Saturday, October 25, 2008

McCain's take on clothes and campaign funds

Think Progress notes that in 1993, on the floor of the United States Senate, John McCain lent his support to "restrictions on the use of campaign funds for 'inherently personal purposes."

Here's what he said:

"Madam President, the amendment before the Senate is a very simple one. It restricts the use of campaign funds for inherently personal purposes. The amendment would restrict individuals from using campaign funds for such things as home mortgage payments, clothing purchases ... and vacations or other trips that are noncampaign in nature. [...}

"The use of campaign funds for items which most Americans would consider to be strictly personal reasons, in my view, erodes public and erodes it significantly."

You betcha!

Two more for Obama

Two more Republicans of note have deserted McCain's sinking ship.

William Weld, the former governor of Massachusetts, announced yesterday that he was supporting Barack Obama for president. This is the first time he's ever endorsed a Democrat, he said. While not overtly criticizing John McCain, Weld gave several reasons for going with Obama:

Obama, said Weld, exhibits good judgment and a "deep sense of calm," and has a "first-class political temperament." Weld also noted that Obama has, in the past, brought Democrats, Republicans and Independents together.

"It's not often you get a guy with his combination of qualities..." said the former governor.

h/t to Americablog

Another noted Republican, Charles Fried, announced that he had already voted for Obama by absentee ballot. Fried, who is a Harvard Law School professor and an important conservative thinker, served as Solicitor General of the United States in the Reagan administration.

Back in January, Fried was supporting John McCain. Not anymore. He's asked that his name be removed from McCain's campaign committees as he will no longer serve on them.

He voted for Obama, he said, for several reasons the most important of which was "the choice of Sarah Palin at a time of deep national crisis."

h/t to Andrew Sullivan

It's always a pleasure to hear voices of reason in a season of discontent.

Obama's America circa 2012 by Dobson & Co.

Just when you think the extremist Christian right can't possibly sink any lower into the slime, a "Letter from 2012 in Obama's America" arrives on the Net.

The "letter" is a pretend look into the future after four years of an Obama presidency. It is written and published by James Dobson's Focus on the Family Action. FOFA is a separate corporation from Focus on the Family, so they can legally get by with this kind of bullshit.

Much of the letter is standard extremist Christian crap -- the Supreme Court will legalize gay marriage, and homosexuality will be taught to little bitty kids in the public schools, and abortion will also be legalized, and the poor Christians in America will lose their freedom to enact their hatefilled laws on all citizens.

The letter begins with a maudlin ode to the Star Spangled Banner, which the writer "can hardly sing ... any more." He/she just tears up and gets a lumpy throat when he/she hears those words about the land of the free and home of the brave!

For "true" Christies, things have gone downhill in four years. In 2012, the Supreme Court has been stacked with ultra-liberal, non-Christian judges who believe in making the law instead of interpreting the law.

That means same-sex marriage is OK everywhere. Oh, and the Boy Scouts have disbanded they were being forced to hire gay scoutmasters who had to sleep in tents with the young lads.

Elementary schools have been compelled to train their kiddos "in varieties of gender identity." Beginning in first grade! Christians can't home school anymore and they have no say in the public schools. Most "true" Christians have left the teaching profession. Can't say the Pledge of Allegiance any more, either; in fact, "under god" has been taken out of the pledge.

Adoption agencies are forced to place children with gay families. Business with government contracts have to hire gays. You can't say anything against gays on the air waves or from the pulpit or you might be put in jail!

Abortions are rampant since they've been made legal. Infants "can be killed outright just seconds before they [are] born." Doctors and nurses had fled the medical profession rather than be forced to participate in killing babies.

No more guns. No more home schooling.

Obama "has been reluctant to send our armed forces to any new overseas commitment." Al-Qaeda has taken over Iraq. The U.S. has suffered two terrorist attacks. Russia has invaded, occupied and re-taken "several Eastern European countries.

In Latin America, Prez. Obama has strengthened ties and trade agreements with commie nations.

Tel Aviv was mostly destroyed in a nuclear attack by Iran.

Health care is down the tubes because it's now run by the government and there are long waits for treatment. "Euthanasia is becoming more and more common."

Obama's tax policies made the deficit grow much larger and he spent so much money we couldn't afford to cut taxes. We have decreased production and increased inflation and unemployment.

Ah, hell, this goes on and on. What it does, I think, is show the depth of depravity of the Christian extremists. They will, literally, say and/or do just about anything to stop Obama from winning this election. Truth matters not at all. They claim Obama is not a "real" Christian because he believes that people might be able to come to god outside of the Christian faith. Hell, the Catholic church believes that!

This "letter" almost makes me believe in a devil. He or she couldn't do any more damage to our national well-being or to the character of the CHRISTIAN Barack Obama than this so-called "Christian" letter.

Evil is as evil does. Focus on the Family Action is evil.

If you wish to read it in its entirety, click here. (It is a PDF file)

James Dobson - "Christian" without a conscience

AOL News published an AP article yesterday titled, "Christian right intensifies attacks on Obama."

It is an excellent summary of how the extremists on the Christian right are trying to bury Obama with outright falsehoods, rumors, and scare tactics.

You can read it here.

I was taught as a child that the devil never appears in recognizable form. The devil does not wear a red suit with a tail and horns. To the contrary. The devil appears in righteous form. The devil wears a three-piece suit, a striped tie, and smells of expensive cologne, or maybe a Roman collar and chasuble. The devil speaks softly, quotes scripture, denounces evil, reeks of a close relationship with god. He is neat and clean and his hair is scissor-cut.

The devil might appear as a female, of course: an attractive, well-groomed, charming delight in 3-inch heels (they could be red). She might claim to be born-again, a lover of God, a worker for the kingdom of god, a friend of Jesus and little children. It's possible she would run for political office as god's candidate.

It's a problem. How do you discern the devil? Things ain't always what they seem.

Enter James Dobson of Focus on the Family. I'm not going to say he's the devil, even though a number of people on his side of the fence have labeled Senator Obama as the anti-Christ. I'm going to let Dobson speak for himself.

Dobson has a bit of a problem, though. He has to be careful that his tax-exempt corporation remains that way. But he's good at dodging bullets, so he has set up separate corporate outfits to do his dirty work - like Focus on the Family Action.

It was under that umbrella that Dobson sent out his October newsletter to his minions--those millions of deluded fools who actually think he represents righteousness. The newsletter, like all hate material, contains numerous lies which are used to attack the character of a fellow-Christian, Barack Obama.

For Dobson, the upcoming election rides on two issues, mainly: abortion and homosexuality. There are other things Dobson worries about, but only tangentially. Abortion and homosexuality are his major concerns.

So, if, like Dobson, you "embrace a biblical worldview," whatever the hell that means, you will agree that we "need to elect a pro-family, pro-life president." And you will understand that "The importance of this objective cannot be overstated."

If we fail to do that, the Supreme Court will be stacked by an infidel president and will proceed to "impose a liberal agenda on the nation ... [also affecting] the definition of marriage, religious freedom, and the protections (of lack thereof) of life in the womb."

Dobson is a true charlatan. He says "...I will not endorse either candidate this year." In the very next breath he says, "I can say that I am now supportive of Senator John McCain and his bid for the presidency."

The rest of this diatribe is packed with extremist lies. For example: Senator Obama wants to allow the killing of babies born alive after a botched abortion. I'm sorry, but that is simply not true and to continue to perpetrate such nonsense is an "offense against god." Did you hear that Dobson - you have committed an offense against god!

Dobson goes on to claim that Obama wants "comprehensive" sex education for children in kindergarten. (I don't know why that would bother Dobson. He wants to close down ALL public schools!) But his charge against Obama in this case is again not true, and a deliberate attempt to smear the senator.

Dobson goes on to claim that the "homosexual agenda" will be given priority under a Democratic administration. That's scary to Dobbie, 'cause god hates queers. And he wants to be on god's side!

Dobson says that America under Obama would be an unmitigated disaster for those who believe in Jesus Christ.

Jesus Christ!

But Palin! Wow, Dobson thinks she's the cat's meow! She is, says Dobbie, "a deeply committed Christian ... who is pro-life ... a portrait of Christian motherhood and womanhood."

Oh, and she's much more qualified than Obama. Her mayorship of Wasilla gave her all the experience she needs to be vice president or prez.

There's much more of this crap and it's worth reading if only to give you a sense of how Dobson really has no conscience. Perhaps it's all a matter of power. If Obama wins, Dobbie is out in the cold. No more weekly calls to the White House. No summoning to Washington to hear his "advice" on important matters. No pandering to his pontifical, self-righteous self.

Dobson is, indeed, a egotistic, self-righteous, pompous, gas-bag who, by his writings and speeches, comes off as the devil in a three-piece suit. He wouldn't know Jesus Christ if his legendary savior hit him on the head with the Torah!

You can read all of Dobson's letter here.

Hate on the right

The rabid right-wingers in our midst are increasing their hate-attacks on Barack Obama. They seem to be in panic mode, their rantings becoming even more inane and insane. Although they will always attract a certain number of crazies to their loony-bins, it appears, fortunately, that many Americans are sick and tired of their madness.

Jamison Foster at Media Matters has summarized some of their "vitrolic and irrational" messages:

The following have attacked Senator Obama for visiting his very ill grandmother: Rush Limbaugh, Michael Savage, Jerome Corsi, et. al.

A columnist for the Washington Times (the Moonie paper) said Obama was a "'Marxist' who believes that 'murdering innocent babies ... is an inalienable right.'"

Some nutcases writing at WorldNetDaily are claiming Obama not only supported but actually campaigned for "radical Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga" while in Kenya in 2006. This is, needless to say, absolutely false!

Thomas Sowell, one of our lesser columnists, "compared Obama to Hitler, Mao and Jim Jones." Why? "...they all spoke inspiringly of 'change.'"

Bill O'Reilly, the master of mud, stated that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi "practices her speeches too much, noting that Hitler also practiced speeches before delivering them."

Bill Cunningham, a radio klutz, thinks of Obama as the anti-Christ, and often refers to Obama by his middle name. He once used the term, "Barack Mohammed Hussein Obama."

Lee Rodgers, another radio "host," went on air with the lie that Obama said he would "'stand with the Muslims" against "the Western World."

The aforementioned people represent just a small portion of those hate-mongers who, through lies and innuendo, and to increase their flock (and thus make more money), try to derail the movement toward truth and justice in this country.

But the worst is yet to come. Please checkout the upcoming post on James Dobson and his house of evil.

You can read all of Mr. Foster's article here.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Arne Carlson, former gov of Minnesota for Obama

The former governor of Minnesota, a "moderate" Republican by name of Arne Carlson, has endorsed Barack Obama for president.

Carlson based his decision on Obama's stance with regard to the war in Iraq, the economy, and the environment. Carlson was also put-off by recent comments suggesting Obama and other U.S. politicians may be "anti-American."

"He [Obama]", said Carlson, "has laid out for this nation a vision for a national purpose."

It is inspiring to see that there are a few Republicans left who put the national interest above the Party and what appears to be the Republican Party's main goal of obtaining and maintaining power to serve the interests of the high and the mighty.

Why is Palin hiding her medical records?

[Photo of Dr. Cathy Baldwin-Johnson in her Wasilla office]

John McCain has released some of his medical records...more or less, to some reporters.. Not enough, and not for long enough. In other words, the release was something of a joke to satisfy the hoi polloi, but ended up with no one being confident as to what ol' John's medical condition is currently or his future prognosis. Which, of course, raises the question as to whether or not he has much of a future.

Palin, unlike John, won't release any of her medical records. Although she hinted to Brian Williams she might, possibly, in the future, release some.

What the hell's the problem here?

From Andrew Sullivan:

"When medical information related to Governor Palin's health is ready to be released we will make that information available."

Sullivan asks, rhetorically: "'Related' to her health?"

He also says: "The records were part of the vetting process. There is absolutely no reason why they couldn't be released immediately of why Palin's obstetrician, Catherine Baldwin-Jones, could not be allowed to talk to reporters about the evidentiary facts of Palin's controversial story of her last pregnancy. And yet we get this crap:

"'Comella declined to give any more information about when the records might be released or whether there were any particular issues holding up their release.'"

Sullivan, unfortunately, makes a boo-boo here. The pediatrician's name is Catherine Baldwin-Johnson.

But he's absolutely right that the "medical" records of Sarah Palin should be opened to the public now; not just those "related to her health." And Baldwin-Johnson should be allowed to speak to the press.

If all is as Palin claims, what the hell's the problem?

And why do they need more time? To alter the records?

The whole business stinks. It reeks of the kind of government in the shadows, a government predicated on lies and diversions, that has characterized the Bush/Cheney administration the past eight years.

McCain & Creation Museum lead in Kentucky

It isn't suprising, really, that McCain has a solid lead in Kentucky and should take the state with no problem come November 4.

You gotta remember, Kentucky, while a beautiful state in many ways, is the home of the so-called Creation Museum.

The people that constructed this monument to ignorance and superstition believe that their skygod created the entire world and everything that exists about 6,000 years ago - and John McCain was there!

No, he wasn't. That was a low blow.

But, there are some connections. The Creation Museum, although relatively new, is a relic of antiquated thought, to which no reputable scientist would give the least credence today.

McCain, too, is tied to ideas and programs which have been shown over and over again to be invalid and unproductive. He would, as he has promised on numerous occasions, continue the policies of the George W. Bush administration, policies which have resulted in disaster at home and abroad.

In Kentucky, the Creation Museum and McCain come together.

May they crawl together forever in the primeval mud.

Palin's clothes and the missing link

Ms. Sarah Palin, erstwhile guv of Alaska, is today defending the RNC's purchase of clothing and accessories in the amount of $150K or so, the purpose of which was to make her look "hot" on the campaign trail. Well, she didn't actually say that. She'd probably say she was "hot" enough.

Actually, she didn't say that, either. But in an interview with the Chicago Tribune yesterday, she "disputed accounts of her accepting $150,000 worth of designer clothing from the Republican Party."

She also said the media's coverage of this flap has been sexist and unfair. Poor Sarah. I mean, the clothes she got, she said, weren't even worth $150,000, and she hasn't worn most of them, and "If only people knew how frugal we are."

Ha, ha.

The RNC has provided the documentation for the purchases in its financial disclosure forms. So, sorry Sarah, there's no "disputing" the value of the stuff you got.

Then, to make matters worse, McCain said he buys his own clothes! Oh, my god. I don't think they love each other anymore. You know how, when McCain is asked about her qualifications, he kinda grits his teeth and stutters out, "She is so qualified!" And when they were interviewed on NBC, their body language said "Yuk!" and they could barely look at each other.

It gets weirder. Steven Benen, writing at the Washington Monthly, references a story from The New York Times that brought up a new question: "Why don't the numbers add up?"

"Some of the fashion experts consulted Wednesday, for instance, about the $150,000 in purchases that appeared on Federal Election Commission records were puzzled by where all of that money had gone, given what they had seen of Ms. Palin's wardrobe.

"Consider also the $4,902.45 charge at Atelier New York, a high-end men's store, presumably for Ms. Palin's husband, Todd, the famous First Dude.

"Karlo Steele, an owner there, said he had gone through the store's receipts for September, twice, and found no sales that matched that amount, nor any combination of sales that added up to the total. Because the store carries aggressively directional men's wear, he caters to a small clientele and knows most of his customers by name, as well as the history of their purchases... 'We have no recollection of that sale and no idea what they are talking about,' Mr. Steel said."

Then there's the charge of $98 "at a high-end children's boutique in Minneapolis, but after going through their receipts, the store owners found no record of the sale."

The whole scenario is very weird.

And maybe, ultimately, none of this has to do with anything, except, in the words of the McCain campaign, it goes to "character" - the character of Ms. Palin. And that's why she tried to pacify the troops with her lame defense that the clothing was not worth $150,000 and she had hardly worn any of it. She's just a plain ol' hockey mom, you know.

Won't work. You see, Ms. Palin is that born-again, evangelical Christian who believes in Jesus and, well, like, you know, god put her in the governor's seat, and, well, like, god now wants her in Washington so she can help people come to Jesus and just remake the country in god's image, like, you know, a real Christian nation, and like, well, change the whole world before it's too late and Jesus comes back and all those non-saved and Jews will burn in hell forever.

So, like, well, you know, it doesn't look too good if the vp candidate is dressed to kill, or too hot, I mean, like, you know, what would Jesus say? And if her fans should come to think she's an elitist, wow, like, that wouldn't be good dontcha know.

Not to worry. She can go back to wearing boots and mukluks and shooting mooses up thar in the boonies where the troops are growing a bit pissed because of all her shenanigans that are now, for the first time, being made public. Give it about 12 more days.

Governor Palin puts her cronies on the dole

Charles Piller writes in today's edition of the Los Angeles Times, that "Palin appointed friends and donors to key posts in Alaska..."

Piller notes that Palin has been quick to "tout" her reformist credentials as governor of Alaska.

At the Republican National Convention, Palin told the group assembled, "I took on the old politics as usual in Juneau when I stood up to special interests and the lobbyists and the big oil companies and the good old boys ... [I] shook things up, and in short order we put the government of our state back on the side of the people."

Well, maybe not.

The LA Times went a-hunting, and while they didn't shoot a moose, they did discover some interesting artifacts lurking amid the Alaskan records:

1) More than 100 appointments to state posts -- nearly 1 in 4 -- went to campaign contributors or their relatives, sometimes without apparent regard to qualifications.

2) Palin filled 16 state offices with appointees from families that donated $2,000 to $5,600 and were among her top political patrons.

3) Several of Palin's leading campaign donors received state-subsidized industrial development loans of up to $3.6 million for business ventures of questionable public value.

4) Palin picked a donor to replace the public safety commissioner she fired. But the new top cop had to resign days later under an ethics cloud. [He was paid $10,000 in 'severance pay.] And Palin drew a formal ethics complaint still pending against her and several aides for allegedly helping another donor and fundraiser land a state job.

Palin is a fraud in more ways than one. This is a devastating report and again makes obvious the fact she was not properly vetted, and that the Palin choice nothing more than a stab in the dark to cozy up to the extremist Christian right who didn't have much use for McCain in the first place.

Read all the gory details here.

Bush administration wants to talk to Iran

What? George W. Bush and his neocon cronies have long harped on the dangers of "talking" to terrorist or "axis of evil" regimes. Can't do that, they said. Talking doesn't work, they said. You can't talk to terrorists they said. Better we should bomb 'em, they said.

Now, McClatchy reporter Warren P. Strobel, tells us that the Bushites will next month serve notice they plan to set up an "interests section" in Iran - "the first U.S. diplomatic presence in Iran since the 1979-81 hostage crisis."

The "interests section," which is less than an embassy, will nevertheless be headed by an American diplomat. "Among other things," says Strobel, "the U.S. diplomats in Tehran would facilitate cultural exchanges; issue visas for Iranians to travel to the U.S.; and engage in public diplomacy to present a more charitable view of the U.S.

Dontcha just love it? When Senator Obama suggested it might be of value to sit down and talk with one's perceived enemies, that such talk might be more fruitful in terms of resolving differences than bombs, John McCain sneered and called Obama "naive." Throughout the presidential campaign, McCain and his sidekick, Palin, have continued to disparage Obama for his position - leaving the clear impression that he was "soft" on terrorists and terrorism.

No wonder McCain is thoroughly pissed with Bush. Just when McCain stakes out a position based on Bush policy, Bush undercuts him by flip-flopping.

What a bunch of morons!

Palin favors exporting Alaska gas

Sarah Palin, a self-described energy "expert," has turned the cry of "Drill, Baby, Drill!" into a mantra of the McCain/Palin campaign. Drill in the Arctic, drill in the Gulf of Mexico, drill everywhere, she insists. Unfortunately, Palin ignores the abundant evidence which indicates that such drilling would not come close to solving our energy needs, or even easing our energy needs.

Palin pouts to her supporters that the United States must drill for more oil and gas in order to become energy independent. At the one and only vice presidential debate, Palin said "It's a nonsensical position that we are in when we have domestic supplies of energy all over this great land. And East Coast politicians who don't allow energy-producing states like Alaska produce these, to tap into them, and instead we're relying on foreign countries to produce for us."

Once again it's obvious that Sarah has a difficult time stringing words together in a way that makes sense. But the real problem is that Sarah is a hypocrite and a political charlatan.

Last June, the U.S. Energy Department agreed to exend an export license for the Kenai [Alaska] Liquified Natural Gas Facility. The current license expires next year. The new license is valid until 2011.

Palin was ecstatic: "In these times of economic uncertainty, this is great news for the state and its residents," said she.

Kenai Liquified Natural Gas is owned by Marathon Oil Corporation and ConocoPhillips. In 1969 it began shipping its product to Japan.

Martha Mendoza, in an article at the Huffington Post, noted that "while the United States imported 771 billion cubic feet of natural gas last year from Trinidad and Tobago, Algeria, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Nigeria and Qatar, Alaska is expected to export 100 billion cubic feet to Asia over the next two years."

Sarah Palin is a gas-bag!

Read all of Menoza's article here.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Freedom of the press in the U.S.

According to a report released yesterday by Reporters Sans Frontieres, the United States is not doing so well in terms of freedom of the press. In fact, it is ranked 36th in the world, tied with Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cape Verde, South Africa, Spain and Taiwan.

First place consists of a tie between Luxembourg and Norway. Not surprisingly, Iran, China, Vietnam, Cuba and North Korea are in the bottom ten.

The rankings are achieved by measuring "the state of press freedom in the world ... [and] reflects the degree of freedom that journalists and news organizations enjoy in each country, and the efforts made by the authorities to respect and ensure respect for this freedom."

There's more here, at the Huffington Post.

More Repubs endorse Obama (Updated)

The latest Repubs to abandon a sinking ship are:

1) Ben Bernanke:

According to the Wall Street Journal, Ben Bernanke, chairman of the Federal Reserve, is "endorsing" Obama. The WSJ came to this conclusion when Bernanke, on Monday, endorsed the Democratic version of how to go about stimulating the economy. In other words, Bernanke blessed the program proposed by Democrats in Congress and Mr. Obama to spend another $300 billion to get things moving on main street.

Bush and the Repubs are agin' it.

What's interesting about this is that it's unusual for the Federal Reserve chairman to become so directly involved in political matters, especially with the general election just a couple of weeks away.

The Huffington Post suggests Bernanke hopes to keep his job when Barack Obama is elected president.

2) Dr. K. A. Paul

I've never heard of this guy and would not consider his endorsement of Barack Obama of any consequence until I read that some consider him to be the "world's most popular Christian evangelist. Damn, I thought that was Billy.

Paul, born in India, lives in Houston and according to CNBC, is "a long time spiritual advisor to many Republican leaders and the world of big business." He gave three reasons for his endorsement:

a) Paul thinks the current administration has delayed the second coming of Jesus by Bush's Iraq war policies. The Iraq war forced many missionaries out of their posts with their work unfinished and everyone knows that Jesus ain't coming back until the gospel had been preached to the whole world.

b) Paul has noted that respect for the United States has dissipated around the globe. "Senator Obama," he said, "can change this trend and help restore our country to where we are once again respected around the world."

c) Paul's third reason has to do with Bush's economic failure. McCain, he says, represents a continuation of Bush's failed economic policy. "Senator Obama can restore confidence and vibrancy to our economy.

3) The Goldwater Clan

This is the most interesting one to me. I lived in Arizona when Barry was a senator and when he ran for president against JFK. At the time, Goldwater was considered a far-right wingnut, a danger to the world, and likely to begin a nuclear Armageddon. He was also powerful; powerful enough, as a newspaper owner, to shut down a rival paper in Phoenix by threatening businesses who placed ads in that rival paper. Many trucks drove around Arizona with a sign showing the words, "Goldwater, my..." and a picture of a donkey.

We've come a long way. The Bush administration and the Republican Party has fallen so far off the edge of center that Goldwater has been rehabilitated into some kind of gentle, moderate politician - a visionary, if you will.

Goldwater's granddaughter, C.C. Goldwater, wrote an article for the Huffington Post, explaining that she and her siblings and a few cousins "will not be supporting the Republican presidential candidates this year." CC talks about her grandfather's "honesty, integrity" and his stress on constitutional freedoms. "We reject," she said, "the constant intrusion into our personal lives, along with other crucial policy issues of the McCain/Palin ticket."

There's much more, which you can read here.

4) Scott McClellan - Bush's former Press Secretary said today he is supporting Barack Obama for president.

The flawed AP Poll

[Photo of Liz Sidoti presenting donuts to McCain]

It's been awhile since the Associated Press has been an unbiased and fair news outlet. The latest poll just published by AP serves as a good example of which basket the media giant is putting its eggs.

First of all, this:

The Jed Report tells of "an event for newspaper editors hosted by the AP" back on April 14.

Both Barack Obama and John McCain were present. "At the event, the head of AP addressed Barack as 'Osama' while John McCain was given a box of Dunkin' Donuts -- with sprinkles. And coffee, with a little cream and a little sugar. By none other than Liz Sidoti."

The Jed Report also quotes part of an WaPo article by Dana Milbank, describing this event:

"So much for the liberal media.

"John McCain and Barack Obama both appeared before the nation's newspaper editors yesterday. The putative Republican presidential nominee was given a box of doughnuts and a standing ovation. The likely Democratic nominee was likened to a terrorist.

Liz Sidoti showed her true colors when she told McCain:

"'We spend quite a bit of time with you on the back of the Straight Talk Express asking you questions, and what we've decided to do today was invite everyone else along on the ride. We even brought you your favorite treat.'"

"McCain opened the offering. 'Oh yes, with sprinkles!' he said.

"Sidoti passed him a cup. 'A little coffee with a little cream and a little sugar,' she said"

Milbank said you had to watch the video "to fully appreciate Sidoti's obsequiousness."

Read the full Jed Report and catch the videos here.

Now to the poll which AOL touts as showing McCain and Obama essentially tied.

Well, maybe not. First of all, every other poll in the nation shows Obama up by anywhere from 6 to 11 points! So, the real question is not "How could those other polls be so wrong?", but "Who screwed up the AP poll?"

We'll tell you: None other than Liz Sidoti. And Liz represents the policies and priorities of the "head" of the AP and much of the "news" coming out of AP these days.

Americablog has an excellent article dissecting the poll. Here are the highlights:

Fully 45 percent of the poll's respondents and 44 percent of the poll's "likely voters" are identified as "evangelicals or born-again Christians." That makes no sense. In 2004, that group comprised 23 percent of the voters. You can bet your bippy that it has not doubled in four years! But, they usually vote Republican and probably would cast their ballot for ol' McCain on Nov. 4.

As Joe Sudbay says, "This means AP disproportionately skewed its polling towards the GOP base. So it's no surprise that the AP poll shows McCain doing better than in other polls.

"With such an outlier, one wonders why the brain trust at AP decided to move ahead releasing this poll. But, the AP brain trust loves McCain. It's not just Sidoti. Remember, AP's Washington bureau chief almost went to work for McCain."

Read the Americablog post here.

And remember, when you read an AP story, keep your manure detector on.

How to make an ass of yourself

[Photo by Max Whittaker/Getty Images]

On October 21, Sarah Palin appeared at an event in Reno, Nevada. She was wearing a scarf which said "Vote," and contained multiple images of donkeys.

Is it possible that Ms. Palin, the intellectually-challenged, extremist Christian whacko sidekick of John McCain, doesn't know that the donkey is the political symbol of the Democratic Party?

Catholic bishop warns faithful about Obama

The bishop is Robert J. Hermann, Archdiocesan Administrator of the Archdiocese of St. Louis. He is solidly in the McCain camp.

The election on November 4 may be "Judgment Day," says the pious preacher of the "good news" of god.

Voters have to decide whether to follow the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church (i.e. God), or go with the devil. And that decision will determine where a voter will spend eternity. Your immortal soul is in peril.

Bishop Hermann explains it this way: "If I value the good of the economy and my current lifestyle more than I do the right to life itself, then I am in trouble. ... My desire for a good economy cannot justify my voting to remove all current restrictions on abortion. My desire to end the war in Iraq cannot justify my voting to remove all current restrictions on abortion."

Abortion, for the Bishop and other Roman Catholic hierarchs, is THE deciding issue. For support of that position, he refers to "the writings of Pope Benedict XVI, that the issue of life is the most basic issue and must be given priority over the issue of the economy, the issue of war or any other issue. These same teachings," says Hermann, "inform us that when both candidates permit the right to abortion, but unequally so, we must choose to mitigage the evil by choosing the candidate who is less permissive of abortion."

Notice that the Bishop did not mention Obama's name. That would have been a no-no, and illegal, to boot. But, he didn't have to. There is absolutely no question as to how he thinks the "faithful" should vote.

But the bishop fails to make his case. One cannot merely quote papal writings or cite the teachings of the RC church. Too often, both have been seriously wrong and umitigated evil has resulted.

It would be helpful, though, and give credence to the bishop's pious pronouncement, if he would recognize that the economy often has a direct connection to abortion. Many abortions occur because those involved are caught in an economic situation that does not allow them to give birth and care properly for a child (or another child!).

It would also be helpful if the bishop took just as seriously the matter of war, which he dismissed as not comparable to abortion. In Iraq, over 4,000 of our own men and women have been killed for no good reason whatsoever. Perhaps a million more Iraqis, including innocent women and children have also had life crushed from their bodies.

What about capital punishment? Does the bishop defend the taking of life by the state as a means of punishment or revenge?

As with so many "pro-life" people, pro-life is circumscribed by the "unborn." Death rears its ugly head in many manifestations in our world, but for Bishop Hermann and other prelates of the Roman persuasion, compared to abortion, those deaths are not politically worthy.

We might carry this a step further and speak of psychological "death." How many people have come forward to charge their priests and bishops "killed" them psychologically through physical and sexual molestation? Their lives were "aborted" in a very real sense as for years they lived with the psychic pain and shame of these priestly attacks, which ruined their basic self-definition and left them in pyschological limbo.

Unfortunately, the hierarchy of the Roman church lives in a world foreign to most of us, even to those prayerful parishioners who still show up for Mass. It is a world of incense and smoke, the befogging numbness of celibacy, and the mystifying nonsense that truth and salvation derive from believing what the hierarchs say about ancient, tribal writings that have no relationship to anything we experience as reality today.

If you really think that Obama's position on abortion, which is anti-abortion, but pro-choice -- a position that treats women with respect and as equals -- will send you to an eternal fate of hellfire and damnation, then vote for McCain, the warmonger and his know-nothing, self-righteous, fundamentalist Christian sidekick.

On the other hand, if you think woman should be responsible for their own persons and not the government or a moribund and outdated religious institution which after 2,000 years still refuses to grant that women are the equal of men, then forget Bishop Hermann's dire predictions. He doesn't know what the hell he's talking about anyway (and I mean that literally!).

Vote for Obama!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Sarah Palin, James Dobson and God

Sarah Palin doesn't hide her theocratic, fundamentalist, extremist Christian views. That is why she's revered by the fundamentalist loony-tunes.

To see how far down we have sunk into the theocratic mud, point your browser here, and you will learn that God wants Palin in the White House.

Pray for Sarah, they plead, because:

"There is a spiritual battle waging over the United States of America. This website is a call to pray for those who are in authority over us now as well as for those who will be elected to become the leaders of our country. Because Sarah Palin has been thrust suddenly into the spotlight, we are calling all Christians to say an extra prayer for Sarah."

It's amazing that these characters cannot even be honest. A quick glance at the Website makes it obvious that they care only for the Republican ticket, or at least the vice presidential candidate. Two photos of Palin dominate, and you're encouraged to pray, not only for Sarah, but for her family.

There's no photo of McCain, Obama, or Biden. There's no photo of anyone else!

You can even sign a "pledge" that you will "pray for peace, protection and wisdom for Sarah Palin and her family."

The fact that Palin is extraordinarily unqualified to be vice president and utterly unqualified to come anywhere near the presidency is not considered. The fact that Palin is a liar and a cheat and a rabble-rousing demagogue, is not mentioned.

She's a fundy Christian (at least outwardly) and so far as these people are concerned, that's the only necessary qualification. Thus the website will help you learn "How to pray," "What You Can Do," and "Why You Should Pray" - for Sarah Palin.

It's all quite sick.

Today James Dobson of the ultra-fundamentalist organization, Focus on the Family, conducted a telephone interview with Palin and posted it online.

She told Dobson she isn't worried about the polls showing the Republican ticket is losing, because the election is "in God's hands." And that's why she was "not discouraged at all."

"I'm going to know, at the end of the day," she said, "putting this in God's hands, that the right thing for America will be done."

Dobson told her that 430 people prayed for her over the weekend, and she was grateful. "It is that intercession that is so needed and so appreciated. I can feel the power of the prayer."

Blue Texan at Firedoglake summed it up this way:

1. Sarah Palin believes God personally chooses our Presidents and Vice Presidents.

2. Sarah Palin believes that God should choose her as Vice President.

3. Sarah Palin believes that without God's intervention she will lose.

Final thoughts:

It's quite incomprehensible how Sarah Palin blithely ignores or writes off the millions of people in this country who reject her peculiar religious beliefs. In fact, the majority of Christians in this country would not even be considered "Christian" by Palin's religious cronies.

It's also incomprehensible that Palin does not seem to understand this is a secular nation and that under our Constitution there is no religious test for office; the state functions without religious interference, and there can be no "recognized" religion.

It's further incomprehensible how Sarah fails to realize there are hundreds, even thousands, of different religious groups in the United States, and that, if she were elected (god forbid!), her job is to serve the people, irrespective of their religious affiliation or lack thereof. She just doesn't get it: In our fair land, Christians are not "more equal" than Muslims, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, Wiccans, agnostics, atheists, or any other group of believers or non-believers.

Methinks god is going to send her back to Alaska to face charges of malfeasance in office; about November 5.

McCain's gutter campaign

1) The McCain campaign has sent a brochure to voters in Virginia and Missouri which includes a photo "or what is either a plane about to crash into a building full of people or an airport departure gate, along with the words, 'Terrorists Don't Care Who They Hurt."

On the opposite side of the brochure is this "warning:" "Barack Obama Thinks Terrorist Just Need a Good Talking To."

When asked if he was proud of the brochure, McCain said "Absolutely." It would appear that McCain no longer knows the difference between right and wrong, or no longer gives a damn!

2) In a new, 30-second television ad, the McCain campaign castigates Obama by claiming that he "backed legislation to teach 'comprehensive sex education' to kindergartners. The voice over says, "Learning about sex before learning to read? Barack Obama. Wrong on education. Wrong for your family."

Obama did, in fact, support a law which allowed local school boards to teach "age-appropriate" sex education, NOT comprehensive sex education for kindergartners! The legislation provides schools with the ability to help young children learn about "inappropriate touching and sexual predators."

3) McCain, Palin and other Republican leaders such as Mel Martinez have mounted a McCarthy-like attack on Obama claiming that he is a socialist or is pushing socialistic programs. In St. Charles, Missouri, for example, John Hancock, a Repugnican activist said "Make no mistake, this campaign is a referendum on socialism."

It's all nonsense, of course. Obama's tax plan is no more "socialist" than is McCain's. And if you want to talk about "socialism," one merely needs to point to the government's bail-out of Wall Street and the financial institutions. Thus far, over $1 trillion in taxpayer dollars has been promised to "private" banks, and the government has actually taken a stake in nine of the largest banks.

McCain, that no-good socialist, was a up-front backer of the bail-out!

Al-Qaeda supports McCain

Don't you just love it? John McCain, the mighty warrior against the infidels of Islam, is their choice for president of the United States.

Not surprising, I guess, when you think that McCain was part and parcel of the U.S. cabal that armed bin Laden and his cohorts during the Reagan and Bush I years when they were trying to drive the Soviets out of Afghanistan. Of course, the U.S. set up the whole scenario to trick the Soviets into experiencing their own "Vietnam." But, we did good for bin Laden and his buddies. We sent them millions of dollars worth of guns and Stinger missiles and other military equipment. In fact, at that time, bin Laden was our "buddy." And it was during these years that al-Qaeda was formed.

So, maybe this is payback for ol' John? Probably not.

Joby Warrick and Karen De Young at the WaPo write that the "extremist Web site al-Hesbah," closely linked to al-Qaeda wrote yesterday that "Al-Qaeda will have to support McCain in the coming election," because McCain will carry on the "failing march of his predecessor."

That sounds funny at first if you're an Obama supporter, but then the posting suggested that a terrorist strike might be in the offing to try to swing the election to McCain.

The McCain campaign, naturally, was all wind and noise, claiming again that ol' John is the only man in the whole, wide world with the "experience, judgment and fortitude to lead a country at war" ... blah, blah, blah.

The Obama camp did not comment.

Nobody would suggest that McCain welcomes the support of al-Qaeda.

At the same time, however, it is true that George W. Bush's policies have seriously weakened out country militarily and financially. The war in Iraq was a misguided failure of such a magnitude that we may never recover. Bush's policies have served to give motive to al-Qaeda and all Islamic extremists, while at the same time enriching them. As the end of Bush's reign approaches, the United States is in dire straits, while the terrorists eat high on the hog.

And John McCain has said he will continue the policies of George W. Bush, especially as they apply to taxes and the war in Iraq. In that light, it isn't surprising that al-Qaeda would tend to favor McCain over Obama.

Just because they may be tweaking our noses to unsettle the state of our nation, that doesn't negate whatever truth may be found in their comments.

Watch out for African witchcraft against McCain and Palin!

Jim Bramlett is a believer in Jesus. Being a believer in Jesus, of course, allows him to engage in lies, distortions and character-assassination because he has been saved, has the spirit of God within him, and knows what is true from what is false.

Actually, none of that is true except that Bramlett claims to believe in the legendary Jewish person, Jesus, who supposedly lived a couple of thousand years ago and told his followers to love their neighbors.

I think Bramlett missed that "love your neighbor" stuff.

Bramlett has a website called Back in September he wrote an e-mail to his "friends" which began "THIS IS EXTREMELY SERIOUS." He tells of one Dr. Norman G. Marvin, M.D., who had become so upset he had called a prayer meeting in his home to try to contact god about those African pagans who were using witchcraft against John McCain and Sarah Palin.

[Hey, I'd say whatever works!]

Nah...but this does get more humorous, and sad. Dr. Marvin sent Bramlett an e-mail from Flo Ellers. Now Flo, just in case you don't know, is "credentialed with the International Fellowship of Ministries which is based in Washington State. She is also a member of EndTime Handmaidens and Servants of Jasper, Arkansas."


Jim concludes his e-mail this away (all in caps): "If you know how to do spiritual warfare, please pray today and continually that all such curses be broken and Satan's plan for America be defeated, in Jesus' name. Pray and cover McCain and Palin with the blood of Christ. If you do not know how to do spiritual warfare, it is time you learn."

[This is fairly scary stuff. Bramlett is freaking crazy.]

Then Flo's e-mail follows. In summary, she claims that a young woman evangelist, Bree Keyton, has visited Obama's home village in Kenya ... it was "chilling" ... "witches, warlocks and those involved in satanism and the occult get up daily at 3 a.m. to release curses against McCain and Palin so B. Hussein Obama is elected."

Keyton discovered that Obama is 75% Arab and his family are Muslims. When Obama visited in tribe in "06 and as late as Jan. '08 he went to every elder's home which has a 'shrine' inside to worship the genie and asked for their blessing. ... All Islam loves and worships Obama. ..."

Well, there's much more of this insane and sick bullshit. Unfortunately, there are a lot of dumb-asses in this country who will believe it. May whatever god they believe in have mercy on their souls!

And if Obama wins, one can only conclude their god has no power! Yeah!

You can read the entire mess here.

h/t to Andrew Sullivan

Hey John, I'm a "hero" too

John McCain, who always says he doesn't like to talk about his military experience and his naval exploits, always talks about them. So no one was surprised when he raised the spectre of nuclear warfare while campaigning yesterday in Pennsylvania.

But what he said was plain laughable. Referring to the Cuban missile crisis of 1962, he said "I sat in the cockpit on the flight deck of the USS Enterprise off Cuba," he said. "I had a target. My friends, you know how close we came to a nuclear war. America will not have a president who needs to be tested. I've been tested my friends."

Well, not quite. Notice: He "sat in the cockpit." He didn't go anywhere. He didn't fly off and bomb his "target." [Which is probably a good thing or he might have been shot down again!]

And if sitting in his cockpit means he was "tested," well, hell, I've been tested, too, and so I'm also qualified to be president. In 1962, living in Arizona, still in the Naval Reserve, I received a letter from the Navy telling me to get my uniforms in order as it was possible I would be recalled to active duty because of the Cuban missile crisis. So, I got my uniforms in order and waited to receive my call to active duty, which, thankfully never came.

I didn't go anywhere, either. The test, I guess, comes in the waiting.

John McCain is full or horsehockey, my friends!

McCain's Freddie Mac connection

Not so long ago, John McCain reared back to roar mightily and righteously about that no-good Barack Obama, claiming that Obama was supposedly a friend with someone who was connected to Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, as if to imply that their financial mismanagement was somehow Obama's fault.

Geez. It turns out that Obama's connection was not really much of a connection at all. Actually, there were two "connections." One turned out, in fact, to not be a friend and other was a casual acquaintance. Obama hadn't even spoken to him for over a year.

But, McCain does have a connection to Freddie Mac!

And, naturally, it has to do with a lobbyist who is not only a friend of McCain's, but was hired by the McCain campaign to manage the GOP convention in St. Paul.

The company involved is DCI and the CEO of DCI is Doug Goodyear.


"Freddie Mac secretly paid a Republican consulting firm $2 million to kill legislation that would have regulated and trimmed the mortgage giant and its sister company, Fannie Mae, three years before the government took control to prevent their collapse."

Senator Chuck Hagel, R. Neb sponsored a regulatory overhaul bill back in 2005. The Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee sent Hagel's bill to the the GOP-run Senate on July 28, 2005. Freddie Mac began its secret payments to DCI shortly thereafter.

In other words, Obama's connection to the mortgage "giants" was of no consequence whatsoever.

McCain's connection, however, is a direct and consequential one. Doug Goodyear and his firm, DCI, were paid secretly by the mortgage giants to kill a regulatory bill, which may have mitigated their recent fall from grace. McCain, therefore, is indirectly, at least, responsible in part for their financial collapse.

Sounds about right.

You can't make up this by putting on new clothes

Sheesh! The elite are riding high, the cost of which is paid for by all those "Joe the plumbers" who donated to the Republican cause.

You and I are trying to figure out how to pay for enough gasoline to get to work -- if we still have a job; and we're wondering if we have to forgo our medication this month in order to eat or vice versa, and we can't figure out yet what to do with the light bill, and the kid's college tuition's coming due soon, and the car needs work, and the roof is leaking, and...

There's just not enough money...

Never you worry! The Palin/McCain ticket will solve all your problems by continuing the tax cuts for the very rich, which will allow us to be blessed by whatever trickles down.

Meanwhile, of course, the McCainiacs have a campaign to run and that's expensive these days, especially with the cost of makeup and clothes.

I mean, poor ol' pasty John had to pay Tifanie White, a makeup "artist" for "American Idol" $8,672.55 in September and $5,583.43 in August to try to make him look good for all those "real" Americans out there in the hinterlands.

But John was a piker compared to Sarah. She's got her own "traveling makeup artist," one Amy Strozzi who did the makeup for "So You Think You Can Dance." The McCain campaign paid Amy $13,200 last month to cover up Sarah's facial blemishes.

Ah, that's only the beginning. The Republican National Committee, dedicated to the election of the Palin/McCain ticket, shelled out over $150,000 to put new clothing on Sarah since McCain picked her as his running mate.

At Saks Fifth Avenue in St. Louis and New York, Sarah got $49,425.74 worth of stuff. After Sarah visited Neiman Marcus in Minneapolis a couple of times, the RNC was out another $75,062.63 in September.

Now, remember, Ms. Palin is just another "hockey mom," looking out for "Joe Six-pack." Think about that when you sit down to try to balance your checkbook and end up having to tell your pooch the poor thing ain't gonna eat today.

Something's trickling down, but it sure ain't anything we can spend!

Palin problems and expense reports

There are many problems with Sarah Palin. One is she's not smart enough to be vice president. She knows almost nothing about our federal government, and is abysmally ignorant relative to the vice presidency. Palin is also a religious fanatic, connected to the most extreme fundamentalist Christian elements in our country. Her religious mentors are theocrats who believe that she has been chosen by God to be president in order to remake this nation into a Christian country ruled by biblical law as they interpret it, and that Palin's destiny is to preside over the end-times when Jesus returns to earth.

Palin is also one of those political fanatics who, in spite of the fact they don't know what they're talking about, disparage and attempt to disenfranchise people who disagree with them, by whatever means possible. Thus, Palin is known as a Pit Bull. She is mean, vicious and vindictive, as seen by her attempt to get her ex-brother-in-law fired as a state trooper.

But Palin is also unethical and without a moral core - in spite of her religious propensities and her baptism in an Alaskan lake. Her religion is useful in that it provides her with justification for any reprehensible act she undertakes and also with forgiveness for sins committed and sins of the future.

Palin lies. Over and over again. When the Troopergate report was released, a report that explicity and clearly said she abused her authority, she said it vindicated her actions. She lied about selling the plane on eBay; she lied about her opposition to the infamous "bridge to nowhere; and she lied about her opposition to earmarks.

And now it has been discovered she lied about the reasons she took her children on a variety of political jaunts around the country and around her state of Alaska. Palin charged the state of Alaska many thousands of dollars for her children to travel with her to different events even though, in most cases, they were neither invited nor expected.

Initially, Palin justified this travel by "noting on travel forms that the girls had been invited to attent or participate in events on the governor's schedule." That was not true.

But here's the kicker (from an investigative report by the AP):

"On Aug. 6, three weeks before Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain chose Palin his running mate, and after Alaska reporters asked for the records, Palin ordered changes to previously filed expense reports for daughter's travel." [My emphasis]

There is much more, but this suffices to indicate once again that Sarah Palin's ethics are sadly lacking and that she is a liar and a cheat.

You can read the full AP report here.

Palin explains the vice-presidency

This from Crooks and Liars, channeling Keith Olbermann.

Quotes from Sarah Palin on the vice presidency

1) "As for that VP talk all the time, I'll tell you, I still can't answer that question until somebody answers for me what is it exactly that the VP does every day? I'm used to being very productive and working real hard in an administration. We want to make sure that the VP slot would be a fruitful type of position, especially for Alaskans and for the things that we're trying to accomplish up here for the rest of the U.S., before I can even start addressing that question."

Hmmm. Evidently Ms. Palin wouldn't want to be the VP if there was nothing of importance for her to do. She certainly wouldn't want to sit around all day, every day. And the really significant thing would be what the VP could do for Alaskans. Huh?

2) This is her response to Brandon Garcia, a third-grader, who asked "What does the vice president do?

"Aw, that's something that Piper would ask me, as a second grader, also. That's a great question, Brandon, and a Vice President has a really great job, because not only are they there to support the President (sic) agenda, they're like a team member, the team mate to that President. But also, they're in charge of the United States Senate, so if they want to they can really get in there with the Senators and make a lot of good policy changes that will make life better for Brandon and his family and his classroom. And it's a great job and I look forward to having that job."

Olbermann responded thusly:

"Oh! I'm so sorry, Governor!

"The correct answer can be found in the Constitution of the United States... Article One, Section Three: 'The Vice President of the United States shall be President of the Senate, but shall have no Vote, unless they be equally divided.'

"So, the Vice President is not in charge of Jack, Governor, let alone in charge of the Senate.

"And you are not smarter than a Third Grader."

3) This is Palin's response to her first comment above where she admitted she didn't know what the vice president's job entails.

Gwen Ifill, on October 2, said to Palin: "Governor, you said in July that someone would have to explain to you exactly what it is the vice president does every day."

Palin responded: "In my comment there, it was a lame attempt at a joke and yours was a lame attempt at a joke, too, I guess, because nobody got it...Of course we know what a vice president does. And that's not only to preside over the Senate and will take that position very seriously also. I'm thankful that the Constitution would allow a bit more authority given to the vice president if that vice president so chose to exert it in working with the Senate and making sure that we are supportive of the president's policies and making sure too that our president understands what our strengths are."

Olbermann says: "No!

"No, Governor, the Constitution does not allow 'a bit more authority' 'if the vice president so chose to exert it in working with the Senate...'

"You would not be some kind of Senatorial Hall Monitor.

"You would not be a Veto, or a Censor, or a Balance.

"And even if you think you would somehow obtain those powers from somebody, don't pretend the Constitution will give them to you!"

Olbermann might have also mentioned how Palin cannot speak in sentences that make sense; that her syntax is tortured to the point where she sounds like a falling-down drunk!

4) Palin goes on to explain our Constitution's take on the vice presidency:

"That thankfully, our founders were wise enough to say, we have this position and it's Constitutional. Vice presidents will be able to be not only the position flexible, but it's going to be sort of those other duties as assigned by the president. It's a simple thing. I don't that that was a gaff at all in stating what the truth is. And that is we've got flexibility in the position. The president will be directing in a lot of respects what the vice president does. The vice president, of course, is not a member -- or a part of the legislative branch, except to oversee the Senate. That alone provides a tremendous amount of flexibility and authority if that vice president so chose to use it."

Olbermann: "You're... wrong!"

" least wait until you achieve office before trying to seize power extra-Constitutionally!

"'The founders' were not George Bush and Dick Cheney!

"Gimme something to work with here, Governor.... or go home!

"And don't forget to take your lovely partings gifts with you. Including the Home Version of the Vice President Game."

Republican bogeymen & Mel Martinez

When one smear doesn't work, try another. That seems to be the strategy born of the despair in the McCain camp.

From McCain himself and from Sarah Palin we are hearing now, day after day, that Obama's tax plan is "socialistic," the implication being clearly that Obama is a "socialist." That is, of course, a play to the right-wing base still supporting McCain, as they believe "socialism" is bad, bad, bad. I'm sure, however, if you were to question these people, most of them would not be able to define the term correctly.

Then, yesterday, Mel Martinez, the right-wing Cuban born senator from Florida, on Fox News, compared Obama's tax plan to communist Cuba. "Where I come from, where I was raised, they tried wealth redistribution, and we don't need that here. That's called socialism, communism - not Americanism."

Poor Senator Martinez. Ignorant he remains. All taxes involve the redistribution of wealth! Furthermore, he, like so many Republican know-nothings, is painfully unaware of the difference between socialism and communism. Socialism is an economic system (the U.S. economic system has always contained elements of "socialism), while communism is a political system.

If Martinez does know the difference between socialism and communism, that would prove to the world that he, too, is willing to sink into the ethical morass that defines Republicanism today in order to smear Obama with the hope of increasing McCain's chances to gain the White House.

Fortunately, thus far, the smears are not only not working, but having the opposite effect, with some polls now putting Obama over 10 points ahead of McCain.

"Socialism?" "Communism?" Please. These idiots sound like grade-school kids arguing on the school playground.

And what, exactly, Senator Martinez, is "Americanism"?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Obama, the man with a plan - a "Job's Summit"

While John McCain flits about the country ranting that Obama "pals" around with terrorists, and is going to raise everyone's taxes, and is no doubt a socialist (in McCain's mind, that's a really dirty word), Barack Obama has taken action to begin the discussion on how to get the country's economy back on its feet.

Notice that Obama did not start this discussion in Washington with lobbyists or Wall Street Bankers. The discussion began today in Lake Worth, Florida, at the Palm Beach Community College. The hoi polloi were welcome. You didn't even have to be a Democrat.

It's form was a round-table, and Obama invited the Democratic governors of Michigan, Ohio, New Mexico, and Colorado. Also asked to participate were Eric Schmidt, the chairman and CEO of Google, and former Federal Reserve Chairman, Paul Volcker, who is an Obama campaign adviser. Finally, he invited a small business owner from Miami to join the group on stage.

Obama led off noting "This is not one of our usual rallies ... This is a more serious discussion about the economy."

As the conversation continued, Obama promised that, if elected, he would invest in the country's infrastructure. He would invest in renewable energy. He said that it was critical to focus on job-creation and how to curtail the rapidly increasing costs of healthcare.

We're in a crisis, he said, and thus we need "the best ideas, the brightest minds, the most innovative solutions from every corner of this country."

Victoria Villalba, who owns Miami's Victoria and Associates Career Services, joined in the conversation by joking "I'm a small business owner and I'm not Joe the Plumber!" She went on to explain to Obama that she pays the cost of her employee's healthcare plans and is concerned about the rising costs. Insurance for one 61-year old employee costs her $1,200 per month.

Republicans, of course, mocked the summit, and claimed, again, that Obama's policies would raise taxes. Tucker Bounds, a McCain spokesman, said this: "During the last eight years, the federal budget has grown by 40 percent and the American people have seen how well that kind of change works -- yet Barack Obama is simply offering more of the same."

Boy, I'm confused. Is he talking about Obama or McCain? McCain has been a Bush sidekick during those eight years; has voted for Bush budgets during those eight years; has voted against financial regulation during those eight years; and has said he plans to continue most of the current Bush agenda if elected, including tax cuts for the rich.

And Bounds has the gall to claim that Obama offers "more of the same"?


On Capitalism - James K. Galbraith

[James K. Galbraith is professor of government at the LBJ School at the University of Texas, Austin.]

The following is excerpted from an article by James K. Galbraith, titled "Plan," in the November 2008 issue of Harper's magazine.

"The problem is not how to save capitalism but how to save the unique and successful mixed economy built in the United States over the eighty-five years since the New Deal. Our system is not capitalism. Our economy has a large public sector, which at its best was competently concerned with research, defense, financial stability, environmental safety, social security, and large measures of education, health care, and housing. Today, after thirty years of attack on government [since Reagan?], all these functions are damaged and in peril.

"The rot comes from predators posing as conservatives and mouthing the rhetoric of 'free markets.' They are not actually interested in free markets. Their goal is to use the government to build monopolies, to control resources, to block regulation, to crush unions, to divert as much as possible from taxpayers into private pockets. They have a reckless attitude toward war-making and they put the financial system in peril by failing to enforce standards of ethics and transparency. As a result, they imperil the country's credit in the world. True conservatives recognize this, which is why they defected from Bush and McCain long ago. ...

"'Planning' has been a dirty word in American politics for decades. For the hard-line right, planning destroyed freedom: it was the 'road to serfdom.' Anti-planners also thought it a failure; for them the collapse of the U.S.S.R. was due to 'central planning.' But without public planning, who is in charge? Lobbyists who represent the private planning of the great corporations. The public interest ceases to exist, and the public sector becomes nothing more than a trough at which private interests come to feed. ...

"Imagine a Federal Department of Energy and Climate with real independence. It could make an honest evaluation of ethanol. It could review the prospects and assess the dangers of next-generation nuclear power. It could make a judgment on carbon capture. It could consider all the serious conservation proposals ... it could fund new research centers in the major universities, so that in a decade the country will have trained the experts we need to implement the plans we make. ...

"... Clearly, the challenge is daunting. But it's not hopeless. If the country gets it right, all of us can have work for a generation, a better living standard afterward, and leave the planet more or less intact. And in addition, we stand a chance, otherwise improbable, of persuading the rest of the world to keep our lines of credit open."

Reading that, we must ask ourselves, who of the two presidential candidates, would be most likely to take seriously the need to plan; the need to rise above petty intramural squabbles and partisan bickering to take a new look at the problems we face and the possible solutions available?

Would it be Mr. McCain, the angry, impetuous, war-monger, who seems to lack, not only viable ideas with relation to the challenge of which Mr. Galbraith speaks, but the ability to plan even a presidential campaign as we have seen it derail beginning with his choice of Sarah Palin and his desperation exposed by clueless flailing around and finally stooping, as a last-resort, to character assassination?

Or would it be Mr. Obama, the man who has shown us clearly what mettle he is made of, refusing to respond in kind to the McCain campaign's bitter and hateful rhetoric, but calmly and coolly insisting on speaking about the issues that matter, exhibiting a sense of careful and even bi-partisan planning in the presidential race as well as a thoughtful, reasoned, and measured response to national and world crises?

The Missouri Connection - McCain and Danforth

When Barack Obama brought his campaign to Missouri, he was greeted by thousands of cheering supporters. At a rally held on the grounds of the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, he broke the numbers record - 100,000 turned out to see him and listen to him speak.

Shortly thereafter, in a second Missouri location, another Obama rally drew 75,000 additional supporters, who gathered to listen to his vision for America.

And soon after that, John McCain turned up in Belton, Missouri, outside of Kansas City. About 6,000 people showed, to hear the usual, old tired schtick that McCain's keeps spewing about his record and bad, bad Obama.

For example, McCain, the liar, said that Obama has "begun meeting with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to plan tax increases and higher spending and 'concede defeat in Iraq.'"

But the ol' fart wasn't done: "I will never concede defeat, my friends. They forgot to let you decide. My friends, we've got 'em just where we want 'em."

Then McCain went on to St. Charles, Missouri, giving what called "a rousing address before about 3,000 cheering supporters ... "

McSame, in St. Charles, whined about "the feminist left," and reiterated the nonsense that Obama "was untested and unprepared and would 'raise taxes, increase spending and concede defeat in Iraq."

Same old shit, different day!

Sadly, former Senator John Danforth, who represented Missouri in Congress for 18 years, seems to have bought into the McCain crap. Danforth is an Episcopal priest, and has been considered a moderate. No longer. He's become just another Republican liar and cheat. Thus, Danforth claimed that ACORN is not only intentionally turning in fraudulent voter registrations in Missouri but is one of McCain's political enemies. At the Belton rally, Danforth said "this is a campaign between John McCain and ACORN ... Sen. Obama says he's for change. He sure is. He's going to take this country in a direction we've never gone before in our history ... the economy's in a ditch and this guy's coming after us with a couple backhoes."

Most disappointing, though, to people of conscience, is that Danforth has turned out to be as corruptible as the rest of the Republican poohbahs. Back in 2006, he was promoting a new book in which he wrote that the religious right was a divisive force in the United States and had turned the GOP into a sectarian party.

In the past, Danforth has actively sought to legalize embryonic stem cell research, and favored government recognition of "committed same-sex partnerships."

Evidently, Danforth has forsaken his conscience and his moral codes and sold his soul to McCain. Could it be there's the possibility of a cabinet position in his future if McCain wins?

Or maybe he's just a plain old racist? How else does one explain his hostility to ACORN?

McCain v. Palin or "He said, She said"

Sarah Palin and John McCain seem to hold different views on certain issues. Here's how they disagree on two of those issues.

A national marriage amendment to the Constitution

He said: McCain does not support an amendment to the U.S. Constitution defining marriage as between one man and one woman. McCain believes that such matters should be left up to the states to decide.

She said: Despite the fact that Palin claims to be "more of a federalist," meaning she believes individual states should have more say in the laws they pass and how they run their governments, she would welcome an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that specifically defines marriage as between one man and one woman, Palin, in her interview with David Brody said "I wish on a federal level that's where we would go because I don't support gay marriage."

Robo calls

He said: It didn't matter that robo calls were used against him by the Bushites in 2000, nor did it matter that Senator Susan Collins, a Republican from Maine and Senator Norm Coleman, a Republican from Minnesota asked him to "stop these calls immediately," he is not going to do it.

In fact, McCain hired the same people who instigated those vicious robo calls attacking him back in 2000, to create robo calls to viciously attack Senator Obama in 2008.

McCain insists that robo calls claiming Obama "pals around with terrorists" are legitimate because that "palling around" casts doubt on Obama's "judgment and record."

She said: In Colorado Springs, "If I called all the shots, and if I would wave a magic wand, I would be sitting at a kitchen table with more and more Americans, talking to them ... and not having to rely on robocalls ... "


Monday, October 20, 2008

Republicans for Obama

One of the latest Republicans to hop on the Obama bandwagon is Colin Powell. That's "old" news (as of yesterday) and was less than surprising as it had been hinted at for several weeks, and yet carries a great deal of symbolic weight, for Powell had been an insider, a member of the George W. Bush team, a card-carrying representative of the Republican establishment.

The CEO of Google, Eric Schmidt "plans to join executives from other technology companies in announcing their support for Mr. Obama and will appear at an event in Florida on Tuesday with the Democratic candidate" according to the Schmidt's joining hands with Obama is also powerfully symbolic, if for no other reason than as a counterpoint to the political union between the former CEO of eBay, Meg Whitman and former HP CEO Carly Fiorina with John McCain.

Then there's Ken Adelman, described by Michael D. Shear of WaPo as "a key part of George Bush's defense agency," and a senior political adviser to "Presidents Reagan, Ford and even Nixon."

Adelman is, says Shear, "a staunch conservative."

While I am not aware of Mr. Schmidt's feelings about Sarah Palin, both Colin Powell and Ken Adelman indicated a major source of their displeasure with John McCain was his choice of Sarah Palin as his running mate. Adelman said "That decision shows appalling lack of judgment. Not only is Sarah Palin not close to being acceptable in high office ... But that selection contradicted McCain's main two, and best two, themes for his campaign -- Country First, and experience counts. Neither can he credibly claim, post-Palin pick."

Mr. McCain thought, I'm sure, and for awhile events seemed to bear him out, that Sarah Palin would revive his moribund candidacy. It didn't take long, however, before all but the most rabid, racist and homophobic members of his base became painfully aware of Palin's shortcomings.

The Palin choice was a calculated move to propel him into the White House. Now it appears it will only propel him into oblivion.

It can't happen soon enough.

Palin and "The 700 Club"

Palin has, for the most part, avoided the mainstream media since McCain chose her to be his vice presidential running mate. That avoidance was surely by command of the McCain campaign as they soon realized she was an airhead who could not speak in coherent sentences unless they gave her a script to follow. Even that didn't always work.

As everyone knows, Sarah Palin is a fundamentalist Christian, connected to the most extreme elements of that persuasion. It is natural, I suppose, that she would agree to be interviewed by David Broder, a reporter (and blogger) for the Christian Broadcasting Network, the brainchild of the rightwing nutcase, Pat Robertson.

This interview will be televised tomorrow on "The 700 Club," but Broder has posted excerpts on his blog. What follows is a summary of some of what Ms. Palin said.

1) Brody asked her if she was still "okay with the 'pal around with terrorist line" ... did she "want to rein that back a little?"

Palin: "No, I would say it again. I would say it again because again, it, it, according to the information we have, the association that he's had with Bill Ayers wasn't just one or two time (sic) sitting on a board together where. No, there's been quite a few associations and events and meetings and discussion and emails and calls and to not disavow that too, I think is troubling."

2) Brody asked her if she would support a constitutional marriage amendment.

Palin: "I am, in my own, state, I have voted along with the vast majority of Alaskans who had the opportunity to vote to amend our Constitution defining marriage as between one man and one woman. I wish on a federal level that that's where we would go because I don't support gay marriage. I'm not going to be out there judging individuals, sitting in a seat of judgment telling what they can and can't do, should and should not do, but I certainly can express my own opinion here and take actions that I believe would be best for traditional marriage that, that instrument that it's the foundation of our society is that strong family and that's based on that traditional definition of marriage, so I do support that."

3) Brody asked her if she wanted to "clear up exactly" what she believes relative to her own faith, "The Pentecostal stuff, the gifts of the Holy Spirit ... because there have been some editorials and others taking shots at you regarding -- "

Palin: "Yeah, and I think the saddest part of that is that faith, not just my faith, faith and God in general has been mocked through this campaign, and that breaks my heart and that is unfair for others who share a faith in God and chose to worship our Lord in whatever private manner that they deem fit and my faith has always been pretty personal. I haven't really worn it on my sleeve. I haven't been out there preaching it. I've always been of the mind that you walk the walk. You just don't have to be talking the talk about your beliefs, so just wanting maybe my life to be able to reflect my faith. So it's always been pretty personal and that was kind of a surprise in the last couple of months that people would misconstrue and spin anything that has to do with my faith or anybody else's and turn it into something to be mocked. That's very sad. I don't think that there's anything that I can do about it, so you know, I won't. I won't whine or complain about it, but nobody is going to convince me that my foundation of faith is not good for me and for my family no matter the mocking, no matter what anybody says about it. I'm going to keep plugging away at this and I'm going to keep seeking God's guidance and His wisdom and His favor and His grace, for me, for my family, for this campaign, for our nation. Again no matter what anybody else says about it it's between me and God, and I am so thankful that he has strengthened me with this understanding and this belief that I can count on Him. I can reach out to Him asking for that strength, asking for the blessings that He so freely gives and I don't know how anybody would want to do this if they didn't have real strong faith in God that He's got it all under control."

4) Brody questioned her about her rallies and the nasty things people said about Obama and whether she felt responsible to stop such talk.

Palin: "Absolutely. But what we have heard through some mainstream media is that folks have hollered out some pretty atrocious and unacceptable things like 'kill him' or some, we have not heard that. If I ever were to hear that standing up there at the podium with the mic, I would call 'em out on that, and I would tell these people, no, that's unacceptable, let's rise above that please. We haven't heard that. What I heard though is even in the other camp though some negativity that has been injected in the campaign with the candidate himself, with Barack Obama telling his supporter to get out there and quote 'get in their face, argue with them.' That, you know, that's kind of inciting and a bit negative and John McCain and I will have nothing to do with that, but it is unacceptable if we were ever to hear the shout outs that are so negative that we have heard being reported, if I were to hear that I would say no, we don't stand for that."

5) Brody asked Palin to explain what she prays about "and what are some things that people can pray for you?

Palin: "Pray of course for about my family that my kids will not be adversely affected by some of the political shots of course that, that we've been taking the last couple of months. I pray for my son's safety over in Iraq fighting for us in a striker brigade in the US Army and for all of our troops and I pray too for in the grander, greater scheme of things also that God's hand of protection would be over our country and that we as individuals would be endowed with strength to do all that we can to protect our nation and protect our Constitutional rights and do those things that I believe will make our country better, greater, but it's going to take even more than that truly it will take God's hand of protection to be continually over our land and His wisdom, His grace, His favor I pray for that for our country. I pray for that for other nations also, so that other nations would be safe, would be healthy, that the people who live there - especially the children who are growing up in some of these nations that are certainly not as privileged as we are would know that there is hope, that there is opportunity if they seek that and if they seek God's guidance."

6) Brody also approached the issue of Barack Obama as a "strong Christian family man." He asked Palin if abortion and homosexuality are in contradiction to "biblical values."

Palin: "I think the most troubling issue that I know of that Barack Obama is completely the other side of John McCain and that I am on is, is the abortion issue because his abortion stance is so extreme. It's so, so far left that it's way out of the mainstream. I think he's in some sense succeeded in trying to package up, and pretty-up some of his policies to make them look mainstream even on abortion, but American voters have got to realize his opposition to parental consesnt, his opposition to a ban on partial birth abortion and most troubling is his opposition to the child born alive act, I think should be, and I say this, I mean, this is mild to say it is quite concerning. But to withhold medical intervention for a baby who is born alive as a result of a botched abortion and to allow that child to die without the medical intervention that child deserves I, it's appalling to me ..."

7) Brody asked Palin why she would not go on the 24/7 cable networks.

Palin: "Well sometimes it just doesn't do any good. I mean you set yourself up just to continually be mocked, you so sometimes that doesn't do any good ..." Palin goes on to say that she has been trying to get their message out to the people without its being "filtered" by the mainstream media which distorts and contorts their message.

8) Brody asked Palin about her baptism.

Palin: "Well, it was a neat thing to be able to do. I was baptized with my family, all my siblings, and we all got baptized together in Little Beaver Lake in Big Lake, Alaska by Pastor Riley. It was significant to me because I knew even at that time as a young kid, middle school aged, I knew that there was something bigger than I out there, and I would be smart to dedicate myself to something that was bigger than I was. Of course that's God, my Creator. And I knew that I wouldn't be able to handle all that was laid out in front of me in life if I did not have strong faith in my Creator, a mission towards trying to fulfill my own destiny and trying to make the world a bit better for others, so that the manifestation of that belief that I had, I was very aware of what I could do about it at the time, and at the time it was to take that that public step to be baptized and the principle behind that too is as you're raised up out of the waters it's like, 'hey world, this is my confession of faith that I'm going to try to lead and live my life according to my belief that God as my Creator has good plans for all of us, and we are to seek those plans and seek the destiny that he has for all of us.'"

8) Brody also asked Palin what she would say to Obama if she found herself alone with him.

Palin: I would talk to him specifically about some of the issues that he has taken on that I do not believe are best for America. When he supported withdrawing funding for our troops over there in Iraq and Afghanistan. I want to talk to him about that ... I'd ask him about the comment that he made to our troops over in Afghanistan are merely air raiding villages and killing civilians. That's not what our troops are doing over there. They're fighting the terrorists. They're protecting us. They're building schools for the children ... so I would speak to him about his record, his record, not getting into so much into values or principles that he would hold, but just calling him on his record and trying to find out why? Why have you done some of these things that I do not believe and I don't believe the vast majority of Americans can support."


Now, if all of that doesn't convince you that Sarah Palin is an empty-headed, self-righteous, Christian fundamentalist moron, nothing will.

Several things are immediately obvious:

a) She cannot speak in sentences that make sense. She should return her college diploma and start all over again.

b) She is either ignorant or she is an out-and-out liar. For example, Obama has never been against saving babies born of botched abortions. And she has taken his Afghanistan quote out of context, changing the meaning to put Obama in a bad light. Furthermore, study after study have concluded that Obama's views on abortion are much closer to what "Americans believe" than the pap she hands out. She would know this if she read material other than that handed to her by her Rovian handlers. But, then again, I'm not sure she is smart enough to decipher truth from fiction.

c) It comes through loudly and clearly that she believes the United States to be a Christian nation, and that only through belief in her particular god can someone receive the wisdom and strength to govern.

d) Her comments with regard to the hateful things said at her rallies are simply lies. Both she and McCain have heard those comments - hell, they incited those comments by their vicious and untruthful rhetoric! As for her statement that Obama told his "supporter" to "get in their face, argue with them" -- well, first of all, that's not such a bad idea - it certainly isn't instigating violence - but I don't believe her. I would love to find out the source of that "information."

5) You will notice that the questions asked of Palin by Mr. Brody are, for the most part, softball questions, and lead directly into the same talking points she uses on the campaign trail. In that sense, Brody doesn't "interview" Palin so much as he gives her a forum for perpetrating the same nonsense she spews over the country daily. Why, for example, didn't he ask about her views on energy -- her self-described field of "expertise." Or, why didn't he ask about her vast foreign policy experience, about all the countries she has visited, about her relationships with world leaders? Why didn't he ask about how she would end the war in Iraq and what she thought the United States should do in Afghanistan now that it appears the Taliban are resurgent and will soon control most of the country again. Why didn't he ask about how to deal with a nuclear Pakistan and a nuclear India? Why didn't he ask her views about the budget deficit and how she thinks we should go about cleaning up the financial mess made by her Republican friends in Washington? Why didn't he ask about health care for all Americans -- does she even believe in that? Why didn't he ask her about public schools and whether she would favor vouchers whereby the government would give tax dollars to people to send their kids to parochial or other private schools? Why didn't he ask her views on faith-based programs in which the government doles out tax money to religious institutions to do social work. Why didn't he ask what she believes about fighting AIDS in Africa and whether American aid should be withheld from agencies that provide condoms or information about abortion? Why didn't he ask her how she would go about resolving the Israeli/Palestinian conflict? Why didn't he ask her views on separation of church and state? Or torture? Or spying on Americans? Or immigration? Or global warming? Or about what to do with the country's decaying infrastructure? Does she believe in the constitutional right to habeas corpus? And does she want to "bomb, bomb, bomb" Iran?

You can add your own "Why didn't he ask..." here.

6) Sarah Palin appears to be a vacuous teenager in a woman's body who has never quite made the transition to adulthood. She proves once again, in this interview, that she is completely and totally unprepared and unqualified to hold the position of vice president.