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Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Official Language Vote email forward

I came across this when cleaning out my inbox this week. First, it urges us to circulate this year old legislation and second, it is obviously intended to generate unfavorable opinions of the 4 named democrats. It could be from supporters of one of the other democratic candidates (I don't know how they voted), but the references to traitors and patriotism make me think it is a republican attack.

Some nuances here:
http://www.snopes.com/politics/immigration/englishvote.asp

Unfortunately, snopes doesn't tell us if the Colonel actually wrote the letter or not!

***

Subject: The Colonel and Lincoln-a MUST read

date Thu, Aug 21, 2008 at 11:04 PM


The Colonel and Lincoln......... POWERFUL

TAKE A FEW MOMENTS AND READ THIS LETTER. THESE ARE STRONG, POWERFUL AND COURAGEOUS WORDS COMING FROM A RETIRED COLONEL, AND READ WHAT LINCOLN HAD TO SAY AT THE END. WOW!

33 Senators Voted Against English as America's Official Language on June 6, 2007.

On Wed. 6 June 2007, Colonel Harry Riley, USA, Ret. wrote:

Senators:

Your vote against an amendment to the immigration Bill 1348.... to make English America's official language is astounding.

On D-Day, no less, when we honor those that sacrificed in order to secure the bedrock, character and principles of America, I can only surmise your vote reflects a loyalty to illegal aliens.

I don't much care where you come from. What your religion is. Whether you're black, white, or some other color...male or female......Democrat, Republican or Independent....... But I do care when you are a United States Senator representing Citizens of America ...and Vote against English as the official language of the United States

Your vote reflects Betrayal. Political Surrender. Violates Your Pledge of Allegiance. Dishonors historical principle. Rejects Patriotism. Borders on traitorous action and, in my opinion, makes you unfit to serve as a United States Senator...impeachment... Recall........Or other appropriate action is warranted, or worse.

Four of you voting against English as America's Official Language are Presidential Candidates: Senator Biden, Senator Clinton, Senator Dodd and Senator Obama.

Four Senators vying to lead America, but won't, or don't, have the courage to cast a vote in favor of English as America's Official Language when 91% of American Citizens want English officially designated as our language.

This is the second time in the last several months this list of Senators have disgraced themselves as 'political Hacks'..... Unworthy as Senators and certainly unqualified to serve as President of the United States .

If America is as angry as I am, you will realize a backlash so stunning it will literally 'rock you out of your socks'......... And preferably totally out of the United States Senate.

The entire immigration bill is a farce... Your action only confirms this really isn't about America... it is about self-serving politics......despicable at best. It has been said: 'Never Argue with an Idiot....They'll drag you down
to their level!'

PRESIDENT ABRAHAM LINCOLN SAID: 'Congressmen who willfully take actions during wartime that damages morale and undermine the military are saboteurs and should be arrested, quickly tried and hanged!!!'

PLEASE KEEP THIS GOING AROUND THE UNITED STATES UNTIL THE ELECTION IN NOVEMBER!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

911, Joe McCain and looking back at the campaign...

This looks to be a funny site, aside from the actual emergencies, of course. I wonder if Joe McCain's infamous traffic call is on here?

http://www.911callers.com/

I didn't even know about thisJoe McCain traffic call incident until today, even though articles are dated October 24, 2008. This and things like it make me think about how both presidential candidates conducted their campaigns this year. McCain or his "people" really hammered Obama in stump speeches, robocalls, emails, TV ads, etc on a handful of "associations" (insinuating bad judgment), whether or not there was any real substance and well after it was proven the claims were false or misleading. Obama and his people had plenty of opportunity to stoop to that level with Bush having competed against McCain in recent history, the Republican primary race having dragged out some dirt, etc, but there are alot of associations of McCain's that I didn't hear a mention of in an Obama ad or Obama or Biden stump speech (yes, I know we did hear some).

McCain associations:
Negative campaigning, focus on Obama issues/connections proven false or misleading
Choosing Palin as VP, though unqualified
McCain's associates profited from the Abramoff scandal
Keating five
G. Gordon Liddy, McCain even visited his radio show
1980's ties to Contras
Oliver North
Cindy McCain's money, jet scrutiny by FEC
Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act
Various lobbyist connections- Rick Davis, Charles Black, Merk McKinnon, Tom Loeffler
Rev. Hagee- on the radical fringe; McCain sought his endorsement for a year; said things like God sent Hitler to force the Jews back to Israel and Hurricane Katrina was sent because of Gay Pride events in Louisiana.
Rod Parsley
Palin's secessionist ties
Palin's Troopergate
Bob Jones University

And these from http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2008_10/015097.php :
"But as long as we're on the subject, McCain's associations continue to be increasingly interesting as well. We've known for a while that McCain has befriended a convicted felon who advised his supporters on how best to shoot federal officials, used the money of a convicted criminal to help buy a house, befriended a radical anti-Catholic televangelist, befriended a radical anti-American televangelist, was a long-time associate of Charles Keating, and hired for his campaign the publisher of a Confederate nostalgia magazine who has described Nelson Mandela as a "terrorist." This week, we also learned about McCain serving on the board of the extremist U.S. Council for World Freedom, where he worked alongside Iran-Contra figures, and a eugenics researcher studying "white superiority." … Leonore Annenberg- of Obama/Ayers fame; Oregon Citizens' Alliance, a right wing hate group"


Anyway, I was for the most part happy that Obama delivered on not stooping and spiraling into a negative campaign tit for tat. He stayed calm and collected and really appeared to stay above the fray, as one would expect a leader to do. I hope he can deliver on what he promised. Presidents disappoint, but one can still hope...

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The morning after

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/11/05/obama-we-cant-solve-globa_n_141358.html

Newsweek special election edition- behind the scenes- hope the best parts aren’t written here, otherwise it could be disappointing. It could be interesting. I think I have to see it.

I suppose we should save pins, memorobelia from this campaign and put it in a time capsule or otherwise protect it so that we can take it on Antiques Roadshow when we’re 100 and tell about how we saw the first (biracial) African American president elected. I have thought about doing this for several big events in my short life, but never have actually done it.

It really is an exciting event. I was all caught up in how much I didn’t want McCain and Palin to take over from W and the relief that Obama will be the president. For reasons I have already stated, he’s the best for the job. Now, I am thinking about the historic nature of this whole thing.
***

Top Campaign Ads
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/11/03/top-60-memorable-campaign_n_140118.html


***
Cabinet picks
I hope to take a look at these, preferably before Obama picks them (!):

Chief of Staff
Rahm Emanuel
Jon Podesta
Tom Daschle

Attorney General
Janet Napolitano
Eric Holder

Secretary of State
Richard Lugar
Sen. John Kerry, former U.N. Ambassador Dick Holbrooke, current foreign policy adviser Susan Rice and Greg Craig, another top Obama foreign policy adviser

Treasury Secretary
Paul Volcker
Warren Buffet
Michael Bloomberg

Defense Secretary
Keep Robert Gates
Sens. Chuck Hagel and Lugar, as well as Democrats like Sen. Jack Reed - a strong congressional voice on foreign policy - Holbrooke and Richard Danzig

Secretary Of Agriculture
Tom Vilsack

Secretary Of Energy
Dan Reicher
Ed Rendell
Jason Grument
Steve Westly

Arnold Schwarzenegger
Pete Domenici
James Woolsey

Secretary Of Education
Joel Klein
Caroline Kennedy

White House Counsel
Mark Alexander
Robert Bauer

Secretary Of Defense
Colin Powell

Attorney General
Deval Patrick

Treasury Secretary
Tim Geithner
Larry Summers

EPA Head
Robert Sussman

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election Day and goodbye political ads!

Happy Election Day! Now, go vote! And pick up your free Starbuck's coffee and Ben & Jerry's ice cream while you're at it.


I was going to leave it at that, but with the candidates stumping today, why not say a little more?

Elizabeth Dole vs Kay Hagan has gotten a bit ridiculous. Those rocking chair ads are quite corny; this ad is not so much funny ha-ha...oh, but, maybe it is.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1lf2vDk-4Ag
I mean, if Dole wanted to go there, she really should have spliced some words together that Hagan actually said. The fake voice was unbelievable!

Speaking of "going there"... McCain has repeatedly stated that he's not going to pursue the Rev. Wright angle. He didn't say something like off limits, so perhaps he was speaking in code to GOP affiliated groups to have at it. And that they did.
http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalradar/2008/10/new-wright-ad-a.html
McCain isn't exactly clear of crazy, extreme, fringe religious fanatics and shady types, so it's a bit risky for him to allow groups to do this in his name... George Bush, Sarah Palin, Alan Cranston, Dennis DeConcini, Donald Riegle, Michael Bowers, Charles Keating, Jim Hensley, Vicki Iseman, Ileane Ros-Lehtinen, Peter King, Richard Quinn, Fred Malek, G. Gordon Liddy, John Hagee, Rod Parsley, Rick Davis, Bill Cunningham... maybe not so risky as it will all be over today.

And a bit of the super corny and funny. A musical with candidate heads superimposed on dancers. A moveon.org bit I think, so conservatives beware.
My Friends, the musical:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WdBsv0uCT0c

Monday, November 3, 2008

McCain email

I signed up for McCain campaign updates to see what's going on from the other point of view.
See a piece from an Obama one below this one.

The McCain campaign certainly has an interesting take on the final hours of the election...

There's Rick Davis, still at the helm. And they want people to be nervous about Obama's very few negative "connections".
Another interesting tidbit is that their campaign offices are called Victory Offices.
You've gotta love the use of the words surge, victory, etc. I another email they talk about the volunteer army, fighting for McCain.
They make it sound like the media and everyone has written them off. That's pretty crazy since polls before elections are generally made up of people who will and won't go out and fill out the ballots. As has been said before, the only poll that matters is the one on Election Day.

To:Interested Parties
From:Rick Davis, Campaign Manager
Date: October 31, 2008
RE: The Final Push

The State of the Campaign

If your television is tuned to cable news as frequently as ours are here at campaign headquarters, you have seen the pundits say John McCain and his campaign are done. And, if you've followed this race since the beginning, this is clearly a song you've heard before. I wanted to take some time today to give you some insight on the state of the race as we see it.

An AP poll released this morning revealed a very telling fact: ONE out of every SEVEN voters is undecided. That means, if 130 million voters turn out on Tuesday, 18.5 million of them have yet to make up their mind. With that many votes on the table and the tremendous movement we've seen in this race, I believe we are in a very competitive campaign.

Here's why:

All the major polls have shown a tightening in the race and a significant narrowing of the numbers. In John McCain's typical pattern, he is closing strong and surprising the pundits. We believe this race is winnable, and if the trajectory continues, we will surpass the 270 Electoral votes needed on Election Night.
  • National Polls: Major polls last week showed John McCain trailing by double-digit margins - but by the middle of this week, we were within the margin of error on four national tracking surveys. In fact, the Gallup national tracking survey showed the race in a virtual tie 2 days this week.

  • State Polls:

    Iowa - Our numbers in Iowa have seen a tremendous surge in the past 10 days. We took Obama's lead from the double digits to a very close race. That is why you see Barack Obama visiting the state in the final days, trying to stem his losses. It is too little, too late. Like many other Midwestern states, Iowa is moving swiftly into McCain's column.

    The Southwest - It is no secret that Republican candidates in the Southwest have to focus on winning over enough Latino and Hispanic voters in Nevada, New Mexico and Colorado to carry them to victory. John McCain has overcome challenges Republicans face, and has made up tremendous ground in these states with these voters. For these voters, the choice has become clear, and you have seen a big change in the numbers. John McCain is now winning enough voters to perform within the margin of error - putting these states within reach.

    Colorado - Barack Obama tried to outspend our campaign in Colorado during the early weeks of October and finish off our candidate in Colorado. However, after our visit early this week, we saw a tremendous rebound in our poll position, and Colorado is back on the map.

    Ohio and Pennsylvania - Everyone knows that vote rich Ohio and Pennsylvania will be key battlegrounds for this election. Between the two: 41 electoral votes and no candidate has gotten to the White House without Ohio. Senator McCain and Governor Palin have been campaigning non-stop in these key battleground states and tonight Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has pumped up our campaign at a rally in Columbus. Our position in these states is strong and undecided voters continue to have a very favorable impression of our candidate.
Obama campaign faces tremendous structural challenges in the final days of this campaign

(Funny they should say this when McCain and Palin appeared to be butting heads at various points on various issues...)
  • Obama has a challenge hitting 50%: Barack Obama has not reached the 50% threshold in almost any the battleground state. He consistently is performing in the 45-48% range. When we look closely at the primary votes, we see a history of a candidate whose Election Day performance is often at or behind his final polling numbers. If this is true, our surge will leave Obama with even or under 50% of the vote on Election Day.
  • (This seems like awfully strange logic; he has in fact hit above 50% at various times/polls)

  • Early Vote: The Obama campaign has promised that their early vote and absentee efforts will change the composition of the electorate. They have sold the press on a story that first time voters will turn out in droves this election cycle. Again, the facts undermine their argument. In our analysis of early voting and absentee votes to date: The composition of the electorate has not changed significantly and most folks who have voted early are high propensity voters who would have voted regardless of the high interest in this campaign.
  • (Who can say what this means? I think the public and media alike are waiting to see the impact of early voting since more people seem to have taken advantage of it this year. No one's sold on anything, as far as I've heard, and I hear a considerable amount of news.)

  • Expanding the Field: Obama is running out of states if you follow out a traditional model. Today, he expanded his buy into North Dakota, Georgia and Arizona in an attempt to widen the playing field and find his 270 Electoral Votes. This is a very tall order and trying to expand into new states in the final hours shows he doesn't have the votes to win.
  • (Doesn't have the votes?! I've seen a ton of scenarios based on polls, etc and none had McCain with the 270 and most had Obama with over 300. I don't think this is media bias- the polls show it. Of course the maps and polls to date don't matter unless these people actually vote and vote the way they polled.)
The Final Barnstorm
  • On Monday, we will have a 14 state rally with our candidates crisscrossing the country trying to turn out our voters and sway the final undecided voters. Governor Palin will hit Ohio, Missouri, Iowa, Colorado, Nevada and Alaska in the final day of campaigning, while Senator McCain will travel from Tampa, Florida, to Virginia, then Pennsylvania, Indiana, New Mexico, Nevada and finish the night in Prescott, Arizona. The enthusiasm and excitement we generate on Monday will be the electricity that powers our "Get Out the Vote" efforts on Tuesday.
On the Ground
  • Our field organization has tremendous energy and is out-performing the Bush campaign at the same time in 2004. This week our field organization crossed a huge threshold and began reaching more than one million voters per day, and by week's end will have contacted more than 5 million voters. Our phone centers are full and our rate of voter contact is significantly out-pacing the Bush campaign in 2004. We have the resources to do the voter contact necessary to support the surge we are seeing in our polling with old fashioned grassroots outreach.
On the Airwaves
  • In the final days of the campaign, our television presence will be bigger and broader than the Obama campaign's presence. The full Republican effort - the RNC's Independent Expenditure and the McCain campaign will out-buy Barack Obama and the Democrats by just about 10 million dollars.
  • (??)
In short: the McCain campaign is surging in the final 72 hours. Our grassroots campaign is vibrant and communicating to voters in a very powerful way. Our television presence is strong. And, we have a secret ingredient - A candidate who will never quit and who will never stop fighting for you and for your families.

In these final hours, Senator McCain and Governor Palin are counting on you - they are counting on you to knock on doors, to make turnout calls, to contact your friends and neighbors. Get our voters to the polls and help John McCain fight for your and for our country. This is our last mission on behalf of John McCain and I have no doubt I can count on your effort and energy to carry us across the line to victory.

***
In an Obama email:

"
When this campaign began, we weren't given much of a chance by the pollsters or the pundits. But tomorrow, we can make history."

Everyone's an underdog!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

McCain'stax lies persist, despite fact checking

Two highly fact checked and misleading to false statements are still in the McCain/Palin speeches. Their message has been all over the place, but this quirk has remained consistent. This type of thing reminds me of Bush and gives me a bad feeling about them. I guess it might fall under the category of character or gut feeling. Bush stuck by bad intel and just plain false reasoning and statements. Maybe he was duped, but I have a hard time believing he was THAT na├»ve. McCain/Palin show this same resistance to a change in message even though what they’re saying is factually incorrect. This gives me the feeling that they also would have no problem leading the nation into another unnecessary and costly war in terms of lives and money.

McCain’s statement:
First he said people making less than 250,000 dollars would benefit from his plan, then this weekend he announced in an ad that if you're a family making less than 200,000 dollars you'll benefit — but yesterday, right here in Pennsylvania, Senator Biden said tax relief should only go to "middle class people — people making under 150,000 dollars a year." It's interesting how their definition of rich has a way of creeping down.


Tax chart-who will see increases and decreases?
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/story/2008/06/09/ST2008060900950.html

Different McCain tax numbers- the middle class isn’t creeping down, he just keeps citing different numbers in the same plan that Obama has been talking about for some time.


http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2008/10/29/fact-check-obama-biden-creeping-down-on-who-gets-tax-relief/

Per the Tax Policy Center, here is how Obama's tax plan breaks down for individuals:
$0-$18,891 = $567 tax cut
$18,982-$37,595 = $892 tax cut
$37,596-$66,354 = $1,118 tax cut
$66,355-$111,645 = $1,264 tax cut
$111,646-$160,972 = $2,135 tax cut
$160,973-$226,918 = $2,796 tax cut
$226,919-$603,402 = $121 tax increase
$603,403-$2.87 million = $93,709 tax increase
$2.87 million-plus = $542,882 tax increase

$150,000 number: *** UPDATE *** An Obama aide points out to First Read that the $150,000 figure Biden was citing was simply an example of what someone making that amount would get under Obama's tax plan. Indeed, Biden's $150,000 remark came after he referred to someone making $1.4 million.
http://firstread.msnbc.msn.com/archive/2008/10/28/1600845.aspx

$42,000 number: http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/742/

+++ +++ +++ +++ +++
Both McCain and Palin have stuck by this whopper, even though it has been thoroughly fact checked:


"Senator Obama has voted 94 times to either increase your taxes or against tax cuts."
This is simply not true. I think it was heavily fact checked after debate #1, and we still hear it in McCain/Palin speeches.


See:
http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/605/
http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2008/09/21/fact-check-did-obama-vote-94-times-for-higher-taxes/


Small business - McCain also is continuing to mislead on this one - and people are buying it.
http://www.factcheck.org/elections-2008/mccains_small-business_bunk.html

http://www.mcclatchydc.com/227/story/54910.html


Thursday, October 30, 2008

Obama's a terrorist, this time for real guys

Ok. They've got a real live Arab (and the PLO's got a whole slew of 'em) to link Obama to, so Obama MUST be a terrorist...right? Maybe this is the plural "terrorists" the campaign was thinking of when they gave her the Ayres material.

As Palin says, let's go to the videotape!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pm-8d2gRvJM

...even today we’re learnin’ new things still about our opponent...

"It’s not negative campaigning and it’s not mean spirited to call someone out on their record, their plans, or their associations so we’re gonna do it!"

She makes it sound like she's going to do all three, here, but this looks like another simple, and rather sloppy "guilt" (manufactured guilt, at that) by association to me. What did this have to do with his record or plans? What's she implying? She calls Khalidi a radical and wants to talk about Obama's record and plans??

This Rashid Khalidi thing was described as the “latest item”, but I think this has been discussed before... Yes, it has. This is only the latest item in the McCain-Palin fishing expedition. You know, if you judge it based on body language- winking, knowing looks, smug smiles, pride, etc- you'd think McCain's really found something every time one of these "items" is unleashed (rehashed?), but when you look at the substance, it turns to dust and blows away; there's nothing there.

She went on to describe one of a number of Obama's "interesting assortment of friends".

She claimed Khalidi is another "radical professor from the neighborhood."

He's a political ally of Obama and former spokesman for the PLO, she also said. No doubt the mention of Palestinians was supposed to conjure up images of kids with AK47s, suicide bombings and move people to boo.

"The twist here is that there’s a videotape of a party for Mr. Khalidi and in that Barack Obama he, being there at the videotape for a pa- in a- a party in 2003, Barack was there, and we know that very derogatory things were said about Israel and about American support for that nation."

Obama was there...with Khalidi...I think I get it...

"Israel was described as the perpetrator of terrorism instead of victim."
This line was no doubt the guilt she was trying to associate with Obama. Obama couldn't have been elected to the Senate without being fanatically pro-Israel (there are only a couple of exceptions) and he has proven it, so she's wong, there. Ascribing guilt to both sides is fair and truthful, so her Israel the perpetual victim claim is also wrong. I'd go farther in that Israel uses dispoportionate force on Palestinians, uses collective punishment that could amount to terrorism of the innocent population, and is engaging in illegal activities, including but not limited to settlement building and extrajudicial assassinations. We should be sanctioning them, not rewarding them with money and unconditional support of all kinds.

And, Ms Palin, criticism is not anti-Semitism. I'm not anti-Semitic because I disagree with the government of Israel and neither are Israelis who disagree with their government. No doubt she was trying to make Obama look like he has the same views as Khalidi, label these views as anti-Semitic and then make Obama look anti-Semitic. She's going to have a hard time making him look like he has the same views as Khalidi. On this issue, he and almost everyone in Congress are far extreme right, much like the Israeli government. Criticizing Israel would seem radical left only because Americans are so far right on the issue, but really it would make us more toward center right.

Palin wants to know Obama’s response to these things and is distressed that the LA Times won’t release this videotape. That's all well and good to try and make yourself look like a candidate who's for free press and transparency,but I can understand not releasing it. It makes sense to me based on the reaction of the McCain-Palin supporters to just Obama (off with his head, terrorist, kill him, he’s and Arab so can’t trust him, booing Khalidi, etc) that releasing that footage would put all at the party at risk for totally unjustified (and criminal) bodily harm.

This line cracked me up:
"It must be nice for a candidate to have a major news organization looking after his interests like that and maybe other politicians would love to have a pet newspaper of their very own."

Doesn't the GOP have an entire network called Fox News?? Must be nice indeed. She speaks from experience at least on that issue!


Before demonizing Khalidi and all Arabs, perhaps she should ask McCain about his associations:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/10/28/mccain-funded-work-of-pal_n_138606.html
During the 1990s, while he served as chairman of the International Republican Institute (IRI), McCain distributed several grants to the Palestinian research center co-founded by Khalidi, including one worth half a million dollars.
A 1998 tax filing for the McCain-led group shows a $448,873 grant to Khalidi's Center for Palestine Research and Studies for work in the West Bank. (See grant number 5180, "West Bank: CPRS" on page 14 of this PDF.)
The relationship extends back as far as 1993, when John McCain joined IRI as chairman in January. Foreign Affairs noted in September of that year that IRI had helped fund several extensive studies in Palestine run by Khalidi's group, including over 30 public opinion polls and a study of "sociopolitical attitudes."


But, maybe he gets a pass on this one for some unknown reason, like the I married my mistress but somehow it's irrelevant one he got by "values voters."

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Breaking news: Under Obama, we won't be free says Palin

"See, under a big government, more tax agenda, what you thought was yours would really start belonging to somebody else, to everybody else. If you thought your income, your property, your inventory, your investments were, were yours, they would really collectively belong to everybody. Obama, Barack Obama has an ideological commitment to higher taxes, and I say this based on his record... Higher taxes, more government, misusing the power to tax leads to government moving into the role of some believing that government then has to take care of us. And government kind of moving into the role as the other half of our family, making decisions for us. Now, they do this in other countries where the people are not free. Let us fight for what is right. John McCain and I, we will put our trust in you."

from:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/10/25/palin-obamas-tax-plans-co_n_137851.html

This is the latest and farthest stretch for these two yet. Crazy stuff. I can't believe she said that! Maybe she misinterpreted Joe the Plumber's socialism reference? Wow! Your property won't belong to you, it'll belong to everyone?! Under Obama, some might start to think the government is supposed to take care of us and make decisions for us like in countries where people aren't free. Hmmm. Wonder what the implication is, here? I suppose she didn't actually say we wouldn't be free under Obama, but the line is so fine you can barely see it.

Not to mention, they're still using several debunked myths- Obama's plan means higher taxes for the average person, he voted 90+ times for higher taxes. And they jump all over Obama for saying 95% of people will get a tax cut when it is really 80-something percent.

What are they thinking? Since we didn't really succeed in making the terrorist thing stick (despite the ever so inventive rumor about him being Muslim and a radical, etc) maybe with the help of Joe/Sam, the almost plumber from Alaska who happens to be in Ohio, we can paint him as a socialist, communist, or anything along those lines before the week is up.

The article made a good point about the tax code and the 1990's- if that was a communist era, then look out, if not, she's blowin' smoke, golly gee gosh darn it.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Diva Palin and who did you say's cutting the net?

"She is a diva. She takes no advice from anyone," the McCain source said. "She does not have any relationships of trust with any of us, her family or anyone else."
Ouch. That was pretty harsh.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20081025/pl_afp/usvotemccainpalin_081025214702
http://thinkprogress.org/2008/10/25/palin-diva/

Interesting how she keeps trying to distinguish herself from McCain; in a way that reminds me of how McCain keeps trying treat his Bush connection. It’s like she’s already moved past the campaign and election day and onto advancing her own political career and possible bid for presidential nominee. She says her focus is on this race, but I think we’ll see her try for the top of the ticket for a number of reasons, including the fact that she didn't really answer one way or the other. Though, if she doesn’t serve as VP, she’s pretty well proven that she’s far from the best man/woman for the job.

Maybe she’s mad at how her coming out party resulted in all those bad interviews and bad choices of Bush handlers. Just another example of bad judgment by McCain. I don’t trust those he surrounds himself with. Bush proved that can be disasterous for the country and your legacy, so McCain should have learned from that.

***

"But where I come from, you have to win the game before you start cutting down the net."

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/feedarticle/7931556

Palin claims Obama already has written his inaugural address.

First, not quite- a general one was written for the nominee by a former White House chief of staff. Similar to her own speech she gave at the RNC, wouldn’t she agree?
Second, McCain said something that might qualify as cutting the net recently.

In Obama’s defense, I think it wouldn’t be a bad idea for both candidates to start working on an acceptance, concession, and inaugural speech now. I’d call it a good idea rather than presumptuous. He’s making a closing argument on Monday. You do that just before the jury deliberates and makes the decision, so it doesn’t really look like he’s acting as though he’s already won.

McCain’s predicting a come from behind victory...
http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1008/14951.html
http://www.nysun.com/new-york/mccain-predicts-victory-at-rockefeller-rally/70766/
http://www.republicansforobama.org/?q=node/3802

In all honesty, I think McCain was saying he can guarantee a close race, which is kind of obvious. He, like all political candidates have to assure supporters he will win. But, I do think it was pretty crazy for Palin to accuse Obama of cutting the net in light of McCain’s prediction that made headlines and the fact that upon closer inspection, neither is actually cutting the net just yet.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Biden predicts the future

Ok, I have to say that this actually was pretty stupid for Biden to say, but it wasn't my first thought.

"Mark my words. It will not be six months before the world tests Barack
Obama like they did John Kennedy. The world is looking," Biden said.

http://elections.foxnews.com/2008/10/20/biden-obama-tested-world-months-administration/

My first thought about what Biden meant was that Bush has been in office awhile and pretty well ruined or damaged our relations with many countries, and any new president is going to be tested to see how far other countries can go, what they can gain, if they want to or are able to work with us, etc. Plus, with the Iran concerns recently, he could be thinking along those lines as well. Since he's running with Obama, he speaks as candidates do, about their administration specifically. He probably should have spoken in general terms because that just didn't sound right. It definitely gave the right more to talk about with the alleged inexperience angle (even though it's about judgment, not experience, right?).

Are we remembering why we didn't pick Biden in the primaries?? Hmmm. No. I'd still rate him higher than McCain or Palin, but he's not my favorite. I'd still have liked to see an independent or something as VP. We think it's cool to have a woman or biracial man on the ticket, but I'd be more impressed by a Republican/Democrat ticket. The system might implode or send us into an alternate universe, so maybe that's a bad idea.

I've really got to go to sleep because I don't know what I'm saying here.

I imagine Rush Limbaugh's having a blast with this one. I did read a bit of his show for some unknown reason. I wonder what he had to say when Bush, speaking of terrorists, said bring 'em on. It'd be interesting to see the positive spin on that one.

vote fraud/malfunction

ACORN has been vilified by some for voter fraud even though Mickey Mouse and al those won't turn up to vote. The issue seems to be registration fraud and workers need to be prosecuted, rather than a large scale conspiracy. A bigger problem would be if you touched the screen to vote for one candidate and the name of the other showed up as your vote. Is it voter error, machine glitch, or something more sinister? Who knows.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jim-mckay/voters-in-wva-say-electro_b_136332.html

The question is, if Mickey Mouse (because he's obviously a Democrat??) showed up to vote and his vote was switched from Obama to McCain, would there still be an issue? :)

It's obviously getting late and perhaps I should step away from the keyboard.......

Thursday, October 23, 2008

robocalls and un-American activities

Apparently, McCain has been using these robocalls to link Obama and Ayres, especially in swing states. First, the link he is wanting ot make just isn't there and second, he's using the same comapny Bush used to smear him in the primaries 8 years ago.


Did McCain Hire Same Firm To Do His Robo-Slime That Targeted Him In 2000?
http://tpmelectioncentral.talkingpointsmemo.com/2008/10/did_mccain_hire_same_firm_to_d.php

Flashback: McCain Condemned Robo-Slime In 2000 As "Hate Calls"
http://www.blogrunner.com/snapshot/D/3/3/flashback_mccain_condemned_roboslime_in_2000_as_hate_calls/

McCain Defends Robocalls
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/10/19/two-gop-senators-denounce_n_135919.html


Ever gotten a robocall? Here's one for McCain right now
http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/washington/2008/10/obama-ayres-mcc

*** *** ***


Palin started a little trend with the identification of un-American parts of the country- or maybe she followed the trend. Who knows.

http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/10/18/bachmann-obama-may-have-anti-american-views/

Michele Bachman's recent comments along those lines beg the question, what does she think of Palin and her husband's association with the Alaska Independence Party. I mean secession doesn't exactly seem terribly pro-America.

When you get down to it, the patriotism smears on both sides don't hold any water, but if you're going on a witch hunt, you owe it to yourself to be thorough at the very least.

*** *** ***

Obama's shoes a metaphor? Really, people?

Picture here, among other places- many, many other places: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2008/10/22/9355/4279/150/638528

This is circulating in Democratic circles in comparison with Palin's $150,000 in expenses for 2 months. Really?? Come on!! This is crazy. Obama's no more of a regular guy than McCain, except McCain married rich as well. Obama's just probably not into shoes as much as Palin. Men's shoes are pretty boring. Palin's attempts at hockey mom everywoman don't fool me any more than Biden's bus riding Scranton routine. Career politicians- they're rich, we know it, don't insult our intelligence.

I can't remember where I read that the founding fathers meant for the "average Joe" to be able to participate in Congress, work his normal job, etc. They didn't really intend for the career politicians to run Washington.

I don't really think that how much the candidates spend on clothes or shoes will translate into how they will run the country. Except possibly in a very general way. Maybe. One site that posted the picture proclaimed how glad they were about the picture and what it means, yada yada yada and how happy they were that Obama is their choice. Silly stuff.

And Palin's had some issues with on the job expenses that are potentially more troubling than a clothes budget- clothes she claims she will donate. Perhaps she will donate them to her daughter- if I were the daughter, I might be hoping for that- if I loved the suit motif, that is.

Speaking of silly... some people apparently camped out for early voting like it was Duke basketball or like they were buying concert tickets or something. Got a kick out of that! I plan to roll into my early voting location tomorrow and see virtually no one. Like the primaries.

Not only is he a terrorist, but also a socialist, too!

http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/10/18/campaign.wrap/index.html

http://news.aol.com/elections/article/mccain-says-obamas-plans-socialistic/216894

Anti-Americans, terrorists, socialists! Oh my!

Socialist? Three percent tax increase for the wealthy or Wall Street Bailout?

I've been saying that if we could get free college and healthcare like some in Europe, then let's go socialist. I would have a problem with a tax structure such that we all took home the same amount of money no matter what. I hardly think slightly increasing taxes on those who can afford it and cutting taxes on the middle class is socialism.

It's the flavor of the week. Before 9/11, the cry of socialism had people running scared like today's cries of wolf with Muslims, Arabs and terrorism. I've heard the right try and continue to cash in on the cold war scare tactic for years now. McCain raised the issue in the summer and he's back with Obama's comment about spreading the wealth.

This is just the flavor of the week for the McCain campaign attack dog, Sarah Palin. She's crying terrorist, voter registration fraudster, and socialist while telling us some of us aren't patriotic or pro-America (the Democratic area perhaps?). Now, McCain's either directing these baseless attacks through Palin or at least not reigning in the attack dog.

Why can't the McCain campaign just discuss why his plans will work better than Obama's. Instead, they insist on using scare tactics. Some "Straight Talk". Obama was right about the wheels falling off of that bus... or SUV or jet or whatever. Or are they going for change…wait…isn't the campaign still suspended?

And what's this about Palin picking on Obama for his "photo op being interrupted by a voter"? Didn't that happen to her and she gave an answer about Pakistan that's at odds with the campaign's stand? And she's the same Sarah Palin who has been shielded from questioning, instructed to stay on script, and who's several interviews have been rather disastrous? She really doesn't have room to talk, there. Neither does McCain, as he makes rather reckless jokes or comments in public at times.


Joe or Sam or that plumber guy that was mentioned in the 3rd debate 20+ times- he's probably better off under Obama's plan?

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/columnists/chi-oped1019pageoct19,0,6970048.column

http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/opinion/384332_krugman22.html


I was listening to a radio show the other day and a caller made a good point. She was having a hard time with her mortgage and possible foreclosure and Joe may just have to wait another year or so to buy a business. Maybe Joe (Sam) isn't so average after all.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Your tax dollars at work

"We will apply disproportionate force on it and cause great damage and
destruction there. From our standpoint, these are not civilian villages, they
are military bases. "This is not a recommendation. This is a plan. And it has
been approved.”

http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory?id=5950344


They tried to get us to believe disproportionate force was a myth or misrepresentation for so long. Nice to see Israel has not lost the opportunity to radicalize during our economic and political turmoil. Israel is dangerous and a threat to the stability of the region. They cannot be left to their own devices any more than those countries on a terrorist watch list. Every time we turn our backs due to big stories in this country, they take a harder line on "militants" (read anyone in the general vicinity of where they think someone who could be planning something-throwing rocks or bombs- might be. Settlers run wild, sometimes with police help, grabbing land, firing on and beating Palestinians. Settlers who are on the land against International Law.

http://www.imemc.org/article/57224

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Throw enough mud and some might stick:

ACORN. So what's up with this organization, really?

At first glance, I thought there might be something to the recent attack, but as I read more, I don't know. It's more believable than Obama colluding with terrorists (when it's convenient, of course), but I'm not sure how true it is.

Should we be scared ? (like the McCain camp wants us to be-he's the most liberal-EVER!, works with terrorists, teaches Kindergardeners about sex, etc)

http://www.ibdeditorials.com/IBDArticles.aspx?secid=1501&status=article&id=308358130652174&secure=1&show=1&rss=1

Or not ?

http://www.democracynow.org/2008/10/9/greg_palast_on_vote_rigging_and

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/10/13/AR2008101302724_2.html?sid=ST2008101302869&s_pos==

http://www.everydaycitizen.com/2008/10/acorn_under_fire_but_is_it_jus.html

http://www.slate.com/id/2201958


I have serious doubts, not the least of which is the fact that most of the GOP smears have been laughable, petty pot shots that have little if any real connection the the truth, but I'm not finished looking into it.

Even if there's nothing to it, with the amount of attacks coming from McCain, I think damage can be or is done. People don't always look into things and even when they are later proven false, they sometimes hang onto the original falsehood. Like the 9/11-Saddam Hussein link, for instance. Throw enough mud and some will stick, merited or not.

***
I just heard the Ayres thing might come up in the debate and that Republicans want McCain to bring it up. Crazy. It's really one of the weakest smears. Perhaps they should talk about ACORN and have McCain address an Obama attack on character, etc as well. Unless they know there's nothing ot the ACORN stuff.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

The second debate

The second debate was a little disappointing in that I heard way too many misrepresentations and on McCain’s side at least, they were ones that had already been refuted. There was question dodging by both (perhaps that was the format, which I hated) and the repetition of portions of their previous speeches. I guess they get points for having a green debate with all the recycling going on. However, it kind of made this one a snoozefest.

McCain definitely excelled in this format, in a way. He sounded more passionate than in a speech. It was hard to say who did better on the questions since I didn’t really like the questions and neither did that great on substance. Obama perhaps had a more organized response, but perhaps that is due to the fact that McCain repeated already debunked misrepresentations and I have a growing doubt about his capability the more I look at his record and what he says. I was underwhelmed after this second debate overall.

The most entertaining was the competition for the best analogy or cut down. Nailing Jello to a wall and a wheel falling off the straight talk express (the implication being a not so straight path) were pretty funny and descriptive. Can we expect “your mama” jokes at the third debate?

I kind of held my breath and was a bit embarrassed for McCain when he referred to Obama as "that one." Yikes. And people thought Obama's pig in lipstick comment was a poor choice of words. Was he trying to refer to Obama's age/experience or was it a racial slur, like calling him "boy"? I think it was harmless myself, if a poor choice of words, but if you thought the pig in lipstick comment was sexist, then you should be very worried about this (one ;) ).

I don’t like the Town Hall style at all. It is interesting to see how the candidates interact with the public, but I thought the questions weren’t very good. But Brokaw’s weren’t much better. He was way too concerned with the clock than asking quality questions and getting at different angles. Had they had Bill Moyers or Amy Goodman, I bet we’d have had some really interesting stuff. The CPD probably isn’t fans of those two, especially the latter, though. I thought Ifill did a much better job than Brokaw and I have high hopes for Schiffer.

In a way, though, I think one debate probably is enough. McCain’s desire for 10 or 15 town Hall meetings is a bit crazy. The networks wouldn’t go for that. On the other hand, it would be nice to hear them respond to the smaller weekly changes in the campaign, like the recent Ayres and Keating 5 ads, in addition to the things that matter. While this is basically a distraction touching on or reaching for the judgment issue, it might be interesting to hear them talk to each other about the attacks and responses and how it relates to the kind of clean campaign each no doubt said they wanted to run. I wonder if this kind of accountability- knowing they’d have to face each other and the public weekly and rather directly would make for a cleaner or more vicious campaign on both sides?

Let the fact checking begin! There are probably a lot of duplicates...
http://www.factcheck.org/elections-2008/factchecking_debate_no_2.ht
ml
http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/10/07/check-point-the-second-presidential-debate/

***
Palin was active yesterday as well. She's latched in barracuda fashion onto the misleading and well-debunked and explained "Obama has voted to raise taxes 94 times" line (as did McCain yesterday), much like she did the oft-repeated, equally misleading achievement of saying "thanks, but no thanks to the Bridge to Nowhere." Perhaps that's the barracuda reference- she'll hang onto the claim even way after it's been debunked...much like Bush and Cheney did.

Amen to this! Palin needs to be careful in attacking Obama's truthfulness, for sure.
http://www.blueridgenow.com/article/20081007/NEWS/810070255

Also about Palin in Florida:
http://voices.washingtonpost.com/the-trail/2008/10/06/in_fla_palin_goes_for_the_roug.html

This kind of talk- "terrorist" and "kill him" should be condemned by the campaign, not given tacit support. I hope they make a statement soon. Or is this what they are trying to achieve? A Bush-style, fear-mongering victory.

I guess I'm not much of a Palin fan.

Or an Elisabeth Hasselbeck fan for that matter:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/10/06/elisabeth-hasselback-push_n_132239.html?page=4


A candid quote about the negative campaigning:

"It's a dangerous road, but we have no choice," a top McCain strategist told the Daily News. "If we keep talking about the economic crisis, we're going to lose."
from:
http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/2008/10/05/2008-10-05_insults_fly_as_barack_obama__john_mccain.html

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The latest set of attack ads

This was in the previous post, but I thought I'd make a new one out of it.

McCain is using Palin to bring up the Ayers so-called link to Obama. (I mean using Palin to necro this desperate fishing expedition-reminiscent of the Iraq/9-11 link?? Troopergate anyone?? There’s more substantial mud there.) I'd say that's reaching in the link department as well as the relevance to current affairs. So, I heard Obama has launched a Keating five (S&L) ad in response. I guess we have run out of current affairs to talk about?? What's up, guys? Is the economy and the bailout old news already?

McCain may have thought using Palin to bring up Ayers was ingenius, but if you're going to be talking about dirt on your hands, neither can really talk. Palin's got this Troopergate thing hanging over her head and in the way of associations, there's really no comparison between Ayers and some of the people McCain is consulting for his policy and campaign. Phil Gramm and John Bolton stick out ion my mind. These aren't mere acquaintances; these people are giving him advice on important issues affecting us now, some of which McCain may not know too much about or have much input in.

Palin's "palling around with terrorists" claim is far from true if she is meaning to link Obama with Ayers. The bombings Ayers' groups took credit for were in the 60s and 70s. Once Ayers got his degrees, and began working for education reform in Chicago, I couldn't find anything linking him to terrorist actions. There doesn't seem to be a friendship, but who cares if there were? The guy has abandoned the abhorrent tactics of his past and has done some really good things for education. Obama's "link" is working with him (not even directly) on school reform and such things, not as a member of a terrorist group. So to say that Obama doesn't see America the way evereyone else does as evidenced by his limited contact with Ayers is to try and cast Ayers' past beliefs, actions, etc on the present Obama, which is totally false and a really lame attempt at guilt by association.

McCain appears to be changing up his game again. Like when he changed to a theme of change. This time, he's going from the experience, straight talk express, war hero angle (pretty solid and clean) to attacking Obama for being too risky and too liberal and other more suspect themes like his truthfulness and associations (however long ago or loose they may be). There's an ad about his "voting 94 times to increase taxes" and how he's not truthful about taxes. This has been fact checked left and right and found to be not what it appears, and yet McCain's still hammering away with it!

On being too risky... McCain fits the bill far better than Obama. He doesn't inspire confidence in his own abilities to lead by his reaction to the financial "crisis" most recently, his myriad positions on the economy and deregulation (said he didn't know much about it, spent much time in favor of deregulation before belatedly putting his name on the Fannie Mae regulation bill), his foreign policy positions (antagonistic toward Russia, McCain following the Bush script on Iraq, talking diplomacy but being a hawk, etc). For all his experience, his positions aren't solid and stable, they are erratic. The campaign tactic of repeating well-debunked misleading accusations against Obama (or debunked distorted accomplishments of McCain/Palin) reminds me of the Bush tactic of repeating things hoping Americans will believe it if they hear it enough. I hate that. It was infuriating to hear people I thought had common sense (in other things, like Bible) repeat the Bush lines in support of the Iraq invasion. McCain can repeat misleading, fact checked assertions all he wants, but when it comes down to actions, I don't think McCain has the judgment to be President. It would be one thing if he had made some mistakes and learned from them, but he still seems to be all over the place at the current time.

I guess it's good news for Obama that McCain's best attack material is tangential and pretty weak at best.


McCain campaign quote:
"We've got to question this guy's associations. Very soon. There's no question that we have to change the subject here,"
So far attempts at trying to paint Obama as a sexist, tax raising, reckless, raging liberal who is not ready to lead have fallen pretty flat.

As with the lipstick diversion, lets get back to the issues!

More detail here:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/10/03/AR2008100303738_pf.html

Edit 10/14/08: I saw an ad just this week after this so called story broke (or broke again) and was debunked about how Obama works with terrorists when convenient. Whaaa? Is anyone really buying that? (I guess a lot actually do buy this stuff. I heard a woman get up and talk about how she couldn't trust Obama because he's an Arab or something like that-McCain had to take the mic and correct her-sort of.) Blind ambition and bad judgment? McCain's getting his economic advice from Mr. Enron. What does that say about his ethics and judgment?

Monday, October 6, 2008

VP debate

First, a few notes:
1. Go to http://www.opendebates.org/theissue/
I have often wondered about third parties and why a society that prides itself on extensive freedoms would limit itself to two parties. Also, look at the role of corporate America. Interesting stuff. Call me a conspiracy theorist, but I found this enlightening.

2. The bailout bill. This has been touted as democracy at work and working together and I’d add business as usual. This thing is massively expensive and provides no real plan for resolving anything or how to use the money and is loaded with earmarks engineered to bribe certain Congress people to vote yes. McCain had a chance to take a different stand and act on his anti-earmark rhetoric, but I guess his campaign couldn’t risk a possible hit he may have taken for opposing it at all for any reason. So much for standing up when it’s not popular and putting country first. Or is voting yes to the imperfect bill putting country first? I love how this is such an emergency that Congress can’t be bothered with things like addressing the cause of the problem and putting some reigns and instruction on how the money is used, but it’s obviously not so serious that they didn’t have time to put in some nice fat earmarks.

***
http://www.factcheck.org/elections-2008/factchecking_biden-palin_debate.html
http://www.debates.org/pages/trans2008b_p.html

I made some notes during the VP debate, but didn't have time to put them here til now. Here's a few of them. I hope to finish it up before the next Presidential debate- which doesn't give me much time! And again, I'm posting old news!

SNL said it best- “…and the winner is- whoever you already liked!”

Seems like Palin exceeded many people’s expectations. I think she may have pumped the right back up because they were looking for something to be pumped about. There were no awkward silences or glaringly obvious gaffes, as in the interviews, but I didn’t see much to get all excited about. Most of the time when I listened to her answers, I couldn’t remember what the question was because she wasn’t on topic. Sometimes it seemed like she was giving a speech and running down the talking points, instead of responding to questions. Palin went back to tax cuts once and energy several times instead of answering the questions. And then, after going back to energy several times, the next question was about… energy! Unbelievable. And when she said the piece about the fact that she may not answer the question the way you like (trying to give the impression that she‘s taking a stand and doing what‘s right in the face of opposition), etc- wow- I was thinking it would be nice if you’d just answer the question at hand! She probably did better in this format because there really wasn’t time or opportunity for anyone to call her out on not answering questions in most cases, unlike when talking to a pesky gotcha journalist.

Palin managed to fit in every nickname and slogan of the entire campaign into that 90 mintues. Joe six pack, hockey mom, maverick, country first, change is coming, drill baby drill. Convenient and folksy, maybe, but answers they are not. Didn’t hear anything about lipstick… ☺

What was up with the winking? People didn’t like Gore’s sighs in that debate, but the winking was almost as bad. And kissing at the audience—maybe she thought she was at a campaign stop talking to supporters. The shout out to the third grade class was nice, but I thought it was more of a stall tactic or a subtle effort to prove her link to the general public rather than Washington.

Biden reigned himself in pretty well. I don’t think he came off as sexist or too harsh. Was he perceived as connected or passionate enough? I don’t know. Did anyone else giggle when he kept saying “…George Bush’s” a dozen time sin a row? Maybe it’s sleep deprivation or maybe it’s a word sounding funny if you say it enough times…

Palin in her first response referred to the fact that McCain put politics aside and suspended the campaign (can you really say that, even still??) and put country first. I’d downplay that since it seemed kind of overdramatic, not necessary and perhaps the wrong thing to do (why suspend the campaign in a televised statement no less, unless to make it political, rather than just go up to Washington and do your business, if that’s your real intent?). That, among other things, makes him seem a bit erratic and calls into question his judgment.

Biden mentioned McCain and deregulation of health care, then on Wall Street and in both instances Ifill asked Palin if she’d like to respond to the “charges” against McCain and both times Palin said she wanted to talk about taxes. She did add a sentence about McCain pushing for regulations, but that hardly refuted the charges or squared the deregulation champ with his alleged push for regulation.

There was a question about bankruptcy and Palin was asked if she’d support McCain’s position. She said simply “yes, I’d support it”. That’s it. Then, she goes on talking about McCain’s bipartisan cooperation, how he put politics aside and the campaign aside to deal with the mortgage crisis. I’m sorry, but the way he handled the crisis was far from apolitical. I’d like to think he was well-intentioned, but it smacks of politics and Bush’s melodrama.

Biden did answer the debt strapped homeowner question and had a several point plan to discuss. Ifill followed up with Palin by saying John McCain doesn’t support that and asked if that was true. Plain simply answers “that’s not so.” That’s it. Then, she goes on to talk about energy with zero transition from the topic at hand. The bothersome questions were clearly getting in the way of her speech at that point.

There was a question about what is true and false about climate change. Palin dismissed the causes and focused on cleaning up the planet. Biden said what I was thinking when I heard Palin say that. You need to know the causes to think about a relevant solution.

I can’t believe she still defended McCain’s statement about the “fundamentals of the economy are strong” as referring to the workers. Unless you’re communist, you probably aren’t thinking on those terms. I think he simply slipped up. They should just stop talking about it so that it goes away. He’s said so many things like that about not knowing anything about the economy, thinking it was strong when it wasn’t (repeating Bush’s comments that made my jaw drop-see jan 28, 2008 post), choosing very questionable advisers to help him form policy on this subject he doesn’t know much about that I just don’t trust his judgment on this issue. They’ve finally let go of the Bridge to Nowhere. Maybe it’ll take time to let go of this one, too. It seems like they keep repeating some of the same gaffes (misleading accusations or embellished accomplishments), or defenses of them long after the public knows that they aren’t giving it to us straight. I don’t know what would account for the gap. Maybe they only communicate via USPS?

There was a question about the VP role that got some interesting answers. Palin said a VP presides over the Senate and that she’s glad the Constitution allows more authority given the VP if the VP so chooses to use it?? Huh? They vote when there’s a tie. Not exactly what I’d call authority or choosing to use authority. I guess they only half prepped her on that one since she last answered that question.

Let’s talk about the Israel love fest. “No one’s a better friend to Israel than Joe Biden.” That may be true, but take your head out of the sand for a minute. You’re not speaking in front of the AIPAC. You’re running for VP. You need to have a reasonable outlook (not that many Presidents and VPs have in a long time) on this. But if I don’t like the Democrats’ position on this, I’m going to hate the Republican position which can be blended with religious themes that are equally as crazy (not to mention unbiblical) as unconditional support for Israel and its state sponsored terrorism. The two state solution is falling out of favor with the people involved (or half of the people) and the situation on the ground (support for Israeli land grabs past and present, walls being built) is making a two state solution obsolete.

Palin brought up putting the embassy in Jerusalem, Israel as a peace seeking nation, its track record of peace seeking (yeah, and Ariel Sharon was a man of peace and pigs can fly), second holocaust. Insisting on the embassy in Jerusalem immediately sends the message you support Israel despite their contribution to the bloodshed and will only hamper the process, so you might as well stay out of it altogether if you take that position. About Israel and peace-seeking- they have a way of doing this on the surface, but with the motive of delaying final status issues so that they can grab more land with the goal of taking it all (google “political formaldehyde” for Weisglass’ quote on that). Enough with the second holocaust scare tactics already! Israel’s got one of the world’s strongest militaries and a history of ruthless leaders. You can’t convince me of their vulnerability, existential threat or their need for our continued assistance, free from any conditions to respect our laws and human rights by invoking old images of gas chambers.

Biden said he didn’t support the Palestinian elections because he knew Hamas would take over. Had all of the elections been allowed to be conducted around the same time, Hamas probably wouldn’t have won in the second batch. The US position of only supporting democratic elections when the outcome is favorable to us also contributed to the Gaza mess. We should either support democracy (like we claim to) or stay out of all of it.

Biden didn’t inspire confidence when he didn’t talk about Jerusalem. Obama had taken the Bush position of essentially giving it to Israel, no questions asked.

Both candidates are taking Bush’s position or maybe even a farther right, more hawkish position.


Palin called Obama/Biden “white flag of surrender in Iraq” which I think is not true and could be a misrepresentation or exaggeration.

Biden deserves some credit for overcoming personal tragedy, much like McCain. I really hadn't heard about Biden's as much as McCain's, so that was interesting and adds a new dimension to his character for me.

On the question of what would you change or cut from your plans due to the debt problem posed by the crisis, the VP candidates passed on this as the Presidential candidates did. I just don’t think you can get an answer from a candidate when you ask about cutting the plan or even about their Achilles heel. Those answers were rather comical. Palin responded to the lack of experience as a weakness (or if that’s not it, what is) question by saying she in fact has the executive experience and business experience and mom experience and that with being reform minded is why she’s on a good ticket. The closest she got to answering the question was saying that we as a nation aren’t perfect.

Biden did better in that he admitted to having an Achilles heel – lack of discipline or “excessive passion”, but didn’t really talk about what that means or how to deal with it in terms of being the VP. He used the time really to respond to Palin’s answer which was actually the opposite of the question asked. Biden does deserve some credit for his life experience. That is an unimaginable situation he was in and he got through it. He made a good point and maybe was smart to respond to Palin’s mom experience with his own. It was a bit comical to hear him try and out-mom her, though, with this and the violence against women legislation. I wonder how the public in general took it- did they feel a connection and sympathy or think it political?


Palin did have a little problem when she called McKeirnan McClellan and misquoted him (as did Biden?). She said that he said the surge would work in Afghanistan and I don’t think that’s what he said.

Palin mischaracterized Obama’s plan as government-run, even called it a mandate

Palin’s last remarks took a shot at the media for her shortcomings in the Gibson and Couric interviews. The filter of mainstream media?? Was she not talking to us in the televised interview? I didn’t see anyone telling us what we saw. I saw someone asking her questions she wasn’t prepared to answer- like a kid on a pop quiz who didn’t read the book. Maybe what she means by “talking directly to the people” is that she’d rather give a pre-fab speech rather than answer questions on the spot. I can totally understand that, but it’s not the media’s fault for how she performed in the interviews. They were pretty basic policy questions. The only thing that would have been more softball would be if they asked her how she felt to be running as the woman candidate, how she feels about x, y or z.



Palin’s use of Biden’s past quotes:
I wanted to do some fact checking on these things where she threw Biden’s own words at him, but I may not get to it. I don’t think she has these things exactly right, but I’d have to check. It sounds somewhat factual, but with the effort to mislead and misrepresent.

Now you said recently that higher taxes or asking for higher taxes or paying higher taxes is patriotic.
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I was surprised to hear you mention that because you had said that there isn't anything -- such a thing as clean coal. And I think you said it in a rope line, too, at one of your rallies.
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Barack Obama voted against funding troops there after promising that he would not do so.
PALIN: And Senator Biden, I respected you when you called him out on that. You said that his vote was political and you said it would cost lives.
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We'll know when we're finished in Iraq when the Iraqi government can govern its people and when the Iraqi security forces can secure its people. And our commanders on the ground will tell us when those conditions have been met. And Maliki and Talabani also in working with us are knowing again that we are getting closer and closer to that point, that victory that's within sight.

Now, you said regarding Senator McCain's military policies there, Senator Biden, that you supported a lot of these things. In fact, you said in fact that you wanted to run, you'd be honored to run with him on the ticket, and that's an indication I think of some of the support that you had at least until you became the VP pick here.

You also said that Barack Obama was not ready to be commander in chief. And I know again that you opposed the move that he made to try to cut off funding for the troops and I respect you for that. I don't know how you can defend that position now, but I know that you know especially with your son in the National Guard and I have great respect for your family also and the honor that you show our military. Barack Obama though, another story there. Anyone I think who can cut off funding for the troops after promising not to is another story.
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Ifill’s question:
…you said in July that someone would have to explain to you exactly what it is the vice president does every day. You, senator, said, you would not be vice president under any circumstances (Palin apparently thought we’d believe she was joking and we have to take him at his word even though when you’re running for President, I don’t guess there’s any room for pondering, “hmm, if I lose, I really, really want to be VP”.)

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On the SNL VP debate…which I watched online since I can’t seem to stay up anymore…

I loved how they zinged Biden on the Scranton thing and Palin on the Couric interviews- It’s good to be here without the filter of the gotcha media with their fact checking, follow up questions, and the need to figure out what your words mean and why you put them in that order.

I really should have seen the last joke coming with the Joe six pack and maverick self labeling abound, but I nearly blew my tea all over the computer. It was the wink, I think.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Economy, Palin chaperoned, advisers, etc

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/09/29/AR2008092902049.html

The majority of House Republicans were against the bailout and McCain’s blaming Democrats- principally Obama and Pelosi- for the failure. Politics ahead of country? That’s reaching. I guess they need to create a little controversy to deflect attention away from the Palin interviews. McCain sat in on yesterday’s. She didn’t do as bad this time, but with McCain sitting there policing, it sent the message that she couldn’t handle the situation or wasn’t trusted to do so (maybe for good reason). There was the question about the voter asking about Pakistan…again McCain tried to divert attention away from the issue (reminiscent of Bush when under fire for a variety of questionable actions in his Presidency) with the “Gotcha Journalism” (another Bush tactic-give everything a catchy nickname so people remember the diversion, rather than the issue of concern) commentary. It was a “gotcha” moment. Palin gave an answer like the one McCain criticized from Obama. It’s a legit “gotcha”! Palin’s allowed to tell the terrorists our general plan, but Obama’s supposed to not let anyone know what he thinks should be done on foreign policy issues. Doesn’t really make sense.

Obama didn’t blame anyone for the crisis, but is talking about McCain’s deregulation history. McCain did say “ Fundamentals of the economy are strong.” And that he’s “fundamentally a deregualtor”.

I have heard some in conservative circles about McCain’s bill and warning of the financial crisis. If McCain did cosponsor something to fix Fannie and Freddie in 2003 or 2005, why is he not talking more about that? It seems like that would be ripe for disputing Obama’s digs…unless it is not as it seems. The bill never made it out of Republican committee, to Senate floor. His economic plan is more like Gramm’s, not this bill. Gramm left the campaign as chief economic advisor after the whiner comment this summer, but still assists the campaign, which is frightening.

On the one hand you’ve got that and on the other you’ve got different things McCain has said. "The issue of economics is not something I've understood as well as I should," McCain said. "I've got Greenspan's book."
http://www.boston.com/news/politics/politicalintelligence/2007/12/mccain_its_abou.html
(It was at this point he looked to Gramm for advice-yikes!)

This is a sore point for both campaigns. Both candidates have connections to Fannie and Freddie- McCain’s got Phil Gramm and Rick Davis, among others.
http://www.usatoday.com/news/politics/election2008/2008-09-18-econteams_N.htm

Here’s a different view:
It wasn’t Fannie and Freddie
http://economistsview.typepad.com/economistsview/2008/09/once-again-it-w.html


Old McCain foreign policy adviser list:
http://wonkroom.thinkprogress.org/2008/03/17/mccain-advisers/

More recent list:
http://www.connectusfund.org/mccain

Economic adviser list:
http://econ4obama.blogspot.com/2008/06/other-list-mccains-economists.html


Voting record
http://www.411mania.com/politics/columns/69733

http://projects.washingtonpost.com/congress/members/


This could be an interesting site. I didn’t have a chance to peruse it for long…
http://www.procon.org


Two oft repeated McCain quotes that make me chuckle:
(He repeated them in the debate, though he rushed through the delivery of the veto pen one so it wasn’t as dramatic as at stump speeches)
*veto pen; “ I will make them famous and you will know their names”
*”snatch defeat from the jaws of victory”- talking about Obama’s plan