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Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Doesn't This Make You Hate Politicians? 

The man who "made" Sarah Palin, Sen. John McCain, has drawn a Republican primary this year from one J.D. Hayworth, who hates (in no particular order), Barack Obama, immigrants, and John McCain.

According to Jennifer Steinhauer, in the NYTimes:
Mr. McCain now finds himself jammed, moving starkly -- and often awkwardly -- to the right, apparently in an effort to gain favor among the same voters whom Mr. Hayworth, a consistent voice for the far right, [has been wooing for months as a talk-radio host].

Mr. McCain now sharply criticizes the bailout bill he voted for, pivoted from his earlier position that the Guantanamo Bay detention facility should be closed, offered only a muted response to the Supreme Court's decision undoing campaign finance laws and backed down from statements that gays in the military would be O.K. by him if the military brass were on board.

Maybe this "election conversion" will save John McCain from the hell fire of the Right Wing. And maybe not.

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Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Some Balls! 

Taking a page from the George W. Bush playbook (speak only before friendly, pre-screened audiences), Sen. Dick Burr did some back flips on health-care reform in Charlotte yesterday, assisted by John McCain and Mitch McConnell, to an invitation-only audience. During which Sen. McCain had the unmitigated gall to praise the screaming mobs who've disrupted Democratic townhalls, which have most assuredly NOT been invitation-only.

Shorthand version: These GOP senators LOVE to see Democrats shouted down by people who don't know what they're shouting about, while the senators bask in the warm puppy-love of invited corporate slaves, who are evidently very comfortable with the level of ignorance among the general public.

However, one doctor in that hand-picked audience yesterday in Charlotte wandered a bit off-message. He had the balls to challenge (finally!) the standard Republican line ("We've got the best health-care system in the world") and challenged McCain's assertion that only 12-15 million Americans are uninsured.

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Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Burr on a Leash 

Big phony health-care event in Charlotte today on behalf of Sen. Dick Burr, at which fellow senators John McCain and Mitch McConnell will also appear, saying approximately (1) the U.S. has the greatest health-care system in the world and (2) we're all completely and totally in favor of reforming the greatest health-care system in the world, so long as the big corps get to keep all their profits and even increase them.

The event is being paid for by big corp Carolinas HealthCare Systems, which runs 25 hospitals in Charlotte and South Carolina.

No conflict of interest here. None.

Meanwhile, the multi-millionaire CEO of N.C. Blue Cross/Blue Shield, the insurance giant that has grown obscenely rich from maintaining a monopoly over state employees' insurance (among others), says he's against competition (duh) but very much for a public mandate that everyone buy insurance, since that will increase his profits several billionfold.

If these blood-suckers were capable of shame, which clearly they are not, they'd be hiding their fat faces in the sub-basement of the Department of Can We Get Any More Greedy?

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Sunday, April 19, 2009

Who Is Steve Schmidt and Why Is He Saying Those Things About the GOP? 

Steve Schmidt's speech to the Log Cabin (gay) Republicans Friday makes for very interesting reading, and though most people are likely to highlight his advice for the Republicans to get over their opposition to gay marriage, he says a great deal else about the imminent death of the GOP that might give loyal Republicans, not to mention activist Democrats, some pause.

Steve Schmidt's bona fides: He was an acolyte of Karl Rove, a member of the "senior strategic planning group" in the George W. Bush White House, and oversaw the Bush reelection "war room" in 2004. Then he became John McCain's senior day-to-day message manager during last year's disaster.

He told the Log Cabin Republicans on Friday that the Republican Party is shrinking. Most alarming, it's shrinking among voters under the age of 30 and among Hispanic voters. If John McCain had not been on the ballot, he's convinced that the Democrats would have won Arizona last year.

On the issue of gay marriage: " cannot be argued that marriage between people of the same sex is un-American or threatens the rights of others. On the contrary, it seems to me that denying two consenting adults of the same sex the right to form a lawful union that is protected and respected by the state denies them two of the most basic natural rights affirmed in the preamble of our Declaration of Independence -- liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. That, I believe, gives the argument of same sex marriage proponents its moral force."

Sooner or later, Schmidt believes, the Republican Party will be forced to acknowledge the moral rightness of that argument. Sooner would definitely be better, in his view, for the political health of his party. Later, though foreordained, will likely be too late.

And get this: Schmidt believes that a group's notion of the revealed word of God is not a good basis for a political party's platform: "If you put public policy issues to a religious test you risk becoming a religious party, and in a free country, a political party cannot remain viable in the long term if it is seen as sectarian."

Schmidt was making sense. Can we rest secure in our confidence that the leaders of the Republican Party will not listen?

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Sunday, February 08, 2009

Newt Gingrich, Sob Sister 

The things one learns from the Sunday morning gasbags!

First, we hear George Will say the greatest thing that President Obama has done -- really, an act of sheer statesmanship -- is to remove the "buy American" provisions in the stimulus plan.

Less than an hour later, some senator from Arizona (McCain, I think his name was) said that it's just plu-perfect AWFUL that the bill has a "buy American" provision in it.

One of these two gentlemen is right and the other is lost somewhere in the space-time continuum.

But the best yuck of the morning came out of the mouth of Newt Gingrich on ABC's "This Week." Newt was alarmed -- perhaps even a little saddened, in that smug, self-serving way of his -- about the "partisanship" that has reinvaded Washington, all because President Obama thinks that it was Republican policies that got us into this mess. It's just a fact: Newt's shit don't stink.

And, oh yes, via the new chair of the Republican National Committee Michael Steele: a government-created job is not actually a job. It's really more of a social indiscretion, like paying your sister $37,000 out of campaign funds for work she didn't actually do.

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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Whack Job 

First, a top McCain operative said that Sarah Palin behaved like a diva.

Now another McCain advisor is saying privately that she's a "whack job."

We think when the movie is made of the McCain/Palin conjoining, it could be titled "Fatal Attraction." With a moosehead in the stewpot rather than a bunny rabbit.

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Friday, October 24, 2008

Barry Goldwater's Granddaughter Endorses Obama 

The late arch-conservative Barry Goldwater's granddaughter, C.C. Goldwater, has endorsed Barack Obama. Goldwater ran for president in 1964 against Lyndon Johnson and is credited by many for launching the rightward lurch of the Republican Party that eventually turned them into the party of Karl Rove.

C.C. says that she's not alone among her large Republican family in supporting Obama. Her siblings and several cousins will also be voting for Obama. Most of them live in McCain's home state of Arizona.

Among the other things C.C. writes about John McCain, she takes on his rigid anti-abortion position and the issue of same-sex marriage:
My grandfather (Paka) would never suggest denying a woman's right to choose. My grandmother co-founded Planned Parenthood in Arizona in the 1930's, a cause my grandfather supported. I'm not sure about how he would feel about marriage rights based on same-sex orientation. I think he would feel that love and respect for ones privacy is what matters most and not the intolerance and poor judgment displayed by McCain over the years.

Ouch. And then this:
...the Republican brand has been tarnished in a shameless effort to gain votes and appeal to the lowest emotion, fear. Nothing about McCain, except for maybe a uniform, compares to the same ideology of what Goldwater stood for as a politician. The McCain/Palin plan is to appear diverse and inclusive, using women and minorities to push an agenda that makes us all financially vulnerable, fearful, and less safe.

Double ouch.

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Monday, October 20, 2008

Obama, Hagan Expand N.C. Leads 

Late-breaking news from Public Policy Polling. Here and here.

From the PPP press release:
Barack Obama is now out to his largest lead yet in a PPP survey of North Carolina, polling at 51% in the state compared to 44% for John McCain. Last week Obama's advantage was 49-46.

Independent voters continue to move toward Obama in droves. He now has a 51-33 lead with them. He's also now up to receiving 82% of the Democratic vote. Staying over the 80% threshold there would almost certainly ensure a victory in North Carolina.

McCain now leads among white voters just 55-39, an edge that's not nearly enough given Obama's 92-6 lead with black voters. George W. Bush won about two thirds of the white vote against both John Kerry and Al Gore in North Carolina....

In North Carolina's US Senate race challenger Kay Hagan continues to lead incumbent Elizabeth Dole, as she has now in PPP's last seven surveys of the race. Hagan's advantage is now up to 49-42. Hagan is annihilating Dole among suburban voters, 56-38. She's also shoring up her support with the key Democratic constituency of black voters, with whom she is now ahead 84-7, an improvement from 78-12 a week ago....

PPP surveyed 1,200 likely voters on October 18th and 19th. The survey's margin of error is +/- 2.8%....

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Sunday, October 19, 2008

Colin Powell Endorses Obama 


McCain didn't pass the test posed by the current economic crisis.

McCain didn't pass the test posed by his own vice presidential choice.

McCain didn't pass the test of broadening the Republican base, rather than embarking on a William Ayers-fueled witch-hunt that can only narrow the party:
"...I've also been disappointed, frankly, by some of the approaches that Senator McCain has taken recently – or his campaign has – on issues that are not really central to the problems that the American people are worried about. This Bill Ayers situation that's been going on for weeks became something of a central point of the campaign, but Mr. McCain says that he's a watchdog of terrorists. Then why do we keep talking about him? And why do we have these robocalls going on around the country, trying to suggest that because of this very, very limited relationship that Senator Obama has had with Mr. Ayers, somehow Mr. Obama is tainted. What they're trying to connect him to is some kind of terrorist feelings. And I think that's inappropriate...."

Transcript here.

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Here's an Idea: Let's Have Us a Witch-Hunt! 

The Republican presidential campaign has taken a turn in the last month that makes me nostalgic for the 1960s in Texas. Formed in 1958 by an ex-candy maker, the John Birch Society believed fervently and spread the doctrine that its founder wrote, that "the traitors inside the U.S. government would betray the country's sovereignty to the United Nations for a collectivist New World Order managed by a one-world socialist government."

By 1960 I was a high school sophomore in a west Texas high school, scared to death of "the traitors inside the U.S. government" and convinced by Birch propaganda that some of my farmland teachers might be secret commies. When John Kennedy ran for president that year, I received pamphlets proving that he was actually the puppet of the Pope. Pope ... communists ... they were all the same to me ... foreign and dangerous for being unAmerican.

Later on in a west Texas Baptist college, I began to have thoughts myself that would have gotten me labeled "subversive" by the Birch society. On November 2, 1965, a man named Norman Morrison, a devout Quaker and father of three, used kerosene to burn himself to death outside the Pentagon as a protest against the Vietnam War. I was totally stunned by the TV news covering this horrific event and got myself to the library and read every national newspaper account I could get my hands on. Suddenly, what had seemed remote and beyond my control, took on a personal cost and real pain. I wrote an editorial in the college newspaper not so much praising Norman Morrison as wondering at the enormity of his personal sacrifice for principle, as though I (gulp) actually admired him.

A few months went by. One of my friends who worked part-time as a receptionist for a local dentist, who also happened to be a big commie-hunter for the Birch Society, pulled me aside and told me I should be worried because her boss had a file with my name on it, and inside the file was a clipping of my editorial. "These people are dangerous," she suggested.

I did worry. I was a junior in college, a very religiously conservative son of the soil who cared deeply what people thought. If they came and asked me, "Are you now or have you ever been a member of the Communist Party," I would of course answer no, but national experience had already taught me that in a country divided against itself, a denial was only taken as evidence of lying. The more you said you WEREN'T something, the more you obviously WERE.

We seem to have arrived at the 1960s again, led there by accusations of "palling around with terrorists" among other noxious insinuations. Behold the pattern as it has now gelled:

1. October 5, 2008, in Loudon County, Va., John McCain's brother Joe referred to Arlington and Alexandria in Northern Virginia as "communist country." He quickly apologized and called the remark a joke. At the time he said it, however, it was no joke, and he only apologized because the comment made it into the press.

2. On Oct. 16, 2008, vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, at a private fundraiser in Greensboro, N.C., made a point of mentioning that she loved to visit the "pro-America" areas of the country, of which North Carolina is apparently one. "No word on which states she views as unpatriotic."

3. This last Friday night, Oct. 17, 2008, in an appearance on Hard Ball with Chris Matthews, Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann (R-Minn.) escalated the assault on Barack Obama's supposed lack of American-ness -- he in fact has, according to Bachmann, anti-American views and values, and furthermore the press corps needs to expose which members of the U.S. Congress may be unAmerican, and by the way, American college campuses are just chock-a-block full of professors who hate America. Here are the relevant exchanges between Bachmann and Matthews:
REP. BACHMANN: ...Most Americans, Chris, are wild about America, and they're very concerned to have a president who doesn't share those values.... Absolutely. I'm very concerned that he may have anti-American views. That's what the American people are concerned about. That's why they want to know what his answers are....

MR. MATTHEWS: Sarah Palin was around today talking about pro- American parts of America, and assuming there's other non-parts of the country. What parts of America would you say are anti-American? What parts of this country?

REP. BACHMANN: Well, I would say that people who hold anti- American views. I don't think it's geography. I think it's people who don't like America, who detest America. And on college campuses, a Ward Churchill, another college campus, a Bill Ayers, you find people who hate America. And unfortunately, some of these people have positions teaching in institutions of higher learning. But you'll find them in all walks of life all throughout America.... I think the people that Barack Obama has been associating with are anti-American, by and large, the people who are radical leftists. That's the real question about Barack Obama -- Saul Alinsky, one of his teachers, you might say, out of the Chicago area; Tony Rezko, who is an associate also.

MR. MATTHEWS: He's a leftist? I thought he was a business guy.

REP. BACHMANN: These are very concerning figures that are in Barack Obama's past.

MR. MATTHEWS: I thought Tony Rezko was some business guy. I didn't know he was a leftist, anti-American guy.... How many Congress people, members of Congress, do you think are in that anti-American crowd you described? How many Congress people do you serve with? I mean, it's 435 members of Congress.

REP. BACHMANN: Right now --

MR. MATTHEWS: How many are anti-American in the Congress right now that you serve with?

REP. BACHMANN: You'd have to ask them, Chris. I'm focusing on Barack Obama and the people that he's been associating with. And I'm very worried about --

MR. MATTHEWS: But do you suspect that a lot of people you serve with --

REP. BACHMANN: -- their anti-American nature.... What I would say -- what I would say is that the news media should do a penetrating expose and take a look. I wish they would. I wish the American media would take a great look at the views of the people in Congress and find out, are they pro-America or anti-America? I think people would love to see an expose like that.

4. October 18, 2008, also on MSNBC, Nancy Pfotenhauer, a top aide to John McCain, argued that despite polling and all appearances to the contrary notwithstanding, her boss has a strong chance of winning Virginia because of his support in "real Virginia," that part of the downstate far removed in distance and political philosophy from the more liberal northern part of the state, what Joe McCain called the "communist" part.

Evidently, I have once again achieved the distinction of being a bad American, not a real American, an American who could safely be knocked to the ground at a Sarah Palin rally, while the knocker-down is applauded for his superior American-ness. (Judge for yourself the glee of those who were glad that Greensboro News & Record reporter Joe Killian got kicked down ... by some of the reader responses on that link.)

The McCain/Palin campaign can claim all it wants that it is not encouraging an atmosphere of fear and violence. The evidence speaks volumes.

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Thursday, October 16, 2008


McCain, smelling rout,
asserts his Wright to sniff the Ayers.
Are ACORNs falling?



John McCain, Get Some Counseling, Please! 

Agita: Heartburn, acid indigestion, an upset stomach or, by extension, a general feeling of upset.

John McCain had a ripe case of agita last night. Gave us all the fidgets.

McCain: Don't gimme that "health of the mother crap!"


McCain: I had to go sleazy because Obama wouldn't do dozens of town-halls with me.

McCain: "Angry and hurting -- c'est moi!"

While the senator was basically proving that his court-ordered class in anger management had been less than successful, what were we to make of his man-crush on Joe the Plumber?

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Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Our Mailbag Floweth Over 

Just this week has brought a plethora -- a PLETHORA, we tell you! -- of political mail, some of which deserves actual reading:

1. Today, a letter from John McCain: "Dear Friend, We've reached a critical juncture in the campaign...."

Surely you jest, Sir. An actual "critical juncture"?

"...I would not ask for your help if the circumstances were not so dire," John continues.

We know. We've been actually paying attention. Sarah Palin turned out to be a bit of a problem, right? and that Christopher Buckley endorsement of Obama was a bit of a slap.

But still, Senator, you're trying to get big bucks out of us and you don't even use the adjective "liberal" once? Not ONCE?? Just how desperate are you, anyway? And you don't even want the money yourself. You want me to send it to ... the Republican National Committee? Death by proxy?

2. Speaking of ambiguous gestures, one of our pieces (actually, we got two, which doesn't speak well about the GOP's wasteful habits) was from that selfsame Republican National Committee ... a four-color, four-page item headlined "AMERICA, The Land That I Love" ... at which point we have to turn the page to discover that Barack Obama will take away "our traditional American values." Then on the third panel, it quotes the National Journal, the very publication that yesterday accepted the resignation of Christopher Buckley for endorsing Barack Obama, because of his love of America. Ooooh. Damn inconvenient irony, that!

3. "Meet Jerry Butler," suggests a third piece, its message of friendly neighbor-over-the-fence introduction undercut somewhat by that big off-putting photo of the candidate. Eighty percent of success is good lighting, we've always heard.

4. The biggest, the glossiest four-color, four-page piece comes from The Madam, with multiple photographs of Virginia Foxx wedging herself into family reunion shots with lots of creeped-out children. If the goal here is to try to humanize the inhuman, we're afraid it doesn't quite work. While the people she's pictured with seem secure in their ordinary reality, Madam Foxx stares down the camera like a tensed up puma, waiting to spring.

5. Another big glossy mailing attacking Barack Obama, from the Republican National Committee. Looks like they've got plenty of money, John.

6. Dan Soucek, posing in his military uniform. Interesting special pleading, that. "Paid for by Soucek for NC House."

7. "Republican Dan Soucek: Proudly Pro-Life." "Paid for by the North Carolina Republican State Executive Committee."

8. through 13. Attack pieces against U.S. Senate candidate Kay Hagan (and suddenly, true political desperation has an outline). Heavy involvement here by outside groups. Three of these five pieces were paid for by the Associated Builders and Contractors Free Enterprise Alliance. One of their pieces is proud of Elizabeth Dole because she'll drill for oil everywhere immediately. The other claims that North Carolina has the highest tax burden in the Southeast and blames the patently pro-business Kay Hagan for that. (That first claim is just pure buffalo dust; the second, laughable.) The third uses "ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!" as though Kay Hagan were the Washington insider rather than Elizabeth Dole. The last two anti-Hagan pieces came from Freedom's Watch, which, according to Wikipedia, was formed in 2007 primarily to support the Bush administration and especially the Bush administration's policy in Iraq. Apparently, Kay Hagan is a threat to the Bush legacy.

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Monday, October 13, 2008

Nothing Could Be Finer Than To Be in Carolina ... in the Morrrn-ning! 

Does that look like a deer in our headlights, or what?

Best McCain quote, maybe of the millenium: "My friends, we've got them just where we want them."

John McCain, bless his heart. First, he filches "change" from Obama. Now he's stolen "comeback kid" from Bill Clinton. Has the man had an original thought all year?

What he can't seem to transcend are the hateful trajectories of his own campaign. Outside the Wilmington rally today, a sign was posted attacking Obama. "NO BAMA!" it read, and it showed side-by-side images of Obama, Osama bin Laden, and Thomas Wright, the former African-American state legislator from Wilmington who was expelled from the legislature because of financial corruption. Blacks and terrorists are sooo hard to tell apart.

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Saturday, October 11, 2008

John McCain: Obama Is Not An Arab 

John McCain, bless his heart (which must have grown three sizes since yesterday)! He painted himself into a corner at his own rallies by promoting the Obama-hangs-out-with-terrorists trope. His followers got so vile in their outbursts that McCain was finally forced to defend his opponent as an honorable American who is not, incidentally, an Arab. And got booed by his own supporters for saying so. (The video is all over the Inter-Webs, but here's one source to it.)

Standing up, finally, against the extremists whose rage he's responsible for pumping up. It's a hell of a position to be in as a candidate.

Does he feel he now must attempt to salvage at least a tatter of his former honor? It's about too late. And how will his conservative supporters react? And will Sarah Palin go on with her attacks? Because, hey! McCain needs her a whole hell of a lot more than she needs him, to hear Rush Limbaugh and Pat Buchanan tell it.

Maybe there's been a presidential election as warped as this one, but we don't remember it.

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Friday, October 10, 2008

On the Precipice of Panic 

Conservative columnist David Brooks writes today about what's happened to the Republican Party. It's now succeeded in driving away educated people. The symbol of its success in narrowing its base even further is Sarah Palin, the low-information candidate for low-information voters.

"Low-information" is a euphemism for people who instantly believe the latest e-mail that says Obama was raised a Muslim with the explicit mission of lying low until he can become president and confiscate all our Bibles and turn our public schools into Madrassas.

They are rapidly degenerating into an angry mob at McCain/Palin rallies, reflecting "a party on the precipice of panic," according to Jonathan Martin.

The shouts of "kill the terrorist" have alarmed thinking Republicans. In the Jonathan Martin article, he quotes John Weaver, John McCain's former top strategist:
"People need to understand, for moral reasons and the protection of our civil society, the differences with Senator Obama are ideological, based on clear differences on policy and a lack of experience compared to Senator McCain. And from a purely practical political vantage point, please find me a swing voter, an undecided independent, or a torn female voter that finds an angry mob mentality attractive. Senator Obama is a classic liberal with an outdated economic agenda. We should take that agenda on in a robust manner. As a party we should not and must not stand by as the small amount of haters in our society question whether he is as American as the rest of us. Shame on them and shame on us if we allow this to take hold."

Too late there, Mr. Weaver. There are many low-information voters, apparently, who simply CANNOT be for someone politically unless they simultaneously HATE someone else.

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Wednesday, October 08, 2008

The Lower Depths 

McNasty couldn't bring himself to even look at Barack Obama during the first debate. During the second one, he looked at him and then referred to him over his shoulder and with the jab of his elbow as "That one."

The way you might refer to a broken chair that a guest shouldn't sit in. Or to a 1977 Impala that ceased to run in the early '90s. "That one." The contempt was cold and clammy.

But what do you expect? How should Sleazy McSleazealot refer to an America-hating terrorist in our midst? That's the image of Obama that McCain and Pom-Pom Palin are frantically constructing before crowds eager to pick up the vibe and scream sympathetically "Kill him!" All to Palin's evident approbation.

This is where McCain has taken himself. This is where he's willing to take the country. This is a formerly respected U.S. Senator who has not much left but his fury and his spite. Yes, that one on the right.

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Monday, October 06, 2008

Will This Come Up in the Debate Tomorrow? 

Wall Street Journal, today:
John McCain would pay for his health plan with major reductions to Medicare and Medicaid, a top aide said, in a move that independent analysts estimate could result in cuts of $1.3 trillion over 10 years to the government programs.

The Republican presidential nominee has said little about the proposed cuts, but they are needed to keep his health-care plan "budget neutral," as he has promised. The McCain campaign hasn't given a specific figure for the cuts, but didn't dispute the analysts' estimate.

This will be ever so popular, and we can't wait for Sarah Palin to explain it.

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Michigan to McCain: Don't Let the Door Hit Ya! 

Apparently, leading lights in the Michigan Republican Party were among the last to learn that McCain/Palin was officially pulling its campaign out of the state.

Said Jack Waldvogel, Chairman of the Emmet County GOP: "If you are going to end visits to the state by McCain/Palin, do it. Just don't formally announce that you are 'pulling out' of Michigan, and then come back two days later asking the base core of support to 'keep working.' What a slap in the face to all the thousands of people who have been energized by the addition of Sarah Palin to the ticket. I've been involved in County Party politics and organization for 40 years, and this is the biggest dumbass stunt I have ever seen."

Waldvogel was finished: "He has given up on our State? What a total and complete crock of crap. Again, I think McCain owes the Republicans and the People of Michigan a HUGE APOLOGY. SOON!"

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Hugh McColl Endorses Obama 

We hear from Charlotteans that the city is abuzz today over the public endorsement of Barack Obama by former NCNB CEO and Bank of America Chair Hugh McColl, credited by some as the man who put Charlotte in the forefront of the financial services industry. (HT: DJ)

Navy-pilot McCain might wince at this particular sentence in the McColl statement: "Through the years that I've been a businessman and before that an officer in the Marine Corps, I saw what qualities make effective leaders. I see them in Obama: a sharp intellect, stiff spine and steady hand." Ouch.

McColl goes on: "Obama's economic plans will restore market confidence and provide a blueprint for a better future. His pragmatic, intelligent economic plan will stop our financial slide and restore the expansion and confidence we knew in the 1990s. Obama's tax relief plans for small businesses and the middle class should provide much-needed economic stimulus."

Meanwhile, John McCain means to stop these falling dominoes nationally with ... what? Sarah Palin going negative?

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Thursday, October 02, 2008

Obama Will Camp Out in Western N.C. 

... this Sunday and Monday ... at an undisclosed location "near Asheville" ... in preparation for his second debate with John McCain.

Then he'll hop on over to Nashville for Tuesday night's debate at Belmont University.

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Monday, September 29, 2008

A Second N.C. Poll Puts Obama in Lead 

It was Republican pollster Rassmussen last week that had Obama leading McCain by two points in N.C.

Today the Democratic polling shop of Public Policy Polling, a home-grown N.C. outfit, has Obama up by the same two points, with the tanking economy leading the way as the number one reason for the turn-around.

"Independents are moving toward Obama in droves," saith PPP. The economy moves them too, of course, but the kind of racist caricaturing of Obama that came to us today in three different e-mails -- Obama as a shoeshine hunched over a triumphantly grinning Sarah Palin's feet -- is not helping John McCain among the independents (who happen to be in large part the youngest members of the electorate and who have managed to get a few steps beyond this kind of gutter racism, unlike their elders).

Palin herself encouraged the racist attacks by referring to Obama as "Sambo" when he beat "that bitch Clinton" in the primaries.

Obama's leading McCain in N.C. polling actually seems to have something to do with Sarah Palin as a negative drag on McCain among Tarheels. The same PPP poll found that Palin's favorability rating went from +8 to -3 in North Carolina in three weeks, a negative shift of 11 points:
She is particularly unpopular with independents in North Carolina. 46% of them now say her selection makes them less likely to vote for John McCain compared to just 36% who say her spot on the ticket makes them more inclined to support him. Even among Republicans enthusiasm for her has dropped from 75% to 67%.

Buyers remorse.

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Out of the Loop and Irrelevant 

Just hours before members of his own party sent the financial bailout legislation down in flames, Sen. John McCain was in Columbus, Ohio, taking credit for making the deal happen. It's like, uh, nobody among the Republican House leadership bothered to tell their standard-bearer that the measure was going to fail ... as they surely had to know as early as last night.

Makes it clear that McCain's rushing to Washington last week was all part of a staged event so that he could take credit for the legislation. But ... oops. His own party let him down. Only 65 Republican members of the House voted for it. Some 95 Democrats voted against it.

They'll either write a better, fairer bill, or they'll watch the smoke rise over Wall Street a day or two and come back. At least half of my brain is glad they voted it down. The other half is rigid with terror.

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Saturday, September 27, 2008

Monkey Behavior and John McCain 

Others, we discover this a.m., are also puzzling over John McCain's inability to make eye contact with Barack Obama last night during the first presidential debate. Josh Marshall links to Chris Matthews and Eugene Robinson discussing it last night on teevee, and Josh excerpts opinions from others, including a psychotherapist...
...he doesn't want to make eye contact because he is prone to losing control of his emotions if he deals directly with the other person, or, his anger masks fear and the eye contact may increase or substantiate the fear.

And (my favorite!) the animal behaviorist:
...I study monkey behavior -- low ranking monkeys don't look at high ranking monkeys.

As Arte Johnson used to say, "Verrry interestink!"

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The First Debate 

We will make an initial concession re: Barack Obama ... he's greatly improved as a debater. He held his own through a flurry of McCain jabs. But he's still too cerebral, too bloodless for our taste, and repeatedly let McCain's soft, unprotected underside go by without sinking teeth. We'd frankly like more killer instinct in our candidate. I counted seven different versions of "John is right" coming out of Obama's mouth.

Meanwhile, McNasty won on points. He dominated the stage. He also revealed, quite incidentally, a "tell" ... he couldn't look Obama in the eye. Couldn't do it. The one time we noticed McCain's eyes locking on Obama's, "the maverick" looked away quickly. Embarrassed? Why?

Obama SHOULD have said, "Look, if you're gonna say this shit about me, you better look me in the eye."

Obama did get better through the evening. He began to counter-punch effectively. Apparently, McCain's relentless attacks came across to many uncommitted voters as snide and condescending, since most of the instant polling we've seen gave the win to Obama. That's not the debate we watched, but who are we to argue with others' perceptions?

The Big Loser: Gov. Sarah Palin. The nit-wit running mate, who cannot form a coherent sentence unless it's written out for her, was nowhere to be seen last night, though Joe Biden was on every talking-head show there was. Palin has become the BubbleBoy of the McCain campaign. Every time she breaks the hermetic seal on her confinement, she reveals a noggin stuffed with insoluble cotton candy, the beauty queen who can't locate the U.S.A. on a world map.

As we almost got a cancellation on the first debate by a grandstanding McCain going to D.C. to save the day, wouldn't surprise us at all if there's a last-minute cancellation of Thursday's face-off between Palin and Biden. The pretext would be inventive, we bet.

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Friday, September 26, 2008

He Shaved His Legs for This? 

If there is a decided downturn today on Wall Street, John McCain owns it. It's his fault. Evidently, the market dropped 130 points in the first two minutes of trading, discouraged by Sen. McCain's race to put a monkey wrench into the agreement being worked out yesterday.

The Senator comes roaring back to Washington, crying, "I'll fix it! I'll fix it!" and then sits mute through the White House conference, offering precisely zero, while the House Republicans bail out of an agreement that Senate Republicans, Senate Democrats, and the White House had basically agreed on (it was NOT the Paulson plan, which was dead as a doornail approximately 15 minutes after it was proposed).

Some House Republicans are apparently now comfortable taking the whole country down to prove a point: "According to one GOP lawmaker, some House Republicans are saying privately that they'd rather 'let the markets crash' than sign on to a massive bailout. 'For the sake of the altar of the free market system, do you accept a Great Depression?' the member asked."

Unless this is all just a giant fake-out meant to save John McCain's candidacy. Maybe it's all just a set-up so that today McCain could pretend to get the House Republicans in line, who were in line already all along but pretended otherwise. Now wouldn't that be something if McCain could ride triumphantly into Oxford, Mississippi, as the conquering hero who saved the American economy from complete collapse?

It was perfectly clear yesterday at the White House pow-wow that McCain had no plan of his own, other than grandstanding for the photo-ops. Meanwhile, the impression of the man as dangerously erratic sinks deeper into the American psyche.

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Thursday, September 25, 2008

Obama Now Leading McCain in N.C. 

Scott Rasmussen, founder of the Rasmussen Reports polling firm, was also co-founder of ESPN and an evangelical Christian to boot and is generally regarded as a "Republican pollster." His polling company is also credited as one of the most accurate during the 2004 presidential election and the 2006 mid-term elections.


Rasmussen just released a North Carolina poll showing Obama with a two-point lead over McCain.

I've taken a solemn vow not to get distracted by polls, but this is a head-turner.

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It Wasn't a Frickin' Stream! 

As John McCain was using the financial crisis as a means to save his mortgaged candidacy, and decided to air-drop himself into the negotiations, El Presidente graciously invited both candidates and a host of Congressional leaders in this afternoon to share in the disgrace of his presidency.

For those many voters who told us in 2004 that, although they thought George W. was a bald-faced liar and multitudinously inept, they were afraid "to change horses in the middle of the stream," we wonder how they're feeling now that El Presidente has ridden us into the deep blue sea.

Thrown us into the drink and then announced that we'd have to pay MUCH more for a life preserver and that we needed to pay for it RIGHT NOW.

Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson's original demands of Congress are posted in their entirety here, for your amazement and edification. Be sure to get a load especially of the notorious Section 8, titled "Review," which runs one whole sentence, to wit:
Decisions by the Secretary pursuant to the authority of this Act are non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency.

That's the Bush administration in a nutshell.


Sen. Chris Dodd's counter legislation is also posted here, but we understand that it's been tinkered with further in consultation with U.S. House leaders, so this isn't the final version being discussed this afternoon at the Booby-Hatch (a.k.a., White House).

John McCain's grandstanding about all of this is just this side of pathetic. We're supposed to get BACK on this particular horse/elephant? Gee thanks, but this time I think I'll walk.

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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Presidential Polls: None the Wiser? 

This just came to our in-box from TechPresident, seeming to confirm what many of us had suspected about the accuracy of polling this year as the pollsters try to figure out who's gonna show up:
Cell-Only Young Voters Lean Obama: You don't have to follow polls that closely to know of the fears that cell phones threaten to kick the leg out of modern surveying. A new Pew Research Center study finds that while among all voters, modeling off of land lines to capture the leanings of the mobile-only crowd is a satisfactory approximate. But, there's a "but" -- when it comes to those under 30, the gap between land and air widens considerably. Pew found that while 39% of sub-30 registered voters reached by land line are backing McCain, just 27% of cell-only voters lean his way. On the other side of the aisle, the trend goes the other way: just over half of land line voters under 30 are Obama fans, but that number jumps to 62% when the sample is limited to those who only use a mobile phone. If young people turn out in force on election day, those nuances might be multiplied enough to have serious impact on who becomes the next President. But our polls might be none the wiser.

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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

John McCain, Getting the Jump on Halloween 

"John McCain Loses His Head." That's the title on George Will's column today -- George Will?

A few of the adjectives Will applies to Senator McNasty:





Bottomline: John McCain is unsuited for the presidency. Saith Brother Will.

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Sunday, September 21, 2008

1.4 Trillion 

That's the projected cost to taxpayers, adding up what we've already spent on Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, AIG, and the new $700 billion Congress is being stampeded into passing before anyone thinks too hard and long about what we're doing.

So how do you like Republican Socialism? It's different from other socialisms. It's Trickle-Down. Bailouts for the already rich mis-managers of financial institutions with apparently no strings attached. Even foreign banks get some love but not the individual homeowner with an adjustable rate mortgage.

All of this has made John McCain hop faster and higher than a frog on a griddle. If the man ever did have a set of core principles, they're dust today. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson has seen to that. McCain was Mr. Deregulator on Monday. He's not that today, or at least not in public.

But back to that $700 billion (maybe more) they're asking us to give to the Bush administration, which couldn't manage the aftermath of a hurricane (make that two hurricanes, if you've checked in on Texas lately) and which invaded a country we didn't need to invade on false pretenses. They don't want Congress asking too many questions about this bailout. They don't want us citizens to worry.

What, me worry?

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In Charlotte, Right Now ... 'Overwhelming Turnout' 

Charlotte Observer, observing.

At 1 p.m. workers were moving back barriers to accommodate the "overwhelming" turnout. At 11:45 a.m., the crowd was already stretching from the gate at 4th and South Caldwell streets, down South Caldwell to Interstate 277. "The gates opened at 11 a.m., but the lines are moving slowly."

Part of what Obama said about McCain-on-the-financial-crisis:
"Because while I certainly don't fault Senator McCain for all of the problems we're facing right now, I do fault the economic philosophy he's followed during his 26 years in Washington. It's a philosophy that says it's okay to turn a blind eye to practices that reward financial manipulation instead of sound business decisions. It's a philosophy that says even common-sense regulations are unnecessary and unwise..."

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Saturday, September 20, 2008

Brokeback Presidency 

El Presidente will be in Greensboro on Sept. 30th for a fundraiser for John McCain, and we can't help noticing the quick exit from his general vicinity of any Republican running in a tight race. Like Liddy Dole, who's already said (cough, cough) that she's planning an aneurysm that day or needs to be at her home in Washington, D.C., on the 30th to pet the cat and pull a dead leaf off the ivy.

But apparently, the 30% of Americans who still approve of George W. Bush mostly live in North Carolina (and some 65% of that 30% live in Blowing Rock!).

Watching El Presidente's (non) performance this past week during the financial market meltdown certainly identifies him as an intellectual partner to McCain. It must be a proud moment for both of them, presiding over the nationalization of private debt. The apotheosis of Conservatism.

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Thursday, September 18, 2008

WSJ on McCain: "Un-Presidential" 

The Wall Street Journal this a.m. rips the sheet with John McCain, to wit:

McCain doesn't understand what's happening on Wall Street.

He's scapegoating Christopher Cox, the chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission: "...this assault on Mr. Cox is both false and deeply unfair. It's also un-Presidential."

"Mr. McCain is sounding like a candidate searching for a political foil rather than a genuine solution. He'll never beat Mr. Obama by running as an angry populist like Al Gore, circa 2000."


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McCain Does/Does Not Support Ending Mountaintop Removal 

Take yer pick. "I do," sez he, at a townhall meeting yesterday in Orlando, when asked if he supported an end to the economically and ecologically destructive practice of mountaintop removal coal mining in Appalachia.

But, oops. The McCain campaign, realizing how many of its big donors are profiting from the destruction of Appalachia, immediately denied that their candidate had ever said he favored ending the practice. That's what they told the Charleston Gazette:
McCain's campaign initially denied that the candidate favored an end to mountaintop removal, but backed off that when confronted with video of his remarks during an appearance Monday in Orlando, Fla.

These senior moments are piling up on McCain, who yesterday also got all huffy about NATO ally Spain and was apparently willing to go to war with Zapatero.

McCain needs to up his dosage of fish oil. Immediately.

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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Clueless John 

The word is that if John McCain becomes president, Phil Gramm becomes Secretary of the Treasury. Considering that Gramm, when he was a U.S. senator representing Texas, wrote much of the deregulation that has reaped us this current financial whirlwind, that's certainly a rosy scenario to look forward to.

Watching Sen. McCain flounder about for the last two or three days is truly akin to watching a scuttled ship go down. The sinking has taken considerably longer to achieve:

1. November 2005: Sen. McCain told the Wall Street Journal, "I'm going to be honest: I know a lot less about economics than I do about military and foreign policy issues. I still need to be educated." His hoped-for "education" is complicated by the tension between his plans to continue many of the economic policies of the unpopular incumbent Republican president he hopes to succeed, and his pledges to improve the American economy and shake up Washington.

2. January 2008: at one of the early Republican debates: Sen. McCain argued that Americans were better off than they were eight years ago.

3. By summer 2008: Sen. McCain had released an advertisement that said "we're worse off than we were four years ago." (What happened to those other four years is a deep mystery, and already we've got the beginnings of a migraine!)

4. July 2008: Sen. McCain's top economic adviser, Phil Gramm, has a public tantrum, says that the United States is only in a "mental recession" and has become "a nation of whiners."

5. Monday morning, this week: Sen. McCain says, as he has many times before, that the fundamentals of the economy are "strong," even as Lehman Bros. was filing for bankruptcy, etc.

6. Monday afternoon: the McCain campaign, realizing that their candidate had just stepped off into very deep water, begins lunging for driftwood, tries to explain away McCain's remarks by saying he was referring to the American people as fundamentally strong.

7. By Tuesday a.m.: Sen. McCain appears on all the network & cable morning shows, treading water furiously. He begins calling the current economic situation "a total crisis," denounces "greed" on Wall Street and in Washington, and calls for a commission to study the problems. (Sorry: When Republicans want to study something, it means they intend to DO nothing. Our migraine is now blinding.)

8. By Tuesday p.m.: the McCain campaign has produced a new advertisement asserting that his experience and leadership were necessary in a "time of crisis." Part of the rationale for that claim is supposedly McCain's chairmanship (years ago) of the Senate Commerce Committee, which oversees telecommunications as well as aviation and trade but NOT banking, financial markets, housing, or insurance -- the prime sources of the current crisis.

9. Also Tuesday p.m.: in the increasingly frantic attempt to make McCain seem less clueless, one of his financial advisers loudly proclaims to reporters that McCain was responsible for the development of the Blackberry.

10. By Tuesday night: the McCain senior staff disavows the Blackberry claim -- "obviously a boneheaded joke."

Please, God, make it stop.

Top McCain-Palin official Carly Fiorina said yesterday that neither John McCain nor Sarah Palin is capable of running an American company. Today, McCain campaign officials say we won't be seeing Carly Fiorina on TV any more for awhile.

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Monday, September 15, 2008

Joe Biden in Charlotte 


"I could walk from here to Greensboro," he said. "I wouldn't run into one person who thought we'd made economic progress unless I ran into John McCain."

He forgot Virginia Foxx entirely.

"All this stuff about how we're gonna raise your taxes – that's a bunch of malarky," he said.

According to, Obama would cut taxes for middle-income taxpayers and increase rates only for those with family incomes above $250,000, or individuals with incomes above $200,000.

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The Big Lesson of the Bush years: the bigger you are, the faster you circle the drain.

John "I know a lot less about economics" McCain has a plan for plugging the drain? How about Sarah "In what respect, Charlie?" Palin?

But, then, neither does Obama. Nobody has a plan (though we suspect a whole bunch of guys and gals with eye shades are getting headaches over it about now).

The question that we would direct in John McCain's general direction: Why would we want the economics philosophy that has dug this gapping hole back in charge of everything for another four years?

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Saturday, September 13, 2008

John McCain ... Serial Liar 

Don Sipple, a Republican advertising strategist, voiced his concern that John McCain's current lying approach in paid advertising could backfire:
"Any campaign that is taking liberty with the truth and does it in a serial manner will end up paying for it in the end," he said. "But it's very unbecoming to a political figure like John McCain whose flag was planted long ago in ground that was about 'straight talk' and integrity."

After McCain's appearance on "The View" yesterday, during which he puffed up like a self-inflating bladder at the suggestion that he was lying about his opponent, the Obama campaign issued this strong statement:
In running the sleaziest campaign since South Carolina in 2000 and standing by completely debunked lies on national television, it's clear that John McCain would rather lose his integrity than lose an election.

Not that strongly worded statements count for a hill of overcooked beans.

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Thursday, September 11, 2008

McNasty Is Scum 

Worse than Rovian. You can find this piece of filth on the InnerTubes, but I'm not going to link to it here.

The man went from an admirable U.S. Navy aviator to an intermittently admirable U.S. politician and now has fully morphed into a full-time, grade Z a-hole.

Congratulations, Senator, on your magnificent achievement. You've dismantled your reputation and disrobed your honor in two short weeks.


Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Oh, Sweeeet! Those Michigan Republicans! 

Another reason "Republican" has become synonymous with "Heartless Bastard" (from the Michigan Messenger):
"The chairman of the Republican Party in Macomb County Michigan, a key swing county in a key swing state, is planning to use a list of foreclosed homes to block people from voting in the upcoming election .... 'We will have a list of foreclosed homes and will make sure people aren't voting from those addresses,' [said] party chairman James Carabelli...." (HT: SR)

Because -- hey! -- people who lose their homes must be dumb, over-extended Democrats or at the very least black.

Extra added irony bonus for this:
[Republican presidential candidate John] McCain's regional headquarters [in Macomb] are housed in the office building of foreclosure specialists Trott & Trott. The firm's founder, David A. Trott, has given at least $23,000 to McCain's campaign and raised between $100,000 and $250,000 for the Republican nominee.

It's just too good ... to be able to suppress the vote and profit off human misery from the same location.

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Palin Might Cost McCain Florida 

Ed Koch, the Jewish ex-mayor of New York City, has endorsed Obama, primarily because Sarah Palin "scares the hell out of me." Considering Koch, that's a lotta hell to scare!

Palin's out-of-the-mainstream religion has something to do with the fright, and the fact that she sat in her church in Alaska and listened to David Brickner, the executive director of Jews for Jesus, who described terrorist attacks on Israelis as God's "judgment of unbelief" on Jews who haven't embraced Christianity. For the record, Sarah Palin didn't get up and walk out of the church when Brickner said those things, nor did she later disavow them.

There's a certain whiff of coercion and subterfuge in Mr. Brickner's campaign to convert the Jews ... that ought to alarm the Jews. Tolerant Christians too. Not to mention that moral equivalency Brickner wants to establish between terrorist attacks and failing to pray to Jesus.

Palin may be winning McCain the rural parts of America, but she's potentially losing him Florida.

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The Rancid Truth 

The McCain campaign is launching the "The Palin Truth Squad," which, considering the source, we assume is meant to counter criticisms of Palin rather than tell the truth about Palin's distortions of her record. But never mind. Look at who's number nine of this dubious list:
• Former Governor Jane Swift (R-MA)
• Governor Linda Lingle (R-HI)
• Lt. Governor Sean Parnell, (R-AK)
• Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (R-MN)
• Congressman Marsha Blackburn (R-TN)
• Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV)
• Congresswoman Thelma Drake (R-VA)
• Congresswoman Mary Fallin (R-OK)
• Congresswoman Virginia Foxx (R-NC)
• Congresswoman Kay Granger (R-TX)
• Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA)
• Congresswoman Candice Miller (R-MI)
• Congresswoman Sue Myrick (R-FL)
• Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL)
• Congresswoman Heather Wilson (R-NM)
• Jo Ann Davidson, RNC Co-Chair
• Rosario Marin, Former U.S. Treasurer
• Meg Stapleton, Former Aide To Governor Palin
• Kristan Cole, Lifelong Friend Of Governor Palin

Virginia Foxx ... on a TRUTH SQUAD???


Virginia I'm-a-Catholic-in-Washington-but-a-Baptist-in-North-Carolina Foxx? The Madam Foxx, who took money and ran in 1994 for the N.C. Senate as a pro-choice woman who supported the right of gay couples to adopt and who is now marching in the Republican robot army as an extreme hard-liner on abortion and gays? The woman whose dishonest antics on the local scene are the stuff of legend?

Yes, THAT Virginia Foxx.

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Monday, September 08, 2008

Republicans Hate Celebrities 

...except when they have one on their presidential ticket. Sarah Palin meets the requirement for being a celebrity: she's famous for being famous.

But Palin has evidently encountered diminishing returns from her snubbing of the press -- Mike Allen of Politico says "McCain officials could see her reticence was feeding the narrative of her being unprepared for the job" -- so she's agreed to an interview with ABC News's Charles Gibson "later this week."

We assume Palin's handlers picked Gibson cause he's a creampuff. We'll see.

We have a few additional questions we'd like to ask her, in addition to the ones already raised here in previous posts down-column.

1. One of her "qualifications" that the McCain people are trumpeting is Palin's supposed energy expertise. But when the disgraced former Alaska governor Frank Murkowski appointed her to the Oil and Gas Commission in 2003, the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner criticized her qualifications (like, "non-existent") and called the appointment a "political reward" (editorial, 20 Feb. 2003).

2. Palin was repeatedly criticized by the Wasilla newspaper, the Frontiersman, for political cronyism ... firing fully competent city employees and replacing them with her own operatives. "We see a woman who has long-since surrendered her ideals to a political machine," wrote the Frontiersman on 2 July 1997.

3. She lied. "Mayor Palin fails to have a firm grasp of something very simple: the truth." (Frontiersman editorial)

4. Palin used taxpayer resources for her unsuccessful 2002 race for Alaska Lt. Gov. Palin used city employees, telephones, computers, and fax machines for campaign fundraising and production of campaign literature. On her candidate registration form, she used her city hall fax number and mayoral e-mail address. Records show that Wasilla city property was used to contact supporters, donors, and media contacts and to purchase advertising (Anchorage Daily News 21 July 2006).

5. Palin can't handle criticism. "Wasilla is led by a woman who will tolerate no one who questions her actions or her authority" (Frontiersman, 7 March 1997). She fired the police chief, the museum director, and the librarian (later rehired after swearing fealty), and forced the planning director and public works supervisor to resign. After she fired the police chief, one finalist to replace him withdrew his application because he said "it looked more like a political appointment than a law enforcement decision" (Frontiersman, 19 March 1997).

Sources: The Book on Sarah Palin

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Sunday, September 07, 2008

Palin: Libertarian on Everything But Women's Rights 

If John McCain is elected president on November 4, Sarah Palin could become president in precisely four and a half months. When's the last time you remember a presumptive president being kept in seclusion because any question about her record, her preparation, her competence is considered "sexist"? Because the news media is not allowed to question her, it falls to ordinary citizens.

While advocating the power of the State to force women to give birth, Palin is very supportive of the consumption of alcohol. While mayor of Wasilla in 1996, Palin opposed a city ordinance that would have required bars and liquor stores to close at 2:30 a.m. on weekdays (3:00 a.m. on weekends) and stay closed until 8:00 a.m. At that time – and still? – Alaska state law allowed bars and liquor stores to stay open until 5:00 a.m. (Wasilla Frontiersman, 28 Aug. 1996).

(She took her stand on open bars shortly before receiving campaign contributions from local bar owners: "Within two weeks of her vote, the Mug-Shot contributed $200 and Wasilla Bar $500 to Palin's campaign for mayor" – Wasilla Frontiersman, 13 Dec. 1996.)

In 2001, when a law was introduced in the Alaska state legislature to limit the open hours of bars and liquor stores, Palin signed a resolution opposing it (Wasilla City Council resolution 01-07, 26 Feb. 2001).

Because the chief of police in Wasilla supported restricting bar hours as a way to combat alcohol-related traffic accidents, and because he opposed Palin's administrative policy allowing citizens to carry firearms in city hall and the library, the chief of police supported Palin's opponent in her reelection campaign for mayor of Wasilla. After Palin won, she fired the police chief. She eventually hired as his replacement a new chief who boasted that he had no interest in limiting bar hours, because "I don't think the answer to crime is restricting people's freedom more and more" (Anchorage Daily News, 28 March 1997; Frontiersman, 4 July 1997).

And by the way: Palin admitted in 2006 in she had smoked pot: "Palin said she has smoked marijuana – remember, it was legal under state law, she said, even if illegal under U.S. law – but says she didn't like it and doesn't smoke it now. 'I can't claim a Bill Clinton and say that I never inhaled' " (Anchorage Daily News, 6 Aug. 2006).

Sources: The Book on Sarah Palin

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Palin Used Public Money To Fund Anti-Abortion Group 

The McCain campaign is so sure of its judgment in picking Sarah Palin for veep that they're keeping her away from the press until she feels "comfortable." So it falls to individual citizens to go digging.

While mayor of Wasilla, Sarah Palin approved giving $2,354 of the city’s money appropriated through the Alaska Revenue Sharing fund to the Valley Crisis Pregnancy Center, a militant anti-abortion "counseling service" (Ordinance 97-23, 14 April 1997). While Palin was on the board of Valley Hospital, another more substantial grant was given to the same anti-abortion group (Anchorage Daily News, 28 Dec. 1999).

Palin is on the record multiple times opposing the rights of women to abortion. She has consistently defined herself as a hard-line social conservative who opposes abortion even in cases of rape or incest. In 2006 she said she supported an amendment to the Alaska Constitution denying any right to an abortion (Alaska Family Council Voter Guide, 22 Aug. 2006). She sent an e-mail to the Alaska Right to Life Board saying she was "as pro-life as any candidate can be" (Anchorage Daily News, 6 Aug. 2006).

The Anchorage Daily News described Palin's stance as "extreme" (Editorial, 24 Aug. 2006).

Sources: The Book on Sarah Palin

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Friday, September 05, 2008

Some New Vocabulary 

palin, adj., disappointing; used for emotional lows following unusual states of euphoria

vet, vb., 1. to ignore; to overlook negative reality in search of euphoria; 2. to scrub clean following revelations; 3. to chase a horse once it's left the barn

mccainment, noun, an emotional blockade based on claims of superior patriotism; a preemptive disablement of criticism; also, erratic behavior

situational morals, noun, adjustments made to belief systems based on political necessity (see: Republican Party)

uppity, adj., daring to come in the front door if the back door is locked

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Stonewall Palin 

The gutsy Anchorage Daily News says Sarah Palin is stonewalling the investigation into the firing of Alaska's Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan and calls on her to come clean.

"It's time for the subpoenas," the editors write.


People have been asking me why I haven't written anything about McCain's speech last night. Well, I thought for once I would be polite, turn away in silence from the gawdawfulest speech I've seen in some time. It was positively painful to sit through. I was embarrassed for the poor man.

Now I've said something.

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Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Big Tentism 

Ex-presidential candidate Ron Paul won't be allowed to address the Republican National Convention, and Paul himself says that John McCain apparently wants to keep him off the convention floor.

However, The Palin said earlier this year that she found Paul way cool. But that's nothing: as recently as a month ago, The Palin was also agreeing with the Obama energy plan. (HT: LO)

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Monday, September 01, 2008

Northern Exposure 

Just as we were learning to type "abstinence-only programs obviously really work," and before we could even begin to look into the obvious comforts of blaming God for global-warming, The Palin lawyers up. Yikes! Too many new developments in too short a time.

We can't even begin to keep up any more with which version of reality we're supposed to believe. And what does the verb "to vet" actually mean?

One thing, though, is (fer shore!) proven beyond any shadow of a doubt: John McCain is one hell of a decision-maker.

Meanwhile, the readership of the only blog north of 60 degrees of latitude, "Mudflats," has just jumped 1,000 percent, cause this blogger knows a whole lot about The Palin. As only a fellow Alaskan could.

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Sunday, August 31, 2008

Sunday Morning Spoor 

Several readers have sent me the link to Mudflats, an Alaska blog written by an East coast native who's lived and worked in Alaska since 1991. This blogger offers more insider specifics on the curious case of the rise of Sarah Palin. First up: Palin's Big Lie that she opposed "the bridge to nowhere" earmark. T'ain't true. "Total fabrication," says Mudflats, who proceeds to offer the irrefutable evidence.

The giggling over Palin among the Sunday Morning Gasbags was under tight control, though the only talking head worth listening to, Republican operative Mike Murphy, who ran John McCain's campaign back in 2000, delivered the only opinion worth the combined hot air: Sarah Palin can make the religious right giddier than the prospect of themo-noookalar war with Russia, but if all she does is solidify McCain's base, she's done NOTHING toward winning this election.

The big giggle moment of the morning came when Cindy McCain said Sarah Palin had foreign policy cred on the basis of Alaska's being so close to both Russia and Canada, two of our most despicable socialist enemies, after Obama, of course. By this reasoning I consider myself an expert on oil and gas, since I grew up adjacent to the oil patch in Texas. Hell, all my uncles were roughnecks on oil rigs, so maybe I ought to be Secretary of Energy! George Stephanopoulos, bless his heart, kept a straight face throughout Cindy McCain's rap.

Under the topic heading ... The Things a Whore Has To Say and Do: A couple of weeks ago Karl Rove belittled Tim Kaine as a possible Democratic Veep pick on Face the Nation:
With all due respect again to Governor Kaine, he's been a governor for three years, he's been able but undistinguished. I don't think people could really name a big, important thing that he's done.

He was mayor of the 105th largest city in America. And again, with all due respect to Richmond, Virginia, it's smaller than Chula Vista, California; Aurora, Colorado; Mesa or Gilbert, Arizona; north Las Vegas or Henderson, Nevada. It's not a big town.

Oops. It takes a whore to swallow the big ones. Friday on Fox News -- and exhibiting absolutely no involuntary gag reflex -- Rove bragged about Sarah Palin:
She's a former mayor. She's the mayor of, I think, the second largest city in Alaska before she ran for governor.

For the record, Wasilla, Alaska, was not even the 10th largest city in Alaska. It's smaller than Chula Vista, Aurora, Mesa, Gilbert, North Las Vegas, and Henderson.

With all due respect.

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Saturday, August 30, 2008

Denominational Inexactness 

The Religion Blog at has been trying to determine Sarah Palin's professed religion, with mixed results. (HT: Brother Doc.) Consensus seems to be that she's Pentecostal but possibly just an ecstatic practitioner of non-denominationalism, though the Wall Street Journal, that most establishmentarian of Republican rags, says she's a Lutheran.

Meanwhile, John McCain is supposedly an Episcopalian (according to some sources) and a Baptist (according to others).

And the allegedly "Baptist" Virginia Foxx outs herself (again) in The Hill's Congress Blog as a Catholic, and not just ANY Catholic either, but one ready to call down the wrath of the Pope on fellow Catholic Nancy Pelosi's head for deviating from church doctrine on abortion. Which leads, naturally, to this...

FOOTNOTE: When the Madam ran for the NC Senate in 1994, she ran as pro-choice, which is why the local pro-choice group, 100 Women, contributed to her campaign. She lied. She's a liar. The truth is not in her.

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The Runner-Up 

The consensus this a.m. at Farmer's Market -- where I go for deep political analysis -- was that McCain's choice of Sarah Palin as his veep was an insult to women ... that he would think that Hillary voters would be magnetically and magically aligned with ANY woman despite her political agenda. "A clumsy political move" was one of the more printable reactions. Laughter was more common. Laughter and derision that McCain would so undercut his own campaign's attacks on Obama as "inexperienced."

One gentleman wanted to know why McCain didn't choose the WINNER of the Miss Alaska beauty pageant, instead of the runner-up.

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Friday, August 29, 2008

That Was Quick 

Let's see now. Palin was announced officially during the noon hour, and now there's already merchandise available commemorating "McSame & Failin'" ... hats, tote bags, coffee cups. (HT: MW)

Ain't free enterprise wonderful!

In other news, we learn from GOP battlebots that Palin/Failin' is a BRILLIANT choice, 'cause she'll induce former Hillary supporters to forget all about the reasons they supported Hillary and cause them to vote for McCain/McSame. Well, yes, IF they become zombies, or if somebody slips enough of them a good dose of roofies on votin' day. Then, by all means, stand by for a stampede among Hillary women for the McCain ticket.

We can certainly agree with Shyster (posting on another site somewhere in Right Blogistan) that at least Palin is a LOT hotter'n Biden. In those glasses (see down-column) she reminds us a little of an x-rated movie character from "Midnight Librarian."

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McCain's Veep? is saying it's Sarah Palin. WHO? The Guv of Alaska ... apparently the only woman they could find who isn't pro-choice.

Apparently, McCain had been saying, "I need me a woman."

It turned out eventually to be "any woman."

The Republican brand is pretty damaged in Alaska these days, so it's so far unclear just how much Palin will help him win ... Alaska.

Her pick also subverts all that "lack of experience" mantra that the GOP wants to chant in the general direction of the Democratic ticket.

Strange pick ... if it turns out to be Palin. The only thing that makes sense about it is McCain's f*** you streak, directed particularly at Karl Rove, who was reportedly telling him he HAD to pick Romney. (Romney WOULD have been the smart choice, but who are we to quarrel with a total unknown?)

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Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Myth of a Maverick 

To those who still believe in the myth of a maverick instead of the reality of a politician, let's compare Senator McCain to candidate McCain.

Candidate McCain now supports the wartime tax cuts that Senator McCain once denounced as immoral. Candidate McCain criticizes Senator McCain's own climate change bill. Candidate McCain says he would now vote against the immigration bill that Senator McCain wrote. Are you kidding? Talk about being for it before you're against it.

Before he ever debates Barack Obama, John McCain should finish the debate with himself. And what's more, Senator McCain, who once railed against the smears of Karl Rove when he was the target, has morphed into candidate McCain who is using the same "Rove" tactics and the same "Rove" staff to repeat the same old politics of fear and smear.

The above, excerpted from John Kerry's speech in Denver last night

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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Thank You, Bill Clinton 

Our nation is in trouble on two fronts: The American Dream is under siege at home, and America's leadership in the world has been weakened.

Middle class and low-income Americans are hurting, with incomes declining; job losses, poverty and inequality rising; mortgage foreclosures and credit card debt increasing; health care coverage disappearing; and a big spike in the cost of food, utilities, and gasoline.

Our position in the world has been weakened by too much unilateralism and too little cooperation; a perilous dependence on imported oil; a refusal to lead on global warming; a growing indebtedness and a dependence on foreign lenders; a severely burdened military; a backsliding on global non-proliferation and arms control agreements; and a failure to consistently use the power of diplomacy, from the Middle East to Africa to Latin America to Central and Eastern Europe.

Barack Obama is ready to lead America and restore American leadership in the world. Ready to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States. Barack Obama is ready to be President of the United States.

He will work for an America with more partners and fewer adversaries. He will rebuild our frayed alliances and revitalize the international institutions which help to share the costs of the world's problems and to leverage our power and influence. He will put us back in the forefront of the world's fight to reduce nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons and to stop global warming. He will continue and enhance our nation's global leadership in an area in which I am deeply involved, the fight against AIDS, TB and malaria, including a renewal of the battle against HIV/AIDS here at home. He will choose diplomacy first and military force as a last resort. But in a world troubled by terror; by trafficking in weapons, drugs and people; by human rights abuses; by other threats to our security, our interests, and our values, when he cannot convert adversaries into partners, he will stand up to them.

People the world over have always been more impressed by the power of our example than by the example of our power.

Look at the example the Republicans have set: American workers have given us consistently rising productivity. They've worked harder and produced more. What did they get in return? Declining wages, less than 1/4 as many new jobs as in the previous eight years, smaller health care and pension benefits, rising poverty and the biggest increase in income inequality since the 1920s. American families by the millions are struggling with soaring health care costs and declining coverage.

Are these the family values the Republicans are so proud of? What about the military families pushed to the breaking point by unprecedented multiple deployments? What about the assault on science and the defense of torture? What about the war on unions and the unlimited favors for the well connected? What about Katrina and cronyism?

America can do better than that. And Barack Obama will.

on the two great questions of this election, how to rebuild the American Dream and how to restore America's leadership in the world, John McCain still embraces the extreme philosophy which has defined his party for more than 25 years, a philosophy we never had a real chance to see in action until 2001, when the Republicans finally gained control of both the White House and Congress. Then we saw what would happen to America if the policies they had talked about for decades were implemented.

They took us from record surpluses to an exploding national debt; from over 22 million new jobs down to 5 million; from an increase in working family incomes of $7,500 to a decline of more than $2,000; from almost 8 million Americans moving out of poverty to more than 5 and a half million falling into poverty - and millions more losing their health insurance.

Now, in spite of all the evidence, John McCain is promising more of the same.

The Republican Party actually wants us to reward them for the last eight years by giving them four more. Let's send them a message that will echo from the Rockies all across America: Thanks, but no thanks.

Selections above from the text of Bill Clinton's Denver speech minutes ago

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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Democratic Convention, According to Fox News 

Michelle Obama gave a weak and ineffective keynote speech at the National Democratic Convention last night, if we consider the carnage and not just the pretty words. The initial sign of trouble came when Hillary Clinton supporters began retching on the convention floor. Some said it was from radiation, but we haven’t been able to confirm that. (We’re also told that the speech curdled milk two counties away, and the moon glowed red.) Although Ms. Obama was trying to soften her image, about five minutes into her speech she transformed without warning into a 30-foot tall steel Decepticon and began stomping Clinton delegates throughout the vast Pepsi Center, hurling folding chairs and sound equipment at the ceiling, rumbling with a metallic voice, “Get Whitey! Get Whitey!” There were almost no survivors.

In other news, John McCain is still a prisoner of war.

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Who You Gonna Call? 

A group of "traditionalist conservatives" have started an on-line petition against Sen. John McCain because he's a "globalist," which, we reckon, means he believes in a round earth or something and hates insufficiently both legal and illegal immigrants. And by the way, both McCain and Barack Obama "are guilty of treason."

"Because the two main-party candidates are unacceptable, we pledge not to vote or to vote third party this November."

Looks like Zippy the Pinhead will be getting a few votes after all.

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Monday, August 25, 2008

You Might Be an Elitist (4)... 

...if your wife's $100 million of inherited dough puts you in the top 100th of the top one percent of the nation's wealthiest people. John McCain's joke that $5 million might make you rich was setting a low threshold indeed for the 15,000 Americans in his money bracket, but not for the rest of us 301 million lower-income slobs. McCain's tax plan "delivers by far the biggest boost to the average incomes of the richest households; Obama's plan does the opposite. McCain really does double-down on Bushonomics, which takes the inequities inherent in today's market outcomes, and injects them with a dose of steroids" ("Why McCain's Wealth Matters").

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Saturday, August 23, 2008

You Might Be an Elitist (3)... 

...if your brother Joe tries to explain away your vagueness about how many homes you own by blaming the way you were brought up as kids: "The person who took care of all the business was my mother," Joe McCain said. "My father had no idea about the family business, what oil leases he owned in Oklahoma."

An underachieving elitist, by the way: Joe McCain bragged that his brother finished fifth from the bottom of his class at the Naval Academy.

"By the way, that's a McCain tradition," he said. "My father and grandfather, both four-star admirals, and they graduated in the bottom fourth of their class, too."

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Friday, August 22, 2008

You Might Be an Elitist (2)... 

...if it takes a nine-car motorcade to get you to the local Starbucks for a vente cappuccino (source: LATimes, 3rd graph from the end).

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You Might Be an Elitist... 

...if Robin Leach, host of "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous," becomes your chief defender two days after you can't remember how many houses you own.

Leach told the Los Angeles Times that "he isn't really surprised at McCain's odd memory lapse, given the complex lives that the super-rich lead."

"He probably was confused as to which homes are in his name, his wife's name, or corporate names," said Leach, trying his best to be helpful. Leach also said that McCain "tends to answer questions very rapidly without thinking of the correct answers. ... I would call it honest confusion."


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