Tuesday, September 30, 2008

End of a Plutocracy

Paulson Bailout Failure: First Shot in the Next Class War

On the whole, I'd rather be in Philadephia

Springsteen to play in Philly Saturday, for free, for Obama

The Obama campaign has just announced that Bruce Springsteen will play a free, acoustic, set on the Parkway Saturday afternoon. The stated purpose is to assist voter registration and volunteer efforts, and, indeed, to get "preferred" tickets you have to go to an Obama campaign office and sign up to volunteer. General admission is available via the web.

Just in case

Just in case you aren't already appalled and terrified at what sort of shoestring - what sort of nitwits - the fate of the earth rests on, there's this:

Witness: Officer admitted taking missile device

MINOT, N.D. — An Air Force supervisor says a Minot Air Force Base officer admitted taking a missile launch control device as a souvenir because he thought it would be "a cool thing to have."

The domino-sized device is now obsolete but Borowiecki's supervisor says had the technology been compromised, it could have accidentally detonated a nuclear missile.

Hugo Chavez is Arabian

Hugo of Arabia

A Democrat sends over this clip from John McCain's economic forum just now, in which McCain, talking about energy policy, stresses the importance of "ensuring that America is secure, and not dependent on oil from people like Hugo Chavez or other parts of the Middle East. which is, we know, could be destabilized under certain sets of circumstances."


Adviser: "Pssst! John! John! Hugo Chavez isn't from the Middle East!"

McCain: "Ummmm...he's kind of dark and he has oil."

Adviser: "Venezuela, John, Venezuela."

Quote of the day

I don’t think that comforts anybody. I don’t think that moves a single vote. With due respect and sympathy for the man, that was the picture of a beaten dog. That was the picture of presidential impotence right there. He looked terrible like his bell had been rung. He looked drawn to me. - John John Heilemann of New York Magazine, on Bush's speech

Transcript of the pathetic thing here.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Sarah Palin Endorses Hamas

McCain is rejected by Republicans

I have seen a few people complain that 95 Democrats voted against the Bill, and thus, against Pelosi and Reid.

That's less than half the story:

Democrats vote: YES - 140-95

Republicans vote: NO - 133-65

The REAL question is: Why did 133 Republicans go against John McCain?

John McCain is running for President of the United States. He acted like he was going to ride into town like the Cavalry and use his magnetism, charisma and influence to get that bill passed.

And his OWN PARTY voted against his wishes. By almost two-thirds. IF he had been President, that would have been an almost veto proof majority. He said he was going to get it passed. He didn't get it passed. It DIED. Because he couldn't lead his own party.

Why did McCain's own party reject him?

So they'll just print more money

Fed Pumps Further $630 Billion Into Financial System

They did this BEFORE Congress rejected the 700 billion dollar bailout.

I'm not all that sure that created major inflation - which is what printing 630 billion dollars will do - is much of a solution.

It's an outrage

7 years

Emptywheel has some numbers:

January 19, 2001: 10,587.59
September 29, 2008: 10,365.45

NASDAQ Jan 19, 2001 = 2770.38
NASDAQ September 29, 2008 = 1983.73

CPI, January 19, 2001: 175
CPI, September 29, 2008: 219

Dollar exchange with Euro, January 19, 2001: 1.068
Dollar exchange with Euro, September 29, 2008: .695

So if you're one of these idiots who has saved for retirement, you would have done better stuffing your money into a mattress, and MUCH better keeping it in a 1% savings account, thanks to George W. Bush and the Ideological Economy.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Obama is right: McCain was wrong

Obama ad

Only one candidate in this race acts like a grownup - and it isn't John McCain.

Virginia Veterans for Obama

Jack Cafferty on Sarah Palin


I didn't see the bloody thing last night, since, like a fool, I was out enjoying myself.

Strangely enough, most individual seem to think it was quite close, but the polls show a rather strong preference for Obama.

CNN post-debate poll:

Who did the best job in the debate?

Barack Obama 51
John McCain 38

Who would better handle Iraq?

Barack Obama 52
John McCain 47

Who would better handle the economy?

Barack Obama 58
John McCain 37

CBS Insta Poll:

CBS Insta Poll shows Barack Obama won 39% to John McCain's 25% with 36% saying the debate was a draw.

Insider Advantage reports those polled Obama won 42% to McCain's 41% with Undecided 17%

CNN reports voter opinions that Obama "did better" 51%, McCain "did better" 38%

The CNN poll showed men were evenly split, but women gave Obama higher marks 59% to 41% for McCain.

One thing I wish the left would do is work to lower expectations. I'm surprised that Obama is viewed as doing as well as he did because people EXPECTED him to - he's obviously a better public speaker - and debate results are often decided by contrast with expectations. I.e., if Obama is expected to wipe the floor with McCain, and they're about even, he can be perceived as losing. John McCain is a good debater; he always has been. I would much prefer that people realize this, and then are negattively surprised that he didn't look particularly good last night.

Friday, September 26, 2008


From the Daily News

Rudy Giuliani is positioning his law firm to cash in on Wall Street's train wreck - a move that has become a gift to political enemies of his pal John McCain.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Washington Mutual seized by the Government

Because Chase just isn't big enough.

In what is by far the largest bank failure in U.S. history, federal regulators seized Washington Mutual Inc. and struck a deal to sell the bulk of its operations to J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.

Pedestrians walk past a Washington Mutual branch in downtown Seattle.
The closing represents the demise of what once was the largest U.S. thrift but came to symbolize many of the worst excesses of the mortgage boom. Federal regulators said WaMu has suffered an exodus of $16.7 billion in deposits since Sept. 15, leaving the Seattle thrift "with insufficient liquidity to meet its obligations." As a result, WaMu was in "an unsafe and unsound condition to transact business," according to the Office of Thrift Supervision.

An insult to our intelligence

John McCain's choice of Sarah Palin is an insult to the intelligence of this country.

COURIC: Have you ever been involved with any negotiations, for example, with the Russians?

PALIN: We have trade missions back and forth. We-- we do-- it's very important when you consider even national security issues with Russia as Putin rears his head and comes into the air space of the United States of America, where-- where do they go? It's Alaska. It's just right over the border. It is-- from Alaska that we send those out to make sure that an eye is being kept on this very powerful nation, Russia, because they are right there. They are right next to-- to our state.

Focus, man, focus

John McCain says he wants to postpone the debate to focus on the economy.

But just two weeks ago, John McCain said the economy was doing fine.

Maybe he should have focused on it a while ago.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


P.S. The above picture was brought to my attention by an 11-year-old girl.

Roller Coaster

The Market, today:



Deep thought

1n 1929 on Wall Street, the bastards were jumping from the windows.

This time, they should be PUSHED from the windows.

They knew about this months ago

According to Roll Call

Fratto insisted that the plan was not slapped together and had been drawn up as a contingency over previous months and weeks by administration officials. He acknowledged lawmakers were getting only days to peruse it, but he said this should be enough.

But "months and weeks" ago, they were swearing the economy was HEALTHY.

They wouldn't have been LYING, would they?

And if was it drawn up weeks or months ago, why wasn't it shown to anybody, so they could have "weeks" to review it?

As for Fratto's claim that "days" should be enough to review it, somebody should laugh in his face. It isn't NEARLY enough time to review a $700 billion bailout, and they MIGHT want time to CHANGE the precious plan, EH? What the hell was the idea of only giving enough time to rubber stamp the damned thing, eh?

How STUPID do they think people are?
Sarah Palin is being eviscerated for cutting off press access to the meetings with world leaders.

Shepard Smith
of FOX news isn't pleased.

It's fun watching Palin's mouthpiece stammer and stutter while trying to explain why.

Et tu, Rupert?

Corrupt, corrupt, corrupt

Yesterday, McCain threw a hissy fit because the New York Times wrote about his campaign manager being on the payrolls of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

So today, the Times pointed out that the actual story was WORSE than they said.

WASHINGTON — One of the giant mortgage companies at the heart of the credit crisis paid $15,000 a month from the end of 2005 through last month to a firm owned by Senator John McCain’s campaign manager, according to two people with direct knowledge of the arrangement.

The disclosure undercuts a statement by Mr. McCain on Sunday night that the campaign manager, Rick Davis, had had no involvement with the company for the last several years.

Mr. Davis’s firm received the payments from the company, Freddie Mac, until it was taken over by the government this month along with Fannie Mae, the other big mortgage lender whose deteriorating finances helped precipitate the cascading problems on Wall Street, the people said.

They said they did not recall Mr. Davis’s doing much substantive work for the company in return for the money, other than speak to a political action committee of high-ranking employees in October 2006 on the approaching midterm Congressional elections. They said Mr. Davis’s firm, Davis & Manafort, had been kept on the payroll because of Mr. Davis’s close ties to Mr. McCain, the Republican presidential nominee, who by 2006 was widely expected to run again for the White House.

So they paid him to do pretty much nothing, because he was McCain's campaign manager.

And they just stopped last month.

Which means they were expecting favors in return, if McCain should become President.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The No-Talk Express

Via the Huffington Post

Relations between John McCain and the press corps that was once described as his "base" have fully deteriorated. After an appearance in Strongsville, Ohio, on Tuesday, the Senator blissfully ignored questions about the bailout plan from nearby reporters, prompting one journalist to scream out: "Has your bus become the No Talk Express?"

McCain offered a smirk at the line but kept on walking. "Ok, pool, back to the vans!" said an aide. "That was fun."

And the lies just keep on coming


NRA Targets Obama
It falsely claims in mailers and TV ads that Obama plans to ban handguns, hunting ammo and use of a gun for home defense.

A National Rifle Association advertising campaign distorts Obama's position on gun control beyond recognition.

And how grossly dishonest is THIS? This could be a lawsuit, if Obama wants to:

"The flier looks almost as though it comes from the Obama campaign.
It uses the same color and font scheme as well as the campaign's sunrise logo."

Lying about the man's positions, and making it look like the lies come from him.

I'd sue.


Here's a letter that appeared in the New York Times:

Dear Mr. Bernanke and Mr. Paulson:

My student loans are too big and it is hurting the economy. Can I have a bailout, please? I need $92,000.


Monday, September 22, 2008

Buy MY Shitpile, Henry.
Buy MY Shitpile, Henry.

Obama on Iraq

Here is Obama's speech on Iraq delivered in 2002.

Remember - when he delivered this, almost ALL of the other polticians - Republican and Democrat - were in agreement about rushing to war.

Yeah, right

Read these two sentences from the New York Times article together.

The Bush administration proposal could be the largest government bailout of private industry in the nation’s history, and it calls for nearly unfettered powers to Henry Paulson, the Treasury secretary.

“I hate the fact that we have to do it," Mr. Paulson said on Fox News Sunday.

Ummm...yeah, I'm sure you're REAL broken up about the prospect of unfettered power.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

This is hopeful

"As of now, the Bush administration has only offered a concept with a staggering price tag, not a plan." - Barack Obama

Obama has come out pretty strongly against the fundamentals of the Paulson "plan," and stated some necessary conditions:

1) Regulation is necessary. We have to stop doing the anything-goes shit that caused the crisis in the first place.

2) The cost to taxpayers must be kept down as much as possible.

3) There must be oversight, not unfettered authority for Wall Street to just use the money any way they see fit.

4) There has to be aid for citizens and homeowners, not just Wall Street.

5) We aren't going to be bailing out foreign banks with US taxpayers' money.


"The bottom line is that we must change the economic policies that led us down this dangerous path in the first place. For the last eight years, we’ve had an “on your own-anything goes” philosophy in Washington and on Wall Street that lavished tax cuts on the wealthy and big corporations; that viewed even common-sense regulation and oversight as unwise and unnecessary; and that shredded consumer protections and loosened the rules of the road. Ordinary Americans are now paying the price. The events of this week have rendered a final verdict on that failed philosophy, and it is a philosophy I will end as President of the United States.”


I wish I was surprised, but I'm not. Of COURSE the Bush's "solution" to the crisis is to take 700 billion dollars out of treasury and give it to his friends, no strings attached. That's his solution to EVERYTHING: make his friends richer at our expense. It's part of what CAUSED this mess.

I think the jig may be up, though. I don't think the Democrats will go for it. It's too obvious, too blatant, too cynical. If they have any sense, they'll come up with their own plan, and not even bother getting Hank Paulsen's opinion about it.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Dick is not happy

Remember when Cheney claimed that he wasn't bound by the Presidential Records Act, because the office of the Vice-President wasn't part of the Executive Branch, but was some weird FOURTH branch of Government that just hadn't been mentioned in the Constitution, and nobody ever realized it before?

Well, the court says that that's horseshit, thus agreeing with every sane person on the planet.

Judge orders Cheney to preserve records

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A federal judge on Saturday ordered Dick Cheney to preserve a wide range of the records from his time as vice president.

The scary thing is that we've had people in power in this country for eight years who actually SAID completely insane, looking-glass nonsense like that, and some people SWORE by it, just because they said it.

Good timing, guys

Road to Nowhere opened in Alaska

JUNEAU, Alaska — Alaska now has a Road to Nowhere going to what would have been the Bridge to Nowhere.

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's transportation department has completed a $25 million gravel road leading to the site of a bridge that Palin, as John McCain's vice presidential candidate, now boasts that she stopped, so as to save taxpayers money. The road was built with federal tax dollars.

Note that the article above simply says that Palin "boasts that she stopped" it, when it should probably say she CLAIMED that she stopped it. Just about everyone now knows that she lied about the Bridge to Nowhere. And she lied again and again.

You know, Sarah Palin could have said damned near nothing about the Bridge to Nowhere, and few people would have thought of it one way or another. But she chose to lie - "I said thanks, but no thanks" - and she not only succeeded in making herself look like a liar, she drew attention to the fact that she actually SUPPORTED the boondoggle, too.

She thought that claiming to deny it would be a feather in her cap, and instead she is being verbally beaten about the head and shoulders for supporting it and lying about it.

And now - just in time to keep the story alive - Alaska completes a Worthless Road that was intended to lead to the Worthless Bridge - and the bridge doesn't even exist. And the Worthless Road is being paid for by you and me.

If the whole episode isn't a microcosm of Republican government in action - what is?

Making Sarah's Lies pay off.

Sometimes, Keith is great.

Deep thought

The Palins seem to have destroyed their own argument. They are claiming that Troopergate involved no violations of the law. Well, Todd Palin is now in violation of the law, and there's no question about it.

Can't stop lying

Is Sarah Palin a compulsive liar?

The press should ask that question.

She now says that the reason she fired the guy was because he made an unauthorized trip to D.C. Turns out it was authorized.

She seems to be one of these people who lies just to keep in practice.

An internal government document obtained by ABC News appears to contradict Sarah Palin's most recent explanation for why she fired her public safety chief, the move which prompted the now-contested state probe into "Troopergate."

"The last straw," her lawyer argued, came when he planned a trip to Washington, D.C., to seek federal funds for an aggressive anti-sexual-violence program.

"Mr. Monegan persisted in planning to make the unauthorized lobbying trip to D.C.," the release stated.

But the governor's staff authorized the trip, according to an internal travel document from the Department of Public Safety, released Friday in response to an open records request.

Thursday, September 18, 2008


"Yesterday, John McCain actually said that if he's president that he'll take on, and I quote, 'the old boys' network in Washington.'

Now I'm not making this up. This is somebody who's been in Congress for twenty-six years, who put seven of the most powerful Washington lobbyists in charge of his campaign.

And now he tells us that he's the one who's gonna take on 'the old boys' network.' The old boys' network? In the McCain campaign that's called a 'staff meeting.'" - Barack Obama

Liberals and Republicans

Liberals believe that Government can be a useful tool that can get some things done, but that it is not to be trusted. Therefore, Government operations should be as transparent as possible, we should know what they are doing, they should be fully accountable to the people, and they should never forget that THEY work for US.

Judging from the last eight years, Republicans believe that Government should be completely gigantic, but should do nothing useful. They also believe that what the government does should be kept secret from the citizens, government should have no accountability, and they believe that the citizens are answerable to the government instead of the other way around.

Maybe it's me, but I can't figure out why anybody would think that that's good.

John McCain doesn't know what "Spain" is

At least he doesn't seem to.

Late Wednesday night, news made its way from the other side of the Atlantic that John McCain, in an interview with a Spanish outlet, had made a series of bizarre responses to a question regarding that country's prime minister.

"Would you be willing to meet with the head of our government, Mr. Zapatero?" the questioner asked, in an exchange now being reported by several Spanish outlets.

McCain proceeded to launch into what appeared to be a boilerplate declaration about Mexico and Latin America -- but not Spain -- pressing the need to stand up to world leaders who want to harm America.

"I will meet with those leaders who are our friends and who want to work with us cooperatively," according to one translation. The reporter repeated the question two more times, apparently trying to clarify, but McCain referred again to Latin America.

Finally, the questioner said, "Okay, but I'm talking about Europe - the president of Spain, would you meet with him?" The Senator offered only a slight variance to his initial comment. "I will reunite with any leader that has the same principles and philosophy that we do: human rights, democracy, and liberty. And I will confront those that don't [have them]."

This is not some silly little Dan Quayle "haha." This is a Presidential Candidate who is touting foreign policy as his STRENGTH. Does he actually not know who Zapatero is? They ask him about meeting with the leader of Spain and he starts talking about Latin America and Mexico?

Our press has declared it out of bounds to ask questions about the effects of age on his mental faculties. But with stuff like this, how do you avoid it? Is there some other explanation?

One more reason the press drives me crazy

Wandering around the news today, I've seen two references to the concept that voters want a guy they feel like they'd like to have a beer with. That's a commonplace. I've probably said it myself.

And it's horseshit. It suddenly occurred to me that that asinine concept is entirely the invention of the Beltway Press Corps. Think about it: Has any VOTER ever actually SAID that that's his or her voting criterion? Of course not. Well, gee, then it's pretty damned insulting to assume that it is, isn't it? The press made it up on the basis of their opinion about what voters are like. And they have a VERY low opinion of voters.

It's the sort of looking-glass thinking that we've come to expect from our mentally confused pundits. It you don't act like a guy some imaginary voters want to have a beer with, you're an elitist. When the whole damned IDEA that that's what voters want is incredibly elitist, and the invention of beltway elitists, who look down there noses at normal, working men and women.

By their bizarre criteria, you're an elitist if you DON'T condescend to voters.

There's a parable here somewhere


Wednesday, September 17, 2008


Thus saith the cockroach.

Obama raises money! That's NOT FAIR!

John McCain has gone bonkers once again. This time, he's in a state of SHEER SHOCK and ANGER because Barack Obama had a fund-raiser and - gasp! - RAISED FUNDS.

"Talk about siding with the people, siding with the people just before he flew off to Hollywood for a fundraiser with Barbra Streisand and his celebrity friends."

At least he isn't bribing reporters with chicken wings, Johnny.

But see? They won't stop, because they don't learn. McCain got a nice bump because people were curious about Palin - and then squandered it with crap like this. Lies and lipstick, and the rest of that vacuous, insulting-to-the-voters'-intelligence garbage.

That crap made them stall - but they didn't learn from it. So now, the NEW piece of phony indignation is "Ohhhhhh! He raised funds in HOLLYWOOD! Pass the smelling salts!"

And while the Republicans are wasting our time with worthless garbage like that, Barack Obama is doing THIS:

Palin's wasteful ways

From Salon:

Sept. 17, 2008 | WASILLA, Alaska -- Sarah Palin has been touting herself as fiscal watchdog throughout her political career. But Palin's tenure as mayor of Wasilla, Alaska, was characterized by waste, cronyism and incompetence, according to government officials in the Matanuska Valley, where she began her fairy-tale political rise.

"Executive abilities? She doesn't have any," said former Wasilla City Council member Nick Carney, who selected and groomed Palin for her first political race in 1992 and served with her after her election to the City Council.

Four years later, the ambitious Palin won the Wasilla mayor's office -- after scorching the "tax and spend mentality" of her incumbent opponent. But Carney, Palin's estranged former mentor, and others in city hall were astounded when they found out about a lavish expenditure of Palin's own after her 1996 election. According to Carney, the newly elected mayor spent more than $50,000 in city funds to redecorate her office, without the council's authorization.

"I thought it was an outrageous expense, especially for someone who had run as a budget cutter," said Carney. "It was also illegal, because Sarah had not received the council's approval."

According to Carney, Palin's office makeover included flocked, red wallpaper. "It looked like a bordello."

"I braced her about it," he said. "I told her it was against the law to make such a large expenditure without the council taking a vote. She said, 'I'm the mayor, I can do whatever I want until the courts tell me I can't.'"

"I'll never forget it -- it's one of the few times in my life I've been speechless," Carney added. "It would have been easier for her to finesse it. She had the votes on the council by then, she controlled it. But she just pushed forward. That's Sarah. She just has no respect for rules and regulations."

Why do capitalists hate capitalism?

Another Bailout: Government Loans AIG $85 B
The federal government agreed Tuesday to make an emergency loan of $85 billion to American International Group in exchange for a nearly 80 percent equity stake in the company.

I hate to sound like a cold, unfeeling capitalist, but you HAVE TO LET COMPANIES FAIL. Yes, it can hurt some, but that's the WHOLE IDEA behind the whole damned economic system.

And it doesn't even really help to bail them out, because without consequences, they have no reason to change their practices.

Look at Detroit: the government bailed them out. Did it help? NO. Now, Detroit is NOWHERE. They improved not one iota. But if they had been allowed to sink, they might have looked around and said, "Hey - maybe we make should make cars that are smaller and better. What a concept." That would have resurrected the industry. But they didn't. Instead, they kept making the same old gas guzzlers that nobody wants, and now they're in the same boat that they were in then.

You can't have corporations privatized if they make money and socialized if they lose money. That's not capitalism; that's a perversion of capitalism.

If you aren't going to allow the supply-side to suffer the consequences of their own actions, and if you aren't going to allow superior competition to replace companies with bad business practices, you HAVE no capitalism.

What you have is a completely sick system where corporations are subsidized and shielded and only their CUSTOMERS have to sink or swim.

Flip flop

WARREN, Ohio (AP) — Republican presidential candidate John McCain, a day after flatly rejecting the idea of a taxpayer bailout for American International Group Inc., said Wednesday that the government had been "forced" into proposing an $85 billion loan to the nation's largest insurer.

"I'm John McCain and I'm SO CONFUSED."

Obama treats Americans like they aren't idiots.

I hope he's right.

This is a dynamite ad, assuming Americans actually care about the non-trivial.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

NOW is backing Barack.

And they make it very clear why.

The 500,000-strong women's movement, which "very, very rarely endorses in a general election", broke with its tradition of neutrality after "the addition of Sarah Palin gave us a new sense of urgency," said Gandy.

"She is being portrayed as a supporter of women's rights ... as a feminist when in fact her positions on so many of the issues are really anathema to ours," Gandy said.

"There's no question that a lot of women think it's a great thing for a woman to be running for vice president," Gandy said on NPR.

"But they are completely dismayed when they find out her positions.

"The idea that she opposes abortion even in cases of rape and incest -- those kinds of positions are completely out of step with American women and once they find out about those positions, they get a little less excited about a woman running for vice president," Gandy said.


Republican John McCain berated Wall Street, a day after he said the fundamentals of the economy were still strong despite the economic troubles. Campaigning with his running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, he said regulation needs to be streamlined.

JOHN MCCAIN is now talking about REGULATION.

Where you been for 8 years, John?

Why it's a bad idea to stonewall

According to a polling of the search engines "Troopergate" is now the third most popular termed search for, after "AIG" and "Richard Wright."

You just draw attention to it.

Sarah Palin has decided that she's rather draw unwanted attention to the investigation than simply AGREE to the investigation.

Obama on the collapse

Senator Obama in Golden, CO: Confronting an Economic Crisis

So lets be clear: what weve seen the last few days is nothing less than the final verdict on an economic philosophy that has completely failed. And I am running for President of the United States because the dreams of the American people must not be endangered any more. Its time to put an end to a broken system in Washington that is breaking the American economy. Its time for change that makes a real difference in your lives.

Make no mistake: my opponent is running for four more years of policies that will throw the economy further out of balance. His outrage at Wall Street would be more convincing if he wasnt offering them more tax cuts. His call for fiscal responsibility would be believable if he wasnt for more tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, and more of a trillion dollar war in Iraq paid for with deficit spending and borrowing from foreign creditors like China. His newfound support for regulation bears no resemblance to his scornful attitude towards oversight and enforcement. John McCain cannot be trusted to reestablish proper oversight of our financial markets for one simple reason: he has shown time and again that he does not believe in it.

What has happened these last eight years is not some historical anomaly, so we know what to expect if we try these policies for another four. When lobbyists run your campaign, the special interests end up gaming the system. When the White House is hostile to any kind of oversight, corporations cut corners and consumers pay the price. When regulators are chosen for their disdain for regulation and we gut their ability to enforce the law, then the interests of the American people are not protected. Its an ideology that intentionally breeds incompetence in Washington and irresponsibility on Wall Street, and its time to turn the page.

Just today, Senator McCain offered up the oldest Washington stunt in the book you pass the buck to a commission to study the problem. But heres the thing we know how we got into this mess. What we need now is leadership that gets us out. Ill provide it, John McCain wont, and thats the choice for the American people in this election.

John McCain created the Blackberry

An impressive advance from someone who didn't know how to use email.

Asked what work John McCain did as Chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee that helped him understand the financial markets, the candidate's top economic adviser wielded visual evidence: his BlackBerry.

"He did this," Douglas Holtz-Eakin told reporters this morning, holding up his BlackBerry. "Telecommunications of the United States is a premier innovation in the past 15 years, comes right through the Commerce committee so you're looking at the miracle John McCain helped create and that's what he did."

The ones who attacked Al Gore will, no doubt, be completely silent.

Howard Kurtz on excessive lipstick

Howie is usually blind to media excess, but he's starting to catch on.

KURTZ: I seriously thought about passing up entirely this ridiculous, trumped-up, phony lipstick controversy. No one really seriously believes that Barack Obama was talking about Sarah Palin when he used the well-worn barnyard phrase. Just about everyone knows it was essentially pushed along and made up by Drudge, Sean Hannity, and the New York Post, which endorsed McCain, by the way, in a front-page editorial. Surely the media wouldn't fall for this. After all, look at what this guy said a few months ago.

McCAIN [video clip]: In 1993, we rejected the then-Clinton universal health care proposal. It was rejected by the American people. I don't like to use this term, but the latest proposal I see is putting lipstick on a pig, as we used to -- as we used to say.

KURTZ: This Lipstickgate was all over cable and led all the network newscasts.

DAVID GREGORY (host, MSNBC's Race for the White House) [video clip]: Tonight, lipstick madness.

ALAN COLMES (co-host, Fox News' Hannity & Colmes) [video clip]: Top story tonight: pigs in lipstick.

WOLF BLITZER (host, CNN's The Situation Room) [video clip]: Lipstick on a pig.

KATIE COURIC (anchor, CBS Evening News) [video clip]: That lipstick comment --

SEAN HANNITY (co-host, Fox News' Hannity & Colmes) [video clip]: We've got this lipstick comment that we've been talking about all night.

BRIT HUME (co-host, Fox News' Special Report) [video clip]: The issue of the day, today, all day: lipstick on a pig.

KYRA PHILLIPS (co-anchor, CNN Newsroom) [video clip]: Lipstick, smears, pigs --

HEATHER NAUERT (host, Fox News' America's Election HQ) [video clip] The lipstick war.

DIANE SAWYER (co-anchor, ABC's Good Morning America) [video clip]: What do we call it? Lipstickgate, I guess.

STEVE MURPHY (Democratic strategist) [video clip]: They're all guilty of, I guess, pig-ism here.

JAKE TAPPER (ABC News senior national correspondent) [video clip]: Barack Obama today said that John McCain was cynically making up a controversy about something that Obama simply never said.

BRIAN WILLIAMS (anchor, NBC Nightly News) [video clip]: If so many know it's happening and the machinery behind it, how do things like this still happen?

KURTZ: You want to disagree with that?

SESNO: No. I just wish I'd bought lipstick futures at the right moment, you know? It is this -- you know, we've talked about it before, this echo chamber that we're in. Turn a catchy phrase, put out a nasty enough attack, have, you know, something personal and specific enough, and we can't resist it.

KURTZ: We're like addicts.

SESNO: We're like addicts. And make it -- as I say, make it catchy and nasty enough, and everybody jumps on. It's a feeding frenzy.

KURTZ: Julie, let's see how Barack Obama characterized it when he was asked about the great lipstick controversy.

OBAMA [video clip]: They seize on an innocent remark, try to take it out of context, throw up an outrageous ad, because they know it's catnip for the news media. [edit] See, it would be funny -- it would be funny except, of course, the news media decided that that was the lead story yesterday.

KURTZ: Catnip for the news media.

MASON: It's true. I hate to say it.
It might be a new low for the news media this late in the game for us to become so distracted with something as trivial as this. And we're not talking about the issues. I wish we were more high-minded. But it is a funny story, and everyone was talking about it for a day, and then it was gone.

KURTZ: I think it was about 48 hours. And even as they were saying, "Well, you know, this isn't quite the way it happened," it didn't matter. They'd still do segment after segment on it.

Palin gets paranoid

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (CNN) -- Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin will not cooperate with a "tainted" legislative investigation into the firing of her public safety commissioner, the McCain-Palin campaign announced Monday, accusing supporters of Democratic rival Barack Obama of manipulating the probe for political motivations.

I would like to know exactly where I can find the law that says you can ignore an investigation by claiming not to like the people conducting it?

It's pretty obvious that Palin is corrupt as hell, and this obvious horseshit proves it.

"Hijacked by Obama operatives"? Spare me.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Richard Wright died.

The keyboard player for Pink Floyd. Only 65.

He didn't get as much attention or credit as either Roger Waters or David Gilmour, but he probably should have: the keyboards were really at the very heart of Pink Floyd's music.

In fact, between Piper at the Gates of Dawn and Dark Side of the Moon, it sometimes seemed as though the other three members would just let him improvise for twenty minutes and call it an album side.

Major experimental outngs like "On the Run" from Dark Side of the Moon were entirely Wright just letting his imagination run wild on the keyboard.

He had an astounding musical imagination, and he used it to help make some of the best, most important and most influential music in the history of Rock.


Put on a happy face

John McCain says the economy is still strong.

"Hey, who you gonna believe - me or you own eyes?" - Chico Marx

It's about time

Here is Obama's new ad, which eviscerates McCain for lying. Personally, I think it's dynamite.

He also seems to understand what Republicans have understood for a while: Make an ad that's a news story. That way the media will run it for you, free, over and over again.

Financial Russian Roulette

Paul Krugman on the continuing collapse of Big Shitpile.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Lies - that's not the kind of change we can believe in, my friends.

If you are actually surprised at John McCain's blatant lying, you shouldn't be: it's nothing new. He has not only done it again and again, he has ADMITTED lying for pure political ambition:

Q- "There was a political issue, a local issue about whether the Confederate Flag should fly over the Capital".

McCain- "Umm hmm"

Q- "You waffled on that"

McCain- "Yes. Worse than that"

Q- "What do you mean?"

McCain- "Well, I said that it was strictly a state issue clearly knowing that it wasn't"

Q- "That's not what you believed in your heart?"

McCain- "No"

Q- "What did you believe in your heart?"

McCain- "That it was a symbol to many, a very offensive symbol to many Americans"

Q- "Why did you say that?"

McCain- "I'm sure for all the wrong reasons"

Q- "And those wrong reasons would be?"

McCain- "For ambition"

Q- "For ambition"?

McCain- "Sure"

That, and other lies, chronicled here:

Saturday, September 13, 2008

"I didn't decide to run for president to start a national crusade for the political reforms I believed in or to run a campaign as if it were some grand act of patriotism. In truth, I wanted to be president because it had become my ambition to be president." - John McCain, 2000

John McCain lies about crowd sizes

But, of course, John McCain has decided to lie about everything.

Sept. 13 (Bloomberg) -- Senator John McCain has drawn some of the biggest crowds of his presidential campaign since adding Alaska Governor Sarah Palin to his ticket on Aug. 29. Now officials say they can't substantiate the figures McCain's aides are claiming.

McCain aide Kimmie Lipscomb told reporters on Sept. 10 that an outdoor rally in Fairfax City, Virginia, drew 23,000 people, attributing the crowd estimate to a fire marshal.

Fairfax City Fire Marshal Andrew Wilson said his office did not supply that number to the campaign and could not confirm it. Wilson, in an interview, said the fire department does not monitor attendance at outdoor events.

In recent days, journalists attending the rallies have been raising questions about the crowd estimates with the campaign. In a story on Sept. 11 about Palin's attraction for some Virginia women voters, Washington Post reporter Marc Fisher estimated the crowd to be 8,000, not the 23,000 cited by the campaign.

Friday, September 12, 2008


It's Friday

So here's an old Vaudeville act called the Cohen Brothers.

This is how you stick it to lying Republican hacks

Like Tapper says, isn't this the definition of question someone's patriotism?

"Just ask the Machinists in Pennsylvania who build Harley-Davidsons," Obama said of McCain's record. "Because John McCain didn’t just oppose the requirement that the government buy American-made motorcycles, he called Buy American provisions 'disgraceful.' Just ask the workers across this country who have seen their jobs outsourced. The very companies that shipped their jobs overseas have been rewarded with billions of dollars in tax breaks that John McCain supports and plans to continue.

"So when American workers hear John McCain talking about putting 'Country First,'" Obama said, "it’s fair to ask – which country?"

Why don't journalists do this?

The women on "The View" actually asked John McCain the toughest questions he may have ever had.

Watch him squirm

Biden sez:

The famous biologist T.H. Huxley once said, “the great tragedy of science — the slaying of a beautiful hypothesis by an ugly fact.” That “beautiful hypothesis” is the Bush Doctrine, which has governed our national security and foreign policies since 9/11.

It has three core principles. First, the best way to protect America is to strike an enemy with military force before it strikes us, while striking fear into the hearts of other potential adversaries. Second, because military might is our single most important tool, we should marginalize anything that could get in the way of using it — like allies and international organizations. Third, democratizing the greater Middle East is the path to long term security.

“Ugly facts” have demolished the “beautiful hypothesis” of the Bush Doctrine, on its own terms. - Joe Biden, August 7, 2006

Gee, unlike the OTHER Vice-Presidential candidate, Joe Biden not only knows what the Bush Doctrine IS, he's capable of analyzing and critiquing it.

How ASTONISHING for someone running for Vice-President.

Huh? What Bush Doctrine

Gidget the Hun (ht the Missus) was asked by Charles Gibson last night about the Bush doctrine, and had no idea how to define it.

FORT WAINWRIGHT, Alaska (AP) — John McCain running mate Sarah Palin sought Thursday to defend her qualifications but struggled with foreign policy, unable to describe President Bush's doctrine of pre-emptive strikes against threatening nations and acknowledging she's never met a foreign head of state.

In the interview Thursday, Palin:

_Appeared unsure of the Bush doctrine — essentially that the United States must help spread democracy to stop terrorism and that the nation will act pre-emptively to stop potential foes.

Asked whether she agreed with that, Palin said: "In what respect, Charlie?" Gibson pressed her for an interpretation of it. She said: "His world view." That prompted Gibson to say "no, the Bush doctrine, enunciated September 2002, before the Iraq war" and described it to her.

She has no clue. HE had to tell HER what it was.

But hey - Alaska is close to Russia, so it's ok.

Thursday, September 11, 2008


30-Yr.-Old Child Predator Poses As 12-Yr.-Old Student For 2 Years

30-Yr.-Old Child Predator Poses As 12-Yr.-Old Student For 2 Years

Thursday September 11, 2008

Does this man look like a 12-year-old to you? Believe it or not, he actually passed himself off as one and even enrolled in an Arizona public school.

Neil Havens Rodreick II is actually 30 years old and a child predator. He used the unbelievable ruse to get close to more victims. It lasted for two years before he was finally caught.

Charging rape victims for an exam

That's what Sarah Palin did when the she was mayor.

I WISH I was making that up.


By all accounts, Barack Obama was pretty damned masterful on Letterman last night. Here's a transcript.

Dave: "Let me ask you a question here. Have you ever actually put lipstick on a pig?"

Obama: "You know," (audience laughs) "the answer would be no. But I think it might be fun to try."

Dave: "I know the reaction to that was, 'You were overreacting.' You stand by that?"

Obama: "Absolutely." (audience applauds) "Look, this is - if you - this is sort of silly season in politics - not that there's a non-silly season in politics." (Dave, audience laugh) "But it gets sillier. But, you know, it's a common expression in at least Illinois, I don't know about New York City. I don't know where you put lipstick on here." (audience, Dave laugh) "But in Illinois, the expression connotes the idea that if you have a bad idea, in this case I was talking about John McCain's economic plans, that just calling them change, calling it something different, doesn't make it better, hence, lipstick on a pig is still a pig."

Dave: "Now what I like about this scenario is because they demanded, the Republicans demanded an apology."

Obama: "Yes, they did."

Dave: "So that means there had been a meeting at some point somewhere along the line."

Obama: "All of them."

Dave: "Yeah, they got together and they said, 'You know what? He called our vice presidential candidate a pig.'" (audience laughs) "Well, that seems pretty unlikely, doesn't it?"

Obama: "It does. But keep in mind that, technically, had I meant it that way, she would have been the lipstick, you see?" (audience, Dave laugh) "But now we're..."

Dave: "I don't know, you're way ahead of me." (audience laughs)

Obama: "Yeah, the failed policies of John McCain would be the pig."

Then Letterman asked Obama about what some have called the Palinomenon, the way the Alaska governor has become a national celebrity in a matter of weeks.

Dave: "The fact that we're talking about this now, do you feel like within the last week and half or so, there's been - you're derailed a little bit and now you're campaigning against, not necessarily the Republican ticket, but John McCain, not him, but Sarah Palin?"

Obama: "Well, I - look, there's no doubt that she's been a phenomenon. I mean, you know, as somebody who used to be on the cover of Time and Newsweek, you know." (audience, Dave laugh)

Dave (laughs): "Those were the days." (audience applauds)

Obama: "Those were the days. I had a recent offer with Popular Mechanics." (audience laughs)

Dave: "Take it, take it." (audience laughs)

Obama: "Said they had a centerfold, yeah, with a wrench, you know." (audience, Obama laugh) "But, no, look, she's on a wild ride and there's no doubt that she's energized the base. But ultimately what we've seen over the last week is a concession on the part of the McCain campaign that this election is going to be about change. You'll recall, you know, for the last two years, we've been talking about needing to change how Washington works, how the country is managed and people were saying, 'No, it's about experience, experience, experience,' and over the last week and a half I think they recognized that, no, the American people want something fundamentally different and for a good reason. Because when you travel, it doesn't matter whether you're here in New York City or a tiny hamlet somewhere in the Midwest, what you find is people are just having a tough time right now. The economy is not working for middle class families, incomes have gone down, people don't have healthcare, you've got foreclosures all across the country, and so people want something different, and whoever makes the better case that we have had enough of the last eight years, we need something fundamentally new, whoever makes that case to the American people will be the next President." (audience applauds)

Dave: (laughs) "You're campaigning now, aren't you?"

Obama: "I am."

Dave: "Campaigning."

Obama: "I had to throw a little - " (audience still applauds)

Dave: "I understand."

Obama: "I had to throw a little campaigning in."

Dave: "But now, Labor Day weekend, we hear that John McCain has selected Sarah Palin and nobody knows, except maybe people living in Alaska, who that is. And we think, in the beginning we think, oh my God, that's the worst decision the man could have made. And then, subsequently, it turns out to be a pretty good decision for the man, for the party, certainly for the ticket - and calculated, no question about it, calculated. And I'm wondering, if he had picked Sarah Palin before you picked Joe Biden, is there a chance that maybe you would have selected somebody else? Would that have affected your choice?"

Obama: "You know, the way I thought about it was, 'Who's going to help me govern? Who's the person I want in the room if we've got a big decision to make? Who's going to be able to give me good counsel, good advice, who's able to maybe have some ideas that I don'thave or give me a perspective that I haven't seen, and I think that nobody can do that better than Joe Biden." (audience applauds) "And I know what he cares about and what he stands for - I think he's going to be a great choice."

Dave: "When word came out that it was Sarah Palin, what was your personal reaction? What was the reaction of the folks around you?"

Obama: "You know, we didn't know much about her, and I think that, obviously, she's a skilled politician and you know, she has energized their party. But, what I think are pretty confident about - we'll know, you know, if she does more interviews with people and talks to them - about what her ideas are. I think what we're going to see is she shares John McCain's view that the policies of George W. Bush have worked pretty well. All right, so McCain has said we've made great economic progress, the economy's fundamentally sound - you haven't seen any separation between them and what we've seen over the last eight years. And so the bottom line is if you think the last eight years haven't worked, if you think that the government can do a better job creating jobs, building the economy, making sure kids that can go to college, providing healthcare to people who don't have it, then it's hard to figure why you would want four more years of exactly the same policy." (audience applauds)

With the interview taking place on the eve of 9/11, Letterman shifted to ask Obama what he would have done had he been president that day:

Dave: "Tomorrow is the seventh anniversary of the attack on the United States, and when we come back, I want you to tell us what you would have done, knowing what you know now, what you would have done had you been President then, what you would do if you're President now and we get another attack, so we'll be right back here with Sen. Barack Obama, everybody."


Dave: "All right, Barack Obama is here. Had a lot of time to think about people, you know, when Washington was attacked, when New York City was attacked, and for us in the Northeast, it was, I think, more about Rudy Giuliani - he was our savior here in this city - than it was about George Bush and the national strategy. But now, this is stuff you've got to think about. You have to think about it. What would you have done then? What kind of a situation would we be in now if you had been the President?"

Obama: "Well, first of all, I think Giuliani deserves credit. He kept calm and he was clear. You know, I still remember your show after it happened and how moving that was. That was one of the most powerful moments on television. I think that George Bush did the right thing by going after the Taliban in Afghanistan, and I would have done the exact same thing, and the big difference between myself and George Bush I think would have been to stay focused on Afghanistan, not get distracted by Iraq. I think we would have tamped down Al Qaeda, we could have, if not captured or killed Bin Laden, at least made sure that they weren't setting up the kind of base camps that have now reconstituted themselves, so they've got safe haven in the mountains between Pakistan and Afghanistan. And I think in terms of the United States, there was just this outpouring - you remember, people wanted to do something, and, you know, George Bush asked them to shop, and if we had instead said, 'You know what, we are going to reduce our dependence on Middle Eastern oil,' or, you know, 'We are going to create the kinds of energy-efficient economy that will allow us to weaken the forces of terror,' that could have made an incredible difference and I think you could have mobilized the American people around bold plans on energy that would make sure that we weren't continuing to be in the situation we're in today."

Dave: "Now, two things: it's been called to my attention, and you see it on television, there's documentaries about it and there've been books published about it, that seconds after the first plane hit the tower, there was chaos in Washington, D.C. Is that your understanding, that systems that everybody took for granted about being in place were not in place and if they were, nobody knew how to run them?"

Obama: "Well, there's no doubt it was a shock to the system, and, you know, the failures of intelligence have been well-documented. I think some of the systems broke down, but, you know, my interest is not in playing Monday morning quarterback. I think that any president who was there would have had to deal with a whole range of problems that we hadn't anticipated before. What I am concerned about is that we have not taken the steps since that time that would make us safer. I think that if we had stayed focused in Afghanistan, if we had, instead of spending a trillion dollars in Iraq, had focused on our energy problems here at home, if we had started hardening our chemical plants and our ports in ways we that we still haven't done and implemented the 9/11 Commission reports then, we couldn't guarantee that 9/11's not repeated, but we would be further along in making sure that America was safe. And the other thing we would have done is we would have maintained the sympathy of the world and the alliances that have been frayed so badly over the last several years."

Dave: "More or less decimated."

Obama: "Absolutely."

Dave: "Now, you mentioned twice staying focused in Afghanistan, and we have seen relatively so, we had a short visit in Afghanistan militarily, and now, there's trouble there in Afghanistan. What would maintaining focus there mean?"

Obama: "Well, it means a couple things."

Dave: "Would it mean a similar situation as we have in Iraq? Would it mean an American and military control of the country?"

Obama: "Well, I do think we've got to have more troops there, so I think we've got to have a couple of more brigades. But just as important is the non-civilian side - what are we doing in terms of giving farmers there an alternative to growing poppy, right, so narco-trafficking has funded terrorism in that region. What are we doing about rooting out corruption in the Afghan government, so people actually trust what's going on there?"

Dave: "Also schools?"

Obama: "Schools, medical care, and what are we doing in terms of dealing with Pakistan, because the fact is that Bin Laden and Al Qaeda, they are on the Pakistani side of the border, we were funding this guy Musharraf, providing him $10 billion in military assistance, and they were not going after these folks that are sitting there hatching plots to attack the United States again. And, you know, one of the things that we've got to recognize is that if we are protecting dictators because we think that's the best we can do, we're actually creating an environment in Pakistan that becomes anti-American and feeds the kinds of militancy that can end up damaging us badly."

Dave: "This sort of discussion, because I don't have the brainpower for it, makes my head hurt." (audience laughs)

Obama: "Does it hurt?"

Letterman then asked Obama about his first visit as a child to the contiguous 48 states:

Dave: "Actually makes my head hurt." (Obama laughs) "I want you to tell us a little bit about, I think when you were 10 or 11 years old, was your first trip to the mainland."

Obama: "That's right. I was living in Hawaii at the time."

Dave: "And you came with your, uh, sister?"

Obama: "I came with my two-year-old sister, my mom and my grandma, and we went to Seattle because that's where my family had lived before they moved to Hawaii."

Dave: "And they decided it was time, as nice as Hawaii is, time to see more of the country."

Obama: "Time to see more of the country, so we went to Seattle, we went to Disneyland, which was big. They got a lot of points for that." (audience laughs)

Dave: "As a kid, you responded the way kids respond to that?"

Obama: "Yeah, Dave, I mean, you know, kids in Hawaii, they know about Mickey Mouse and things like that." (audience laughs, applauds)

Dave: (laughs) "I don't know." (Dave, Obama laugh; audience applauds) "Just checking."

Obama: "Yeah, yeah, it's Disneyland, man." (Audience laughs) "I mean, you know, kids like that."

Dave: "I don't know what it's like in Hawaii, I don't know what's going on over there."

Obama: "So, what do you think? We went and kind of looked around and said, 'What the heck is this?'" (audience, Obama laugh)

Dave: "Yes, yes, I do." (audience laughs)

Obama: "No, so, we went to Disneyland, we went to the Grand Canyon, we went to Yosemite."

Dave: "Grand Canyon."

Obama: "Grand Canyon was great. My first trip to Chicago was on that trip, and went to the Field Museum, and I still remember this, they had shrunken heads. Real shrunken heads, which, you know, when you're - 10-year-old boys are kind of strange because," (audience laughs) "or 11-year-old boys, that was fascinating to me. That was actually the highlight. That was almost as good as Disneyland." (Dave, audience laugh)

Dave: "Right up everybody's alley."

Obama: "Shrunken heads." (audience laughs)

Dave: "Shrunken heads, that's right." (audience applauds)

Obama: "I thought that was pretty cool."

Dave: "And did that create any kind of yearning? Did it create any kind of an awareness? Not the shrunken heads, but the whole trip." (Obama, audience laugh) "You know, I mean - "

Obama: "No, you know, what it did, and this is actually something that happens, people ask me, 'Well, what's - you know, what have you learned as you've been campaigning for 19 months?' And you know, you realize what a spectacular country this is." (audience applauds) "And how big it is and how beautiful it is, and so it really underscored for me just how lucky we are to be Americans."

Dave: "Yeah, all right, good enough. We'll be right back with Sen. Barack Obama, ladies and gentlemen."

The conversation turned to Africa and Haiti. Obama actually gave President Bush credit for his major initiative to fight AIDS in on the African continent.

Dave: "Well, it's pretty short now. Just a couple of months and there will be the election and the inauguration in January. Do you ever think about going to Kenya as president of the United States?"

Obama: "You know, I do think about that. I went there a couple of years ago after I'd been elected senator and, you know, it was moving for me to see people's response. You know, sometimes we forget how people overseas look at America. They place so much hope in the United States, and that's something I think we've forgotten because we always hear bad news about how, you know, people don't like Americans anymore. That's not true. They're disappointed precisely because they've got high expectations, and obviously, given that my father's from Kenya, there was a special connection, so we were just seeing these enormous crowds, and you know, I went up to the village where my grandmother lives and folks were lining the roads for miles. And, you know, we took an AIDS test because the CDC, which is doing great work - this is something that George Bush has done well is work on AIDS issues in Africa, he has made a serious commitment to it and I give him credit for it. But the CDC that's working over there, they asked Michelle and I to take a test because they said just the act of you as a married couple taking a test, potentially a million people will see it, and you can save thousands of lives just by people getting tested. So it was a great trip. I can only imagine what it would be like if I were president, but we have 55 more days of work before we get to that point."

Dave: "What - I, for like the last 10 years, even longer - for as long as I've been aware of stuff," (audience, Obama laugh) "rarely do you hear positive stories coming out of Africa to the point where you can create the impression the continent could be lost. And you mention George Bush actually providing medical care and food and funding and so forth. Is it a lost cause? Is that a false impression?"

Obama: "You know, it is. Look, we tend to focus on the negative, and when you go there, first of all what you realize is that the people there are more energetic and optimistic than you would ever imagine. In fact, there've been some surveys done showing that Africans are surprisingly happy and positive about the future, and there are a lot of good things going on there. You go to a place like Rwanda that suffered such brutality and now it is thriving, it is growing. President Bill Clinton has done some great work in helping to foster economic development and other efforts in those areas, Bill Gates' foundation has done great work, so it makes a difference. But what is true is that we've got to have better governance in Africa. You know, sometimes we spend so much time running down government that we forget what it means, how important it is to have a functioning government, one that can deliver services, one that, you know, if you want to get a telephone, you don't have to pay a bribe, if you want to start a business, you don't have to give a cut to somebody. All that makes an enormous difference, and hopefully we can hold governments there more accountable so that their people actually have a chance."

Dave: "Is there a way for this country to do that without pushing people around and being resented?"

Obama: "Well, no, I think that if we send a signal, and this is true whether it's in Africa or the Middle East or anywhere in the world, if we say we want to be a partner with you, we respect you, but if you're getting our help, then we've got certain expectations, that we're not just helping the wealthy or the people who are going to send the money to Swiss bank accounts, we expect to actually see results on the ground. Just holding people accountable but doing it in a respectful way, I think that could make a big difference." (audience applauds)

Dave: "And - absolutely. And then I saw today, closer to home, in the Caribbean - Haiti - things just get worse and worse and worse and worse."

Obama: "They've had a long, long run of bad luck, and, you know, we need to make sure that we're providing help to them - obviously, our prayers go out to the families who've just been devastated by the recent hurricane. They already had little, they have even less now. But one of the things that I think it's important to remind ourselves is, you know, New Orleans hasn't been in great shakes either, and you know, if we're not doing our job with respect to our fellow citizens here during crises, then it's a bad sign for us being able to help others and that's part of the reason why we've got to have a government that works, and I am campaigning now, Dave. That's why I'm running for president of the United States." (audience applauds)

Dave: "But it's frustrating to me because even I know that the resources are here. You know, we have the resources, just in terms of money, we have the money. We can raise the money, the world can raise the money to solve these problems. Africa can be solved, Haiti can be solved, New Orleans could be solved."

Obama: "You know, part of it is that we've been sold a bill of goods, I think, that says just look out for yourself and everybody's on their own. Now, I am a big believer of individual responsibility and whether it's improving our education system or dealing with issues like welfare, I'm a big believer that you've got to take care of yourself and take care of your kids. But, I also believe that part of what makes this country great is that we rise and fall together, and that our attitude is, you know, if there's some child out there that doesn't have a decent school, that that affects Harry and that affects my kids, and it affects everybody."

Dave: "That's right, it's everybody's problem, absolutely. Yeah, that seems to have evaporated, yes, I think so."

Obama: "We've lost that, let's see if we can restore it."

Dave: "We'll be right back with the Senator."

The conversation ended with a discussion of Obama's visit today with former President Bill Clinton who, if everything goes according to plan, will be campaigning soon in Florida for Obama. Letterman also asked after Obama's family, specifically his maternal grandmother and his daughters.

Dave: "Now, tell me about the big lunch with Bill Clinton. Is that tomorrow or the next day?"

Obama: "You know, I've got lunch with Bill Clinton, which I'm looking forward to. There's nobody smarter in politics," (audience applauds) "and he is going to be, you know, he's going to be campaigning for us over the next eight weeks, which I'm thrilled by because, you know, the race that he ran in '92 is - it was similar to what's taking place now. You had an economy that wasn't working for people, you had a party that had been in power that didn't seem particularly concerned that it wasn't working for people, but, you know, he was new. He was young and people were still trying to figure out whether or not the guy was up to the job, and so, you know, I think giving - having him talk about, you know, why we need to change the economy in a fundamental way so it works for middle class families so that they can get ahead, so that they can send their kids to college, I think he can be a great advocate on behalf of the campaign."

Dave: "Would he be, if you are elected, would he be somebody that you could consider in a Cabinet position, somebody in the administration, or is that not done with former Presidents?"

Obama: "Yeah, I think if you're a former President, you don't take Cabinet positions." (audience laughs) "I think your attitude is, you know, sort of been there, done that, you know." (Dave, audience laughs) "It's sort of like getting, you know, Mickey Mantle, you know, to play Triple A, you don't do that." (Dave laughs) "But obviously you consult with him as often as you can because, look, there are only a handful of people who've actually done the job."

Dave: "Right. So, what do you do now? What's ahead of you in terms of the campaign?"

Obama: "Well, I have to keep Michelle and the girls happy." (audience laughs, applauds)

Dave: "How are the girls? They just started school."

Obama: "The girls just started school. You know, they started late at the school where they go, so my - Malia started 5th grade and Sasha started 2nd, and I don't think Malia wanted me to walk her to the class because 5th grade's kind of a big deal. You - she gets get a combination lock now, so she had gone to practice the combination lock, and so her father there was generally an embarrassment." (Dave, audience laugh) "But, I didn't care, so." (audience laughs, applauds)

Dave: "Yeah, that's right. Now, let me - your grandmother - 87 years old?"

Obama: "Eighty-seven years old. She can't travel. She has terrible osteoporosis so she can't fly, but, you know, she has been the rock of our family and she is sharp as a tack. I mean, she's just - she follows everything, but she has a very subdued, sort of Midwestern attitude about these things. So when I got nominated, she called and said, 'That's nice, Barry, that's nice.'"

Dave: "'That's nice, that's nice.'" (audience laughs)

Obama: "'I thought that was a very nice speech, yes.'"

Dave: "At 87, are you worried that she may not vote for you and vote for someone maybe closer to her own age?" (audience, Obama laugh; audience applauds)

Obama: "You know, I, uh, I have been sending her out to some of her bridge partners trying to peel off votes from that demographic." (Dave, audience laugh)

Dave: "All right, well, great pleasure to have you."

Obama: "It's great to see you, Dave."

Dave: "Good luck on the campaign trail. Barack Obama."

(Dave and Obama shake hands; audience applauds)
"Anybody who believes that the Republicans can fix the mess they created probably believes that the iceberg could have saved the Titanic." - Hillary Clinton

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

They have NO shame

The White House is now claiming that Bin Laden was NOT the mastermind behind the 9/11 attacks.


West Coast Peace Tour

Just thought I'd mention to you all that the Freeway Blogger is going on a West Coast Peace Tour.

Oh, No!

I just heard Barack Obama use the phrase "election cycle"!

He MUST have meant it as an insulting remark about Sarah Palin's menstrual cycle.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Pinnochio Palin

Josh Marshall has compiled a video of Sarah Palin lying about the Bridge to Nowhere.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Obama brings it

I am SO GLAD to see a Democrat actually call them out on their bullshit like this:

"He says, 'I'm going to tell those lobbyists that their days of running Washington are over.' Who's he going to tell? Is he going to tell his campaign chairman, who's one of the biggest corporate lobbyists in Washington? Is he going to tell his campaign manager, who was one of the biggest corporate lobbyists in Washington? Is he going to tell all the folks running his campaign, who are the biggest corporate lobbyists in Washington? I mean, come on, they must think you're stupid."

"I know the governor of Alaska has been saying she's change, and that's great. She's a skillful politician. But, you know, when you've been taking all these earmarks when it's convenient, and then suddenly you're the champion anti-earmark person, that's not change. Come on! I mean, words mean something, you can't just make stuff up."

Obama said Republicans are targeting his character, and he criticized McCain for saying he would reduce the partisan rancor in Washington. Pretending to address McCain, he said, "Did you pay attention to the last two days of your convention? Were you not watching? When you start just focusing exclusively on trying to tear the other person down instead of what you are going to do on behalf of the American people to deal with this economy then that's not serving Democrats, that's not serving Republicans, that's not serving anybody."

Who'da thunk it?

It looks like the "Anti-Big-Government" Republicans are nationalizing the mortgage industry.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Stock photos - THAT's not the kind of change we can believe in, my friends

John McCain's convention used stock photos of black people to make it look like he had black supporters.

How pathetic.

What's the word we're looking for?

Boring old Joe Biden




Anchorage Daily News Editorial

Governor is stonewalling the Troopergate investigation

Published: September 5th, 2008 12:11 AM
Last Modified: September 5th, 2008 03:03 AM

Gov. Sarah Palin is taking the wrong approach to Troopergate. She should be practicing the open and transparent, ethical and accountable government she promised when running for governor and boasts about now that she's on the national stage.

Instead, Gov. Palin has begun stonewalling the Legislature's attempt to get the bottom of allegations that she, her family or staff violated ethical or state personnel rules.

As a result, the Troopergate allegations hang over Palin's future and cloud her candidacy for vice president.

Over there

From the Washington Post. And it's damned near buried because of the massive coverage being given to a godawful boring speech.

Soldiers' Suicide Rate On Pace to Set Record

Suicides among active-duty soldiers this year are on pace to exceed both last year's all-time record and, for the first time since the Vietnam War, the rate among the general U.S. population, Army officials said yesterday.

Thursday, September 04, 2008


They finally went there.
John Stewart on the Sarah Palin Gender Card.

By the way, in case you missed it

Soldiers are donating 6 times more to the Obama campaign than the McCain campaign.

Troops Deployed Abroad Give 6:1 to Obama

A sad night for conservatism

Bill Scher

"Conservatism is addicted to snidery, and Gov. Sarah Palin looks to be just another pusher."

Wednesday, September 03, 2008


'This Election is Not About Issues' - John McCain's Manager, Rick Davis
The Deeply Broken American Police System


An aide to Sarah Palin had agreed to testify in Troopergate.

She changed her mind.

And this:

In the latest sign that Sarah Palin's promised cooperation with the Trooper-Gate investigation is failing to materialize, her lawyer is now demanding that the entire case be taken out of the hands of the independent prosecutor hired by Alaska lawmakers, and given over to a state personnel board -- whose three members were appointed by the governor herself.

AIP update

You are going to here it as a common defense that Sarah Palin never actually joined the Alaskan Independence Party. But that's bogus. Like any small political party, not every supporter is a registered member, if only because they want to vote in primaries. At meetings of NYCs Working Families Party, at least half the people in the room are registered as Democrats, not Working Families. It doesn't mean that they aren't supporters.

Sarah Palin attended TWO conventions. Her husband was a REGISTERED member for eight years. And most of the other registered members assumed that she was one also.

She was clearly a fellow traveler and supporter of a political party whose founder - Joe Vogler - said things like this:

"I'm an Alaskan, not an American. I've got no use for America or her damned institutions."

"The fires of hell are frozen glaciers compared to my hatred for the American government. And I won't be buried under their damn flag. I'll be buried in Dawson. And when Alaska is an independent nation they can bring my bones home."

"And then you get mad. And you say, the hell with them. And you renounce allegiance, and you pledge your efforts, your effects, your honor, your life to Alaska."
Secession, that's pretty mainstream.

Imagine if Obama had been associated with a political party that said things like that.

I guess she's cramming


Goodness, Liebermann is an ass

Last night, Lieberman said that Obama voted "to cut off funding for our American troops on the battlefield."

From this morning's Washington Post Fact Checker

If, by voting against funding for a strategy he opposed, Obama voted to "cut off funding for the troops," then so did almost every Republican in the Senate -- and Lieberman himself -- when they voted against a $124-billion appropriations bill on April 26, 2007, that would have funded operations in Iraq and Afghanistan but also required Bush to begin withdrawing troops from Iraq. (McCain missed the vote on that bill, which passed 51-46 and was subsequently vetoed by Bush.)

Tell us again what an "honest person" Joe Lieberman is.


You should be careful when you're microphone is on.

Wall Street Journal columnist and former Reagan speechwriter Peggy Noonan and former John McCain adviser, Time columnist, and MSNBC contributor Mike Murphy were caught on tape disparaging John McCain's selection of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his Vice Presidential running mate.

"It's over," Noonan said.

When Chuck Todd asked her if this was the most qualified woman the Republicans could nominate, Noonan responded, "The most qualified? No. I think they went for this, excuse me, political bullshit about narratives. Every time the Republicans do that, because that's not where they live and that's not what they're good at, they blow it."

Murphy characterized the choices as "cynical" and "gimmicky."

The tape is at the link.

The convention


Lord, that's a lot of empty seats.
It's probably not an indication of the strength of your position when you have to tell everyone what to say.

Talking points keep Alaskans on same page

All eyes - and all the media - are on the GOP delegation from Alaska, home to Gov. Sarah Palin, the McCain VP pick. And the 31 members of the delegation have been prepared for the onslaught of attention: Here are the official talking points they received yesterday, obtained by The Chronicle:

Republican National Convention talking points

(Indicted U.S. Sen. Ted) Stevens being electable:

-- Ted Stevens is our guy.

-- He is the only person, except Gov. Palin, who can beat Mark Begich in November.

-- As long as he does not receive jail time, he is legally capable of serving.

Corruption in Alaska

-- There was a unique clique that was involved in the Juneau corruption scandal.

-- These people do not represent the beliefs and the values of the Alaska Republican Party.

-- They have since been weeded out and the party has found better candidates to run for those seats.

-- Voters are showing approval of Alaska Republicans and will continue to favor responsible, ethical and moral people.

(Fairbanks Mayor Jim) Whitaker on supporting Obama:

-- He is free to support any candidate he chooses, he does not represent the Alaska Republican Party.

-- The party is made up of individuals and they are not controlled by the party.

-- We wish Mayor Whitaker the best of luck as he continues his career in the private sector.

Sarah Palin as VP nominee:

-- She brought change and new energy to the office of governor.

-- She will bring this same new energy to the presidential ticket.

-- No one is better suited to deal with the largest issue on the voters' minds: energy.

-- Being from Alaska, Sarah Palin understands how to provide energy independence to the country.

-- She knows the energy potential in Alaska and will work to make sure Alaska resources will fuel the country.

STAY POSITIVE when talking to reporters.

Palin, was, indeed, unvetted

The New York Times has a brutal expose of just how incompetent and ad hoc the process was.

The Bubble Convention

I think Oliver Willis just outdid himself.

Thanks, Bush

Bush: McCain stances on Iraq, 9/11 make him ready to lead

Well, THAT should please the voters.


Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Meanwhile, in news that has nothing to do with Alaska...

Former attorney general Alberto R. Gonzales told investigators he did not remember whether he took home notes regarding the government's most sensitive national security programs and did not know they contained classified information despite notations on the papers that they were "eyes only -- top secret," according to a report released this morning. - Washington Post

Ah. Dangerous incompetence from the Bush administration that threatens all our lives. Big yawn.


It migh be heating up at just the right (or wrong) time. Palin just hired an attorney.

The trouble with Ms. Sarah.

Wonkette has a fine summation.