TRUMP AND HIS ADMINISTRATION ARE UNDER FBI INVESTIGATION; A SPECIAL COUNSEL HAS BEEN APPOINTED TO LOOK INTO POSSIBLE COLLUSION WITH RUSSIA BY TRUMP CAMPAIGN; AND THE US HOUSE AND SENATE HAVE COMMITTEES LOOKING INTO RUSSIAN COLLUSION AND CONSPIRACY WITH THE TRUMP CAMPAIGN.
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Her ignorance seems to have no bounds.
Gov Palin is a perfect example of an elected official who was "swept into office" at a particularly low period in a state's history. Not necessarily a great feat when the state's population is small with seemingly few qualified candidates to choose from who would want to run for high office.
In Alaska, it sounds to me like she just materialized out of thin air to much the same hoopla she received after her selection by McCain as his VP. Alaska, tired of its culture of corruption, was particularly vulnerable to the lure of someone passing herself off as a reformer, despite those claims being, at best, dubious.
Thus, Gov. Palin was likely not vetted as governor either, and an adoring, yet uninformed, populus elected her. The same thing happened when Evan Mecham (with no more qualifications than being a car dealership magnate) was elected as governor of Arizona, despite being inherently unqualified (he was later impeached).
It's only a matter of time before the wheels begin to come off of Gov. Palin's popularity in Alaska, as they most certainly have begun coming off of her VP candidacy. She is getting much greater exposure and scrutiny on a national scale, and McCain's impulsiveness and gamble is costing him big time on this one.
PS. Off the top of my head:
Brown vs. The Board of Education
Plessy vs. Ferguson
The Miranda Decision (Miranda vs. Arizona--her running mate's home state!)
and reaching back into American history, Marbury vs. Madison
How about Dredd Scott decision?
And most recently the Hamdan vs. Rumsfeld decision.
She's an undereducated embarrassment. And no matter how much lipstick (stuffing her with facts) they put on her, she's still woefully and dangerously not qualified to be anything more than a mayor of a village.
She has reached her level of incompetence.
John McCain chose this her to be VP, and possibly the president of the United States.
Country First? What a lie.
And for your reading hilarity, this zinger on Palin from "The New Yorker."
Monday, September 29, 2008
"Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and his top aides took credit for building a winning bailout coalition – hours before the vote failed and stocks tanked.
The rush to claim he had engineered a victory now looks like a strategic blunder that will prolong the McCain’s campaign’s difficulty in finding a winning message on the economy.
Shortly before the vote, McCain had bragged about his involvement and mocked Sen. Barack Obama for staying on the sidelines.
“I've never been afraid of stepping in to solve problems for the American people, and I'm not going to stop now,” McCain told a rally in Columbus, Ohio. “Senator Obama took a very different approach to the crisis our country faced. At first he didn't want to get involved. Then he was monitoring the situation.”
McCain, grinning, flashed a sarcastic thumbs-up.
“That's not leadership. That's watching from the sidelines,” he added to cheers and applause.
Wisely, in retrospect, McCain initially had been more modest. On Sunday, he said on ABC’s “This Week” that congressional negotiators deserve “great credit” for the bipartisan deal. “"It wasn’t because of me,” McCain said. “They did it themselves.”
But at almost the same time, McCain senior adviser Steve Schmidt was saying on NBC’s “Meet the Press”: “What Senator McCain was able to do … was to help get all of the parties to the table. There had been announcements by Senate leaders saying that a deal had been reached earlier in the week. There were no votes for that deal.
“Senator McCain knew time was short and he came back, he listened and he helped put together the framework of getting everybody to the table, which was necessary to produce a package to avoid a financial catastrophe for this country.”
On Monday morning, McCain campaign communications director Jill Hazelbaker said on Fox News that the deal would not have happened “without Senator McCain.”
“Senator McCain interrupted his campaign, suspended his campaign activity to come back to Washington to get Republicans around a table,” Hazelbaker said. “Without Senator McCain, House Republicans would not have appointed a negotiator, which would not have moved this bill forward.
“It’s really Senator McCain who got all parties around a table to hammer out a deal that hopefully is in the best interests of the American taxpayer.”
After the vote, commentators were harsh. MSNBC’s Chris Matthews said: “He’s like a cavalry commander who said ‘Charge!’ and the Republicans went into retreat.”
The Record, of Stockton, California, may not be the most well-known of newspapers, but they have been, for a number of decades, one of the most consistent. The last time the paper endorsed a Democrat for the White House, the year was 1936 and the lucky endorsee was Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Since then, the closest a Democrat has come was in 1992, when they endorsed neither Bill Clinton nor George H. W. Bush to send a message that "a larger role for the third-party candidate" was warranted.
That's all changed over the weekend, in a move the California paper describes as a turning of the "tide":
For the first time in 72 years, The Record is endorsing a Democrat for president.
Franklin D. Roosevelt got our nod in 1936.
The reasons for the endorsement of Barack Obama over John McCain are articulated in the editorial on this page.
The unanimous decision was made by our editorial board, which consists of Publisher Roger W. Coover, Managing Editor Donald W. Blount, Opinion Page Editor Eric Grunder, Human Resources Director Sandi Johnson and me.
There are many who will question - with some validity - the power or value of such an endorsement. Our decision is hardly going to tip the balance in a competitive presidential election.
In their endorsement, the Record writes:
Barack Obama is our choice for president of the United States.
He has demonstrated time and again he can think on his feet. More importantly, he has demonstrated he will think things through, seek advice and actually listen to it.
Obama is a gifted speaker. But in addition to his smarts and energy, possibly his greatest gift is his ability to inspire.
For eight years, American politics has been marked by smears, fears and greed. For too long, we've practiced partisanship in Washington, not politics. The result is a cynicism every bit as deep as that which infected the nation when Richard Nixon was shamed from office and when Bill Clinton brought shame to the office.
This must end, but John McCain can't do it. He can't inspire, nor can he really break from a past that is breaking this nation.
Sunday, September 28, 2008
MC CAIN COULDN'T LOOK HIM IN THE EYE. A PICTURE IS WORTH A THOUSAND WORDS. THIS PHOTO SCREAMS OF JOHN MC CAIN'S CONTEMPT, AND CONDESCENSION TOWARD SENATOR OBAMA.
But the nation agrees that McCain's failure to be commonly decent said more about him and the sort of snarling, petty man he would be as president than it does about Senator Obama.
Senator Obama was dignified, statesmanlike, and decent.
Saturday, September 27, 2008
SEE BELOW FOR REVIEWS ON THE PRESENDENTIAL DEBATE.
Now we await the VP debate. And as a preview, here are some of the reviews of Palin's recent interview with Katie Couric:
Palin Couric media reviews are in, and are DEVASTATINGLY BAD
Palin talks to Couric -- and if she's lucky, few are listening James Rainey - LATimes
Her third nationally televised interview, with CBS anchor Katie Couric, found Palin rambling, marginally responsive and even more adrift than during her network debut with ABC’s Charles Gibson....
Katie Couric carves up Sarah Palin Kansas City Star
Palin looks unprepared to be vice president (and certainly president)...
Couric shines, Palin doesn't in CBS interview The Oregonian
Ouch. Only one of the two women showed poise, focus and a good grasp of the facts, and it wasn't the one who's running for vice president....
I’m sorry — Sarah Palin is a bad joke Jay Bookman - Atlanta Journal and Constitution
Palin is living, breathing proof that John McCain lies when he claims to put this country first over politics. She makes Dan Quayle look like Albert Einstein with a better haircut.
Shameless and clueless Sarah Palin David Horsey - Seattle Post-Intelligencer
How would Republicans be reacting if Gov. Christine Gregoire were the Democratic candidate for vice president and she claimed that, because Washington borders Canada and sends trade missions to Japan and China and Russia, she is, therefore, experienced in foreign policy? And what if Gregoire also claimed to be a seasoned commander-in-chief because she is titular head of the Washington National Guard? We all know how Republicans would react: they would roar with mocking laughter. And they would be absolutely right to mock such idiotic pretense.
and no help from Palin's side of the aisle either:
Jake Tapper quotes conservative columnist Kathleen Parker:
Watching the CBS interview of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin did not exactly fill Parker with confidence.
"Palin's recent interviews with Charles Gibson, Sean Hannity and now Katie Couric have all revealed an attractive, earnest, confident candidate. Who Is Clearly Out Of Her League.
and my favorite, from a compilation on the British "firstpost"
Babbling Palin ‘makes George Bush sound like Cicero’ Rod Dreher
a religious-conservative blogger who frequently appears on Fox News and was as recently as last week a Palin supporter, says the Alaskan Governor "was mediocre". Dreher says he felt "embarrassed" listening to Palin "regurgitating talking points mechanically, not thinking.
just babbling. She makes George W. Bush sound like Cicero."
PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE REVIEWS:
Why Voters Thought Obama Won
TPM has the internals of the CNN poll of debate-watchers, which had Obama winning overall by a margin of 51-38. The poll suggests that Obama is opening up a gap on connectedness, while closing a gap on readiness.
Specifically, by a 62-32 margin, voters thought that Obama was "more in touch with the needs and problems of people like you". This is a gap that has no doubt grown because of the financial crisis of recent days. But it also grew because Obama was actually speaking to middle class voters. Per the transcript, McCain never once mentioned the phrase "middle class" (Obama did so three times). And Obama’s eye contact was directly with the camera, i.e. the voters at home. McCain seemed to be speaking literally to the people in the room in Mississippi, but figuratively to the punditry. It is no surprise that a small majority of pundits seemed to have thought that McCain won, even when the polls indicated otherwise; the pundits were his target audience.
I suspect that women voters especially would be turned off by McCain's sarcastic tone because women do tend to be the conciliators in our society and saw Obama display those conciliatory qualities very well in the debate. Obama looked at McCain, and McCain wouldn't return the eye contact but rather glared or displayed a tight and angry expression.
I also suspect (but don't have the data to support) that older voters were also turned off by Senator McNasty. I believe older voters will also be reassured that, though McCain has been around longer, Obama has a good grasp of foreign affairs and can learn quickly. He impressed as a statesmen, in marked contrast to McCain's warrior demeanor.
McCain referred to Obama as naive or as not understanding on many issues when the listener probably saw a mere difference of opinion. McCain's condescenion felt annoying; to the listener who might agree or disagree with Obama, Obama nevertheless was making good points, not naive ones.
Both styles were adequate; neither was entirely compelling. If you were adding up debating points, you’d give the contest to Obama. If you were counting only the emotional highs, you’d give it to McCain. The debate reinforced each man’s strengths and weaknesses. Obama had the most to lose, and he didn’t, so in that sense, by not losing he probably came out ahead.
What was troubling was that neither man rose to the challenge of the catastrophe that has seized the financial markets. On this issue, the two were bland, non-committal, uninspiring.
Jonathan Alter on MSNBC: The biggest loser? Sarah Palin. The debates set a standard she cannot live up to.h/t dailykos
Friday, September 26, 2008
First Palin, Then Campaign Suspension, What's Next?
1. Returns to Vietnam and jails himself.
2. Offers the post of "vice vice president" to Warren Buffett.
3. Challenges Obama to suspend campaign so they both can go and personally drill for oil offshore.
4. Learns to use computer.
5. Does bombing run over Taliban-controlled tribal areas of Pakistan.
6. Offers to forgo salary, sell one house.
7. Sex-change operation.
8. Suspends campaign until Nov. 4, offers to start being president right now.
9. Sells Alaska to Russia for $700 billion.
10. Pledges to serve only one term. OK, half a term.
At White House, McCain Plays Bailout Spoiler... GOP Strategist: Republicans Putting Party First, Not Country... McCain At Meeting: Sat Quietly, Never Offered Specifics... Bush: "If Money Isn't Loosened, This Sucker Could Go Down"... Bailout Talks To Continue...
Thursday, September 25, 2008
UPDATE: See below.
From the blog "From the Left" http://tinyurl.com/4983f2
"A source close to the McCain campaign told me that Sarah Palin has been preparing for the vice presidential debate each day, spending long hours trying to master the debate concepts of First Affirmative Speaker, First Negative Speaker and Rebuttal. After two weeks of mock debates, things are not going well for the Alaska governor.
Yesterday’s stunning announcement that John McCain will suspend his presidential campaign until there’s an agreement on the $700 billion dollar bailout of Wall Street criminals did not have the ring of truth. For one thing, McCain does not sit on the Senate Committee on Finance. After McCain made his grandiose announcement, Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid told McCain he wasn’t needed on Capitol Hill and he was free to continue his campaign.
All of this was followed by McCain surrogate, Sen. Lindsey Graham, telling CNN the McCain campaign is proposing, “that if there’s no bailout deal by Friday, the first presidential debate should replace the VP debate, currently scheduled for next Thursday, October 2nd in St. Louis.” Despite Barack Obama’s insistence the debate will go on, Graham insists McCain “will not go to the debate Friday if there’s no deal on the bailout.”
So there you have it.
John McCain is so worried about the underperforming Sarah Palin in the practice debates and what will inevitably happen when she goes up against the more experienced Joe Biden that McCain is actually trying to kill the vice presidential debate by using the trumped up excuse of returning to Washington to save the country from financial collapse. McCain isn’t trying to save the economy — he’s trying to save Sarah Palin."
McCain admits that, as of Tuesday at least, he hadn't had a chance to look at the Paulson plan yet.
Is he kidding? The Paulson plan is like three pages long.
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
McCain admits he can't multi-task.
This is a cynical move, and it's pretty evident what the motivation is.
McCain hasn't been in the Senate to vote since April, but now he feels his presence is needed during this financial crisis, even though the two sides are compromising and finding consensus without the two presidential candidates.
By suspending the campaigns and postponing the debate, McCain will slow Obama's momentum.
Nice ploy, but the American people can see through it.
Early polling shows that a majority of Americans say it is a political move, not putting country first.
If he were putting country first, he would have selected Joe Lieberman or Tom Ridge as his vp and not Sarah Palin, who's been hiding from the media for 25 days.
She's not only not ready for prime time, she's not ready for the vice presidency.
Barney Frank from the great blue state of Massachusetts had this to say:
“All of a sudden, now that we’re on the verge of making a deal, John McCain drops himself in to make a deal," Frank said. "I really worry about this politicization of it."
"Frankly, we’re going to have to interrupt a negotiating session tomorrow between the Democrats and Republicans on a bill, where I think we’re getting pretty close, and troop down to the White House for their photo-op, and then come back and get on to it," Frank said.
“We’re trying to rescue the economy, not the McCain campaign,” he added.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
I need to ask you to support an urgent secret business relationship with a transfer of funds of great magnitude.
I am Ministry of the Treasury of the Republic of America . My country has had crisis that has caused the need for large transfer of funds of 800 billion USD. If you would assist me in this transfer, it would be most profitable to you.
I am working with Mr. , lobbyist for UBS, who (God willing) will be my replacement as Ministry of the Treasury in January. As a former U.S. congressional leader and the architect of the PALIN /McCain Financial Doctrine, you may know him as the leader of the American banking deregulation movement in the 1990s. As such, you can be assured that this transaction is 100% safe.
This is a matter of great urgency. We need a blank check. We need the funds as quickly as possible. We cannot directly transfer these funds in the names of our close friends because we are constantly under surveillance. My family lawyer advised me that I should look for a reliable and trustworthy person who will act as a next of kin so the funds can be transferred.
Please reply with all of your bank account, IRA and numbers and those of your children and grandchildren to email@example.com so that we may transfer your commission for this transaction. After I receive that information, I will respond with detailed information about safeguards that will be used to protect the funds.
Minister of Treasury Paulson
Republicans - The party that wrecked America
Monday, September 22, 2008
Comfortable With Subject
Obama called for the overhaul of the financial-regulatory system and tougher enforcement well before this past week's traumas.
Detached observers who watched him last week, especially in a Bloomberg Television interview, were taken by how conversant and comfortable he was on the subject, despite his thin record. Few detached observers came away with that impression watching the Arizona senator.
Much of the re-regulatory fever focuses on the Federal Reserve and any new agencies created to clean up the fiasco. Central, however, will be a more vigorous Securities and Exchange Commission, or whatever holds that investor-protection function.
McCain displayed a sudden interest in the SEC last week when he demanded that Chairman Chris Cox be fired. When his campaign was asked if the senator had ever criticized the current commission's performance before, they failed to respond.
All For Obama
Tellingly, three former SEC chairmen, a Democrat, Arthur Levitt, and two Republicans, David Ruder and Bill Donaldson, have endorsed Obama. Levitt is a board member of Bloomberg LP, the parent company of Bloomberg News.
Donaldson, who was tapped by Bush to head the SEC, says Obama called him last year about the financial-regulatory problems. He has never heard from McCain.
``Obama has been talking about the need for better financial regulation well before this crisis hit and has done some real thinking about it,'' says Donaldson, a lifelong Republican. ``McCain comes across as someone who suddenly realized changes have to be made.''
There is a case for McCain: it's if you believe in less regulation, that the government should get out of the way and let the markets work their will.
No `Real Understanding'
``I don't think anyone who wants to increase the burden of government regulation and high taxes has any real understanding of economics,'' McCain said this spring at an Inez, Kentucky, town hall meeting, where he also declared ``the fundamentals of our economy are good.''
Until recently, he repeatedly invoked Ronald Reagan's calls for less regulation. He voted for the 2002 Sarbanes-Oxley corporate-governance regulations -- then last year said he regretted that vote.
McCain isn't averse to some regulations. He has strongly championed a greater federal role in campaign finance, tobacco and boxing. In each case, he saw a clear villain -- special- interest money, a tobacco product that puts profits ahead of lives, and unscrupulous boxing promoters.
There has been little evidence that prior to last week he ever put financial firms in this category. Although he assailed excessive corporate compensation last week, McCain has opposed a tepid House-passed bill that would give corporate shareholders the right to cast a non-binding vote on compensation of top executives.
Turning to Gramm
The person he has turned to most for counsel on such matters is his ex-Senate colleague Phil Gramm. Gramm is a political Gordon Gekko, a brainy economist with a Darwinian view of markets and public policy.
It's not easy to remember what the financial world looked like 10 days ago much less 10 months ago. Decisions that will be reached after this election will be the most important since the 1930s.
Obama, as more than a few Democrats are complaining, hasn't been as quick, sharp -- or demagogic -- as they would like. McCain has been beset by deeper difficulties: an inchoate and inconsistent message that seems to reflect political exigencies more than principled convictions.
On the financial crisis, last week belonged to Obama.
(Albert R. Hunt is the executive editor for Washington at Bloomberg News. The opinions expressed are his own.)
Of course, this ruse is a pathetic joke. Meeting 3 or 4 world leaders just weeks before an election does not make her, or anyone, a foreign policy wonk. They're putting more lipstick on the pitbull hoping her fans keep up the nutty idea that this woman is remotely prepared to be the next vp, never mind possibly a president.
Also, she doesn't know what she's talking about, as usual. She just pulls stuff out of her cramped, little mind hoping no one follows up on it and tells the truth. See below:
When asked by ABC News' Charlie Gibson whether she had ever met a foreign head of state, Palin responded, "I have not and I think if you go back in history and if you ask that question of many vice presidents, they may have the same answer that I just gave you. But, Charlie, again, we've got to remember what the desire is in this nation at this time. It is for no more politics as usual and somebody's big, fat resume maybe that shows decades and decades in that Washington establishment, where, yes, they've had opportunities to meet heads of state."
In fact, every vice president over the last 30 years had met with foreign heads of state before being elected.
Sunday, September 21, 2008
"You would never know it from watching the news, but one of the candidates in this race happens to have been previously implicated in a national scandal involving pressuring regulators to back off of a bank making risky moves with its assets, leading to disaster for investors and an expensive government bailout.
Is there a good reason why no one is mentioning John McCain's Keating Five membership in any of these arguments over who is on the side of regulating risky private banking practices? I know that McCain sort of asked for our forgiveness or something at some point during his "maverick period" around 2000-2003, but since he wants to engage in a debate about who is on the side of government regulation of risky banking practices, I think maybe we're allowed to call him out on this issue. Does anyone believe that if Barack Obama were one of the Keating Five that the Republicans would for some reason hold back from mentioning that fact?"
Saturday, September 20, 2008
The debate teams have to handle the pitbull with lipstick delicately? Yes. It is apparent that she doesn't have the facts drilled deeply enough into her head to be able to hold her own with Biden. Obama, OTH, has the, um, stones to take McCain on with his supposed expertise, foreign policy and national security.
Palin has turned out to be a joke. The word is out. Her debut at the debates has to be dumbed down to meet her level of incompetence. Heh.
By PATRICK HEALY
Published: September 20, 2008
New York Times
The Obama and McCain campaigns have agreed to an unusual free-flowing format for the three televised presidential debates, which begin on Friday, but the McCain camp fought for and won a much more structured approach for the questioning at the vice-presidential debate, advisers to both campaigns said Saturday.
Mr. Obama, shown in Florida on Friday, won an agreement for the first debates to be about foreign policy and national security.
At the insistence of the McCain campaign, the Oct. 2 debate between the Republican nominee for vice president, Gov. Sarah Palin, and her Democratic rival, Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr., will have shorter question-and-answer segments than those for the presidential nominees, the advisers said. There will also be much less opportunity for free-wheeling, direct exchanges between the running mates.
McCain advisers said they had been concerned that a loose format could leave Ms. Palin, a relatively inexperienced debater, at a disadvantage and largely on the defensive.
Friday, September 19, 2008
An economic Katrina is shattering the confidence of hardworking, middle-class Americans. The war that should never have been in Iraq is dragging on too long. At a time of huge challenge, the candidate with the intelligence, temperament and judgment to lead our nation to a better place is Sen. Barack Obama.
Afghanistan harbors the key culprits, and the situation there is worse than it has been in eight years. Afghanistan is where our bigger effort should be, as Obama has articulated.
This morning Senator McCain gave a speech in which his big solution to this worldwide economic crisis was to blame me for it.
This is a guy who's spent nearly three decades in Washington, and after spending the entire campaign saying I haven't been in Washington long enough, he apparently now is willing to assign me responsibility for all of Washington's failures.
Now, I think it's a pretty clear that Senator McCain is a little panicked right now. At this point he seems to be willing to say anything or do anything or change any position or violate any principal to try and win this election, and I've got to say it's kind of sad to see.
That's not the politics we need.It's also been disappointing to see my opponent's reaction to this economic crisis. His first reaction on Monday was to stand up and repeat the line he's said over and over again throughout this campaign -- 'the fundamentals of the economy are strong' -- the comment was so out of touch that even George Bush's White House couldn't agree with it.
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
In Sen. McCain's latest gaffe, he seemed to suggest that he might not be willing to meet with Spanish Prime Minster Zapatero because he is among those world leaders who want to harm America.
The story is already getting picked up pretty quickly in the Spanish press. And the way it's being interpreted in the Spanish press is that McCain got confused about the fact that Spain is a country in Europe, rather than a rogue state in Latin America.
In the interview, McCain is asked about Hugo Chavez, the situation in Bolivia and then about Raul Castro. He responds to each of these with expected answers about standing up to America's enemies, etc. Then the interviewer switches gears and asks about Zapatero, the Spanish Prime Minister. And McCain replies -- very loose translation -- that he'll establish close relations with our friends and stand up to those who want to do us harm. The interviewer has a double take and seems to think McCain might be confused. So she asks it again. But McCain sticks to the same evasive answer.
McCain appears not to know who Spanish Prime Minister Zapatero was and, in an effort to wing it, assumed he must be another left-wing, anti-American leader from Latin America.
All of the Spanish language speakers who've listened to the interview think there's no doubt that McCain just got confused and didn't know who Zapatero was or possibly didn't even know where Spain was.
- Deregulation: McCain issued a statement Monday morning saying that “we cannot tolerate a system that handicaps our markets and our banks.”
- Regulation: McCain’s campaign then put out an ad calling for “tougher rules on Wall Street.”
- Deregulation: This morning, on NBC’s Today Show, McCain said, “Of course, I don’t like excessive and unnecessary government regulation.”
- Regulation: Then, on CBS’s The Early Show, McCain said, “Do I believe in excess government regulation? Yes.”
- Both: On CNBC’s Squawk Box, McCain said, “We don’t want to burden average citizens with over-regulation and government bureaucracy...And I’m proud to be a Teddy Roosevelt Republican, who said, ‘unfettered capitalism leads to corruption,’ and we’ve got to fix this.”
Source: Think Progress
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Five former U.S. state secretaries urge Iran talks
REUTERSReuters North American News Service
Sep 15, 2008 19:11 EST
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Five former U.S. secretaries of state said Monday the next American administration should talk to Iran, a foe President Bush has generally shunned as part of an "axis of evil."
Engaging Iran is important because Washington's military options against Tehran are unsatisfactory, said the diplomats, who worked for Republican and Democratic administrations.
The five -- Colin Powell, Madeleine Albright, Warren Christopher, James Baker and Henry Kissinger -- all said they favored talking to Iran as part of a strategy to stop Tehran's development of a nuclear weapons program.
"Frankly the military options here are very poor. We don't want to go down that route," said Christopher, who worked for former President Bill Clinton from 1993 to 1997.
Powell, who worked for Bush from 2001 to 2005, said U.S. officials in Bush's first term had held low-level talks with the Iranians until 2003 "and then it was stopped."
"I agree with Madeleine, and I suspect my other colleagues, that we should try to talk to them," Powell said during a forum hosted by The George Washington University and taped for broadcast on CNN.
Albright, who was secretary of state in the second Clinton administration, had just told the group: "I believe we need to engage with Iran. I think the whole point is you try to engage and deal with countries that you have problems with."
Dealing with Iran has become an issue in the November presidential election campaign, with Democrat Barack Obama and Republican John McCain sparring over Obama's stated readiness to talk to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and other U.S. adversaries if elected president.
McCain has criticized Obama's stand, saying it shows naivete and inexperience.
Source: Reuters North American News Service
Monday, September 15, 2008
For the past two weeks serious commentators and columnists have been asked to take the candidacy of Sarah Palin for the vice-presidency of the United States seriously.
Formerly sane people have written of the McCain campaign’s selection of this running mate as if it represents a new face for Republicanism, an emblem of can-do western spirit, a brilliant ploy to win over Clinton voters, a new feminism, a reformist revolution, and a genius appeal to the religious right.
I’m afraid I cannot join in. In fact I cannot say anything about this candidacy that takes it in any way seriously. It is a farce. It is absurd. It is an insult to all intelligent people. It is a sign of a candidate who has lost his mind. There is no way to take the nomination of Palin to be vice-president of the world’s sole superpower - except to treat it as a massive, unforgivable, inexplicable decision by someone who has either gone insane or is managerially unfit to be president of the United States. When, at some point, the hysteria dies down, even her supporters will realise that, by this decision, McCain has rendered himself unfit to run a branch of Starbucks, let alone the White House.
Isn’t she doing well in the polls? Hasn’t she rattled the Obama campaign? Yes, she is. And yes, she has, a little. But review the extraordinary facts on the table about this woman and you will see how ephemeral this will soon turn out to be.
The announcement of Palin was made more than two weeks ago. It took a fortnight for her to agree to sit down for an intimate interview of the kind usually reserved for Hollywood stars instead of the press conference typical of a new vice-presidential candidate. This has never happened in American political history. Even Dan Quayle, the least qualified vice-presidential nominee before Palin, and a man who did not know how to spell “potato”, gave a press conference a day after the convention in 1988.
There have been two explanations for this astonishing Putin-style decision to keep a vice-presidential candidate from the press. The first was that the press would be too mean to her and needed to show, in campaign manager Rick Davis’s word, sufficient “deference” before they would be allowed to ask her a question. Deference? Is 21st-century America an 18th-century monarchy? The press owes such a total unknown who could be president next January deference?
The second explanation is that she needed time to cram for the exam. The McCain camp knew she had never expressed any views about foreign policy. And the only time she had on record was to oppose the surge that is the centrepiece of McCain’s campaign. They knew she knew nothing and was utterly unqualified to be president at a moment’s notice. And so she spent the last week furiously prepping. As Maureen Dowd noticed, she is Eliza Doolittle to John McCain’s Henry Higgins.
But at the end of last week we were granted an audience with the Princess of Alaska. It was painful. She had no idea what the Bush Doctrine was – the central and most controversial foreign policy innovation of the past eight years: the doctrine of preemption against states with WMDs. Moreover, in her speech the same day, she described the war in Iraq. She said her eldest son, who has just enlisted, would “defend the innocent from the enemies who planned and carried out and rejoiced in the death of thousands of Americans”.
Does Palin believe that the men who planned and carried out the 9/11 attack are in Iraq? The hijackers are all dead, but Bin Laden and Zawahiri and the rest of the gang are, as far as we know, in Pakistan. Nobody believes they are in Iraq.
Then we have the now mountain of lies that follow Palin everywhere she goes, lies she keeps repeating as if they are not subject to factual scrutiny. In her first interview she said it was common for vice-presidential candidates never to have met a single foreign leader. Untrue. Every living vice-presidential candidate has met some foreign leaders before being picked.
She said she did not deny that climate change was man-made. But she has clearly stated that on the record. A year ago she said: “I’m not an Al Gore, doom-and-gloom environmentalist, blaming the changes in our climate on human activity.”
She keeps repeating as a defining political motif that she said: “Thanks, but no thanks for the Bridge to Nowhere.” But we now know that she originally lobbied for the bridge in Alaska paid for by federal funds. And she never returned the money. And she even wore a “Nowhere, Alaska” sweatshirt to push back against the McCains of this world who derided the bridge as a pointless boondoggle.
She says she’s against pork-barrel spending, and this was partly why McCain picked her. McCain’s signature issue, after all, is his disdain of pork. Here’s one of McCain’s oldest jokes: “We’re not going to spend $3m of your tax dollars to study the DNA of bears in Montana,” he said earlier this year, citing Montana’s request for federal money to study the endangered grizzly bear. “I don’t know if it was a paternity issue or criminal, but it was a waste of money.”
Here’s what Politico.com revealed about Palin’s time as Alaska governor: “According to a ‘summary of requests for federal appropriations’ posted to her budget office’s website earlier this year, Palin requested millions of federal dollars for everything from improving recreational halibut fishing to studying the mating habits of crabs and the DNA of harbour seals.”
She boasts that she secured a new oil pipeline for Alaska, but closer inspection finds that nothing has even begun to be built, and that the state may end up owing billions if the pipeline is never constructed.
She says she’s a fiscal conservative, but as mayor she increased her tiny town’s debt service by 69%. When she took office, the town of Wasilla had no long-term debt. By the time her term was over, the debt amounted to $3,000 per citizen.
She is the biggest joke to be put on a ticket in national politics. The most accurate thing said about her in the past two weeks was said on the day she was picked. It was said by Alaska’s Republican state senate president, Lyda Green: “She’s not prepared to be governor. How can she be prepared to be vice-president or president? Look at what she’s done to this state. What would she do to the nation?”
Maybe his VP pick, with her enormous backround in everything that a VP needs to have to complement a presidential candidate, will have some economic insights, after all, I heard she can see a bank from her house.
McCAIN WANTS TO PRIVATIZE SOCIAL SECURITY
McCain Voted for Bush’s 2006 Social Security Privatization Plan. In 2006, McCain voted for the Social Security Reserve Fund. The proposal would shift Social Security’s annual surpluses into a reserve account that would be converted into risky private accounts. [SCR 83, Vote #68, 3/16/06; SCR 83, Vote #68, 3/16/06]
In 2000 McCain Wanted to Divert Social Security Money to Private Accounts. The Wall Street Journal reported that “[a] centerpiece of a McCain presidential bid in 2000 was a plan to divert a portion of Social Security payroll taxes to fund private accounts, much as President Bush proposed unsuccessfully.” The plan would put workers’ retirement money into the risky market and reduce the amount of Social Security payments they would receive from the government. The plan would undermine the Social Security system. [Wall Street Journal, 3/3/08]
McCain STILL Proposes Privatizing Social Security—Despite What His Website Says. McCain told the Wall Street Journal he still backs a system of private retirement accounts that he supported in 2000 and President Bush pushed unsuccessfully. The Journal reported he “disowned” details of a proposal on his 2008 campaign website that says he would “supplement” the existing Social Security system with personally managed accounts. But when asked about the position change he denied it and promised to change the website to reflect his true position. “I’m totally in favor of personal savings accounts… As part of Social Security reform, I believe that private savings accounts are a part of it—along the lines that President Bush proposed,” McCain told the Journal.[Wall Street Journal, 3/3/08; Campaign Website, accessed 3/3/08]
McCain Might Raise the Retirement Age and Reduce Cost-of-Living Adjustments. “[T]he McCain campaign says the candidate intends to keep Social Security solvent by reducing the growth in benefits over the coming decades to match projected growth in payroll tax revenues. Among the options are extending the retirement age to 68 and reducing cost-of-living adjustments, but the campaign hasn’t made any final decisions. ‘You can’t keep promises made to retirees,’ said Mr. Holtz-Eakin, McCain’s chief economic aide.” [Wall Street Journal, 3/3/08]
McCain Supported Deep Cuts That Put Social Security Benefits at Risk. In 2005, McCain supported a Social Security plan that would require deep benefit cuts or a massive increase in debt. That same year, McCain voted against prioritizing Social Security solvency over tax cuts for the wealthy. [SCR 18, Vote #49, 3/15/05; S. Amdt. 144 to SCR 18, Vote #47, 3/15/05]
McCain Voted to Use Social Security Money to Pay Off National Debt. In 2003, McCain voted to use Social Security funds to pay off federal debt. [HJR 51, Vote #201, 5/23/03]
McCain Voted Against Protecting Social Security Solvency with a Strategic Reserve. In 2001, McCain opposed reducing tax cuts for the wealthy to create a strategic reserve for Social Security. In the same year, McCain voted against a proposal to create “lockboxes” to protect Social Security and Medicare. [H.R. 1836, Senate RPC, Vote #145, 5/22/01; S. Amdt. 29, Vote #22, 3/13/01]
McCain Voted to Replace Social Security with Risk-Based Investments. In 1998, McCain voted twice to replace Social Security’s guaranteed benefits with income from risk-based private investments. [SCR 86, Vote #56, 4/1/98; SCR 86, Vote #77, 4/1/98]
Sunday, September 14, 2008
McCain and Palin have been caught in so many distortions, deceptions and lies, that it is difficult to keep track.
And here is Palin misstating AGAIN.
So-Called Energy Expert Sarah Palin Doesn’t Know How Much Energy Her State Produces
On Wednesday, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) defended Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin’s “experience” in “the field of national security” by asserting that “she knows more about energy than probably anyone else in the United States of America.” McCain’s claim to Palin’s expertise was undercut the next day, however, when Palin severely overstated Alaska’s energy production in an interview with ABC News’s Charlie Gibson.
Challenged by Gibson on her “national security credentials,” Palin cited her experience as the governor of a “state that produces nearly 20 percent of the U.S. domestic supply of energy” as a credential that she “brings to the table“:
PALIN: Let me speak specifically about a credential that I do bring to this table, Charlie, and that’s with the energy independence that I’ve been working on for these years as the governor of this state that produces nearly 20 percent of the U.S. domestic supply of energy, that I worked on as chairman of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, overseeing the oil and gas development in our state to produce more for the United States.
But, as the non-partisan FactCheck.org points out, Palin’s claim about Alaska producing 20 percent of America’s domestic energy supply is “not true. Not even close.” In fact, “Alaska’s share of domestic energy production was 3.5 percent.”
Palin would have been closer to reality, but still incorrect if she made the claim specifically about oil production rather than energy supply:
Palin would have been correct to say that Alaska produces just over 14 percent of all the oil produced in the U.S., leaving out imports and leaving out other forms of power. According to the federal government’s Energy Information Administration, Alaskan wells produced 263.6 million barrels of oil in 2007, or 14.3 percent of the total U.S. production of 1.8 billion barrels.
But Alaskan production accounts for only 4.8 percent of all the crude oil and petroleum products supplied to the U.S. in 2007, counting both domestic production and imports from other nations. According to EIA, the total supply was just over 5.5 billion barrels in 2007.
Furthermore, Palin said “energy,” not “oil,” so she was actually much further off the mark. According to EIA, Alaska actually produced 2,417.1 trillion BTUs [British Thermal Units] of energy in 2005, the last year for which full state numbers are available. That’s equal to just 3.5 percent of the country’s domestic energy production.
Palin’s incorrect facts appear to be rubbing off on McCain.
As FactCheck.org notes, McCain made the same claim in a separate interview with Gibson on Sept. 3. “She’s been governor of our largest state, in charge of 20 percent of America’s energy supply,” McCain told Gibson.
Friday, September 12, 2008
It turns out the problem is that the McCain campaign added a box on these forms that required you to check it to confirm you were an eligible voter.
Yep, that's right- check here if you are eligible to vote.
I guess the act of actually requesting an absentee ballot doesn't qualify that.
And if you don't check it...... bingo. You get the picture.
And the McCain campaign has sent out over a MILLION of these forms. The State of Ohio and the local election boards, understandably, don't want to pay to fix the mistake on this- how much do you want to bet the McCain campaign wants to pay to fix it?
Over seven-hundred and fifty absentee applications have been rejected so far. If we're counting on absentee and early voting to help us mobilize our GOTV effort, then this is a clear and present danger to it.
Ballot snafu endangers votes
by Jon Craig • firstname.lastname@example.org •
September 11, 2008
About one-third of the absentee ballot applications received at the Hamilton County Board of Elections have been ruled invalid because Republican Sen. John McCain’s presidential campaign printed a version of the form with an extra, unneeded box on it.
In a narrow interpretation of Ohio law, Democratic Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner says many of the McCain forms have not been completed properly. If the box stating the person is an eligible elector -- or qualified voter – is not checked, Brunner said, the application is no good.
Even though the box is unneeded, by not checking it voters are essentially admitting they’re not eligible, Brunner said.
“I have not seen a ruling that indirectly impacts voters to the enormity of this since I’ve been here,’’ Hamilton County Board of Elections Deputy Director John Williams said of his nearly five-year tenure at the board.More than 750 absentee ballot requests in Hamilton County have been invalidated because of Brunner’s ruling, Williams said. Absentee voting begins in 19 days, or on Sept. 30. If a registered Ohio voter’s application is rejected, Brunner said, “We said you have to notify them within 48 hours and we also suggest that (Board of Elections) send them a new application.”That means county Boards of Election must contact tens of thousands of voters and ask them to fill out a new, valid form in time to vote for the Nov. 4 election. The McCain campaign says it mailed out about 1 million of the faulty forms. "The form contains the necessary requirements and has been accepted in past elections, so this election should be no different,’’ Jon Seaton, McCain’s regional campaign manager,’ said today. "Qualified voters who request absentee ballots should receive them.’’
“If I were a voter, I wouldn’t be very happy,” Brunner said. “I’m stuck with the law. You shouldn’t have to check a box.”Brunner insists she would have ruled the same way if the absentee ballot applications were printed by Sen. Barack Obama’s Democratic campaign for president.Regardless, her ruling is likely to be challenged in court. Williams said he has asked a county prosecutor how to proceed. He said state law does not require a separate box on a form, only a printed statement that the voter is a qualified elector.“This has been a huge wrench in our operation,’’ Williams said. “There’s an enormous time and cost involved,’’ Williams said. “If that box was not there, but a four-leaf clover was there, what do you do with that? What if it was a circle that was next to that? What if it was an asterisk? Effectively what she is saying is it doesn’t need to be there, but if it’s there you need to check it.”
Story here: http://news.cincinnati.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/AB/20080911/NEWS0108/309110032
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
* If you're a conservative and you're selected for a job over more qualified candidates you're a "game changer."
* Black teen pregnancies? A "crisis" in black America .
* White teen pregnancies? A "blessed event."
* If you grow up in Hawaii you're "exotic."
* Grow up in Alaska eating mooseburgers, you're the quintessential "American story."
* Similarly, if you name you kid Barack you're "unpatriotic."
* Name your kid Track, you're "colorful."
* If you're a Democrat and you make a VP pick without fully vetting the individual you're "reckless."
* A Republican who doesn't fully vet is a "maverick."
* If you spend 3 years as a community organizer growing your organization from a staff of 1 to 13 and your budget from $70,000 to $400,000, then become the first black President of the Harvard Law Review, create a voter registration drive that registers 150,000 new African Amerian voters, spend 12 years as a Constitutional Lawprofessor, then spend nearly 8 more years as a State Senator representing a district with over 750,000 people, becoming chairman of the state Senate's Health and Human Services committee, then spend nearly 4 years in the United States Senate representing a state of nearly 13 million people, sponsoring 131 bills and serving on the Foreign Affairs, Environment and Public Works and Veteran's Affairs committees, you are woefully inexperienced.
* If you spend 4 years on the city council and 6 years as the mayor of a town with less than 7,000 people, then spend 20 months as the governor of a state with 650,000 people, then you've got the most executive experience of anyone on either ticket, are the Commander in Chief of the Alaska military and are well qualified to lead the nation should you be called upon to do so because your state is the closest state to Russia.
* If you are a Democratic male candidate who is popular with millions of people you are an "arrogant celebrity."
* If you are a popular Republican female candidate you are "energizing the base."
* If you are a younger male candidate who thinks for himself and makes his own decisions you are "presumptuous."
* If you are an older male candidate who makes last minute decisions you refuse to explain, you are a "shoot from the hip" maverick.
* If you are a candidate with a Harvard law degree you are "an elitist-out of touch" with the real America .
* If you are a legacy (dad and granddad were admirals) graduate of Annapolis , with multiple disciplinary infractions you are a hero.
* If you manage a multi-million dollar nationwide campaign, you are an "empty suit."
* If you are a part time mayor of a town of 7000 people, you are an "experienced executive."
* If you go to a south side Chicago church, your beliefs are "extremist."
* If you believe in creationism and don't believe global warming is man made, you are "strongly principled."
* If you cheated on your first wife with a rich heiress, and left your disfigured wife and married the heiress the next month, you're a Christian.
* If you have been married to the same woman with whom you've been wed to for 19 years and raising 2 beautiful daughters with, you're "risky."
* If you're a black single mother of 4 who waits for 22 hours after her water breaks to seek medical attention, you're an irresponsible parent, endangering the life of your unborn child.
* But if you're a white married mother who waits 22 hours, you're spunky.
* If you're a 13-year-old Chelsea Clinton, the right-wing press calls you "First dog."
* If you're a 17-year old pregnant unwed daughter of a Republican, the right-wing press calls you "beautiful" and "courageous."
* If you kill an endangered species, you're an excellent hunter.
* If you have an abortion, you're a murderer (forget about if it happened while being raped.)
* If you teach abstinence only in sex education, you get teen parents.
* If you teach responsible age appropriate sex education, including the proper use of birth control, you are eroding the fiber of society.
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Of the 50 states, Alaska ranks No. 1 in taxes per resident and No. 1 in spending per resident. Its tax burden per resident is 2 1/2 times the national average; its spending, more than double. The trick is that Alaska's government spends money on its own citizens and taxes the rest of us to pay for it. Although Palin, like McCain, talks about liberating ourselves from dependence on foreign oil, there is no evidence that being dependent on Alaskan oil would be any more pleasant to the pocketbook.
Alaska is, in essence, an adjunct member of OPEC. It has four different taxes on oil, which produce more than 89% of the state's unrestricted revenue. On average, three-quarters of the value of a barrel of oil is taken by the state government before that oil is permitted to leave the state. Alaska residents each get a yearly check for about $2,000 from oil revenues, plus an additional $1,200 pushed through by Palin last year to take advantage of rising oil prices. Any sympathy the governor of Alaska expresses for folks in the lower 48 who are suffering from high gas prices or can't afford to heat their homes is strictly crocodile tears.
As if it couldn't support itself, Alaska also ranks No. 1, year after year, in money it sucks in from Washington. In 2005 (the most recent figures), according to the Tax Foundation, Alaska ranked 18th in federal taxes paid per resident ($5,434) but first in federal spending received per resident ($13,950). Its ratio of federal spending received to federal taxes paid ranks third among the 50 states, and in the absolute amount it receives from Washington over and above the amount it sends to Washington, Alaska ranks No. 1.
In fact, Obama hasn't asked for any earmarks this year and last year, he sought $311 million worth.
Palin has cut back on pork-barrel requests, but in her two years as governor, Alaska has requested nearly $750 million, by far the largest per-capita request in the nation.
AT:http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080908/ap_on_el_pr/mccain_... ;_ylt=AtECNs_RGEkTU4TQHBox_COs0NUEAND MORE LIES:http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5ici5RhMkh6-9V07yckpL... http://www.americablog.com/2008/09/ap-sarah-palin-is-li...
Monday, September 8, 2008
The Bridge to Nowhere" lie has been repeated again and again--by McCain himself, his campaign, political pundits, and the MSM.
My friends, this isn't change. This is the same old Republican tactic of repeating a lie often enough so that people will believe it.
Go here to watch her say in her own words that she would NOT cancel the project:
Palin has done nothing to refute what she and Alaskans knows is a lie. If she's so blatant about this lie, how can we believe anything she tells us?
Last night, C-SPAN re-aired the 2006 Alaska gubernatorial debate, in which Sarah Palin expressed her support for an earmark related to the famed “Bridge to Nowhere.”
Congress had already removed earmarked-funding for the Bridge to Nowhere in Ketchikan, Alaska. Despite the fact that the bridge was not going to be built, then-Gov. Frank Murkowski approved the construction of a $24 million gravel “access” road (the Gravina Island Access Highway) that would lead to a nonexistent bridge.
In the 2006 debate, Palin was asked whether she supported this earmark, or whether she would pledge to cancel it as governor. Rather than responding with “thanks but no thanks” to federal funding for this “access” road, Palin said:
I wouldn’t [cancel the project]. I’m not going to stand in the way of progress that our congressional delegation — in the position of strength that they have right now — they’re making those efforts for the state of Alaska to build up our infrastructure. I would not get in the way of progress.
Independent candidate Andrew Halcro responded that he would cancel the project, explaining “this isn’t progress. This is a road to a bridge that will never be built.”
In June 2007, Ronald Utt, a fellow at the conservative Heritiage Foundation, offered this recommendation for what Palin should do with the funds:
Gov. Palin could return the money for the gravel “access” road to Washington, perhaps even with a request that the money go to rebuild hurricane-ravaged Louisiana and Mississippi. While Alaska, or any state for that matter, naturally is reluctant to return money to the federal government, doing so is the responsible and ethical thing to do and likely would benefit Alaska in the long run.
Palin did no such thing. To this day, the state of Alaska “is continuing to build a road on Gravina Island to an empty beach where the bridge would have gone — because federal money for the access road, unlike the bridge money, would have otherwise been returned to the federal government.”
Also, CQ notes that there is “a second bridge, more than twice as expensive and just as controversial” as the canceled Bridge to Nowhere in Katchikan. Palin has expressed concern about the project “but hasn’t tried to kill [it] off.”
Just google Palin+bridge to nowhere+truth. You'll get about 1,540,000 hits all detailing Palin's vote grabbing lie. And her fan club, like children hearing a great fable, loves the story. As I've said, the Right has been fed so much disinformation for so long it can't reason out what the truth is because they're transfixed by a pitbull wearing lipstick.
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (Reuters) - It garnered big applause in her first speech as Republican John McCain's vice presidential pick, but Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's assertion that she rejected Congressional funds for the so-called "bridge to nowhere" has upset many Alaskans.
During her first speech after being named as McCain's surprise pick as a running mate, Palin said she had told Congress "'thanks but no thanks' on that bridge to nowhere."
In the city Ketchikan, the planned site of the so-called "Bridge to Nowhere," political leaders of both parties said the claim was false and a betrayal of their community, because she had supported the bridge and the earmark for it secured by Alaska's Congressional delegation during her run for governor.
The bridge, a span from the city to Gravina Island, home to only a few dozen people, secured a $223 million earmark in 2005. The pricey designation raised a furor and critics, including McCain, used the bridge as an example of wasteful federal spending on politicians' pet projects.
When she was running for governor in 2006, Palin said she was insulted by the term "bridge to nowhere," according to Ketchikan Mayor Bob Weinstein, a Democrat, and Mike Elerding, a Republican who was Palin's campaign coordinator in the southeast Alaska city.
"People are learning that she pandered to us by saying, I'm for this' ... and then when she found it was politically advantageous for her nationally, abruptly she starts using the very term that she said was insulting," Weinstein said.
Palin's spokeswoman in Alaska was not immediately available to comment.
National fury over the bridge caused Congress to remove the earmark designation, but Alaska was still granted an equivalent amount of transportation money to be used at its own discretion.
Last year, Palin announced she was stopping state work on the controversial project, earning her admirers from earmark critics and budget hawks from around the nation. The move also thrust her into the spotlight as a reform-minded newcomer.
The state, however, never gave back any of the money that was originally earmarked for the Gravina Island bridge, said Weinstein and Elerding.
In fact, the Palin administration has spent "tens of millions of dollars" in federal funds to start building a road on Gravina Island that is supposed to link up to the yet-to-be-built bridge, Weinstein said.
"She said 'thanks but no thanks,' but they kept the money," said Elerding about her applause line.
Former state House Speaker Gail Phillips, a Republican who represented the Kenai Peninsula city of Homer, is also critical about Palin's reversal on the bridge issue.
"You don't tell a group of Alaskans you support something and then go to someplace else and say you oppose it," said Phillips, who supported Palin's opponent, Democrat Tony Knowles, in the 2006 gubernatorial race.
A press release issued by the governor on September 21, 2007 said she decided to cancel state work on the project because of rising cost estimates.
"It's clear that Congress has little interest in spending any more money on a bridge between Ketchikan and Gravina Island," Palin said in the news release. "Much of the public's attitude toward Alaska bridges is based on inaccurate portrayals of the projects here."
The Colorado Independent has the story of her lie too: http://www.coloradoindependent.com/7051/palin-spans-truth-with-bridge-to-nowhere-claim/
Saturday, September 6, 2008
Friday, September 5, 2008
A Gallup release today demonstrated that compared to an August average, McCain's support post-Palin has increased with white Republican women (+5 change in McCain). There has been no movement with Republican men (+1).
By contrast, Democrats and independents across gender lines move toward Obama post-Palin. This movement has mostly been larger than McCain's movement among Republican women (independent men: +7 Obama; independent women: +5; Democratic men and women: +8 each). In fact, Obama now leads with white independent women (46% Obama, 39% McCain).
Among women, Obama-Biden now have the advantage in "experience"
According to a new EMILY's List Women's Monitor survey of women (conducted 8/31 to 9/1), the Obama-Biden ticket now has the advantage on "experience." In their last Women's Monitor from early August, half (51%) of women said "having the experience, background, and knowledge to be President" described McCain better, compared to 16% saying it described Obama better.
In this current survey, the numbers are now almost reversed. Over half (52%) say the Obama-Biden ticket has more experience, while only 37% say McCain-Palin is more experienced. Not only did the Palin pick negate McCain's experience "argument," as many commented, but it actually completely erased McCain's advantage, among women, in just a few short weeks.
Women do not just use candidate gender to decide who represents them
During the Democratic primaries I noted that Hillary Clinton voters were even more likely to weigh the issues when making their choice. The Women's Monitor results confirm this pattern--gender alone won't move women voters to McCain-Palin. (At least among non-Republicans.)
Majorities of women said Palin's positions on issues such as abortion, education, and stem-cell research made them more unfavorable toward her (56%, 55%, and 52%, respectively). In fact, a majority of women (53%) say Obama-Biden is more in touch with the issues that affect women than is McCain-Palin (35%).
The McCain campaign recently proffered "this campaign is not about issues." Indeed, Palin's speech last Friday attempted to attract Hillary Clinton supporters, offering an identical gender as opposed to a similar platform. These results, however, show that issues do matter to women voters.