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Monday Quick Hits

Stalin’s Daughter Dies in Wisconsin

Honestly had no idea she was living in Wisconsin, and in Richland Center of all places.  Her NYT’s obituary is here.

It reads like her life was a Russian novel, full of no real love from her father, multiple marriages (some just to piss off her father), exile and defection from her homeland, her children not wanting any part of her, and her eventual final days in the Badger State.

May she Rest in Peace.

Former Chief Obama Economic Advisor: “Opponents of Keystone XL are ‘Naive.'”

I think he’s right.  Naive really would describe everything James Rowen’s written regarding Keystone XL.

People in the U.S. opposing TransCanada Corp. (TRP)’s Keystone XL pipeline are being “naïve,” said Austan Goolsbee, former chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers.

“It’s a bit naïve to think the tar sands would not be developed if they don’t build that pipeline,” said Goolsbee, speaking today in Toronto at the Economic Club of Canada. “Eventually, it’s going to be built. It may go to the Pacific, it may go through Nebraska, but it’s going to be built somewhere.”

TransCanada and Nebraska announced Nov. 14 they would collaborate on a new path for the $7 billion Keystone XL pipeline, intended to deliver crude from Alberta’s oil sands to refineries and ports on the Gulf of Mexico. Opponents said the original path threatened an aquifer under the Nebraska Sandhills that provides drinking water to 1.5 million people.

If we don’t build it, the Chinese will; and Canada seems more than willing to make waves with Beijing than the current occupant at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

Campaign Associates of Governor Indicted

Oh, sorry.  My bad, not our Governor.

It’s that nutty Democrat down in North Carolina.

RALEIGH — Three associates of Governor Beverly Perdue were indicted Monday on felony charges related to her election campaign.

Trawick Hamilton “Buzzy” Stubbs and Juleigh Lee Sitton face obstruction of justice and filing false reports charges. Peter Anthony Reichard faces a single count of filing a false report.

The announcement follows an investigation by the Wake County district attorney’s office that has lasted more than a year.

Reichard was Perdue’s campaign finance director. Sitton was director of the Governor’s Western Office until she resigned in August. Stubbs is a New Bern attorney.

The indictments allege that the trio knowingly caused the Bev Perdue Committee to file finance reports that were false in that they did not list all the contributions, loans, and expenditures that they should have.

In August 2010, the North Carolina Board of Elections fined the Perdue campaign $30,000 for “flight irregularities.” The elections board said Perdue made dozens of flights aboard campaign donors’ planes during the 2004 and 2008 elections that weren’t disclosed in campaign-finance reports until 2009.

Stubbs is accused of contributing or paying expenses totaling more than $28,000 through his law firm by paying for flights for the benefit of the Bev Perdue Committee until Nov. 1, 2008, his indictment said. Stubbs prepared documents in October 2008 that purported the flights had been contributed to the state Democratic Party when they actually had gone for the committee, documents said.

You have to love southern political scandals.  They have the best nicknames attached to them.

The Best Economic News All Year

Barney Frank is retiring from Congress.

Anyone who buys his pledge he’s not going to lobby clearly is opposed to Keystone XL.

Sirhan Sirhan Attorneys Try “the CSI Appeal”

Attorneys for Sirhan Sirhan, the Arab nationalist who shot and killed Bobby Kennedy (and shot five others) are trying to say there wasn’t just another shooter, but another gun in their latest attempt to parole the man.

Sirhan they say, was a hypnotized sleeper agent whose sole job was to shoot a gun wildly in the air so the real killer could off Kennedy in the kitchen of the Ambassador Hotel in L.A. after winning the 1968 California primary.

(Oh, the things defense attorneys come up with these days…)

Lawyers representing convicted assassin Sirhan Sirhan argue in newly filed court documents that a bullet was switched in evidence at his trial and new forensic details show he is innocent of the 1968 killing of Sen. Robert F. Kennedy.

In the latest of many appeals filed on behalf of Sirhan, the attorneys are seeking to overturn his conviction. They repeated a previous assertion and presented reports from experts who said Sirhan was programmed through hypnosis to fire shots as a diversion for the real killer.

Prosecutors had no comment, said Lynda Gledhill, a spokeswoman for the California attorney general’s office, which is handling the appeal.

The lawyers, William F. Pepper and Laurie Dusek, also said sophisticated audio tests recently conducted on recordings from the assassination night show 13 shots from multiple guns were fired – five more than Sirhan could have fired from his small pistol.

Authorities have claimed eight bullets were fired, with three hitting Kennedy and the rest flying wildly around the kitchen and striking five other victims who survived.

Pepper was the last attorney of the late James Earl Ray, the man who shot and killed Martin Luther King, Jr, so there’s a bit of celebrity lawyering going on here.

All of Sirhan’s previous appeal attempts have been denied.

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