Marine imposter busted

from the Denver Post

rick duncan strandlofRick Strandlof, executive director of the Colorado Veterans Alliance and the man most colleagues knew as Rick Duncan, was front and center during the 2008 political campaigns in Colorado. He spoke at a Barack Obama veterans rally in front of the Capitol in July, co-hosted several events with then- congressional candidate Jared Polis and attacked Republican Senate candidate Bob Schaffer in a TV ad paid for by the national group Votevets.org.

And the mostly Democratic candidates he supported — looking for credibility on veterans issues and the war — lapped it up appreciatively.

Only one problem:  Duncan was a complete phony.  His real name is Rick Strandlof, and  was exposed by two members of  the CVA, who became suspicious of inconsistencies in his story… –>source

Strandlof, 31, who invented the name Duncan and claimed he was a former Marine captain and 1997 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, never served in the military and falsely claimed that he was in the Pentagon during the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the group said…He often spoke vividly of being in the Pentagon on Sept. 11 when a hijacked airliner was crashed into the building. “The duality of that day, the good and the bad that I saw that day, are forever etched in my mind and in my memory,” he told KOAA television …

“I was involved in an IED explosion that killed four Marines,” he said. “I have a plate roughly the size of a, like, cup and saucer on this portion of my skull.” … Strandlof also claims to have had a hip replacement and to have “had a finger blown off.” Strandlof often spoke of his mistreatment by Defense Department officials, saying they dragged their feet on giving him a disability retirement.

That sounds very much like another war “hero”, whose wartime memories were just seared — seared in his memory, doesn’t it?

Here is the video of Strandlof in a Jared Polis for Congress ad…
Strandlof is in the center, and identifies himself as Captain Rick Duncan, USMC (ret), served 3 tours in Iraq.

update: more at NYT

Armed Forces Day 2009

ArmedForcesDay2009“This is the day on which we have the welcome opportunity to pay special tribute to the men and women of the Armed Forces … to all the individuals who are in the service of their country all over the world. Armed Forces Day won’t be a matter of parades and receptions for a good many of them. They will all be in line of duty and some of them may give their lives in that duty.” (NYT)

h/t defenselink

Hillary tells another whopper

William Safire sized up Hillary Clinton some thirteen years ago as “a woman of undoubted talents who was a role model for many in her generation” … He also said she –“is a congenital liar.”

Well, she’s at it again. This time it’s about her favorite subject — abortion.

Hillary Clinton testified before Congress last month about the Obama administration’s commitment to dismantling pro-life laws around the world.

“When I think about the suffering that I have seen of women around the world – I’ve been in hospitals in Brazil where half the women were enthusiastically and joyfully greeting their babies, and the other half were fighting for their lives against botched abortions,” Secretary Clinton told [Rep. Chris] Smith in a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing April 22. video clip

Yesterday, Hillary’s spokeswoman told the National Catholic Register that the State Department was “unable to confirm where or when the trip she referred to in her testimony was – where specifically in Brazil she was visiting or when the trip occurred.” source

Imagine that.

read more: Hillary dodges gunfire on mercy mission to Brazil

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Obama auto czar caught up in NY pension fund scandal

Steven Rattner, the leader of the Obama administration’s auto task force, was one of the executives involved with payments under scrutiny in a probe of an alleged kickback scheme at New York state’s pension fund, according to a person familiar with the matter.

A Securities and Exchange Commission complaint says a “senior executive” of Mr. Rattner’s investment firm met in 2004 with a politically connected consultant about a finder’s fee. Later, the complaint says, the firm received an investment from the state pension fund and paid $1.1 million in fees.

The “senior executive,” not named in the complaint, is Mr. Rattner, according to the person familiar with the matter. He is co-founder of the investment firm, Quadrangle Group, which he left to join the Treasury Department to oversee the auto task force earlier this year. Neither Mr. Rattner nor Quadrangle has been accused of any wrongdoing. Mr. Rattner did not return calls for comment. (more at WSJ)

Culture of corruption anyone?

More at NYT
“Mr. Rattner’s selection for the auto job was a topic of much speculation beginning in January, but it took several weeks to be settled. Two people close to the Obama administration said there were a handful of concerns about Mr. Rattner before he was named to his new position, but they declined to elaborate on what those concerns were.”

Obama’s brain

President Obama’s extensive use of the teleprompter is so pervasive that even the NYT notices (even as they try to explain it away).

Presidents have been using teleprompters for more than half a century, but none relied on them as extensively as Mr. Obama has so far. While presidents typically have used them for their most important speeches to the nation — an inauguration, a State of the Union or an Oval Office address — Mr. Obama uses them for everyday routine announcements, and even for the opening statement at his news conference.

He used them during a visit to a Caterpillar plant in Peoria, Ill. He used them to make brief remarks at the opening of his “fiscal responsibility summit.” He used them during a visit to the Interior Department to discuss endangered species, even as he recalled a visit to some national parks as an 11-year-old. “That was an experience I will never forget,” he said, reading from the teleprompter.

Early on in the Bush administration, Times columnist Maureen Dowd wrote the highly critical tome “Bush’s Brain” which castigated Bush as having no original thoughts, and identified Karl Rove as the evil power behind the throne.  Now that the Times has noticed the vacuity and lack of sponteneity of the messiah, can we expect a new book from Ms Dowd?


Citi nationalized

from the Times

In its most daring bid yet to stabilize Citigroup, one of the nation’s largest and most troubled financial institutions, the Treasury Department announced on Friday that it would vastly increase its ownership of the struggling company.

After two multibillion-dollar lifelines failed to shore up Citigroup, the government will increase its stake in the company to 36 percent from 8 percent.

As part of the deal, Citi will shake up its board so that it has a majority of independent directors, Richard Parsons, the bank’s chairman, said in a statement.

Under the deal, Citibank said that it would offer to exchange common stock for up to $27.5 billion of its existing preferred securities and trust preferred securities at a conversion price of $3.25 a share, a 32 percent premium over Thursday’s closing price.

Investors are voting with their dollars. Pre-market price is around $1.40.

The great deleveraging continues unabated.

Monday night linkage

nukehat

Here’s an interesting start to the week, from the UK Telegraph

Israel has launched a covert war against Iran as an alternative to direct military strikes against Tehran’s nuclear programme, US intelligence sources have revealed.

Maybe this is a sign of sources to come. In fact, it wouldn’t be too much of a stretch to believe that if President Bush were still at the helm, this would have been front page in the NYT.

=====

EIB calls for salary caps at NBC News. GE took TARP money, should be subject to same rules as Wall Street. Especially since GE Capital accounts for 55% of GE’s revenue.  Heh.

=====

I received this invite from Eric Odom Nashville. should be a lot of fun.

During the 2008-09 campaign season, the free-market movement witnessed the opposing side of the political isle literally walk all over us when it comes to eActivism. Specifically, the translation of online political activism to offline political success.

Many within the freedom movement have discussed different ways of advancing our online efforts. But few, if any, have been able to collaborate on ways to implement these ideas and put them to work.

RootsHQ 2009 is a new Tech/NOW Media Summit that aims at tackling this problem. Our conference is geared towards tech savvy, online activists who have ideas to share, and want to learn from others as well.

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If it’s good enough for Chavez, then how about The One? This didn’t take long

Mr. SERRANO introduced the following joint resolution; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary
JOINT RESOLUTION
Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States to repeal the twenty-second article of amendment, thereby removing the limitation on the number of terms an individual may serve as President.

=====

Get your vintage children’s books now before Henry Waxman outlaws them.

It’s hard to believe, but true: under a law Congress passed last year aimed at regulating hazards in children’s products, the federal government has now advised that children’s books published before 1985 should not be considered safe and may in many cases be unlawful to sell or distribute. Merchants, thrift stores, and booksellers may be at risk if they sell older volumes, or even give them away, without first subjecting them to testing—at prohibitive expense. Many used-book sellers, consignment stores, Goodwill outlets, and the like have accordingly begun to refuse new donations of pre-1985 volumes, yank existing ones off their shelves, and in some cases discard them en masse.

Thanks Henry. I feel safer already. Besides, it’s for the children, right? What a dickhead.

=====

The SF Chronicle isn’t too enthused about The One’s power grab at the Census.

Allowing Obama politicos like chief of staff Rahm Emanuel – a top House Democratic strategist in his prior life – anywhere near the census adding machine is too partisan. It’s a Chicago-style setup that should worry any voter.

=====

The Memphis Commercial Appeal has come under fire for invading the privacy of private citizens by posting personal information of CCW permit holders. Their justification for this outrage is laughable. In fact, Chris Peck says it’s all a “misunderstanding.” Then, he channels Henry Waxman and tells us he did it “for the children.”

A mom might now check the list to see if the parents at her kid’s sleep-over next door had a concealed weapon permit. If so, maybe it would be worth talking to them to make sure the gun is locked up.

A school official, concerned about whether teachers were bringing guns onto school grounds, might check the list to see whether anyone on the staff has a permit to carry, and then have a discussion about it.

Oh, please. I know the C/A has a great Sports section, but this is just too much. It’s time for Memphians to speak in the language that the C/A can understand. Cancel your subscription. And, if any of your neighbors has a subscription to the C/A, “maybe it would be worth talking to them” about it. And, after you do so, drop Chris Peck an email and let him know why. More: Walls of the City gives C/A a proper fisking.

=====

Obama Portrait GalleryAnd finally, while browsing the web this evening, I ran across Brad Warthen’s blog at The State. Brad discovered some interesting pixellation embedded in the Obama- hope poster. Click on the photo to enlarge.

[cue spooky music…]

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