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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.

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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.