Paul Revere by Cyrus Dallin, North End, Boston



Friday, October 31, 2008


ABC News reports:

In a conservative radio interview that aired in Washington, D.C. Friday morning, Republican vice presidential nominee Gov. Sarah Palin said she fears her First Amendment rights may be threatened by "attacks" from reporters who suggest she is engaging in a negative campaign against Barack Obama.

Palin told WMAL-AM that her criticism of Obama's associations, like those with 1960s radical Bill Ayers and the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, should not be considered negative attacks. Rather, for reporters or columnists to suggest that it is going negative may constitute an attack that threatens a candidate's free speech rights under the Constitution, Palin said.

"If [the media] convince enough voters that that is negative campaigning, for me to call Barack Obama out on his associations," Palin told host Chris Plante, "then I don't know what the future of our country would be in terms of First Amendment rights and our ability to ask questions without fear of attacks by the mainstream media."

Salon's Glenn Greenwald explains why this argument is frighteningly wrong:
If anything, Palin has this exactly backwards, since one thing that the First Amendment does actually guarantee is a free press. Thus, when the press criticizes a political candidate and a Governor such as Palin, that is a classic example of First Amendment rights being exercised, not abridged.

This isn't only about profound ignorance regarding our basic liberties, though it is obviously that. Palin here is also giving voice to the standard right-wing grievance instinct: that it's inherently unfair when they're criticized. And now, apparently, it's even unconstitutional.

According to Palin, what the Founders intended with the First Amendment was that political candidates for the most powerful offices in the country and Governors of states would be free to say whatever they want without being criticized in the newspapers.

The First Amendment was meant to ensure that powerful political officials would not be "attacked" in the papers?

Is it even possible to imagine more breathtaking ignorance from someone holding high office and running for even higher office?


Eagelburger: Palin’s Not Qualified

Lawrence Eagelburger is a rock-ribbed Republican, a McCain supporter, someone listed as a McCain adviser, etc. And he says this:

The remarks took place during an interview on National Public Radio that was, ironically, billed as “making the case” for a McCain presidency. Asked by the host whether Palin could step in during a time of crisis, Eagleburger reverted to sarcasm before leveling the harsh blow.

“It is a very good question,” he said, pausing a few seconds, then adding with a chuckle: “I’m being facetious here. Look, of course not.”

It’s all old hat at this point.

But here’s a different point. Recall when Palin was first picked? I recall reading at the time various dire warnings from hither and yon — from friends of mine, even — that liberals attacked her at our own peril . . . that the American people were secretly yearning to be led by a dim-witted, far-right, scandal-plagued first term governor of a weird state.

What ever happened to that? I think it’s easy to overstate the role the disastrous Palin pick has played in creating John McCain’s problems, but I don’t see any way to deny that it’s been a net negative for exactly the reasons it seemed like a problematic choice on the day she was announced.

Source: Matt Yglasias, Think Progress

Thursday, October 30, 2008


It's funny--no hilarious--how McCain/Palin supporters howl, squawk, squeal in unison on their blogs about Sen. Obama being a "Marxist," "socialist," "Muslim," or "terrorist," and try to scare the tomalley out of everyone by suggesting Americans don't know "who Obama really is," but are probably unaware or blind to the Soviet behavior of their chosen all-American couple.

Seeeer-RAH arrays herself in all her $150,000 finery before her supporters and questions Sen. Obama's Americanism in her oh so subtle way. Meanwhile people who early-voted for McCain/Palin are escorted out of McCain/Palin rallies because their "officials" don't like the way they look.

How very American of them. Are you excited about having these people run the country?

Be careful what you wish for.

Audience members escorted out of Sen. John McCain’s, R-Ariz., campaign event in Cedar Falls questioned why they were asked to leave Sunday’s rally even though they were not protesting.

David Zarifis, director of public safety for the University of Northern Iowa, said McCain staffers requested UNI police assist in escorting out “about four or five” people from the rally prior to McCain’s speech....

“When I started talking to them, it kind of became clear that they were kind of just telling people to leave that they thought maybe would be disruptive, but based on what? Based on how they looked,” Elborno said.

“It was pretty much all young people, the college demographic.”Elborno said even McCain supporters were among those being asked to leave.

“I saw a couple that had been escorted out and they were confused as well, and the girl was crying, so I said ‘Why are you crying? and she said ‘I already voted for McCain, I’m a Republican, and they said we had to leave because we didn’t look right,’”

Elborno said. “They were handpicking these people and they had nothing to go off of, besides the way the people looked.”



Palin sees dip in popularity in Alaska, rest of nation

Source: Fairbanks Daily News Miner

"Palin’s popularity with Alaska voters has dropped precipitously, from a high of roughly 90 percent this spring — long before she was selected to join the McCain ticket — to an approval rating now of around 60 percent."

"Palin’s growing partisanship could make her transition back to state politics — should McCain not win the White House — a potentially rocky one."

"It’s going to be a different landscape for her completely," Moore said. "She’s going to need to tap into a bunch of political skills that she hasn’t had to use before."

"I don’t think she’s very practiced at admitting her faults and taking criticism well," he said."


The next time you hear right wing shills repeat the line, 'she's the most popular governor in the US', you can say 'not anymore'.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Republicans and their love of redistributing the wealth:

The Obama campaign had the PERFECT answer given to them on a silver platter. I thought David Gergen on Anderson Coopers was brilliant when talking about this "issue" and it is certainly something the Obama campaign needs to broadcast immediately.

Here is the answer (from Anderson Cooper 360 ):

COOPER: It's certainly a question the McCain campaign has kind of been hammering at, portraying Obama as a socialist. You hear that on -- on the Palin campaign as well.Is it working?

GERGEN: They may be making some modest progress with it, Anderson. We did see some evidence of McCain coming up a point or two here and there. I don't think it's anywhere near close enough to win an election. And more importantly, I don't think the Democrats have really answered it appropriately.

You know, Teddy Roosevelt, a Republican, was very much an advocate of what's called progressive taxation. And that is the rich pay more than the poor in terms of taxes.Now, one of the most effective popular programs we've had in the last three decades. It's called the earned income tax credit. It's a program whereby, if you're a working person, a working couple and you're below the poverty line, the government will actually give you money.

That's a redistributed program. It's a program which takes money from the upper classes and gives it to the lower -- to the working poor.Now who started that program? The earned income tax credit? Ronald Reagan. It was one of the -- it was an achievement of the Reagan administration that Bill Clinton then built on.

So I think that these arguments are -- you know, some of them get so carried away that they don't recognize the realities of what we've been going through in public policy and the big arguments about why the wealth over the last 30 years has been redistributed.

It's been redistributed upwards.

Other Republican Presidents who supported "redistribution of wealth":

"I believe in a graduated income tax on big fortunes, and in another tax which is far more easily collected and far more effective: a graduated inheritance tax increasing rapidly with the size of the estate.”- Theodore Roosevelt.

“Every dollar spent by the government must be paid for either by taxes or by more borrowing with greater debt. The only way to make more tax cuts now is to have bigger and bigger deficits and to borrow more and more money. Either we or our children will have to bear the burden of this debt. This is one kind of chicken that always comes home to roost. An unwise tax cutter, my fellow citizens, is no real friend of the taxpayer."- Dwight D. Eisenhower

In 1986, Reagan signed legislation greatly increasing the earned income tax credit, a credit for low-income workers that reduces the impact of payroll taxes in order to boost take-home pay above poverty levels. When the credit is more than the amount of federal income taxes owed by an individual, that person receives a tax “refund.”“It's the best anti-poverty, the best pro-family, the best job creation measure to come out of Congress.”- Ronald Reagan

Monday, October 27, 2008


Sarah Palin palled around with a 7-count indicted felon, Sen. Ted Stevens.

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin began building clout in her state's political circles in part by serving as a director of an independent political group organized by the now embattled Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens.

Palin's name is listed on 2003 incorporation papers of the "Ted Stevens Excellence in Public Service, Inc.," a 527 group that could raise unlimited funds from corporate donors. The group was designed to serve as a political boot camp for Republican women in the state. She served as one of three directors until June 2005, when her name was replaced on state filings.

Palin's relationship with Alaska's senior senator may be one of the more complicated aspects of her new position as Sen. John McCain's running mate; Stevens was indicted in July 2008 on seven counts of corruption, AND FOUND GUILTY ON ALL 7 COUNTS ON OCTOBER 27, 2008.

And John McCain was a pal of American domestic terrorist G. Gordon Liddy.

The Chicago Tribune is pointing out McCain's own radical associations with G. Gordon Liddy:

How close are McCain and Liddy? At least as close as Obama and Ayers appear to be. In 1998, Liddy's home was the site of a McCain fundraiser. Over the years, he has made at least four contributions totaling $5,000 to the senator's campaigns--including $1,000 this year.

Last November, McCain went on his radio show. Liddy greeted him as "an old friend," and McCain sounded like one. "I'm proud of you, I'm proud of your family," he gushed. "It's always a pleasure for me to come on your program, Gordon, and congratulations on your continued success and adherence to the principles and philosophies that keep our nation great."

For those who are unaware, Liddy helped plan the Watergate break-in that would cost Nixon his presidency and landed Liddy a four-year jail sentence.

But Liddy's career of inflammatory statements and actions exceed his Watergate actions.

Liddy, on Vitenam:

"I wanted to bomb the Red River dykes [sic]. It would have drowned half the country and starved the other half. There would have been no way the Viet Cong could have operated if we had the will-power to do that."

Liddy, advising Branch Davidians how to defend themselves from ATF agents during a radio show:

"If the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms insists upon a firefight, give them a firefight. Just remember, they're wearing flak jackets and you're better off shooting for the head."

Liddy, on the impact Adolf Hitler had on him as a child:

When he listened to Hitler on the radio, it "made me feel a strength inside I had never known before," he explains. "Hitler's sheer animal confidence and power of will [entranced me]. He sent an electric current through my body."

Let's cut the crap with this guilt by association, okay?

Obama does not endorse domestic or international terrorism and the right's trying to label him as a friend of terrorists is nuts.

And the American people aren't buying it.


From The New Yorker:

During the 2000 campaign, on MSNBC’s “Hardball,” a young woman asked him [John McCain] why her father, a doctor, should be “penalized” by being “in a huge tax bracket.” McCain replied that “wealthy people can afford more” and that “the very wealthy, because they can afford tax lawyers and all kinds of loopholes, really don’t pay nearly as much as you think they do.”

The exchange continued:

YOUNG WOMAN: Are we getting closer and closer to, like, socialism and stuff?. . .

MCCAIN: Here’s what I really believe: That when you reach a certain level of comfort, there’s nothing wrong with paying somewhat more.

For her part, Sarah Palin, who has lately taken to calling Obama “Barack the Wealth Spreader,” seems to be something of a suspect character herself.

She is, at the very least, a fellow-traveller of what might be called socialism with an Alaskan face.

The state that she governs has no income or sales tax. Instead, it imposes huge levies on the oil companies that lease its oil fields. The proceeds finance the government’s activities and enable it to issue a four-figure annual check to every man, woman, and child in the state.

One of the reasons Palin has been a popular governor is that she added an extra twelve hundred dollars to this year’s check, bringing the per-person total to $3,269.

A few weeks before she was nominated for Vice-President, she told a visiting journalist—Philip Gourevitch, of this magazine—that “we’re set up, unlike other states in the union, where it’s collectively Alaskans own the resources. So we share in the wealth when the development of these resources occurs.”

Perhaps there is some meaningful distinction between spreading the wealth and sharing it (“collectively,” no less), but finding it would require the analytic skills of Karl the Marxist.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Senator Barack Obama Refutes McCain/Palin's Version of "Pro-Americans" and the Silly "Real America" Rhetoric

"There are no real or fake parts of this country," he said, a reference to a Sarah Palin speech in North Carolina in which she said she was happy to be in "the real America" and praised "the pro-America areas of this great nation." Obama continued: "We are not separated by the pro-America and anti-America parts of this nation—we all love this country, no matter where we live or where we come from. There are patriots who supported this war in Iraq and patriots who opposed it, patriots who believe in Democratic policies and those who believe in Republican policies. The men and women from Indiana and all across America who serve on our battlefields may be Democrats and Republicans and Independents, but they have fought together and bled together and some died together under the same proud flag. They have not served a red America or a blue America—they have served the United States of America."

Barack Obama at a rally in Indianapolis, IN, on Thursday, before a crowd of 35,000.

Compare this sentiment with the divisive rhetoric of Palin and McCain.

No wonder even the RED states are leaning toward Sen. Obama.

PS. Sarah Palin was in Fort Wayne, IN, this weekend and pulled a crowd of 13,000.

Just sayin'.


Barack Obama!


Anchorage Daily News Endorses Barack Obama
Sunday, October 26, 2008

The Anchorage Daily News — the largest daily newspaper in Alaska has stepped over McCain/Palin (PALIN IS THE GOVERNOR OF ALASKA!) and endorsed Barack Obama and Joe Biden for president and vice president.

While expressing pride their governor was selected to be on ticket, the paper says John McCain, is the wrong choice for president at this critical time for our nation.

Barack Obama, according to the paper, 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.



Being Barry Goldwater's granddaughter and living in Arizona, one would assume that I would be voting for our state's senator, John McCain. I am still struck by certain 'dyed in the wool' Republicans who are on the fence this election, as it seems like a no-brainer to me.

Myself, along with my siblings and a few cousins, will not be supporting the Republican presidential candidates this year. We believe strongly in what our grandfather stood for: honesty, integrity, and personal freedom, free from political maneuvering and fear tactics. I learned a lot about my grandfather while producing the documentary, Mr. Conservative Goldwater on Goldwater. Our generation of Goldwaters expects government to provide for constitutional protections. We reject the constant intrusion into our personal lives, along with other crucial policy issues of the McCain/Palin ticket.

My grandfather (Paka) would never suggest denying a woman's right to choose. My grandmother co-founded Planned Parenthood in Arizona in the 1930's, a cause my grandfather supported. I'm not sure about how he would feel about marriage rights based on same-sex orientation. I think he would feel that love and respect for ones privacy is what matters most and not the intolerance and poor judgment displayed by McCain over the years. Paka respected our civil liberties and passed on the message that that we should conduct our lives standing up for the basic freedoms we hold so dear.


Hartford Courant Endorses Second Democrat in 244 Years
26 Oct 2008

The Courant is the oldest continuously published newspaper in the nation.

We Endorse Obama For PresidentINSPIRING, UNIFYING He would make the nation proud
October 26, 2008

In its 244-year history, The Courant has endorsed only one Democratic candidate for president, Bill Clinton.

Today we endorse a second Democrat, Sen. Barack Obama, with the hope that if elected, he governs from the middle as Mr. Clinton did. Mr. Obama must resist serving only his party’s interests and instead serve the greater interests of a worried nation.

America is starved for a leader who can restore pride and once again make the nation a beacon for the world, or in the words of Massachusetts Gov. John Winthrop in 1630, “a city on a hill — with the eyes of all people upon us.”

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Friday, October 24, 2008


Conservative media figures allege Obama's Hawaii trip is about discredited birth-certificate rumors, not his ailing grandmother

Michael Savage, Rush Limbaugh, and Jerome Corsi suggested or asserted that the true purpose of Sen. Barack Obama's current trip to Hawaii is not to visit his ailing grandmother, as Obama claims, but rather to address rumors -- widely debunked -- that Obama has failed to produce a valid U.S. birth certificate. However, in addition to and a Hawaiian Health Department official, even Corsi's employer, the right-wing website WorldNetDaily, has reportedly determined that the birth certificate provided by the Obama campaign is authentic.

Source: Media Matters

Thursday, October 23, 2008


Um. Didn't anyone in the Palin camp notice all those cute donkeys trotting around on Sarah's patriotic scarf next to the word "vote?" There's an old saying: "The Devil's in the details." But in this case the "donkeys" are in the details.

Thank you, Sarah, for this subliminal message to your supporters.

"The news of Sarah Palin's colossal, RNC-funded
shopping haul
has placed the Alaskan governor back squarely in her role as
being the main source of drag on the McCain ticket, as critics lampoon the
candidate's overtures to America's Plumbing Joes while decked out in $150,000
worth of new high-end gear.

According to MSNBC's Chuck Todd, things are said to be "tense" between McCain and his
running mate, and,
if you
take a look at this picture, from Jezebel, I think it's pretty easy to see

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


The McCain/Palin campaign has been calling Sen. Obama a "socialist." But McCain, the hypocrite, forgot that YouTube captured forever what his positions were in the past when he was for "socialism."

How stupid of the McCain/Palin campaign not to have known these videos would appear and show the public what a two-faced dissembler he is.


"Country First?" -- The Question of Loyalty

by Ernest Partridge

Millions of American citizens who identify themselves as "Republicans" are coping with a daunting question: "What is the primary object of my loyalty? My Party? My Country? My religious faith? My conscience?"The question is implicit, for few American citizens of whatever political persuasion would openly admit to themselves that loyalty to their party trumps loyalty to the United States. Instead, to the degree that they support their preferred party and its candidates, they routinely convince themselves that they are at the same time exhibiting loyalty to their country.

But when a party, its candidates, and its elected officials, stray from the founding moral and political principles of the American republic and its Constitution, party loyalty compels the adherents to conjure up elaborate rationalizations.For steadfast Republicans, those rationalizations have been severely strained as the Bush/Cheney regime has relentlessly dismantled the Constitution of the United States, along with the rule of law and international treaties. The list of crimes and misdemeanors is long and woefully familiar: signing statements, ignoring Congressional subpoenas, violation of habeas corpus and the Geneva Conventions against torture, launching a "war of choice" against a non-threatening nation (in violation of the Nuremberg Accords), warrantless searches in violation of the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution, etc.

Throughout all this, most Republicans (including all Congressional Republicans), have remained "on the reservation," at worst publicly supporting the outlaw regime, and at best keeping their misgivings to themselves.However, as we reach the waning days of this presidential election campaign, the rationalizations are beginning to unravel among many prominent Republicans and conservatives, as they face directly the conflicting answers to these two simple questions:
Which candidates, McCain/Palin or Obama/Biden, will best serve my Party? The question, as they say, virtually answers itself: the nominees of the Party, McCain and Palin.

Which of these candidates will best serve my country?It takes a virtuoso application of self-deception for a thoughtful and informed Republican to arrive at the same answer to both questions. And if the answers diverge, that Republican comes face-to-face with an agonizing conflict of loyalties: my party first or my country first.On Sunday, Colin Powell announced his decision. He would vote for Barack Obama.Thus Powell joins a flow of GOP and conservative defections, including:

Conservative pundits Michael Smerconish, Andrew Sullivan, Christopher Hitchens, Christopher Buckley have openly endorsed Obama.

Conservative columnists George Will, Peggy Noonan, Kathleen Parker, William Kristol, David Brooks, and Charles Krauthammer have severely criticized the GOP candidates, McCain and Palin, without actually endorsing the Democratic candidates.

For the first time in its 160-year history, The Chicago Tribune endorsed the Democratic candidate. Also switching over to the Democrats from the 2004 election, The Denver Post, The Houston Chronicle, The Salt Lake Tribune, The New York Daily News, among twenty-five leading newspapers identified by Editor and Publisher.

In general, reports Greg Mitchell of Editor and Publisher, Barack Obama leads in newspaper endorsements "by a better than 3 to 1 margin (103 to 32 at last count). In contrast, when we did our final count in 2004, John Kerry barely edged George Bush, 213-205, and in elections before then, the GOP candidate almost always took the lion's share of endorsements."This flow of defections might, in the next two weeks, become a flood. If it does, barring massive election fraud, this flood will surely sweep away the faltering candidacy of John McCain and Sarah Palin, and send Barack Obama to the White House.

The reasons for these defections are many and, to those who have been following the campaign, familiar. The Crisis Papers has collected and linked to numerous internet and media criticisms of the GOP candidates and their campaigns, so I will not repeat them here.Instead, I will focus on what strikes me as the over-arching reason for the apparent collapse of the McCain/Palin campaign: John McCain has lost, and Sarah Palin has failed to gain, credibility as qualified occupants of the offices that they seek.

They have thus disqualified themselves by the quality of their campaigns, by their performances in the debates (which can be seen here in full), and by their brazen willingness to assert and repeat demonstrable lies. In McCain's case, these include the assertions that Obama's political career was launched in the apartment of William Ayres, and that Obama would raise the taxes of most Americans. In Sarah Palin's case, the claim that she opposed the so-called "bridge to nowhere," and that she was "completely exonerated" by the official Alaska "Troopergate" investigation.Unlike charges of "liberalism" or "socialism," which are vague and thus open to endless interpretation and dispute, the above assertions are flatly false, provably false, known by both McCain and Palin to be false, and therefore correctly described as "lies."Faced with candidates that have thus disqualified themselves, with a party that has abandoned its conservative principles to religious fanatics and charlatans, and with an opposing candidate who, in his campaign, displays integrity, poise, legal education, and competence, what is the traditional Republican to do?

That hypothetical Republican is presented with a fundamental moral conflict and a test of moral maturity.In his monumental treatise, A Theory of Justice (1971, pp. 490-1), John Rawls describes the growth in moral capacity from a "morality of authority" through a "morality of association" to a mature "morality of principles." (I have much more to say about conflicting loyalties and moral development in my "On Patriotism").

Applied to the present case, these hypothetical Republicans, along with millions of independents and a few wavering Democrats, must choose between conflicting loyalties: to their political mentors (morality of authority), to their political affiliations (morality of association), or to the founding principles of our republic, in addition to an acceptance of the "reality-based" account of the planetary emergency as described by the sciences (morality of principles).Upon that choice, rests the future of our country and, given the environmental and economic policy issues before us, the future of our planet."Country First?" That remains to be seen, in two weeks and beyond. Whatever the outcome of the election, the struggle is not over. It simply enters a new phase.--

Source: Editor and Publisher

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


I remember the day after McCain announced his choice of VP, Gov. Sarah Palin. I watched the Joe Scarborough show "Morning Joe," and heard Pat Buchanan say that this was possibly the biggest gamble he had ever seen made by a presidential candidate and time would tell if it was a good gamble.

Time has now seen that it was a horrible mistake and that Sarah Palin doesn't even know what the hell the job of the Vice President is, as evidenced by her recent interview on CNN where she actually says that the job of the vice president is to be in "charge of the Senate" and to make policy???

She isn't smart enough to have looked at the friggin' Constitution to read what it says? Sorry, Sarah, a vice president is not IN CHARGE of the Senate and does NOT make policy.

The formal powers and role of the vice president are limited by the Constitution to becoming President should the President become unable to serve (e.g. due to the death, resignation, or medical impairment of the President) and acting as the presiding officer of the U.S. Senate. As President of the Senate, the Vice President has two primary duties: to cast a vote in the event of a Senate deadlock and to preside over and certify the official vote count of the U.S. Electoral College.

During the same CNN interview, Palin boasts that she has more "executive experience" than Obama. Really, Sarah? Senator Obama taught Constitutional Law for 10 years, and knows what the hell the Constitution says about the office of vice president. What good did your pathetic years as a mayor of a podunk town and 20 months as the governor of Alaska do you if you don't even know what the duties of the vice president of the United States are? The job you're campaigning for? Executive experience? What an ass! What good is that when you don't know what your duties are for the job your hope to win?

What a pathetic embarrassment she is. What a complete dumbass.

From Talking Points Memo:

Poll: Palin Is Now The Top Concern Voters Have About McCain

By Greg Sargent - October 21, 2008, 7:01PM

AmericaBlog flags a stunning finding in the new NBC/Wall St. Journal poll:
Now, Palin's qualifications to be president rank as voters' top concern about McCain's candidacy -- ahead of continuing President Bush's policies, enacting economic policies that only benefit the rich and keeping too high of a troop presence in Iraq.

Respondents were read a list of things and were asked to pick the two that most concern them about McCain. Thirty-four percent named Palin, versus only 23% for the runner-up, which was that it seems likely he'd continue Bush's policies.

That would seem to suggest that Palin may have become a greater liability for McCain than Bush.

Separately, the poll's toplines show Obama with an expanded lead of 10 points over McCain among registered voters, 52%-42%.


From Andrew Sullivan's blog:

If you have read Obama's memoir, you will immediately understand why he would suspend a national campaign for the most powerful job on earth to be with his grandmother right now.

One gets the impression from Robert Gibbs and from this decision that this might indeed be one of the last chances he gets. "Toot" was a formative figure - she brought him up with her husband during some critical years. Her death would be the death of his last parent. Reading about her again tonight, you can see where Obama's personal social conservatism comes from. There's a lot more Kansas in Obama than most people on the right seem to think.

Prayers for her, her family and the man who now has to deal with this emotional burden at this exposed and intense time. They are all still human, you know. It never hurts to remember that. And we all forget it sometimes.

Monday, October 20, 2008


In the wake of Colin Powell's endorsement of Barack Obama, conservative critics offered some pushback on the General's decision, with several, most notably Rush Limbaugh, suggesting that the decision was based purely on race.

But this morning, CBS' Bob Schieffer made it clear that behind the scenes, Powell's words echoed the criticism of many Republicans, saying, "What Colin Powell said yesterday and why it was so riveting to hear him, he was saying aloud what a lot of Republicans are saying privately."

RODRIGUEZ: To hear Colin Powell saying he's not sure John McCain can handle the economy, he's not sure Sarah Palin is qualified, he doesn't like the nasty tone of this campaign, how significant was that, Bob?

SCHIEFFER: I've never thought endorsements are game-changers but this just adds to the good news that Barack Obama has been getting lately. Things seem to be breaking his way. This just adds to the momentum. I don't think it's going to change the election in any way, but I think it's very good news for him.

RODRIGUEZ: What do you think privately the McCain campaign is making of this endorsement?

SCHIEFFER: Well, I'm sure they don't like it but, you know, this is -- what Colin Powell said yesterday and why it was so riveting to hear him, he was saying aloud what a lot of Republicans are saying privately, I think, or at least what I've heard some Republicans tell me. They think the pick of Sarah Palin reflects on John McCain's judgment, they think the campaign has turned too nasty and is not inclusive. I think Colin Powell said aloud yesterday what some Republicans, at least, are saying privately.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

General Colin Powell Endorses Sen. Obama

In one of the most important symbolic moments of the general election, former Secretary of State Colin Powell announced today that he is endorsing Barack Obama for president.
Making his decision public on NBC News' "Meet the Press," the long-time fixture in Republican administrations effectively reinforced the sense of momentum Obama has been building, declaring the Senator from Illinois as a "transformational figure."
"I think that Senator Obama brings a fresh set of eyes, a fresh set of ideas to the table," said Powell. "I think we need a generational change, and I think Senator Obama has captured the feelings of the young people of America, and is reaching out in a more diverse, inclusive way across our society."
The 71-year-old retired general praised Obama's steadiness during the financial crisis and suggested that John McCain's selection of Sarah Palin as his veep played a role in the decision.
Limbaugh opined in an email that Colin Powell’s decision to get behind Barack Obama appeared to be very much tied to Obama’s status as the first African-American with a chance to become president.
“Secretary Powell says his endorsement is not about race,” Limbaugh wrote in an e-mail. “OK, fine. I am now researching his past endorsements to see if I can find all the inexperienced, very liberal, white candidates he has endorsed. I’ll let you know what I come up with.”
It’s tough being a conservative these days.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

100,000 in St. Louis, MO, Come Out To See Sen. Obama!

Barack Obama attracted 100,000 people at a Saturday rally here, his biggest crowd ever at a U.S. event.
The crowd assembled under the Gateway Arch on a sunny Saturday afternoon to hear Obama speak about taxes and slam the Republicans on economic issues.

Lt. Samuel Dotson of the St. Louis Police Department confirmed the number of attendees piled into the grassy lawn by the Mississippi River.

To be sure, big crowds don’t always signal a big turnout on Election Day. But Obama’s ability to draw his largest audience yet in a typically red state that just weeks ago looked out of reach, could signal a changing electoral map.
For months Missouri polls put Obama as much as ten percentage points behind Republican John McCain. It was widely believed that McCain’s pick of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate would have won over the state’s conservatives and boosted his chances there. So far, that hasn’t happened.

A Rasmussen poll released on Friday shows Obama leading in Missouri 52% to 46% for McCain.

Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill had harsh words for Palin when she introduced Obama on Saturday. Referring to comments Palin made earlier this week in North Carolina about “pro-America” states, McCaskill said “We have reached a new low in America politics when a candidate dares to say that one part of America is pro-America and another part is anti-America.”
She also took a dig at McCain for selecting a vice presidential nominee with limited experience. “One [candidate] picked one of the strongest candidates for vice president he could’ve picked in the United States and well, the other didn’t.”

Recognizing that big rallies don’t always result in cast ballots, the Obama campaign has dispatched thousands of field organizers and volunteers to Missouri to knock on doors in a statewide get out the vote effort.
(Photo: Associated Press)

Friday, October 17, 2008


Barack Obama is the first Democratic presidential candidate the Tribune has ever endorsed.
Some excerpts:
Many Americans say they're uneasy about Obama. He's pretty new to them.
We can provide some assurance. We have known Obama since he entered politics a dozen years ago. We have watched him, worked with him, argued with him as he rose from an effective state senator to an inspiring U.S. senator to the Democratic Party's nominee for president.
We have tremendous confidence in his intellectual rigor, his moral compass and his ability to make sound, thoughtful, careful decisions. He is ready.
The change that Obama talks about so much is not simply a change in this policy or that one. It is not fundamentally about lobbyists or Washington insiders. Obama envisions a change in the way we deal with one another in politics and government. His opponents may say this is empty, abstract rhetoric. In fact, it is hard to imagine how we are going to deal with the grave domestic and foreign crises we face without an end to the savagery and a return to civility in politics.
The Republican Party, the party of limited government, has lost its way. The government ran a $237 billion surplus in 2000, the year before Bush took office -- and recorded a $455 billion deficit in 2008. The Republicans lost control of the U.S. House and Senate in 2006 because, as we said at the time, they gave the nation rampant spending and Capitol Hill corruption. They abandoned their principles. They paid the price.

We might have counted on John McCain to correct his party's course. We like McCain. We endorsed him in the Republican primary in Illinois. In part because of his persuasion and resolve, the U.S. stands to win an unconditional victory in Iraq....
McCain failed in his most important executive decision. Give him credit for choosing a female running mate--but he passed up any number of supremely qualified Republican women who could have served. Having called Obama not ready to lead, McCain chose Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. His campaign has tried to stage-manage Palin's exposure to the public. But it's clear she is not prepared to step in at a moment's notice and serve as president. McCain put his campaign before his country.


Obama is deeply grounded in the best aspirations of this country, and we need to return to those aspirations. He has had the character and the will to achieve great things despite the obstacles that he faced as an unprivileged black man in the U.S.

He has risen with his honor, grace and civility intact. He has the intelligence to understand the grave economic and national security risks that face us, to listen to good advice and make careful decisions.
When Obama said at the 2004 Democratic Convention that we weren't a nation of red states and blue states, he spoke of union the way Abraham Lincoln did.
It may have seemed audacious for Obama to start his campaign in Springfield, invoking Lincoln. We think, given the opportunity to hold this nation's most powerful office, he will prove it wasn't so audacious after all. We are proud to add Barack Obama's name to Lincoln's in the list of people the Tribune has endorsed for president of the United States.
The Washington Post also endorsed Sen. Obama today. It also cited as one of the main reasons for doing so--McCain's reckless choice of Sarah Palin as his VP running mate. He put his campaign first, not his country.
Palin has been a failure for the McCain campaign. She fired up the base and got it to embrace a man they never liked. But that's all she was good for. The rest of the country and the world saw her for what she is--a low intelligence demagogue.

Thursday, October 16, 2008


John McCain entered tonight’s debate needing to halt Barack Obama’s momentum and fundamentally change the dynamic of the race.Not only did he fail to achieve this goal, McCain dug himself an even deeper hole.Undecided voters watching the debate felt McCain gave a decidedly un-presidential performance, appearing rude, negative, and easily flustered – a stark contrast to Barack Obama’s cool, commanding presence.Obama was seen as the clear victor in the debate, and a group that was much more disposed to support McCain at the outset instead shifted decisively toward Obama (42 to 20 percent) after viewing the debate.

And the problem for Republicans? They are so upset that character attacks are not trumping issues, they are beside themselves.

They just don't get it. For a year or more now, we have been looking at polls. What we've seen is that if we divide the electorate into rough thirds (Democrat, Republican, and Indie), the public is voting with the Dems on the issues. Or, if you take the more sophisticated D-R-I polling splits, when it comes to candidates, the Dems outnumber Rs by ~9 and the Indies split. Either way, the

Republican base is isolated, out of touch and just different.
And now, this is where it is coming out. They want attacks, they get whatever McCain and Palin serve up, and they eat it up. The rest of the country (aka the majority) want nothing to do with that. We and they want policy. We don't care for attacks. We want the better issues candidate.
Add in to this McCain's loser media style, the angry and frustrated older man on stage, and it's a no brainer. The polls overwhelmingly give the win(s) to Obama. McCain does not have the media skills in a modern era to win.

What comes next is the splits in the conservative and Republican ranks(Douthat, Brooks, Will, etc. vs. the wingnut Palin supporters). We've also known that that was coming (see The Coming GOP Civil War from 2006.) We saw the beginnings of that with Terri Schiavo, and we'll see more of it now.

Sarah Palin will be the focal point. She is a failed VP candidate who chases moderates away, with dropping fav/unfavs, but defending her vs not defending her will consume conservatives in the wake of a loss by McCain. And the American public knows that any pundit who can't come to grips with the massive failure of Know Nothingism at the ballot box will be consigned to the ash heap of history, along with the deeply unpopular president that John McCain can't distance himself from just by saying so (how stupid is it to think that the McCain line about "I'm not George Bush" was a turning point either in the debate or the campaign?)

So, as we feel the gusts of hot air and listen to the bloviating, listen also to the frustration that superficial issues aren't sticking this year. The rules are being rewritten, and the people following the election are going to have to deal with issues.

Too bad for the Republicans, but thank goodness for Americans. It's about time.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

THE FACE OF THE REPUBLICAN PARTY (And why people are moving away from it in droves.)


More racism from your friendly Republican Party. They just can't help themselves. Sen. Obama has truly let their inner racist emerge and flourish.

Racist GOP mailing depicts Obama surrounded by KFC, watermelon, and food stamps.»

A local California GOP women’s organization’s most recent newsletter claims that if Obama is elected, his face will appear on food stamps, rather than dollar bills like other presidents. The group then included a picture of “Obama Bucks” — a phony $10 bill with Obama surrounded by racist imagery:

The president of the organization, Diane Fedele, didn’t understand the charges of racism: “I didn’t see it the way that it’s being taken. I never connected. It was just food to me.”

One African-American member of the club said that upon seeing the newsletter, she “cried for 45 minutes.” “This is what keeps African-Americans from joining the Republican Party,” she added. (HT: TPM and Oliver Willis)


“Joke” About Killing Obama Circulated By Top GOP Figure

Al Austin, a veteran, high-level Republican fundraiser from Tampa, today sent an email to his list of his political contacts containing a joke that refers to the assassination of Barack Obama.
When asked about the email, Austin said it was a mistake and apologized, and that he wouldn’t knowingly have circulated it. He said he intended to send an apology and retraction to the same email list.
Austin said he forwarded the email to a list of his politicaly contacts without fully reading it.
The joke concerns a group of school children discussing the definition of “tragedy,” as opposed to “great loss” or “accident.” The punch line comes when one child says that if an airplane carrying Obama and his wife, Michelle, “was struck by a ‘friendly fire’ missile and blown to smithereens,” the event might be a tragedy, “because it certainly wouldn’t be a great loss, and it probably wouldn’t be an accident either.”
Austin acknowledged sending the email to his list of political contacts, but said he forwarded it without fully reading it and didn’t know what it said. That list included at least two reporters.

According to the forwarding history on the email, it had been gone through at least two other individuals before being sent to Austin Tuesday.
Austin, a prominent real estate developer long known as one of the state’s leading Republican campaign fundraisers, has served in recent years as finance chairman for both the national and state Republican parties.
UPDATE on McCain/Palin campaign and inciting its mobs to violence:

Breaking news: Secret Service investigating threat from Scranton Palin rally
The U.S. Secret Service is investigating a threatening remark directed at Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama during a political event in Scranton. The agency followed up on a report in The Times-Tribune that a member of the crowd shouted, "Kill him!" after one mention of Mr. Obama's name during a rally Tuesday for Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin. The remark came while congressional candidate Chris Hackett was addressing the crowd at the Riverfront Sports Complex. There is no indication
Yesterday, the Sacramento County Republican party removed from their website images that likened Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) to Osama bin Laden.
One of the images “encouraged people to ‘Waterboard Barack Obama’”:

The chairman of the Sacramento County Republican party, Craig MacGlashan, told the Sacramento Bee on Tuesday, “Some people find it offensive, others do not.

Earlier this week, the chairman of the Virginia Republican Party, Jeffrey M. Frederick, also compared Obama to bin Laden.

Saturday, October 11, 2008


To the Right Wingers who believe Sen. Obama is somehow a "terrorist" because of his association with Bill Ayers, please read the following:

NEW YORK In a surprising a letter to the editor published in The New York Times this week, the chief prosecutor of the Weather Underground in the 1970s expressed outrage over the linking of Barack Obama to Bill Ayers by the McCain campaign, adding, "Although I dearly wanted to obtain convictions against all the Weathermen, including Bill Ayers, I am very pleased to learn that he has become a responsible citizen."

William C. Ibershof also corrects a charge in the Times: "I do take issue with the statement in your news article that the Weathermen indictment was dismissed because of 'prosecutorial misconduct.' It was dismissed because of illegal activities, including wiretaps, break-ins and mail interceptions, initiated by John N. Mitchell, attorney general at that time, and W. Mark Felt, an F.B.I. assistant director." Felt, of course (you may have already forgotten), was also known as a guy called "Deep Throat."

The full letter follows, published again at:

The E&P Pub

"As the lead federal prosecutor of the Weathermen in the 1970s (I was then chief of the criminal division in the Eastern District of Michigan and took over the Weathermen prosecution in 1972), I am amazed and outraged that Senator Barack Obama is being linked to William Ayers’s terrorist activities 40 years ago when Mr. Obama was, as he has noted, just a child.

Although I dearly wanted to obtain convictions against all the Weathermen, including Bill Ayers, I am very pleased to learn that he has become a responsible citizen.

Because Senator Obama recently served on a board of a charitable organization with Mr. Ayers one cannot possibly link the senator to acts perpetrated by Mr. Ayers so many years ago.

I do take issue with the statement in your news article that the Weathermen indictment was dismissed because of “prosecutorial misconduct.” It was dismissed because of illegal activities, including wiretaps, break-ins and mail interceptions, initiated by John N. Mitchell, attorney general at that time, and W. Mark Felt, an F.B.I. assistant director.

William C. Ibershof
Mill Valley, Calif.,
Oct. 8, 2008

Friday, October 10, 2008


ANCHORAGE, Alaska — A legislative committee investigating Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has found she unlawfully abused her authority in firing the state's public safety commissioner. The investigative report concludes that a family grudge wasn't the sole reason for firing Public Safety Commissioner Walter Monegan but says it likely was a contributing factor.

The Republican vice presidential nominee has been accused of firing a commissioner to settle a family dispute. Palin supporters have called the investigation politically motivated.

Monegan says he was dismissed as retribution for resisting pressure to fire a state trooper involved in a bitter divorce with the governor's sister. Palin says Monegan was fired as part of a legitimate budget dispute.


John McCain's rally on Friday once again inspired furious reactions from his supporters, with one woman screaming "traitor!" as McCain criticized Barack Obama's tax record.

"He promised higher taxes on electricity," McCain charged at the event in La Crosse, Wisconsin.

"He voted for the Democratic budget resolution that promised to raise taxes on people making just $42,000 a year." At that point, the woman yelled "traitor," and both McCain and his wife Cindy appeared to look in her direction.

The Arizona Senator continued with his stump speech without referencing her.

As Talking Points Memo's Greg Sargent noted, GOP loathing for Obama seems to also be "spilling into down-ticket races," with one woman yelling "bomb Obama!" during a Thursday debate between Republican Sen. Saxby Chambliss and his Democratic challenger.

During a Friday appearance on Fox News, Obama aide Stephanie Cutter said that McCain's crowds have become "mob-like" in their anger and argued that McCain cared "more about the state of his campaign than the economy."

"The thing that is most important right now is that we have got to instill confidence in people in our economy. We have got to calm people down," Cutter said. "We do not need to stoke fears on the campaign trail with these mob-like rallies that we have been seeing. We need to take a step back and provide steady leadership. This is a crisis. This is not what leaders do in crises. Barack Obama invoked FDR, 'the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.' Those are words to live by at this point."

Cutter had been asked to weigh in on McCain's newest proposal for the government to buy home mortgages at face value from the banks and renegotiate them at terms more favorable to the homeowner. Clearly, however, she was hoping to further a meme that the Obama campaign sees as a winner: that McCain is appealing to the worst of people's fears and prejudices in order to advance himself electorally. But in referring to the crowds as "mob-like" Cutter brings the argument further than anyone else from Obama's headquarters.

The Senator himself sounded a similar theme during his speech in Ohio Friday morning.
"It's easy to rile up a crowd by stoking anger and division. But that's not what we need right now in the United States. The times are too serious. The challenges are too great. The American people aren't looking for someone who can divide this country -- they're looking for someone who will lead it. We're in a serious crisis -- now, more than ever, it is time to put country ahead of politics. Now, more than ever, it is time to bring change to Washington so that it works for the people of this country that we love."

McCain hasn't seemed all too eager to tamp down the hate-filled rhetoric emanating from his crowds, beyond merely distancing himself from two introductory speakers that used Obama's middle name as an epithet.

h/t huffpost


McCain Forced to Fire Virginia County Chair Following Racist Newspaper Attack on Obama

The John McCain campaign has been forced to fire its campaign chair in Buchanan County, Virginia, following his publication of a racist newspaper attack on Barack Obama. Bobby May, pictured here, who has also served as treasurer and correspondence secretary of the Buchanan County Republican Party, recently penned a column containing an overtly racist attack against Barack Obama for a local newspaper, The Voice, which lists Mr. May among its columnists. May's column contained a number of inflammatory charges against Obama, including the following on Obama's plans for America if elected:

"FREEDOM OF RELIGION: Mandatory Black Liberation Theology classes taught in all churches - raise taxes to pay for this mandate. Put Rev. Jeremiah Wright in charge...."

"DRUG CRISIS: Raise taxes to pay for free drugs for Obama’s inner-city political base...."

"2ND AMENDMENT: Under Obama will only apply to gang-bangers, illegal aliens, Islamo-Fascist terrorists, and Senator Jim Webb’s aide...."

"FOREIGN RELATIONS: Appoint Rev. Al Sharpton as Secretary of State, Jesse Jackson as UN Representative, and let Bill Clinton handle all other "foreign relations" ... As long as Hillary doesn't find out...!"

"THE WHITE HOUSE: Hire rapper Ludacris to “paint it black.” Taxes to be increased to buy enough paint for the job plus spray-paint for graffiti...."

"THIRD WORLD COUNTRIES: Raise taxes to send $845 billion, most of it to Africa so the Obama family there can skim off enough for them to free their goats and live the American Dream...."

"NATIONAL ANTHEM: Change to the "Black National Anthem" by James Weldon Johnson...."

"US CURRENCY: Update photos to reflect US diversity; include pictures of "great Americans" such as Oprah Winfrey, Ludacris, Sheila Jackson-Lee, Paris Hilton, and Louisiana Congressman William Jefferson (Obama's new Secretary of the Treasury - 50 Cent refused position after learning that he would lose his crazy check if he accepted the nomination)...."

"US FLAG: Replace 50 stars with a star and crescent logo; red stripes changed to green to represent Obama’s tree-hugging radical environmentalism and his lack of experience. Flag lapel pins, having become a substitute for "real patriotism," will henceforth be banned...."

At the end of his column Mr. May challenged Obama to meet him on "County Talk," a Friday morning talk show on radio station WMJD 100.7 in Grundy, Virginia. Mr. May seems quite the local mover and shaker in Buchanan County Republican circles: In addition to his work with The Voice and WMJD, May has appeared in the Virginia Mountaineer with other local Republican leaders.

Thursday, October 9, 2008


Calendars Show Gov. Palin's Foreign Policy Experience: About 20 Meetings for About 12 Hours

In her first interview after John McCain picked her to be the GOP's vice presidential nominee, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin claimed that her foreign policy credentials were enhanced because "you can actually see Russia from land here in Alaska." She also pointed out that she had experience dealing with trade delegations. Later, asked by CBS News' Katie Couric if she had ever participated in negotiations with Russia, Palin said, "We have trade missions back and forth. We—we do—it's very important when you consider even national security issues with Russia ."

But the calendars tracking Palin's official meetings during her tenure as governor contain not one listing indicating she ever met with a Russian official. In fact, the 562 pages of her daily schedules—obtained by Mother Jones under Alaska's Open Records Act—indicate that Palin had few meetings at all with any foreign representatives and rarely dealt with any topic related to foreign policy. The schedules include about 20 meetings, events, or phone calls in which Palin interacted with foreign officials. And in many instances, these interactions were cursory or ceremonial and did not involve policy details. According to the schedules released, Palin spent roughly 12 hours over the course of 19 months on these meetings. (This doesn't count what happened during a four-day trip she took to Kuwait to visit members of the Alaska National Guard. The schedules for those days do not detail whom she met.) The calendars show no meetings between her and a trade delegation from any nation.

It's possible that the calendars are not fully accurate reflections of what happened—perhaps some meetings ran longer (or shorter) than scheduled. And it's possible that in her off hours, Palin pored over Foreign Affairs, held unofficial chats with foreign officials, and sought out foreign policy experts. Also, there is a six-week gap in her calendars—from mid May through the end of June 2007—due to what her office calls a "computer failure." But according to the schedules, throughout her stint as governor, Palin has devoted merely a few hours to anything of a foreign relations nature, and most of her contact with foreign officials came through discussions with Canadian officials about a natural gas pipeline involving a Canadian company.

Here is a complete list of all of Palin's official calendar entries for events or meetings in which she had to interact with a foreign representative. The missing weeks aside, this list represents the sum of the foreign policy experience she obtained while serving as governor.

January 18, 2007 -- Palin hosts an afternoon reception at the governor's mansion for representatives of the Pacific Northwest Economic Region (PNWER), a regional US-Canadian forum that includes several Canadian government officials. Her office previously has announced she will hold separate meetings to discuss trade and border issues with three Canadian officials--Yukon Premier Dennis Fentie, Canadian Consul General Peter Lloyd (who is based in Seattle) and Minister of Tourism Brendan Bell—who are in Alaska in conjunction with the PNWER meeting. Impressive!

January 19, 2007 -- Palin meets with Fentie for 30 minutes, with Lloyd for 30 minutes, and with Bell for 30 minutes. She does not attend the PNWER dinner hosted that night by the Canadian government for Alaskan officials and business leaders. 90 minutes of Canadian diplomacy would tire anyone out!

January 22, 2007 -- Palin receives a call at 7:00 am from Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff to discuss cross-border issues and visas. I can see Canada from my window!--S.Palin

February 24, 2007 -- In Washington, DC, for a National Governors Association meeting, Palin attends a reception at the Italian embassy. She stays for 30 minutes before leaving for a dinner hosted by the Republican Governors Association. Viva i tortellini!

March 10, 2007 -- Palin hosts the annual Fur & Ice reception in Fairbanks for about 30 diplomats and international tourism representatives. A Palin press release issued before the event noted, "Governor Sarah Palin will welcome members of Alaska's diplomatic corps to Fairbanks to view the ice carvings of Ice Alaska's 2007 World Ice Art Championship." Following the afternoon reception, Palin attends the NCAA rifle championships. Awesome!

March 19, 2007 -- Palin meets with 10 foreign exchange students. Double Awesome!

April, 3, 2007 -- Palin spends 15 minutes filming a short video message for a trade show in China. Palin's in-depth relations with China!

April 4, 2007 -- In Juneau, Palin and several of her aides meet with British Columbia's premier, Gordon Campbell, and several of his aides for about 90 minutes. Canadians are "exotic."

April 16, 2007 -- Palin and a few aides meet with Taiwanese officials for an hour. And free fortune cookies.

May 15, 2007 -- Palin holds a "brief courtesy" meeting with Martin Uden, then the head of the British consulate in San Francisco. The calendar notes, "He'll be visiting Juneau today off of one of the Cruise Ships." And enjoying some duty free mooseburgers!

July 23-26, 2007 -- Palin visits Kuwait to meet with members of the Alaska National Guard. (After Palin was selected as McCain's running mate, her aides, referring to this trip, said she had traveled to Ireland, Germany, Kuwait and Iraq. But on this visit, she did not go beyond the Kuwait-Iraq border, and she did not truly visit Ireland; her plane made a refueling stop there.) Liar! Liar! Pants on Fire!

August 27, 2007 -- David Akov, the Israeli consul general for the Pacific Northwest, pays a 30-minute-long "courtesy call" on Palin. David Gottstein, AIPAC's Alaska chairman, also attends. Akov invites Palin to visit Israel. She reportedly tells Akov that Alaskans "love Israel." And after that incisive meeting, who could dispute her?

September 12, 2007 -- Palin holds a 15-minute-long "courtesy" meeting with Hideo Fujita, the new chief of Japan's consulate in Anchorage. Ah so deska!

September 13, 2007 -- Palin holds a 15-minute long "courtesy" meeting with Peng Keyu, the head of the Chinese consulate in San Francisco. Those are her Chinese foreign policy creds!

October 15, 2007 -- Palin meets Iceland's president, Olafur Ragnar Grimsson. The session is scheduled for 30 minutes. Grimsson is in Alaska to attend the Arctic Energy Summit Technology Conference. (After she became McCain's running mate, she was asked if she had ever met with a world leader. She said, no—forgetting this meeting.) Who can blame her for not remembering?

January 4, 2008 -- Palin holds a ten-minute-long phone conversation with Canadian Minister of Industry Jim Prentice. Her calendar also refers to "Canadian officials phone calls" that day. You're kidding!

January 21, 2008 -- Palin is schedule for a brief "stop by" visit with Joe Balash, a Palin aide, and Brian Mason, a member of the legislative assembly of Alberta, Canada. The calendar says, "Balash Office would like a picture w/ GOV." Intense negotiations there?

March 8, 2008 -- Palin welcomes guests to the 2008 Fur & Ice reception for the diplomatic corps. Diplomats from the Philippines, South Korea, the Slovak Republic, South Africa, Hungary, Indonesia, Italy, Poland, Finland, Germany, and Egypt attend. Her calendar lists no separate meetings with any of them. Hmmmm.

May 22, 2008 -- At 7:15 am, Palin calls Yukon Premier Dennis Fentie; for ten minutes they discuss the news that her administration will ask the state legislature to award a license for a 1,715-mile-long natural gas pipeline to TransCanada. (Her administration has turned down bids from other conglomerates, including ConocoPhillips.) Later, she has a five-minute-long phone call with Canadian Minister of Industry Jim Prentice. Wow!

August 11-12, 2008 -- Palin attends a reception and delivers welcoming remarks for the Eighth Conference of Arctic Parliamentarians. The conference, which meets every two years, includes delegates from Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden, and the United States. This year, it holds panels on human health in the Arctic region, Arctic marine policy, adaptation to climate change, and energy resources in the Arctic. After welcoming the delegates, Palin leaves to attend a "dedication and blessing ceremony" for a cultural and visitors center in Fairbanks. Impressive?

Mother Jones

My friends, that's foreign policy we can believe in!!!!

My dentist has more foreign policy experience than the Queen of Mooseburgers.


From Josh Marshall's Talking Points Memo:

Now Biden Gets in on the Act

From FirstRead ...

"All of the things they said about Barack Obama in the TV, on the TV, at their rallies, and now on YouTube ... John McCain could not bring himself to look Barack Obama in the eye and say the same things to him ... In my neighborhood, when you've got something to say to a guy, you look him in the eye and you say it to him."

After the election, in the interests of national reconciliation, I imagine Obama and Biden may allow McCain to make special non-custodial visits to his testicles.

--Josh Marshall

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


David Brooks spoke frankly about the presidential and vice presidential candidates Monday afternoon, calling Sarah Palin a "fatal cancer to the Republican party" but describing John McCain and Barack Obama as "the two best candidates we've had in a long time."

In an interview with The Atlantic's Jeffrey Goldberg at New York's Le Cirque restaurant to unveil that magazine's redesign, Brooks decried Palin's anti-intellectualism and compared her to President Bush in that regard:

[Sarah Palin] represents a fatal cancer to the Republican party. When I first started in journalism, I worked at the National Review for Bill Buckley. And Buckley famously said he'd rather be ruled by the first 2,000 names in the Boston phone book than by the Harvard faculty. But he didn't think those were the only two options. He thought it was important to have people on the conservative side who celebrated ideas, who celebrated learning. And his whole life was based on that, and that was also true for a lot of the other conservatives in the Reagan era. Reagan had an immense faith in the power of ideas. But there has been a counter, more populist tradition, which is not only to scorn liberal ideas but to scorn ideas entirely. And I'm afraid that Sarah Palin has those prejudices. I think President Bush has those prejudices.

Brooks praised Palin's natural political talent, but said she is "absolutely not" ready to be president or vice president. He explained, "The more I follow politicians, the more I think experience matters, the ability to have a template of things in your mind that you can refer to on the spot, because believe me, once in office there's no time to think or make decisions."
The New York Times columnist also said that the "great virtue" of Palin's counterpart, Democratic vice presidential nominee Joe Biden, is that he is anything but a "yes man."
"[Biden] can't not say what he thinks," Brooks remarked. "There's no internal monitor, and for Barack Obama, that's tremendously important to have a vice president who will be that way. Our current president doesn't have anybody like that."

Brooks also spent time praising Obama's intellect and skills in social perception, telling two stories of his interactions with Obama that left him "dazzled":

Obama has the great intellect. I was interviewing Obama a couple years ago, and I'm getting nowhere with the interview, it's late in the night, he's on the phone, walking off the Senate floor, he's cranky. Out of the blue I say, 'Ever read a guy named Reinhold Niebuhr?' And he says, 'Yeah.' So i say, 'What did Niebuhr mean to you?' For the next 20 minutes, he gave me a perfect description of Reinhold Niebuhr's thought, which is a very subtle thought process based on the idea that you have to use power while it corrupts you. And I was dazzled, I felt the tingle up my knee as Chris Matthews would say.

And the other thing that does separate Obama from just a pure intellectual: he has tremendous powers of social perception. And this is why he's a politician, not an academic. A couple of years ago, I was writing columns attacking the Republican congress for spending too much money. And I throw in a few sentences attacking the Democrats to make myself feel better. And one morning I get an email from Obama saying, 'David, if you wanna attack us, fine, but you're only throwing in those sentences to make yourself feel better.' And it was a perfect description of what was going through my mind. And everybody who knows Obama all have these stories to tell about his capacity for social perception.

Brooks predicted an Obama victory by nine points, and said that although he found Obama to be "a very mediocre senator," he was is surrounded by what Brooks called "by far the most impressive people in the Democratic party."

"He's phenomenally good at surrounding himself with a team," Brooks said. "I disagree with them on most issues, but I am given a lot of comfort by the fact that the people he's chosen are exactly the people I think most of us would want to choose if we were in his shoes. So again, I have doubts about him just because he was such a mediocre senator, but his capacity to pick staff is impressive."

h/t huffington post

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


Classless dick.



Speaking of ugly, Palin Criticizes Biden While He's At Mother-In-Law's Funeral.

Classy. But what should we expect from her?
Someone who calls him or herself "The Right Has Gone Mad" left this post in the comments section today in the post below. I want people to read it and think about where the McCain/Palin ticket is going as their campaign gets into insurrection territory:


This is not just another scandal, or joke, or gaffe. Sarah Palin and John McCain are inciting violence, against Barack Obama and any of the millions of Americans who support his campaign. Anyone who is familiar with the recent history of Israel, and the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin by a right-wing extremist, will recognize the pattern. We must take this seriously, and make our protest against the McCain-Palin incitement to violence heard, before it is too late.

Sarah Palin's new punchline is calling Barack Obama a ""pal of terrorists."It is easy to laugh, and to see this as yet another example of Sarah Palin's astonishing lack of knowledge and/or conscience--and it is that. But it's no laughing matter.The United States is engaged in a "Global War On Terror."Our policy--as advocated by Barack Obama as well as his opponents--is to attack not only terrorists, but states or organizations who harbor and support them.In Virginia, you can see many license plates bearing the slogan "Fight Terror."So it's very clear what Sarah Palin means when she calls Barack Obama a friend of terrorists. She's calling him an enemy. She's calling him a target. She's calling him someone who needs to be "taken out."

Don't kid yourselves. This is direct incitement to violence against Barack Obama, and against the millions of Americans who support his campaign to be our President.In Israel, in the early 1990s, then-Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin faced similar accusations from the extreme Right, after he achieved a historic breakthrough and started the first-ever official Israeli negotiations with the PLO. The incitement came from above and below. It began with politicians in Israel's parliament using the exact same words--calling Rabin a "friend of terrorists." It continued with crowds of right-wing demonstrators, seething with hatred, chanting "Rabin is a traitor" and waving images of Rabin in Arab headdress and Nazi uniform. And it ended with a right-wing extremist assassinating Yitzhak Rabin, and mortally wounding the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.Make no mistake, people.

Think of the lies about Barack Obama that have been repeated a million times by our own homegrown American right-wing--no, not just that he will raise taxes on the middle class--that he is a brainwashed Manchurian candidate of Radical Islam, he is a Marxist, he won't say the Pledge of Allegiance, he swears on the Koran. We laugh it off because we know he's a politician, a better one than most, and about as much of a mensch as it's possible for an effective politician to be in these times. But it's no laughing matter if you believe this stuff--and some percentage of Americans do.

Joe Klein Gets It


I'm of two minds about how to deal with the McCain campaign's further descent into ugliness. Their strategy is simple: you throw crap against a wall and then giggle as the media try to analyze the putresence in a way that conveys a sense of balance: "Well, it is bull-pucky, but the splatter pattern is interesting..." which, of course, only serves to get your perverse message out. I really don't want to be a part of that. But...every so often, we journalists have a duty to remind readers just how dingy the McCain campaign, and its right-wing acolytes in the media (I'm looking at you, Sean Hannity) have become--especially in their efforts to divert public attention from the economic crisis we're facing. And so inept at it: other campaigns have decided that their only shot is going negative, but usually they don't announce it, as several McCain aides have in recent days--there's no way we can win on the economy, so we're going to go sludge-diving.

But since we are dealing with manure here, I'll put the rest of this post below the fold.

It is appropriate that the prime vessel for this assault is Sarah Palin, whose very presence on a national ticket is an insult to your intelligence. She now has "credibility," we are told, because she managed to read talking points off notecards in the debate last week with unwitting enthusiasm.

Over the weekend, she picked up on an article in The New York Times, which essentially says that Barack Obama and the former terrorist Bill Ayers have crossed paths in Chicago, served on a couple of charitable boards together, but aren't particularly close. To Palin--or her scriptwriters--this means that Obama has been "palling around" with terrorists. Now, I wish Ayers had done some serious jail time; he certainly needed to pay some penance for his youthful criminality--even if most people in Chicago, including the mayor, have decided that he has something of value to say about education. But I can also understand how Obama, who was a child when Ayers was cutting his idiot swath, would not quite understand the enormity of the professor's background. (I got to know Alger Hiss twenty years after the fact--he was a printing salesman then, a friend of my father's--and thought of him as a sweet old man, if a good deal more liberal than dad's other friends.)

In any case, this is rather rich coming from Palin, who is married to a man who belonged to a political party--the Alaskan Independence Party--that wanted to secede from the union. (I should add here that the Times may have been overreacting to the McCain campaign's attack on its fairness here: the Ayers story was a nothingburger, but it was placed prominently in the top left hand corner of page one--a position that would seem to indicate that it contained important news, which it didn't.)

Then we have the ever-reliable Bill Kristol, in today's New York Times, advising Palin to bring up the Reverend Jeremiah Wright. Palin, of course, believes that's a darn good idea:

“To tell you the truth, Bill, I don’t know why that association isn’t discussed more, because those were appalling things that that pastor had said about our great country, and to have sat in the pews for 20 years and listened to that — with, I don’t know, a sense of condoning it, I guess, because he didn’t get up and leave — to me, that does say something about character. But, you know, I guess that would be a John McCain call on whether he wants to bring that up.”

So then, I'd guess, it would be appropriate to bring up some of the nuttiness that passes for godliness in Palin's religious life. Leave aside the fact that The Embarracuda allowed herself to participate in a cermony that protected her from witchcraft, how about her presence--she didn't "get up and leave"-- at a sermon by the founder of Jews for Jesus, who argued that the Palestinian terrorist acts against Israel were God's "judgment" on the Jews because they hadn't accepted Jesus.

Speaking of Jews, the ever-execrable Sean Hannity has been having intercourse with a known Jew-hater named Andy Martin, who now wants to expose Barack Obama as a Muslim. According to the Washington Times:

In 1986, when Mr. Martin ran as a Democrat for Connecticut's 3rd Congressional District seat under the name "Anthony R. Martin-Trigona," his campaign committee filed papers saying its purpose was to "exterminate Jew power in America and impeach U.S. District Court of Appeals judges in New York City."

Calling all Podhoretzs! Where's the outrage? I mean, don't the hateful doings at Palin's church and Hannity's perfidy deserve a lengthy exegesis from Pete Wehner or Jennifer Rubin or one of the other empretzled ideologues over at Commentary?

As I said, I'm of two minds about this. I don't want to give currency to this sewage, so it will remain below the fold. And I'll try to devote the lion's share of my time to the issues--the war, the economic crisis, the fraying health insurance system, the environment--that should define this campaign. But what a desperate empty embarrassment the McCain campaign has become.