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Tags: Banned | Books

Palin's 'Banned Books' List Is a Hoax

By    |   Sunday, 14 September 2008 06:35 PM

Headlines (Scroll down for complete stories):
1. Palin’s ‘Banned Books’ List Is a Hoax
2. Electoral College Tie Could Put Pelosi in White House
3. Snow and Near-Freezing Temperatures — in Brazil
4. U.S. Slaps Sanctions on Iranian Shipping Firm
5. Jewish Coalition Backs Palin
6. We Heard: Joe Lieberman, Ron Reagan, Dennis Ross


1. Palin’s ‘Banned Books’ List Is a Hoax

After reports surfaced that Sarah Palin had sought to ban books from her local library when she became mayor of Wasilla, Alaska, a list of the books she supposedly wanted to ban began appearing on a number of Web sites.

The list included such classics as “Huckleberry Finn,” “Silas Marner,” “To Kill a Mockingbird,” and Chaucer’s “Canterbury Tales.” It even found its way to a blog linked to the My.BarackObama Web site, where it was claimed that the list “comes from the records of the Wasilla library,” and was distributed via e-mail by a Palin foe.

The truth is, Palin never compiled that or any other list of books to be removed from the Wasilla library, various sources have reported.

In fact, several of the books on the list, including four “Harry Potter” books by J.K. Rowling, were not yet published when Palin took over as Wasilla’s mayor in 1996.

It turns out that the list is a reproduction of a generic list of “Books Banned at One Time or Another in the United States,” which has been on the Internet for years, according to conservative pundit Michelle Malkin.

The original source of the hoax is unclear. But the Anchorage Daily News in Alaska reported that when Palin first became mayor in 1996, she asked the city librarian, Mary Ellen Emmons, what her response would be if Palin asked her to remove some books from the library’s collection. She did not mention any specific books. Emmons responded by saying she would resist all efforts to ban books.

Emmons subsequently received a letter from Palin informing her that she was going to be fired. The censorship issue was not mentioned as a reason for firing, according to the Daily News.

“The letter just said the new mayor felt Emmons didn’t fully support her and had to go,” the paper reported. “After a wave of public support for [Emmons], Palin relented and let Emmons keep her job.”

Editor's Note:

2. Electoral College Tie Could Put Pelosi in White House

It’s within the realm of possibility that the Electoral College vote could end in a tie this election year — and that would most likely put a Democrat in the White House.

The question is, which Democrat?

Political analyst Dick Morris mapped the presidential election in the September issue of Newsmax magazine and counted 186 delegates for Democrat Barack Obama, with 83 others “leaning Obama,” for a total of 269 electoral votes. He counted 130 delegates for McCain, with 72 “leaning McCain,” for a total of 202 votes.

But Morris also counted 67 “tossup” delegates, and if the McCain-Sarah Palin ticket — which has been rising in the polls of late — were to snare those delegates, the Republican ticket would also end up with 269 votes.

The number of electoral delegates needed to win is 270.

In the event of a tie, provisions of the 12th and 20th Amendments would kick in. One provision stipulates that if no candidate receives a majority of the votes, the House of Representatives must go into session immediately to vote for president.

But in that case, each state delegation would receive only one vote, regardless of the number of House members from that state. California and New York would each have one vote, as would Wyoming and Delaware.

In the current House, there are 27 states with a Democratic majority in their House delegations, and 21 with a Republican majority. The delegations of two states, Arizona and Kansas, are equally divided between Democrats and Republicans.

The House as currently divided, then, would almost assuredly select Obama as president.

However, if the GOP were to pick up Arizona and Kansas plus two other states, each party would have 25 states and the vote would be deadlocked again.

At the same time, the House is attempting to select the president, the Senate would be required to go into session to select the vice president, with each senator receiving one vote and a majority of 51 votes required for selection.

The current Senate has a paper-thin Democratic edge, so it’s possible the Senate could also be deadlocked in selecting the vice president.

According to the Constitution, if the House cannot select a president in time for the Jan. 20 inauguration, then the vice president-elect would serve as president “until a president shall have qualified.”

But what if the Senate was indeed deadlocked and there was no vice president-elect?

According to the Presidential Succession Act of 1947, the sitting speaker of the House would “act as president” until either the House chose a president or the Senate chose a vice president.

With the Democrats expected to hold on to a majority in the House, that “sitting Speaker” would likely be the current speaker — Nancy Pelosi.

Editor's Note:

3. Snow and Near-Freezing Temperatures — in Brazil

Amid the continuing clamor over the threat of global warming, southern Brazil saw a rare weather event on Sept. 5 — one of the coldest September days ever witnessed in that part of the country.

Afternoon temperatures below about 40 degrees are rare in Brazil’s coldest months, from June to August. But temperatures dropped to 35.5 degrees in several cities after midday in the southern state of Rio Grande do Sul.

And what began in the morning as granular snow and sleet quickly became moderate to heavy snow in the afternoon, according to the MetSul Weather Center in Brazil.

More than a dozen cities reported sleet or snow, and the snow accumulated in several of them.

“People could not believe the scenes of cars covered by ice and the fields whitened just three days after the region experienced a warm spell that brought highs of over 86 degrees,” MetSul reported.

Snow mixed with rain was also observed in northern Uruguay.

A MetSul meteorologist noted that colder winters and major snow events in the region “may be the result of ongoing cooling trends observed on the planet this decade.”

Editor's Note:

4. U.S. Slaps Sanctions on Iranian Shipping Firm

The Bush administration has imposed financial sanctions on Iran’s largest state-owned shipping firm for allegedly helping to transfer military-related cargo.

The State Department and Treasury Department announced the sanctions against the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL) and 18 related companies, charging that they falsified shipping documents and used deceptive terms to describe shipments in an effort to hide their activities from foreign maritime officials.

The sanctions mean that any financial assets belonging to IRISL that are found in the U.S. are frozen. Americans are also barred from doing business with IRISL and its affiliates in Iran and other countries, including Britain, China, Egypt, and Germany.

The State Department said in a statement: “On September 10, the Department of the Treasury designated under Executive Order 13382 the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL) and eighteen IRISL subsidiaries of proliferation concern. IRISL and its subsidiaries are being designated for facilitating shipments of military cargo destined for the Ministry of Defense and Armed Forces Logistics (MODAFL) and its subordinate entities . . . 

“MODAFL … has brokered a number of transactions involving materials and technologies with ballistic missile applications.

“We are concerned that IRISL is using its global transportation system to ship items of proliferation concern to Iran in circumvention of … United Nations Security Council resolutions.

“In order to ensure the successful delivery of military-related goods, IRISL has deliberately misled maritime authorities through deceptive techniques. These techniques were adopted to conceal the true nature of shipments ultimately destined for MODAFL.

"Furthermore, as international attention over Iran's WMD programs has increased, IRISL has pursued new strategies to maintain commerce which also afford it the potential to evade future detection of military shipments.”

The sanctions against the firm, which reportedly owns 115 ocean-going vessels, also blocks IRISL from carrying food and medical supplies not included in the previously imposed trade sanctions against Iran, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Adam Szubin, director of the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, said IRISL was “the shipper of choice for Iran’s missile entity.”

IRISL denied charges that it shipped military equipment and downplayed the effects of the sanctions.

Iran’s Mehr News Agency quoted a statement from IRISL: “Sanctions imposed by America will have no impact on this company’s shipping activities in international waters.”

Editor's Note:

5. Jewish Coalition Backs Palin

The Republican Jewish Coalition has issued a statement expressing support for GOP vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin, calling her “strong on Israel” and “a friend to the Jewish community.”

The organization, formerly the National Jewish Coalition, was founded in 1985 and has 44 chapters around the U.S.

In its release, the Coalition stated: “By choosing Gov. Sarah Palin as the vice-presidential candidate, John McCain once again demonstrated a commitment to challenging politics-as-usual.

"As governor of Alaska, Palin has enjoyed a strong working relationship with Alaska's Jewish community. She has shown sensitivity to the concerns of the community and has been accessible and responsive . . . 

“Gov. Palin is strongly pro-Israel and recognizes the strategic importance of the U.S.-Israel relationship . . . 

“Palin's record includes her support of the community's desire to create the Alaska Jewish Historical Museum and attending the reading of Alaska's historic resolution commemorating Israel's 60th anniversary. In her office in Juneau, she hung an Israeli flag to show her commitment to the Jewish community.”

The statement noted that Palin opposes Democrat Barack Obama’s pledge to meet with Iranian President Ahmadinejad without pre-conditions and is “committed” to preventing Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.

The Coalition reacted quite differently to Joe Biden’s nomination as the vice presidential candidate on the Obama ticket, stating on its Web site in August: "With the selection of Senator Joe Biden as Senator Obama's vice president, the Democrats’ ticket has now become an even greater gamble for the Jewish community. Throughout his career, Senator Biden has consistently been wrong on Iran and his voting record on Israel has been inconsistent . . . 

“Biden has continuously demonstrated poor judgment on Iran. He has voted against significant legislation that would pressure Iran to stop pursuing nuclear weapons.

"Biden has failed to recognize the serious threat that Iran poses to Israel and the U.S. and its allies in the Middle East.”

Editor's Note:

6. We Heard . . .

THAT Sen. Joe Lieberman gave a further sign that he is moving away from the Democratic Party by announcing that he won’t attend the Democratic policy lunches in the Senate this month.

“I think it’s probably wise for me and for my colleagues in the Democratic caucus to dine somewhere else for the next few weeks,” Lieberman, who supports Republican John McCain, told The Hill newspaper after he criticized Barack Obama at the Republican National Convention.

He acknowledged that the Tuesday lunches have become increasingly focused on the upcoming election and that his presence would be awkward.

“It was not fair for me, since I’m not supporting Senator Obama, to be there,” he said.

Lieberman won re-election in Connecticut as an Independent but has been caucusing with the Democrats.

A spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid disputed reports that Reid told Lieberman not to attend the lunches.

THAT Ron Reagan has joined Air America Radio as the host of a weeknight show.

“The Ron Reagan Show,” which debuted on Sept. 8, airs from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Reagan, son of President Ronald Reagan, reported for the liberal Air America during the recent Republican National Convention and co-anchored its evening courage. He previously had a midday talk show in Seattle and a weekly syndicated show. His new program will originate in Seattle.

THAT former diplomat and Middle East specialist Dennis Ross, who held a top policy-planning position in the first Bush administration, is appealing to American Jews to vote for Barack Obama.

He told a crowd at a suburban Philadelphia synagogue on Thursday that he was backing Obama because “the United States can’t afford and Israel can’t afford” a continuation of the Bush policies over the past eight years, citing in particular the administration’s failure to rein in Iran’s nuclear program.

Ross, who also served in the Clinton administration, has signed on as a Middle East adviser to the Obama campaign, the JTA Web site reported. He will appear before Jewish audiences in key swing states.

Editor's Notes:

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Headlines (Scroll down for complete stories):1. Palin s Banned Books List Is a Hoax2. Electoral College Tie Could Put Pelosi in White House 3. Snow and Near-Freezing Temperatures in Brazil 4. U.S. Slaps Sanctions on Iranian Shipping Firm 5. Jewish Coalition Backs Palin...
Sunday, 14 September 2008 06:35 PM
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