nuclear weapons scattered across Europe in Turkey, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands and, of course, Germany.

The release of a confidential U.S. Air Force report in June claiming that U.S. nuclear weapons in Europe are not properly guarded by American security officials sparked a debate in Germany over whether or not these warheads should remain in Germany or be withdrawn. Amid fears that Islamic terrorists could pirate the fissionable material out of some of these bombs, several politicians from the Social Democratic Party and minor opposition parties called for the weapons to be removed to the United States. The ruling Christian Democratic Party and the German Defense Ministry affirmed, however, that they don’t want these nuclear weapons anywhere but where they are right now.

Christian Democrat foreign-policy spokesman Eckart von Klaeden says Germany’s strategy of nuclear deterrence must be preserved and that Germany cannot afford to relinquish nuclear weapons as long as there are nuclear weapons elsewhere in the world (Spiegel, June 23). These comments were echoed by German Deputy Defense Minister Thomas Kossendey in a speech he gave before the German parliament’s lower house in late June defending the strategic asset of American nukes in Germany.

German Defense Minister Franz Josef Jung went even further, saying he wants to keep both the nuclear weapons and several Tornado fighter jets (capable of dropping nuclear bombs) on reserve until at least 2020 for a possible nuclear war.

Comments like these echo remarks made two years ago by former German Defense Minister Rupert Scholz, who said that Germany needed to develop its own national nuclear arsenal as a security measure against terrorist-sponsoring states.

With Iran on the brink of attaining nuclear weapons—not to mention the possibility of nuclear technology falling into the hands of any of several independent terrorist groups—the threat of nuclear war is growing. Some German officials are clearly using this as a pretext for keeping America’s nuclear weapons within their reach—potentially making Germany a nuclear power in its own right.

The Grand Design

Back in July of 1983, Plain Truth editor in chief Herbert W. Armstrong met with Dr. Otto von Habsburg, head of the 700-year-old House of Habsburg and visionary architect of today’s expanding European Union. Here is what Mr. Armstrong related in a July 24, 1983, co-worker letter regarding Dr. Habsburg’s views on European unification: “In my private meeting with him, Dr. Habsburg expressed disappointment that progress on the European reunification had moved so slowly. I expressed the conviction that some totally unexpected world-shocking event could occur suddenly at any time that would high-pressure European nations to go together overnight, adopting the constitution already prepared by the European Parliament. This Parliament, although without substantial power, is composed of leaders who are framing the constitution in advance. He mentioned that there are madmen such as [Libya’s] Gadhafi and [Iran’s] Khomeini who could pull off some startlingly unexpected international act that would press the panic button in Europe.”

If a terrorist-sponsoring nation such as Iran were to conduct a major terrorist strike against Germany or some other European state, the whole continent could unite overnight. That was Dr. Habsburg’s view on the issue. Today, several key members of Germany’s current government are saying they want to keep America’s nuclear weapons around for just such an eventuality.

The threat of Islamic terrorism and the problem of illegal immigration are increasingly driving Germans to right-wing politics. Most of the opposition to the idea of keeping American nuclear power in Germany is coming from the left-wing Social Democrats. The popularity of this party is declining, however, even as the center-right Christian Democrats gain strength. As this trend continues, calls to retain America’s nuclear weapons in Germany will only get louder.

More than this, the voices now calling to retain these nuclear weapons may soon start calling for more control over them. If securing the weapons is too much of a problem for the United States, the Germans may prove willing to fill that role. Both John McCain and Barack Obama, the U.S. presidential candidates, have indicated they will push for Europe to take on a more robust military role on the world scene if elected. It is entirely possible that German security guards could soon be guarding the b61 nuclear weapons already stored on their air force bases.

This scenario is very similar to a worldview espoused by the late Dr. Franz Josef Strauss, long-time premier of the German state of Bavaria and influential Christian Social Union politician. Strauss, who was hailed as the “strongman of Europe” in his day, wrote in his book The Grand Design: “Europe ought to have concentrated all its efforts on developing the defense of its territory on an independent basis. I can well see the day in which America, given the creation of a European nuclear force in which the United States is not itself a participant, would be entirely willing to cooperate with assistance in research and with deliveries of materials. At least such a prospect is more likely than that Washington would find itself willing to give up the American right to veto in an Atlantic nuclear force and thereby risk having this force used against the wishes of the United States.”

It is possible a German-led European Union could develop an independent nuclear force in cooperation with the United States if the next U.S. president endorses the EU accepting more global peacekeeping responsibilities. For a time, this would seem to be a mutually beneficial relationship—Europe and America working together in an attempt to bring about world stability. An end-time flowering of German-U.S. relations is in fact prophesied in the Bible, in Ezekiel 23.

If the U.S. economy collapsed into a major depression, however, this partnership would be quickly stripped of its American half, and a united Europe transformed into the world’s next nuclear superpower by taking over control of U.S. nuclear assets on German soil, added to France’s existing nuclear capability.

Nuclear Holocaust

In the April 1980 issue of the Plain Truth magazine, Herbert Armstrong actually forecasted exactly such an eventuality—that of a nuclear-armed European empire.

“You may be sure the West European leaders are conferring hurriedly and secretly about how and how soon they may unite and provide a united European military force so they can defend themselves!” he wrote. “And so they will no longer have to give in meekly to Russia! And who will they blame for their humiliation and their necessity now to have a united Europe, with a united government, a common currency, and a common military force as great or greater than either the ussr or the U.S.A.? They will blame the United States! And when they are strong enough to assert themselves, they will first attack Britain for standing firm with the U.S., and then they will return a lot of hydrogen bombs the U.S. has stored now in Europe!” (emphasis mine).

As shocking as this scenario may sound, it is prophesied in your Bible. Ezekiel 23 tells of a time when the hypocritical nations of Israel (modern-day America and Britain) will work together with Assyria (modern-day Germany) as lovers. This relationship is prophesied to be short-lived, however, before God raises up the Assyrians against His people in punishment. Prophecies such as Isaiah 10:5-6 speak of Germany being used as the rod of God’s anger against America and Britain. Other passages, such as Matthew 24:21-22, indicate that this punishment will come in the form of nuclear blitzkrieg.

For a more detailed explanation of Germany’s nuclear future, request a free copy of our booklet Nahum—An End-Time Prophecy for Germany.