Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Latest from the Couric/McCain's Choice Interview

The latest from the Katie Couric Interview:

Couric: And when it comes to establishing your world view, I was curious, what newspapers and magazines did you regularly read before you were tapped for this to stay informed and to understand the world?

Palin: I've read most of them, again with a great appreciation for the press, for the media.

Couric: What, specifically?

Palin: Um, all of them, any of them that have been in front of me all these years.

Couric: Can you name a few?

Palin: I have a vast variety of sources where we get our news, too. Alaska isn't a foreign country, where it's kind of suggested, "wow, how could you keep in touch with what the rest of Washington, D.C., may be thinking when you live up there in Alaska?" Believe me, Alaska is like a microcosm of America.

She didn't even think enough ahead to have a prepared lie. See, this is what is bothersome.

It's an easy question.
Anchorage Daily News
Washington Times (good conservative that she is)

Is that so hard?

I've said it before, and I'll say it again:

NOBODY BLACK, who was this obviously incompetent and fucking stupid, would be taken seriously. The excuses made for White mediocrity are glaring.

And before anyone posts in the comments that this is a 'distraction', I have come to disagree with you.

I THOUGHT that the MSM would do its job.

I THOUGHT that the lunacy of the proposition of a Vice-Presidential Candidate NOT EVER HAVING A PRESS CONFERENCE would point out the obvious - that this woman is not qualified.

But, the MSM hasn't done its job.

So, we must point out to those who might click on this site, what a disaster this woman is. And, that, the crux of her is this:


THIS is what he thought of this country.

Black Political Analysis's Thoughts on the Debate

At Ole Miss, we were kept busy Debate Week. Lots of interviews with print, radio and television journalists. Good fun. Yet, at the end of the night, I watched it on television (albeit in the media tent next to the Ford Center) like most Americans.

I felt that Senator Obama was stronger on the economic points early in the debate. He did a better job of talking to the middle class and explaining why his policies would benefit the middle class. He was very good at explaining how the Republican philosophy is an illusion: cut taxes, cut regulation = a growing gap between rich and poor and a shrinking middle class.

I did not like how often Obama said "I agree with you, John" during the debate. To me, it seemed a little demeaning and I did not think he needed to go there. Obama is more likely to work to find a consensus on contentious policy matters and polling seems to bear this view out. Many independents seem to find Obama more agreeable, so he might end up benefiting by appearing more concerned with opposing viewpoints. It certainly makes him seem less partisan, and McCain more partisan.

Senator McCain can barely hide his disdain for Obama. His disrespect for Obama (his peer) is palpable. It feeds into the notion that McCain is too dismissive of competing viewpoints. While Obama handled his own on foreign policy, McCain used his experience to his advantage. Many Americans were sure to be impressed by the litany of places McCain has visited and many world leaders he has met.

Is that actually trivial? It shouldn't be, but it is. In 2000, George Bush practically bragged about how few places he'd visited. Yet, Americans were quite comfortable electing a provincial nativist in '00,;now it seems McCain can challenge Obama because he's only been to Iraq twice.

Finally, McCain was more aggressive and punchy as the debate wore on. Obama was reduced to parrying McCain's jabs, but could not really go on the offensive, which I thought would suit his needs better. I call it a draw.

This Citizen Awes and Humbles Me

Got this from Al Giordano over at The Field:

One American. 1,136 New Voters.
Posted by Al Giordano - September 30, 2008 at 10:38 am

In 2004, Republican George W. Bush won York County, Pennsylvania, by a whopping 28 percentage points: 114,270 votes (63.7 percent) to just 63,701, or 35.5 percent, for Democrat John Kerry (a meager 0.7 percent went to other candidates). Kerry's total was roughly equal to the percent of registered Democrats in the county, with Bush winning the overwhelming majority of Independents. And yet Kerry still won the state.

It's in places like York County - and other parts of the "outer ring" around Philadelphia - that the Obama campaign's voter registration drive is changing the map. The York-Hanover region is the fastest growing area of the Northeastern United States. Urban sprawl from Baltimore and even Washington DC has reached over the Pennsylvania border.

As of November 2007 there were 94,986 Democrats (34 percent), 142,137 Republicans (51 percent) and 41,856 Independents and others (15 percent).

What a difference a year makes.

As of September 15, this is the new electoral make up of York County:

Democrats: 109,106 (37 percent)

Republicans 141,563 (48.3 percent)

Independents and others: 42,351 (14.5 percent)

Even if McCain wins, as Bush did, virtually all the Independent voters (a generous and also doubtful proposition), it means that Obama is primed to get a minimum of15,000 to 20,000 more votes out of York County than Kerry did four years ago, while McCain won't likely match Bush's total.

Part of the surge in voter registration came during the hotly contested April 22 primary between Senators Clinton and Obama:

Almost 53,000 cast Democratic ballots - not as many votes as Kerry won in 2004. The real surge in new registration has occurred since the primary.

Similar trends are occurring in Philadelphia's inner suburbs (Bucks, Montgomery, Delaware and Chester counties) and in the outer ring (Lancaster, Berks, Lehigh and Northampton counties) as more and more people move into the region.

But it's one thing for a megalopolis to grow, and another to get those newcomers (along with the longtime but politically alienated residents) signed up to vote.

That lady in the photo above - York native Leslie A. Wars - is the walking and breathing reason why, in 2008, the electoral map of Pennsylvania has changed.

Not everybody goes out daily to register new voters. But multiply a single afternoon by thousands of people, and four or five new voters at a time adds up to be the difference between victory and defeat in many states.

Wars works a demanding job as a resident service worker (non union) for a mental health group home: She reports at 9 p.m. and remains at her post until 8:30 a.m. - working 80 hours in seven days - and then gets the alternate week off.

Until this year, the 51-year-old Wars had never been active in politics.

She had never even voted.

But she was flipping the channels one night last spring when she came across a concession speech by Barack Obama, after losing the Ohio and Texas primaries. "When I had first heard of Obama, I laughed," she remembers. "I said, ‘There's no way that America is going to vote for an African American by the name of Barack Obama."

But something about his words that night moved her. "I thought about it for two weeks, began following the campaign, and finally I registered to vote," she tells The Field. "I'd never had any interest in voting. I was very cynical about politics and politicians. But when he came to Pennsylvania I went down to headquarters and jumped in, head over heels."

After campaigning for Obama in the April 22 primary, she wondered what to do. In June it hit her: she would go out and register new voters. As of Monday at noon, Leslie Wars had single-handedly registered 1,136 of them. Her best days came when she joined a registration drive on the York College campus - 92 new voters in eight hours of walking around with a clipboard. Her worst day: four voters. She finds that 80 percent of the new voters she enlists sign up as Democrats, "but I'll sign them up whatever their party."

She goes in front of the stores at strip malls outside of town, to laundromats and and supermarkets, and walks the neighborhoods downtown. "I approach people in the street," she explains. "When I first started I would do it three or four days a week. Now I do it every day, sometimes up to eleven hours. On the weeks that I work I do three or four hours a day." When it rains, a local store lets her stand under the awning in front.

"Evenings are best," she tells, "when people are off from work. I say, ‘Hello. My name is Leslie. I'm a volunteer with the Obama campaign. May I ask if you're up to date with your voter registration?"

"I'm so proud to represent Obama and I think my enthusiasm is contagious," she laughs.

Wars says that you can't judge people's politics by their appearances: "When I would try to guess before approaching them, I was wrong every time." So she approaches every person that she encounters.

She finds she has to explain to many people that registering to vote "doesn't mean you're required to vote, and it doesn't mean that you get called up for jury duty."

"The last half hour, before a store closes, when people are just rushing around, I tend to get a lot of them in that last half hour."

Now, when she walks down Market Street, children proclaim, "Mom! There's the Obama lady!" And many folks that initially turned her down approached her later and asked to be signed up to vote. "I'm not pushy," she says. "I say thanks and move on. And you'd be surprised how many come back later on."

One American.

1,136 new voters since June.

That's about one out of every 15 new voters in York County, signed up by Leslie Wars.

And you - yeah, you, reading about this one American here - how did you spend your free hour today?

If the results on Pennsylvania on election night turn out as close as Florida in 2000, well, we've just met one person that might just have made the singular difference in who the next president of the United States of America will be.

As we left Leslie Wars she was heading out to register more voters, which she plans to do daily until the October 6 deadline.

And what will she do after October 6?

Wars smiles and say, "Oh, then I'll do persuasion canvassing."

Demographic shifts alone don't change electoral maps. It's happening this year because people like Leslie Wars of the swing county of York in the swing state of Pennsylvania decided to seize the opportunity and make it happen.

Now, if this doesn't provide inspiration, I don't know what will.

Ohio MOA Readers, Or If You Know Someone In Ohio

Today marks the beginning of early voting in Ohio.

This is the first time where you can REGISTER TO VOTE and then PROCEED TO VOTE in the SAME DAY.

So, if you're from Ohio, go out and vote. If you have family or friends in Ohio, tell them about it and that they can load up their cars with unregistered folks and register them and get them to vote - in a one shot deal.

It's time for all the folks in Ohio to go pick up Pookey and Pookey's friends, and take them to register and then vote. If you have to feed them a meal, consider it a donation to the Obama campaign. :)

Monday, September 29, 2008

Think on This....

From The Daily Dish

Palin Knows Of No Other Court Cases Except Roe
29 Sep 2008 06:39 pm

Yes, it can get worse:

The Palin aide, after first noting how "infuriating" it was for CBS to purportedly leak word about the gaffe, revealed that it came in response to a question about Supreme Court decisions. After noting Roe vs. Wade, Palin was apparently unable to discuss any major court cases.

There was no verbal fumbling with this particular question as there was with some others, the aide said, but rather silence.

House Bailout Vote

Yeah 207 (141 D, 66 R)
Nay 226 (94D, 132R)

Dow down 777.68 points
S.&P. 500 Index
Down 95 (-7%)

It's sort of amusing, watching folks scurry around, trying to 'convince' folks.

I don't know how I feel. On the one hand, I believe this is a hustle. On the other hand, some seriously bad ($*% is happening out there. Firms that have been around for a 100 years, collapsing like this, is like one burning building after another. Bottom line for me: I just don't trust these mofos.

The Democrats came through. Boehner was supposed to deliver 100 Republican votes, and he didn't.

Barack Obama at the CBC Dinner

John McCain Vs. John McCain

See more videos of McCain contradicting himself here,... here and here.

Now That Vetting Has Taken Place, Palin's Star Is Fading

Favorable/Unfavorable Rating Track

Source of Graph: DailyKos from Research 2000 Polling Data

Now that the public (led by bloggers) and eventually the mainstream news media have put Sarah Palin through some sort of vetting process - although not complete- her star has begun to fade. (see other data from FiveThirtyEight, and Research 2000, ). Her image is falling so fast that it is starting to go through the floor. It appears that McCain may have gained all that he can from his rash VP choice. I wonder if the McCain team now regrets (behind the scenes) the crude political stunt pulled by their candidate.... or if anyone was against those who advised it (Rove is probably in the mix somewhere in all this). Will this be another case of McCain gambling and losing? It depends on what happens in November. There will be plenty of time to look back and evaluate what went right or wrong after election day. But Conservatives are beginning to go into panic mode.

Perhaps Palin can redeem herself and regain traction in the upcoming VP debate. The staging of the event seems to be aimed at bolstering her image, and showing that she can handle the job of VP...or of President. I am looking forward to the debate...even with the phony staging (strict rules, the staying on script approach, and short leash) that the Republicans fought for. The VP debate might be Palin's last chance to show that she can do the job.

I have noticed that she is good at following a set script...But she sometimes gets nervous... and gets rattled. Once she is rattled...once nervousness sets in, she begins to forget her lines. She is currently being coached and taken through crash courses on foreign policy... but that is only good if she can remember her lines...and remember issues surrounding certain topics, certain Countries, etc.

My guess is.... she won't be able to remember all of her lines or what line goes where. LOL The crash courses can only do so much. Cracks might start to form somewhere...and I hope Biden is able to sense it... (without coming off as arrogant).

But of course, all of this depends on what kinds of questions will be asked by Gwen Ifill. Will the questions be substantive and serious requiring substantive and serious answers, or will they be fluff questions designed to make Palin look good for Prime Time? That's what I really want to know... the first 5 minutes will determine whether or not I listen to the rest of the event. If it's fluff, I plan to change the radio station (unfortunately i'll be tuning in via radio).

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Best Review of the Debate

I think this review by James Fallows is on point:

On strategy and tactics
27 Sep 2008 02:47 pm

The least self-aware moment for John McCain in last night's debate came at the half-way point, when he said, "I'm afraid Senator Obama doesn't understand the difference between a tactic and a strategy."

In a sense McCain was sticking to his battle plan in saying this -- the plan being on-message hammering-home of the "Obama doesn't understand" theme. In another sense, he lost his way, since he immediately segued not into a discussion of strategic matters in Iraq and Afghanistan but into an anecdote. But that kind of literal parsing of his answer -- tactical analysis, you might call it -- really misses the point.

There has been no greater contrast between the Obama and McCain campaigns than the tactical-vs-strategic difference, with McCain demonstrating the primacy of short-term tactics and Obama sticking to a more coherent long-term strategy. And McCain's dismissive comment suggests that he still does not realize this.

Some examples are so familiar as to need no explanation: McCain choosing the ten-day tactical "bounce" from the surprise choice of Sarah Palin, in exchange for the enormous strategic risk in choosing an un-vetted and now obviously unqualified running mate. Or McCain rolling the dice with his threat to boycott the debate -- and then, once on stage, appearing to be only mildly interested in the financial-bailout deal that 72 hours earlier was the stated reason for overturning all agreements about the debates .

But the personas that the two men chose to present in the debate indicated the difference in a profound way. The truths of debates are these:

Emotional messages, which are variants on "how do I feel about this person?", are all that matter in presidential debates. Issues discussions are significant mainly to the extent they shape these impressions. For instance: a candidate's view on the economy feeds the impression of whether he sympathizes with "people like me." Or views on foreign policy feed the impression of whether he would be "a leader we can trust."

Barring a truly disastrous performance, each side's partisans will think their candidate did well, and will be reinforced in the reasons for supporting the person they already like. Thus John McCain supporters will think he sounded confident and masterful; Obama supporters will think he kept presenting the big-picture perspective on national security and the economy. Which means therefore:

The audience that matters is people who start out undecided or uncertain -- and finally are looking for emotional reassurance about who they can imagine as president for the next four years. In general, such viewers are only now starting to pay serious attention to the campaign -- in contrast to people already committed to helping (or stopping) one of the candidates. That is why the first debate is a unique "re-launch" opportunity for the candidates to present themselves to people who realize it's time to make up their minds.

Everything John McCain did on stage last night was consistent with trying to score tactical points in those 90 minutes. He belittled Obama with the repeated "he doesn't understand"s; he was explicitly insulting to him in saying at the end "I honestly don't believe that Senator Obama has the knowledge or experience" for the job (a line Joe Biden dare not use so bluntly on Sarah Palin); and implicitly he was shockingly rude and dismissive in refusing ever to look Obama in the eye. Points scored -- in the short term, to the cheers of those already on his side.

Obama would have pleased his base better if he had fought back more harshly in those 90 minutes -- cutting McCain off, delivering a similarly harsh closing judgment, using comparably hostile body language, and in general acting more like a combative House of Commons debater. Those would have been effective tactics minute by minute.

But Obama either figured out, or instinctively understood, that the real battle was to make himself seem comfortable, reasonable, responsible, well-versed, and in all ways "safe" and non-outsiderish to the audience just making up its mind about him. (And yes, of course, his being a young black man challenging an older white man complicated everything he did and said, which is why his most wittily aggressive debate performance was against another black man, Alan Keyes, in his 2004 Senate race.) The evidence of the polls suggests that he achieved exactly this strategic goal. He was the more "likeable," the more knowledgeable, the more temperate, etc. (Update: though from here on out he doesn't have to say "John is right..." anywhere near as often as he did last night.) .

For years and years, Democrats have wondered how their candidates could "win" the debates on logical points -- that is, tactics -- but lose the larger struggle because these seemed too aggressive, supercilious, cold-blooded, or whatever. To put it in tactical/strategic terms, Democrats have gotten used to winning battles and losing wars. Last night, the Democratic candidate showed a far keener grasp of this distinction than did the Republican who accused him of not understanding it.

SNL Takes On Palin Again - The Couric Interview

This is some of the funniest stuff from SNL since the 80's. And we have John McCain to thank for it. In fact, this seems to be the only thing that McCain has actually accomplished in the last several weeks - making us laugh...by giving SNL, bloggers, political analysts & others, tons of material.

This time they take on Sarah Palin again, recreating the Katie Couric interview.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

If true, Obama is SO playing chess....BWA HA HA HA HA

(wouldn't even look him in the eye- P.A.B.)

This is from Talking Points Memo:


Jonathan Weisman has a fascinating, even riveting narrative of what went down in Washington on Thursday as John McCain made his play to commandeer the high-level negotiations over the bailout bill. And TPM Reader TW called my attention to a passage that may help to explain the smoldering hostility that made it impossible for McCain even to make eye contact with Barack Obama during last night's debate.

We pick up Weisman in that big meeting at the White House ...

Pelosi said Obama would speak for the Democrats. Though later he would pepper Paulson with questions, according to a Republican in the room, his initial point was brief: "We've got to get something done."

Bush turned to McCain, who joked, "The longer I am around here, the more I respect seniority." McCain then turned to Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to speak first.

Boehner was blunt. The plan Paulson laid out would not win the support of the vast majority of House Republicans. It had been improved on the edges, with an oversight board and caps on the compensation of participating executives. But it had to be changed at the core. He did not mention the insurance alternative, but Democrats did. Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, pressed Boehner hard, asking him if he really intended to scrap the deal and start again.

No, Boehner replied, he just wanted his members to have a voice. Obama then jumped in to turn the question on his rival: "What do you think of the [insurance] plan, John?" he asked repeatedly. McCain did not answer.

One Republican in the room said it was clear that the Democrats came into the meeting with a "game plan" aimed at forcing McCain to choose between the administration and House Republicans. "They had taken McCain's request for a meeting and trumped it," said this source.

Congressional aides from both parties were standing in the lobby of the West Wing, unaware of the discord inside the Cabinet room, when McCain emerged alone, shook the hands of the Marines at the door and left. The aides were baffled. The plan had been for a bipartisan appearance before the media, featuring McCain, Obama and at least a firm statement in favor of intervention. Now, one of the leading men was gone.

Assuming this is an accurate portrayal of events, it may help explain some of what happened last night.

--Josh Marshall

Now ladies and gentlemen, Senator Country Last's arrogance knows no bounds. He doublecrosses Obama and tries to grandstand, and just thought Obama was gonna sit down and take it. Why? Cause he's John McCain?


He's mad that Obama didn't go along with the humiliation that he and Shrub had cooked up.

Aweeeeee. Poor baby.

Audio Files Wiped Out!

Snapdrive.com has lost all of my audio files... (all the hard work creating and uploading files was for nothing I guess). I don't think anyone listened to my music mixes anyway. But just in case anyone tried to listen to a playlist recently... all the files are gone from the host site.

I had already decided to search for another file host even before now...

Anyone know of any good reliable file hosting services (free or low cost), let me know. I wish I could afford to have my own servers... but that's for the wealthy.

I'll be putting up another playlist sometime tonight or tomorrow.

Actor Paul Newman Dead At Age of 83

From The NYTimes.com

Paul Newman Dies at 83
Published: September 27, 2008
Filed at 10:16 a.m. ET
Fred R. Conrad/The New York Times

WESTPORT, Conn. (AP) -- Paul Newman, the Academy-Award winning superstar who personified cool as an activist, race car driver, popcorn impresario and the anti-hero of such films as "Hud," "Cool Hand Luke" and "The Color of Money," has died. He was 83.

Newman died Friday after a long battle with cancer at his farmhouse near Westport, publicist Jeff Sanderson said. He was surrounded by his family and close friends.

In May, Newman he had dropped plans to direct a fall production of "Of Mice and Men," citing unspecified health issues.

He got his start in theater and on television during the 1950s, and went on to become one of the world's most enduring and popular film stars, a legend held in awe by his peers. He was nominated for Oscars 10 times, winning one regular award and two honorary ones, and had major roles in more than 50 motion pictures, including "Exodus," "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid," "The Verdict," "The Sting" and "Absence of Malice."

Newman worked with some of the greatest directors of the past half century, from Alfred Hitchcock and John Huston to Robert Altman, Martin Scorsese and the Coen brothers. His co-stars included Elizabeth Taylor, Lauren Bacall, Tom Cruise, Tom Hanks and, most famously, Robert Redford, his sidekick in "Butch Cassidy" and "The Sting."

He sometimes teamed with his wife and fellow Oscar winner, Joanne Woodward, with whom he had one of Hollywood's rare long-term marriages. "I have steak at home, why go out for hamburger?" Newman told Playboy magazine (NYSE:PLA) when asked if he was tempted to stray. They wed in 1958, around the same time they both appeared in "The Long Hot Summer," and Newman directed her in several films, including "Rachel, Rachel" and "The Glass Menagerie."

With his strong, classically handsome face and piercing blue eyes, Newman was a heartthrob just as likely to play against his looks, becoming a favorite with critics for his convincing portrayals of rebels, tough guys and losers. "I was always a character actor," he once said. "I just looked like Little Red Riding Hood."

Newman had a soft spot for underdogs in real life, giving tens of millions to charities through his food company and setting up camps for severely ill children. Passionately opposed to the Vietnam War, and in favor of civil rights, he was so famously liberal that he ended up on President Nixon's "enemies list," one of the actor's proudest achievements, he liked to say.

A screen legend by his mid-40s, he waited a long time for his first competitive Oscar, winning in 1987 for "The Color of Money," a reprise of the role of pool shark "Fast" Eddie Felson, whom Newman portrayed in the 1961 film "The Hustler."

Newman delivered a magnetic performance in "The Hustler," playing a smooth-talking, whiskey-chugging pool shark who takes on Minnesota Fats -- played by Jackie Gleason -- and becomes entangled with a gambler played by George C. Scott. In the sequel -- directed by Scorsese -- "Fast Eddie" is no longer the high-stakes hustler he once was, but rather an aging liquor salesman who takes a young pool player (Cruise) under his wing before making a comeback.

He won an honorary Oscar in 1986 "in recognition of his many and memorable compelling screen performances and for his personal integrity and dedication to his craft." In 1994, he won a third Oscar, the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, for his charitable work.

His most recent academy nod was a supporting actor nomination for the 2002 film "Road to Perdition." One of Newman's nominations was as a producer; the other nine were in acting categories. (Jack Nicholson holds the record among actors for Oscar nominations, with 12; actress Meryl Streep has had 14.)

As he passed his 80th birthday, he remained in demand, winning an Emmy and a Golden Globe for the 2005 HBO drama "Empire Falls" and providing the voice of a crusty 1951 car in the 2006 Disney-Pixar hit, "Cars."

Rest of Obituary at link above.

Jack Cafferty Tells It Like It Is About Palin

Jack keeps it simple:

If John McCain wins this woman will be one 72-year-old's heartbeat away from being President of the United States. And if that doesn't scare the hell out of you, it should."

Friday, September 26, 2008

Why He Makes Me Wanna Holler and Throw Up Both of My Hands

I listened to tonights debate while at work...and I have to say, I am mad as Hell. I'm beside myself. I had to reach for my Excedrin (thank Goodness for this wonder drug) before I even got home, to soothe my Migraine.

I couldn't believe what I heard tonight. After what happened in Mississippi finally sunk in, my anger turned towards Obama's staff... Who in the Hell is advising this man? It is clear to me that it may be time for David Axelrod and David Plouffe to step aside. Can't we get James Carville or someone else with a little backbone to take a leading role in the Obama campaign? Completely removing and replacing Axelrod and Plouffe may not be the best answer, but they could at least bring someone else in to take over strategy, while Axelrod remains as a figurehead. The team that is coaching Obama for these debates could definitely be shown the door...or could at least be shaken up somewhat. What I have seen thus far just doesn't cut it for me. The Nice Guy (i'm scared to grow a pair) routine must end.

Obama did o.k. tonight... but o.k. isn't enough when you are going against the traditionally ideal default President from the incumbent Party.... in a Nation so reluctant to change. Obama did o.k. when he had a golden opportunity to hit a Home Run (Hell.. a few Home Runs for that matter). It's like Barry Bonds taking pitches from an elder League pitcher in the game of his life... but passing up the opportunity to knock one out of the ballpark. Instead, he settles for a base hit.

What do I mean by default President? Well, American voters have been conditioned to be more open to White men for the Presidency. It is assumed that a White man will be better for the Country... and it is an intrinsic assumption, built into the American cultural fabric over the years. White candidates have an advantage with the American people just by default... especially when the opponent happens to be Black. And as in most competition, (let's use Boxing as an example), you have to knock off the champion in convincing fashion if you want to take the title. A draw just won't do. Obama and his staff should understand that he will always have the burden of proof. This is an ugly fact of American politics. All McCain has to do in these debates, as the default character, is show up...not pass out, and sound halfway competent. That's his only burden. Obama, on the other hand, must sell himself to the American people at all times....even if the polls appear to be in his favor, and even when it appears that he's on the right side on the issues, and on the right side of history. Obama has to explain to voters why they shouldn't pick the comfortable default candidate, and why they should choose him instead. That's always a tougher hill to climb.

What Obama needed to do tonight, ...and what his primary focus should have been, was to use his talent as a Harvard trained lawyer to clearly and methodically connect the dots for the American people between John McCain and the financial crisis on Wall Street (and Main Street). Obama should have done this straight out of the gate tonight...and nailed it down within the first 10 minutes. The whole World was Obama's courtroom, with McCain as the defendant. But Obama dropped the ball. He didn't even make the effort. This was Obama's big chance to corner McCain.... he had him right where he wanted him, but he let him go once again. The open debate format was yet another gift for Obama, but he didn't take advantage of the opportunity. Obama has done this several times before, but this takes the cake. There was nothing about McCain's history of pushing for deregulation of Wall Street, which helped lead to this disaster... nothing about one of McCain's top economic advisors, Rick Davis, being a big money lobbyist for Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac at the same time that he was advising McCain.... nothing about McCain's attempt to hijack events surrounding the crisis for political gain... a gamble that turned into a failure for McCain (since his presence in Washington D.C. and his attempts to politicize the crisis only made matters worse, not better...and because he had to backtrack at the last moment and attend the debate after all...after Obama called his bluff)... This was Obama's chance to crush McCain.

In the second half of the debate- on the topic of foreign policy - McCain actually held his own, and may have even beat Obama. All in all... this debate, from my independent perspective, appeared to be a draw. Neither candidate will likely be harmed too badly or benefit much at all from the events tonight. However, this was a debate that Obama could have, and should have won convincingly. McCain may actually see a slight bounce from this debate... I wouldn't be surprised to see the polls tighten again in McCain's favor in the next few days...but it probably won't last long. Everything, at the moment, seems to be overshadowed by the events taking place in the economy.

Some post-debate polling shows that Obama did well among independents. But it's hard to know if these particular independents were planning to vote for Obama anyway. I think Obama has good will points that he has earned over the last 2 years, and the current economic situation to thank for his good poll numbers after this debate. Those good poll numbers are not likely due to his performance in Oxford Mississippi.

How in the World could Obama's staff, and his debate prep. team in particular, not allow their candidate to paint the right picture of John McCain? It is beyond comprehension. Not only did they fail on that front, but they allowed McCain to bounce off of the ropes several times to take some great shots at Obama. McCain was allowed to reframe the debate, and turn attention away from himself...and back onto Obama... when it should have been all about McCain and his complicity in the current financial mess. Some Americans watching the debate and not really knowing the issues or the candidates all that well, could have easily walked away with the idea that McCain is some sort of anti-corruption, anti-lobbying watchdog who is looking out for the best interests of tax payers. Nothing could be further from the truth.

How in the world could Obama allow himself to be matched (tied) or beaten back by a senile, 72 year old man who out of touch with the realities faced by working Americans?

Luckily Obama has two more chances to go after McCain... and that walking disaster named Sarah Palin could also help Obama next week. I have my fingers crossed that Biden won't ----- up.

Again... all McCain and Palin have to do in order to look good at these events is to just show up. They get a B+ or A- just for that. Biden has to beat this woman without being perceived as overbearing. He has to do his thing with a smile on his face.

Is it November 4th yet?

Carry on....

Debate Open Thread

Sorry I'm late. What do you think about it?

How Much Is The War In Iraq Costing Your Area?

See an excellent website for the National Priorities Project, which explains (in plain terms) how Federal tax dollars are used. They have a great tool that tells you how much local communities have theoretically spent on the War in Iraq.

Our County Executive almost blew his top when he saw the cost for St. Louis County.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

CNN: Obama Tried to Rescue Meeting, McCain Was Silent

From DailyKos:

CNN: Obama Tried to Rescue Meeting, McCain Was Silent
by EmperorHadrian
Thu Sep 25, 2008 at 08:38:41 PM PDT

Fourty years of republican misrule has brought us to this. Financial ruin at every level. But CNN reported on what happened inside the meeting at the White House today. Its failure seems to have caused the failure of this deal, and this meeting would not have occured if McCain hadn't demanded it. He took another huge gamble, and lost. After the cameras left, Boehner started ranting about the right wing "plan" (deregulation, capital gains tax cuts, and an insurance plan that Paulson said won't work). Bush was silent, and McCain said nothing. It seems as though Obama was the only one who tried to lead the meeting to some productive conclusion. CNN said that Obama first tried to reason with Boehner, and ask him to detail what his plan was. After he did this, Obama calmly asked Paulson if it would work, and Paulson said that it definately would not work (which was why house republicans didn't ask him about this at the meeting yesterday). Obama continued with his attempts to salvage the mess that McCain created and refused to correct, but was unable. Again we see how much we need Obama and his leadership, and how disastrous McCain would be.

EmperorHadrian's diary :: ::
Barney Frank just said that Lindsey Graham is now saying that the plan to allocate 20% of profits made to housing assistance for low income home owners is not acceptable, even though Senators Corker and Bennett said it was acceptable this morning. This goes further to the point that McCain is actively trying to kill this deal. You can't reason with a house full of ideologues any more than you can teach a dog calculus.

It is plainly obvious that McCain was principaly responisble for the failure of this bailout deal. And, for everyone here, this is a bailout of main street, not wall street. Without credit, main street cannot function. Plus taxpayers will probably make a profit, or at least lose very little money. Without it, we are possibily looking at Great Depression II, and the sequel is always worse than the original.

Update: The New York Times does mention this incident in a new article.

Instead he [McCain] found himself in the midst of a remarkable partisan showdown, lacking a clear public message for how to bring it to an end.

At the bipartisan White House meeting that Mr. McCain had called for a day earlier, he sat silently for more than 40 minutes, more observer than leader, and then offered only a vague sense of where he stood, said people in the meeting.


Still, by nightfall, the day provided the younger and less experienced Mr. Obama an opportunity to, in effect, shift roles with Mr. McCain. For a moment, at least, it was Mr. Obama presenting himself as the old hand at consensus building, and as the real face of bipartisan politics.

Update 2: Remember this Kossacks, what do all great presidents have in common? Think Lincoln or FDR. They all came into office during a time of extreme crisis. Good times don't make great presidents. Bad times make great presidents, or in McCain's case, absolute disasters.

Obama being Presidential. I'm not surprised.

McCain is a joke, a fraud, and a Punk @#%$+~^@%!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Sarah Palin crashes and burns, again

I would like to see what Governor Sarah Palin's preparation entails. It doesn't seem that she actually prepares for anything. Tonight, she was on Katie Couric's CBS evening news.

She's asked about Rick Davis, the campaign manager, whose lobbying firm has lobbied for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. She really does not have a coherent answer. Now, this is a softball question. She should have had the answer memorized. There was no way that Kate Couric wasn't going to ask a question about Rick Davis. How can she fumble the ball so badly? It is my understanding? What? Give a strong statement like, "I have spoken with Rick Davis personally. He has assured me that he hasn't received any money from Freddie or Frannie in over 18 months." In my opinion, this is a much better answer. It is positive and forceful. It stops you from looking like a moron and puts the responsibility on Rick Davis where it belongs.

One of her talking points is that Americans are waiting to see what John McCain is going to do. Interestingly, Katie Couric asked her why she believes that. Her answer is fascinating and naïve. She said that she does not look at poll numbers (remember Bush says this years ago) which suggests that Americans trust Barack Obama more than they trust John McCain with the economy but instead, Palin says that she believes that Americans at the end of the day we'll look at John McCain's track record. Track record equals experience. Something she doesn't have.

Maybe the problem is that she is overprepared. She has learned to many talking points and cannot put together a coherent sentence without throwing in a talking point. Maybe that's the problem. I know, I'm grasping at straws.

Katie Couric asked are we looking at another Great Depression. The answer that any intelligent politician who could be one heartbeat away from the presidency should give would be "we are not to let that happen. We're going to roll up our sleeves and do the interventions necessary to prevent another Great Depression." (My wife doesn't like this answer. She thinks that it sounds too canned. Maybe she is right. I know that I don't like a major politician saying that we maybe headed into a Great Depression.) How hard is that? Obviously, it is incredibly hard because that is not what she said. "Unfortunately, that is the road that America may find itself on. Not necessarily this, as it's been proposed, has to pass or we're going to find ourselves in another Great Depression." What? Can someone help this lady, please?

Would you support a moratorium on foreclosures? She can't answer the question. So, Katie Couric tries to get Sarah Palin to explain the pros and cons of a moratorium on foreclosures. Governor Palin can't do that either. She throws out some gobbledygook about predatory lenders and then drifted back to her talking point on a comprehensive long-term solution. She never mentions what that solution is. Or how she and John McCain will get us to this mystery solution.

Sarah Palin has become painful to watch. This is worse that watching a train wreck. This is like that scene in the movie Misery where James Caan gets his ankles broken, it is that painful.

Don't make David Letterman mad

Senator Country Last dissed David Letterman.

Here is his response:

Katie Couric's Interview With McCain's Choice

I suppose Couric had to promise to show 'deference' to McCain's Choice.

From Politico.com

Palin and Couric



Following is the transcript of tonight’s interview, which focuses on the nation’s economic crisis. Tomorrow’s (25) portion of the interview will focus on international affairs. As previously announced, Couric's extended interview with Gov. Palin from the campaign trail will be broadcast on the CBS EVENING NEWS next Monday (29) and Tuesday (30).


COURIC: Sarah Palin kept up her busy schedule today, meeting with several world leaders who are here in New York for the UN session. But she took time out for an exclusive interview, in which we discussed the state of the economy at length. We began, though, by addressing reports that the lobbying firm of Senator McCain's campaign manager received payments from Freddie Mac until last month. I asked for her reaction to that.

PALIN: My understanding is that Rick Davis recused himself from the dealings of the firm. I don't know how long ago, a year or two ago that he's not benefiting from that. And you know, I was — I would hope that's not the case.

COURIC: But he still has a stake in the company, so isn't that a conflict of interest.

PALIN: Again, my understanding is that he recused himself from the dealings with Freddie and Fannie, any lobbying efforts on his part there. And I would hope that's the case because, as John McCain has been saying, and as I've been on a more local level been on a much more local level been also rallying against is the undue influence of lobbyists in public policy decisions being made.

COURIC: Then we focused on the $700 billion government bailout of bad debt and I asked her if she supports it.

PALIN: I'm ill about the position that America is in and that we have to look at a $700 billion bailout. At the same time we know that inaction is not an option and as Senator McCain has said unless this nearly trillion-dollar bailout is what it may end up to be, unless there are amendments in Paulson's proposal, really I don't believe that Americans are going to support this and we will not support this. The interesting thing in the last couple of days that I have seen is that Americans are waiting to see what John McCain will do on this proposal. They're not waiting to see what Barack Obama is going to do. Is he going to do this and see what way the political wind's blowing. They're waiting to see if John McCain will be able to see these amendments implemented in Paulson's proposal.

COURIC: Why do you say that? Why are they waiting for John McCain and not Barack Obama?

PALIN: He's got the track record of the leadership qualities and the pragmatism that's needed at a crisis time like this.

COURIC: But polls have shown that Senator Obama has actually gotten a boost as a result of this latest crisis with more people feeling that he can handle the situation better than John McCain?

PALIN: I'm not looking at poll numbers. What I think Americans at the end of the day are going to be able to go back and look at track records and see who's more apt to be talking about solutions and wishing for and hoping for solutions for some opportunity to change, and who's actually done it?

COURIC: If this doesn't pass, do you think there's a risk of another Great Depression?

PALIN: Unfortunately, that is the road that America may find itself on. Not necessarily this as it's been proposed has to pass or we're going to find ourselves in another Great Depression. There has got to be action — bipartisan effort — Congress not pointing fingers at one another but finding the solution to this, taking action, and being serious about the reforms on Wall Street that are needed.

COURIC: Would you support a moratorium on foreclosures to help average Americans keep their homes?

PALIN: That's something that John McCain and I have both been discussing whether that is part of the solution or not ... you know, it's going to be a multifaceted that has to be found here.

COURIC: So you haven't decided whether you'll support it or not?

PALIN: I have not.

COURIC: What are the pros and cons of it, do you think?

PALIN: Well, some decisions that have been made poorly should not be rewarded, of course.

COURIC: By consumers, you're saying?

PALIN: Consumers and those who were predator lenders also. That's, you know, that has to be considered also. But again, it's got to be a comprehensive long-term solution found for this problem that America is facing today. As I say, we are getting into crisis mode here.

COURIC: You've said, quote, "John McCain will reform the way Wall Street does business." Other than supporting stricter regulations of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac two years ago, can you give us any more example of his leading the charge for more oversight?

PALIN: I think that the example that you just cited, with his warnings two years ago about Fannie and Freddie — that, that's paramount. That's more than a heck of a lot of other senators and representatives did for us.

COURIC: But he's been in Congress for 26 years. He's been chairman of the powerful Commerce Committee. And he has almost always sided with less regulation, not more.

PALIN: He's also known as the maverick, though. Taking shots from his own party, and certainly taking shots from the other party. Trying to get people to understand what he's been talking about — the need to reform government.

COURIC: I'm just going to ask you one more time, not to belabor the point. Specific examples in his 26 years of pushing for more regulation?

PALIN: I'll try to find you some, and I'll bring them to you.


I'll say it again.

ANYONE who takes politics seriously and the problems of this country seriously, whether on the left, right, middle...

MUST be offended by this woman.

The shit ain't subtle, and you ain't slick, John McCain

From The Daily Dish

Suspending The Palin Debate?
24 Sep 2008 06:45 pm

The other shoe drops. CNN reports:

McCain surrogate Sen. Lindsey Graham tells CNN the McCain campaign is proposing to the Presidential Debate Commission and the Obama camp that if there's no bailout deal by Friday, the first presidential debate should take the place of the VP debate, currently scheduled for next Thursday, October 2 in St. Louis.

In this scenario, the vice presidential debate between Joe Biden and Sarah Palin would be rescheduled for a date yet to be determined, and take place in Oxford, Mississippi, currently slated to be the site of the first presidential faceoff this Friday.

First, they already changed the format of the debate to make it EASIER for McCain's Choice.

Now, they want to change the date?


The CNN commentators nearly burst out laughing as one suggested that Obama/McCain switch debate dates with Biden/Palin, with the VP debate being this Friday.

The Lies of McCain's Choice

Andrew Sullivan has been keeping track of the lies of McCain's Choice.

Lies 1-12 can be found HERE.

Lie #13 from TODAY.

The Jed Report has the clock at 26 days :no press conference.

Economic Crisis Puts Politics On Hold?

As you have probably heard by now, John McCain has moved to suspend his campaign as of tomorrow in order to return to Washington to focus on the economic crisis. From McCain's campaign:

America this week faces an historic crisis in our financial system. We must pass legislation to address this crisis. If we do not, credit will dry up, with devastating consequences for our economy. People will no longer be able to buy homes and their life savings will be at stake. Businesses will not have enough money to pay their employees. If we do not act, ever corner of our country will be impacted. We cannot allow this to happen.

Last Friday, I laid out my proposal and I have since discussed my priorities and concerns with the bill the Administration has put forward. Senator Obama has expressed his priorities and concerns. This morning, I met with a group of economic advisers to talk about the proposal on the table and the steps that we should take going forward. I have also spoken with members of Congress to hear their perspective.

It has become clear that no consensus has developed to support the Administration's proposal. I do not believe that the plan on the table will pass as it currently stands, and we are running out of time.

Tomorrow morning, I will suspend my campaign and return to Washington after speaking at the Clinton Global Initiative. I have spoken to Senator Obama and informed him of my decision and have asked him to join me.

I am calling on the President to convene a meeting with the leadership from both houses of Congress, including Senator Obama and myself. It is time for both parties to come together to solve this problem.

We must meet as Americans, not as Democrats or Republicans, and we must meet until this crisis is resolved. I am directing my campaign to work with the Obama campaign and the commission on presidential debates to delay Friday night's debate until we have taken action to address this crisis.

I am confident that before the markets open on Monday we can achieve consensus on legislation that will stabilize our financial markets, protect taxpayers and homeowners, and earn the confidence of the American people. All we must do to achieve this is temporarily set politics aside, and I am committed to doing so.

Following September 11th, our national leaders came together at a time of crisis. We must show that kind of patriotism now. Americans across our country lament the fact that partisan divisions in Washington have prevented us from addressing our national challenges. Now is our chance to come together to prove that Washington is once again capable of leading this country.

Barack Obama's campaign quickly followed up with a statement of their own:

At 8:30 this morning, Senator Obama called Senator McCain to ask him if he would join in issuing a joint statement outlining their shared principles and conditions for the Treasury proposal and urging Congress and the White House to act in a bipartisan manner to pass such a proposal. At 2:30 this afternoon, Senator McCain returned Senator Obama's call and agreed to join him in issuing such a statement. The two campaigns are currently working together on the details.

In making such a dramatic move, McCain is able to accomplish several things. It has become clear over the past week that his campaign has lost control of the race. McCain's post convention/Palin bounce has evaporated as economic concerns drove voters to Obama's fold. Instantly, he is able to change the story, or at least shift the fundamentals of it (and burying the Rick Davis lobbying story in the process doesn't hurt either). This move also allows McCain to display leadership on the economy (putting country first?). Not wanting to be outdone, Obama's camp was quick to point out that they had actually moved this morning to get with McCain on this issue.

It remains unclear just what McCain's move means for the campaign. McCain is pushing to delay this Friday's debate, which was to focus on foreign policy, while Obama's campaign is hesitant to push it back. Obama's statement mentions nothing of suspending his campaign, nor has his campaign signaled a willingness to delay the debate. "The debate is on," a senior Obama officially reportedly told ABC News. "We can handle both," Illinois Democrat Rahm Emanuel, who headed up debate negotiations for Obama, added. McCain's team is also suggesting that both sides pull their campaign ads for the time being--a move that would be difficult to pull of logistically with the ads already in circulation. Does McCain intend to really suspend all political activity? Will he close his campaign offices? Will he stop canvassing? Will he pull his surrogates off of the cable news channels? Will he stop fundraising?

And how will McCain's move affect the negotiations on the Hill? While, it's true that the combined power of the two presidential nominees could force Congress to move forward quickly on an agreement. But it seems more likely, however, that their presence would only further politicize this thing, potentially derailing it altogether. Neither McCain nor Obama has any significant expertise in dealing with issues of this nature and they haven't exactly been major players in the debate on the Hill thus far. The Congress has not rushed forward, instead reacting with a healthy dose of skepticism. While the failure to act may further propel this crisis, moving hastily to repair the damage would simply lead to problems down the road.

"While I appreciate that both candidates have signaled their willingness to help, Congress and the Administration have a process in place to reach a solution to this unprecedented financial crisis. It would not be helpful at this time to have them come back during these negotiations and risk injecting presidential politics into this process or distract important talks about the future of our nation's economy," Majority Leader Harry Reid noted this afternoon.

McCain's decision to suspend his campaign and delay the debate puts Obama in a difficult position. Should Obama push for the campaign and the debate to continue, he risks falling into a trap, appearing to have put politics over country. On the other hand, he could play this off as a political stunt from a desperate candidate falling in the polls. He could suggest, rightly so, that a president often has to deal with more than one situation at a time, calling for the campaigns and the debates to move forward even as the two sides work together to solve the economic crisis. Either way, Obama will have to maneuver cautiously. In going public, it looks like McCain is trying to force Obama's hand on this. He tried to get out in front of this to make Obama play on his terms, while Obama's campaign appeared content to work behind the scenes to reach a deal on the bailout proposal with McCain.

While I don't mean to question McCain's desire to solve America's financial crisis, it's difficult to deny the political benefits of his actions today. He's thrown another Hail Mary, but I'm not sure this one will be caught in the end zone.

Cross-posted at Political Realm.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Video - Israelis for Obama

Hat tip: Jack and Jill Politics

The Racist Dogwhistle Is Working Overtime in Michigan

I had a feeling that this would be a tactic used by Rethugs. This is why Mr. Hip Hop pissed me off with his antics, especially since they were right around election time. I knew it would be an issue.

When it comes to Black politicians... there is always supposed to be this magical connection, just by virtue of the fact that they are Black (no real substantive connection is necessary). But with White politicians, it's not so easy to make such an assumption. You actually have to tie the white guys (or gals) together with some sort of connection...with facts, evidence of involvement, etc. Whites don't have the same burden of representing an entire group based on their race. They represent businesses, Parties... but they aren't usually held accountable for every !%#$-up who happens to be of the same racial/ethnic group.

That's why I say that Black politicians who reach any level of National status represent more than just themselves, their cities, their States or their district constituents. They represent an entire group....although that status may be forced upon them. It is what it is. This is what made the Hip Hop thug Mayor so damaging...and I knew that it would somehow find its way into the General Election. Let's face it... Race is at the heart of this strategy. If the Democratic candidate had been White, I don't think the commercial would have been made.

Whenever I would read or hear a story about the latest antics of Kwame Kilpatrick, I would always cringe for Obama.

Winning Out West

I've posted on this topic before, but winning out West will matter tremendously to the victor in this campaign. The Midwest (Ohio, Michigan and Pennsylvania especially) tend to hog the limelight. The South, too, holds a special place in election politics with its racial history and large African American populations. But, the West, libertarian and distant, matters just as much.

Team Obama is building on the foundations set by Colorado's Senator Salazar and Governor Ritter. Those two, and Montana Gov. Schweitzer are finding ways for Democrats to win in areas previously entirely devoid of Democrats. While Senator Obama won't win every state in the West, or even half of those states, his campaign continues to invest heavily in the region.

In a race as tight as this one should be, investing in the West is smart business. not have to devote resources. Second, picking Palin doesn't necessarily help McCain in the West. True, Colorado has plenty of evangelicals who will be smitten by her story. But, in states such as Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, Nevada, and New Mexico, you are just as likely to find social libertarians (as in, "We don't care what people do in the privacy of their own homes, the government should stay out of it.") People with those attitudes will not go for Palin in the large numbers that McCain expects.

An Interview With Theresa Andersson

Meet Theresa Andersson, a multi-talented Swedish born musician from New Orleans. I can't find the words to describe this artist. You will just have to see and hear for yourself. But she's an authentic musician (independent artist) with talent that surpasses her celebrity. It's a damn shame that we are constantly bombarded with the likes of Britney Spears, Jessica Simpson and a slew of others with little or no talent... while real musicians aren't given much coverage, can't get major label support, and fall under the radar. The race-to-the-bottom culture, and the "I want everything right now"/microwave mentality is killing art and music in this Country.

I'm not aware of too many other musicians out there today who are doing anything like what Andersson has been doing. I know that Prince actually recorded a few of his early albums in a similar way back in the late 70's... He's a genius and one of my favorite musicians of all-time and I have all of those early recordings on cassette (still can't afford to change collection to CD). But I'm not aware of many artists doing this today. There are, however, performers and producers who use loops, and take prefabricated sound from fancy computer programs to make music... but there aren't too many who can actually play the instruments (violin, guitar, drums, offer vocals, etc) to loop their own material. They typically use beat machines and other computer generated sound thrown together in a studio... or they lift it from other recordings.

Andersson is a combination of Norah Jones, Diana Krall, & Dusty Springfield... A mishmash of Pop, Soul, Folk, Jazz, & Classical. I detected a little bit of Teena Marie DNA in there as well. It's no surprise that she calls New Orleans home... only New Orleans could produce that kind of mixture.

Hear an Interview from the Public radio program Studio 360.

Bonus Video: "Na Na Na" (amateur vid shot in her kitchen)

Republicans Attempting to Foreclose On The Right To Vote In Michigan

Talk about a double whammy. Voters in Michigan who have already gone through the difficulty of losing their homes, may now face the threat of losing their right to vote. This has to do with an effort by Republicans in Michigan to take advantage of the high numbers of foreclosures in the State. In order to register and vote, residents must have a permanent address. However, those who have lost their homes are obviously temporarily displaced. The Republicans are preparing lists of foreclosed homes.... in an effort to challenge voters on election day. They may also attempt to send mailings to these homes, knowing that the mailings will be sent back w/ "return to sender".... this could also be a pretext to disqualify voters. It should be no surprise that many of the targeted voters will be African Americans - standard M.O. for Republican strategists who use voter suppression to give Republican candidates an advantage.

However, there is no law requiring anyone to be a homeowner in order to vote. Many of these voters may not remember to re-register (with all the hectic and tragic events in their lives)....and Republicans may attempt to make it difficult for these voters to do so, even if they try. If these voters are temporarily living with family or friends, then that should suffice. But this is why we need national standards on voting... that would put an end to this kind of trickery. The current system of 50 separate and unequal voting systems is inadequate and leaves open too many opportunities for voter suppression, intimidation, caging, destroying ballots, disqualifying legitimate registrations and other trickery.

Democrats have had to file a lawsuit to stop Republican dirty tricks in Michigan.

Hear/Watch report from Democracy Now

Amy Goodman also talks with Professor Andrew Hacker about voter Suppression nationwide.


A Few Previous Posts On This Topic

Watch an Excellent Video On Caging

McCain Camp Sends Out Bogus Ballot Applications

Rikyrah Posts About Voter Suppression

Colin Powell Discusses Georgia Conflict

Powell joins the World of the sane with his assessment of the conflict in Georgia. He hinted that McCain's response was hasty.

Monday, September 22, 2008

The Bradley Effect in Reverse

Could we see a Bradley Effect in reverse? I think it's possible... at least in certain States. What do I mean by a Bradley Effect in reverse?

This means, whites vowing to each other that they will vote for McCain (so that they feel comfortable with one another... so that they aren't seen as traitors by their own)....but in the secrecy of the voting booth... they may vote for Obama...for the sake of the Country.

I just can't accept that Whites are that oblivious to what the Hell is going on. Deep down, many of them know that Obama/Biden would be a much better choice, but perhaps they are intimidated from saying so, by their friends & family. Hell, to deflect suspicion... I wouldn't be surprised if some of these secret Obamaholics have McCain/Palin placards in their yards, just as a front. lol

To continue their ruse... many of them may leave the voting booth, swearing that they voted for McCain. lol Watch the exit polls. Some won't match the final vote count.

Now I don't think this is widespread....But it could show up in one or two key States. Although I don't expect it from the deep South at all. I think there are enough White voters out there, who would normally be Republican voters...but who recognize that the nation is in a Code Blue situation, and they have to change allegiances, at least temporarily....or they may feel that their allegiance to Country is more important than their allegiance to a failed Party.

Rush Limbaugh: Obama really ISN'T African-American

Hat tip: Booman Tribune

From Media Matters:

Limbaugh repeats baseless Obama smear: "He's Arab. ... [H]e's not African-American"

Summary: Rush Limbaugh baselessly asserted of Sen. Barack Obama: "Do you know he has not one shred of African-American blood?" Limbaugh continued: "He's Arab. You know, he's from Africa. He's from Arab parts of Africa. ... [H]e's not African-American. The last thing that he is is African-American."

From the September 22 broadcast of Premiere Radio Networks' The Rush Limbaugh Show:

LIMBAUGH: These polls on how one-third of blue-collar white Democrats won't vote for Obama because he's black, and -- but he's not black. Do you know he has not one shred of African-American blood? He doesn't have any African -- that's why when they asked whether he was authentic, whether he's down for the struggle. He's Arab. You know, he's from Africa. He's from Arab parts of Africa. He's not -- his father was -- he's not African-American. The last thing that he is is African-American. I guess that's splitting hairs, I don't -- it's just all these little things, everything seems upside-down today in this country.

Now folks. Please tell me that you see the racist forest for the trees.

If you can't see coordination in this, then you are as blind as Stevie Wonder.

The hack job done by the AP with their 'Obama's problem with racist Whites' story. Then, there was the Latino GOP Republican official that came out with this - "The truth is that Hispanics came here as conquerors," he said. "African-Americans came here as slaves. "Hispanics consider themselves above blacks. They won't vote for a black president."

Of course later, he explained that he was 'misunderstood.' (I keep on telling you - English is my PRIMARY language - I'm not misunderstanding a damn thing). This is, of course, as every poll of Latino voters says that Obama is stomping McCain 2-1, the exception being Cubans, and Obama is running well for a Democrat with them.

Then there are the smear fliers going around to the Jewish community connecting Barack Obama with PAT BUCHANAN.

But now..

After being HALFRICAN


Limbaugh says that Obama 'really' isn't African-American. He's Arab.

This is but another variation of what Nicholas Kristoff says is The Push to ‘Otherize’ Obama.

In the ' Good Old Days'....all you needed to scare ' Good White Folk' was a picture or two of a Black man.

Rush has made it official.

Arabs and/or Muslims have replaced Black folk as the NIGGERS OF AMERICA.

There's no other explanation.

Used to be...a good old-fashioned racebaiting campaign with the Black man as bogeyman would do the trick.

Big Black Brute will attack the poor wittle defenseless White woman.

White men, get your guns! The Nigras are coming for your White Women!

Lord knows, they've been trying...that Franklin Raines ad was just the latest attempt at their Birth of a Nation advertising campaign.

I want to laugh. I know I should do what the ancestors have done time and time again before me and find some humor in this situation. Find some silver lining.

But, I don't find any silver lining in another group being maligned and denigrated and used as a club for White Supremacy. No humor in that.

I guess the only thing positive IS that I have been tired of that crew dancing and coming up to the edge of their bigotry. Like John Ridley told Limbaugh, his junkie racist ass needs to MAN UP. I guess outright lying to peddle anti-Arab/Muslim bigotry is him doing just that.

Just Askin'

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Keith Olbermann Tallies Palin's Lies

I have honestly lost track of all the lies from this woman. At first I thought i'd be able to keep up...but they have been coming so fast. There are apparently several lies from the McCain/Palin camp (esp. Palin) every day.

It is clear that the constant lying is part of a deliberate strategy by McCain's advisors.... hoping that they can fool voters.

What drives me crazy is... their plan just might work.

Special Rules For VP Debate Designed to Help Palin

Exactly how does it benefit women when the VP candidate has to be given special treatment? I don't recall Hillary Clinton getting these special debate arrangements... because she was actually expected to know the issues.

If anything, this sets women back. I suspect, that this is exactly what women DIDN'T want to see happen... at least I would hope that a significant number of women would feel that way.

I was excited about the VP debate being held in St. Louis next month... but it appears that it will be just another dog and pony show. I suspected that something like this would happen, because Palin is such a lightweight. It didn't take Republicans long to take over the debate and impose their own rules.

But even with the new rules and with the cue cards, i'm pretty confident that Palin will still be beaten by Biden; unless he does something really stupid. But then again, Palin doesn't have to win... there is always a lower standard for Republicans. All she has to do is basically show up....and not stumble over too many questions. If she manages to do that, then the whole affair will be seen as a huge success by the McCain campaign... because they'll be able to spin her like a top... touting her foreign policy credentials, her poise under pressure, and other assorted nonsense. And of course these will also be the talking points for the media... they will likely spin it the same way.

Obama Ad Finally Puts McCain In Right Context

Obama has to continue to undercut McCain's phony Maverick and reform themes.

Palin Team Stacked With Former Bush Officials

Sarah Palin is being advised by former Bush Administration officials. McCain has put together a Palin staff full of Bush loyalists. This is all part of an effort to coach Palin to survive her public appearances. Palin has likely been receiving crash courses in everything from the economic crisis to foreign policy.

But I find it peculiar that she is "learning" from those who have damn near destroyed the Country. It's bad enough that McCain is clueless, and Palin is unqualified for the job... but on top of that, the Republican VP choice is taking lessons from the previous failed Administration. Not a way to build confidence, IMO. Her first real introduction to many of these issues (on any serious level) is being presented to her through a Bush/Cheney Administration lens. Yet they have stolen Obama's Change Theme, hoping (betting) that the American public would be too stupid to notice.

This is why it boggles my mind that the election is even close at this point. McCain/Palin would be the closest thing to a 3rd Bush term that you could find.

Also see article from MoJo Blog

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Obama and Race: Two Articles

The first article is by AP Hack Ron Fournier:

Poll: Racial views steer some away from Obama
One-third of polled white Democrats harbor negative views toward blacks

updated 10:04 a.m. CT, Sat., Sept. 20, 2008
WASHINGTON - Deep-seated racial misgivings could cost Barack Obama the White House if the election is close, according to an AP-Yahoo News poll that found one-third of white Democrats harbor negative views toward blacks — many calling them "lazy," "violent" or responsible for their own troubles.

The poll, conducted with Stanford University, suggests that the percentage of voters who may turn away from Obama because of his race could easily be larger than the final difference between the candidates in 2004 — about two and one-half percentage points.

Certainly, Republican John McCain has his own obstacles: He's an ally of an unpopular president and would be the nation's oldest first-term president. But Obama faces this: 40 percent of all white Americans hold at least a partly negative view toward blacks, and that includes many Democrats and independents.

Rest of this trash at the link above.

Riddle me this, ladies and gentlemen...how come this article is coming out just as Obama is taking the lead again in all the polls?

I'm just askin'.

But, Al Giordano, over at The Field, has a better response:

The AP’s Ron Fournier: Racial Arsonist and Unethical Journalist

Lord, I wish I had written that headline..LOL

The beginning of the article:

Deep-seated racial misgivings could cost Barack Obama the White House if the election is close, according to an AP-Yahoo News poll that found one-third of white Democrats harbor negative views toward blacks - many calling them "lazy," "violent" or responsible for their own troubles.

- Ron Fournier, Associated Press, September 20, 2008

Theorem: The amount of time conservatives spend talking about the Bradley Effect is inversely proportional to the fortunes of their candidate.

- Nate Silver, September 19, 2008

Today's AP story wasn't exactly about the so-called "Bradley Effect" or "Wilder Effect," a popular theory in the 1980s and 1990s that posited that some white Americans lie to pollsters claiming they will support African-American candidates but vote then against them in the secrecy of the ballot box.

The theory - if it was true back then - has been very thoroughly disproved in recent years, and today we'll walk you through all the documentation you need to debunk it when asked about it by others.

But with the McCain-Palin ticket sinking in the polls, and the financial crisis sucking the oxygen out of the culture war "issues" on all sides, with the economy now front and center as the dominant campaign issue, we're hearing increasing mention of the so-called "Bradley Effect," the so-called "Wilder Effect," the so-called "Bradley-Wilder Effect" (all names for the same 20th century theory).

And now, the Associated Press and its unethical reporter Ron Fournier are transparently attempting to turn the November election (and, if their attempted arson is successful, its aftermath for years to come) into a wedge to divide, polarize and set back race relations in the United States of America more than four decades.

Everybody take a deep breath and repeat after me: The race card is not working. It's not going to work. And we're not going to take the bait being dangled out in front of us by racially prejudiced provocateurs like Fournier: he wants us to spread his gasoline to make his arson fire bigger; we're going to hose water on it - and on him - instead.

This weekend, we have two sets of homework assignments for Field Hands, the first outlined in this post.

Step One: To arm and educate yourselves with the true facts demonstrating that the AP poll disproves Fournier's racially incendiary claims.

Step Two: To similarly arm yourself to be able to demonstrate that the so-called "Bradley Effect" (in all its names) has not been a serious factor for 15 years or more.

You will develop the talking points to explain the true facts to your neighbors, family and friends whenever it comes up. The "white Americans won't vote for a black man" canard is bogus, and, frankly, even if it were to be a factor, there is an equal and opposite force at play that is the Obama grassroots organization.

Please go HERE FOR THE REST OF THE ARTICLE, which is full of links and charts that I just can't transfer. And show Al some love and appreciation for this takedown. DIGG the article and share it.

I've said it before: when I realized that AP had not only distorted but completely LIED about Senator Obama's speech in Hampton, VA, in October 2007, I knew that I would never take a word associated with AP seriously where Obama is concerned. I suggest that you arch the eyebrow too.

Media Alert

From TCMPalm:

Michelle Obama to join Paula Deen’s ‘Party’
By Bill DeYoung
Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The “laaahd” will flow as Michelle Obama joins genteel food maven Paula Deen on an episode of “Paula’s Party,” Sept. 20 on the Food Network.

On the show, “Grease is the Word,” the wife of the Democratic presidential candidate meets up with Deen “on the campaign trail” to make the TV chef’s famous fried shrimp and Creole french fries.

According to the network’s press release: “Michelle gives Paula a taste of her family life on the road to the White House and shares fun facts, including the first meal she made for Barack, what kinds of local foods the family seeks out on the road and that Barack makes a mean chili!”

As if that weren’t tasty enough, food fans, Maury Povich and Connie Chung also are on the program, from Deen’s Savannah, Ga., studio, preparing (ahem) fried apple pies and fried dumplings.

Bill DeYoung

What: “Paula’s Party: Grease Is The Word”

When: 7 p.m. Sept. 20

Network: Food Network

Update: Obama's 50 State Strategy

This is from PoliticalInaction.com

September 19, 2008
SHOCK POLL: Iowa out of play...........

Bush won Iowa in 2004 and 2000. Obama has put Iowa pretty much out of reach. The gold standard of pollsters, SurveyUSA, puts the Iowa race at 54O 43M. That is 7 electoral votes McCain needs.

For what it is worth, 538.com has Obama winning the election 71% of the time.....

UPDATE: By the by, it drives me up a wall that no one in the drive by media talks about the importance of Iowa. 3 key facts:

It is a 14 electoral vote swing in Obama's favor.

It shores up Minnesota, Wisconsin, makes Nebraska's split electoral votes possible, and it gives Obama a fighting chance in Missouri.

Finally, and most importantly, it makes an Obama presidency possible.

Obama has to have multiple ways to the White House.

Why? Because if it was only Ohio and Florida, McCain would camp out in the those states, spend most of his money there, and the smear campaign of Barack Obama would be, and probably still will be, overwhelming.

But here is the thing.....if McCain has to defend multiple places, he can't conduct the vicious attacks without turning off voters somewhere where he is vulnerable. Obama needs to steal the equivalent of Ohio from McCain and protect all other Kerry states. That is 20 electoral votes. He is 33% there. New Mexico gets him 60% of the way there.

That gives him 3 options remaining: Colorado(10), Virginia(13), or Indiana(11). If he didn't have Iowa, he would have to win two of those three, which is probably impossible, or at least not very likely. But with Iowa, he only needs one. This spreads McCain devastatingly thin in message and in resources. McCain has to appeal to a broad swath of people, but he can't do it because he isn't that versatile. Iowa made and now makes Barack Obama possible. Barack Obama's strategy is to bankrupt McCain in Florida and Ohio, then win it with Iowa, Colorado, New Mexico, and Virginia for good measure.

The reason why the 50 State Strategy was the ONLY way for Obama to go IS because he had to be able to weave and bob and get more options. There are polls out in states like Indiana, Montana, North Carolina, where Obama is within the margin of error. States where no Republican should be having to fight, and there it is. Heck, I saw a poll out of West Virginia, that had Obama within FIVE!


What would work for McCain in one state, is a turnoff in another state. While Palin might play well with the GOP base, her religious extremism turns off voters in a state like New Hampshire. Keeeping it within the margin of error in a state like North Carolina, means McCain has to expound resources. With the exception of Michigan and Florida, Obama's Primary battles enabled him to set up infrastructures all across the country.

In a state like Florida, remember this: since the 2004 election,
a)ex-felons have had their voting rights restored,
b)the Latino population that is NOT Cuban has exploded and is sizeable,
c)there is a sizeable YOUTH Cuban voting block.

Palin's selection HAS hurt McCain with Jewish voters to the point now, where they've tampered back with the 'Obama is a Muslim' LIE email, and began mailing out fliers connecting Barack Obama to PAT BUCHANAN (I kid you not). Florida is going to come down to GOTV, plain and simple. Palin's selection put Florida in play.

So, if you can phonebank, or if you can canvass in one of these battleground states, please do.

More on the Wall Street Meltdown

Joseph Stiglitz on the Wall Street Crisis

Joseph E. Stiglitz, professor at Columbia University, was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics in 2001 for his work on the economics of information and was on the climate change panel that shared the Nobel Peace Prize in 2008. Stiglitz, a supporter of Barack Obama, was a member and later chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers during the Clinton administration before joining the World Bank as chief economist and senior vice president. He is the co-author with Linda Bilmes of the "Three Trillion Dollar War: The True Costs of the Iraq Conflict."

For all the new-fangled financial instruments, this was just another one of those financial crises based on excess leverage, or borrowing, and a pyramid scheme.

The new "innovations" simply hid the extent of systemic leverage and made the risks less transparent; it is these innovations that have made this collapse so much more dramatic than earlier financial crises. But one needs to push further: Why did the Fed fail?

First, key regulators like Alan Greenspan didn't really believe in regulation; when the excesses of the financial system were noted, they called for self-regulation -- an oxymoron.

Second, the macro-economy was in bad shape with the collapse of the tech bubble. The tax cut of 2001 was not designed to stimulate the economy but to give a largesse to the wealthy -- the group that had been doing so well over the last quarter-century.

The coup d' grace was the Iraq War, which contributed to soaring oil prices. Money that used to be spent on American goods now got diverted abroad. The Fed took seriously its responsibility to keep the economy going.

For the rest of the article including Prof. Stiglitz’s prescriptions to address the crisis go to CNN.com

On a related note regarding the AIG bailout and the massive Federal bailout planned to be unveiled next week, Jonathan Tasini over at the Working Life blog had some excellent questions to ask:
1. What is this going to cost us?

2. Since many of the very people who made this crisis happen made off with billions of dollars over time in compensation, shouldn't this tab be paid for by a tax hike on the wealthiest Americans?

3. What assurances will the public get that we are now going to clean house? The CEOs and managers and their ilk should be permanently barred from having a hand in this business.