Friday, October 31, 2008

New Obama ads

And this one has really pissed of the Old Fart and his crew.

And this one will be run in the state of Arizona.

And back to back elsewhere.

John Boehner, Man of Brass

And more full of shit than the combined manure lagoons of all the upstate New York and Wisconsin dairy farms. His latest effort to prove this is a letter he sent to Attorney General and all around Douche Nozzle Mickey Mukasey. In it he complains that the Dept of Justice is politicized, in favor of the Democrats. As if the Dept has not suffered the last 8 years under the malevolent hand of John Ashcroft, that stupid little beaner and Mickey,himself. If you want to read it, they have a copy on TPM Muckraker.

John Boehner, a man who will proudly stand up for the right to piss on your shoes and tell you its raining.

Colbert endorses Obama

Wow! Who could have seen this coming?

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Feds throw another $21 Billion into the money pit

You know, the one named AIG. But we still don't know how deep the pit is.

Republican voter fraud takes a beating

In Colorado efforts by the Secretary of State to purge large numbers of voters has been stopped and a legal agreement to count provisional ballots has been reached in federal court.
The voters’ names had been removed by Mike Coffman, the Colorado secretary of state, who said he did so because the voters had moved out of state or were listed more than once on the rolls. But Mr. Coffman was sued by a coalition of voting rights and other groups who said such purges were generally prohibited by federal law within 90 days of an election.

Under the agreement, voters removed from the rolls will be permitted to cast provisional ballots, and those ballots will be counted unless election officials can prove the voters were not eligible. To strike such ballots, county election officials must conduct an extensive records review on each one, a decision that must then be reviewed by Mr. Coffman’s office.
Dig the highlighted part, the burden of proof of eligibility has been shifted to the state. Imagine that, voting until proven guilty.

And in Michigan, a federal appeals court has ruled against a similar purge in that state.
In Michigan, a federal appeals panel in Detroit delivered a similar victory on Thursday for about 5,500 voters who had been dropped from the rolls. The 2-to-1 ruling by the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit said state elections officials should not remove registered voters from the rolls, even if their voter ID cards had been returned as undeliverable.
Two states are setting precedents in defeating the GOP's favorite voter scam. Things are looking up.

The Onion speaks out

About the over commercialization of Halloween and makes it clear what is the cost of forgetting the true meaning on the night.

In The Know: Has Halloween Become Overcommercialized?

A difference, yes; but what a difference!

McClatchy takes a look at what sets the Obama campaign apart from the Old Fart's. Numbers would be the easiest way to put it. You have seen the pictures, now read about it.
As the Obama motorcade gets within two or three miles, it starts passing people walking, carrying Obama posters, wearing Obama sweatshirts. Walking from their cars, which they had to park far, far away.

From about a block away, the lines of people waiting to get in through the metal detectors become visible. Sometimes hundreds, often thousands.

Once at the rally, the crowds are huge. In recent days, Obama drew 10,000 to a park in Leesburg; 35,000 to a park in downtown Indianapolis, 100,000 in Denver.

It's starkly different on the McCain bus.

On a recent visit to Kettering, Ohio, for example, the McCain motorcade was within a block of a local campus rally before there was any outward sign a presidential campaign was arriving.

Inside, maybe 2,000 supporters waited, but dozens and dozens and dozens of seats stood empty, and remained empty. At an outdoor rally that evening in Lancaster, about 2,000 attended. Behind them, a wide open field.
And even their transportation is a matter of numbers.
Obama has a 757

McCain has a 737
Numbers aren't everything, but there is one that matters, your vote. If you can vote early, get out there and get it done. It you have to wait for Tuesday, don't you dare forget. And if you think a line to vote is inconvenient, think about what 8 years of George W Bush was.

From the pen of Robert Ariail

Click pic to big

To pay or not to pay

That is a good question when you are taking the people's shilling to bolster your capital and still paying a dividend.
U.S. banks getting more than $163 billion from the Treasury Department for new lending are on pace to pay more than half of that sum to their shareholders, with government permission, over the next three years.

The government said it was giving banks more money so they could make more loans. Dollars paid to shareholders don't serve that purpose, but Treasury officials say that suspending quarterly dividend payments would have deterred banks from participating in the voluntary program.

Critics, including economists and members of Congress, question why banks should get government money if they already have enough money to pay dividends -- or conversely, why banks that need government money are still spending so much on dividends.

"The whole purpose of the program is to increase lending and inject capital into Main Street. If the money is used for dividends, it defeats the purpose of the program," said Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.), who has called for the government to require a suspension of dividend payments.
Compare this to the terms for other bailout payments.
The Treasury's approach contrasts with decisions by foreign governments, including Britain and Germany, to require banks that accept public investments to suspend dividend payments until the government is repaid. The U.S. government similarly required Chrysler to suspend its dividend payments as a condition of the government's 1979 bailout.
The banks want to have their cake and ours, too. This is not very different from the bonus question that Waxman & Cuomo are looking at.

A I G sucking down money like a Louisiana sinkhole

And because nobody has done an honest review of its books, nobody knows where its going, but its going. $123 Billion so far.
The American International Group is rapidly running through $123 billion in emergency lending provided by the Federal Reserve, raising questions about how a company claiming to be solvent in September could have developed such a big hole by October. Some analysts say at least part of the shortfall must have been there all along, hidden by irregular accounting.

“You don’t just suddenly lose $120 billion overnight,” said Donn Vickrey of Gradient Analytics, an independent securities research firm in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Mr. Vickrey says he believes A.I.G. must have already accumulated tens of billions of dollars worth of losses by mid-September, when it came close to collapse and received an $85 billion emergency line of credit by the Fed. That loan was later supplemented by a $38 billion lending facility.

But losses on that scale do not show up in the company’s financial filings.
You never tell them about the termites when you are trying to sell the house.

Another day, another ethics complaint against Sarah Palin

This one was filed about her billing the state for the travel expenses of her children.
The complaint, filed last Friday by a retired lineman in Anchorage, accuses her of Misuse of Official Position: "Gov. Palin attempted to and in fact did use her official position for personal gain by securing unwarranted benefits for her daughters..." All allegations are related to state reimbursed travel.

Palin recently escaped legal liability for her husband's efforts to have the state's public safety director fired, though the investigating committee rebuked her ethics.

"Palin ran on the platform of ethics, transparency and anti-corruption. I'm tired of the hypocrisy that exists in Government and people need to know the truth," Frank Gwartney, the ex-lineman,

...Palin's three daughters have accrued $32,629 travel expenses, while her husband has booked another $22,174. In sum, the travel reimbursements to Palin's family have totaled $54,803.
Small change you may say, but it is always the small stuff that trips up the important ones..

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Not this time.

ACORN fights back

McCain's CT co-campaign chair throws him under the bus.

But that should be no surprise, because the offending party, Chris Shays, is notorious for saying whatever you want to hear while he kisses the every power broker's ass in DC.
New England's lone House Republican appears to have publicly broken with his party's standard-bearer, saying John McCain has not run a clean campaign and is likely to lose his bid for the presidency.

"I just don't see how [McCain] can win," Connecticut Rep. Chris Shays told the Yale Daily News earlier this week. "He has lost his brand as a maverick; he did not live up to his pledge to fight a clean campaign." Shays, who in 2006 became the only Republican congressman from New England, perennially finds himself in a heated re-election race.

Shays is a co-chairman of McCain's campaign efforts in Connecticut.
Chris Shays is the last Republican Congressman in New England. Connecticut could have the honor of throwing him under the bus with his buddy McCain and cleaning up the air in New England.

EXTRA: Mike & The Mad Dog rip Shays a new one

Attorney General of NY is inquiring about bonuses

And in this endeavor he is joining forces with Rep. Henry Waxman. His targets are 9 major banks who have all taken the people's shilling, as it were, by partaking in the bank buyout plan.
The New York attorney general has expanded his investigation of bonus payments to Wall Street executives whose banking companies are receiving $125 billion in support from the federal government.

In a letter sent on Wednesday to the nine financial institutions receiving government aid, the attorney general, Andrew M. Cuomo, asked for “a detailed accounting regarding your expected payments to top management in the upcoming bonus season.”

The letter also raised the prospect of a lawsuit relying on a New York law that, Mr. Cuomo has said, permits the recovery of payments worth more than the services provided by executives.

Mr. Cuomo sent his letter to Citigroup, Bank of America, Bank of New York Mellon, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, State Street and Wells Fargo.

In recent weeks, Mr. Cuomo’s office reached an agreement with the American International Group, the troubled insurance conglomerate, freezing millions of dollars in payments to former executives. The letter sent on Wednesday appears to represent an expansion of the inquiry into executive compensation at companies getting government money.
And the young Cuomo lad, unlike douche nozzle Mukasey, won't hesitate to take legal action.

Read the letter here.

Some things you just don't forget

Your first kiss, your first home run and every time you were screwed out of voting. The NY Times takes a look at the nervous tension in Florida's black community as they watch for efforts to steal their votes, again.
Mr. Jones, a black warehouse worker, bought campaign signs for his yard and made sure his family had valid voter registration cards. He and his wife cast their votes 10 days early to avoid last-minute problems at the polls.

So imagine Mr. Jones’s disappointment this week when he got word of a rumor making its way around his humble southeastern part of town — that early voting is nothing more than a new disenfranchisement scam, that early votes are likely to be lost and never counted.

“I went to the library where I voted and I said, ‘Ma’am, I heard rumors that early voting is dangerous, is that true?’ ” Mr. Jones, 47, said he had asked an election worker. “She said: ‘It’s pretty well safe. I wouldn’t worry about it.’ ”

But in conversations with about a dozen Jacksonville residents in cafes, outside churches and at their homes over three days, Mr. Jones and many of his black neighbors worry anyway, unable to put aside the nagging feeling that somehow their votes will not be counted.

Wounds have not healed here in Duval County since the mangled presidential election of 2000, when more than 26,000 ballots were discarded as invalid for being improperly punched. Nearly 40 percent of the votes were thrown out in the predominantly Democratic-leaning African-American communities around Jacksonville, a reality that has caused suspicions of racial bias to linger, even though intentional disenfranchisement was never proved.
Some things are hard to prove when the governor is the thief's brother. But not everyone looks at the problem the same way.
“They’re going to throw out votes,” said Larone Wesley, a 53-year-old black Vietnam veteran. “I can’t say exactly how, but they are going to accomplish that quite naturally. I’m so afraid for my friend Obama. I look at this through the eyes of the ’60s, and I feel there ain’t no way they’re going to let him make it.”

Mr. Wesley refuses to vote early. “I don’t believe the machines work properly in general,” he said, “and they really don’t work properly when they think you’re voting for Obama.”

Mr. Wesley’s wife, Paris, disagrees and thinks the best thing she can do is get to her polling place before Nov. 4. “I want to go early so that if I see and hear anything that’s not in keeping with the rules and regulations, I can make a call,” she said. “As far as faith in the system, I don’t have faith in the system. I just pray we have people in the polls who will be honest and watchful.”
Like Reagan said, "Trust but verify". Still when you are going up against the Man who has been cheating you all your life, you worry and pray and then you vote and watch the count.

It's the economy, you betcha!

A Double O day

Because Pat Oliphant is that good.

Pay attention to the little guy

Click pic to big

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

A public service announcement

McCain's health care plan won't work

You have heard that from Obama & Biden and all manner of Democrats, but now you can get the same advice straight from the horse's other end, one of the Old Fart's senior advisors.
Younger, healthier workers likely wouldn't abandon their company-sponsored plans, said Douglas Holtz-Eakin, McCain's senior economic policy adviser.

"Why would they leave?" said Holtz-Eakin. "What they are getting from their employer is way better than what they could get with the credit."
His senior economic policy advisor, the one with two names to go with his two faces. Which raises the important question, How fast can the rest of the Old Fart's people bail out?

The next time someone says you are stinking up the place

As you play a merry tune on your nether flute, you can tell them you are just looking out for your health. From Live Science we get all the fragrant details.
A smelly rotten-egg gas in farts controls blood pressure in mice, a new study finds.

The unpleasant aroma of the gas, called hydrogen sulfide (H2S), can be a little too familiar, as it is expelled by bacteria living in the human colon and eventually makes its way, well, out.

The new research found that cells lining mice’s blood vessels naturally make the gas and this action can help keep the rodents’ blood pressure low by relaxing the blood vessels to prevent hypertension (high blood pressure). This gas is “no doubt” produced in cells lining human blood vessels too, the researchers said.

Hydrogen sulfide is the most recently discovered member of a family of gasotransmitters, small molecules inside our bodies with important physiological functions.
So go ahead, give a hoot or two or three. It's good for you.

Everybody is writing an obituary for John McCain

Not that the election is quite over yet, but the numbers are looking very hard to beat. In that situation, a good political obit just before election day may be just the thing to convince the last few undecided. Eugene Robinson and Bob Herbert have written a couple of good ones. Give them a read.

Robo calls are illegal in Indiana

So McCain's slime merchants hired a call center to read the script to unfortunate Indiana residents. It must have been a pretty slimy script.
Some three dozen workers at a telemarketing call center in Indiana walked off the job rather than read an incendiary McCain campaign script attacking Barack Obama, according to two workers at the center and one of their parents.

Nina Williams, a stay-at-home mom in Lake County, Indiana, tells us that her daughter recently called her from her job at the center, upset that she had been asked to read a script attacking Obama for being "dangerously weak on crime," "coddling criminals," and for voting against "protecting children from danger."

Williams' daughter told her that up to 40 of her co-workers had refused to read the script, and had left the call center after supervisors told them that they would have to either read the call or leave, Williams says. The call center is called Americall, and it's located in Hobart, IN.

"They walked out," Williams says of her daughter and her co-workers, adding that they weren't fired but willingly sacrificed pay rather than read the lines. "They were told [by supervisors], `If you all leave, you're not gonna get paid for the rest of the day."
Walking the walk when you are offended by the talk.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Federal judges support right to vote in Georgia

There was an earlier story about the state of Georgia purging the voter roles of voters who had discrepencies between their voter registration and other data such a licenses and Social Security. Today a three judge panel of the federal bench ruled that the state must allow those purged to vote, including US born voters who were informed that they were not citizens.
The issue was raised in a lawsuit filed on behalf of a Georgia college student who claimed that the secretary of state's voter verification system violated the Voting Rights Act and the National Voter Registration Act and caused an illegal purge of voters in the weeks before the election.

Federal law prohibits widespread voter purges within 90 days of the election. In Georgia, that has become a heated issue with some calling the purge "voter suppression."
Someone should send the Republicans a 90 day calender.

The final peroration of Obama's speech

A public service for our readers.

Before you vote remember this.

So you don't have to worry about this.

Poor old Ted is dead and gone

Politically, that is. You know the tune and Ted Stevens will be dancing to it for some time now. It has turned out that a jury just did not believe that he was unable to stop his contractor friend from putting a second story on his house and filling it with furniture when he wasn't looking.
Senator Ted Stevens of Alaska, the longest-serving Republican in the Senate’s history and a figure of enormous influence in his state, was found guilty on Monday of violating ethics laws for failing to report gifts and services that he was given by friends.

A federal jury of eight women and four men from the District of Columbia found that the 84-year-old Mr. Stevens, who has represented Alaska in the Senate for more than 40 years, knowingly failed to list on Senate disclosure forms the receipt of several gifts and tens of thousands of dollars worth of remodeling work on his home in Girdwood, Alaska.

The verdict came just eight days before the senator is to face re-election and after more than three weeks of testimony, the highlight of which was Mr. Stevens making the calculated risk of taking the witness stand in his own defense. As the verdict was announced, the senator remained composed and stared at the ceiling while his lawyer, Brendan Sullivan, put his arm around him.

Another triumph for Bushevism

This one in Iraq, You remember Iraq?
A huge American-financed wastewater treatment plant in the desert city of Falluja, which United States troops assaulted twice to root out insurgents in 2004, was supposed to be the centerpiece of an effort to rebuild Iraq, a country smashed by war and neglect, and bring Western standards of sanitation.

Instead, the project, which has tripled in cost from original plans to $100 million and has fallen about three years behind schedule, has become an example of the failed and often oversold program to rebuild Iraq’s infrastructure with American dollars and skill.
But the triumph is not the inability to complete the project on time or on budget. The triumph is the system set up to prevent folks higher up learning about how big a failure the project was.
But Mr. Bowen’s investigators determined that senior officials at the embassy and the Army Corps knew of the problems for years without taking them to the American ambassador, Ryan C. Crocker, or including them in any substantial way in the State Department’s so-called 2207 reports, which are supposed to inform Congress of the status of taxpayer-financed projects in Iraq.

In fact, when Mr. Crocker learned about the problems in July, he asked the investigators to determine why he had never been informed, the report says.

The investigators found that there were systemic barriers to reporting reconstruction failures up the chain of command, possibly helping to explain why senior embassy and military officials often praise projects that later turn out to be flawed or nonfunctional.

And, as if to remove any doubt that the carefully devised public image of the project bears only a passing resemblance to what the investigators observed, the Army Corps has repeatedly promoted the Falluja project as a remarkable success in its constant stream of news releases on Iraq reconstruction.
Lying and stonewalling, about the only things that trickled down in the Bushovik misrule.

George still has 84 days to complete the destruction

Of our economy and our country. Paul Krugman looks at one way in which ideology is triumphant over necessity, to no ones advantage.
It was good news when Mr. Paulson finally agreed to funnel capital into the banking system in return for partial ownership. But last week Joe Nocera of The Times pointed out a key weakness in the U.S. Treasury’s bank rescue plan: it contains no safeguards against the possibility that banks will simply sit on the money. “Unlike the British government, which is mandating lending requirements in return for capital injections, our government seems afraid to do anything except plead.” And sure enough, the banks seem to be hoarding the cash.

There’s also bizarre stuff going on with regard to the mortgage market. I thought that the whole point of the federal takeover of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the lending agencies, was to remove fears about their solvency and thereby lower mortgage rates. But top officials have made a point of denying that Fannie and Freddie debt is backed by the “full faith and credit” of the U.S. government — and as a result, markets are still treating the agencies’ debt as a risky asset, driving mortgage rates up at a time when they should be going down.

What’s happening, I suspect, is that the Bush administration’s anti-government ideology still stands in the way of effective action. Events have forced Mr. Paulson into a partial nationalization of the financial system — but he refuses to use the power that comes with ownership.
84 days is an awful long time.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Monday Music Blogging

A bouncy bit of Brazilian pop. I have no idea what they are saying but it does look like fun.

As Meninas - Xibom bombom

Bailout!? What bailout?

A better look at what those $Billions$ of tax dollars are going to was presented by Joe Nocera in the NY Times last Friday. Thanks to someone of good will, he was able to listen in on a conference call at JP Morgan Chase and overheard the following.
“Twenty-five billion dollars is obviously going to help the folks who are struggling more than Chase,” he began. “What we do think it will help us do is perhaps be a little bit more active on the acquisition side or opportunistic side for some banks who are still struggling. And I would not assume that we are done on the acquisition side just because of the Washington Mutual and Bear Stearns mergers. I think there are going to be some great opportunities for us to grow in this environment, and I think we have an opportunity to use that $25 billion in that way and obviously depending on whether recession turns into depression or what happens in the future, you know, we have that as a backstop.”

Read that answer as many times as you want — you are not going to find a single word in there about making loans to help the American economy. On the contrary: at another point in the conference call, the same executive (who I’m not naming because he didn’t know I would be listening in) explained that “loan dollars are down significantly.” He added, “We would think that loan volume will continue to go down as we continue to tighten credit to fully reflect the high cost of pricing on the loan side.” In other words JPMorgan has no intention of turning on the lending spigot.
And what is our money going for? It would appear that it will give Paulson's butthole buddies adequate capital to take advantage of a major tax break recently approved by the Bushoviks.
Indeed, Mr. Landler’s story noted that Treasury would even funnel some of the bailout money to help banks buy other banks. And, in an almost unnoticed move, it recently put in place a new tax break, worth billions to the banking industry, that has only one purpose: to encourage bank mergers. As a tax expert, Robert Willens, put it: “It couldn’t be clearer if they had taken out an ad.”

Friday delivered the first piece of evidence that this is, indeed, the plan. PNC announced that it was purchasing National City, an acquisition that will be greatly aided by the new tax break, which will allow it to immediately deduct any losses on National City’s books.

As part of the deal, it is also tapping the bailout fund for $7.7 billion, giving the government preferred stock in return. At least some of that $7.7 billion would have gone to NatCity if the government had deemed it worth saving. In other words, the government is giving PNC money that might otherwise have gone to NatCity as a reward for taking over NatCity.
And you thought the Bushoviks would give you time to lube up before they stuck it to you again.

h/t to Bad Attitudes for seeing it first.

Not sure where to vote?

Cookie Jill, over at the home of the Masterful Marsupial, Skippy, has found a little gadget that will map you voting place for you. just type in your home address and look for the red flag, the green flag is your home.

I tried it on several addresses I know and it works.

The McSame Game

Another 100,000 show up for Obama

This time in Denver.

The Old Fart would be yelling at those people to get off his lawn.

Another endorsement for Obama

This latest one comes from Caribou Barbie's hometown newspaper, the Anchorage Daily News.
Sen. Barack Obama, the Democratic nominee, brings far more promise to the office. In a time of grave economic crisis, he displays thoughtful analysis, enlists wise counsel and operates with a cool, steady hand. The same cannot be said of Sen. McCain.
How sharper than a serpent's tooth it is to have a thankless newspaper. (with apologies to the Bard ;-)

Would God do this to his son?

The Rev. Robert H. Schuller removed his son Saturday as preacher on the syndicated "Hour of Power" television show less than three years after handing over to him the ministry he began more than 50 years ago.

Schuller announced the removal of his son, Robert A. Schuller, in a statement read to some 450 Crystal Cathedral congregants by Jim Coleman, the church's president.

"It is no secret to any of you that my son, Robert, and I have been struggling as we each have different ideas as to the direction and the vision for this ministry," his statement read.
Imagine that, a son who had his own ideas.

Some small measure of satisfaction

Sam Allis, writing in the Boston Globe, sees public humiliation as a way to exact some return from the boardroom bozos who did so much to ruin the economy.
We begin with a profusion of long frog marches at noon into police cars. No more 5 a.m. courtesy arrests for the big cheese to avoid those irritating flashbulbs and rude reporters. These walks will be advertised in advance, much like boxing events, and carried out amid ugly crowds for maximum effect. (Remember the roar of the masses as the tumbrels laden with aristocrats rolled to the guillotine during the French Revolution.)

The maximum penalty, of course, is humiliation. This is what these people dread most. It would be nice if prosecutors got some convictions, but that's almost beside the point. The process is more important than the outcome. We can't get back the billions they blew, but we can take from them what they value most - whatever is left of their good names.

We need to see the perps in court for yeasty two-week trials, alone in the witness chair, subjected to brutal questions from nasty prosecutors. All of this will be reported in detail by the media. Day after day.
I like this idea and just regret that the guillotine has been retired.

Beaten at their own game, Republicans whine loudly

Fundraising that is. Now that Barack Obama has shown how to outraise the Republican Party in an electoral campaign, the WATB are crying foul because they are getting their heads handed to them. In their desperation, some have even taken to making illegal contributions in an attempt to paint Obama in the wrong.

If the Republicans put as much energy into an honest campaign as they do into their frauds, this might be a close race. But then they would need some issues they could run on.

Sunday Twoons

Pat Oliphant

Tom Toles

Click pic to big

: Go see Non Sequitur twist Rupe the Poop's nose!

The Shrill One speaks on Sunday

And Dr. Krugman gives us a clear explanation of why, absent massive Republican voter fraud, Obama should win a landslide victory. In a sentence, McCain has no issues to run on at a time when people are looking at the issues, but let Paul say it best.
In a way, you can’t blame Mr. McCain for campaigning on trivia — after all, it’s worked in the past. Most notably, President Bush got within hanging-chads-and-butterfly-ballot range of the White House only because much of the news media, rather than focusing on the candidates’ policy proposals, focused on their personas: Mr. Bush was an amiable guy you’d like to have a beer with, Al Gore was a stiff know-it-all, and never mind all that hard stuff about taxes and Social Security. And let’s face it: six weeks ago Mr. McCain’s focus on trivia seemed to be paying off handsomely.

But that was before the prospect of a second Great Depression concentrated the public’s mind.

The Obama campaign has hardly been fluff-free — in its early stages it was full of vague uplift. But the Barack Obama voters see now is cool, calm, intellectual and knowledgeable, able to talk coherently about the financial crisis in a way Mr. McCain can’t. And when the world seems to be falling apart, you don’t turn to a guy you’d like to have a beer with, you turn to someone who might actually know how to fix the situation.

The McCain campaign’s response to its falling chances of victory has been telling: rather than trying to make the case that Mr. McCain really is better qualified to deal with the economic crisis, the campaign has been doing all it can to trivialize things again. Mr. Obama consorts with ’60s radicals! He’s a socialist! He doesn’t love America! Judging from the polls, it doesn’t seem to be working.

Will the nation’s new demand for seriousness last? Maybe not — remember how 9/11 was supposed to end the focus on trivialities? For now, however, voters seem to be focused on real issues. And that’s bad for Mr. McCain and conservatives in general: right now, to paraphrase Rob Corddry, reality has a clear liberal bias.
Hard times have a bad habit of keeping it real.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Ohio Highway Patrol doing its job.

We reported yesterday on the death threat made towards Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner. Today we can report the following.
The State Highway Patrol says Dana McArtor was charged Friday with intimidation in a telephoned threat to the office of Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner (BROO'-nur).

Brunner spokesman Jeff Ortega says the call last Friday threatened to kill the secretary of state. Her office says it has been inundated with threats during a busy season of voter lawsuits and alleged registration irregularities.
One down, hopefully the rest will follow soon.

Our hope for the future

All you need to know about high finance

From the pen of Tom Toles

Click pic to big

The Bushoviks break another law

A seemingly innocuous law, but one that was enacted to prevent the Bushoviks from continuing their Stalinist refusals to provide necessary information to Congress.
The Bush administration has informed Congress that it is bypassing a law intended to forbid political interference with reports to lawmakers by the Department of Homeland Security.

The August 2007 law requires the agency’s chief privacy officer to report each year about Homeland Security activities that affect privacy, and requires that the reports be submitted directly to Congress “without any prior comment or amendment” by superiors at the department or the White House.

But newly disclosed documents show that the Justice Department issued a legal opinion last January questioning the basis for that restriction, and that Michael Chertoff, the homeland security secretary, later advised Congress that the administration would not “apply this provision strictly” because it infringed on the president’s powers.
I'm no lawyer, I don't even pretend to be one on the curbstone, but I have to believe that any penalty deriving from this act should be applicable during the next administration. And the country would be well served with a few good prosecutions.

Joe Galloway nails the Republican skunk to the barn wall

Having watched the campaign unfold, he writes with savage accuracy about the failure of the Republican Party to put forth anything positive in the troublesome times we now live in.
This is an autumn of great discontent as not just the United States, but the entire world trembles on the brink of an economic recession that may bring the kind of pain that's known only to the oldest among us.

With days to go before Election Day, the nation watches as a presidential candidate and his political party unravel, frantically dragging every ugly ghost out of the closet in an attempt not only to fool everyone, but also to scare everyone.

They appeal to the worst remnants of racism that cling like kudzu to a dying magnolia. Their robot phone dialers intrude on millions of uneasy citizens with messages of hate and fear and envy and greed.
He continues the gruesome litany of Republican failures, including one that a truly Christian country would find most damning.
They have presided for the last eight years over a stunning redistribution of wealth: They've turned Robin Hood upside down, taking from the poor and the middle class and giving to the very rich.

Yet they tar their opponent for daring to suggest that it's time to turn the tables and redirect some of that wealth to those who are jobless, homeless and hopeless, and to the millions of other hard-working Americans who are likely to join those growing ranks in the months and years to come.

They call him a socialist for embracing a principle that's rooted deeply in the teachings of the Christianity that they wear on their sleeves but cannot find room for in their hearts.
In the end, he puts forth a prescription for rekindling the light of promise that has been the jewel of our country's existence.
Hard work, sacrifice and suffering lie ahead. It could take a decade or more to repair all the damage that Bush, Dick Cheney and all their henchmen in prison, out of prison and on their way to prison have done to our economy, our military, our standing in the world, our Constitution and to civil discourse, common decency and competent governance.

In the meantime, we Americans would do well to try to remember all those things that our grandmothers told us about how to get by in hard times.

How to get by on a lot less.

How to grow a vegetable garden.

How to squeeze a nickel till the buffalo bellows.

How to appreciate the small joys of family and friends.

How to share what you have, no matter how little you have, with those who have nothing.

Someday we may be able to tell our grandchildren about the Election of '08 when we, the people, turned away from anger, hate and greed and once again embraced the better angels of our nature.
It's going to take a lot of hard work to make that happen.

Friday, October 24, 2008

The Old Fart's Worst Nightmare

Heh, heh, heh!

From the New York Times

Hyperbole is the currency of presidential campaigns, but this year the nation’s future truly hangs in the balance.

The United States is battered and drifting after eight years of President Bush’s failed leadership. He is saddling his successor with two wars, a scarred global image and a government systematically stripped of its ability to protect and help its citizens — whether they are fleeing a hurricane’s floodwaters, searching for affordable health care or struggling to hold on to their homes, jobs, savings and pensions in the midst of a financial crisis that was foretold and preventable.

As tough as the times are, the selection of a new president is easy. After nearly two years of a grueling and ugly campaign, Senator Barack Obama of Illinois has proved that he is the right choice to be the 44th president of the United States.
The reasons for this choice are long and detailed and worth a read if you have any questions or doubts. And worth passing on to anybody you know who has questions and doubts.

Republicans show their class

And their respect for the law. It seems that the Cheeto eaters of the right have grown so bold as to attack offices of the state government when the poor widdle WATB don't get their way.
A GOP attempt to force as many as 200,000 newly-registered voters in Ohio to cast provisional ballots was rejected last week by the US Supreme Court. Since then, reports CNN's John Roberts, things in Ohio have gotten "downright nasty."

Roberts spoke with Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner, who has had her official state website hacked and has even been receiving death threats. A Monday press release from Brunner's office stated, "In recent weeks, phone lines and e-mail channels have been barraged, even in the business filings section of the office, with menacing messages and even threats of harm or death. Last week, a suspicious package covered with threatening messages and containing an unidentified powder was mailed to the Secretary of State's office via the previous location of the Client Services Center."

"Veterans in my office ... said they've never seen anything like this," Brunner told Roberts.
While not stated, we can only hope that the necessary investigations are underway. And thanks to Li'l Georgie, there is plenty of room in Guantanamo Bay.

EXTRA: Republicans are nothing without their hate.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Griffith, Howard & Winkler

Not a law firm, but three real Americans

See more Ron Howard videos at Funny or Die

h/t to Attaturk

Obama attracts a poodle

Little Scotty McClellen, in fact.
Scott McClellan, the former White House press secretary who sharply criticized President Bush in his memoir last spring, told CNN Thursday he's voting for Barack Obama.
Now that should seal the deal, no questions asked.

Mr Magoo does imitation of Capt. Renault

Alan Greenspan, noted obscurantist and political hack, testified in a frail imitation of Claude Rains in Casablanca.
"Those of us who have looked to the self-interest of lending institutions to protect shareholder's equity -- myself especially -- are in a state of shocked disbelief," said Greenspan, who stepped down from the Fed in 2006
R-i-i-g-h-t! And next we will see Magoo and W walking off into the fog, declaring their beautiful friendship.

Found this on AmericaBlog

The home of much that is good. This is for all you Claymation fans.

Colbert lays down The Word on voter fraud

With an assist from Toles

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Help get rid of Shotgun Randy

This is what he says

And this is where you can help Eric Massa send Randy back to the golf courses he so dearly loves. Here too.

Wednesday Music Blogging

This was just too good to pass up

Two of a Kind

alQaida supports John McCain

He is their kind of president.
Al-Qaida supporters suggested in a Web site message this week they would welcome a pre-election terror attack on the U.S. as a way to usher in a McCain presidency.

The message, posted Monday on the password-protected al-Hesbah Web site, said if al-Qaida wants to exhaust the United States militarily and economically, "impetuous" Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain is the better choice because he is more likely to continue the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"This requires presence of an impetuous American leader such as McCain, who pledged to continue the war till the last American soldier," the message said. "Then, al-Qaida will have to support McCain in the coming elections so that he continues the failing march of his predecessor, Bush."
But Johnny says he is not Bush. So maybe he will screw up even more than the Boy King did? Let's not give him a chance to do so.

Michelle Bachmann R-Braindead

Must love the taste of knees because last Friday on Hardball she put her feet in her mouth so deep she's licking her patellae as we speak.
A Republican source has confirmed to Election Central that the NRCC is indeed pulling all its advertising for Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), whose antics since her McCarthyist rant on Hardball have quickly put this once-safe incumbent in serious danger. Several hundred-thousand dollars worth of TV time had previously been reserved on Bachmann's behalf, but now it has all been cancelled.

Bear in mind that Bachmann was heavily favored to win re-election before this whole mess happened, but since then her Democratic opponent has received $1.3 million in online donations and another $1 million in commitments from the DCCC. The national party is now directing its attention to other races.
Zowie! $1.3 Million in 4 days. She may still win, but she is the laughingstock of the political world.

This would explain everything

From the pen of Tom Toles

Click pic to big

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

McCain's been around

New ad from Obama

If Alaska can have a First Dude

It can have First Kids as well. And since the have a title, the state can pay for them along with the governors more normal expenses, right?
Gov. Sarah Palin charged the state for her children to travel with her, including to events where they were not invited, and later amended expense reports to specify that they were on official business.

The charges included costs for hotel and commercial flights for three daughters to join Palin to watch their father in a snowmobile race, and a trip to New York, where the governor attended a five-hour conference and stayed with 17-year-old Bristol for five days and four nights in a luxury hotel.

In all, Palin has charged the state $21,012 for her three daughters' 64 one-way and 12 round-trip commercial flights since she took office in December 2006. In some other cases, she has charged the state for hotel rooms for the girls.

Alaska law does not specifically address expenses for a governor's children. The law allows for payment of expenses for anyone conducting official state business.
What manner of state business can be conducted by minor children?

Your bank bought with your tax dollars

But don't go thinking you deserve any of the profit from such a deal.
In a step that could accelerate a shakeout of the nation’s banks, the Treasury Department hopes to spur a new round of mergers by steering some of the money in its $250 billion rescue package to banks that are willing to buy weaker rivals, according to government officials.
Such a deal, indeed!

You want to know about voter fraud

Read Bob Herbert. He gives an excellent review of the current status of fraud in this election. Somehow the Republicans seem to be on the perp side in every case.

John Kerry makes a funny

As quoted by Jake Tapper.
"I don't know if any of you know what it's like. I do, obviously," Kerry told the crowd. "I've been asked all of those brilliant questions that were repeated this year...Barack got asked the famous boxers or briefs question. I was tempted to say commando...

"Then they asked McCain and McCain said, ‘Depends,'" Kerry said.

Is there no campaign finance law John won't violate?

First it was his own spending limits, then it was the large number of unknown contributors. Then we had the foreign nationals contributing to a bundler even though they had no idea who McCain was. Now we find the McCain camp is actively soliciting foreigners.
No later than the newest attack on Sen. Obama for accepting contributions from possible foreign nationals, the McCain campaign, it appears, has hit up the Russian mission to the United Nations for a cash injection.

Russia's permanent mission to the UN has received a letter from U.S. Republican presidential candidate John McCain asking for financial support of his election campaign, the mission said in a statement on Monday.

"We have received a letter from Senator John McCain with a request for a financial donation to his presidential election campaign. In this respect we have to reiterate that neither Russia's permanent mission to the UN nor the Russian government or its officials finance political activities in foreign countries," the statement said.
The Russians were amused.

Robert Greenwald has 15 videos

For the last 15 days of the election campaign. Here is the first.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Feds and NYS to investigate CDS

Or Credit Default Swaps for those who speak English.
Federal prosecutors and New York's attorney general said yesterday they had joined forces to investigate the multitrillion-dollar credit default swap (CDS) market, an unregulated area of finance blamed by some for helping to fuel the credit crisis.
Wonder just what they will find.

Always believe the Talking Moose.

How much longer

Before we see the Old Fart's campaign roll out their Rev. Wright ads?

And why do they think they will work any better than the crap that went before?

Something to remember

From the pen of Dwayne Powell

When you think about John McCain.

Update to "Sometimes Republicans are our best friends"

According to TPM Election Central, the Tinklenberg campaign says they have raised $650,000 since the Bachmann bot shorted out on Hardball. Whoowee! That woman is one helluva fundraiser.

Caribou Barbie has standards?

Is McCain financing voter fraud?

It is hard to give any other spin to his campaign hiring a notorious Republican operative with a tainted past.
John McCain's campaign has directed $175,000 to the firm of a Republican operative accused of massive voter registration fraud in several states.

According to campaign finance records, a joint committee of the McCain-Palin campaign, the RNC and the the California Republican Party, made a $175,000 payment to the group Lincoln Strategy in June for purposes of "registering voters." The managing partner of that firm is Nathan Sproul, a renowned GOP operative who has been investigated on multiple occasions for suppressing Democratic voter turnout, throwing away registration forms and even spearheading efforts to get Ralph Nader on ballots to hinder the Democratic ticket.

In a letter to the Justice Department last October, House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers said that that Sproul's alleged activities "clearly suppress votes and violate the law."
As John is fond of proving, IOKIYAR. Naturally, under a well politicized Dept of Justice, Sproul hasn't been convicted of anything, yet.

And they only lost $810 Million

But they took one for the team because of it.
The top three executives at France's Caisse d'Epargne have resigned under pressure from the government after the bank lost euro600 million ($810 million) trading derivatives amid the worldwide stock market collapse earlier this month.

The auditing board of the bank, one of France's largest, met for several hours Sunday, and announced in a statement the departures of Charles Milhoud, chairman of the management board, CEO Nicolas Merindol and Julien Carmona, head of finance.

Milhaud said he would not accept any severance pay and said in a separate statement that he took ''full responsibility'' for the losses, which he called ''a consequence of the exceptional volatility of the markets in this period, and of the violation of instructions that the board and myself had given.''

In a radio interview Monday, Finance Minister Christine Lagarde said the executives' resignation was ''a good thing'' and ''what we expected of them.''
If someone did that inthis country they would be laughed out of their country club.

Republicans hate working people

And Paul Krugman, using the plumbers of Ohio, explains this in a way the even one of those lovable lugs can understand.
First of all, they aren’t making a lot of money. You may recall that in one of the early Democratic debates Charles Gibson of ABC suggested that $200,000 a year was a middle-class income. Tell that to Ohio plumbers: according to the May 2007 occupational earnings report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual income of “plumbers, pipefitters and steamfitters” in Ohio was $47,930.

Second, their real incomes have stagnated or fallen, even in supposedly good years. The Bush administration assured us that the economy was booming in 2007 — but the average Ohio plumber’s income in that 2007 report was only 15.5 percent higher than in the 2000 report, not enough to keep up with the 17.7 percent rise in consumer prices in the Midwest. As Ohio plumbers went, so went the nation: median household income, adjusted for inflation, was lower in 2007 than it had been in 2000.

Third, Ohio plumbers have been having growing trouble getting health insurance, especially if, like many craftsmen, they work for small firms. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, in 2007 only 45 percent of companies with fewer than 10 employees offered health benefits, down from 57 percent in 2000.

And bear in mind that all these data pertain to 2007 — which was as good as it got in recent years. Now that the “Bush boom,” such as it was, is over, we can see that it achieved a dismal distinction: for the first time on record, an economic expansion failed to raise most Americans’ incomes above their previous peak.
If you derive your income from your employment instead of your portfolio, you have no reason on this earth to vote for a Republican.

What Karl Rove was doing

Since his departure from the White House. You didn't really think the old turd was writing his memoirs. Reports from West Virginia show the first fruits of his labors, the tip of the iceberg of the Republican voter fraud network he was working on.
Three Putnam County voters say electronic voting machines changed their votes from Democrats to Republicans when they cast early ballots last week.

This is the second West Virginia county where voters have reported this problem. Last week, three voters in Jackson County told The Charleston Gazette their electronic vote for "Barack Obama" kept flipping to "John McCain".

In both counties, Republicans are responsible for overseeing elections. Both county clerks said the problem is isolated.
Isolated to Democratic voters that is.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Monday Music Blogging

A song for all those who are still with the one they thought they would always be with, after all you have been through.

Lori Mckenna- "How Romantic is That"

John McCain, Man of Dishonor

Which is really putting it nicely. What we are seeing is the complete breakdown of his integrity and values in pursuit of a goal that is moving farther away from him. This part of the transcript, courtesy of Crooks & Liars, from Chris Wallace's show on Fux displays the short shelf life of a promise from John Sidney McCain.
WALLACE: But Senator, back — if I may, back in 2000 when you were the target of robo calls, you called these hate calls and you said...

MCCAIN: They worked.

WALLACE: ... and you said the following, "I promise you, I have never and will never have anything to do with that kind of political tactic."

Now you've hired the same guy who did the robo calls against you to — reportedly, to do the robo calls against Obama and the Republican Senator Susan Collins, the co-chair of your campaign in Maine, has asked you to stop the robo calls. Will you do that?

MCCAIN: Of course not.
Nicely done, bomber boy! Sure looks like the voters will have to put you on ice Nov. 4 to stop this tantrum.

What is really frightening

Is that I have spoken with people who react just like this. You can almost hear the dried pea rattling around between their ears

Click pic to big

Put Barney Smith before Smith, Barney

Smith, Barney, an investment & brokerage division of Citibank.

Tired of waiting in traffic?

For less that the price of a new Hyundai you can get a vehicle that will get you R-E-S-P-E-C-T wherever you travel.
One can buy just about anything on the Internet — even a 1959 U.S. Army M56 tank destroyer once used in Vietnam.

Ken Meyer, a retired deputy sheriff in northeast Wisconsin, has one for sale on Craigslist for $7,500...

..Meyer’s M56 — nicknamed the Scorpion — has been parked on his property near Sturgeon Bay for about a decade, waiting for a new engine, a paint job and some other repairs. Some of Meyer’s other projects are taking a higher priority so he decided to sell the tank destroyer on Craigslist’s Green Bay page.

It’s far from a weapon of war anymore.

A 90mm gun was removed before the government sold it as surplus years ago, Meyer said. Meyer, 63, remodeled a street light post and installed it on the tank as a “replica” gun. It’s harmless.

“It’s a propane firing device. It makes noise only, like an orchard cannon,” the collector said.
A propane cannon is way better than an air horn for letting folks know you are coming.

Two toons 4 today

Tom Toles

Bill Schorr

She was almost as good as The Fey One

Burned Over Extra: Sarah's Rap

You have to admire the way politicians will walk into the lion's den.

$150 Million

That is what Barack Obama raised in September, twice what the Republican Party raised for McCain. The more important number is in who gave the money.
In a videotaped message included in an e-mail to supporters, David Plouffe, the Obama campaign manager, said that Mr. Obama had added 632,000 new donors in September, bringing the campaign’s total to 3.1 million. The average contribution, Mr. Plouffe said, was $86.

“The two groups that have given us the most contributions are retirees and students, which shows how Barack’s call for change has spanned the generations,” Mr. Plouffe said. “Nurses, teachers, small business owners. It really is the fabric of America that has built this campaign.”
Two points, it is very doubtful that the Republicans have anywhere near that many donors and if you give someone your money you will also give them your vote. And if you can't afford to donate, don't worry, you can always give Obama/Biden your vote.

Do your part to save America.

Gen. Colin Powell endorses Barack Obama

Saturday, October 18, 2008

While the FBI goes haring off after ACORN

In another round of politically fraudulent voter suppression, we are informed by the NY Times that the same FBI is short of qualified agents to go after the white collar crime of Wall St.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is struggling to find enough agents and resources to investigate criminal wrongdoing tied to the country’s economic crisis, according to current and former bureau officials.

The bureau slashed its criminal investigative work force to expand its national security role after the Sept. 11 attacks, shifting more than 1,800 agents, or nearly one-third of all agents in criminal programs, to terrorism and intelligence duties. Current and former officials say the cutbacks have left the bureau seriously exposed in investigating areas like white-collar crime, which has taken on urgent importance in recent weeks because of the nation’s economic woes.

The pressure on the F.B.I. has recently increased with the disclosure of criminal investigations into some of the largest players in the financial collapse, including Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The F.B.I. is planning to double the number of agents working financial crimes by reassigning several hundred agents amid a mood of national alarm. But some people inside and out of the Justice Department wonder where the agents will come from and whether they will be enough.

So depleted are the ranks of the F.B.I.’s white-collar investigators that executives in the private sector say they have had difficulty attracting the bureau’s attention in cases involving possible frauds of millions of dollars.
But this shortage is not by accident. Remember, the Republicans are in charge here and there is no way they are going to expose their friends and supporters to any unseemly investigation.
After the collapse of Enron in 2002, the Justice Department moved aggressively against corporate fraud — too aggressively, in the view of some people within the administration. It set up a national task force to tackle the problem, garnered hundreds of convictions at companies like WorldCom, Adelphia and Enron, and forced the closure of Arthur Andersen, the accounting firm, for its role in the Enron collapse.

But several former law enforcement officials said in interviews that senior administration officials, particularly at the White House and the Treasury Department, had made clear to them that they were concerned the Justice Department and the F.B.I. were taking an antibusiness attitude that could chill corporate risk taking.

Justice Department officials said political pressures had never influenced the way prosecutors approached corporate cases. But the department’s approach has become noticeably more tempered in the last several years.
Take away the regulations, defund the regulators and remove the possibility of any followup investigation, business as usual for Republicans.

MoDo finds her character

And I am entirely in agreement with her on this one.
It is the best of times, it is the worst of times.

The best of times because W.’s long Reign of Error is about to end.

The worst of times because, well, you know why.

In this season of darkness, as Charles Dickens described an earlier mob scene, I’m feeling as vengeful and bloodthirsty as Madame Defarge sharpening her knitting needles at the guillotine.

I even felt a little thrill go up my leg, as Chris Matthews would put it, when I heard that the Lehman Brothers C.E.O., Richard Fuld, got punched in the company gym after it was announced that the firm was going under.

I can’t wait to see the tumbrels rumble up and down Wall Street picking up the heedless and greedy financial aristocracy that plundered and sundered free-market capitalism.
Can't you just see MoDo clacking her knitting needles as with the arrival of every fresh tumbrel she cackles. La Guillotine! La Guillotine! And wouldn't we all like to be right there beside her.

The Old Fart and the Drunken Lout

Or how Frank Rich makes clear the indivisible bond between John McCain and Our Dear Embattled Leader, as well as how this guarantees the defeat of the failed Republican ideology.
Bush’s impact on the next Republican presidential candidate did not have to be so devastating. McCain isn’t, as he and his defenders keep protesting, a passive martyr to a catastrophic administration. He could have made separating himself from Bush the brave, central and even conservative focus of his campaign. Far from doing that, he embraced the Bush ethos — if not the incredible shrinking man himself — more tightly than ever. The candidate who believes in “country first” decided to put himself first and sell out his principles. That ignoble decision is what accounts for both the McCain campaign’s failures and its sleaze. It’s a decision McCain made on his own and for which he has yet to assume responsibility.
What Frank does is explain the full meaning of this famous picture of GW and Johnny Mac.

Sometimes Republicans are our best friends

And don't take my word for it, following the appearance of noted Republican scum puppy Michelle Bachmann on Hardball, her opponent Elwyn Tinklenberg received $438,346.57 in donations (probably higher now).

Please Mr Matthews have her on your show again.

How to win the White House

First you get the crowds to hear you.
Obama rallied 100,000 people underneath St. Louis’ Gateway Arch on Saturday, according to St. Louis police -- his biggest event in America to date -- and laid out the differences between himself and his rival on taxes and other issues.
And then you tell them the truth.
“John McCain is so out of touch with the struggles you’re facing that he must be the first politician in history to call a tax cut for working people “welfare,” he said. “Well, let me tell you, the only “welfare” in this campaign is John McCain’s plan to give another $200 billion in tax cuts to the wealthiest corporations in America -- including $4 billion in tax breaks to big oil companies that ran up record profits under George Bush. That’s who John McCain’s fighting for. I’m fighting for you.”
And it never hurts to throw in a little real patriotism.
Sen. Claire McCaskill. McCaskill responded to a comment McCain’s running mate Sarah Palin made recently the seemed to question the patriotism of Americans in certain places.

“It doesn’t matter whether you live in a small town in “Missouri or whether you’re right here in St. Louis -- show America right now how we all are proud Americans!,” she said, prompting chants of U-S-A. “We have reached a new low in American politics when someone dares to say that one part of America is more pro America than another part of America!”
That will touch a lot more people than slimy robocalls.

Speaking of robocalls, even Joe Lieberschmucks BFF in Maine is complaining about them. They must be hurting the wrong target for her to squeak up.

The rats are leaving the sinking ship

And leaving behind their own little piles of rat droppings. Peggy Noonan, a woman who knows she was blessed by the glow of St Ronny, unloads both barrels at Sarah Palin as the rock handed to a drowning man.
Her supporters accuse her critics of snobbery: Maybe she's not a big "egghead" but she has brilliant instincts and inner toughness. But what instincts? "I'm Joe Six-Pack"? She does not speak seriously but attempts to excite sensation—"palling around with terrorists." If the Ayers case is a serious issue, treat it seriously. She is not as thoughtful or persuasive as Joe the Plumber, who in an extended cable interview Thursday made a better case for the Republican ticket than the Republican ticket has made. In the past two weeks she has spent her time throwing out tinny lines to crowds she doesn't, really, understand. This is not a leader, this is a follower, and she follows what she imagines is the base, which is in fact a vast and broken-hearted thing whose pain she cannot, actually, imagine. She could reinspire and reinspirit; she chooses merely to excite. She doesn't seem to understand the implications of her own thoughts.

No news conferences? Interviews now only with friendly journalists? You can't be president or vice president and govern in that style, as a sequestered figure. This has been Mr. Bush's style the past few years, and see where it got us. You must address America in its entirety, not as a sliver or a series of slivers but as a full and whole entity, a great nation trying to hold together. When you don't, when you play only to your little piece, you contribute to its fracturing.

In the end the Palin candidacy is a symptom and expression of a new vulgarization in American politics. It's no good, not for conservatism and not for the country. And yes, it is a mark against John McCain, against his judgment and idealism.
And following on her heels is Philadelphia's very own heel, Michael Smerconish.
"I’ve decided," he said. "My conclusion comes after reading the candidates’ memoirs and campaign platforms, attending both party conventions, interviewing both men multiple times, and watching all primary and general election debates.

"John McCain is an honorable man who has served his country well. But he will not get my vote. For the first time since registering as a Republican 28 years ago, I’m voting for a Democrat for president.
Noonan is simply trying to lay the groundwork for a belief that fallible people failed a blessed ideology, Smersh actually sounds like he saw the light.

The NY Times asks the question

Who is Cindy McCain? And if you want the answer, you can read it here.

The evolution of Man

h/t to DemocraticUnderground and the genius who "shopped" this.

Quote of the Day

You were a lion of the Senate, but you didn't know how to stop this man from putting big ticket items at your home?
Brenda Morris, prosecutor in the Ted Stevens corruption trial, trying to understand how expensive goodies just kept showing up at Sen. Stevens home.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Obama ad on Healthcare

Chicago Tribune endorses Barack Obama

The Very First Democrat EVER Endorsed by the Trib since 1847. Makes me think of that Carole King song.

Updated,as of 10/17, list of endorsements.

McCain roles out the "scurrilous stuff"

In a crude imitation of Karl Rove, McCain campaign director Steve Schmidt has rolled out the well aged slop against Barack Obama.
this week Mr. McCain, and the Republican Party, have launched their own series of searing robo-calls attacking Senator Barack Obama. According to recordings of the calls collected by Talking Points Memo, the calls exaggerate Mr. Obama’s ties to Bill Ayers, the former member of the Weather Underground, question the candidate’s patriotism by accusing him of “putting Hollywood above America,’’ and say that he opposed a bill “requiring doctors to care for babies born alive after surviving attempted abortions.’’

The calls – being reported in a number of swing states – were just the latest instance of Mr. McCain embracing the very kind of negative or misleading campaign tactics he once denounced.
And in the grand tradition of warped creatures everywhere, McCain's very own gollum, Tucker Bounds even lies about the lies. “These calls are based on hard facts.’’

Gen. Odie Colognie displays his famous tact

As the Bushoviks find themselves in real negotiations with the Iraqis over a SOFA, the new commanding officer in Iraq steps in a big pile.
Iraq's prime minister said in remarks aired Friday that the top U.S. commander in Iraq "risked his position" by alleging Iran was trying to bribe lawmakers to vote against the proposed security agreement with the United States.

Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki briefed top political leaders Friday about the draft agreement, which includes a timeline for U.S. withdrawal from Iraq by the end of 2011 and a compromise giving Iraq authority to try U.S. contractors and soldiers for major crimes committed off-duty and off-base.

A government statement said the same group - including President Jalal Talabani, the two vice presidents and leaders of parliament - would meet again in a few days, suggesting some people raised objections.
Even if every Iraqi lawmaker is standing in line with an empty sack waiting for the Iran Bunny to fill it with goodies, subordinates are supposed to keep their mouths shut until negotiations are over and done, unless they want to queer the deal. Who does Gen. Odie Colognie really work for?

Dr Krugman diagnoses a recession

And prescribes some remedies that could help us but will probably be ignored or screwed up beyond recognition by DC. Let's hope he doesn't become a modern Cassandra.

Joe the Plumber related to Charles Keating

Which just seems natural for Republicans.

Letterman nails McCain

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Reason # 1 is all you need to jump out the window

The Guardian has Gary Younge, writing from Virginia, explaing the 5 reasons why John McCain is losing. In order they are
1) His own supporters don't like him.
2) He has few effective surrogates.
3) Neither he nor Palin has been here.
4) He is being outspent and has been outorganised.
5) He shouldn't have to either come here or spend money here.
After #1, why bother? But even if you do, #4 will stop you any day.

Gary does add a few more details, so give him a read.

It seems as if

John McCain, having lost the debate, has just followed through on his promise to kiss Obama's ass if that happened.

Scratch a Republican, find a crook

And if they can rob the government blind while pretending to support the troops all the better. This story has been touched on before, but now, with more details available, Rep Waxman is pushing for action against this well connected cheat.
The Democratic chairman of a House investigative committee presented documents to the Pentagon on Thursday alleging that a top Republican fund-raiser, Harry Sargeant III, has made tens of millions of dollars in profits over the last four years because his contracting company vastly overcharged for deliveries of fuel to American air bases in Iraq.

Mr. Sargeant, who is the finance chairman of the Florida Republican Party and a major fund-raiser for Senator John McCain, did not immediately return several messages left for him on Thursday, but in the past he has denied any improprieties on the part of the the company, International Oil Trading Company, known as I.O.T.C.

The company was briefly in the news over the summer when a former partner filed a lawsuit against Mr. Sargeant in a Florida circuit court. The former partner, a Jordanian named Mohammad al-Saleh, is the brother-in-law of the King of Jordan, and the court papers laid out what Mr. Saleh claimed was a seamy tale in which he obtained special governmental authorizations for the company to transport the fuel through Jordan and was then unlawfully forced out by Mr. Sargeant, who strongly disputed those allegations.

But the latest claims of impropriety by the company go much further. In a letter addressed to Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, by Henry A. Waxman, the California Democrat who is chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Mr. Waxman uses emails, company documents, Pentagon reports and other information to make the case that Mr. Sargeant repeatedly received contracts to deliver the fuel even though his company was never the lowest bidder for the work.

In one case, Mr. Waxman’s letter asserts, Mr. Sargeant’s company was actually the highest of six bids but received the contract anyway. In fact, Pentagon contracting officers complained that the company’s prices were unreasonably high and initially said they could not justify giving the work to Mr. Sargeant. But for reasons the company was never able to explain, Mr. Waxman’s letter indicates, no other American company was given an authorization to transport the fuel through Jordan. And when United States Central Command declared that the need for the fuel was urgent, the Pentagon was forced to award the contract to Mr. Sargeant’s company.
Sargeant and his company have been noticed before when his Jordanian partner claimed he was cheated and also when Sargeant was found to have bundled contributions for John McCain from non citizens who didn't even know who McCain was.

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